Religion and morality
Posted: 22 November 2008 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m just copying over some interesting information at http://www.pharyngula.com, PZ Myers’ wonderful blog about biology and atheism (He’s what I call an “assertive atheist”). Anyway, PZ has an interesting ‘compare and contrast’ bit. First, we have an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal suggesting the secularism is the cause of the economic meltdown:
“Blame the atheists!”
And then we have an article describing a study of the correlations between religious belief and some indeces of immorality:
Religious belief correlated with immorality

Bookmark this latter URL and keep it for the next time some idiot claims that religion is the source of morality.

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Posted: 22 November 2008 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Heres the original paper published by Journal of Religion and Society Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies

Here is the link to the thread I made discussing the paper Morality Negatively Correlated to Religiosity

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Posted: 22 November 2008 12:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for pointing that out, Dan. I read the thread and it was interesting. It suggests some possibilities for additional studies. For example, can the correlations be demonstrated in states in the USA? (Do states in the deep South, for example, suffer from higher levels of STDs, abortions, murder, etc?) Of course, such correlations might be rendered useless by differences in wealth, but that raises another question: is personal wealth inversely correlated with religiosity? There’s some slim evidence to suggest as much. Or could we break it down by county and look at correlations at that level? Inasmuch as many states have a broad mix of urban and rural areas, a county-level breakdown might be more informative. I wonder if that information is available at the US Census Bureau?

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Posted: 22 November 2008 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Were this article to blame Blacks or Latinos for the economic crisis it would be labeled as a racist diatribe and never would have been published in the Wall Street Journal. Somehow its OK to be bigoted as long as you direct your hatred toward an unpopular group ( atheists). Just for fun I emailed Dan Henninger. I doubt he’ll answer back but this sort of nonsense should be allowed to go unanswered.

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For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

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Posted: 22 November 2008 08:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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macgyver - 22 November 2008 01:46 PM

Were this article to blame Blacks or Latinos for the economic crisis it would be labeled as a racist diatribe and never would have been published in the Wall Street Journal. Somehow its OK to be bigoted as long as you direct your hatred toward an unpopular group ( atheists). Just for fun I emailed Dan Henninger. I doubt he’ll answer back but this sort of nonsense should be allowed to go unanswered.

Atheism is a belief system ethnicity says nothing about your personal beliefs or character. He has it backwards we should be blaming the religious because they are the ones who believe in “voodoo economics” and elected George Bush twice.

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Posted: 22 November 2008 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Chris Crawford - 22 November 2008 10:26 AM

I’m just copying over some interesting information at http://www.pharyngula.com, PZ Myers’ wonderful blog about biology and atheism (He’s what I call an “assertive atheist”). Anyway, PZ has an interesting ‘compare and contrast’ bit. First, we have an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal suggesting the secularism is the cause of the economic meltdown:
“Blame the atheists!”
And then we have an article describing a study of the correlations between religious belief and some indeces of immorality:
Religious belief correlated with immorality

Bookmark this latter URL and keep it for the next time some idiot claims that religion is the source of morality.

Thanks for the post from WSJ—missed this and Myers’ blog. 
What a stupid article.  Definitely makes up for the positive one in USToday from Monday 11/17/2008.

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Posted: 23 November 2008 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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danlhinz - 22 November 2008 08:51 PM
macgyver - 22 November 2008 01:46 PM

Were this article to blame Blacks or Latinos for the economic crisis it would be labeled as a racist diatribe and never would have been published in the Wall Street Journal. Somehow its OK to be bigoted as long as you direct your hatred toward an unpopular group ( atheists). Just for fun I emailed Dan Henninger. I doubt he’ll answer back but this sort of nonsense should be allowed to go unanswered.

Atheism is a belief system ethnicity says nothing about your personal beliefs or character. He has it backwards we should be blaming the religious because they are the ones who believe in “voodoo economics” and elected George Bush twice.

For the most part that’s true although there are belief systems that are more common among certain ethnic groups ( How many Jewish Hispanics do you know?), and not all atheists have the same belief system either. There are huge differences in the way individual atheists look at the world and certainly morality and the economy. To lump all atheists in a single category is the same as generalizing about an ethnic group, or religious group, or religious groups in general. Generalizations are always faulty by their very nature, and generalizing about any group is a form of bigotry. Would this article have been published if it blamed Jew’s or Catholics?

Here’s the Mirriam-Webster definition of a bigot:
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices ; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.

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Posted: 23 November 2008 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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macgyver - 23 November 2008 06:46 AM

For the most part that’s true although there are belief systems that are more common among certain ethnic groups ( How many Jewish Hispanics do you know?), and not all atheists have the same belief system either. There are huge differences in the way individual atheists look at the world and certainly morality and the economy. To lump all atheists in a single category is the same as generalizing about an ethnic group, or religious group, or religious groups in general. Generalizations are always faulty by their very nature, and generalizing about any group is a form of bigotry. Would this article have been published if it blamed Jew’s or Catholics?

Here’s the Mirriam-Webster definition of a bigot:
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices ; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.

I agree that his statement was bigoted, and ignorant baseless crap. Just wanted the distinction noted that blaming an ethnic group requires you make even more assumptions about a group.

Would it be published if It blamed the evangelicals for voting in all the Bushies? I suppose that’s bigoted because I’m lumping all the evangelicals into one group but they voted for him in 2000 at a rate of 68% and ‘04 at a rate of 78%. It probably would be published as long as you make the distinction that about 30% of evangelicals didn’t vote bush it isn’t bigoted.

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