Youtube: Highlighting what would happen if all atheists were to leave America. Details of who would leave, what would change, and a look at other countries with virtually no Atheism.

Reuploaded from ConversationWithA - http://www.youtube.com/user/ConversationWithA

SOURCES:
Over 10% of American population are atheist:
http://www.atheistempire.com/reference/stats/index.php

Less than 0.21% of prisoners are atheist:
http://holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm
In response to a freedom of information act request, the Federal Bureau of Prisons says that on February 12, 2010 atheists accounted for just 0.08% of the prison population: http://bornatheist.com/files/Federal_prison_statistics.pdf

Majority of Nobel Prize winners atheist:
The Religiosity and Religious Affiliation of Nobel Prize Winners (Beit-Hallahmi, 1989)

Majority of University professors atheist:
Religion and Spirituality among University Scientists (Ecklund, 2007)

Majority of scientists atheist:
http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Scientists_and_atheism

Atheist Intellectuals:
http://brainz.org/50-most-brilliant-atheists-all-time/
http://www.celebatheists.com/?title=Category:Atheist

Atheist Celebrities:
http://www.celebatheists.com/?title=Main_Page

Poverty rate lower among atheists:
Society Without God (Zuckerman, 2008)
http://www.amazon.com/Society-without-God-Religious-Contentment/dp/0814797148
http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=pzuckerman_...
http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf

IQ higher among atheists:
http://www.interfaith.org/2008/06/20/study-links-atheism-to-high-iq/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2111174/Intelligent-people-less-likely...

Illiteracy rate lower among atheists:
United Nations Human Development Report (2004)
http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr04_complete.pdf

Average Income higher among atheists:
United Nations Human Development Report (2004)
http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr04_complete.pdf

Divorce rate lower among atheists:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

Teen pregnancy rate lower among atheists:
http://www.americablog.com/2009/01/red-states-dominate-teen-pregnancy.html

Abortions lower among atheists:
Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look (Paul, 2005)
http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html

STD infection lower among atheists:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article571206.ece

Crime rate lower among atheists:
Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look (Paul, 2005)

Homicide rate lower among atheists:
Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look (Paul, 2005)

Percentage of atheists in the countries mentioned:
http://www.adherents.com

posted by DerHasisttot 3 years 2 weeks ago • 6,467 views • 2:19
westy says...

I think what this video inadvertantly highlights is that Education is directly tied with atheism the more intellectual/educated sum-one is the harder it is for them to believe in bullshit and the more likely it is they will do things based on facts of reality to improve reality.

SDGundamX says...

*lies (yes I know I can't invoke it, but after reading my comment maybe someone will be kind enough to do it for me).

The "majority" of professors are not atheist--not in the U.S. It's actually closer to 20-30%. The source they cite is for the number of university scientists that are atheist.

Also, a lot of the figures their sources cite include agnostics and atheists, which aren't the same thing. They are basically inflating their numbers. Just because a scientist on a survey says they don't know for sure if a god really exists doesn't mean said scientist doesn't practice a religion (check out how the source they cited came up with their results). In reality, scientists who describe themselves as not having a religious association (again, this does not necessarily mean they would describe themselves as atheist) have only a slim majority (52% vs. 48%) over those who do have a religious association. Another example of number inflation--they claim 10% of the US population is atheist or agnostic but the source they cite actually says that only 7.1% of the survey participants responded that way--the 10% is the number who had no response OR atheist OR agnostic. Again, they are fluffing the numbers.

And clearly, the implication that the problems of former colonized countries around world are primarily due to how much of their population is religious is a logic fail of the highest caliber. If only those poor countries had more atheists, then everything would be all right... :rolleyes

I find it a bit ironic that when religious folks misuse or abuse statistics and use poor logic to support their agenda the Sift crucifies them but when atheists do so they get 22 upvotes within seven hours. Sorry, but I gotta buck the trend.

Downvote.

SDGundamX says...

>> ^westy:

I think what this video inadvertantly highlights is that Education is directly tied with atheism the more intellectual/educated sum-one is the harder it is for them to believe in bullshit and the more likely it is they will do things based on facts of reality to improve reality.


You should check out this study, which basically shows that isn't the case. The high proportion of atheist scientists compared to the general population seems to be a function of upbringing (i.e. they were raised in homes that didn't place much importance on religion). The increased education seems to have little effect on those who enter the field with religious convictions. In other words, those raised in non-religious households seem to self-select disproportionately highly into the sciences. The study states that more investigation is required before coming to any conclusions as to why, but they didn't see any indication of people giving up their religious beliefs as they advanced in their education or career.

ldeadeyesl says...

Haha it was ok until the end, acting like those other countries are fucked because they don't have enough Atheists is dumb. Atheists are not agents for good, nor a natural resource. Also saying look these people share our views is probably not going to change anyone mind if they already dismissed you because of your views. That ignorance is deep seeded and will not be changed for an online video.

kceaton1 says...

>> ^SDGundamX:

>> ^westy:
I think what this video inadvertantly highlights is that Education is directly tied with atheism the more intellectual/educated sum-one is the harder it is for them to believe in bullshit and the more likely it is they will do things based on facts of reality to improve reality.

You should check out this study, which basically shows that isn't the case. The high proportion of atheist scientists compared to the general population seems to be a function of upbringing (i.e. they were raised in homes that didn't place much importance on religion). The increased education seems to have little effect on those who enter the field with religious convictions. In other words, those raised in non-religious households seem to self-select disproportionately highly into the sciences. The study states that more investigation is required before coming to any conclusions as to why, but they didn't see any indication of people giving up their religious beliefs as they advanced in their education or career.


One interesting aspect coming out in psychological studies versus genetic backgrounds shows one interesting aspect of people that have Asperger's being unable to relate to religion and are constantly looking for a more rational explanation for any event. Likewise, some people may show an inclination to be religious via their genetics.

Most likely this is due to a preference in the way the brain decides to use information. Such as: the right hemisphere versus the left; or even to the extent of specific areas on one side--like math over chemistry.

This is VERY new information. Their was another study out on Friday I believe (look for it at physorg.com) that showed that people that were religious tended to be more healthy both mentally and physically. However, the study (from what I could find) doesn't really say whether they took the disparity between population numbers into account. Also they never took into account situations like autistic savants, Asperger's, bi-polar, and other conditions that tend to "create" extremely smart people, comparatively(I'm guessing this might happen as they tend to favor the left hemisphere and also have a very different perspectives than your normal healthy average human--giving them "fresh eyes" and a new perception intrinsically).

