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View Poll Results: Does Religeon Help people be more moral then Athiests?
Yes 6 35.29%
No 11 64.71%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 8th, 2006, 12:29 AM   #1
Webbeardthepirate
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Default Are Religeous People More Moral?

Penn Jillette of magic duo Penn and Teller has a radio show. Clips are availble on the internet each day from http://penn.freefm.com/ Penn Jillette is an avowed athiest and enemy of all that is humbug, which is why they often take delight in showing how their tricks are done. In a recent clip they sited the following statistics from a 1997 survey of prisoners in american prisons. Bad people who go caught being bad and are now paying for their badness. Remember, any crime witha senatnce of less then a year is served in Jail, not prison, so these are people who have broken some serious commandments beyond just not keeping the sabath holy.

75,000 prisoners
29,267 Catholics
26,162 Protostants
5,400 Muslims
1,300 Jews
1,093 Pentecostal
882 Budhists
665 Jahova's Witnesses
298 Mormons
and how many Athiests?
156 out of a population of 75,000 prisoners, in prison.
(0.2% if you are, like me, math impaired)

While 60% of professional Scientists are Athiests and something like 90% of Nobel Prize winners are Athiests.

"Follow the Pattern," says Penn Jillette, "Follow the pattern."

Who has the moral high ground now? Well? Looks like you don't need religeon to not do horrible things after all. The numbers are pretty, if you'll pardon the expresssion, damning.

Discuss...
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Old March 8th, 2006, 08:18 AM   #2
Charlotte
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Ok right now all you're doing is throwing this is religious people's faces that they aren't so perfect. Well it's a sterotype that all religious people look down on athiests or other practices of faith and they consider themselves perfect.

But this is very good evidence to present to those religious people that do look down on other faiths, including atheism. These statistics do prove that anyone from any religious background goes to jail, but it's common knowledge. I'm really not sure what the point these radio hosts were making except childishly saying that their beliefs is better and to shove a bunch of numbers to religious people's faces. All this shows is these radio hosts' ignorance. No one has the "higher ground." Anyone, religious or not, that says they do is just closed-minded and sterotypical.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
all you're doing is throwing this is religious people's faces that they aren't so perfect
Yes, yes I am.

As for no one having the higher ground, I'm putting forward the thesis that Athiests have a better claim to the moral high ground than religeous people. Everything that isn't Atheism is a religeon incednetly. I find it disheartening that you would lump Atheism with "other faiths." Atheism is no faith at all, replacing credence with incredulity and skepticism. If there were no religeons there wouldn't even be a word for Atheism.

This particular argument by magician Penn Jillette is that religeon appears to be no aid to morality, rendering religeon redundant to leading a moral life. And having had the "morality is religeon" line thrown in my face as many times as I have, I do take great delight in the opportunity to throw it back.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #4
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Atheism is interesting, I'm sure others have thought this, but atheism is supposedly non-belief in God ... but I feel it is in fact a belief that there is no God. It's not existentialism or surrealism (the idea that the Universe is benignly indifferent to humans; life; its process etc, and completely irrational), it is a fervent belief that there is no God. Which makes it faith all the same.

The only point you've made is that anyone of any religion can go to jail, which is common knowledge. Just because you're labeled as something, doesnt mean you're better or worst. This evidence isnt solid. These are just 75,000 prisoners. These 75,000 prisioners could be in a region where atheism isnt popular, so of course it would appear to be the smaller amount. As of 2000, atheist take out 0.4% of the USA population, so thats how its seemed that they have less people in prison.

As I said, a very flawed argument with bad evidence. All these radio hosts did (or whoever) did was make a statistic that would appear in their favor.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 02:37 PM   #5
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Its one thing to follow a religion its another to treat it seriosly.

Alot of people i know in my school who say "oh...i'm christian" use that to hide behind.
Just ask them: do they go to church every week? do they pray daily? do they like church? do they tithe? can you honestly say you enjoy religion and can you honestly say you have a close relationship with god?

