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Featured Who is more criminally dangerous: the theist or the atheist?

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by charlie sc, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    The general consensus(Johnson, 2010) in science is that religiosity negatively associates with crime. In other words, the more religious the person is, the less likely they'll commit a crime or take licit drugs. These studies have been replicated in numerous countries(Brauer, 2013) with the same results. One of the shortfalls for these studies was that most of the participants were Christians. So, it is only generalisable for Christians. Another limitation is that the mechanism of this association is unknown. Some psychologists think it may be related to social control theory and that religion teaches self-control.

    If it was self-control or another facet of religiosity, then the assumption is that non-believers would be more prone to committing crime and there is some stigma towards non-believers, in some countries, that atheists are dangerous. Unfortunately, most of the studies done on religiosity do not properly measure non-belief or ignore it altogether. One study(Jang, 2013) measured non-belief and found non-belief also negatively associated with criminal behaviour, and the spiritual-but-not-religious was positively associated with criminal behaviour. However, a recently study(Schroeder et. al., 2017), and the one I would like to talk about, noted this disparity in these measures and consequently measured agnosticism and atheism correctly. They found atheists and agnostics have similar statistics to the highly religious. In fact, the most criminally dangerous group were the uncertain believers. It was more likely an uncertain believer would take illicit material and commit crimes(see image - image from Schroeder et. al., 2017).
    Therefore, if there is any stigma towards the morality of atheists/agnostics, science tells a different story.

    I tried to find the open-source papers, but it's not always possible. The main discussion here is on Schroeder et al., but any may suffice.

    Why do you think uncertain believers have a tendency to commit more crime?
    Edit: I’ve added bold to the links since it seems like the blue might be difficult to see. There are FOUR links in the OP.


    [​IMG]
     
    #1 charlie sc, Jun 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  2. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Figures are hard to get but every few years someone puts in a freedom of information request and publishes the religious affiliation of prisoners
    I find it interesting that around 3% of US citizens are atheist and around 0.1% of US prisoners identify as atheist/agnostic
    While around 75% of the population say they are christian and over 81% of prisoners say they are christian.
    The remaining 18.9% are of verious other religions or non-affiliated
     
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  3. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Fart Machine and Beastmaster

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    And what exactly is an uncertain believer? And what exactly are you trying to say?
     
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  4. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    "Uncertain believers—those who believe in a higher power but express varying degrees of doubt—show significantly higher levels of criminal offending and substance use than the certain religious believers, whereas the non-believers show levels of criminal offending and substance use rates that are similar to certain religious believers."

    From Schroeder 2017. Link is in the OP ;)
     
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  5. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    Yup, sounds like it supports the evidence from the studies I mentioned.
     
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  6. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Fart Machine and Beastmaster

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    So agnostics. Damn those agnostic fence sitters I knew something was fishy about them.
     
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  7. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    Agnostic theists, yes.
     
  8. Stanyon

    Stanyon WWGTD?

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    At least in western countries it would make sense, there are also a lot of prisoners that become religious or claim to be religious for various reasons. Some of these reasons may include:
    It looks better in parole hearings

    They have nothing else to turn to

    They may get special diets that are better than the standard prison fare.
     
  9. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Fart Machine and Beastmaster

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    But still agnostics nonetheless. Kinda, sorta believes in God but thinks "eh, who knows" and really doesn't give a damn about the issue enough to make an deep inquiry into the matter and are just going to basically do what they want regardless because who knows if there is a God or not but there might be but then against there might not be and who cares. Those kind of people?
    People who never look deeply into an issue, don't care about such matters, are wishy-washy when it comes to the subject and really give a damn one way or another.
    We have people like that where I come from, we call them *** holes.
     
  10. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    This is purely speculation, but maybe it’s because they are newer to ethics without a hell-fear and haven’t yet discovered there are other reasons to be moral.
     
  11. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    Lol, yes I suppose that's an explanation :)
     
  12. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Good insight. If they don't understand, think about, or have been brought up as moral agents, then the only morality they understand are those they aren't really sure about in the first place. Might be an explanation.
     
  13. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Fart Machine and Beastmaster

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    They don't seem to be very deep thinkers when it comes to theological matters, these people are not ruminating over God and/or morality now are they? They really aren't any sort of agnostic or theists for that matter because it looks as if these people have given no thought to it at all. You can't really call them uncertain either because it is not because they are uncertain, they just haven't thought about it and you can't actually call them believers because they aren't actually believing in anything. So the term "uncertain believer" is a misnomer and that renders the study invalid. We must now dismiss it because the terms are erroneous. Until it is clarified what constitutes uncertain believing we can't take this seriously.
     
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  14. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    There was a qualitative study on criminals who were actively committing crimes. The psychologist interviewed them numerous times. They attended church regularly and thought that if they prayed, and stuff, they would be forgiven. It may also be the convoluted and interpretative messages Christianity gives. This is quote is from the study

    Que: I believe in God and the Bible and stuff. I believe in Christmas, and uh, you know the commitments and what not.
    Int: You mean the Commandments?
    Que: Yeah that. I believe in that.
    Int: Can you name any of them?
    Que: Ahhh … well, I don’t know … like don’t steal, and uh, don’t cheat and **** like that. Uhmm … I can’t remember the rest.
    Int: How about the Bible?
    Que: Yeah I know some of that. You know. Heaven and Hell, and Jesus fighting with the Devil, but for real, I didn’t really go to church enough to know like all the details, just the important ****, like Jesus forgives you for all your bad **** if you donate some money to the church, or pray and say you’re sorry."

    Said by an 18 year old robber.
     
  15. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Fart Machine and Beastmaster

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    Oh please. You can't hardly say that idiot knows his *** from a hole in the ground. He doesn't know ****, doesn't pretend to understand **** and certainly doesn't believe in ****. He is doing precisely what criminals like him have been doing since ages...he is trying to bull **** an authority figure. Basically these studies you are citing can be dismissed because they are collecting data from unreliable sources that have been known to make a full career out of talking bull ****. The studies are bull ****
     
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  16. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    They gave enough thought to self-report they believe in god. There were 3 items for the various types of uncertain believers in the study. They all came back positively correlated with crime and drugs.
     
  17. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Fart Machine and Beastmaster

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    What the hell constitutes "uncertain believing", explain the mechanics. These people are in jail and prison, I don't think they have given much thought to complex theological issues. It is obvious they have not. But yet you want to pretend our prisons are full of existential theologians beset by deep meaning doubt.
     
  18. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    Sure...

    In Schroeder et. al., (2017) study, they measured uncertain believers using three items “I don’t believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a Higher Power of some
    kind,” and “I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not others,” and “While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God”.

    This study was not about prisoners...
     
  19. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    An uncertain believer? That would not really be a believer
     
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  20. The Reverend Bob

    The Reverend Bob Fart Machine and Beastmaster

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    I know. What are the mechanics of uncertain believing. And look at the group of individuals they are getting their data from....career criminals. I don't think career criminals are known for their honesty in anything or their deep thinking
     
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