This video is definitely made to provoke. I don't necessarily like how it does it and I'm atheist. While I disagree with religion in any capacity where it wants to use faith/belief to solve a situation instead of the logical tried and true method, that is where I draw a line in the sand (like Creationism; it's useless to us in every aspect: it explains nothing, is useless in practice, and assumes everything). Religion doesn't necessarily bother me when it's used in a social setting. The only time this isn't true is when it crosses the "religion/state" barrier and rights of others; as is the case for many gay people. I know a lot of religious people that sit on a logical side of the fence and many that sit on the other side and try to (in my estimation) usurp the rights of others for poor reasons and in fact religious ones (state vs. religion again).

Lot's of the religious people (I'm in Utah so I know my situation is semi-unique) I know that refute many logical tenets, like evolution, tend to do so in a way that shows they are INCREDIBLY insecure when it comes to "smarts". I've had some people tell me they belong to MENSA and in the same sentence tell me evolution is fraud and it should be obvious as to why this is true (they usually have no "logical" reason to explain why this is true other than faith; I have yet to hear a good reason...). This may also be an indication that even in religion there is a disparity between other religious people and that it may even be a psychological/physical condition that causes it via genetics.

It would be a new world if you could wager whether someone is religious or not, before they are even born. To me that is a game changer, but to others I know they will not see why that is true.

/edit

kceaton1 says...

>> ^Mazex:

Imagine if everyone stopped labeling giant groups of people pointlessly.


That is what I'm trying to point out. Our "speciation" (or: group and object distinctions and uses like labels or labeling) will continue to increase as our knowledge increase. It will become harder to lump everyone together. Except that we are all human; some "grouping" is correct no matter what you think. Trying to make it a moral issue is fairly laughable. As English (plus any language) and it's "noun" section would be eternally morally corrupt with your distinction.

I know what you're saying, but it seems like it's meant to be a defense of something some of us have done wrong; but, "religious" and "atheist" are fairly benign descriptors. I think we all know what ends up being wrong and right. Lastly, it's merely a shortcut.

VoodooV says...

I don't like the perpetuation of the divisive nature of atheists and theists.


I'm not an atheist or theist, I'm an American.

I'm not an American, I'm a citizen of humanity.

And when we eventually discover life on other planets, I'm not a human, I'm a creation of the Universe.

it goes on and on...

Ryjkyj says...

>> ^dannym3141:

LOL at the stephen hawking picture. And dawkins was in there i think!?!?!? WTF


Was it Dawkins or Hitchens or both? Either way, if Stephen Hawking leaves america, we're screwed.

westy says...

Maby its a generational thing for example u parents might be educated but indoctranted with religoin so they cnanot drop it but they dont go to chirch and they dont pass it onto there kids , and then there kids are then left with a non limiting world view that alows them to develop a more rational way of thinking.

It definatly becomes allot harder to be supersitouse or maintain cognitive disonence if you know magic or understand logical falicies or literature and history or know manny religoins.

I think by educated i dont just meen well schooled i mean culturally people that want to learn you can be prity thick but so long as you are of a learning mindset then eventualy you are bound to come to a diest conclusoin of religoin at worse and athiest at best.

>> ^SDGundamX:

>> ^westy:
I think what this video inadvertantly highlights is that Education is directly tied with atheism the more intellectual/educated sum-one is the harder it is for them to believe in bullshit and the more likely it is they will do things based on facts of reality to improve reality.

You should check out this study, which basically shows that isn't the case. The high proportion of atheist scientists compared to the general population seems to be a function of upbringing (i.e. they were raised in homes that didn't place much importance on religion). The increased education seems to have little effect on those who enter the field with religious convictions. In other words, those raised in non-religious households seem to self-select disproportionately highly into the sciences. The study states that more investigation is required before coming to any conclusions as to why, but they didn't see any indication of people giving up their religious beliefs as they advanced in their education or career.

VoodooV says...

I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.

We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.

gwiz665 says...

I want that. Christianity is a pox on the human mind and must be purged for our continued survival.
>> ^VoodooV:

I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.

GeeSussFreeK says...

>> ^gwiz665:

I want that. Christianity is a pox on the human mind and must be purged for our continued survival.
>> ^VoodooV:
I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.



I think there are greater threats to human kind than "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" in this world.

gwiz665 says...

Of course, you are correct. Greater evils do exist, but that doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to this one. Christianity is sinister, in that it guises itself as a good thing "do unto others etc", but in reality it is a means for people to control other people - not just enslave them, but control their minds, make them willing slaves, and that to me is even more scary than just being oppressed.
>> ^GeeSussFreeK:

>> ^gwiz665:
I want that. Christianity is a pox on the human mind and must be purged for our continued survival.
>> ^VoodooV:
I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.


I think there are greater threats to human kind than "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" in this world.

kceaton1 says...

--> @kceaton1
--> @peggedbea

The only reason I upvote these is that I think it's good for discourse. It's more useful for the lurkers on this site than really the involved members. I knew I would be bringing up a very neutral standpoint as I am on the fence; especially, recently as more biological evidence has direct implications on who you may be later in life. That is VERY important to remember for everyone reading. You have to remember that your brain collects and stores information and then processes it through "filters" before it is distilled into what you would say. Biologically you may be far more likely to be an atheist than a believer (the study makes no distinction religion wise; so they are talking about Islam, Christianity, Norse, Greek, Roman, Buddhist, Hinduism, etc...).

We need a table that we can (we, as in, the religious versus non-theist) talk at. More importantly logical minds and compassion MUST prevail for society to remain intact. If Richard Dawkins (maybe I'm thinking of Hitchens) really can't talk with creationists then he is as much a problem as the creationists themselves (of course one of these parties ARE correct, but the lack of civility is extremely annoying--from both sides).

If you want others to learn sometimes you need to act just like Mormon, Catholic, Evangelical, missionaries. You must expect the vitriol and swearing that usually comes out as highly defensive "maneuvering" or hate; the same that the missionaries get day in and day out. Sorry, "my brethren", but answering the door to purposefully create an unnecessary rude or hateful situation comes off as hate/bigotry speech or dismissive attitudes which is just as bad. This is morally corrupt behavior in my eyes. I suggest answering the door and being able to identify to them issues you have strongly opposed views of and why compared to what they do and about what they say. You have to hope, in this day of the Internet, that people will take ONE aspect of what you said and learn more about it.

I had Mormon seminary teachers that taught creationism, but creationism is extremely limited in acceptance within the Mormon church. For crying out loud BYU (Mormon based university for those that don't know; just south of Salt Lake City) accepts evolution WITHOUT ANY hesitation. They are very active in the sciences as well which is why they do believe; furthermore they are huge researchers when it comes to genealogy which eventually loops into evolution. In many situations the Bible is a work of allegory and followers that take it literal are the uneducated Mormons; even unto their own religion.