Alot will think about those and probably anser no...even though it is a christian's DUTY to follow those rules of life. But many don't because they make up the excuse "oh...but i'm tired" "oh...but i don't have time" "oh but why?"

The word christian means someone who follows christ...someone who walks like him....someone who attempts to mimic his life.

But some don't.


Religion does not cause crime...people cause crime...remember those excuses that people use about going to church? Those are excuses people give for many things.



I am Christian and i'm proud of it....i live by god and jesus and I don't care a rats ass what other people think. Call me stupid, call me silly but its my faith and I live by it.

Other people may use it to hide thier activites and commit crimes any day...but let me tell you this...they aren't really christians if they do that.

"Quit complaining!"
-Philippians 2:14

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. "
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8
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Old March 8th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #6
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The data came from Denise Golumbaski, who was a Research Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The data was compiled from up-to-the-day figures on March 5th, 1997.

Catholic 29,267 31.432%
Protestant 26,162 28.097%
None/Atheist/Unknown 18,537 19.908%
Muslim 5,435 5.837%
American Indian 2,408 2.586%
Nation of Islam 1,734 1.862%
Rastafarian 1,485 1.595%
Jewish 1,325 1.423%
Church of Christ 1,303 1.399%
Pentecostal 1,093 1.174%
Moorish 1,066 1.145%
Buddhist 882 0.947%
Jehovah's Witnesses 665 0.714%
Adventist 621 0.667%
Eastern Orthodox 375 0.403%
Latter-day Saints 298 0.320%
Scientology 190 0.204%
Hindu 119 0.128%
Santeria 117 0.126%
Sikh 14 0.015%
Baha'i 9 0.010%
ISKCON 7 0.008%
-------------------- ------ --------
Total 93,112 100.000%


The table didnt copy right, but the data is still visable. The first number is the amount of prisonors of that religion out of 93,112 and the second number is the percentage.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #7
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Wow..... someone just got owned haha

The Years Have Been Short, But The Days Go Slowly By.
~The Shins
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Old March 8th, 2006, 06:17 PM   #8
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None/Atheist/Unknown 18,537 19.908%



and BTW, just a reminder, atheism as of 2000 was 0.4% of the usa population, which is less in 1997 when this survery was taken, so atheism, that has such a SMALL population, is number threee on the chart.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 08:33 PM   #9
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Note that in this version, the names of a couple of religious groups remain non-standardized, and self-identified "Atheist" remains separate from "Unknown/None."

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)

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

You found the name, Hurray. As you see in this one the No answers were seperated from the Athiests. Clearly this is the table that was used by Penn Jillette.

If we accept your statement that athiests make up less then .2% of the total population, but in the same surve 15% refused to answer at all you'll find that this now shows the responses to be on par with the population as a whole, and that religeousness nor the lack there of isa factor in incarceration. The web artical credits Swift, the Journal of the James Randi Education Foundation for the above table.

Penn Jillette is an Athiest of the "I believe there is no God" while James Randi belongs to the "I have seen no convincing evidence of a God, but some may be forthcomming in the future," school of thought. Of course James Randi will pay US$1,000,000 to any one who provides such evidence.

So, duelling statistics at 15 paces.

Incedently Moo, these are descriptive statistics and therefor actually say nothing about causation. Got you to actually go looking for evidence though didn't I? Good work by the way, I didn't give you much to go on to find the study, Just a year and federal prisons. I'm actually relieved that it was a real study. Never trust magicians, that's what Penn Jillette says, and he should know, he is one.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 12:13 AM   #10
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look...someone can "hide behind a religion" but that doesn't mean they hold it true to thier heart

those who use religion as a cloak and don't treat it seriosly are not trully part of that religion


Prison statisics have nothing to do with what faith is more violent....if you look up the statistic for world faiths you'll also find that catholics make up most of the world population, therefore the ratio between people in prisson and people following that faith has to be taken into account and not total people in prison who follow religion



all religions go against violence...if someone actully treated thier religion seriosly enough, then they wouldn't instigate violence

