Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lesbian sex book traumatizes teenage boys!

Somebody put drugs in the water supply. Either that or Bedlam has released a lot of patients. The crazy God-botherers are out in force and crazier than normal. I mean certifiably nuts.

First, lets take a trip to Arkansas and visit Earl Adams (you knew he was going to be an Earl or Jethro or Cleetus or something like that didn’t you?). Earl has two teenaged sons. I suggest he has two horny teenage sons who scouted the shelves of the local library looking for something sexy for some bathroom reading.

And what did the horny little bastards find: The Whole Lesbian Sex Book. Exactly what a couple of horny straight teenage boys would love to devour. And no doubt they did, repeatedly. I hope they wiped the pages when they were finished reading. The bullshit story is that the boys accidentally found it while looking for books on military academies. Right! Sure. I see how when you are looking for something on the military you might accidentally end up in the section on lesbian sex. I've attached a photo of the book's cover. You can see how the poor children got confused. I myself immediately thought of West Point when I saw it. Earl is obviously as dense as a doorknob.

Earl discovered that the boys had read this Satanic book and sent a letter of protest, which just also happened to demand $20,000 in compensation for the trauma allegedly caused his horny pornhounds. He claims that after the poor boys saw the book it caused “many sleepless nights in our house.” Yes, precisely what I would have expected. No doubt he heard the poor boys breathing heavy and moaning throughout the night. It was pure hell and kept them up the entire night.

Earl’s letter got the library advisory board in a panic so they deleted the book from shelf. Earl is a coward. He should have gone in and burned it himself like a good Christian -- along with the author. Earl says God told him what to write: “God was speaking to my heart that day and helped me find the words that proved successful in removing this book from the shelf.” Too bad those voices didn’t whisper: “Earl, you’re a moron.”

Now we travel down to Orlando, Florida home of Disney World and other fantasies. One of which concerns a statue that is alleged to be the Virgin Mary. Now how anyone knows I don’t know since nobody has the slightest idea what Mary looked like. But I guess if they buy the virgin story they are open to anything.

The local Catholics are going postal over the statue and flocking in to pray to it. Apparently someone saw a mark on the face which they say looks like a tear, well it would except its black, the tear that is not the statue.

No wonder so many good Catholics were willing to say: “Sure Father O’Malley, you can take little Timmy on a personal prayer retreat.” Just not that bright are they?


Saturday, April 21, 2007

A long row of zeros still adds up to nothing.

I confess a bit of a fear in writing this piece. I say that because I know how some Christians love to distort comments, take them out of context or entirely misinterpret them. Often that is done maliciously. Other times it is done our of an inability to grasp anything that is a slight bit complicated.

My main point is is that atheism is a void. It is an intellectual zero, a nothingness. What complicates the matter is that what this means is not likely to be what the Christian will take it to mean. They will give this a meaning that fits the believing mind and thus entirely distorts what I’m saying.

What I mean is actually not too hard to understand if they take is slowly. Atheism is not a belief. It is the absence of a belief. To know that one is an atheist only means that you know he does not hold to the claims that a deity exists. Nothing more.

This is not to say that the atheist has no beliefs, only that those beliefs are not derived from atheism. Since atheism is a lack of a belief in something (in this case a deity) you can not get positive principles out of a negative concept. Not believing in a god doesn’t tell you how to live, what to value, what sort of society to yearn for, etc. By itself it gives no directions, values or beliefs. How could it? It is the lack of a belief

The error the believer makes it to then assume that if one doesn’t believe in a deity then one can’t hold positive beliefs at all. One can hold very specific beliefs about morality, decency, ethics, virtues, etc. But they are not rooted in one’s atheism because they can’t be rooted in a void.

That one invents a deity and announces that all beliefs are rooted in that invention doesn’t mean the beliefs are true, accurate or even good. Theists themselves prove that by constantly fighting with one another over those very beliefs. And the true believers actually dismiss the idea of there being any such thing as object good and objective morality. The good and the moral, they say, is merely that which God commands. If God commanded genocide then genocide is good. It is the ultimate moral relativism. Provided one is deluded enough to think God is speaking to them one has a moral license, nay, a moral requirement, to obey that voice and do all those horrific things the God is whispering. Throughout history sincere believers have done just that and the soil was fertlized deep with the blood of their victims.

