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Old 07-24-2001, 05:39 AM   #181
Vorkosigan
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Well, this is an improvement! By focusing only on side issues, you manage to go a whole post without undercutting Layman.

Michael? You are still failing to learn from your past mistakes. Please note that in Greeley's study, "hardcore" atheists are not the ONLY atheists that he measures. He also measures "soft core" atheists. Thus, for example, the United States has a combined TOTAL between the two classes of atheists, of 1.8%.

I'll just say it again. As soon as you come up with credible evidence showing that all self-identified agnostics are agnostic theists, I'll listen to your argument.

Thus, I agree that there are likely to be approximately 5 million atheists in the United States, but you must also admit that this number is statistically insignificant.

No, it is more likely that there are some 10-15 million atheists, including atheists and agnostics who are atheists. That's not even including Buddhists.

That's according to all polls and surveys. Greeley's study is the only one showing such a low number. I wonder why.

As to how Layman's studies arrived at their own numbers, I will leave it to him to explain.

Yes, I'm sure, since you have screwed him completely. What I don't understand is why you are even bothering to continue this conversation when you have been utterly destroyed.

For yourself, all you have to do is admit that there are a lot less atheists in the USA than you previously believed. Your trying to make agnostics into atheists was a shell game from the beginning, and you knew it. Very simply, and with luck, for the very last time, agnostics are not atheists. They are not theists either. They are agnostics.

Unfortunately, you are the only one who uses this definition.

And if you actually read Layman's posts, you will notice that he differentiates between the two groups in all of his posts.

So what? Most agnostics are atheists. All atheists are atheists. There are about 19-20 million of that group in the US. I can't tell you how many atheists there are, but it is certainly more than the tiny figure that Layman gave, and certainly more than 5 million.

Of course, the whole discussion is a side issue. The real issue, that coercion produced more atheists in Communist countries than in non-Communist, has not been supported at all from your side. Your desperate regurgitation of previous assertions here is just a pathetic attempt to prove me wrong, somewhere, anywhere....

And when this is done, there is a statistically significant difference between the former Communist countries and the non-Communist ones. We have two annomolies that hardly disprove the rule: on the Communist side, Poland, in the West it is the Netherlands. Outside of these two nations, the pattern is clear, and unavoidable.

Nomad,

I know you are no academic, so let me tell you what Layman would to do to make his case. First, he would have to generate reliable numbers on atheism in all those countries. Next he would have to run some statistical analysis to show that the numbers for the Iron Curtain are significantly different than the numbers for non-iron curtain nations. This would involve calculations showing means, standard deviations, variance, t-tests, the whole nine yards. A graph would be nice. If the data were complete back to the pre-Communist period, he could run some correlation coefficients.

As you can see, Layman has not even attempted this, and neither have you. You have both FAILED to make any statistically-based argument. And thus, failed to make your case for E. Europe (which, in any case, is exploded by Japan)

But as you can see, this is difficult.

In fact, the only statistical study you put up, the Greeley paper, says clearly that the only success of Communism was the former East Germany. There are no significant differences between the two sides of the Iron Curtain. As Greeley says:

"The evidence previously reported in this essay indicates that the revolution failed everywhere except in East Germany……. The case of Russia presents especially strong proof of the religious failure of Socialism. After three quarters of a century atheistic Socialism could produce only a marginally larger proportion of atheists than the collapse of religious pillarization in the Netherlands produced."

So, the fact is that a statistical anaylsis by an author sympathetic to theism shows that coercion was a failure everywhere except the old GDR. That means Layman and you are wrong.

When Layman begins his statistical exploration of the problem, you let me know.

So, again, the United States has a statistically inconsequential number of atheists.

Good luck showing that of 14 million or so agnostics, all are theists.

It is interesting that Greeley's study finds so few atheists and agnostics (1.8%), when all other polls find that it is between 6-8%. Why do you think that is?

What's even more interesting is that the NORC survey shows ~7% in this column in one case, but the NORC also did the 1991 ISSP, and found 1.8% in the other. Clearly, when you ask different questions you get different answers.

No amount of special pleading changes this fact.

Poor Nomad, so driven to be right on something, anything. I feel sorry for you.

In Europe, the former Communist countries have more atheists both in total numbers and as a percentage of population than does Western Europe.

Yawn. Your paper from Greeley has already undercut your argument by saying, quite clearly, that Communism's sole success was the GDR. I don't know why you haven't addressed that.

In any case, Greeley's numbers were generated in 1991. As we know, theism has rolled back even those low numbers in most countries (Hungary forbade surveys of religion in 1992), thus demonstrating that even the meager figures of 1991 are too high. No true demographic shift took place anywhere except in E. Germany.

Layman's point was proven,....

This is what we would call a faith statement.

Not only has Layman not begun the kind of statistical analysis he would need in order to prove this, even if we accepted Greeley's numbers, or yours, there are still fewer atheists in those countries than in conservative estimates for Japan.

... and has held up time and again through out this thread.