So when I have these seminary teachers it truly makes me wonder how they got to their position as they seem to follow their own set of tenets which ends up creating Mormons like Glenn Beck who literally don't stand for church beliefs as I knew them (and again why hasn't he been excommunicated--this actually bothers me a lot as he only hurts the churches standing; which is poor to begin with and is nothing like the Mormons I know). Science was always taught to be incredibly important; if not the most important as it was a way to "uncover even more of Gods truths"; plus it is the applicable "science". That is that it gives us our modern day of living and quality of life (like airplanes, microwaves, TV, energy, etc...). I may not believe in any religion now. But, I appreciate that sentiment; as I think it's a very healthy objectivity to have if in a religion: adaptability.

/ I have to agree somewhat with @gwiz665 as religion (like all things) from an atheists vantage point looks a lot like fear manipulation. I love the Golden Rule as it truly does incorporate perhaps the easiest summary of what it is to be good. But, I know religious people use this to their own ends, including what we see in Libya or on Fox News. To them, people and their beliefs are a joke and they abuse it. It often makes me wonder if these CEOs are truly religious (the ones that say they are) or just using it as a gateway--who knows. Which goes back to my first point. It's entirely possible that we as a species have a tendency to vote "sociopathic" or likewise people into office as they themselves, much like drug seeking personalities (like bi-polar) seek out these positions. The abuse of these positions are partially hard wired into their makeup. All this means is that we must be more diligent. We've come too far as atheists and the religious to let this civilization slip away out of our hands.

//If this is tl;dr, to you, go watch a monkey flinging poop on youtube.

GeeSussFreeK says...

^gwiz665 Troublesome topic to get into on a forum. But I will make a meager attempt to express myself on this matter.

Firstly, I greatly respect you as a person, and value your opinion. Please excuse any phrasing that seems belittling or disrespectful of your own personal experiences with Christianity; my purpose isn't to discredit your personal experience, but relay mine.

In the interests of full disclosure, I am not a practicing Christian, I am an agnostic atheist. My pursuit of truth and knowledge lead me away from my faith some time ago. However, it is the very pursuits Christianity grew up in me that lead to this second awakening in myself. Christianity saved me, twice. Let me explain.

Low self esteem has been the story of my whole life. I was bullied a lot as a child, and my week personality was unable to cope. I always was pretty good in school in terms of grades. But the scars of my low self esteem means I never tried to live up to my full potential. I sold myself short in everything, I gave up, gave in, quit trying. Always managing slightly above average marks, several shallow friendships, and anything else that wasn't to risky.

That all changed in high school. I met one of the most influential friends I had in my life. He radiated self confidence. He also happened to be a Christian. I formerly mocked Christians via the evangelists I saw on TV, it was my only real experience with Christians till that point. I eventually "converted" to Christianity and my life was forever changed. I felt good about myself. Felt I could actually be something, do something, affect something. I was encouraged not only in personality, but in mind. I read countless books on theology, philosophy, and science. I grew in ways that I couldn't fully appreciate until my second great awakening. I was forever a different person. Gone where the rational bounds I placed on myself. I was no longer constrained by the ordinary. It was light in my darkness. A cure to the miasma of my existence. It instilled in my the responcibility to myself for goodness, purity, kindness, and truth.

The pursuit of truth eventually lead me to realize that if there is a God, it can't be the God of the bible (I won't go into that here), and so ended that phase of my life. But I am forever indebted to Christianity. And while someone might rightly point out it was me saving me, it still wouldn't of happened (I believe) without those people in the place they were doing the things they were with the believe that they were, I wouldn't be where I am now (most likely would of killed myself). All things have their share of evils and goods. For my part, even though I am no longer a Christian, I can't ever call for its eradication, or even that it is a moral bad.

To me, the great evil that works in us is a 2 billion year old tail; that this world is a world of violence. 2 billion years of animals eating other animals can't be laid at the feet of Christianity, or Islam, or any other scapegoat. We are humans, a tragic creature able to understand its own tragic nature. We seek to pass the blame to something we created, but it is what 2 billion years of life has created working in us, through us. We are the result of that, not the result of ourselves...yet. Perhaps in time we will come to terms with ourselves, and deal with ourselves. To this day, we only at best manage ourselves. I can't stop feeling anger at someone for cutting me off in traffic, I can only manage it the best I can. And I guess that is my closing thought. Right now, the best person is just a manager of their human condition, our fate was determined long ago through the course of billions of years of ooze... perhaps; or maybe God did it all, I don't know.

(edit: grammar and spelling, ugh)

VoodooV says...

There is always going to be religion and group-think. There are going always be people who are less intelligent and less independently-minded. The only problem is when you've got someone who will manipulate those mindless masses for their own agenda. Let's be real. The power structure behind Christianity isn't actually interested in advancing faith...they want power...otherwise there wouldn't even be a power base in the first place and religion would be restricted to just the local churches.

There is nothing inherently wrong with religion and faith. You just gotta reign in their power base and influence to more tolerable levels. I *do* believe in freedom of religion even though I don't practice any myself. People should be free to believe whatever they want..just as long as those freedoms don't encroach on other people's freedoms.

Wanting Christianity eliminated because the zealots are guilty of oppressing people makes you no better than the oppressors

skinnydaddy1 says...

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Sir Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-1971)

shinyblurry says...

>> ^gwiz665:
I want that. Christianity is a pox on the human mind and must be purged for our continued survival.
>> ^VoodooV:
I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.



Strong words for a talking penis.

kceaton1 says...

I like these last comments for the fact that they let you know that as much as we know as humans now (remember most of this has only happened in 100 years; a pittance of time, relatively speaking). We are slowly understanding that reality has never been exactly upfront with us. The more we explore new frontiers we find that we are beholden to devices and physical laws that are not dealt with by science or religion, yet.

It shows us that we must tread lightly for now. We are a young race and we barely grasp some fundamentals of reality with physics, chemistry, and other sciences. Philosophy has been thrown around since time immoral, atleast compared to our species age.

We have a lot to learn and in many places we have yet to learn anything. Dismissing anything like what genetics may tell us, or DNA, science, religion, or even a philosophy of religion only leads to closed-minds. That is our undoing.

But, if we can come together and realize that intrinsically we are complex socially due to mental and health issues and limitations imposed on us physically from birth we can atleast see eye to eye. It is the people that cannot deal with reality and what it tells us, that will destroy us. Especially, if we grant them power--they can only lead us to a delusion that isn't supported by reality in any fashion.