The Christian, in one sense, seems to almost grasp that atheism is merely a lack of a belief. But they still miss it entirely. They almost get it when they start to argue that an atheist by virtue of being atheist has no morality. True, the morality he holds is not derived from the atheism. But that doesn’t mean it is not derived in no other natural, non-theistic way.

Too often believers are unthinking people. They merely accept social convention as moral or what the social convention of their church tells them is moral. They attribute all of that to God. You will get some absurd claims out of this. It is not God that gives them rules to live by, they are merely looking for an authority of some sort to tell them how to live. They can’t think for themselves.

And so they seek out authorities in one form or another offering them rules. Not ideas, but rules. There is a difference between learning how to think and being told what to think. Many believers have never figured that out.

The reality is that on a huge number of issues atheists do not differ from Christians regarding what they believe about life. Atheists do value life, perhaps more so since they believe this is the only life they have. They value love and friendship and human decency. In most respects the average atheist is more moral than the average Christian. Certainly the evidence bears it out in the US. They are less likely to go to jail, less likely to commit a crime, less likely to divorce, etc. But their living this way is not rooted in being an atheist. Having no believe in a deity does not tell you anything about how to treat other people. It does not inspire you to act in any particular way.

That most atheists live moral lives is not because they are atheists. If anything it is because they think things through rationally and the moral life they live is one that makes sense to them.

You can see how the Christian almost gets it when he says the atheist has no foundation for morality. He has no foundation for morality in atheism but that does not mean he has no foundation derived from rational thought and reality.

We don’t act on a lack of a belief. We act on beliefs. A large chunk of nothing can’t serve as the foundation for something. You can add all the zeros you want together and they still add up to zero. So the moral beliefs, of those who lack a belief in a deity, do not come from that lack of a belief, but come from someplace else. And by definition it comes from a non-theistic source.

The end result is that nothing an atheist does or actually believes is rooted in his or her atheism. It can’t be.

But once that is understood it destroys one of the big bugaboos the Christians invent about atheism. They often blame atheism for the actions of any atheist. That is absurd. Since an atheist can’t act on the basis of his lack of beliefs when he does act it is founded on something else. Atheism per se never causes one to act or not act. It is merely a description of a state of not believing in one kind of thing.

The good that atheists do is not rooted in atheism per se. The bad an atheist may do is not rooted in atheism per se. There is no set of beliefs that one can define as “atheism”. There is only the void, the lack of a belief. So atheism can neither take the credit for the good, nor the blame for the evil, done by any specific atheist.

Now in history there have been some nasty people who claimed to be atheists. And they did nasty things. But could those nasty things be attributed to their atheism? NO. Again nothingness can’t be the foundation for something and that applies even when the something is bad. Christians want to have it both ways. They will deny that decent atheists are decent because of their atheism. But any unpleasant atheist is automatically unpleasant, or bad, because of atheism. In one case they see atheism properly -- it can’t serve as the foundation for any action. But in other cases they assert it is the foundation for an actionprovided it is unpleasant.

Stalin said he was an atheist. Stalin did nasty things. But if a big chunk of nothing can’t serve as the foundation for an action then what causde Stalin to act nastily? It was not his lack of a belief in a deity but his positive belief in Marxist theory. Ditto for Mao. For the most part these individuals held very strongly to other beliefs and those beliefs--positive beliefs in the sense that they asserted something not in the sense that they were good--served as the foundation for their actions.

It took a positive belief to inspire them to do what they did. And for many of them it was an unthinking faith in Marxist theory. For some it was a thoughtful belief albeit a wrong one. Something must serve as the foundation for these actions and the something in this case was Marxism or socialism in its various forms. They acted brutally not because they lacked a faith in a deity but because they had a faith in a political/economic system.

This becomes a bit clearer when we consider the lack of a belief in many different things. I don’t know anyone today who believes in Thor, the god of thunder. We basically all lack a belief in Thor. There is probably an infinite number of things for which we hold no belief whatsoever. And just as you and I lack a belief in Thor so too did Stalin lack a belief in Thor.

Would I be justified in arguing that Stalin was a monster because he didn’t believe in Thor. Which is more likely: that Stalin acted badly due to his belief in Marxism or that he acted badly due to his lack of a belief in Thor? I hold no belief in the healing powers of crystal, the presence of aliens in UFOs, Santa Clause, fairies or the Loch Ness serpent. If required I could make a very long list of things I don’t believe. And none of that will tell you what I do believe and none of it will tell you why I act as I do. All those nothings strung together do not give you a positive.

