Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hermit's Ideological Commetments Determine Truth Content for Him

I have proven that the Boyd Swift data on Christians being more likely to go to prison are wrong. He denies changing the numbers and I said I would not accuse him until I have positive proof, but someone did. Either he did or the guy who sent him the data did. It could be that the guys who sent the data to adherents did, but I don't see what their motive would be. Neither the Bearu of prisons nor Adherents.com have a motive, but an atheist would.



the real data sent to Adherents.com

Catholic 29267 39.164%
Protestant 26162 35.008%
None/Atheist/Unknown 18,537
Muslim

the data sent to Swift


Mormon 298 0.399%
Scientology 190 0.254%
Atheist 156 0.209%
Hindu


So the actual letter sent by Bureau of prisons to adherents.com shows a totally different set of numbers. the entries above and below the column with atheists in it are different and the numbers of atheists are totally different.

see thew full tables here if you are willing to actually look at a link which most athesits are not.


Hermit continues to insist that there's nothing fishy here. The two tables are substantially different but they supposed to be the same table. Either Swift fabricated, the Adherent's guys fabricated, or the Bureau of prisons fabricated. Why that would be who can say. But Hermits wants me to automatically assume it could not be atheists, but he can't give me a reason to assume that.


Hermit seems to have not even a theoretical problem with an atheist fabricating numbers, he seems to think this is trivial and not obvious.

Hermit demonstrates his true biases:


Adherents.com appears to have erroneously added together a large number of no-responses to the non-theist category.

But that doesn't make any sense since they are saying their stats come from the original source and that's the letter sent them. You could only say that if you assume the letter sent Swift is true stats, but how do we know that? Apparently he's just assuming it becuase it's something an atheist says. It confirms his biases.

And I have to wonder about the ideological biases at work at adherents when they cite numbers from the loony conspiracy theorists at World Net Daily and push the bogus idea that gays are more likely to be pedophiles...http://www.adherents.com/misc/adh_prison.html#dichotomy
So there it really comes out, his true reason is that he has an ideological motive for automatically accepting that Swift is right and denying what Adherent's says.

here's what the link he quotes says:

One problem faced by some religious writers as well as some atheist writers who have tried to equate religious belief or atheism with criminal behavior (and probably a major reason why there is no empirical data to support either contention) is that a person's philosophical position on this one point is not the major factor in determining criminal behavior. Factors such as level of income, employment/non-employment, level of education, race, geographical region, age, sex, etc. are all tracked by the government and other organizations. All of these characteristics correlate more readily to criminal behavior. (GLBT status, on the other hand, has not been shown to correlate generally to incarceration rate, although it is highly correlated with pedophilia. According to gay researchers Karla Jay and Allen Young, 73 percent of the gay men they report having engaged in sex with boys 16 to 19 years of age or younger; 86 percent of convicted child molesters who molested boys describe themselves as homosexual or bisexual. See also: World Net Daily article; More)
the article that articles quotes says:

Child molestation and pedophilia occur far more commonly among homosexuals than among heterosexuals on a per capita basis, according to a new study.
"Overwhelming evidence supports the belief that homosexuality is a sexual deviancy often accompanied by disorders that have dire consequences for our culture," wrote Steve Baldwin in, "Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement," soon to be published by the Regent University Law Review.

That's looks to me like some pretty right-wing oriented stuff, but what' Hermit is saying is that the extent to which he's willing to believe who fabricated the stats depends upon who supports gay rights and who doesn't. His positron on the issue is not "yes it's bad if the atheist fabricated" but rather we should believe he didn't on the principle that we hate right wingers and we support gay rights. I content that has noting do with the prison statistics and he's showing how bigoted his thinking is that everything he looks is colored by his ideological perspective so that he doesn't care what is true. the Idea that 'well they quoted one bad article so we can trust anything they say" is pretty stupid.


But any way you look at these numbers though it's clear that being an atheist doesn't correlate with a greater likelihood of being in prison; so the oft heard Christian charge that being atheist leaves one with no reason to not rob and murder people is plainly untrue...which was Swift's whole point to begin with.

Look at what he's not even willing to think about:

(1) that no sociologist would agree to understanding religious belief as a cause of crime

(2) totally ignores the parole argument which kill sthe entire arguemnt point blank before it ever get's started.

(3) totally ignores the issue that a chnck of raw data is not a study and tells us nothing.

(4) expecting all the stats to line up accruatly is idiotic, so you can't expect 3% of prisioners to be atheist on the assumption that 3% of society is atheist.