At the same time I believe that if you have faith in religion you must recognize that the Universe may be more important in many ways than a book. For if what you believe is true, what better place to find truth and answers than looking at "It's" creation. Why be scared of what reality says, when it causes the greatest of our humanity to come forth when we explore it--it makes us a better species.

To me it's nature speaks louder than any religious leader can ever speak, and writes unsaid poetry better than the best poet. This is as close as I can believe in God. The Universe is amazing and it makes our squabbles over race/resource/religion (who's right...)/and rights look maddeningly simplistic in comparison.

The event/object that brings me the most satisfaction in life is to go up in the mountains and watch the Milky Way rise. I now enough about it that it NEVER fails to inspire me and humble me.

We need to destroy our ability to have childish fears.
A little dramatic, but I wish to make an emotional plea...

gwiz665 says...

Well, see that's where I disagree. While we agree that we don't like powermongers, I also believe that faith in general is a bad thing. Faith is belief without any evidence, and even in spite of evidence to the contrary.

I don't want Christianity eradicated just because of the zealots, it want it eradicated because both it's a vehicle for zealots (but then a lot of other things are too, politics, sports teams etc) and because it is intensely anti-scientific. Knowledge and reason is much better than faith in any context.

You can only lead the horse to water, you can't force it to drink (or so they say). I am trying very hard to lead people to the water and at least have them consider that drinking is good, but the final decision is up to them. If they apply their intellect and their reasoning to the problem, I have very much trouble seeing how they can come up with such a warped answer. So far, the only reason I can see for this is willful ignorance, denial, ignoring facts consciously or unconsciously or I dunno. Why do people believe in a God? Either they are stupid and cannot reason, or they choose not to.

When people see religion as more of a community than faith, then it's a much different animal - a community can exist just fine without a preacher, a faith or any of that stuff.

I think your final statement, voodoov, is horseshit. I want religion in general wiped from the face of the earth, but I am not oppressing anyone, I'm not trying to take power away from people, I am not withholding condoms in fucking africa because it's "immoral". You are a slave, and religion is the chains that bind you. Free yourself! We're only trying to help you make the key.
>> ^VoodooV:

There is always going to be religion and group-think. There are going always be people who are less intelligent and less independently-minded. The only problem is when you've got someone who will manipulate those mindless masses for their own agenda. Let's be real. The power structure behind Christianity isn't actually interested in advancing faith...they want power...otherwise there wouldn't even be a power base in the first place and religion would be restricted to just the local churches.
There is nothing inherently wrong with religion and faith. You just gotta reign in their power base and influence to more tolerable levels. I do believe in freedom of religion even though I don't practice any myself. People should be free to believe whatever they want..just as long as those freedoms don't encroach on other people's freedoms.
Wanting Christianity eliminated because the zealots are guilty of oppressing people makes you no better than the oppressors

gwiz665 says...

@GeeSussFreeK I don't have time to respond to your post now, got work in the morning, but thank you for sharing your thoughts and for being so nice about it. I have quite a bit of comments for your post, if you want to hear them, but I'll get into it later.

shinyblurry says...

>> ^VoodooV:
There is always going to be religion and group-think. There are going always be people who are less intelligent and less independently-minded. The only problem is when you've got someone who will manipulate those mindless masses for their own agenda. Let's be real. The power structure behind Christianity isn't actually interested in advancing faith...they want power...otherwise there wouldn't even be a power base in the first place and religion would be restricted to just the local churches.
There is nothing inherently wrong with religion and faith. You just gotta reign in their power base and influence to more tolerable levels. I do believe in freedom of religion even though I don't practice any myself. People should be free to believe whatever they want..just as long as those freedoms don't encroach on other people's freedoms.
Wanting Christianity eliminated because the zealots are guilty of oppressing people makes you no better than the oppressors


What horseshit. Do you realize Christians make up over 1/3 of the worlds population? Do you seriously think you can pigeonhole that many people? There are Christians in every walk of life, every kind of profession, intellectual or otherwise, at all ranges of IQ. The bible says only a fool doesn't believe in God. When I was agnostic, I truly was a fool because I had no spiritual discernment. That is why atheists believe the bible is nonsense. Without any awareness of the spirit, or the fact that they have one, they're no better than robots executing some program with a tacit self-awareness. Logic is nothing in and of itself..

VoodooV says...

I don't think you realize just how dangerously close you are to sounding EXACTLY like those you claim to hate.

>> ^gwiz665:

Well, see that's where I disagree. While we agree that we don't like powermongers, I also believe that faith in general is a bad thing. Faith is belief without any evidence, and even in spite of evidence to the contrary.
I don't want Christianity eradicated just because of the zealots, it want it eradicated because both it's a vehicle for zealots (but then a lot of other things are too, politics, sports teams etc) and because it is intensely anti-scientific. Knowledge and reason is much better than faith in any context.
You can only lead the horse to water, you can't force it to drink (or so they say). I am trying very hard to lead people to the water and at least have them consider that drinking is good, but the final decision is up to them. If they apply their intellect and their reasoning to the problem, I have very much trouble seeing how they can come up with such a warped answer. So far, the only reason I can see for this is willful ignorance, denial, ignoring facts consciously or unconsciously or I dunno. Why do people believe in a God? Either they are stupid and cannot reason, or they choose not to.
When people see religion as more of a community than faith, then it's a much different animal - a community can exist just fine without a preacher, a faith or any of that stuff.
I think your final statement, voodoov, is horseshit. I want religion in general wiped from the face of the earth, but I am not oppressing anyone, I'm not trying to take power away from people, I am not withholding condoms in fucking africa because it's "immoral". You are a slave, and religion is the chains that bind you. Free yourself! We're only trying to help you make the key.
>> ^VoodooV:
There is always going to be religion and group-think. There are going always be people who are less intelligent and less independently-minded. The only problem is when you've got someone who will manipulate those mindless masses for their own agenda. Let's be real. The power structure behind Christianity isn't actually interested in advancing faith...they want power...otherwise there wouldn't even be a power base in the first place and religion would be restricted to just the local churches.
There is nothing inherently wrong with religion and faith. You just gotta reign in their power base and influence to more tolerable levels. I do believe in freedom of religion even though I don't practice any myself. People should be free to believe whatever they want..just as long as those freedoms don't encroach on other people's freedoms.
Wanting Christianity eliminated because the zealots are guilty of oppressing people makes you no better than the oppressors


gwiz665 says...

@VoodooV I know it sounds a lot like the bad men, but one is how it sounds, another is what we do.

Also, I'm right and they're not. Neener neener.

kceaton1 says...

