Sunday, October 31, 2010

Don't put the murders of the poor back in power!

Photobucket Andy Griffith campaigning for the health care reform

Say you don't think I sound just a tad partisan do you?

That back stabbing Idiot John Stewart mocked and ridiculed THE PRESIDENT to his face, while was a guest on his show. The President certainly went there feeling at easy since the back stabber has been his ally in th past. But the traitor showed his true colors just becuase...why? maybe he's angry taht he chose the losing side? Maybe he's such an opportunist he can't stand that his hunch didn't pay off.

 If we get out and vote we can win. The election stuff is a hype. The polls are lies. It's not true that the dem are going to be so far behind:

Phone gap

Like the Trueman/Dewy race, the pollsters chose Dewy because they didn't realize there was a huge body of poor who didn't have telephones. They voted for Harry Truman who the polls had been showing would be stomped.

There's a phone gap in this race, and no one talks aout it becasue the Republican media doesn't want you to know. The major polls the media uses largely ignore cell phones. They are all based upon ground lines and ground lines tend to be conservatives. Liberals tend to use cell phones. So the Obama base has been underestimated by as much as 20%.

Political Cortex

The latest rage - or outrage - on the right is this Newsweek Poll. You know, the Newsweek poll - the one that said that Obama has a 54% approval rating and that 48% of registered voters prefer to vote for a Democrat, while only 42% lean Republican. That Newsweek Poll.
Seems the Repuglinuts don't like that poll because it doesn't fit their teabag revolution narrative. They slant their brows in angry scowls, slam their hammy fists and declare the poll an outlier, unfit for human consumption!!!
"Look at Real Clear Politics," they insist. "Their totally and completely non-partisan analysis of polling numbers shows that the Newsweek poll is a fake, a lie, a CONSPIRACY - all designed by the VLWC to raise the specter of Republican failure only days before the greatest and most important election of forever."
Oh, what a world!
So what about that Newsweek poll? Was it an outlier? Was it in any way valid? Are we desperate for a sprig of hope? Are we totally delusional?
After all, that Newsweek poll totally disagrees with all those other, much, MUCH more  legitimate polls that show Obama with a -0.0% likey-likey rating and a generic ballot that suggests a pickup for the Republicans somewhere between 1.2 million and infinity seats in the House.
The Reality is that these pollsters sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to a thing we all refer to as "Progress". Say it with me Pro-gress.

cell phone only households are 20%
The Tech Choronicals.

Political cortex
The Newsweek poll includes these cell-phone-only households. ALL of the others do not!
That is VERY significant. The other polling outfits ignore 20% of all Americans in their polling - that's 1 in every 5 people. They effectively don't exist - or at least don't matter to the Gallups, USA Todays, and stinkers like Rasmussen.
the Huffintong Post!

And given recent insights into polling data and cell phone users, it's entirely possible that the only thing between a decisive Obama lead coming into October and more election-as-nail-biter boilerplate is the vast leftwing wireless network.
The Pew Research Center's recent report on the issue asserted that polling by landline telephone may undercount Barack Obama voters by perhaps 3 percent. It's one of the first pieces of conclusive evidence on the issue. But this is a young science, in a rapidly changing communications landscape where mobile-only households are multiplying. So who knows if that's undercounting the undercounting?
Statistically, Obama voters are more likely to be part of the younger, cell-only set. Cell users under 30 go left in a big way: 62 percent Democrat to 28 Republican. And cell-only voters of all ages go for Obama over McCain by 19 percent, 55 to 36 percent, according to Pew's most recent survey.
However, the Pew report points out that previous weighting techniques by pollsters assume that cell and landline users are the same politically. So many landline polls this year may have relied on faulty math.
A few poll organizations, such as Gallup and Pew itself, have been including cell phones in their surveys all year. Others, like NBC/Wall Street Journal and ABC/Washington Post, just started recently, according to Nate Silver at
Since the issue of a cell phone/landline gap first surfaced in the 2004 campaign, the problem of properly measuring opinion in a mobile age has been debated among pollsters and media wonks. The John Kerry campaign claimed its voters were being undercounted because some of them were cell-only, and exit polls confirmed that. But cell-only voters then represented a meager 7 percent.

the Bottom line is get out and vote!

The Republicans have a solid chorus blaming Obama for everytying form the Bakning Bail out (as though it wasn't Bush's program) to  the oil spill. The lie they tell constantly is that the stemulus package  didn't create any jobs.

We can win. Don't hold back! this is the time when we need everyone to vote.

It actually 2 million jobs

Congressional Budget office says Stimulus created 2 million jobs.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the stimulus bill, has created millions of jobs and in fact has had an even bigger economic impact than expected.
According to the report:
“CBO estimates that in the first quarter of calendar year 2010, ARRA’s policies:
  • Raised the level of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.7 percent and 4.2 percent,
  • Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.5 percentage points.
  • – Increased the number of people employed by between 1.2 million and 2.8 million, and

  • – Increased the number of full-time-equivalent jobs by 1.8 million to 4.1 million compared with what those amounts would have been otherwise.

  • In March 2009, the CBO predicted that as a result of the stimulus, employment today might be as much as 2.3 million than it would have been without the law. The updated report puts that number as high as 2.8 million.
    In other words, the stimulus that according to some hasn’t created one single job has been and continues to be an important success. Times are still hard, but without ARRA, millions of Americans working today to support their families would instead be on the unemployment line, collecting UI benefits.

    Health Care Law is Economic Stemless.

    The health care law that was passed is criticized as a means of undercutting Obama suckles, as though it's nothing. But a tv commercial which has been ruining for months shows the true importance of the law. An aged withered stroke ridden Andy Griffith, his comic face still beaming with that early 60s infectious smile, sings the praises of the new law.I'm afraid people wont connected it, but he's first celebrity I've seen who is not afraid to stand up and say "Obama did good in health care."

    "It' great for those of us dependent upon Medicare: free cancer screening, free check ups, 50% reduction on meds." These are extremely important advantages for the elderly.

    Tea Party candidates want to abolish Social Security

    Huffington post
    A Tea Party leader acknowledged she supports abolishing Social Security in an appearance this week on "Larry King Live."
    St. Louis Tea Party co-founder Dana Loesch said she would "absolutely" eliminate the program, which has existed since 1935.
    Talk show host and Libertarian leader, Wayne Allyn Root agreed: "At best I'd do away with it, because I can find a better way to spend and save my own $15,000."

