Friday, January 23, 2009

Atheist defense of Zuckerman is Lame

The basic defense of Zuckerman mounted in the comment section is among the msot lame of all arguments I've seen:

(1) Zuckerman doesn't say "atheist nation" but secular nation.


(2) I'm bad

(3) that my attack on Zuckerman is lame. why? because I'm not an atheist and I"m me.

Of course some of them don't really get what I'm saying, that one of the specific argument, of course they put it in terms negative to me I don't make sense I'm not being clear.

Lets review now, my arguments against Zuckerman amount to this:

My arguments

I. We can't draw conclusions from his data about the level of unbelief in the word, but he does not bother to distinguish between hard core actual unbelief vs non religious affiliation. That becomes important latter because it throws off all his findings. How can he establish that anything is actually "secular" or "atheist" when he doesn't bother to distinguish between true unbelief and mere lack of affiliation?

II. The data I present specifically shows that the most "secular" areas such as Japan, and northern Europe are actually not really so secular in terms of the belief level. No distinction is made between a confession state, meaning one in which the citizens must declare their belief and membership in a tradition to get anywhere, vs. just the fact of belief in some form of higher power. Atheism is northern Europe is soft for the most part,affiliated believers make up almost 50% in most countries. Actual non belief in most of these countries, people who say "I do not believe there is any sort of higher power" only make up about 20% at most.

III. Most important: The heritage of most of these N.E countries is very Christian. The social progress they enjoy is the result of that heritage. They had a good educational system as a result of being Christian.


No atheist comments come close to answering any of this. All they can do is tell me how silly I am but they can't answer the arguments.

6 comments:

Arizona Atheist said...

There is a large difference between secularism and "atheism." Secular just means that religious beliefs doesn't pervade much of a community and interfere with much of the goings on. To each his own... A large group can have a belief in a personal god, or just be "spiritual." It doesn't matter. A place can still be secular regardless of these various degrees of belief.

You clearly don't know what you're talking about. And you have been refuted. Sorry to break it to you...

I see you have decided to enable comment moderation. How open minded you are to allow differing points of view on your blog....now that someone has poked holes in your arguments. Can you feel the sarcasm? I hope so.

If anyone resorts to name calling it's clearly you. Less you have forgotten:

"yes, but you are an idiot. so that doesn't mean anything."

"Of course you are too stupid to get the point."

- From your comments to me on your silly post "Zuckerman, part 3"

J.L. Hinman said...

There is a large difference between secularism and "atheism." Secular just means that religious beliefs doesn't pervade much of a community and interfere with much of the goings on. To each his own... A large group can have a belief in a personal god, or just be "spiritual." It doesn't matter. A place can still be secular regardless of these various degrees of belief.


Yes that's all true but the problem is the atheists I've discussed this with on boards seem to confused a secular state with a religionless state. Secular is good even for religious people. Theologian Harvey Cox said this in his classic work The Secular City. So begin "secular" doesn't mean an absence of religious belief. It only means the state doesn't favor religion.

To that extent you could call the US a secular state to a large degree. But the atheist I've seen take it to mean religious is almost absent from the country, and certainly Zuckerman himself intends it to mean a total absence of content on the part of religion in the moving and shaking of society.


You clearly don't know what you're talking about. And you have been refuted. Sorry to break it to you...


by empty contentless posturing. you have said nothing at all to indicate the situation is other than I portray it.

I see you have decided to enable comment moderation. How open minded you are to allow differing points of view on your blog....now that someone has poked holes in your arguments. Can you feel the sarcasm? I hope so.


It's always been the policy on my blog that I do not tolerate attacks on people. don't tolerate against people's personalities. When say I'm silly my arguments are so stupid and so forth, you don't' get that comment put up.

what do you notice here? this comment is up right, why? To show you the rules. If you make content and say things hat are logical and factual you get your comment put up. When you try to make me the issue, or anyone, that comment does not go up.


If anyone resorts to name calling it's clearly you. Less you have forgotten:

"yes, but you are an idiot. so that doesn't mean anything."


what did you say that made me say that? Hmmmm? do you not remember "you are silly, your arguments are lame and unimprotant ect ect."

this is something you have to learn as a bully. if you are going to be a bully, like most atheists and try to run rough shod over religious people you are going to have to learn there are some religious people who don't get off on playing door mat. you understand that I am one of these and I don't take shit from atheist.

A Hermit said...

You are first of all misrepresenting Zuckerman, whose argument is not that atheist countries are better but that the existence of successful secular societies is evidence that religious belief is not a pre-requisite for human happiness, and you are misrepresenting the objections to your strawman by ignoring the above objection and focusing on the secular vs atheism point.

Frankly this new approach of yours isn't much better than your hateful old "atheists = the KKK" approach. It's just as wrong, and just as dishonest.

J.L. Hinman said...

You are first of all misrepresenting Zuckerman, whose argument is not that atheist countries are better but that the existence of successful secular societies is evidence that religious belief is not a pre-requisite for human happiness,


It's stupid to think yok you can prove taht by listing statistics from the selfare state. Becasue there's no way to translate high eduation into happiness.