My dear Nomad, you supplied the data that undercut his argument. Greeley again, in case you missed it the first three times:
  • It also establishes that socialism was successful in increasing the proportion of Hard Core atheists in only one country.

Game. Set. Match. Thanks for your help, Nomad!

Sadly, you appear unwilling to accept that your faith was misplaced, and that you were in error. Your inability to understand Greeley's study only confirms my worst fears for you.

I don't understand Greeley's study? Here, for the fifth time, statistical analysis by Greeley shows:
  • It also establishes that socialism was successful in increasing the proportion of Hard Core atheists in only one country.

I haven't seen you discuss why Greeley concluded that atheistic indoctrination had failed in E. Europe. Perhaps you could adress this point?

And now, your only recourse is to continue with your insults and bluster. It is all that you have left. Therefore, I leave you the your last word, accept that it will be a hate filled diatribe against me personally, and will move on.

Poor Nomad.

Let me know when Layman wants to begin his statistical analysis of the question.

It is unfortunate that you are incapable of a rational discussion in which two parties disagree. Be well Michael. You have my pity.



We'll just put it here one more time:
  • It also establishes that socialism was successful in increasing the proportion of Hard Core atheists in only one country.

Thanks, Nomad! Can we expect retractions from you and Layman, since you have been obviously wrong on all counts?

Michael

[ July 24, 2001: Message edited by: turtonm ]
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Old 07-24-2001, 05:43 AM   #182
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Originally posted by Amen-Moses:
Judging by their example I still can't see how you can possibly enforce atheism surely it is the default setting?

Amen-Moses



My personal opinion is that the "default setting" is toward the supernatural. I suspect that a number of innate brain experiences bias us in this direction, and in order to be atheist, we have to learn new thinking strategies. This is similar to the process by which we "unlearn" our folk psychological ideas of statistics, which are incomplete and often wrong, in order to learn how to do them right, our unlearn our folk topology (which is Euclidean) in order to study higher math and advanced physics.

However, as far as religion goes -- organized systems of supernatural thought -- I think you are right.

Michael
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Old 08-03-2001, 11:00 AM   #183
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GREELY: Rather hard core atheism seems in great part to result from socialization experiences which precludes consideration of the fundamental religious questions after the 12th birthday.

TOTO: Okay - if you make it "which preclude" it seems that it is the socialization experiences (which from the earlier sentence we know happened before the age of 12) that preclude consideration. Otherwise when you read it and come to "precludes" your brain automatically inserts a comma because "precludes" is singular does not agree with the plural "experiences". The sentence then implies that the socialization was after 12 years, although part of your brain registers that something doesn't add up. I think this sentence would flunk even for academese.

EARL: I think Greely wanted to relate "precludes" to the word "result" rather than "experiences," which would make the sentence grammatical except that there should be a comma between "experiences" and "which" and Greely should have added "their" between "precludes" and "consideration." What precludes these young atheists' conversion to theism is the "result" of their early socialization experiences, namely that these (allegedly) create early confirmed atheists. The result precludes the likelihood of later conversion--that's what Greely is saying.

Nomad's earlier point that TurtonM got it backwards is way-off. TurtonM's comparison between Greely's point and the data that show that most Christians are socialized to accept their religion from a very young age is accurate. Nomad's confusion is based on his use of the word "exposure." He says Greely was talking about "exposure to" religious questions after a young age, whereas TurtonM was talking about "exposure to" these questions prior to this age. This is an arbitrary and peripheral point. Neither Greely nor TurtonM were talking just about "exposure" to religious questions. The point is that indoctrination prior to a certain young age CREATES theists or atheists depending on the content of the ideas. We can arbitrarily reverse Nomad's point and say that TurtonM was talking about the irrelevance of the Christian's exposure to atheism after a certain age whereas Greely was talking about the lack of exposure to theistic ideas prior to a certain age. Both Greely and TurtonM were talking about "exposure" to certain ideas before AND after a certain age. The early indoctrination creates theists or atheists and the opposite ideas to which these people are later "exposed" have no effect because of this early pressure.

[ August 03, 2001: Message edited by: Earl ]
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Old 08-03-2001, 11:28 AM   #184
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So... um... did anybody ever actually discuss the shroud of Turin in this thread? (I haven't read through the whole thing, I skimmed the first page and then gave up.)
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Old 08-03-2001, 06:53 PM   #185
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrDarwin:
<STRONG>So... um... did anybody ever actually discuss the shroud of Turin in this thread? (I haven't read through the whole thing, I skimmed the first page and then gave up.)</STRONG>
Don't bother, no discussion of the shroud at all. Only some theist venting out at atheism in general. Communism, persecution etc... Just a pile of crap IMHO.
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Old 08-03-2001, 08:31 PM   #186
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KCTAN: Don't bother, no discussion of the shroud at all. Only some theist venting out at atheism in general. Communism, persecution etc... Just a pile of crap IMHO.

EARL: And the shroud of Turin isn't a pile of crap?
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