So atheists may well have morals but not rooted in their atheism. Atheist may well value life but not because they are atheist. Atheists may even do bad things but not because they are atheists. The lack of a belief never serves as the inspiration for an action. We act upon that which we do believe not that which we don’t.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Preying on grief.

It was a sad day when that disgusting lunatic, and he was a lunatic, killed the people at Virginia Tech. This deranged mental case, only recently released from an institution murdered 32 people. And to make sure the world understood that he felt justified in doing so he released a maniacal rant to the media during the long break he took between the killings.

During his tirade he attacked “rich brats”, drinkers, and hedonists. He sounded like a cross between a socialist and a fundamentalist Christian. He hated the rich and he hated the sinful. And like both groups he dwelled and mulled over every assumed slight he ever experienced. He was the perpetual victim whining about every injustice, real or imaginary. And in the end he was consumed with his hatred and killed.

Now many people on the Virginia Tech campus are religious. Most likely the majority of them are. It is to be expected that they will reflect on this tragedy in religious terms. And the atheists and non-believers of the world will leave them be. It is not the typical response of an atheist to inflict greater pain on someone at this time of trauma and suffering.

Yet one of the worst maggots on the extreme Right has used this sorrowful occasion to throw cheap shots at atheists. Dinesh D’Sousza once had some things to say that were of interest. But that was before he turned into one of the creepiest figures on the Right. He is the one harping on about how Christians in America ought to forge an alliance with Islamists and all go out and stone gays together.

His view is that the way to end Islamist extremism is to adopt their methods, bash a few homosexuals, burn some books, arrest the immoral and return to a theocratic moral country. That, says this appeaser to tyranny, will show them that America is just as moral as the Islamists themselves and they will no longer hate us.

Right! And the reason the Nazis were such lunatics was because the US didn’t round up the Jews. D’Sousza is delusional. And in one of his fits of, where he is possessed by the spirit of Ayatollah Khomeini and he channels the man, he wrote an attack on atheists in regard to the attack.

He wrote:

Notice something interesting about the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings? Atheists are nowhere to be found. Every time there is a public gathering there is talk of God and divine mercy and spiritual healing...
...To no one's surprise, [Richard] Dawkins has not been invited to speak to the grieving Virginia Tech community. What this tells me is that if it's difficult to know where God is when bad things happen, it is even more difficult for atheism to deal with the problem of evil. The reason is that in a purely materialist universe, immaterial things like good and evil and souls simply do not exist. For scientific atheists like Dawkins, Cho's shooting of all those people can be understood in this way--molecules acting upon molecules.

What does creepy Dinesh mean atheists are no where to be found? Surveys show that 20% of youth the age of the typical Virginia Tech student are atheists. Were they supposed to use this time of mourning to make points about their atheism? Were atheists supposed to crash these times demanding the right to speak?

In addition D’Sousza is not just creepy. He’s stupid. But anyone forging alliances with extreme Islamists is obviously working with less than a full deck. (That he hasn’t been shunned by the Right is even more scary.) Atheism as such is merely about the existence of a deity. Atheists, as individuals, have much to say about morality. Some like Ayn Rand, were often accused of being “moralists”.

The idea that atheists have nothing to say during times of grief is born out his own ignorance. I remember well picking up the collected works of Robert Ingersoll and reading some of his comments at a funeral. The friend to whom I was read it started crying. He said it was so moving he couldn’t help himself.

It would be a rare thing indeed for an atheist to make a spectacle at a time of mourning or the funeral of another. I don’t know what D’Sousza was thinking. Half the time I don’t think he knows himself. Every atheist I know has dealt with grief. I have lost to death people in my life, people I have loved very much.

And I have dealt with evil and injustice in ways that D’Sousza would never know. I have looked in straight in the face not just written about it from some Pacific coast mansion. But never would I think to try to impose an argument about the existence of Dinesh’s imaginary friend on others at a time of such sorrow.

Alas, we can’t say the same for Christians can we. Like vultures they wait for times of misery and sorrow to swarm around their victims. They lurk in the halls of hospitals preying on the dying and the mourners. They use every tragedy as a recruiting tool, every pain as another excuse to intrude and preach. To some they may offer a delusion of a life after death but often they are there to condemn and harass. Yes, at times of national or personal grief religion often is very visible and sometimes it is ugly.