    Loesch: For the first time ever in American history, just to exist in this country, you have to purchase a product now. You have to purchase insurance. And they can try and make it go through the IRS --
    King: No, no. Wait a minute. We had to pay Social Security. That's a socialist concept. Republicans voted against it --
    Loesch: -- Oh I agree. It's bankrupt.
    King: Would anyone turn away Social Security now? Would you do away with it?
    Loesch: I would, yeah. Absolutely.

    King: Would you do away with it, Wayne? Would you do away with Social Security?
    Root: Well, I'd certainly like to. At best, I'd do away with it because I can find a better way to spend and save my own $15,000.
    Do you have any idea how many people are going to die when they do away with social security? The Republicans are the murders of the poor. Three independent studies showed that 2 million children starved to death in the south in the Reagan years. The more extreme the Republican the deeper they hate the poor.  Turn the congress back tot he republicans this is what you get.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Arguments Against Existence of God are Piontless


    Ooberman on CARM writes:


    From a site I can't link, but you can paste and google it.

    [the site he got it from is]

    1. There are three attributes of existants which concern us particularly, these being:
    1. Primary Attributes
    2. Secondary Attributes
    3. Relational Attributes.
    2. B as well as C are dependent upon and must be related to an existant’s A in order to be considered meaningful.
    3. The term “God” lacks a positively identified A.
    4. Because of this, the term “God” holds no justified A, B, or C. (From 2)
    5. However, an attribute-less term (a term lacking A, B, and C) is meaningless.
    6. Therefore, the term “God” is meaningless. (From 3, 4, 5)
    7. Therefore, the god-concept is invalid.
    The person making the argument on Tremblays site has a very fine write-up on the possible counters, but I'd like to see what the Christians here think. I know it's mostly Fundi's in this section, but maybe a few reasonable people will see this thread.

    p3 is a false statement:

    primary attributes:

    a. ground of being
    b. eternal
    c. necessary (ontologically and logically)
    d. primary condition or "first cause" to all existing things.
    e. Transcendental signified.
    f. personal itself.

    4. Because of this, the term “God” holds no justified A, B, or C. (From 2)

    false statement because it assumes 3 which is a false statement.

    5. However, an attribute-less term (a term lacking A, B, and C) is meaningless.

      arbitrary assumption disproved above
    6. Therefore, the term “God” is meaningless. (From 3, 4, 5)

    based only upon false assumptions and arbitrary assertions of ideology.

    7. Therefore, the god-concept is invalid.

    false statement. I just demonstrated it's false hood. what he really mans to say is "concept invalid given my language game."

    I don't play his language game.

    The person making this argument doesn't demonstrate the truth of it and doesn't even attempt supporting it. to be true p3 would have to be true of all God concepts. he doesn't bother to show that it's true of one.

    He says he got the original argument from an atheist website. goggling the argument above it wound up on the iron Chariot site.  So it 's the work of amateurs who don't know philosophy.

    That site is the atheist answer to Josh McDowell. Some atheist dude said "let's show these fundies that they have no monopoly on cheap apologists! we can up a dogmatic site that pretends to have all the answer but is really just a bunch of high school kids giving superficial crap from their book reports, too."

    an exaple of the stupidity of the people doing the Iron Chariots site.

    here's what he think via negitiva means.

    "A. The Non-Accomplishments Of Negative Definitions.

    In this section, the insufficiency of negative definitions to provide meaning to the god-concept will be discussed, which will provide further understanding toward the need of specificity in identification.

    The theist, in attempt to provide meaning to the term “God”, may object to this argument by saying that we know “God” to be infinite, limitless, and immaterial. These descriptions, however, amongst others, do nothing to help their position. This is because these descriptions are not identifying in nature—they are “negative definitions”.

    A negative definition is a definition which tells us what something is not, rather than what something is. It is a description which critically lacks specificity—not telling us what is meant by a term that we may apply any secondary traits, but informing us only of what it is not, which doesn’t help our situation at all.

    For example, consider the following identification:

    “I am not George W. Bush, Jr.” "

    I. not via negativia, not even close to what it means

    II. those are not negative definitions

    saying "God is eternal" is not saying "God is not temporal." its' a positive affirmation of something God is.

    III. since he doesn't know what via negativia means (it doesn't' man attributes like eternal, all knowing all power, all present) then he can't argue with it or say that it's false because he has no idea what he's talking about.

    IV. mystical theology is way over this guys' head I wouldn't even bother to discuss it with him. But the fact of it is accepting that God is beyond our understanding is not the same as saying that he has no attributes.

    these are very clear and definite positive attributes and this guy in doing is not only showing off his ignorance but merely demonstrating that his own concept is fallacious.

    there's more, he makes it worse. he supossedly spikes out any future come back by suppossedly showing that defintiopn is impossible:

    On The Impossibility Of A Definition

    We’ve established that the word “God” is meaningless, and thus that atheism is a justified position.

    we did, how? by misusing the term via negativina and asserting something we don't bother to demonstrate, such as p3 in the original argument.

    This is, however, only until a theist should provide a valid definition. While I will not leave out the possibility of a god-believer doing so, George Smith does provide an argument against the prospect when considering the secondary characteristics theists would wish to apply to the term “God” thereafter.

    here he says "a believer might have a definition" after saying there can't be a definition, then he claims someone esle preempts the possibility how do they do that? by asserting without proving that there can't be one and arguing with secondary qualities, which are not essential to a definition.

    Smith develops his argument by noting many of these character traits that are applied to the term—specifically omnipotence and limitlessness. Considering these attributes, he argues, defining “God” is an impossible task.

    I've already disproved those fallacious assertions that are just based upon ignorance and using the definitions wrongly.
    but even so most theologians don't' use the omnis now anyway.

    Why? Smith argues that this is because of the consequences of a thing’s identity. To have an identity, Smith observes, is to be presented with various limits. Things one simply cannot do by virtue of its nature. However, since a “God” is supposed to be both omnipotent and limitless, a valid definition for the term itself is unattainable.

    The God os process theology and the Tillich concept of the Super-essential Godhead (being itself) are not open to this charge because they don't require an "identity" in the same way that an individual man does.

    all of his arguments leave out the two major moves of theology in the 20 century he obviously doesn't even understand them.