"Quit complaining!"
-Philippians 2:14

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. "
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8
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Old March 10th, 2006, 09:23 AM   #11
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One could argue that the reason so few athiests are in prison is because the US is made up of only about 3 to 9 % athiests (http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_atheist.html)
while there are many more christians (80%) (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/Da...ll_010718.html))so if there are 300 christians and 5 athiests in a society (not proportional to the percentage, only an example) then only a max of 300 christians could be jailed (or prisoned) while only a maximum of 5 atheists.
no christians are not more moral than anyone else, no good decent person thinks they are better than an entire other group of people sharing they same faith for no other reason than the faith.

The term "utopia" is combined from two Greek words — "no" (ou) and "place/land" (topos), thus meaning "nowhere" or more literally, "no-place/no-land."

(...)God(...)I(...)love(...)ellipses(...)

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Old March 10th, 2006, 09:24 AM   #12
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i voted no btw

The term "utopia" is combined from two Greek words — "no" (ou) and "place/land" (topos), thus meaning "nowhere" or more literally, "no-place/no-land."

(...)God(...)I(...)love(...)ellipses(...)

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w...revolt/SGE.jpg
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Old March 10th, 2006, 01:06 PM   #13
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Aztecs practiced rather brutal human sacrafice as part of their religeon so the statement "All religeons" being against violence is not correct. The Quran also tells Muslims to kill Jews who do not accept Mohamed as the prophit of allah, and Leviticus orders death by stoning for people who plant two sorts of grain next to one another. Actually attempting to contact the dead is also a crime punnishable by death. I wonder if any one has told that Medium woman on NBC. So even christians are picking and choosing from their own faith what they think is moral, rather then having morality recieved from the Word.

Muhamed before he was recognized by all arabs and lived with his followers in Medina, also told his followers to attack the caravans from mecca saying that muslims may attack the comercial interests of their enemies even if they have not themselves been attacked. Just like the World Trade Center.
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Old March 10th, 2006, 05:28 PM   #14
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Bush calls himself Christian but bush kills people... So do you think their is a "Moral Christian" NO
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Old March 10th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #15
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no religion contains complete morality , for one because man screws everything up in the religions interpretation and for two man shapes many aspects of religion. it is out of line completly to say that no christian is moral, just as it is out of line to say no athiest is moral. complete and total tolerance of all beliefs and damnation of hatred should be the goal of humanity. so that means no christian bashing and no athiest bashing, am i right or wrong? i mean hitler hated the jews and blamed them for several of germany's problems, he even called syphillis (sp) a "jewish disease" and his religious intolerance and biggotry lead to the murder of millions. i hope history never repeats itself

The term "utopia" is combined from two Greek words — "no" (ou) and "place/land" (topos), thus meaning "nowhere" or more literally, "no-place/no-land."

(...)God(...)I(...)love(...)ellipses(...)

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w...revolt/SGE.jpg
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Old March 10th, 2006, 05:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webbeardthepirate
Aztecs practiced rather brutal human sacrafice as part of their religeon so the statement "All religeons" being against violence is not correct. The Quran also tells Muslims to kill Jews who do not accept Mohamed as the prophit of allah, and Leviticus orders death by stoning for people who plant two sorts of grain next to one another. Actually attempting to contact the dead is also a crime punnishable by death. I wonder if any one has told that Medium woman on NBC. So even christians are picking and choosing from their own faith what they think is moral, rather then having morality recieved from the Word.

Muhamed before he was recognized by all arabs and lived with his followers in Medina, also told his followers to attack the caravans from mecca saying that muslims may attack the comercial interests of their enemies even if they have not themselves been attacked. Just like the World Trade Center.
All religion at some time have believed in violence it's not just the Muslims and the others you mentioned, even though a lot of people are picking on the Muslims for a small minority of extremists
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Old March 13th, 2006, 06:00 AM   #17
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I think i picked on lots not just the muslims. I just thought that bit was interesting and explains why fundementalist muslims would be okay with murdering 3,000+ otherwise innocent people. In Islam you are allowed to attack your enemies' trade.

