'Evil atheistic regimes' Argument

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'Evil atheistic regimes' Argument

Sometimes I run off atheistic and Freethought radio shows to listen secretly at work. (I've got a headphone hidden under a bit loosened mane of my hair covering my ears) In these times, I reach for some Christian's radio shows, just like people sometimes chooses to watch a horror movie for fun and some scary moments. It's still better than my work, if listened to carefully. Recently I heard Matt Slick from CARM to describe atheistic regimes, which killed "far, far, far, far more many millions of people" than Christianic rule. Specifically, Hitler's and communistic Russia regimes. The mattslicky show is available [url=http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/carmorgpodcasting/~5/330524494/rec070808.mp3]here[/url], if you must.

The totalitary political power doesn't think of religion as true or untrue. It knows only terms of 'useful' and 'not useful'. When it opposes religion, then it is simply because it views the Church as a rival in a control over masses and in being a final authority. People under such a regime are not atheists of their own free will, thus also not from true or false reason they could understand or have a control over. The same it is when a religion is a part of the government, in this case people are indoctrinated differently, but for the same reason - to be under control. In the point of controversy, which is if the atheism causes atrocities in the state, then not - there are largery atheistic states with very high level of living standard. (and economic stability in this crisis of today)

On the contrary, a self-achieved atheism is something what requires a certain degree of intelligence, critical thought, logics, and often a power to overcome diffculties. If I remember, in some other, atheistic radio show there was a mention of prison statistics, as for atheism, religiosity, and morality. One would expect the prisons to have a theist/atheist rates similar as in the society. Theists would expect themselves to be more moral, thus the rates of them in prisons should be much lesser. But if I remember the statistics as they were said there, there was 70% of religional people in the America's jailhouses, which would approximately match their amount in society. And, as for people identifying themselves as atheists, less than 1% of them.

To support the claim somehow, here is the link:
http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Percentage_of_atheists#Atheists_In_Prison
1997, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 0.21% of inmates were atheist

 

 

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Quote:To support the claim

Quote:
To support the claim somehow, here is the link:
http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Percentage_of_atheists#Atheists_In_Prison
1997, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 0.21% of inmates were atheist

Please don't spread that stat around. It's unreliable and anecdotal. If you research it, you will find that it is unknown how the numbers were gathered or by whom, whether they are tainted by bias or not, and even whether the numbers are accurate or official.

Basically, it's a 'somebody said that somebody said ...' statistic that could just as easily be false as true. I'm guessing more likely false because there are too many uncontrolled variables that could have skewed the stat one way or the other.

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Luminon wrote:But if I

Luminon wrote:

But if I remember the statistics as they were said there, there was 70% of religional people in the America's jailhouses, which would approximately match their amount in society. And, as for people identifying themselves as atheists, less than 1% of them.
 

 

That doesn't even make sense. Who are the other 29%? Those who oscillate between reiligious and non-religious?

 

 

 


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natural wrote:Quote:To

natural wrote:

Quote:
To support the claim somehow, here is the link:
http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Percentage_of_atheists#Atheists_In_Prison
1997, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 0.21% of inmates were atheist

Please don't spread that stat around. It's unreliable and anecdotal. If you research it, you will find that it is unknown how the numbers were gathered or by whom, whether they are tainted by bias or not, and even whether the numbers are accurate or official.

Basically, it's a 'somebody said that somebody said ...' statistic that could just as easily be false as true. I'm guessing more likely false because there are too many uncontrolled variables that could have skewed the stat one way or the other.

Well, that sounds probably. So I'd have to find that podcast again, contact it's authors, ask them about where did they get these numbers from, look there, and.... basically confirm what you say. Most of the articles googled from 'atheist prison percentage' seems to support my point, but you're right, it's diffcult to dig deeper in there and find some official prison statistics. Is this a failed argument?

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Luminon wrote:

But if I remember the statistics as they were said there, there was 70% of religional people in the America's jailhouses, which would approximately match their amount in society. And, as for people identifying themselves as atheists, less than 1% of them.
 

That doesn't even make sense. Who are the other 29%? Those who oscillate between reiligious and non-religious?

Maybe they're the people, who prays to God only to get them out of the jail Smiling
But seriously, I'd say the <1% refers to a people who were once religious and then deconverted and became atheists by their own effort. It's only a speculation, but remaining 29% may be those, who never thought about the great questions of life, and thus didn't exercise their critical thinking.

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natural wrote:Please

natural wrote:
Please don't spread that stat around. It's unreliable and anecdotal. If you research it, you will find that it is unknown how the numbers were gathered or by whom, whether they are tainted by bias or not, and even whether the numbers are accurate or official.

 

Actually, if you look at the link, the stat seems to be fairly well supported. Sadly, the actual citation is not solid enough to dig up the actual dirt but even so, it is probably accurate.

 

Even so, it bears noting that statistics themselves can easily be a problem. As a psychiatric social worker, I swim in them every day and I know this to be true. I can quote studies that show that the mentally ill are less violent than the general population but I prefer not to because they don't really say very much.

 

For example, there are a number of categories in the DSM that predispose people to commit criminal acts. But for the purpose of making a nice statistic, we will not be counting those. Also, not every violent nut job has been diagnosed prior to going off the deep end. Then too, even if a person has been previously diagnosed, numbers on some form are no comfort at all when the worst happens.

