On CARM more stupid atheist tricks
I think Meta is deliberately trying to be deceptive in including his "or higher power" statement in along with his "belief in some form of deity" statement. He is so desperate to bump up the number of god-believers (33%), that he includes in his stats, those who believe in the spiritual/higher power (18%) ...even though they specifically state that they do not believe in God. Then he tries to weasel around it by saying that he wasn't being deceptive because he did after all, include the words "or higher power" in his statement.Notice he wants to put the percentage of all God believers at 33%, the chart says that is the percentage of Christians. God believers as a whole are 90%. He's referring to an argument I've had with several atheists on carm. It centers around their need to divide and conquer and their further need to bolster their own numbers. Now after including Buddhism, Hinduism, Agnostics and everyone who isn't a Christian as atheists, they are trying divide all Chrsitians from each other so that every individual Christin is a denomination of one. Now according to their backward way of doing things Christianity is only like 1% of the world population and atheism is bigger than any one religoius tradition.
This approach is so clearly mindless. Its' so backward to reality. We can see form the pie chart (data from 2005) Christianity is the biggest religion. atheism is like 4% atheism fits into a category that is 16%, but it says half the people in that category believe in God or Higher power. Of that half half are "I don't know" therefore, actual atheism is half of a half of 16, meaning 4%. The category itself is "no organized religion." So my arugment has been that all togehter all believer in God of any stripe equals 90% of world population.
Atheists can't have this so in order to undermine this figure and distort the issues they come out with the moronic idea that "higher power" can't be equated with God. Yet I show that most of those who use that phrase are thinking of God. We know the phrase came form AA and the people who created were clearly thinking of God.
From Wiki Article
Higher Power is a term coined in the 1930s in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and is used in other twelve-step programs. It is also sometimes referred to as a power greater than ourselves and is frequently abbreviated to HP.They may have taken it form William James:
Sources that may have contributed to the adoption of the term in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the first twelve-step group, include spirituality, New Thought and the work of William James. James, who wrote "The only cure for dipsomania is religiomania" in The Varieties of Religious Experience, is cited in the 'Spiritual Experience' appendix of Alcoholics Anonymous (also known as the "Big Book").William James was definitely writing about God. Certainly James makes the correlation.
Sociologist Darren Sherkat researched the belief of Americans in a Higher Power. He based his research on data from 8,000 adults polled by the Chicago-based National Opinion Research Center between 1988 and 2000. Among his findings were that 8% stated "I don't believe in a personal god, but I do believe in a higher power of some kind." This is the same figure as found by the 1999 Gallup national poll of Americans. Sherkat also found that 16% of the Jewish people surveyed agreed with the statement about a 'higher power', while 13.2% of liberal Protestants and 10.6% of Episcopalians also agreed with it.This study comes from John Dart, "Ameirca's Belief in God is Highly Nuanced, study says," Christian Century Dec 14 2004. The link in the original article is dead. It was retrieved in 2008 from form form of Way back machine for the Wiki article.
This would be fine for theology. Liberal theologians would have no trouble equating impersonal god with God. The atheist here are using the concept "God" from Christian fundamentalism and acting like that the original concept of God. Atheists can't allow religious people to speak fo thier own beliefs. They only mock and ridicule them and make them look stupid when they can do the bait and switch and put their straw-God argument in place of the real issues. They have a vested interest in seeing the fundamentalists as the only true form of Christianity. They also think it came first becuase that's what they came out of.
A statement about AA belief in an article by an atheist seeking to make a "higher power" for atheists:
a Higher Power for Athiests
and Agnostics by Roger E. Bissell
Jan 23 1989
We were then encouraged to believe that “a Power greater than ourselves” could restore us to sanity. That reliance on our selves or egos and our hedonistic or willful impulses—rather than higher principles—was the main source of the emotional turmoil and chaos in our lives. That focusing on trying to change someone else’s character or behavior—rather than doing what is right for ourselves—was the cause of our continuing feelings of misery and helplessness.
We were further invited to “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God” as we understood Him—to admit “to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”—to be “entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”—to “humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings”—and to seek “through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God” as we understood Him, “praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. (Except for the phrase “persons, places and things,” the above quotes are all from the Twelve Steps of AA.)
This says clearly that "higher power" is just a euphemism for god but it's leaves the issue open ended as to what the means in the mind of the "believer." Thus atheists are assuming that there's no way to tell if that 8% are understanding it as "god" or as an alternative to God. The difference would be that if they are right atheists can say they have 8% of the world population. If they are wrong they get to say they have 4%. Wow! So crucial! Since Bissell was trying to construct a concept of a higher power that would not be God and thus could be embraced by atheists who need AA. The point is pretty clear what they had in mind was God they were trying to avoid chasing anyone out with specific religious views.
In time, however, most of them come to accept the fact that the 12-Step programs, while not religious per se, are very spiritual—and that in order to offer spiritual and emotional recovery for the greatest number, these programs should scrupulously avoid reference to any specific religious point of view.(ibid).
And we might ask, why the phrase “higher power” was substituted for reference to God. We might ask why the reference was to “a” higher power, thus implying there was a choice, rather than one God, one Heavenly Father, one Maker, one Creator of the heavens and the earth. We might also ask why the first letter in each of the words was capitalized so that the phrase read “Higher Power,” implying some A.A. conferred special divinity or special status or special “god.”...One little kicker you might notice at the bottom of that pie chart. It doesn't' say half of the 'nonreligious' believers in a "higher power." I don't actually know what that guy meant by my "higher power statement" I don't remember making one. It's not the pie chart becuase that says "theistic." Half are theistic. Not just into "higher power" but theistic.
If you know your A.A. history, you know that the Steps do not now and never did have the phrase “higher power” in them. You know that the First Edition of the Big Book did not capitalize the first letter in both words. And you know that the Big Book text to this very day only refers to “higher power” twice. Both times, the reference and the context are to God–the same God that the Big Book called “Creator,” “Maker,” “Father,” “Spirit,” and “Father of lights.” All terms that refer to the God of the Bible. All terms that refer to the Big Book’s urging that there is ONE that has all power, that this ONE is God, and an imperative wish that the newcomer “find Him [the same ONE God, ONE Creator, ONE Maker] now!