Jack, I hate tollerance. Its the reason I can't stand the Ba'hai. Friggen "Everybodies Right" religeon. Everybody can't be right, they hold mutually contradictory views. Its an excercize in orwellian double think. To hold two or more contradictory beliefs at the same time without concern or analysis. Thats why I love Catholics. They've spent more time working the kinks out of their religeon then any one else. They have consistantly applied logic to their faith and sought out and delt with internal inconsistancies, and have even moved on to the external ones. And they haven't stopped either, they draw on a wealth of knowledge and debate accumulated over 1700 years.

Incedntly, the current pope has nothing at all kind to say about budhists. (Who make up a very small portion of the prison population but is probably related to the fact that non christian asians are a very samll minority in this country. It's funny that there are any actually.) Buhdist introspection is at odds with Catholic emphasis on good works. The Pope doesn't think much of navel gazing. He seems to think that if the Tibetens were Catholics, they would be as free of the Chinese today as the Poles are free of the Soviets. Not in so many words mind you, but I see his point. Poland is free thanks in large part to the support of John Paul II. Tibet is not free despite the influnece of the reveered Dali Lama, who is clearly a good and educated man. Sure the conditions are quite different, but you can't argue with success either. (or can you?)

Old Ben the 16th is really fond of the Jews. He was probably instrumental in composing the papel bull that there is nothing ins scripture that says that the original covenant between God and the Jews has been in any way recinded, and that the past insistance on conversion in the middle ages was unfounded. The Jews remain Yahways chosen people. Christ is appernetly available for any one else who would like to choose God, through Holy Mother Church of course. This is Catholic Doctrin.

See, they work out the internal conflicts. Such clever people. Think what they could have done if they hadn't suppressed Discovery for a few centuries there. Still, to err is human.

"Whatever you ask of me, I shall do." John 14:14
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Old March 13th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #18
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well i go back to the first question . religion does not help people be more moral than athiests. infact in a way you could call athiesm a religion based on scientific fact. i dont believe that half the crap in the bible actually happened, but i believe in god. it is completly irrational, as is ALL human behavior. If Hitler had promised to end world war two in 1942 and sign a treaty of unconditional surrender in exchange for ten children to be beaten, raped, and murdered in front of the site of the reichstag fire, winston churchill, roosevelt or stalin would not give in to those demands.the exchange of ten human lives to save millions makes perfect sense, but it is morally wrong. it is human behavior. the only people who would agree would be of altered mental state. Aside from that hitler broke near damn every treaty he signed with allied nations.

The term "utopia" is combined from two Greek words — "no" (ou) and "place/land" (topos), thus meaning "nowhere" or more literally, "no-place/no-land."

(...)God(...)I(...)love(...)ellipses(...)

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w...revolt/SGE.jpg
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Old March 14th, 2006, 01:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
in a way you could call athiesm a religion based on scientific fact
No, not really. The universe does not require my belief or faith to carry on. The universe is indifferent to whether I beieve in a diety or not. The laws of physics do not change to accomodate my, or anyone elses world view. I don't have faith in science. Nor does science ask that i have faith in it. Science works whether you believe in it or not, and that's one of the cool things about science.

Atheism is the support of the supposition that their is no God, but is not synonymous with the scientific method. Atheism is a philosophical position. The existance of gravity is not a dispute of the existance of God. And there are things I don't understand but my default is that God had nothing to do withit until shown otherwise. The fact that I can, and occasionally do, walk on water a sign I special posses a divine nature that others don't. Walking on water is something anyone can do with a little patience and the right timing.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #20
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well to the real issue at hand here, morality, is different for each person, therefor nobody is more moral then anybody. I win n.n


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