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(Daily Wildcat .com)   Poll shows atheists are much more likely to believe in haunted houses, palm reading, alien visits, astrology and communicating with the dead than religious nuts. Reason, logic, smug, surrender   (media.wildcat.arizona.edu) divider line 492
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1433 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Sep 2008 at 11:57 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-09-26 08:19:54 AM  
Interesting, but since he didn't repeat that he was an atheist at least once every two lines, I'm just not sure what to think of his beliefs.
 
2008-09-26 08:27:37 AM  
A comprehensive study non-peer reviewed book titled "What Americans Really Believe," released last Thursday by Baylor University Press,

FTFY
 
2008-09-26 08:28:26 AM  
He's right. Belief in any of the various forms of the supernatural is just as unsupportable as belief in a deity.
 
2008-09-26 08:31:31 AM  
If that study says what he claims it says, yes, that is simply ludicrous.
 
2008-09-26 08:31:47 AM  
I call bullshiat.
 
2008-09-26 08:31:59 AM  
Theaetetus: A comprehensive study non-peer reviewed book titled "What Americans Really Believe," released last Thursday by Baylor University Press,

Really? Peer reviewed is the only level that's acceptable, huh?

That's some funny shiat, right there.
 
2008-09-26 08:32:28 AM  
To be fair to all sides, the existence and contact of an alien species has a higher probability then a supernatural deity that created everything so he could have his 24/7/365/infinity Reality show.

But in both cases the chances are microscopic in nature due to the immense size of the universe. It's a needle in an haystack if the haystack was the size of Africa.
 
2008-09-26 08:36:14 AM  
Apparently, reason and logic suspend for subby.

This result is obvious and expected. Religious nuts believes in religious stupidities. Atheists believe in non-religious stupidities. This is normal.

What this headline is saying is the same as "Non-Cubs fans are more likely than Cubs fans to be Phillies fans."

Well, duh. No one ever said atheists are perfectly rational people.
 
2008-09-26 08:37:50 AM  
Theaetetus: A non-peer reviewed book titled "What Americans Really Believe," released last Thursday by Baylor University Press,

FTFY


Thanks for pointing that out, Theaetetus. I am really interested in the nuts and bolts of this study, now.

My gut feeling is the assessment of the author was derived one of two ways:

1. The respndants were given one of those 'rank from 1 to 5, where 1 = strongly disagree through a continuum to 5 = strongly agree" directive. Then they were given a statement like 'homes refered to as "haunted houses" can be very creepy.' I can see an unscrupulous "fact miner" saying that anyone that didn't answer with a 1 is lumped into a 'believer in haunted houses' category.

2. Perhaps the definition of "atheist" could have been flawed. I wish I remember where it was, but I once remember reading an article where everyone who didn't believe in Judeo-Christian-Islam verson of God... including Buddhists and the brand of pagans who worship nature (but not a 'god' or 'goddess' per se) were called "atheists." That could skewer results.

Of course, the study could be dead on. In which case, I am majorly in denial. :)
 
2008-09-26 08:41:03 AM  
DamnYankees: Well, duh. No one ever said atheists are perfectly rational people.

Well nobody except athiests.
 
2008-09-26 08:45:00 AM  
liam76: Well nobody except athiests.

Rational results can be reached in irrational ways. Atheism is no exception to that.
 
2008-09-26 08:46:45 AM  
kronicfeld: liam76: Well nobody except athiests.

Rational results can be reached in irrational ways. Atheism is no exception to that.


And you can be rational in one sphere of life and irrational in another. I would venture to say all of us are - no one is always rational.
 
2008-09-26 08:46:57 AM  
Fark needs a Religion tab.
 
2008-09-26 08:47:40 AM  
Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything. ~ Peter Marshall
 
2008-09-26 08:48:52 AM  
DamnYankees: And you can be rational in one sphere of life and irrational in another.

See, e.g., women.
 
2008-09-26 08:49:38 AM  
Bevets: Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything. ~ Peter Marshall

I stand for truth.
 
2008-09-26 08:52:18 AM  
Atheism for most means you aren't part of a Standard Religion(tm). This hinges on what the definition of "gods" are. Did the poll ask if there was a difference between the supernatural and gods?