    Only can one not disprove God because you can't prove a negative but also becuase this usually invovles misconstruing the nature of God. The real argument for God points out the nature  of being thus the only conceivable argument against God would be to say there's nothing special about being. That is automatically refuted by the nature of life.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Atheists and Self Esteem Part 2


    Last time we looked at an general overview of the research, examined a specific study and put it in the context of its research milieu. That study said that rejecting Christianity correlates with low self esteem (LSE). This time we examine an argument made by an atheist, Skycomet the fallen angel (O him! of course). What's old Sky up to these days? He's on the Think Atheist blog. (I don't know the guy but screen names crack me up). In his article "Religious People Have More Self Esteem than Non Religious People," Skycomment argues against this view.
    I was sitting in Adolescent Psychology class this morning and the topic was "self-esteem." About half-way through the class, the girl in front of me suggested that "more spiritual [which to theists means more religious] people have higher self-esteem than less spiritual [ie less religious or non-religious] people."

    As most of us know, this is an extremely common theist argument against non-theists, particularly atheists. And, although I think the girl truly believed what she was saying...

    But, the fact is that I REALLY disagree with her on this!

    As documented in my last installment the studies show that there is a fairly solid conclusion suggested by the data, that religious people have high self esteem and such self esteem is a major factor in being religious. That does not automatically translate into the corollary that, therefore, those who reject religious belief must have low self esteem (LSE). We looked at a couple of studies that suggested it was true, but I admitted that is far from being actual proof. The research is just beginning. (I say a couple--one was directly designed to measure that hypothesis, the other correlated self esteem with God image, and skepticism with negative God image so it forms the basis of an argument but in an indirect way).

    Skycomet goes on

    Having been a former theist myself, I think it's more likely that religion [especially the monotheistic ones] impose low self-esteem on a person rather than bolster it!
    That's irrelevant, the thesis is that people reject Christianity because of their LSE, and he did fall away. It may have been due to his self esteem. Now observe his view of God and Christianity:

    After all [and since I came from Christianity I will use that as an example], what type of messages does Religion send it's believers?

    - I am not worthy of your love, Christ.
    - Why do you love me?
    - I'm a sinner.
    - Jesus died to save my sins, therefore I deserve to burn in hell.
    - I must humble myself before the Lord.
    - Pride is a sin.
    He's confirming what Piedmont and the other researchers find, that negative God image is linked to rejecting Christianity, they also find that LSE is related to a negative God image. So in fact this may be confirming the original thesis thesis, Sky has unwittingly and contrary to his intent proved the thing he's trying to disprove. Of course its' only anecdotal and doesn't mean the thesis is proved. Yet, it does mean his argument is ineffective.

    Some of the things in his list are not negative but they are indicative a low self esteem person. Humbling oneself before God is not negative but to a LSE person humility is equated with humiliation. LSE confuses Pride with high self esteem, and vice verse. He equates being a sinner with negative judgment on self wroth, whereas a high esteem person is capable of understanding that being sinner is not a judgment on one's worth a human being. Every single one of those statements indicate the opposite of what he wants to prove. He thinks they prove that that Christianity is negative and bad for self esteem, they really function like a semantic differential grid as the studies use and he's just proving his own LSE.

    How in the world do those kind of messages correlate with positive self-esteem?!
    It seems to me that they would do the opposite and make a person who is a TRUE believer [there are fakes among them, of course] think they'r * worthless.

    If one starts with LSE in the first place. He's just reading the statements as low esteem would dictate. The low self esteem screws up the logic of the religious doctrine and distorts it. Take one example of the statments above:

    Jesus died to save my sins, therefore I deserve to burn in hell.
    That's not just illogical, it's not Christian doctrine it's antithetical to Christian doctrine, but it's a perfect example of the demonstration of low self esteem given by Piedmont (see 107-109). It's illogical that because Jesus died for me I must deserve to burn in hell. There's a missing step in there: my sins deserve punishment but Jesus loves me, I am not my sins." I am worth dying for since Jesus did die for me, that means Jesus loves me in spite of my sins. But this obvious conclusion is clouded by the LSE to remove the "I am worthy" premises so the connection between God's love and one's unworthy nature is made. This is the very example in the Piedmont book, "how could God love a person like me? I am unworthy of love, therefore, God either doesn't love me or there is no God."

    Sky again:

    However, this argument, and similar ones [like religion makes people happier then not having one] sound like baseless, bogus, and more manipulative attempts to use emotion and fear to turn people to religion! Afterall, who does not fear unhappiness? It doesn't seem to matter to a lot of religious people whether these claims are true or not... it only matters that they create more sheep [or slaves - whichever you want to call it] for their religion.
    These claims are backed by hundreds of empirical studies, however, and I have demonstrated that and will soon (hopefully) have a book coming that about those studies. Of course it sounds bad to him he has LSE. All he's really proving is what I suspect that atheism is, at least for a lot of people, the product of LSE and psychological dynamics and unwillingness to do the hard work of re programing they way we years what's beings in the area of self esteem.

    I see a lot of immorality and base cruelty in decieving people like this. [Although I don't think the girl was attempting to decieve people, I think she was one of the poor saps that believed the BS spouted from theologian mouths. And I feel sorry for her. - Which is how I tend to feel for a lot of religious people of late, sorry for them.]
    This is based upon the bad assumptions colored by LSE.

    I think non-theism, on the other hand, lifts someone's self-esteem. It gives us an incredible amount of power to control our own destiny and our own lives, it helps us to see through BS [whether it comes from religion or popular culture], and it raises the value of humanity above "god" giving us an incredible sense of self-worth.
    This is of course an illusion based upon false premises which are in fact lies. Think about it, if LSE is leading one to reason poorly about God's love, so that love become an insult and hate and rejection of the source of love become liberating (because sin nature is now free run riot and is now confused with self esteem) then what's being experience dis not higher self esteem but a combination of temporary gratification of sin and revenge upon a father figure (God) who the skeptic hates for the alleged rejection he imagines to have been wrought upon him by God.

    The fact of the matter is empirical studies prove religion = good self esteem and that people stay with their faith because it builds their self esteem. I can offer anecdotal back up for that becasue I was an atheist. I had LSE because idiots always told I was stupid because I had dyslexia. I had a born again experience and then my self esteem was healed I began to love myself for the first time since early childhood. This guy is just bucking the empirical proof because he doesn't like what scinece tells him.