>> ^shinyblurry:

>> ^VoodooV:
There is always going to be religion and group-think. There are going always be people who are less intelligent and less independently-minded. The only problem is when you've got someone who will manipulate those mindless masses for their own agenda. Let's be real. The power structure behind Christianity isn't actually interested in advancing faith...they want power...otherwise there wouldn't even be a power base in the first place and religion would be restricted to just the local churches.
There is nothing inherently wrong with religion and faith. You just gotta reign in their power base and influence to more tolerable levels. I do believe in freedom of religion even though I don't practice any myself. People should be free to believe whatever they want..just as long as those freedoms don't encroach on other people's freedoms.
Wanting Christianity eliminated because the zealots are guilty of oppressing people makes you no better than the oppressors

What horseshit. Do you realize Christians make up over 1/3 of the worlds population? Do you seriously think you can pigeonhole that many people? There are Christians in every walk of life, every kind of profession, intellectual or otherwise, at all ranges of IQ. The bible says only a fool doesn't believe in God. When I was agnostic, I truly was a fool because I had no spiritual discernment. That is why atheists believe the bible is nonsense. Without any awareness of the spirit, or the fact that they have one, they're no better than robots executing some program with a tacit self-awareness. Logic is nothing in and of itself..


I won't go too far here, but this is dangerous thinking. It's full-on vitriolic, bigoted, and hate filled. I don't know how you can read that to yourself and sleep at night soundly, willfully going out of your way to hate and dismiss a large part of the population. (Which you complain about...)

I'm an atheist and I've never meet you. I do no great evils (other than not believing in your God). Please tell me logically why I deserve your hate and specifically why you are certain that my "smarts" are faulty; as to this day I've heard the opposite from others about myself (people I know, not this Internet hogwash).

Your dipping into zealotry and from there it is a short journey to become the thing you hate; whether that seems likely or not, it has been fairly well defined, and a time-tested adage. What you're saying is exactly the same you complain about: pigeonholing.

/Zealotry is dangerous as it causes you to fall into the condition, "You can't see the forest for the trees.". Or, I would say it also causes "tunnel-vision".

//I'm not trying to provoke you as your fine to believe as you wish, but when you expect others to see things ONLY your way you will suffocate yourself socially as people HATE to be meddled with. Which is perhaps the reason many atheists are as vocal as they are; they've been meddled with.

P.S.--

Lastly, atheists don't follow spirituality as it has no logical or scientific basis (instead we usually follow neurosciences' and psychologies' term 'psyche'). If you define "the soul" via science it makes literally no sense; as we understand the brain to be more of a "compartment" like system. You have the left and right hemisphere, then the neo-cortex which is a glorified search engine that makes Google look like a baby in diapers, you have your perception based areas, your emotion based centers, and memory storage. When they work together you gain your perception and that is arguably where you find sentience. The brain is very complex, but it is being understood more and more each day. So what happens when one day we create a true, sentient A.I.? What if they are smart enough to understand the power of community and become more gracious than mankind? What exactly IS a soul at that point? One day religion in general may need to explain things that truly it's prophets may never of foresaw and it's followers will be hard pressed to explain (except for 'faith').

P.S.S.--

I hope you don't think this is an outright attack on you, as this isn't my intention. I merely wish to show you the differences in thought and secondly let you know that what you said is not "helpful" it's very negative in nature. It sounds as though you need to bury the hatchet with something.

VoodooV says...

I guess it just depends on how you expect to go about "eradicating Christianity" I certainly hope that some day far in the future, as we evolve, we're simply going to outgrow religion.

It's my sincere hope that as we grow and evolve, our ability to self-govern and get along with others will increase, thus making many existing laws and methods of reigning in the populace obsolete.

But if you're thinking that somehow Christianity can be eradicated simply by eventually garnering enough public support and passing a law. Something like that will not end well, if not in tears and bloodshed.

Because there are tons of things that are objectively bad for you, yet we don't outlaw them because laws like that tend to be hopelessly un-enforcable (even though we try anyway)

Quite simply, for good or for bad, Religion and Faith are going to be a part of humanity for a long ass time for the foreseeable future. I certainly hope you don't think you can eradicate it in our lifetimes or even our childrens' or grandchildrens' lifetimes. All we can do now is simply reign in the troublemakers who want to take religion too far.

Asmo says...

>> ^VoodooV:

I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.


Exactly. Atheism is, to my mind, your own choice not to believe, not a reason to reverse evangilise (part of the reason I dislike Hitchen's).

FlowersInHisHair says...

>> ^Asmo:

>> ^VoodooV:
I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.

Exactly. Atheism is, to my mind, your own choice not to believe, not a reason to reverse evangilise (part of the reason I dislike Hitchen's).

I certainly didn't choose not to believe in gods. I simply find there to be no convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that there are any, and for that reason I am an atheist. It's not a choice, any more than the belief that my mother is not a yellow elephant is a choice.

NinjaInHeat says...

Oh my gosh, now I feel so secure in my beliefs, thank you oh atheist master of the internets.

I'd like to hope most atheists would be smart enough to leave behind the sort of individual that would produce this visual diarrhea if they chose to leave. Let the tongue speakers castrate him or something, nothing would be as excruciating as that sound track.

Drachen_Jager says...

Hmm, Hawking and Hitchens are British... I suppose they both reside in the US though, so technically they are correct.

Also, they don't describe any causation for the final segment. IMO it is wealth and high education standards that create high atheism rates and good standards of living. The US has wealth, the education is spotty.

jwray says...

It's true that atheists are underrepresented in prison, but OP shouldn't distort the facts to exaggerate the size of the correlation. The number fluffing needs to stop.

ponceleon says...

Yeah, I have to agree. It is full of inaccuracy and bad logic. As an atheist, I don't want this video representing me. That said, people in this discussion who are falling back on the bible, spirit, and other mumbojumbo make sad.

bcglorf says...

>> ^gwiz665:

I want that. Christianity is a pox on the human mind and must be purged for our continued survival.
>> ^VoodooV:
I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.



You need to generalize a little more. Enforcing specific beliefs, philosophies or religions on others is a pox on humanity. It's been done under the guise of every major belief, philosophy and religion in human history.

Please notice that people who "who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state" are NOT the solution as you seem to embrace them. They ARE the problem.

gwiz665 says...

I jsut want a separation between church and existence.
>> ^bcglorf:

>> ^gwiz665:
I want that. Christianity is a pox on the human mind and must be purged for our continued survival.
>> ^VoodooV:
I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.


You need to generalize a little more. Enforcing specific beliefs, philosophies or religions on others is a pox on humanity. It's been done under the guise of every major belief, philosophy and religion in human history.
Please notice that people who "who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state" are NOT the solution as you seem to embrace them. They ARE the problem.

bcglorf says...