 

Really, I could probably come up with at least half a dozen codes to diagnose the ass hats we call Islamic terrorists. In fact, I have seen literature that makes the claim that many suicide bombers are recruited from the ranks of the mentally ill.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

All of that having been said, the premise of this thread is one point that always gets to me. Theists love to equate atheism with all things nasty and evil because that is how they operate. So they bring out Stalin and Hitler. Scratch the surface of that point and you find out just how wrong it is.

 

First off, Luminon is correct in observing that the atheism of the USSR was an enforced thing. The speed at which the church came back after the Soviet Union fell stands as testimony to that fact. The church did not go away it only went underground during the time that it was suppressed. Pretty much, theists are like cockroaches. The harder you try to get rid of them, the better they get at hiding.

 

Second, it really bears noting that Hitler and Stalin were bitter enemies. So to put them in the same box is really poor logic. Not that theists have a great sense of logic but even so, the idea is brain dead.

 

Third, while Hitler was really evil and he pretty much said whatever he felt like at the moment to advance his agenda, the available evidence supports his being a large fan of religion.

 

Quote:
freethinkers clashed frequently with Nazis in the late 1920s and early 1930s. On taking power, Hitler banned freethought organizations and launched an “anti-godless” movement. In a 1933 speech he declared: “We have . . . undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.”

 

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=paul_23_4

 

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

natural wrote:
Please don't spread that stat around. It's unreliable and anecdotal. If you research it, you will find that it is unknown how the numbers were gathered or by whom, whether they are tainted by bias or not, and even whether the numbers are accurate or official.

 

Actually, if you look at the link, the stat seems to be fairly well supported.

No, it isn't. Dig deeper.

Quote:
Sadly, the actual citation is not solid enough to dig up the actual dirt but even so, it is probably accurate.

Do a google search on the title and/or the name of the analyst and you'll eventually find that it's all anecdotal.

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A point should probably be

A point should probably be made about "political atheism", here. The countries usually mentioned as atheist purveyors of attrocity are those with an official state policy towards religion. Believing in the separation of church and state, I feel that such an official stance on religion is roughly the same as having an oppressive theocracy. People still do their own thing, they just hide it from the state.

So when people point to Stalin or Pol Pot, they forget the obvious fact that both were idealistic communist regimes that surpressed religious behaviour artificially (roughly the opposite mandate to this site, which seeks to reduce religious belief by education and ridicule). The people of those countries can't be described as atheist, either, in the same sense that you couldn't call everyone in the United States a gun-toting maniac, just because they happen to have quite a number of gun-toting maniacs.

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Russia before, during and

Russia before, during and after communism has been one of the most religious 'white' (best word i can think of) nations on Earth. Yes it was more secular than the US but was far more religious every other western country.

Anyone who thinks Russia has ever been atheist country has never been there , same applies to China too

 


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 Hmmm... I have seen that

 Hmmm... I have seen that atheist in prison thing before, and IIRC, it was 2.1%, not 0.21%.  Again, this is only IIRC, I believe it was a sourced journal, but I honestly can't remember at this point.

 

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OK, getting back to this

OK, getting back to this thread, I would like to restate that I simply do not like arguments from statistics. Anyone who has a basic awareness of statistics ought to be aware that they can be manipulated to create a false impression in an given audience.

 

Also, it is ridiculously easy to dismiss statistics that one does not care for as “just statistics” while at the same time promoting the statistics that one favors as having proved the point that you are trying to support.

 

That much having been said, I did the googling that Natural suggested and I really can't find any substance for the numbers that we are asked to accept. However, I did find one quite telling bit. I found the 1997 study of prison population. Yes, that woman is a minor author. However, past that, the matter breaks down to the point of being completely useless.

 

As it happens, the numbers do not even rise to the level of anecdotal. They are not even included in the study at all. Religion and questions about it were not even asked. So the whole thing turns out to be fiction with her name attached to lend some authority. The report is like 120+ pages long, so I am guessing that whomever crafted that lie was betting that nobody would go so far as to do a full text search of the document.

 

I did find one idea that I quite like. I will summarize from several different sources:

 

We have all heard the standard theist argument that if they did not have a concept of god, then they would have no moral compass to tell them right from wrong. In such a case, there would be nothing stopping them from committing whatever specific crime they happen to be impressed with. The usual presentation is either serial rape of serial murder.

 

Well, it they are really so morally bankrupt at the core of who they are that the invisible sky daddy is the only thing holding them back, then I would have a hard time not supporting their belief in god. But I digress...

 

Let's say just for shits and giggles that the average atheist is morally depraved and automatically a criminal. Then it should follow that the actual percentage of atheists in jail would be a substantial percentage of atheists in general. Here we can talk about some numbers.

 

According the the CIA world fact book, about 15% of the world population consists of nonbelievers. Well, that would be about 1,000,000,000 people overall. However, according to the <p><a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20080307012612/http://www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/rel/icps/world-prison-pop-seventh.pdf">World Prison Population List</a></p>, there are only a bit over 9,000,000 people in jail.

 

Hold the phone! Some people raise a red flag over the idea that the total percentage of black people in jail is disproportionate to the percentage of black people in America. Well fine, the fact is America has a racist aspect to it. It is also a fact that most of the crimes in America are black-on-black. Whatever. Yet the total number of people in jail is less than 1% of the total number of atheists?

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