Ah, those upright Christian citizens....
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25-02-2016, 08:02 PM
RE: Ah, those upright Christian citizens....
(25-02-2016 04:43 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(25-02-2016 04:31 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Prior to 2015, Mehta asked for and received the same equivalent dataset in 2013. So, there's that.

In what universe does explicitly identifying the source count as poorly cited? Christ, you're bad at this.

I don't think he reads everything before he feels compelled to prematurely respond. Much like Q and Wail_of_the_Child. That is an excellent way to quickly lose all credibility.

He doesn't on posts here or the data he looks for. He actively in the past would just go quote mining for some idea to prove his point and not actually take into account what was being said or total points.

He's done that on moral topics and I recall a the specific point of him taking a claim of Brian Cox trying to say how there was no signs of intelligent life in our solar system, as a claim of a authority of significance in the science realm stating there is no signs of life in the universe.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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27-02-2016, 08:36 AM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2016 08:42 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Ah, those upright Christian citizens....
(25-02-2016 04:31 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Although I suppose now would be a good time to ask you to substantiate your now repeated claim that there are "many" sources working solely from the 1997 figure. You're the one who's apparently so sure they exist, after all.

Uhm, like I've said at the time I made that remark, I wasn't was aware that there updated information obtained by a blogger in 2015. So pardon me for not being aware of Mehta's information. Prior to this, any claim as to the under representation of atheists in prison was based on 1997 survey, even by Mehta himself in the past.

And as far as the updated info provided by Mehta, when you're dealing with difference sbetween 2-3 percentage points, between two different surveys, the question as to how the information was gathered, as to whether it was gathered from the Sentry data or not is entirely relevant.

The claim that Atheists are underrepresented in prison, is a thin one. The evidence in support of it is flimsy at best, even when factoring in Mehta's info, which shouldn't be hard to understand. Imagine if we took two separate surveys of two different populations. One survey ask whether you believe God exists, and another ask if you're an atheists, if there's a marginal difference between these populations in regards to god belief, it's quite likely the way the question is framed has a great deal to do with it. Take for instance folks like Neil Tyson, who would claim they lack a belief in God's existence, but wouldn't identify themselves as atheists.

Even if we are to speculate that Mehta's info was gathered from the sentry data, that the sentry religious entries are fixed, as is evident in the law suit filed by the man who didn't have the option to identify as a secular humanist as opposed to an atheist.

And more often than not when you hear the claim of atheists being underrepresented in prison, it entails someone conflating the general populations nones, with self identifying atheists.

I mean if we took a survey with a sound methodology, of both the general population and prison population, it's possible that the claim that atheists are underrepresented in prison is true, based on factors like the racial breakdown of said groups. But the available data, doesn't allow us to confidently draw that conclusion, it's not a substantive claim.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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27-02-2016, 01:33 PM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2016 01:41 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Ah, those upright Christian citizens....
(27-02-2016 08:36 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(25-02-2016 04:31 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Although I suppose now would be a good time to ask you to substantiate your now repeated claim that there are "many" sources working solely from the 1997 figure. You're the one who's apparently so sure they exist, after all.

Uhm, like I've said at the time I made that remark, I wasn't was aware that there updated information obtained by a blogger in 2015. So pardon me for not being aware of Mehta's information. Prior to this, any claim as to the under representation of atheists in prison was based on 1997 survey, even by Mehta himself in the past.

And as far as the updated info provided by Mehta, when you're dealing with difference sbetween 2-3 percentage points, between two different surveys, the question as to how the information was gathered, as to whether it was gathered from the Sentry data or not is entirely relevant.

The claim that Atheists are underrepresented in prison, is a thin one. The evidence in support of it is flimsy at best, even when factoring in Mehta's info, which shouldn't be hard to understand. Imagine if we took two separate surveys of two different populations. One survey ask whether you believe God exists, and another ask if you're an atheists, if there's a marginal difference between these populations in regards to god belief, it's quite likely the way the question is framed has a great deal to do with it. Take for instance folks like Neil Tyson, who would claim they lack a belief in God's existence, but wouldn't identify themselves as atheists.

Even if we are to speculate that Mehta's info was gathered from the sentry data, that the sentry religious entries are fixed, as is evident in the law suit filed by the man who didn't have the option to identify as a secular humanist as opposed to an atheist.