>> ^gwiz665:

I jsut want a separation between church and existence.
>> ^bcglorf:
>> ^gwiz665:
I want that. Christianity is a pox on the human mind and must be purged for our continued survival.
>> ^VoodooV:
I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.


You need to generalize a little more. Enforcing specific beliefs, philosophies or religions on others is a pox on humanity. It's been done under the guise of every major belief, philosophy and religion in human history.
Please notice that people who "who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state" are NOT the solution as you seem to embrace them. They ARE the problem.



I want a unicorn.

gwiz665 says...

Like you want a God?
>> ^bcglorf:

>> ^gwiz665:
I jsut want a separation between church and existence.
>> ^bcglorf:
>> ^gwiz665:
I want that. Christianity is a pox on the human mind and must be purged for our continued survival.
>> ^VoodooV:
I feel as though there is a faction of atheists out there that don't simply want equal rights and separation of church and state. They seem to want revenge on Christianity. Christianity is definitely guilty of being the cause of a lot of atrocities and making life harder on people because of discrimination and such. Because of that, there are certainly a lot of angry people out there who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state.
We've got to keep a reign on that type of behavior.


You need to generalize a little more. Enforcing specific beliefs, philosophies or religions on others is a pox on humanity. It's been done under the guise of every major belief, philosophy and religion in human history.
Please notice that people who "who aren't going to be satisfied with equal representation and separation of church and state" are NOT the solution as you seem to embrace them. They ARE the problem.


I want a unicorn.

TheSaltyPilgrim says...

I'd like to add that purely by the numbers, among 90% of American non-Atheists does it not seem logical that there would "of course" be less bad stuff and more good stuff (purely materially speaking and completely disregarding spiritual and mental peace) purely because there are less of them? by a 9:1 ratio. i.e. less people... less bad stuff. I would also like to think that there are far more non-atheists that are in poverty, are illiterate, in jail, etc. because when you are in a position where you are force to come face to face with actual reality and not a "Material Reality" you can't make yourself feel better by eating, taking a shower, having sex, spending money, etc. God is constantly talking to everyone. This is what I, and any true Non-Denominational Christian who believes the entire Bible and won't over emphasize certain verses and take others out of context will believe. When humans are put in situations where they are challenged they will instinctively try to make their environment or body "feel good" or just try to make it less uncomfortable. When you don't have that option you have two options (more probably but this is for effect) One, you become bitter, angry, or sad and decide to live your life that way. Two you decide to actually listen to what God is telling you and your life is radically changed and you don't care entirely what your surrounding environment is like. (Jesus was homeless by the way) I'm not here to argue, I am simply replying and informing you of why the (what little true) facts are in the video.

TheSaltyPilgrim says...

I for one would hate it if all atheists left America. I have a lot of atheist friends that are really great to be around. I am a Christian.

NinjaInHeat says...

71 up votes for this garbage, for shame. And Sifters, with your high and mighty attitudes, at least learn to recognize poop when it stinks up your side of the lawn.

DerHasisttot says...

For the record: I stay neutral, but I must congratulate on 50 comments. This post has certainly envigorated a discussion, and that's good.

NetRunner says...

>> ^gwiz665:

Christianity is sinister, in that it guises itself as a good thing "do unto others etc", but in reality it is a means for people to control other people - not just enslave them, but control their minds, make them willing slaves, and that to me is even more scary than just being oppressed.


That's kinda a generic fill in the blank rhetoric for any ideology you don't like. For example:

Libertarianism is sinister, in that it guises itself as a good thing "you own the product of your labor etc", but in reality it is a means for people to control other people - not just enslave them, but control their minds, make them willing slaves, and that to me is even more scary than just being oppressed.

It's basically true of any moral philosophy. For people on the outside, they're transparent schemes to get people to lash themselves to the yoke. From the inside, it's a guiding principle that gives their lives meaning.

dgandhi says...

>> ^SDGundamX:

Just because a scientist on a survey says they don't know for sure if a god really exists doesn't mean said scientist doesn't practice a religion


And just because somebody on a survey says that they identify with a religion does not mean that they practice or believe it. This video is mostly fluff, because the evidence for causation is much better for affluence -> atheism than the other way around, but the 10% number is conservative based on what we know about how much people over report religiosity.

SDGundamX says...

>> ^dgandhi:

>> ^SDGundamX:
Just because a scientist on a survey says they don't know for sure if a god really exists doesn't mean said scientist doesn't practice a religion

...the 10% number is conservative based on what we know about how much people over report religiosity.


Show me some evidence of that and I'll believe you. Otherwise, I'll stick to the numbers that actually exist.

eatbolt says...

I'm an atheist as well. Call it a over generalization if you must, but we tend to place a higher value on empirical evidence over beliefs and and faith. We don't like to take things at face-value. The problem with the video is it assumes everyone watching it will take it's statistics just as they are. They cite all kinds of problems that would arise from the godless leaving America but they don't provide a reference or even an explanation as to why they think this would happen. Very sloppy.

Winstonfield_Pennypacker says...

As always - people are using poor phraseology on this subject. People are blaming "Christianity" for bad things, when really the fault lies at the feet of bad people who misappropriate Christianity for their own purposes.

Not every Christian is a good one. Like all populations, you have a mixture of good and bad. The challenge for any person is to learn to seperate the actions of individuals from the idealogy of the group. Is that not what Atheists are always wanting other to do - to judge them as individuals and not by some artificial label?

I don't go around in life automatically assuming an atheist is a bad person just because they are atheists. Why don't I do that? Because Christ taught his followers not to judge others. Good advice that. By focusing on the individual, I know not to blame "atheists" as a group for the rather skewampus opinions of loose cannons like gwiz who are as like as not simply spouting around their own unique brand of intolerance as opposed to being representative of a larger whole. Such persons are indeed large holes, but not large wholes.

gwiz665 says...

No, I don't think it is.

Christianity actively "filters" its content to only portray the nice parts; the golden rule, be nice to others, don't kill; that sort of thing, but it hides the gay bashing, slavery, misogyny and all the other bad stuff.

It has an intentional consequence which is sinister. Libertarianism, to follow up on your example, is on the other hand not intentionally evil, it has unintended evil consequences, such as corporate takeover of a "free" market, disregard for people's wellbeing when compared to the money-focus and so on.

Pure libertarianism is bad because it is too naive and thinks to highly of people to know and act "smart" and to make the right choices by themselves. At its core libertarianism seems like a good idea, to each his own, make your own luck, free markets etc. but when you think of the consequences, then it's a bad idea taken to its extreme.

Christianity is bad because it sells itself as something its not. It is explicitly bad when you look at its holy book, the idea of hell and redemption is bad, and it tries desperately to hide its bad sides as "part of the times" or to essentially pick and choose what it is. At its very core, even if you pick and choose like crazy, the idea of God makes no sense. You only have to read the bible to become an atheist.

