Saturday, July 18, 2009

what would you call it?

Maybe Hermit is not "lying" per se. What do you call it to say I am "misusing statistics" when the site in question clearly just doesn't count a whole category of people who obvioulsy in the Atheist reanks?

the issue is Boyd Swift says only 2% of people in prision are atheists. Here is the data table that he used.


The Federal Bureau of Prisons does have statistics on religious affiliations of inmates. The following are total number of inmates per religion category: Response Number % ---------------------------- --------
Catholic 29267 39.164%
Protestant 26162 35.008%
Muslim 5435 7.273%
American Indian 2408 3.222%
Nation 1734 2.320%
Rasta 1485 1.987%
Jewish 1325 1.773% Church of Christ 1303 1.744% Pentecostal 1093 1.463% Moorish 1066 1.426%
Buddhist 882 1.180%
Jehovah Witness 665 0.890%
Adventist 621 0.831%
Orthodox 375 0.502%
Mormon 298 0.399%
Scientology 190 0.254%
Atheist 156 0.209%
Hindu 119 0.159%
Santeria 117 0.157%
Sikh 14 0.019% Bahai 9 0.012%
Krishna 7 0.009% ---------------------------- -------- Total Known Responses 74731 100.001% (rounding to 3 digits does this)


what do all of those have in commong? Look at them,what are they? All of them but atheist are religions arent' they? Adventist, Protestant, Santeria, Krishna. All religions. What is the colum called?

"Total of inmates per rleigion."

how do you supposes the got that statistic? do people come into prison with labels on their heads? I doubt it. I think they kind of to give them a questionnaire. Just a hunch, but since years ago on the original site that Swift got his stuff from it said that. So I just bet it's true. Now why is atheist in the column called "percentage of religions." Because some people, a small 2% marked "atheist" for their religious perfectness. Are all atheists going to do that? What about this next column:







Unknown/No Answer 18381 ---------------------------- Total Convicted 93112 80.259% (74731) prisoners' religion is known.




Held in Custody 3856 (not surveyed due to temporary custody) ---------------------------- Total In Prisons 96968 I hope that this information is helpful to you.



On the original site which appears years ago (way back sround 2001) they had a colum called "no religious preference." Boyd wisely took that out it's not here now. But it was there originally. IN that colum you had 25% "no religion."

Is it a misuse of statistics to say there must be more atheist in the "no religion colum" so there are more than 2% in prision?


someone please tell me why is hta MY misue of stattistics?"


that's crazy. Anyone who can see that is either lying or an idiot. I don't think Hermit is either one of those things, But I think he's fooled by the way Boyd dishonestly re did the table to exclude that category.

Even what is reflected above it says religion is known for only 80 something %. That means there is a potential for 20% that have no religious preference. Why would they not be listed as atheist?


Notice also they don't have one single liberal theology guy. So why doesn't that mean there's 0% chance no chance at all of liberal theology guy going to prison.

Now Hermit if you are really willing to believe that Christians are 60 times more likely to go to prison please tell me why out of the probably about 5,000 Christians I've known in my life, I know only 1 who went to prison?


Hermit your understanding of statistics is crap. there's no way I'm misusing that. you don't know how to read a study. I was in college debate and I had to attack studies and find what was wrong with them an dhow to defend the one's I used I had to that every single day of my life for six years. there's at all wrong with my thinking on those figures, you don't understand it. You should. it's obvious. but you don't.

Here's another thing. The atheists on CARM said that atheists can't be disproportionate in prision from society.If they are 2% in society they have to be 2% in prision. But here's Swift's site where hey tries that they are disproportionate.

Not unexpected as a result. Note that atheists, being a moderate proportion of the USA population (about 8-16%) are disproportionately less in the prison populations (0.21%).


why would that be? How can they be disproportionate for him and not for me?

Of course he's vastly overestimating their percentage in society. They are really less than 2% according to the Pew study not 16, and about four other studies put them between 1.5 and 3%. But studies that find them have more 3% are always including people who say "there might some kind of higher power but I hate organized religion."

When one uses the actual definition that atheist always insist upon constantly "it's just a lack of belief nothing else" then it's 3%. That's the percent that says "there is no God of any kind."


It's hilarious the double standards they will use to make an argument. The idea of honestly interpreting statistics is beyond them.

5 comments:

A Hermit said...

"Even what is reflected above it says religion is known for only 80 something %."

OK, so they didn't ask the question of every single inmate; now it's been a few years since I took that statistics class, but I seem to remember that 80% would be an extraordinarily large sample size...

"That means there is a potential for 20% that have no religious preference. Why would they not be listed as atheist?"

