Democracy 3 and Religion


#1

I really like this game but I just wanted to post out a few things that really bother me about it;

religious people are not all nuts; I think that this is seriously ignored in this game. Usually in any democracy game I play I end up with capitalists, the wealthy and the religious all out for my blood. Honestly, I know I’m downright horrible to the wealthy and capitalists but I’m pretty nice to the religious! They are very demanding and give little room for error - this is just NOT REALISTIC; at all. I allow many things that piss non-religious people off and yet the religious groups still hate me. Yes; some religious people are crazy and some are dangerous but the MAJORITY of religious people are normal…

Secondly. The Darwin Achievement. I can’t even begin to describe how inaccurate this is. Honestly this is the ONLY issue I have with this game is it’s representation of religion. Can we have a balanced society where religion is important but does not rule the country. Darwin did NOT advocate a Godless society. He had no point of view on God. Secondly; as a Christian I believe in evolution (as far as I believe that if that’s what science believes is the most likely scenario then I’m okay with that) I love science and technology and don’t believe in school’s teaching creationism. Can we PLEASE, PLEASE have Christians and religious people viewed in a less harsh light.

Apart from those two issues I really enjoy this game - I still haven’t figured out how to avoid having my credit rating downgraded (even though I’m usually always in surplus!) but apart from that yes; very much enjoying the game.


#2

i think nearly everyone has the same people pissed of at them, like you said, the religious, capitalist and wealthy.
what they expect is absolutely impossible, the religious are against technology and it would seem to make them happy we should all live in mud huts and candle light. the capitalists are just constantly annoyed, till now ive always had the news backlash from angry capitalist, sometimes 5-10 times in a game even one assassinations from them.
they expect the country to run without taxes and 0 welfare, i think the private houseing-state houseing, private healthcare- state healthcare and private schools-state schoold needs a lot of tweeking.
if you fund state services the capitalist are unhappy and the private sectors basically dissapear, its like everyone starts living in state facilities. when you promote private sectors the poor get poorer and become homeless and your whole economy goes down the drain. i found the only way is to promote state funded sectors.
making it basically impossible for capitalist to like you.


#3

I noticed the same thing about capitalists. They’re opposed to almost every policy you can adopt. Almost felt like the only way to win them to your side is by not doing anything at all. Which, I suppose, is fairly realistic. Considering capitalists are against government interference, and almost everything we do in the game is government interference. Not sure if it’s even really an issue, it’s just the way capitalists are.

At least the religious are easy to get rid of. Their numbers seem to dwindle real fast when you start implementing scientific programs. (Though I wonder why the main screen still lists my popularity with religious folks, when the stats say there’s 0.0 % of them in my country.) That I did find a bit hard to believe in, how fast it was to eradicate religion.


#4

Capitalists just don’t like it when you solve obesity, organized crime, pollution, homelessness, and asthma…


#5

That’s what makes this game awesome for me, that it depicts reality in a pretty accurate way on the whole. Although I kinda agree about the religious thing, there’s a lot of religious adherents that aren’t wont start frothing at the mouth because you implemented a space program. But they will go ballistic over stem cell.


#6

While I agree that the representation comes off harsh, I think that this is where one individual fitting into several categories fits in. If you are not supporting a religious agenda, then for reasons based in religion, these people will not like you. However they are not just in one category, they might be religious, conservative, self employed parents, and like you for 3 out of 4 reasons, but dislike you on religious grounds. These people will show up as red in the religion category, but more supportive in the others.

As far as the extremists actions go, when you look at the numbers, they will have 30 to 60ish members, out of a country of millions. In reality there probably are that many Americans who want to kill Obama, or Canadians who want to kill Harper “in the name of god” because of abortion laws and teaching evolution in schools. This is not saying that all religious people are extremists at all, just representing the fact that a small number of people with extremist views can cause A LOT of trouble.


#7

I agree the game represents religion in a reasonable way. US for example is 70% christian on paper, but the game only counts around 30% christians at the beginning. These are, in the game model, the people who care about religion and wants the political agenda to follow the religion. Those who get angry if you don’t follow the bible. The non-nuts are simply not accounted.
What i didn’t find reasonable was the speed i can alter this number with policies, there’s no way a (democratic) government can get rid of all the religious populace in 2-3 mandates. That’s not even one generation.


#8

I think the Religion vs Technology aproach is very bad implemented.

It’s ok for religion to go against you if you change abortion rules, allow homo marriage, or only teach evolution route.

But it makes no sense that having a better space program, more research, or more technology hurts the religion.

This forces you to take religion out as soon as you can because it will hurt your technology and therefore you economy levels.


#9

I think the religious category should be renamed religious fundamentalist. The average religious person nowadays doesn’t seem to go to church or care about what the Bible says about anything, basically only a nominal theist. I’d rename the Darwin Award the Nietzsche Award as well, I’m no fan of either man but let’s be accurate.


#10

People are getting confused between policies that anger the religious, and those that reduce their numbers.