>> ^NetRunner:

>> ^gwiz665:
Christianity is sinister, in that it guises itself as a good thing "do unto others etc", but in reality it is a means for people to control other people - not just enslave them, but control their minds, make them willing slaves, and that to me is even more scary than just being oppressed.

That's kinda a generic fill in the blank rhetoric for any ideology you don't like. For example:

Libertarianism is sinister, in that it guises itself as a good thing "you own the product of your labor etc", but in reality it is a means for people to control other people - not just enslave them, but control their minds, make them willing slaves, and that to me is even more scary than just being oppressed.

It's basically true of any moral philosophy. For people on the outside, they're transparent schemes to get people to lash themselves to the yoke. From the inside, it's a guiding principle that gives their lives meaning.

NetRunner says...

@gwiz665 well, again, your argument against Christianity sounds awfully similar to your defense of libertarianism. Sure, if you follow all the tenets of libertarianism, massive evil results, but that's why people should be more picky and choosy about it and focus on the good stuff. But if Christians do the same with their beliefs, it somehow makes them illegitimate.

I guess my real problem with what you're saying is that you're unfairly singling out Christianity. It's not really any better or worse than any other imperfect moral doctrine. To me, I see a lot of problems "caused" by Christianity are really problems caused by conservatism (libertarianism's abusive father).

For example, I'd say most Christians don't take the bible literally, they don't believe in hell, they don't think Jesus would want nutrition programs for children cut so the rich can get a tax cut, they don't think we should be trying to bomb Muslims into worshiping Jesus, they don't even oppose letting gay people marry each other.

It's true that the conservative Christians you hear about a lot on TV are stupid fucks who believe in one or more of those, but IMO they've already left Christianity far behind, and started worshiping at the altar of conservatism. Lots of Christians don't buy into the hate.

I think in terms of the broader sweep of history, there's a lot of suffering you can lay at the feet of Christianity and religion more generally, but I'm not really sure how much bearing that really has on the role of Christianity in the here and now. Political and economic ideology seem to have largely supplanted religion in terms of rallying people to the cause of inflicting human suffering on a large scale.

I guess what I'm really saying is that Christianity per se isn't really the problem. It's the general tendency of people to take rigid deontological moral frameworks and use them as a justification to inflict suffering on people they deem unworthy. There are Christians who do that, but most don't anymore. In fact, a lot of modern Christianity explicitly argues against that.

Conservatism and libertarianism, on the other hand, seem to be philosophies entirely crafted for the purpose of justifying doing harm to the people they deem unworthy. Still, you do occasionally find conservatives and libertarians for whom the infliction of suffering is something they feel some regret about, though of course they still believe it must be done. After all, it's for their own good...

gwiz665 says...

@NetRunner You're missing the point. There is nothing in libertarianism about inflicting suffering, dominating or the like. It is an unintended consequence of a free market. You therefore don't have to pick and choose in that. In Christianity you have to actively pick and choose for it to make sense, as a whole it's a mess in so many ways. There are intended and explicit bad things(tm) in the bible. Which explicit bad things exist in libertarianism?

NetRunner says...

>> ^gwiz665:

There is nothing in libertarianism about inflicting suffering, dominating or the like. It is an unintended consequence of a free market. You therefore don't have to pick and choose in that. ... Which explicit bad things exist in libertarianism?


Suffering isn't an unintended consequence. Suffering results because libertarianism explicitly says it's immoral to try to prevent it from happening. People must be allowed to suffer the consequences of their decisions, no matter how harsh the consequence, nor how defensible the decision. Suffering is key to the functioning of a free market -- it's part of the incentives that drive the whole system. If you take away those consequences, or lessen them in any way, it's not a free market anymore, it's a socialist fascistscape, or whatever made up name they've come up for our extant regulated markets and social safety nets this week.

Trying to lessen suffering...that's what they always say creates "unintended consequences."

>> ^gwiz665:
In Christianity you have to actively pick and choose for it to make sense, as a whole it's a mess in so many ways. There are intended and explicit bad things(tm) in the bible.


On this I agree. But on both counts, it's no different from libertarianism. Intended and explicit bad things are above. For just a single contradiction, try this on:

People must always own the products of their own labor.
People always own themselves.

Except...you didn't make yourself. Your parents made you. Why don't they own you? Why should the government redistribute wealth (ownership of the child) from the people whose labor created the wealth, to those who haven't done anything to rightfully earn it (the child itself)?

gwiz665 says...

@NetRunner it seems to me that you may be confusing libertarianism with objectivism, or that I might have a more narrow view of libertarianism than is common. I'm thinking of ye olde Liberal, like Adam Smith and such. Already there I guess I make a "pick and choose" already, and cut away the crazier elements.

Charity is not an immoral thing in libertarianism, the thing is that you have to choose to be charitable. By my inaction I can cause a lot of suffering, sure, by not giving all my money to poor people, I "cause" them to stay poor and suffering. There are incentives to helping them, though, personally I can feel better about myself (that's why most people donate to anything anyway) for instance. The "free" part just means that we have a choice and are not forced.

If the government or someone else mandates that I give a poor guy some of my money, then it could be considered immoral, theft etc. Because I no longer have the choice, I am forced.

So I come back to, suffering is an unintended consequence of libertarianism - there is an inherent inequality, yes, some people win some people lose, but winners are perfectly allowed to be charitable all they like. Because we are free, we are also free to not share, that's the consequence.

On your example: It makes perfect sense if people are not products. I wouldn't say that people are products, are you saying that? Because the contradiction is only there when people can be bought and sold. Even when children are not emancipated yet (over 18 or however you get considered an adult) the parents are only your guardians, not your owners.

NetRunner says...

@gwiz665 I wasn't really trying to sidetrack us into a debate over the moral worthiness or lack thereof of libertarianism, honest.

My main point is that you were throwing stones in a glass house. Christianity and libertarianism have most of what you'd said in common, the only difference being that libertarians are fairly small in number, it's a fairly new philosophy, and you haven't committed all that many atrocities yet.

But, from my point of view, you're on the same glide path.

For example, you talk about not having "caused" the suffering of the poor. Why are there poor in the first place? Why doesn't everyone have a guaranteed minimum income, that's paid for by taxes on the wealthy? Because doing that would be a sin in your religion?

In terms of choice, doesn't "being poor" severely limit the range of activities you will actually be legally free to do? Isn't any system that allows the state of "being poor" to exist ultimately one that robs people of their freedom?