I have known fundamentalists, in particular, the very group Mr. D’Sousza is so fond of, to tell grieving individuals that their loved one is burning in hell for eternity because they hadn’t been ‘borned again”. They were the “wrong” kind of Christian or even more horrifying, not any kind of Christian. They have used funerals to preach the horrors of eternal torment telling grieving families that their loved one is being tortured by the God of the Bible. And they relish in such actions.

And who was it that put in an appearance at these funerals to taunt and torment the grieving? It was not an atheist or agnostic. It wasn’t Richard Dawkins, who D’Sousza loves to hate. It was Rev. Fred Phelps and his Baptist congregation from Kansas.

This derange sect of fundamentalists said they will be picketing at the funerals and memorial services. And Shirley Phelps-Roper, the daughter of the church founder, said that the individuals who died deserved to die because they weren’t Christians.

She said: “The evidence is they were not Christians. God does not do that to his servants. You don’t need to look any further for evidence those people are in hell.” She said that the mass murderer “was also fulfilling the word of God.”

D’Sousza is right about one thing. Atheists are not making themselves visible at this time of grieving. They happen to know that this is not the time for a philosophical discussion. People need to be left alone and allowed to mourn. The only people who don’t understand that are the ones who share D’Sousza’s belief in a God. Perhaps now you understand why I think he’s such a creepy little maggot.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Most Hated Family in America

Sometimes hate is earned. However, it must be stated that no family in America does more to horrify people about religion than these people. And they are probably converting more people to a pro-gay position than any other small group of people. Look at how they insult people who are even anti-gay accussing them of being "pro-fag". Second, what how quickly they become angry and start yelling.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Fastest growing religious belief isn't.

The New York Times has an interesting report on Spanish-speaking immigrants and religion. Apparently the level of religiousity drops significantly when these people move to the United States.

One reason is outlined by one immigrant from Guatemala who said he went to church every Sunday prior to immigrating but now his family no longer does so. “We pray to God when we feel the need to but when we come here to America we don’t feel the need.”

The report, from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Hispanic Center found that 8 percento Spanish-speaking residents of the US say that they have “no religion” which is close to the 11% of Americans in general who say the same. (Among young people in America the percentage of non-religious is now 20%.)

One difference for the immigrants is that two-thirds of the now non-religious say they were previously religious.

But a larger survey of Spanish-speaking Americans found that there has been a dramatic decrease in religiosity in recent years. In 1990 it was found that 6 percent said they were non-religious but the new survey by the American Religion Indentification Survey puts the number at 13 percent. This survey shows non-religious Americans as being 15% of the population.

And while the totally non-religious are a relatively small percentage a much larger percentage have dropped religion in its traditional form, that is they don’t attend church or affiliate with a religious body though they still think of themselves as Christians. These people are secular in everything but name.

One Catholic priest admitted: “My fear is the strength of secularization, the influence of Americanized pop culture. Is the spiritual tradition of the church, Catholic and Protestant, strong enough to withstand the secularizing cultural influences?”

The American Religion Identification Survey found that the fastest growing religious indentification “in absolute as well as in percentage terms has been among those adults who do not subscribe to any religious identification; their number has more than doubled from 14.3 million in 1990 to 29.4 million in 2001; their proportion has grown from just eight perent of the total in 1990 to over fourteen percent in 2001. It might be even higher since there was also a dramatic increase in the number of people who refused to answer the question, from 2 percent in 1990 to 5 percent in 2001.

One interesting statistic, which we have found repeated in numerous other studies, shows that the more fundamentalist an individual the more likely they are to have a failed marriage. While 9% of people without religion are divorced or separated the figures are higher for fundamentalists: 12% for Baptists, 14% for Pentecostals, 10% for Assemblies of God and 11% for Seventh Day Adventists.

Another interesting statistic is the coversion rates in different groups. That is how many people were new adherent to a religion and how many left the same religion.. Catholics lost twice as many people as they converted. Baptist lost 200,000 more than they “saved”. The non-religious had 1.1 million become religious but had 6.6 million who were previously religious give up the belief. Methodists lost 1.1 million more than they gained, while Lutherans and Presbyterians each lost 100,000. Even the incessant recruitment campaigns of the Mormons didn’t do them much good. where they gained 447,000 they lost 446,000, which is hardly any growth at all.

Even in Utah the Mormons are losing the race. Few are converting in and migration to Utah is quickly changing the religious make up of the state. The 2004 count showed that 62% of the population is still Mormon but every county saw a decrease and it is expected to fall below 50% by 2030.