And more often than not when you hear the claim of atheists being underrepresented in prison, it entails someone conflating the general populations nones, with self identifying atheists.

I mean if we took a survey with a sound methodology, of both the general population and prison population, it's possible that the claim that atheists are underrepresented in prison is true, based on factors like the racial breakdown of said groups. But the available data, doesn't allow us to confidently draw that conclusion, it's not a substantive claim.

Are you a statistician? Because I wouldn't be arrogant enough to make any of those claims unless I was a statistician.

Oh and as has already been pointed out to you several times, Metha got the data in 2013. You still haven't read all the links have you. Particularly the one from 538 which was done by an actual statistician.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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27-02-2016, 05:29 PM
RE: Ah, those upright Christian citizens....
(25-02-2016 09:32 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  But if you want the data: atheists make 0.1% of federal prison population. Percentage of people who claim to be atheists in USA is 3.1% of population (may not be accurate, number is from 2014).
Although I agree that atheists appear underrepresented in prison populations (or inversely, theists appear overrepresented) these numbers may be a little skewed in our favor because there may be practical problems with openly identifying as atheists in prison, therefore, some atheists are likely to identify as believers. It depends on whether that 0.1% figure was polled confidentially (and prisoners trusted that confidentiality) or lifted from prison records where the affiliation would be known to prison administrators, parole officials and/or other prisoners.
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27-02-2016, 06:55 PM
RE: Ah, those upright Christian citizens....
(27-02-2016 05:29 PM)mordant Wrote:  Although I agree that atheists appear underrepresented in prison populations (or inversely, theists appear overrepresented) these numbers may be a little skewed in our favor because there may be practical problems with openly identifying as atheists in prison, therefore, some atheists are likely to identify as believers. It depends on whether that 0.1% figure was polled confidentially (and prisoners trusted that confidentiality) or lifted from prison records where the affiliation would be known to prison administrators, parole officials and/or other prisoners.

Other factors (which at least one of those earlier links acknowledge and which we haven't controlled for) include: Common-cause complications of socio-economic background, race, and in-prison conversion.

Really, this in no way proves that atheists are more moral than Christians. It's somewhat suggestive, but not a clincher. And it's not really relevant anyway -- just because a Christian's chance of being out of jail is at one 9s (plus change) rather than two 9s (plus change) isn't reflective of any particular Christian... it just shows that the worrisome minority of that group is proportionately larger than the other group. There's no taint by association here. No given Christian is implicated in or discredited by the crimes of another Christian in which they had no part.

The only real value in pointing out these statistics is as a COUNTER to the absurd claim that atheists have no morality vis-a-vis believers. It does pretty effectively undermine that argument... and shows that the person putting it forward is an idiot for believing an in-principle argument rather than looking at in-fact data, which also hammers home the point on the larger epistemic debate.

That said, it's also useful (against the Moral Argument) to highlight circumstances where Christians committed crimes BECAUSE they are Christians. Not that their religion was a sufficient factor for crime (else EVERY Christian would be doing it), but that it was a necessary and inescapable aspect of their motive. I'm talking about, say, that woman who tried to drown her kids before they could sin and be sent to Hell, or the parents who beat their children because of "spare the rod and spoil the child", or the ones whose kids die because of exorcisms, or...

WOW there's a lot of those which are bad for kids, aren't there?

But again, this is not to shame or attack the Christian you are having a conversation with. It's to thoroughly dismantle the particular line of reasoning in which Christianity is a good basis for morality, or a good moral guide, or transforms people to be more moral. Nothing more. Make the point and move on.
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28-02-2016, 01:51 AM
RE: Ah, those upright Christian citizens....
(27-02-2016 05:29 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(25-02-2016 09:32 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  But if you want the data: atheists make 0.1% of federal prison population. Percentage of people who claim to be atheists in USA is 3.1% of population (may not be accurate, number is from 2014).
Although I agree that atheists appear underrepresented in prison populations (or inversely, theists appear overrepresented) these numbers may be a little skewed in our favor because there may be practical problems with openly identifying as atheists in prison, therefore, some atheists are likely to identify as believers. It depends on whether that 0.1% figure was polled confidentially (and prisoners trusted that confidentiality) or lifted from prison records where the affiliation would be known to prison administrators, parole officials and/or other prisoners.

Reltzik put this better than I could.

Sure, numbers could be flawed but they still debunk believers idiotic claim about atheists lack of morals.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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