(5) he's basing his incredulity about the fabrication fo statistics on the good that it his side to not believe they could do wrong rather than concern with what really happened or what's really the truth.

(6) totally misses the poin that under rating the percentage of atheists by 25% or so completely destroys the original argument.
As usual when an atheist tries to counter the lies and slander of Christians he gets accused of being a liar himself.


(7) He ignores the other arguments made on Adherent.com such as this:

There is no sociologically valid basis for comparing "theists to nontheists" with regards to incarceration rates (or any other sociological measure) because "theists" do not constitute an identifiable social group. The fact that non-practicing (functionally nonreligious) people are highly over-represented among prisoners is a separate issue, apart from questions relating to belief and philosophical position. To consider incarceration rates of "atheists" vs. "theists" is like comparing Hispanics to non-Hispanics. While it may be possible to group figures that way, it doesn't make a lot of sense to do so. Non-Hispanics are better broken down into Asians, African-Americans and Whites (if one doesn't further break them down by other factors such as age, education, etc.) Likewise, it makes no sense to group all non-atheists together, as if Amish
, Muslims, Quakers, Baha'is, Hindus, Presbyterians, Orthodox Jews, Baptists, Deists, Lutherans, Unitarians, Rastafarians, Wiccans, etc., all exhibited similar behavior. Obviously some of these groups exhibit relatively little criminal behavior, while others would exhibit relatively more criminal behavior. Certain crimes are more prevalent among certain groups. 85% of Americans cite a specific religious affiliation. So if you combine figures for people of all religious affiliations you get essentially the same figure that you would get for the whole U.S. population. The figure would only be different if essentially all religious groups were skewed in one direction, which they are not.

Adherents used to get a lot of respect from atheists when they just showed the percentages of different groups and summarized Zuckerman's findings. Now they have actually published some articles showing that Zuerman's stats are not reliable and also attached this stupid prison argument they are being treated like scum by atheists. More proof hate group atheism can't think and only reacts in knee jerk fashion to whatever supports its ideology.

7 comments:

A Hermit said...

Swift's data may be incomplete, and he may be overreaching with some of his interpretation of that data, but to accuse him of deliberately falsifying it is uncalled for.

And my beef with Adherents (and with you) is the inconsistency in their and your interpretation of the "unknown/no answer" category. You both insist that it can't mean "atheist" in polls of the general population but must be interpreted a "probably atheist" in the prison data. You can't have it both ways.

As for ideological biases, you keep insisting that Adherent's isn't a Christian site, but why then all the links to Christian dating services, Christian lenders, Christian encyclopedias? And I'm sorry, but it is hard to take seriously anyone who thinks a link to an article at World Net Daily (the biggest purveyors of "Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya" and "homosexuals are after your children" conspiracy theories) actually strengthens their case...

A Hermit said...

Adherents shows a table which gives the number of None/Atheist/Unknown as 18,537.

If you add together the number of atheists in Swift's table (157) and add that to the number of Unknown/No Answer (18381) you get 18,537.

The question is; why does adherents.com combine those two numbers if (as it appears) they were given to Swift as separate categories?

I also think it's unfair to accuse Swift of trying to argue that religion leads to criminality. All he's doing here (albeit rather clumsily) is trying to counter the oft heard assertion from Christians and other religionists that atheism leads to criminality. Can we at least agree that this much clearly is not supported by the prison data?

Metacrock said...

Swift's data may be incomplete, and he may be overreaching with some of his interpretation of that data, but to accuse him of deliberately falsifying it is uncalled for.

didn't I say would not accuse him further until I get the facts? But you did admit his data doesn't prove his argument.

And my beef with Adherents (and with you) is the inconsistency in their and your interpretation of the "unknown/no answer" category. You both insist that it can't mean "atheist" in polls of the general population but must be interpreted a "probably atheist" in the prison data. You can't have it both ways.

Listen again now. Polls distinguish between "I do not believe in God I am an atheist" and "I don't like religion," Or "there may be something out there but I don't know what it is." polls that say there are 12% of country is atheist are lumping those together as though they are the same things. When they are distinguished (which I think obviously you must) then it's only 3% atheist. I realize there's another 9% who are pissed off with conventional religion. Sometimes I'm on the edge of that 9% too. Thats' not the same thing as saying 12% are atheists.