    So... with that said... it is clear to me... that this religious jibber-jabber is founded on nothing and sounds supiciously like an outright lie.
    This little jibber jabber is based upon empirical studies. Notice he doesn't with any studies. Not a one of them. He does confirm what the studies show, the opposite of what he wants to confirm. The thing is this is not all good news for fundies. It may seem like it on the surface but not entirely. It means that the spiritual situation is mixed in with psychological dynamics. That means for the atheist it's not just a matter of "reason" and "logic" and being an atheist doesn't make him supiorior. Form the standpoint of Atheist Watch it proves my point, mocking and ridicule on message boards by atheists agaisnt Christians is probably the result of poor self esteem and their becoming atheists is a psychological problem not a logical truth or any kind of big liberation. For the fundie it means two things, they are failing to spread the gospel because they don't respect self esteem. The fundies do more to destroy self esteem than anyone (I say that having gone to fundie school and I became an atheist become of them). That means part of bringing God's love into the world is about loving people and healing them, it also means the spiritual and the psychological are mixed up together.

    One thing I realized since the last installment (self esteem part 1) atheists generally take this topic as major insult. I'm saying "there may be a possibility that your atheism is the result of psychological dynamic" they see it as saying "you are not good!" After discussing with others I realize this is the way LSE works.You understand anything that is not lauding your greatness as an insult. People with LSE can't take any sort of criticism. They equate self esteem with worth. This is why they equate being guilty of sin with being found not worthy of love. That's just the LSE talking. That does not mean we are not worthy of love or that God doesn't love us. I am a person has always been effected by LSE. I had loving parents who cared, they tired to help but due to the dyslexia I always had LSE.

    One more caveat, I don't believe in hell. I think the very doctrine of taking hell as a literal place of torment is in itself indicative a bad psychological dynamic, but it's one many of us are stuck with become we were taught to see things that way as kids. I think it gets in the way.

    *typos in block quotes are made by atheists. I don't correct spelling for quotes. If I quote a person who misspells a word I quote the misspelling. I know I misspells words a lot that's not the point.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    "Rejection of Christianity and Self Esteem:" a review of a study by Leslie J. Francis, et al


    I have for a long time now contended that most atheists had low self esteem. I found several sources that asserted it but with no empirical proof. The reason I thought it must be true is because they are always mocking and ridiculing religion and religious people. It stuck me that they were doing that to bolster their own egos. I have now found empirical evidence of this notion. There are several studies that claim to demonstrate that atheists have low self esteem. This is still not proof. There is a long way to go to prove the argument, and I'm sure that its not true of all atheists anyway. These studies are limited in many ways. but there are several of them and they do cover more than one culture. It's a good start on exploring a hypothesis. The main study I am examining here, however, is called "rejection of Christianity and Self Esteem." I will refer to this study as RCSE.

    All the studies are done by the same group Emyr Williams, Leslie J Francis, Mandy Robbins
    University of Wales, Bangor, UK the major study uses A sample of 279 13- to 16-year-old secondary school pupils in Wales completed the Rejection of Christianity Scale and the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. After controlling for sex differences a small but significant correlation was found between the two variables, indicating that low self-esteem is associated with the rejection of Christianity. Leslie J. Francis did three of the IQ studies that show no correlation between religious belief, lack thereof, and intelligence. The last such study he did was in 1996, but he has done three such studies on IQ and religious belief.

    The rejection of Christianity scale was constructed by Francis, but not just for this study. The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventor is standard has been used for a while.The study was done as a smaller piece of a larger picture that consists of several more studies and seeks to understand the relationship between self esteem and religoius belief. The larger picture is an argument that acceptance of Christianity is based upon good self esteem.

    From RCSE:

    Much of the work that measures religiosity uses items that are specifically designed to determine positive valency. For example, the Francis Scale of Attitude toward Christianity (Francis, 1978; Francis & Stubbs, 1987) assesses how positively people feel about God, Jesus, the Bible, prayer and church. Using this instrument, a number of studies have demonstrated a positive association between a positive attitude toward Christianity and a range of positive psychological categories, such as happiness (Francis, Jones, & Wilcox, 2000), general psychological health (Francis, Robbins, Lewis, Quigley, & Wheeler, 2004) and life satisfaction (Lewis, 1998). In particular, several studies have now confirmed the link between a positive attitude toward Christianity and better self-esteem (Jones & Francis, 1996).
    In other words a fairly large body of work already exists documenting the relationship between acceptance of Christianity and good self esteem. Measurements of things like happiness and self esteem are standard and have long been demonstrated by well validated measurement instruments.

    The rejection of Christianity scale:
    from RCSE:
    By way of contrast, the Rejection of Christianity Scale proposed by Greer and Francis (1992) was designed to assess negative valency. The authors of the measure presented 32 negatively phrased questions to a sample of 875 fourth- and fifth-year secondary school pupils attending ten Catholic and ten Protestant schools in Northern Ireland. The questions that received the lowest item-rest-of-test correlations were rejected, leaving a scale of 20 items generating alpha coefficients of 0.94 for the Protestant sample and 0.90 for the Catholic sample. This scale has been shown to have internal consistency reliability among Northern Irish undergraduate students (Lewis, Maltby, & Hersey, 1999) and Welsh undergraduate students (Robbins, Francis, & Bradford, 2003).
    Little research has been done to relationships between this measure and self-esteem. Since previous research has shown that there is a positive correlation between self-esteem and indices of religiosity designed with a positive valency (Jones & Francis, 1996), it is hypothesised that a negative relationship will be found between self-esteem and this measure of religiosity designed with negative valency.



    A total of 279 secondary school pupils in Wales from years 9, 10 and 11 completed the 20-item Rejection of Christianity Scale (Greer & Francis, 1992) and the 25-item Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (Coopersmith, 1981). One quarter (25%) were aged 13, one third (32%) were aged 14; 30% were aged 15, and 13% were aged 16. Males comprised 56% of the sample and females 44% of the sample.


    The Rejection of Christianity Scale (Greer & Francis, 1992) is a 20-item Likert-type instrument, employing a five-point response scale ranging from ‘agree strongly’, through ‘agree’, ‘not certain’, and ‘disagree’, to ‘disagree strongly’. The scale measures negative valency toward Christianity. This scale is designed so that higher scores indicate a higher tendency to reject Christianity.
    The Coopersmith Short-Form Self-Esteem Inventory (Coopersmith, 1981) is a 25-item instrument, employing a dichotomous response scale of ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The possible range of scores for this form of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory is 0-25, with higher scores indicating higher self-esteem.