Many "atheists" are just that. Quoted lapsed _____s who need some thread of supernatural in their lives because they reject religion, not embrace reason or rationality. Big, huge difference.

And then, finally, do people who are Buddhists or Taoists or Jianists consider themselves atheists as part of the survey? They don't rule out the supernatural necessarily. Depends on the angle.

And finally:

31% is not a majority. It's like saying Americans support Bush because 20% of them do.

"Much more likely" is a weak currency.
 
2008-09-26 08:53:51 AM  
Bevets: Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything. ~ Peter Marshall

That's what laws and common human decency are for. You can stand for something without being under the thumb of something.
 
2008-09-26 08:53:53 AM  
Bevets: Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything. ~ Peter Marshall

I stand for beer.
 
2008-09-26 08:55:30 AM  
dumb fukkin atheists.....
 
2008-09-26 09:03:00 AM  
As was brought up at SkepTrack at DragonCon, atheism != skepticism.
 
2008-09-26 09:05:39 AM  
PC LOAD LETTER: Atheism for most means you aren't part of a Standard Religion(tm). This hinges on what the definition of "gods" are. Did the poll ask if there was a difference between the supernatural and gods?

I once heard a Baptist preacher say that Catholics were atheists. Seriously.

Just goes to show you that "atheist" is a nebulous term.

\Thanks for greening this thread on my birthday mods!
 
2008-09-26 09:06:27 AM  
The Icelander: I once heard a Baptist preacher say that Catholics were atheists. Seriously.

Given that this study was published by a Baptist university, this may well be significant.
 
2008-09-26 09:07:05 AM  
The Icelander: PC LOAD LETTER: Atheism for most means you aren't part of a Standard Religion(tm). This hinges on what the definition of "gods" are. Did the poll ask if there was a difference between the supernatural and gods?

I once heard a Baptist preacher say that Catholics were atheists. Seriously.

Just goes to show you that "atheist" is a nebulous term.

\Thanks for greening this thread on my birthday mods!

No, everyone is born Christian. Only later in life do people choose to stray from Jesus and worship satan instead. Atheists have the greatest "cover" of all, they insist they believe in no god yet most polls done and the latest research indicates that they are actually a different sect of Muslims.


~Link (new window)
 
2008-09-26 09:07:41 AM  
The Icelander: \Thanks for greening this thread on my birthday mods!

Happy birthday!
 
2008-09-26 09:14:17 AM  
Side Note: TheBadAstronomer visited the panel I mentioned at DragonCon and mentioned how much he loves Fark, and especially all us atheists and skeptics.

It's in episode #84 of Skepticality. (mp3, pops)
 
2008-09-26 09:18:17 AM  
A comprehensive study titled "What Americans Really Believe," released last Thursday by Baylor University Press, demonstrates that self-identified atheists are much more likely to believe in haunted houses, palm reading, alien visits, astrology and communicating with the dead than far-right Christians. To the 31 percent of atheists who believe in this nonsense: What is wrong with you? And what's wrong with the other 69 percent of us who tolerate this?

1) The study also concluded that the people on the far-right are heavily resistant to changing their minds about anything. So basically, the religious right is closed-minded whereas atheists tend to be open-minded. Sadly, an entire group of people being open-minded means that some of them are going to be so open-minded their brains fall out.
2) Where does it say anywhere in that study that 69% of atheists tolerate the other 31%'s stupid beliefs? I don't. I know of few atheists who do.
3) The study lumps all paranormal beliefs together and makes no attempt to differentiate between subgroups of people (whether they are atheist or theist) who believe, for example, in alien abductions and crop circles versus Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. This not only shows how methodologically insensitive the researchers are to different kinds of beliefs that aren't their own, it also tips their hand to their bias. All religious beliefs are, by definition, paranormal. They're just a different kind of paranormal. Saying that by virtue of being religious makes one less likely to believe in the paranormal is like saying that by virtue of being a member of Congress one is less likely to be active in politics.

The rest of TFA continues to assume the results of the Baylor study are all accurate. Well... I have my reservations because of methodological flaws like the one listed above.

Pocket Ninja: Theaetetus: A comprehensive study non-peer reviewed book titled "What Americans Really Believe," released last Thursday by Baylor University Press,

Really? Peer reviewed is the only level that's acceptable, huh?