Why would they be?! If we asked the gender of 80% of the population there would be a potential that the remaining 20% were all female...but that's certainly not an assumption we would make, is it?

"Is it a misuse of statistics to say there must be more atheist in the "no religion colum" so there are more than 2% in prision?"

The misuse came when you concluded that the 25% who answered "no religious preference" were , in your words, "obviously atheist" when that same question asked of the general population is deemed by you to mean deists, spiritualists and others who believe in some kind of God but have no formal religious affiliation. You are defining the term differently for one population that you are for the other.

"Anyone who can see that is either lying or an idiot. I don't think Hermit is either one of those things,"

Obviously you do, since that is what I think. Thanks for once again letting me know where I stand in your estimation...

"I think he's fooled by the way Boyd dishonestly re did the table to exclude that category."

Here's the crux of the matter; according to the standard you apply to the general population (ie "no preference" just means no formal affiliation but doesn't mean "atheist") leaving out the category "no preference" just forces people to choose the category closest to what they actually believe. (political pollsters do this sort of thing all the time to determine the "leaning" of independent voters.)You can't tell us that "no religious affiliation" means "believes in God but doesn't go to Church" in one breath and then in the next tell us it means "obviously atheist".

"Here's another thing. The atheists on CARM said that atheists can't be disproportionate in prison from society."

I didn't see anyone putting it quite that strongly, I certainly wouldn't, and I don't think Swift did... But looking at Boyd's statistics, comparing them to polls of the general population and APPLYING THE DEFINITIONS CONSISTENTLY it does look like atheists are under-represented in the prison population. Yes, people lie or fudge on questionnaires, and affiliation or identification with a religious group doesn't tell us anything about that person's level of religiosity and the number of actual atheists is probably higher but that's true for the general population as well. Yet I've sen you argue strenuously against that idea when atheists suggest the actual number on non-believer's in the general population is higher than 2%, so you're being inconsistent when you insist on using that same argument here.

It may be that some of the CARM atheists are applying a double standard here, but so are you. And I'm not so much of a liar and an idiot that I can't see it. Nice try though...

J.L. Hinman said...

your argument is irrational Hermit. Because "no affiliation" may not mean atheist per se, but neither does "religious affiliation." They don't have a column for "no religion at all." So No affliction is more likely to have a lot of atheists then is "religious affiliation." how many people would consider themselves religiously atheistic? that's crazy. Not many would do that.

J.L. Hinman said...

OK, so they didn't ask the question of every single inmate; now it's been a few years since I took that statistics class, but I seem to remember that 80% would be an extraordinarily large sample size...

No, not at all. that's so crazy. All they are doing is looking at the percentages of questionnaires to get the total prison bodies afflictions. So 100% is not "extraordinary" when the goal to know 100% of the affiliations. it's not a double blind, it's a field trial.

man you guys really need a logic class and a study methods class.


"That means there is a potential for 20% that have no religious preference. Why would they not be listed as atheist?"



Why would they be?!

Obviously because atheism is not a religion. If you ask "what is your religion" most people will never never never never think to say "atheistic." Most would sy 'I have no religion. If they don't have a column for that the next most logical thing is "no affiliation." If you have no religion, then you have no affiliation.



If we asked the gender of 80% of the population there would be a potential that the remaining 20% were all female...but that's certainly not an assumption we would make, is it?


No hey look, you are missing the point silly. they didn't ask just 80% "what's your affiliation" they asked everybody to ill out the questionnaire. So 80% said "I have a religion I will say my affiliation is X." 20% said 'I don't have a religion." they didn't just ask 80% and forgot about the other 20.

"Is it a misuse of statistics to say there must be more atheist in the "no religion column" so there are more than 2% in prison?"

The misuse came when you concluded that the 25% who answered "no religious preference" were , in your words, "obviously atheist" when that same question asked of the general population is deemed by you to mean deists,

I was talking about the original web site. See that garbage has been pulled before. Back in 2000 it was done with British stats. That time they had a clearly defined column that said "I don't have a religious belief." or something like that. It wasn't just "no affiliation." But it's still more logical to assume atheists are more likely to fill out "no affliction" than to call themselves religious but atheistic religion. Atheism is not a religion in the minds of most atheists.


spiritualists and others who believe in some kind of God but have no formal religious affiliation. You are defining the term differently for one population that you are for the other.


would you say "atheist" if I asked "what is your religion?" Don't most atheists have a knee jerk reaction against the very concept "religion?" Wouldn't you want to add your vote to the numbers in "no religion" column? In fact I would bet most of that 2% in the affiliation column were making a joke.

