Bogus Atheist Social Sciences



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Are Christians more likely to Go to Prison? 2



Atheists play a little game where they refuse to accept the fac thtat there are distinctions between really have a devotion to a faith and merely having a passing identification. They play this game so they can say that all the bad things of history are done by Christians and Christians can't say "O but they weren't real Christians." Yet real sociologists (which is more than just a matter of dedication but of real credentials) say that there is a valid distinction and not all people who say "I am a Christian" are really examples of dedication to that faith. The refusal to account for depth of commitment is a real flaw in Swist's thinking and this is exactly what adherents.com points out:



Thus, some commentators on one side have claimed that being religious is associated with incarceration. This is based only on religious preference statistics. American sociologists are well aware that nearly all Americans profess a religious preference. But there is a major difference between those who are actually religious affiliated, that is, members of a congregation (approx. 45 to 65% of the population, varying by region), and those who merely profess a preference, likely the name of the denomination that their parents of grandparents were a part of. (One of the best discussions of this phenomenon can be found in The Churching of America, 1776-1990, by Roger Finke and Rodney Stark; New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1992.)


On that same page adherents.com quotes Bureau of Justice Statistics (National Census of the Jail Population 12/31/95):

72% affirm Christianity

54% actually declare themselves religious

Only 33% actually pracitce their faith (by attending chruch).


Sociologists would laugh themselves silly over the simplistic nature of Swift's thinking. It's just not enough to assume from raw data on the afflictions of prision population that some belief system leads to crime. From that same adherents.com page:

Thus, some commentators on one side have claimed that being religious is associated with incarceration. This is based only on religious preference statistics. American sociologists are well aware that nearly all Americans profess a religious preference. But there is a major difference between those who are actually religious affiliated, that is, members of a congregation (approx. 45 to 65% of the population, varying by region), and those who merely profess a preference, likely the name of the denomination that their parents of grandparents were a part of. (One of the best discussions of this phenomenon can be found in The Churching of America, 1776-1990, by Roger Finke and Rodney Stark; New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1992.)


As that same article points out someone on a survey answering "Im a Methodist" is virtually meaningless, not sociologically it is meaningless, becuase that person may be just remembering the affliction of the family or the grandparents or parents, not his own actual feelings. A more reliable indication is enrollment on chruch rolls. Even more reliable than that is chruch attendance.

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The Religious A priori