That's some funny shiat, right there.


Peer-review for prestigious journals is much more strict than you will find for any book publishing company. But these researchers are faculty at Baylor and Baylor is publishing their results in a book. That is suspicious. Especially since throughout the writeup of this study, the researchers claim to have found many startling discoveries.

Well, that's what scientific journals are for! The dissemination of scientific findings to other professionals, especially those that are surprising, so that other scientists can attempt to replicate those findings. The peer-review process is there to weed out the research that is methodologically flawed, or draws specious conclusions, or is just batsh*t crazy. The process isn't perfect, but it's there. The fact that this study is not is strange.
 
2008-09-26 09:20:20 AM  
DamnYankees: Bevets: Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything. ~ Peter Marshall

I stand for truth.


I stand on my feet.
 
2008-09-26 09:24:25 AM  
Kome: Well, that's what scientific journals are for! The dissemination of scientific findings to other professionals, especially those that are surprising, so that other scientists can attempt to replicate those findings.

I know what scientific journals are for. I just find it spine-tinglingly funny that the same sort of fark "atheist" who generally stumbles over his own feet scampering into a thread to extol the virtues of his own stunningly rational mind and mock any semblance of faith based on whatever tenuous article might have been linked by the submitter is suddenly concerned that an article making atheists look somewhat stupid isn't "peer reviewed."
 
2008-09-26 09:25:27 AM  
Pocket Ninja: Kome: Well, that's what scientific journals are for! The dissemination of scientific findings to other professionals, especially those that are surprising, so that other scientists can attempt to replicate those findings.

I know what scientific journals are for. I just find it spine-tinglingly funny that the same sort of fark "atheist" who generally stumbles over his own feet scampering into a thread to extol the virtues of his own stunningly rational mind and mock any semblance of faith based on whatever tenuous article might have been linked by the submitter is suddenly concerned that an article making atheists look somewhat stupid isn't "peer reviewed."


Thats a complete non-sequitor, I hope you realize that.
 
2008-09-26 09:25:41 AM  
The Fark shoutout is at the 55:39. He talks about us for about a minute.

\"This is your meme."
\\"This is your meme on Fark."
 
2008-09-26 09:33:02 AM  
DamnYankees: Thats a complete non-sequitor, I hope you realize that.

Oh, I realize lots of things.
 
2008-09-26 09:33:09 AM  
Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything. ~ Peter Marshall

DamnYankees:

I stand for truth.

What is truth? ~ Pilate
 
2008-09-26 09:36:15 AM  
This headline is retarded. Atheists are more likely than religious people to believe is certain kinds of nonsense. But are they likely to believe in certain kinds of nonsense?

With no information on methodology, these numbers may as well be made up. Polls are notoriously unreliable ways of gathering public opinion (hey, election year score keepers- this includes you!). From gathering the sample, to designing the questions and evaluating the responses, there's a lot of places where the pollster's bias can wreak havoc on the results.

My personal rule is that if something involves "belief", I think it's probably wrong. I don't believe in gravity- the term "belief" implies that there's a volitional aspect, that I could decide whether or not I think gravity exists.

I accept gravity, thanks to a preponderance of evidence. I have no choice in the matter; I could not reject gravity and be intellectual honest.
 
2008-09-26 09:36:53 AM  
Bevets: What is truth? ~ Pilate Johnny Cash
 
2008-09-26 09:43:30 AM  
Pocket Ninja: DamnYankees: Thats a complete non-sequitor, I hope you realize that.

Oh, I realize lots of things.


I'm suddenly getting flashbacks of that episode of Family Guy where Stewie shrinks himself to go into Peter's body to kill all his sperm, and there's the standoff between Stewie and the sperm who would go on to be Bertram in a future episode:

"You know my name."
"I know many things."
"Yes."
"Quite."
"Mmm."
"Well, perhaps we should share monosyllabic expressions of arrogance in person."
"Ah."
"Mm."
 
2008-09-26 09:45:40 AM  
Aliens are communicating with me telepathically, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2008-09-26 09:52:54 AM  
Pocket Ninja: Really? Peer reviewed is the only level that's acceptable, huh?

