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Why Are Atheists Less Likely To Become Criminals?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    I don't think it is as easy as that.

    There are many Christians who believed that they can be saved through belief or faith alone, without the need of good deeds, simply because many believe that the Christian doctrine of repetence will solve all their problems.

    Instead of learning right from wrong, avoiding committing crime, and being accountable for one's own action, these Christians relying on God's forgiveness for any sin or crime committed simply through repetence. To me, these repetence seemed somewhat hollow, and don't seem to have any substance. They seemed to think can get away from crime/sin by repenting and still going to heaven, instead of avoiding any criminal acts.

    This core doctrine on repentence is actually Christian's worse enemy.

    Poverty and lack of education are indeed factors that result on some religious people committing crime and ending up in prison, which Sparc had already touched upon.
     
  2. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

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    Reminds me of a joke by Emo Phillips:

    When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. :D
     
  3. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    LOL:biglaugh:

    Yes, that sounds logical, in the most perverse fashion, doppleganger. :D
     
  4. Radar

    Radar Active Member

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    Good post and I am a non believer. But I would have to ask what is the percentage for the whole American society religious to non? I would think that it would be close to the same as the prisons. We seem to be studying the part without including the whole. Institutions and corporations tend to be a sampling of society. So if Less than 1 percent of the population is non-religious that would reflect in the rest of society.

    I could be wrong but we should look at the whole.
     
  5. MaddLlama

    MaddLlama Obstructor of justice

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    I was pretty sure that the article stated the statistics were calculated per capita.
     
  6. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Your sources are sorely lacking in credibility. They are obviously slanted and people can do anything with statistics.
     
  7. MaddLlama

    MaddLlama Obstructor of justice

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    Obviously slanted? Howso?
     
  8. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    What's the evidence for your allegations?
     
  9. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Number one: Look at the name of the organizations producing and reporting the statistics. They hardly come from a credible peer-reviewed journal or other respectable academic source.
     
  10. MaddLlama

    MaddLlama Obstructor of justice

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    You're confusing the people blogging about the subject, and the people coming up with the statistics. The website "debunking christianity" did not write the article posted. The article posted came from a different site, which was based on the book "The New Criminology", and the statistics also came from:

    The only problem I can see with the statistics is that the book they came from is out of print, and the study that this originated from is more than 5 years old.
    I did read, however, that the book does not seem to take into account people who convert after incarceration, as previously questioned in the thread. I have no idea how acurate that is, since I can't read the book for myself. However, I do still think that my education and income level argument is the best one for this subject.
     
  11. MaddLlama

    MaddLlama Obstructor of justice

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    So, the bureau of justice site that has all the statistics doesn't seem to think that this is an issue worth studying. In poking around the 'net for a while, apparently this article in question is of dubious origin and has been circulating the 'net for a while, and is actually a 1925 document of "doubtful validity" written by Dale Clark.
    However the statistics given by Denise are real. However, she has not worked at the federal bureau of prisons since 1999, so as I said, the stats we're working with are really old (from March of 1997).

    I worry that my poking around for some other souces doesn't give me much of ANYTHING to work with except copies of this article, and angry responses to it. Except this, which usually has good stats. His statistics presented come also from the bureau of of federal prisons, but are more up to date and present much different numbers: app 62% Christian to app 19% atheist/no religious affiliation/no answer.
    Personally I don't think the numbers mean anything, and this is precisely why. I think that this is all relative to education, location and poverty level, as I said before. Actually, there is a pdf file on the bureau of justice website with those statistics if anyone is interested in reading them.


    Now, you will all bow to my superior reseacrching power :D
     
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  12. Mercy Not Sacrifice

    Mercy Not Sacrifice Well-Known Member

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    I hate to break this to you, but the math that you're using to draw this conclusion is WAY off.
     
  13. Mercy Not Sacrifice

    Mercy Not Sacrifice Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting.

    Honestly, I don't think that is the case. Barring the occasional psychopathic genius (Dr. Hannibal Lecter, etc.), genuine intelligence and criminal smarts tend to be mutually exclusive within individuals.

    Ssshhh...don't tell 'em that, they'll find out about the modern Inquisition....

    Or the newest Saturday Night Live line.

    Poor Brad Pitt. :p

    It's a common belief that Christian fundamentalism not only steadfastly believes in but intently advocates. It isn't pretty.

    Yes, that's possible too.

     
  14. Tagra

    Tagra New Member

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    The reason for the stats might be because there are less Athiest or Agnostic then Religious people (far, far less). Although it is a fact that Religion is behind most if not all wars.
     
  15. Peace4all

    Peace4all Active Member

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    Realy i did not know that, looks like im gonna have to read Britannica for myself.
    Im Just kidding;)
     
  16. Inky

    Inky Active Member

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    Another thing that may skew the numbers is the cultural tendency to put the religion you were raised into on forms. Most people whose parents were Protestant and went to church with them will check the little box next to Protestant even if they rarely ponder the meaning of their religion and haven't been to church in years. On the other hand, people who were raised non-religious and later found a faith will identify as religious on the form.
     
  17. spacemonkey

    spacemonkey Pneumatic Spiritualist

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    I don't believe that the belief or non belief in god determines if someone will engage in criminal behavior or not. Economic factors and education (as already stated by several) is the primary (not the only) cause of one turning to crime. Many incarcerated people also convert while inprisoned, because the promise of forgivness and a better afterlife is tempting for someone who is oppressed (ask the Romans).

    Just what exactly is a criminal though? In the United States, a guy smoking a marijuana cigarette by himself in his home is considered a criminal, even though he is affecting no one in a detrimental way. The legislative branches of our various local, state, and federal governments aren't happy unless they are overloading us with laws that take away our personal freedoms and make everyone into a criminal of some kind so that they can levy fines and "court costs" against them or protect their fat cat coporate intrests. Do you think seatbelt laws are enacted to protect you? HA! They are their to protect insurance companies from paying out if someone is injured in a car accident and wasn't wearing one.
     
  18. Toblerone2

    Toblerone2 New Member

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    Thanks Dopple, I was looking for good places to retire, and France has the wine and the cheese...and the unemployment :run:ah well, c'est la vie...
     
  19. Toblerone2

    Toblerone2 New Member

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    If I do something that is against the prevailing social mores, I am still a criminal. Even if I grew up in another country, and don't consider a specific behavior to be wrong / bad / illegal, I still have to obey the laws of the place I am in. So, where does it say that I have to be religious or not to choose to break the law? I think that my motives then are other than religious.

    Perhaps I just needed the money...but back to the question at hand, has it been answered by the "% of atheists in the population" is equal to the "% of atheists in prison"? Has anyone checked the report to see if it mentions this?
     
  20. spacemonkey

    spacemonkey Pneumatic Spiritualist

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    The point I was trying to make is that there are many people incarcerated for reasons they do not believe to be criminal, leaving them feeling oppressed and therefore more likely to turn to a religion that promises a better afterlife.
     
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