J.L. Hinman said...

"Anyone who can see that is either lying or an idiot. I don't think Hermit is either one of those things,"

Obviously you do, since that is what I think. Thanks for once again letting me know where I stand in your estimation...


I think you are very self deceived.

"I think he's fooled by the way Boyd dishonestly re did the table to exclude that category."

Here's the crux of the matter; according to the standard you apply to the general population (ie "no preference" just means no formal affiliation but doesn't mean "atheist") leaving out the category "no preference" just forces people to choose the category closest to what they actually believe.

No that's not all how I do it. In tallying the percentrage of atheist in the world I have careflly distingished between people actually don't believe in God and people who just don't like religion but may believe in God. But the prison stats don't make that kind of distinction. so it's more logical to think atheists would say "I don't have an affiliation since I don't have a religion." Than they would to say "I have a religion its' atheism." that's crap. But I look for polls that make the distinction.

my tally of atheist population is based upon polls that are earful enough to make the distinction. But the prison thing is not careful.




(political pollsters do this sort of thing all the time to determine the "leaning" of independent voters.)You can't tell us that "no religious affiliation" means "believes in God but doesn't go to Church" in one breath and then in the next tell us it means "obviously atheist".


as most atheists you are not even energetic or honest enough to look at the data I've gathered o make sure it doesn't fall into your sloppy unsupported assumptions. It doesn't. I have found polls that do draw that distinction!

"Here's another thing. The atheists on CARM said that atheists can't be disproportionate in prison from society."

I didn't see anyone putting it quite that strongly, I certainly wouldn't, and I don't think Swift did...

I did.



But looking at Boyd's statistics, comparing them to polls of the general population and APPLYING THE DEFINITIONS CONSISTENTLY it does look like atheists are under-represented in the prison population.

are you nuts? You are only counting the atheists who think atheism is their religion. When you get sane and include the one's who are much more like to count themselves in the no affiliation pile since atheists don't think of them selves as having a religion then it' 22% that's much higher than the population even with the most liberal estimates.


Yes, people lie or fudge on questionnaires, and affiliation or identification with a religious group doesn't tell us anything about that person's level of religiosity and the number of actual atheists is probably higher but that's true for the general population as well. Yet I've sen you argue strenuously against that idea when atheists suggest the actual number on non-believer's in the general population is higher than 2%, so you're being inconsistent when you insist on using that same argument here.


No I do not! I have said before I'm willing to accept as high as 6%. But when the Pew study, the best study available finds 1.6% and that is making the distinction "no God" as opposed to "I don't like religion" then I think granting 3% as a base is liberal. If I was going to be ungenerous I would say 3% assumes the margin of error, since the base would be 1.6.

It may be that some of the CARM atheists are applying a double standard here, but so are you. And I'm not so much of a liar and an idiot that I can't see it. Nice try though...

I am not clearly not. In fact I'm actually ben rather generous. Especially since I have seen that the Boyd site jacked up the states quite a bit form the first time I saw it. I am also suspicious that they didn't cant he labels on the columns. I can't believe the prison system isn't more careful about that affiliation thing.

A Hermit said...

"I think you are very self deceived."

Insults are not an answer.

"No, not at all. that's so crazy. All they are doing is looking at the percentages of questionnaires to get the total prison bodies afflictions. So 100% is not "extraordinary" when the goal to know 100% of the affiliations. it's not a double blind, it's a field trial."

So what? There;'s still no reason to assume that the majority of the remaining 20%, or even a significant minority, belong to any one particular group. All you can say about them is "unknown". After all, minority religious believers who might be worried about persecution might choose not to answer just as often or more than an atheist would.

"man you guys really need a logic class and a study methods class."

Insults still aren't an answer.

"it's still more logical to assume atheists are more likely to fill out "no affliction" than to call themselves religious but atheistic religion. Atheism is not a religion in the minds of most atheists."

Yes, but that still doesn't get us to your assertion that most of those prisoners who answered "no affiliation" are "obviously" atheists. They could just as "obviously" be Wiccans or Jews or Muslims who fear being singled out for their beliefs and so decline to answer. You just don't know what's in their heads. That's why the label of that category is "unknown"...

All you're doing here is making unfounded assumptions about people's beliefs which are not actually supported by the data. this is guesswork and bias talking, not rational analysis.

"as most atheists you are not even energetic or honest enough to look at the data I've gathered o make sure it doesn't fall into your sloppy unsupported assumptions."

Insults are still not an answer, and that's your third strike in this post...

Get back to me when you've learned how to be civil, little boy.