But in fact the title of his book "Sciety without God what Secular states tell us about continent is exacty what he's aruing, that is exaclty what I said he says, and it's no different than what yous say he says.

you are fucking stupid not to see that you are knit picky like all little brainless people do.




and you are misrepresenting the objections to your strawman by ignoring the above objection and focusing on the secular vs atheism point.

but it's idiotic

Frankly this new approach of yours isn't much better than your hateful old "atheists = the KKK" approach. It's just as wrong, and just as dishonest.

It would be if I had someone with with brains to talk to.

Arizona Atheist said...

"To that extent you could call the US a secular state to a large degree. But the atheist I've seen take it to mean religious is almost absent from the country, and certainly Zuckerman himself intends it to mean a total absence of content on the part of religion in the moving and shaking of society."

It depends on what you mean by content. In Zuckerman's most recent book he talks about how many people in Sweden consider themselves "christian," get married in a church, have their children baptized, etc. but don't believe in god. It's "cultural religion" not specific belief in god, which is mostly absent in Denmark and Sweden.

There may still be religious rituals but they don't mean anything; "it's just what you do," to quote one of the people Zuckerman interviewed. This also casts doubt upon your claim that because there is a lot of religion in Japan, it counts against Zuckerman's arguments. It doesn't. Those rituals clearly don't mean much since it's been demonstrated that people can lack a belief in a god but still participate in religiously inspired events and celebrations. It's belief in god that matters - not religion itself. Besides, buddhism could be considered a "godless" religion anyhow, which is the predominant religion in Japan to begin with.

This also goes back to the meaning of words. Words can mean different things to different people. Religion, god, etc. can all mean different things to different people. It's clear from Zuckerman's research that belief in god (which is what so many theists claim is necessary for morality, goodness, etc.) is not needed for a moral and peaceful society. Despite your arguments (horrible ones at that, which don't even begin to rebut anything - let alone your seemingly inability to understand what Zuckerman says. I sometimes wonder if you've even read anything of Zuckerman's to begin with.) you've failed to refute anything.

"by empty contentless posturing. you have said nothing at all to indicate the situation is other than I portray it."

"Posturing?" You're kidding right? I've shown how you've misrepresented Zuckerman's research, you don't seem to understand his arguments, and due to your bias, claim you've refuted said research. If anyone is "posturing" it would be you. I simply stated a clear observation of the fact that I've shown how wrong you are. Anything but "posturing".

"It's always been the policy on my blog that I do not tolerate attacks on people. don't tolerate against people's personalities. When say I'm silly my arguments are so stupid and so forth, you don't' get that comment put up.

what do you notice here? this comment is up right, why? To show you the rules. If you make content and say things hat are logical and factual you get your comment put up. When you try to make me the issue, or anyone, that comment does not go up."


I was attacking your arguments, not you. If anyone was using personal attacks it was you. I don't take shit from theists either...especially ones who clearly don't know what the hell they're talking about. It's clearly pointless to discuss this any further since you're naively convinced you're correct.

J.L. Hinman said...

that is all based upon your ignorant little stupid ass opinion. But since you don't understand argument it's not improvident. you can't prove your argument because you don't know what an argument is.

the arguments you make are lame and stupid. they center on knit picking nebulous distincitions that don't amount to a rat's ass.

(1) you don't answer the adherent's.com pate that says his data can't be used to assertain the percentages of atheists.
(2) you don't say anyting to refute the argument that the religious traditon laid down the values. you have left that compeltely untouched.

(3) you have done absoltuely noting to tranlate the stats of socail wefare into any kind of solid basis for "conentent" or "happiness" or even moreality.

(4) your assertions that lack of certain kinds of crime equal morality is the just the kind laughable little sixth grade analysis I would expect from an atheist moron.

(5) you don't undersatnd the place of religoius riturals in a socity,


you assert your opinon rather than offering evdience and completely ignore the evidence I site pretending it's not there.

(6) It' a well known fact that the Japanese are very intent upon staying connected to their tradistons and they see the festibals as a crucial way to do that.
(7) you also totally ignore the evidence on the new religions of Japan

(8) totally ignore the evidence the growing sense of a need for religious feelings in Sweden,and the evidence specifically sites Pentecostalism as growing.


"It's always been the policy on my blog that I do not tolerate attacks on people. don't tolerate against people's personalities. When say I'm silly my arguments are so stupid and so forth, you don't' get that comment put up.

what do you notice here? this comment is up right, why? To show you the rules. If you make content and say things hat are logical and factual you get your comment put up. When you try to make me the issue, or anyone, that comment does not go up."

I was attacking your arguments, not you. If anyone was using personal attacks it was you. I don't take shit from theists either...especially ones who clearly don't know what the hell they're talking about. It's clearly pointless to discuss this any further since you're naively convinced you're correct.


your post here violates that rule but I allow it on this occasion in order to refuse it and show how crappy your arguments have been. there are eight major points backed by evidence and documents that you have not answered and apparently don't understand.

In the future any post you make that says anything derogatory about my abilities to argue or intelligence will be banned.

I am smarter than you are, and I am better educated.