    Both measures achieved satisfactory Cronbach alpha coefficients (Rejection of Christianity Scale, .88; Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, .80). After controlling for sex differences by means of partial correlations, the data demonstrated a small, but significant, correlation (r= -0.14, p <.05) between self-esteem (M = 15.3, SD = 4.9) and rejection of Christianity (M = 62.7, SD = 13.2) indicating that as teenagers’ endorsement of negative statements concerning Christianity increases, their scores of negative self-esteem also tend to increase.


    The present study has explored the relationship between rejection of Christianity and self-esteem among adolescents in Wales. After controlling for sex differences a small but significant negative
    correlation is found between high-self esteem and rejection of Christianity, as hypothesised. This finding strengthens the conclusions drawn from studies like that of Jones and Francis (1996), which demonstrated a positive correlation between high self-esteem and a positive attitude toward Christianity by demonstrating that the association is not a function of the valency of the measure of religiosity. Evidence of this nature appears to be suggesting that the Christian tradition is supportive of the development of self-esteem among young people rather than detrimental to it.
    (References used by RCSE can be seen in link above).

    The major criticism is that this study is not representative. It's only a small sample of Welsh children.

    The rejection of Christianity scale has been validated.

    fromRCSE :

    This scale has been shown to have internal consistency reliability among Northern Irish undergraduate students (Lewis, Maltby, & Hersey, 1999) and Welsh undergraduate students (Robbins, Francis, & Bradford, 2003).

    That is to say these are not the same as above, where those were done on secondary students these are done on college (Undergraduate). Although Wales and Ireland are basically the same general culture. The work on self esteem and rejection of Christianity is just getting started. The other pieces of the puzzle in this equation have all been put in place. The rejection of Christianity scale has been validated cross culturally in several studies. The link between postie self esteem and acceptance of Christianity has been validated cross culturally and the attitude toward Christianity scale has been validated cross culturally. Francis scale of attitude toward Christianity has been cross validated in Hong Kong and Belgium.

    A second argument used by atheists is that kinds are being given negative self images by religion, they are blamed for being gay and other things churches call 'sin' thus they are given their negative self esteem in return they reject religion because it has rejected them. On the face of it that looks a pretty likely senerio. Through what mechanism does this happen? Is it inherent in all religion or is there way to avoid it? Ralph Peidmont wrote a book that is part of a mulch-volume set called Research into the Social Scientific Study of Religion volume 16.He discusses a study by Francis (p105) that establishes a positive correlation between a positive God image and high self esteem. In other words if you teach children that God is good and loves them they will will tend to have higher self esteem than if you teach them a negative, that is critical, fault finding, legalistic, blame oriented view of God.

    The Fracis study in Peidmont's book used
    ...a 735 secondary pupils between 11-18 competed the Coopersmith Self-Esteem inventory and Revised Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and a semantic differential index of God images in order to examine the relationship between God images and self-esteem while controlling for personality factors. The data demonstrates a significant corroboration between positive God images and positive self esteem, after controlling for individual differences in personality. (105)

    Peidmont traces the currents of social science research on the top through seven different "strands" of thought which include everything form "religions causes negative self-esteem" to "religion causes postiive self esteem" and all the machinations one can think of based upon variations of those two poles. The problem is none of that research was based upon the kind scientific instruments and controls that Francis uses. Peidmont discusses the work of Spilka and Benson who start from the other end of the spectrum and investigate the assumption that self-esteem shapes he acceptability of God images. Francis in Peidmont quotes Benson and Spilka in 1973:

    Persons with high levels of self esteem may find it difficult to share the same religious belief. A theology predicated upon a loving accepting God is cognitively compatible with high self esteem, but it could be a source of discomfort for a believer low in self esteem. It does not make good cognitive sense to be loved when one is unlovable. Consequently the latter person can march to a different theology, one that is more consistent with his self image. (Benson and Spilka 209-210).

    The implications are intriguing becuase it not only means that people who present a mean legalistic view of God have low self-esteem, not only that atheist's rejection of God is due to their low self esteem but that for those atheists who really rail against God as evil, mean, and vicious, they are really railings against themselves. Whereas it doesn't necessarily follow that we can correct it by teaching people that God is loving. Would they just reject the notion of a loving God because it doesn't fit their sense of self?

    Benson and Spilka* did two studies in (73) and (75). the latter done by Spilka, Addison and Rosenshon. Both studies determined self esteem by a modified Coopersmith. They assessed God images by means of semantic differential grid which generated two scales defined as measuring a loving God image and a controlling God image.Self-esteem was negatively related to a wrathful God image. Among female students self esteem was negatively related to a wrathful God image. Although Peidmont shows other studies that didn't find a correlation, Cartier and Goehner (1976) related measures of self-esteem with God images (Peidmont 109).

    The significance of this is two fold. If it is true that theological teaching is to blame for self image, or to laud for good self image, it behooves the chruch to seek to teach healing images of God. This may be a huge short coming for which a great deal of theological education deserves blame. It may also be the case that being an atheist, at least for some, has less to do with reason and logic as the atheist tyr to argue it does, and more to do with hidden psychological motives.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    So, Atheism is Not an Organized Movement Hu?

    the Man from C.A.R.R.I.E.R

    Central Atheist Research and Rhetoric
    Institute for the Eradication of Religion.

    Atheists are always harping about how they don't have a movement, its just the absence of a belief, they are all different. They will spend days and weeks vehemently declaring that there is no organization and not movement and they are all different, they have no agenda, no ideology. They have such an effective propaganda machine that they have pulled off a highly effective snow job in spreading this garbage. Of course it's all a huge lie. Of course now they are going to play the conspiracy buff card. If I think they are pulling the wool over our eye then I must think they are Thrush on the Man form UNCLE. They all have secret meetings under shopping centers and they are in contract with Aliens and tea party people. What I'm saying doesn't have to be even slightly in that direction to be real and obvious and a proble. We all know what a political machine is.

    We don't have to be saying that they have a secret conspiracy to say that they have a political machine. When we see how far flung and fictive their organizing is, when understand how their brain washing works to socialize adherents over the internet we can see there is obvious problem. What's even more obvious when we look at the atheist movement in all its organized ferocity it becomes very plain that they are lying when they say there's no movement, nor organization and that it's not an ideology. I'm demonstrated the ideology. I've shown the psychological motive. I'm demonstrated that it's moving in like with the FBI profile of a hate group. There's a continuum from a mild organization aimed at getting people interested to an extreme fringe of hate group mentality. Not all all atheists are in the hate group end of it. The hate group end is not a plot it's not connected to the valid organizations but it's there and it's growing. When we see the obvious nature of a political machine then it should be clear the line about not being organized is bunk. Therefore, when we see them all thinking the same way and saying the same thing sit should be clear there's an ideology.