On the other bit, in your branch of libertarianism, how does anything ever come to be owned in the first place? Do you not believe in self-ownership? How's self-ownership work if people can't be owned?

SDGundamX says...

>> ^dgandhi:

http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/csrpl/RIN%20Vol.1No.1
/RIN%20Vol.1No.2/Church_lies_polling.htm
>> ^SDGundamX:
Show me some evidence of that and I'll believe you. Otherwise, I'll stick to the numbers that actually exist.



Sorry for the late reply, work has been a little crazy lately.

Thanks for posting that link. It was an interesting read. Unfortunately, it didn't really persuade me that much. I'm not sure if you clicked the links I supplied or not, but the sources I cited didn't just do a simple survey--they did a full-on academic year-long research projects that followed up with in-depth interviews of the participants and structured data analysis. And they weren't asking about church attendance but about beliefs. But if you look at the sources cited by this video, on the other hand, most of them follow the "Gallup method" of sending out a random survey and not following up on it.

If you've got some other links, I'd be interested in reading them.

EDIT: I'm really most interested in any evidence that 10% is a conservative number for the number of atheists in the U.S., because it seems from the studies I find that at this point 7% is probably about right and maybe even a little bit of an overestimate. Just to be clear, these studies are talking about people who are full-on self-described atheists, not people who are kind of on the fence. It doesn't make sense to try to count the people who are on the fence because it gets too confusing... do you include as an atheist a guy who goes to church every week but doesn't follow any of his religion's tenets? Do you include people who think "something" is out there but are turned off by the idea of--and don't participate in--organized religion?

dgandhi says...

>> ^SDGundamX:


Thanks for posting that link. It was an interesting read. Unfortunately, it didn't really persuade me that much. I'm not sure if you clicked the links I supplied or not, but the sources I cited didn't just do a simple survey--they did a full-on academic year-long research projects that followed up with in-depth interviews of the participants and structured data analysis.


I find that counterargument interesting. The only thing the study I linked shows is that self reporting for religiosity in the united states is extremely unreliable, and specifically very biased towards religion. Your response is to say that you want to only use studies that use larger datasets of self reported(bad) data, I really don't see how that makes you feel better about the reliability of the results.

>> ^SDGundamX:


EDIT: I'm really most interested in any evidence that 10% is a conservative number for the number of atheists in the U.S., because it seems from the studies I find that at this point 7% is probably about right and maybe even a little bit of an overestimate. Just to be clear, these studies are talking about people who are full-on self-described atheists, not people who are kind of on the fence. It doesn't make sense to try to count the people who are on the fence because it gets too confusing... do you include as an atheist a guy who goes to church every week but doesn't follow any of his religion's tenets? Do you include people who think "something" is out there but are turned off by the idea of--and don't participate in--organized religion?


This is a goal post move, atheist ≠ anti-theist, and religious ≠ non-anti-theist. To be religious requires a positive belief in the existence, and goodness of a deity. You can't "kind of" believe something, belief is binary, and largely unaffected by desire. The fact that Americans seem to want to be religious, or church goers, or whatever, has no bearing on their actual beliefs, or apparently on their actions, except that it seems to drive them to lie. And when we measure behaviors that we can measure against self-reporting, we find that self reporting is HUGELY biased in the favor of religion.

Now nobody can KNOW if you believe in something, and so I am left to conclude that your claims about what you believe are probably as accurate as your claims about where you were on Sunday. If even a conservative 1/4 of the claimed "believer" population does not actually believe, then the real number of non-theists is somewhere around 25%. I'm not claiming that it is that high, but I would not be unreasonable if I were to make that extrapolation from the data we have, I would be happy to consider any data (not self reported) that you might have that suggests that that extrapolation is untenable.

SDGundamX says...

@dgandhi

I don't understand why all self-reported data is "bad" data. Yes, self-reporting by itself is unreliable data. The problem with self-reporting is that you can't be sure the reason people checked a box on the survey is the reason the researcher thinks they checked the box. That's why it is so crucial to triangulate your data--for example with follow-up interviews and observation of how people actually behave (which, for example, Gallup doesn't do). Self-reported data is not "bad" so much as it is incomplete if that's all you're going to work with.

Case in point, in the article you linked to it turns out many people who only attended church once or twice a month reported themselves as attending "regularly." Yet these same people did not in fact differ in commitment to the religion as those that attended weekly--which is why they chose "regularly." So basically the Gallup poll provided an incomplete picture of what was going on (as did the weekly church attendance count--people going to church less often didn't necessarily mean people abandoning the religion entirely). In my comment to you, I was criticizing not the article you linked to but the polls cited by this video which were only surveys and not triangulated in any sort of way. Those are the ones I find unconvincing--for the same reasons the article you linked to found the Gallup data unconvincing. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. Also, have you read Ecklund's research? I would be interested in hearing your critique of the methodology used.

As to your second point, I disagree with several of your statements. You can in fact be religious and not believe in the existence of a good deity. Most Buddhists sects have been doing it for thousands of years. There was another Sift on here a while back about an aboriginal group that had only one deity--and it was evil. It basically existed to torment them. Are they not religious?

I also disagree that belief is binary. What empirical evidence do you have that belief is binary? Does anything in neuroscience support this? "Kind of" believing in something sounds a lot like agnosticism to me... you're not sure something is out there, but you're also not willing to rule out the possibility that it exists either. This guy explains why belief can't be binary a lot better than I can.

Now, the information in this video is questioning what would happen if we deported all atheists. It seems clear from the examples of atheists they show that they are referring to self-proclaimed atheists. The atheistempire poll cited by this video clearly states that 7% of the people polled described themselves as either atheist or agnostic. It's not the pinnacle of research by any means, which is why I asked if you have any other data about self-proclaimed atheists. That was the reason I was asking you to keep things simple, by the way. It's not that I don't believe there aren't a lot of hypocrites out there who claim they are religious but act in a different way--I most certainly do believe that. For the purposes of commenting on this video though, I'm completely unconcerned with them.

As an end note (to what unfortunately became a rather lengthy post--sorry), let me just explain that the only reason I commented on this video was because I was disgusted by how completely half-baked most of the sources were and at the completely unjustified conclusions it came to. Now, in your original reply to me you suggested that 10% was a conservative number for the number of atheists in the U.S. And I took that to mean self-proclaimed atheists, which I found hard to believe (which is why I asked for a source). But it's clear to me now that when you say "atheist" you are referring to everyone--the non-practicing Christian who only shows up for Christmas and Easter, the hypocrite who doesn't practice what he preaches, etc.--into the term atheist. And I agree with you--if you lump all those people together, yeah, you'll get more than 10%. But I don't agree with lumping them all together any more than I agree with your "binary" definition of belief.

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