In fact there are vast discrepencies between the numbers the Mormoms claims to have as member and the numbers of people who claim to be Mormon. In Mexico the Mormons claim to have 850,000 members yet only 205,000 Mexicans claim to be Mormon. In Brazil the church claims to have 743,000 members but only 200,000 claim to belong. The Mormons say 91,000 New Zealanders are members of the church but only 40,000 Kiwis say they belong. Membership is the UK is supposedly 177,000 but 62,000 define themselves as Mormon, in Germany the number of self-identified Mormons is only one-third the number the church claims. In fact it is pretty common for the church to claim members which are 300% to 400% higher than what people themselves say.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mom, Guess what? I'm an atheist.

If there is one thing many parents dred it is having children who think for themselves. Here is a short video that was filmed when one boy decides to tell his mother that he is an atheist. The response, to say the least, is not particular nice. Polls show that most Americans feel that atheists are worse than terrorists. So much for rational thinking in America. But the video does give me an idea. For some kids this might be a good strategy. They go home and announced they are an atheist. After a few minutes of parental venting they can then say: "Ah, not really. I'm just gay." At this point the Christian parents will shout: "Oh, thank God."


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Tale of Two Surveys

Previously I took on Andrew Sullivan. I argued that when he puts his God-goggles on he gets basically stupid. Faith does that to people. He misquoted a report on people with HIV claiming it showed: "If you believe, you're less likely to catch it." In fact it didn't speak of contracting HIV at all since these people were all infected. It said that highly religious people reported they practiced safe sex more often and had less sex.

I argued that the report he cited was a survey where these people described their own religiousity and their own sexual habits. I said such surveys are prone to distortions because some groups of people are highly motivated to lie. And one group that is highly notivate to lie about their sexual lives are religious people who are violating their own moral codes. I thought this was an obvious flaw in the report.

Today Sullivan reports on another study on sexuality where, with no God-goggles to stupify him, he suddenly understands the problems of self-reporting surveys like the one he cited previously. This survey mapped the sexual interactions of high school students with white dots for girls and blue dots for boys. If one boy had sex with one girl and neither of them had sex with anyone else in the school it would show on the map as a blue dot connected to a white dot and nothing more. If the boy had sex with two different girls, and neither of them had sex with anyone else, you would have a blue dot connected on two sides to white dots with no other connections. and so on.

The previous self-reporting survey confirmed Sullivan's religious obsession. So it was taken at self value, no questions asked and trumpeted as if it proved some great truth about the goodness of religion. This survey chanlleged another one of Sullivan's religious obsessions, his gayness. I believe the large map showed only one gay relationship. This goes against what Sullivan assumes (and I think against reality). Suddenly Sullivan is making the same point I previously made. "Why so few gays? It's high school, I guess. And all of this is based on reported hook-ups, so who knows what the reality truly is."

The "reported" hook-ups of religious people he took at face value no question asked. It confirmed what he wanted to hear. The "reported" hook-ups of high school students didn't say what he wanted to hear so he dismisses it saying "who knows what the reality truly is." No one really!

High school students don't want to admit they are gay or had gay sex. So they will downplay that activity in their reporting. Some, especially the boys, will want to appear as studs so they will exaggerate on that side of the fence. They have motivations to misreport the facts making the survey of some, but very limited, value. Christians also have reasons to misreport their activity especially those who are deeply fundamentalist, as were many in the survey of HIV infected people Sullivan reported about previously. They will downplay all sexual activity. But that was what Sullivan wanted to hear then.

Unfortunately, even while Sullivan is not a dumb man, he does allow his God-goggles to get in the way frequently. So he can see the problem of self-reporting sex surveys which don't confirm what he wanted to hear while he doesn't see the same problem with sex surveys which do confirm what he wanted to hear. That he made these contradictory statements so close together just shows how blind people become with their God-goggles on.

UPDATE: Maybe Mr. Sullivan is having other problems and it's mot just his God-goggles. He has a Quote for the Day which is calls Tyler Cowen mouthing off again. The quote seems to imply Cowen said this. Actually he asked his readers how they would feel about the statement. It was not Cowen's statement at all. Then to make matters even worse sullivans sais that the commenters at the Reason blog were having "various calves" over the issue. That isn't true either. There was discussion of the points Cowen raised, which are not in the "quote" that Sullivan lifted out of context. And no one seemd particularly upset with Cowen. Maybe Andrew isn't reading as well as he used in old age?