    When we observe their success and we see the organizations working toward their goals it's pretty organized theya re organized. How could they not be organized and this this plethora of success and groups behind the success:

    Freedom From Religion Foundation:
    • Won the first federal lawsuit challenging direct funding by the government of a faith-based agency
    • Overturned a state Good Friday holiday
    • Won a lawsuit barring direct taxpayer subsidy of religious schools
    • Removed Ten Commandments monuments from public lands
    • Ended bible instruction in public schools after 51 year practice
    • Halted prayer at public institutions
    • Stopped direct subsidy to religious schools
    • Ended commencement prayers at a Top Ten University after 122 years of practice
    • Ended distribution of Gideon bibles in public schools.
    • Brought nearly 30 First Amendment lawsuits since 1977, and keeps several Establishment law challenges in the courts at all times.
    <> (18 Feb. 2007).
    Approach Used to Spread Agenda
    • Files lawsuits!
    • Publishes Freethought Today
    • Sponsors annual high school and college atheist based essay competitions with cash awards
    • Conducts, annual national conventions, honoring the "Freethinker of the Year" for state/church activism, a "Freethought Heroine" and student activists
    • Bestows "The Emperor Has No Clothes" Award to public figures for their criticism of religion
    • Promotes freedom from religion with educational products, bumperstickers, music CDs, winter solstice greeting cards and literature
    • Publishes useful atheist books
    • Provides speakers for events and debates
    • Established a freethought book collection at the University of Wisconsin Memorial Library as well as a 2,000-volume office collection


    Who has time to work on this? All of these struggle take big money and big legal talent. These are not things pulled off by a diverse group who share nothing more than the lack of a belief. This is clearly a vast political organization it has to be.

    Phony Scholarship Machine

    They also have a propaganda net work that cranks out phony scholarship. Let's look at the work of Richard Carrier long time Secular Web member and history student. Carrier appears to be an academic who just shares an interest in certain issues and just happens to be an atheist. When we dig more deeply into some of the organizations he's involved with it looks like more to it than that.

    Richard Carrier has a couple of articles on his blog about a big conference for the Jesus Project
    held at Amherst last December. O it sounds very scholarly. It presents the image of a group of major scholars meeting to mull over the lattes scientific findings that proving that Jesus never existed. This creates the idea that there is a climiate of opinion in the acadmeic world to expose the lies about Jesus as fiction and show that he never existed. But if you follow the trail to see where his lie originated, and the trail is clearly marked, one can see clearly that there's nothing scholarly about it. It's nothing more than a put up job, but it's no accident that the Jesus Myth stupidity though expossed time after time as bancrupt lives on and continues to draw in a group suckers who are hood winked into believing that they are on the cutting edge of scientific search for truth.

    The tail begins with the first major clue, the website of an organization called "The Jesus Project." Carrier links to this site on his blog: The site preports to be focual point for cutting edge academic research which suppossedly takes up where the Jesus Seminar left off:

    The Jesus Seminar, founded in 1985 by the late Robert Funk of the University of Montana, was famous for all the wrong reasons—its voting method (marbles), the grandstanding of some of its members, the public style of its meetings, even its openly defiant stance against the claims of miracles in the Gospels—including the resurrection of Jesus. Except for the marbles, none of this was new. The use of additional sources, such as Gnostic and apocryphal gospels, to create a fuller picture of the Jesus-tradition and the focus on context as though it provided content were at least innovative. But the Jesus who emerged from these scholarly travails was so diminished that—as I wrote in a FREE INQUIRY article in 1993—he could not exist apart from his makers: “The Jesus of the [Jesus Seminar] is a talking doll with a questionable repertoire of thirty-one sayings. Pull a string and he blesses the poor.”
    What the Seminar had tacitly acknowledged without acknowledging the corollary is that over 80 percent of “Jesus” had been fictionalized by the Gospel writers. That is to say that, if we are to judge a man’s life by his sayings, the greater portion of the literary artifacts known as the Gospels is fictional. If we are to judge by actions, then what actions survived historical criticism? Not the virgin birth, or the Transfiguration, or the healing of the sick, or the purely magical feats such as Cana, or the multiplication of loaves and fishes. The Resurrection had quietly been sent to the attic by theologians in the nineteenth century. The deeds—except, perhaps, the attack on the Temple (Mark 11:15–19)—had preceded the words to the dustbin years before, yet scholars insisted the historical figure was untouched. Only faith could explain this invulnerability to harm....

    Of course buying into this assumes that the Jesus seminar did it's work well, which almost no scholars outside of the Jesus seminar agree with. The Jesus Porject, of course, aims to do better. They are off to a smashing start wtih the selection of a highly original name. But find some telling things in the recounting of their mission:

    ....On a pleasant day in January 2007, at the University of California, Davis, the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER) asked the question that had been looking for a serious answer for over a hundred years: Did Jesus exist? The CSER fellows, invited guests, present and former members of the Jesus Seminar, and a wide variety of interested and engaged attendees applauded roundly after three days of lectures and discussions on the subject—appropriately—“Scripture and Skepticism.” The Jesus Project, as CSER has named the new effort, is the first methodologically agnostic approach to the question of Jesus’ historical existence. But we are not neutral, let alone willfully ambiguous, about the objectives of the project itself. We believe in assessing the quality of the evidence available for looking at this question before seeing what the evidence has to tell us. We do not believe the task is to produce a “plausible” portrait of Jesus prior to considering the motives and goals of the Gospel writers in telling his story. We think the history and culture of the times provide many significant clues about the character of figures similar to Jesus. We believe the mixing of theological motives and historical inquiry is impermissible. We regard previous attempts to rule the question out of court as vestiges of a time when the Church controlled the boundaries of permissible inquiry into its sacred books. More directly, we regard the question of the historical Jesus as a testable hypothesis, and we are committed to no prior conclusions about the outcome of our inquiry. This is a statement of our principles, and we intend to stick to them.

    This sounds like a fair and scholary statment. But consider the words in blue. What that really says is "we support the Jesus myth theory." What tells me that, aside from everything coming out of their work that is (see Carrier's blog linked above). That they aim not to understand the Gospel writers as thoguh that would be some kind fo big error. Secondly, the line about "figures similar to Jesus," in other words, they are going to try to argue that they prove the dying/rising savior God bit. Mixing theology and history is inexcusable, but of course doing history as a cover for destruction of a religious belief they despize is fine and dandy. They are not biased they just have the answers before they ask the questions.