The three policies I think you’re referring to are Space Program, Science Funding, and Technology Grants? If so, then none of these have any impact on the opinion of religious voters. What Space Program and Technology Grants create is a REDUCTION in the number of religious people.

How valid that change is is a matter for debate. I think it would be fair to say that looking over the broad sweep of history, religious belief has decreased as scientific understanding has expanded. There’s fewer mysteries to solve; you don’t need to pray to the gods to spare your daughter from the plague in an era of vaccines (for one highly abbreviated example). Whether you can make these changes in an 8 year term of office is another question. For me, I’m ok with the existing effects, but I could live with seeing the action times increased even further.


#11

Well, the majority of scientist and technologist are either agnostic or atheist so it does make sense that the more you go hi-tech the less religion there’s in the country. But i agree the model is at fault in the details because you can lower the religious population unreasonably fast and effectively. I think a fix could be to add a positive correlation between poverty and religion and/or slowing down the speed at which +tech/+science policies affects religious membership. That same problem is seen in other political groups, for example in my current game Ethnic Minorities went to 100% in a couple of mandates because of immigration (like saying that in 5 years the whole american population is replaced by mexicans and chinese).

I don’t think a “nominal theist” should be regarded as religious, not even in real world, let alone in the political groups of a political game. If you don’t really care about your religion enough to stand up for basic political policies like abortion or stemcell research you are simply not religious. I do agree Darwin had, at his time, an unaggressive stance towards religion, while he was in fact a rationalist he defined himself as a agnostic instead of an atheist. Still i can’t but wonder what would be his stance today, if he saw how religious people hates him for what his work represents and how they try to censor it.


#12

It is unfortunate that many people on both sides of the debate are clueless as to what Darwin actually presented. In actual fact my understanding is that it was the scientists, not the church who wanted his findings abolished and the church were quite happy/ambivalent. I really would like it if cliffski would actually read this thread.

I don’t think this is true. I think it’d be safe to say that there are NO religious fundamentalists in true scientific inquiry but I grew up in a house with a mother who worked in science and a father who was a brilliant mathematician. We went to church every week. I understand one household doesn’t make the norm but my point is that there are MANY religious people in science. Personality I’d love to see a “win condition” meaning something you can achieve as the dispute between science and religion to be eliminated! That’s something I would vote for.

I agree, abortion really is a big one and this should definitely have more bearing although more and more “Christians” are supporting it. I make this one of my top priorities in Democracy 3 abortion is limited to life threatened ONLY. Although to be honest I don’t feel as much backlash from this as I feel is realistic. Outlawing guns also doesn’t get much from anyone ether. Stem Cell Research is a difficult one; if were ONLY talking about discarded baby embryos are they babies that were aborted or babies that died? Personally, I don’t feel that this is wasteful, if a child who dies (no matter how young) can help the rest of the world then go for it. The problem becomes when you think about babies killed purely for research (I’m not sure if this would even be an issue - certainly not in democracy) so yes, I do agree that some thing’s people need to get more upset about. (I mean, in real life…they need to be less upset, but for realism’s sake…)

I guess at the end of the day I just wish this game wasn’t furthering the science/religion debate because really there never was one; we created it for something to get mad at each other about.

EDIT: To be honest, even homosexual marriage only annoys “traditional” conservative Christians and such; many Christians today believe in marriage equality.


#13

I think it needs to be recognised that the religious group are a political group. This is a religious bloc who are voting on the basis of their religion. As such, they tend to take the hard line on issues, like marriage equality and abortion. To suggest that the religious voting bloc are anything but against these issues anywhere in the western world is ridiculous. This is not to say that this reflects the opinions of all religious people, however. In fact, within Democracy 3, voters can belong to many groups and each group has a different effect on their opinions. So it’s perfectly possible to have a religious person in Democracy 3 that supports abortion rights and marriage equality if their liberal opinions are more important to them politically. That’s not to say that they ‘aren’t really religious’ or anything, just that their religion and their politics are more separate.

I think technology making people less religious is more questionable, though again it’s not so much making them less religious but more separating religion and politics more.

On the Darwin issue, I think people are maybe taking something that was intended as light-hearted a bit seriously. This is clearly refering to the modern arguments between the religious right and the liberal left regarding the teaching of creationism, not to whatever opinions Darwin himself held.

-El


#14

This is what I was getting at with these effects. We are looking at things over a small period of variation within our own countries, where mostly we have a balance slightly tilted towards atheism in practice. The game tries to model the whole range of religious state on one side to atheist state on the other. It’s bnot a critique of religion, merely pointing out that religion does tend to lose ground to atheism as technology advances, over the very long run. I agree that the time differences in democracy 3 are maybe a bit short.

Don’t get too caught up in the names of policies, when it comes to stem cells etc. there are not policies for ‘everything’ so the game approximates whole areas of debate within single policies. You might, for example, take the stem cell policy to also be representative of policies on human cloning experimentation, and other genetic science experiments and research that would be described as ‘playing god’.