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Surely the man can read.

I have a like/hate relationship with Andrew Sullivan. Not a love/hate relationship as I've never liked his stuff that much. He's too self-absorbed for me, I'm not really interested in all the details about his life, his mother, his lover, his dogs, his friends, etc. And when he goes religious he goes incoherent. What ability he has to think (and he has some) disappears completely once he brings in the spiritual. He actually makes less sense than the fundamentalists he despises (and with good reason). He uses what I call god-talk, which is something that sounds theological but which, when you try to figure out what he saying, is devoid of content or meaning.

Apparently when he has his God-goggles on he can't read either. In a post today he claims, regarding HIV, "If you believe, you're less likely to catch it." The problem is that it's bullshit. He then quotes something to prove his case and the sentence he quotes doesn't say that believers are less likely to catch HIV at all. Sullivan is a Christian of his own making and is HIV positive. What he quotes says nothing about religion preventing you from catching HIV at all. It says:

HIV-positive people who say religion is an important part of their lives are likely to have fewer sexual partners and engage in high-risk sexual behavior less frequently than other people with the virus that causes AIDS, according to a study issued today by the RAND Corporation. As a result, people with HIV who have stronger religious ties are less likely to spread the virus...
Since these people already have HIV how does Sullivan read this as saying they are less likely to catch it? "If you believe, you are less likely to catch it." How can one be "less likely" to catch something that one has already caught? The chance of these people having HIV is 100% because they already have it.

What the report does say, as opposed to the fanciful interpretation of Sullivan, is that these people have less sex than other HIV positive individuals and thus are less likely to spread it. The "study" in question is a survey more than a study. It is based on what people say they do and not about what they actually do. And I have argued that when it comes to these "morality' surveys the religious have an incentive to lie and claim they are more moral than they actually are. One indication of this is the authors of the survey note that Africans-Americans "report high levels of both attendance at religious services and prayer" yet "have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS." In other words they are the most religious group in the US and yet have some of the highest HIV infection rates in the US.

To put in Sullivanesque terms: They are more likely to believe and more likely to catch it.

And apparently Mr. Sullivan's very public religiousity had no impact on how he played around sexually as he was caught looking for multiple sexual partners for unprotected sex himself. When that came out he was livid claiming it was an invasion of his privacy, but as one critic noted " he is one of the most self-referential journalists working today." Amen, to that. A story just isn't a story unless Sullivan can talk about himself. It's the least attractive aspect to his writing. He inundates his readers with personal information and cries privacy when certain aspects of his life become public. Sullivan's secondary defense was that the men he sought out as sexual partners for unprotected sex were already HIV positive themselves. And he dismisses the evidence that continued and repeated exposure to the virus increases the dangers. He calls the evidence for that "weak and hypothetical." Of course he ignores the fact that there are different strains of HIV with some worse than others. But apparently his constant parade of religiousity had little impact on what he was doing.

The key factor, however, about this survey, is how reliable is it? The participants were asked to describe their religious practices and beliefs as well as their sexual habits. If, as I contend, religiously prone individuals are more likely to be deceitful about their sexual life then the study is relatively worthless. It is worthless because we only have the self-reported claims of the religious on which to rely and nothing indicating actual activity.

For instance we have see that religious teenagers are more prone to lie about their sexual activity. And worse, their religiousity compels many of them to avoid condoms. So when they do have sex the studies all show that they are more likely to have unprotected sex. That is confirmed by looking at the most Bible-belt states and their teen pregnancy rates. The "godless" states have much lower teen pregnancy rates while the Bible-belt states have the highest.

The survey admitted that a large number of the participants were fundamentalists -- who already are HIV positive indicating something about their sexual activity of the past. And the side chasm between what they claim they do and what they actually do is famously wide. Surely I don't have to list the numbers of famous fundamentalist figures who have been caught in one sleazy scandal or another to prove my point.

People who don't hold strict religious moral beliefs are not more likely to "sin". We can see that by noting that atheists are underrepresented in prison while fundamentalists are over represented. Atheists are less likely to divorce than fundamentalists. But I suspect atheists are more likely to admit the truth about their sexual activities than fundamentalists. We have plenty of cases showing that to be the case. And as long as the survey is based on what the religious say they do it has to be taken with a large grain of salt.


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