    All of this is trivial, I'm getting to the point...

    At the end of its lease, the Jesus Project will publish its findings. Those findings will not be construed as sensational or alarming; like all good history, the project is aiming at a probable reconstruction of the events that explain the beginning of Christianity—a man named Jesus from the province of Galilee whose life served as the basis for the beginning of a movement, or a sequence of events that led to the Jesus story being propagated throughout the Mediterranean. We find both conclusions worthy of contemplation, but as we live in the real world—of real causes and outcomes—only one can be true. Our aim, like Pilate’s (John 18:38), is to find the truth.

    Who wants to bet his house against my assumption they they will find that Jesus didn't exist and that the Bible is totally wrong? Anyone willing to bet his house on that? Of course to be what they call "probable" they would have to conclude that the bible is a lie and Jesus never existed, because they are totally to religion and ideas connected with religion. One hint that this may be the case is who is publishing the results of the seminar:

    In general the conference revealed some cutting edge stuff in the works. Later this year or the next, Prometheus Books will publish the conference papers (or rather, improved and lengthened versions of them, e.g. my chapter in that book will be rather different from my actual talk, which was largely off-the-cuff, but most of the content will be the same)
    Prometheus books only does atheist books.

    But none of this is the point. That just sets up a clear look at their true motives. They are not the least bit interested in scholarship. But what's really interesting is what it says at the top of the page on "introduction:"
    Jesus Project, "a product of Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion"

    So now Jesus Project is a project of this Committee. Who are these committee people? what is this organization? Trying to answer that question led me to another website:CSER "center for Inquiry"

    Here's what they say about themselves:

    The Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER) is a research division of the Center for Inquiry. Since its 1983 founding in Washington, DC, the Committee has worked to encourage humanistic, critical and non-parochial approaches to the study of religious traditions and institutions and to develop programs that promote the public understanding of religion in an international context.
    CSER is an international research and educational consultation comprised of members (appointed fellows) who are nominated by an executive board. The current chair of CSER is Dr. R. Joseph Hoffmann, who succeeded Dr. Gerald Larue in January 2004.
    The Jesus Project i not the world of scholars who organized their project as a group of truth seeking academics doing scholarly research, they were recruited by an organiztion whose praimry purpose and goal is to destroy christianity. Their statement above says they just to contribute to understanding of religion. But to understand it in what way? We already see they are not satisfied with the 2000 years of scholarship on Jesus becasue they consider that dominated by the chruch. Does that mean their "schoalrship" will be free and unecumbared? yet they recruted as the special as the special project of this organization, does that seem real open and fair. Let's look further and see who else is inoloved in this group.

    The Head quarters of the group is in Amherst where the conference was held. So the conference is not related to the university, just held in the town. The same town where the organization that sponsors the project is.

    P.O. Box 741
    Amherst, NY 14226

    This is under the tab on the website marked "advocacy." A group that does advocacy is not a scholarly group. They are not interested in truth, they are interested in selling their idea of the way things are, they want to dominate thinking. This is why they put up a big web of deception to create an imporession of impartical scholarship and truth seeking when in reality what they have is a put up job the purpsoe of which is to destory bellief. How do I know this, because look at the other wings of their organization. First of all this is their mission:

    The Center for Inquiry is an active agent for social and cultural change in the courts, in the U.S. capital, at the United Nations, and at the grassroots level. Its advocacy work centers on three broad areas.

    Fringe science and extraordinary claims

    Through its Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), Skeptical Inquirer magazine, and other initiatives, CFI advocates responsible, evidence-based treatment of extraordinary claims and fringe science, such as psychic phenomena, intelligent design creationism, and conspiracy theories. Council for Media Integrity presses for fair representation of naturalistic outlook in mass media.
    In other words they are out to destroy faith and the concept of miracles. That means they are not going to allow scholars in the Jesus project who have any sort of religious belief. Its' going to be totally duobting, atheistic unbelieving and out to disprove any notion that gives religion even a slight benifit of the facts. Another wing of their group is dealing mental and medical health. Now does that include findings that religious belief is mental illness?

    Medical and mental health

    In age of alternative and complimentary medicine and New Age therapies, CFI advocates evidence-based medicine and mental health through its Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health Practice (CSMMH), publisher of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and the Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, as well as in Skeptical Inquirer and its “Healthy Skeptic” online column.

    Do New Agers typically push mental health alternatives? We know form the past that KGB played with the idea of mental health. Dissenters in the USSR were seen as mentally ill. Will these people allow alternative views of medicine and mental health? Are they trying to frame administrative medical people as mentally ill?

    The organization is totally committed to a world without religion and a world in which religion is no longer vital force of any kind:

    Religion, ethics and society

    CFI is a leader in the struggle for a more rational, secular world. CFI’s Council for Secular Humanism (CSH) and Free Inquiry magazine promotes secular perspectives on contemporary issues; African Americans for Humanism assists humanist groups in America and Africa; the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion stimulates critical scholarship; and the Institute of the Secularization of Islamic Society stands up for the right to apostacy and blasphemy and the separation of mosque and state.
    They are so concerned about the right to blaspheme, do they give a damn about the vast majority of humanity that thinks they are nuts and believes in God? This is just a nother look gorup of tin pot dictators who are convienced they they are special and they need to lead the ignorant masses, like Stalin, Like Hitler, like Pol Pot. One example of their work is this:

    Amicus Brief Submitted in Americans United for Separation of Church and State v. Prison Fellowship Ministries (U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit)
    Question Presented: Whether a state-funded program that seeks to rehabilitate inmates through religious conversion violates the Establishment Clause and whether the organization that operates the program can be required to return to the state the funds that it has received.

    So even though the most remarkable success in American history for prision rehab has been religious conversion (Quaker ran jails of the nineteenth century) they want to disallow it because it's somehow violating them even though they are not in prsion and it does not effect them. But they can't stand the idea that others are being saved and led to God. Now would they force a voluntary program to shut? Are people beign forced into prision ministry? I don't think so.

