Thursday, October 11, 2007

Faux News promotes "Liberal War on God"

Picking up where they left off with their 'War on Christmas,' the Faux News Channel cited Air America's Free Thought Radio show as an atheist "shocking show."

Pitting believers against non-believers, Faux News again attempts to demonize the minority of people who don't subscribe to religious beliefs.

They also note that atheism is growing in America and those that are atheist are generally more highly educated than those that are religious. Hmmm... do you suppose dogmatism and lack of education could be connected?

Clearly, there is a mountain of research that shows the correlation:
Religious conviction diminishes as education level increases

A letter published in Nature in 1998 reported a survey suggesting that belief in a personal god or afterlife was at an all-time low among the members of the U.S. National Academy of Science, only 7.0% of whom believed in a personal god as compared to more than 85% of the general U.S. population. In the same year Frank Sulloway of MIT and Michael Shermer of California State University conducted a study which found in their polling sample of "credentialed" U.S. adults (12% had Ph.Ds and 62% were college graduates) 64% believed in God, and there was a correlation indicating that religious conviction diminished with education level. Such an inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence has been found by 39 studies carried out between 1927 and 2002, according to an article in Mensa Magazine. These findings broadly concur with a 1958 statistical meta-analysis from Professor Michael Argyle of Oxford University. He analyzed seven research studies that had investigated correlation between attitude to religion and measured intelligence among school and college students from the U.S. Although a clear negative correlation was found, the analysis did not identify causality but noted that factors such as authoritarian family background and social class may also have played a part.

Please remind the Christian right wing 'moral majority' - morality starts with the truth.


shrimplate said...

The truth? Nah. They'd never go for it.

Southern Beale said...

There's an interesting discussion about religion and politics over at Atrios today.

I really do agree with Jim Wallis who says when it comes to religion, the right gets it wrong and the left doesn't get it.

For instance, some folks might be offended at your assertion that "Religious conviction diminishes as education level increases," which is just a fancier way of saying religious people are uneducated buffoons. It might feel good to think this way because after all, that's the stereotype we’re fed. But we all know this isn't true. We all know of plenty of very religious, faithful people with advanced degrees.

Unfortunately, the media only presents us with one image of religious people: the fundamentalist wackadoodle. We see Rev. Phelps picketing against gays and Muslim extremists blowing themselves up in the name of God and Pat Robertson and James Dobson with their "my way or the highway" brand of Christianity and Ann Coulter spouting ... well, whatever that crap she was spouting about Jews yesterday.

The truth is, the right gets it wrong when they use their religious issues for partisan political gain. They cheapen religion every time they spout their “War on Christmas” nonsense. And the left doesn’t get it when they insist every religious person is an idiot and no one’s political beliefs can be informed by their faith. That is to deny every great social justice movement in American history.

Reason over religion! said...

Southern Beale:

Influenced, by all means.

Informed, not likely.

There is a tangible distinction between knowledge and beliefs.

If one persons political "beliefs" can be accepted on faith, then ethically all must, including those that that advocate, for example stoning people to death.

Anonymous said...

Southern Beale:

"Religious conviction diminishes as educational level increases" is not, I think, William's assertion. In any case; I have no problem whatsoever with someone's religious beliefs leading them to vote a certain way. When someone like George Bush decides that his religion gives him the right/duty to rule in a certain way--then I gots a problemo.


Reason over religion! said...

I am not arguing that religious influence in society is bad in all cases, although I do question its value more and more all the time. However, even Ned Williams conceded that virtually any behavior can be justified using scripture, even “evil” behavior. Now, I understand that not all religious people perpetrate such. However, I am arguing that by getting behind the idea that faith, i.e., acceptance without evidence, is unquestionably good one is in effect enabling (willy-nilly) those that do justify evil, for example war, on religious grounds.