#15

I agree that the Religious group seems to really represent the far-right. However, I also agree that this is because a majority of the most politically active religious people have ‘old school’ beliefs and values. The description is very apt. Also, as El and other said, any one Voter can be a Liberal Religious person. Whether they approve or disapprove of a relevant policy depends on how much they are influenced by each ideology.

My problem is that it is possible to create a Liberal Socialist Farmer Utopia (I’ve done it with the UK with Everyone belonging to these three groups and a dominance of Environmentalists). Everyone believes in liberty, equality, and living off the land while respecting it. Religion was, of course, wiped out. Which made me sad, because then spirituality is not represented at all. I would wager that this society would not be atheistic but have some sort of eclectic ‘new agey’ individualistic spirituality as a dominant religion (my own bias showing) that most current major religions hate. Religion has changed from what it was in the past and in time it will change further.

Thinking about all of this, I started working on a Religion mod. If you could change how your government handles religion, you may change the composition and beliefs of the deeply Religious group causing them to be more oriented towards the ‘left’ instead of the ‘right’, or vice-versa if you’d like. So policies could make Religious and Liberals happy at the same time making it easier to strike a balance between the two, even sometimes between Religious Liberals and Religious Conservatives. This isn’t how it is in the real world at large right now, but if you play 5 turns with two terms of 4 years each, that’s 40 years. Who knows what religion will be like 40 years from now? (Well, there are theories…) There are already trends at work which show that there are many in major religions who stay religiously active but are adopting new practices and incorporating new, more ‘open-minded’ beliefs.

Let’s play with that!


#16

I think you need to come away from associating the Religious group with everyone who is religious. I think it’s more a grouping of the more devout and orthodox believers. You can be religious and not be part of a group like the Westboro Baptists. What they do and what they get worked up about is not a representation of you. Same goes for capitalists. You could think of them as “fat cats” and it’d probably make more sense. Anything which disrupts the market and creates less profit will bother those at the top.


#17

I consider myself to be both devout and orthodox, but the factors that influence the ‘religion’ group in democracy 3 simply are of very little concern to me, in fact some of them I actively oppose. My ideology is closer, in a general sense, to liberal, although that’s often moderated out by other concerns, as is the case with most people.

In relation to Democracy 3, while I personally would prefer that the ‘religious’ term were renamed ‘fundamentalist’, in the absence of this being changed in a patch or being modded in (which wouldn’t be hard), it’s just something I will continue to translate in my head when I play the game.


#18

The last three posts really nailed it. A change from “religious” to fundamentalists would definitely be great and Cliffski I really think think that you’re still setting a goal of religion OR technology. I just can’t understand that.

Iamthatis137 that mod of yours sounds really good. I’d love to be able to basically for lack of better phrasing “fix” fundamentalist ideals and institute a religion that really mirrors Jesus teachings. Helping the sick and the poor, and rolling with the times no matter how scientific they are. I’m not sure exactly what your mod will do but it sounds good and maybe when you’re done you’d like to link it here? I’d definitely be interested in giving it a go.

Also, I guess it’s true that political religious can be a little right-wing and this is so unfortunate in my opinion, we need some better people to look up to, really. However, that having been said I still don’t feel that the religious as a whole group should mirror the small right-wing political religious group.

On a last note I see alot of people saying “it’s obviously this and not this” particularly in reference to Darwin but to be honest yeah maybe a few people know that’s what it’s about but my point was more that you’re encouraging misinformation and encouraging people to think that way. I feel like that’s not really the right thing to do.


#19

Because it is a fact that the more educated and technologically inclined the less religious a person tends to be.

I think people in this thread seriously underestimate the role that ignorance and systematic sabotage of critical thinking has in religiosity.

Regardless, if a person is a liberal religious person or a conservative religious person, this is already represented by the game. Additionally, the religious voter type is clearly representing the people to who religion is important to them. You can be liberal and religious or conservative and religious. Or you can be non-religious. All of these things are already represented.

Policies that negatively effect religiosity or make religious people unhappy are fairly well-modeled at first glance.


#20

I, like @cate, come from a faithful, science and tech loving family. In fact my sister in law is interviewed by reporters/researchers when there are incidents of unusual occurances relating to blood in the news. I am probably the least science and techtastic person in the family; I just teach Computer Science to GCSE or A-Level students!

I believe this trend might be as it appears to be, because of the clout main stream scientists have on our media and because of shows like Big Bang Theory (brilliant though it is). I do not believe it is as clear cut on the bleeding edge, especially with regard to the applicational sciences. Just a quick stroll through the various departments of universities I have been through suggest students and lecturers alike are visibly from a rich belief background. Many of the religious people at these institution that I have spoken to are where they are because of their faith, not dispite it. I wont patronise people here by listing scientists, with a faith, who have radicalised their scientific field. I wish there was a way to reflect this in a gamey way in Democracy.

However D3is a game. I believe games are art (how Democracy presents info is a work of art IYAM) and cliffski is absolutely right to present his political / religious / personal stance to his intellectual property.

Psalms 111:2 - Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them.
I have no idea why people believe God is against science.