That's some funny shiat, right there.


No, you inbred putz, the relevant word is "study". This was a book. They did not release the studies, they released the book with some data and some conclusions. To call it a study is deliberately misleading, trying to attach some credibility to it by virtue of it being an oooh-la-de-da-"study".
 
2008-09-26 09:54:44 AM  
Diogenes: Aliens are communicating with me telepathically, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.

Tell Marklor I send my regards.
 
2008-09-26 10:01:02 AM  
liam76: DamnYankees: Well, duh. No one ever said atheists are perfectly rational people.

Well nobody except athiests.


And Religious people claim knowledge of the TruthTM. I count myself as an agnostic...I do not believe there is a God, but most other people do, so I can't say either way. I think you would find a lot of people who claim to be atheists share that view.

I also believe, somewhere in the vast universes, there is probably some form of life that is formulating a similar thought. I do not know where, I doubt we will ever see them, but they have a better chance of being there then God, in my opinion.
 
2008-09-26 10:03:52 AM  
In the end, we're all looking for something to believe in.
 
2008-09-26 10:09:40 AM  
Bevets Goddammit, would you speak in your own words for once or just admit you're an attention whore?

/so sick of attention whoring trolls, after skookum's outing
 
2008-09-26 10:13:21 AM  
vartian: And Religious people claim knowledge of the TruthTM. I count myself as an agnostic...I do not believe there is a God, but most other people do, so I can't say either way. I think you would find a lot of people who claim to be atheists share that view.

I also believe, somewhere in the vast universes, there is probably some form of life that is formulating a similar thought. I do not know where, I doubt we will ever see them, but they have a better chance of being there then God, in my opinion.


Exactly. The odds of there being extra terrestrial intelligence can be estimated, and because of the size of the universe, it's not beyond reason that such beings could exist. But until we receive communication, or they appear in orbit, we can't know whether they exist or not.

The problem with god is that a lot of believers insist that they/he/she/it/ is/are acting in our natural world. They're making claims that, theoretically, should be testable. Either prayers work or they don't. Either Sai Baba can produce ash from his hands or he can't. Either the statue of the Virgin Mary is shedding tears of blood or she isn't.

These are things that can be tested or observed scientifically. So long as believers maintain that god is based on belief, and make no claims of the interaction of the divine on anything other than their own minds, then it's not in the magisterium of science. But the moment they make a claim that god interacts with the natural world, then it's within the realm of science, and should be examined.
 
2008-09-26 10:14:47 AM  
Mugato: Bevets Goddammit, would you speak in your own words for once or just admit you're an attention whore a bot?
 
2008-09-26 10:16:30 AM  
Bevets: Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for - because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything. ~ Peter Marshall

DamnYankees:

I stand for truth.

What is truth? ~ Pilate


"It's Magic." Pilot. (new window)
 
2008-09-26 10:16:49 AM  
No. The "poll"^ shows nothing of the sort.

The study (by a Baptist university) lumps atheists into a vague category called "irreligious". It's that category as a whole that is then characterized as more likely to believe in newage (rhymes with sewage) crap. As opposed to belief in a parthenogenic jewish zombie who walks on water, raises the dead, and other such "rational" concepts (that Baptists hold).
 
2008-09-26 10:18:08 AM  
vartian: .I do not believe there is a God, but most other people do, so I can't say either way.

I don't understand this argument.
 
2008-09-26 10:18:50 AM  
HansensDisease: No. The "poll"^ shows nothing of the sort.

The study (by a Baptist university) lumps atheists into a vague category called "irreligious". It's that category as a whole that is then characterized as more likely to believe in newage (rhymes with sewage) crap. As opposed to belief in a parthenogenic jewish zombie who walks on water, raises the dead, and other such "rational" concepts (that Baptists hold).


Exactly. It goes back to my baseball analogy. This study is the equivalent of saying "Non-Cubs fans are more like than Cubs fans to be Phillies fans."

Duh.
 
2008-09-26 10:19:10 AM  
I have always believed that it is very, very bad luck to be superstitious.
 
2008-09-26 10:20:26 AM  
No one knows has all of the answers. We have some that science provides. There are mysteries still yet to be solved so anything is possible.
 
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