I doubt that you have ever read a single page of adherents.com they have professional demographers they have much complex position than you reflect they have never said anything that simplistic.

their page on zuckerman's data is hard to follow its' so complex and it's long, horribly long.


As for ideological biases, you keep insisting that Adherent's isn't a Christian site, but why then all the links to Christian dating services, Christian lenders, Christian encyclopedias?

Their audience is obviously religious people so they have religious ads. Or ads for relgious people. They may be religous but they are not doing apologetics, they are not fundies.

if you look if actually read a page which I doubt that you have you see that they are also critical of Christian apologist's use of stats on prison population (see the same page where they talk about Swift).



And I'm sorry, but it is hard to take seriously anyone who thinks a link to an article at World Net Daily (the biggest purveyors of "Obama is a secret Muslim born in Kenya" and "homosexuals are after your children" conspiracy theories) actually strengthens their case...

That's your bias and predilection. you are not willing to judge of the data, you just go by who lines up with what camp. that's no better than quoting bad data.

Metacrock said...

you actually have it backwards. if you look at the original which is what was sent to adherents by Rice you see that Swift changed the categories around atheist putting atheist at the bottom then he had to re juggle (0r whomever did it) because it changes the reading.

several of the categories are change to re-distribute the missing numbers.

in Swifts the none/other aren't even in the table. they are at the bottom. someone took them out of the table.

It's pretty clear if adherents was sent the original the other one is the fabrication.

A Hermit said...

"It's pretty clear if adherents was sent the original the other one is the fabrication"

Why assume that adherents was sent the original and not Swift? Or even that they were sent exactly the same thing?

" Polls distinguish between "I do not believe in God I am an atheist" and "I don't like religion," Or "there may be something out there but I don't know what it is." polls that say there are 12% of country is atheist are lumping those together as though they are the same things. When they are distinguished (which I think obviously you must) then it's only 3% atheist. I realize there's another 9% who are pissed off with conventional religion. Sometimes I'm on the edge of that 9% too. Thats' not the same thing as saying 12% are atheists."

Yes; that's exactly what I'm saying. But when it comes to this prison data you said that the people answering "no religion" were "probably atheist". Are you revising that now?

Metacrock said...

yes it certainly stands to reason that some of them "no religion" people are atheists since atheist means no belief in God.

now did I say every single one of them are, do I did not say that.

did you answer the argument about they get saved to get parole. no

did you answer the one about they aren't Christians when they get arrested? No you did not

did you answer the one bout 400 counter studies, no you did not!


of course it's logical to assume that some percentage of the "none" category are atheists. It's your assumption none of them are apparently, or a some pathetically small percent but you can't prove that. Obviously the argument is a bust.

you also can't deny the fabrication and it doesn't even bother you. does it actually make a difference to you at all if your side lied?

A Hermit said...

"yes it certainly stands to reason that some of them "no religion" people are atheists since atheist means no belief in God.

now did I say every single one of them are, do I did not say that."


In our earlier discussion you said anyone answering "no religion" was "probably atheist". Are you revising that? If so, good.

"did you answer the argument about they get saved to get parole. no"

I must have missed that argument. please explain...

"did you answer the one about they aren't Christians when they get arrested? No you did not

did you answer the one bout 400 counter studies, no you did not!"


Again, I must have missed that conversation; I'm just addressing the Swift numbers and your overblown accusations against him.

"of course it's logical to assume that some percentage of the "none" category are atheists. It's your assumption none of them are apparently, or a some pathetically small percent but you can't prove that. Obviously the argument is a bust."

On the contrary I do think a good number of those who refuse to answer the question (or who answer "agnostic" or "don't know" might actually be atheists; given the hostility we face from people like you (particularly in the US) it's understandable that people might be reluctant to answer. But we can't say for sure what proportion that might be in any particular survey, and in the prison data the number who actually answer definitively that they are atheists is much smaller than it is in the general population. (see the recent ARIS survey for example http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/reports/NONES_08.pdf)
Arbitrarily lumping all of the "no answers" and atheists together the way adherent's.com does is simply not warranted.

"you also can't deny the fabrication and it doesn't even bother you. does it actually make a difference to you at all if your side lied?"

What fabrication? Swift presented the data as it was given to him. (actually he says he was given the results in alphabetical order and he just rearranged them by percentage values.

Now, I don't think the numbers prove anything either way; I don't think it's particularly useful to make these kinds of arguments (except as I said to counter the false accusations religionists make about the character of atheists) but you're leaping to a completely unwarranted accusation against Swift here.