    Here's therir example of safe guarding religious liberty:

    Safeguarding Religious Liberty in Charitable Choice and Faith-Based Initiatives

    The Obama administration recently announced an expansion of government funding for so-called "faith-based initiatives," in which taxpayer dollars are doled out to sectarian religious organizations for the performance of social service programs. This government funding raises legal and constitutional concerns that the administration has yet to address directly. In February, the Center for Inquiry produced a position paper that called for an end to government funding of faith-based programs. Because government funding is scheduled to continue, the Center for Inquiry further recommended the adoption and vigorous enforcement of specific minimum safeguards to protect church-state separation and religious liberty.
    CFI performed a detailed historical study of federal funding for faith-based programs, extending from the rise of "charitable choice" legislation during the Clinton administration through the explosion of taxpayer funding for religious programs under George W. Bush's Faith Based and Community Initiative. The position paper that resulted from this study expresses deep misgivings about government funding of sectarian religious programs. CFI cited concerns that these programs may use taxpayer dollars to support or favor religious activities and beliefs; that government may give preference to particular religious organizations in doling out funds; and that under current standards, recipients of taxpayer funding for faith-based programs are allowed to engage in employment discrimination on the basis of religion.
    CFI's position paper recommends that government funding of faith-based programs be eliminated entirely. CFI's paper endorses a limited exception for truly secular social services programs, such as Catholic Charities, that have some affiliation with a religious institution but are provided by independent 501(c)(3) charities. CFI maintains that such charities must conduct social service programs without religious content or materials and without engaging in religious discrimination. (Catholic Charities is a non-profit corporation separate and distinct from the Catholic Church.)

    Their example of safeguarding religious liberty is to close it down because it's somehow hurting them that religious groups are allowed to help people.

    O but let's back up and look at the frienge scinece bit. The organization that put up the Jesus Porject also sponsers Skeptical Inquirer magazine, as their special mission of "advocacy." It's clear what they are advocating is the destruction of Christianity. This means the secular web and all the major force of internet atheists are just their little army of brown shirts running around persecuting Christians.

    Its' the crystal night.

    I'm sure I'm being alarmist. I'm just building a conspiracy theory out of think air. Do you really foresee the Jesus project not coming out with findings about Jesus not existing and the Bible being untrue? They will hood wink people into thinking that this is a scholarly mission and that it's fair and honest scholarship when the results are pre determined because it's professional wrestling. This is the work of real scholarship like Firts Von Erich was really an athelete and not an entertainier.

    Look at it honestly, the Jesus Project is sponsorded the same organization that runs the Skeptical Inquirer magazine

    arguements agaisnt atheism, atheism is a hate group. atheist ideology, atheist organizations, orantized atheism

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Athiest proves Atheism is not a Hate Group

    An atheist just put up a comment that convienced me atheism is not about hate. He says:

    you are a fucking retard!

    wow, since you put it like that...

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    No Pew Study Says Atheits Know Bible Better than Christians.


    My Actual Score
    (that block thing at the right
    is my score, it's off scale) 

    Last week the net was abuzz with talk of a Pew study that said atheists know the Bible better than Christians do. I found about 14 blogs referring to it and it was on message boards all over. The Actual study is available on the Pew site it's called "U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey." The press began saying the study shows "atheists know more about religion." what it really says is that atheists know more about religion other than Christianity, than do Christians. That's not so unreasonable given the exclusivity most Christians believe their faith has over others. The media turned it into "atheists know more about religion" us as the Los Angels Times, (Tuesday Oct, 19th)"Atheists, Agnostics most knowledgeable about religion surveys say."

    "Religious IQ: Why do Atheist Outscore Christians?" The Week "A significant number of Christians don't know the basics about their own professed faith or other major religions, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey, while atheists and agnostics have the highest "Religious IQ,"

    The study doesn't say anything about an IQ, but it's plots the answers on a bell curve. The Pew Site offers a short version of half the questions (the original is 32 the short version is 15).  I took the short version (see my score above I'm the only one got every question right and went off scale). The site "debating Christianity and religion"  says "Atheists know more about the Bible" than do Christians.

    The point is of the 15 questions11 were not about the Bible or Christianity. So the test was biased in the beginning to screen out Christians. I suggest it was a put up a job, designed to give other than Christians a higher score. Why would Pew want to do this? Pew is a respected polling organization but is ran by an private family that is very Evangelical and the Pew Evangelical trust gives a lot of evangelistic enterprises. They want to do that because they are the tough kind of Christians. They want to shame the chruch into learning more about the bible and about religion in general.

    "The United States is a nation of religious illiterates," says Boston University professor Stephen Prothero, whose research on Americans' spiritual ignorance inspired a new study that has religion teachers and ministers aghast,"(from the Week)

     Here's what the study actually says:

    Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.

    So it's up front about world religion and the media turns into religion as a whole and atheists sites turn into "know more about the bible." The actual study doesn't say that. The 15 question version 11 questions were about subject not in the Bible and off those about 3 were Christian history. Most the study is about world religion (I got them all right anyway). The study results say and the site reflects with a table and big capital letters that atheists know more about world religion But Mormons and Evangelicals know More about Christianity. That would seem to contradict the whole mocking point upon which most atheists are gleefully claiming that they know about "the Bible" than do Christians. On Bible White Evangelicals score 7.3, Mormons 7.9 whle Atheists score 6.7.

    from the Pew study site:

    Previous surveys by the Pew Research Center have shown that America is among the most religious of the world’s developed nations. Nearly six-in-ten U.S. adults say that religion is “very important” in their lives, and roughly four-in-ten say they attend worship services at least once a week. But the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey shows that large numbers of Americans are uninformed about the tenets, practices, history and leading figures of major faith traditions – including their own. Many people also think the constitutional restrictions on religion in public schools are stricter than they really are.
    religious-knowledge-03 10-09-28More than four-in-ten Catholics in the United States (45%) do not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine used in Communion do not merely symbolize but actually become the body and blood of Christ. About half of Protestants (53%) cannot correctly identify Martin Luther as the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation, which made their religion a separate branch of Christianity. Roughly four-in-ten Jews (43%) do not recognize that Maimonides, one of the most venerated rabbis in history, was Jewish.
    In addition, fewer than half of Americans (47%) know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist. Fewer than four-in-ten (38%) correctly associate Vishnu and Shiva with Hinduism. And only about a quarter of all Americans (27%) correctly answer that most people in Indonesia – the country with the world’s largest Muslim
    The survey should shame Christians, however, because it shows some shocking ignorance. Catholics have had a tradition of placing Church authority over Bible, but half of these guys don't even know their own church's stand on transubstantiation. Come on that's the one doctrine that is more uniquely Catholic!

    There is a crying need for Christians take more of an interest in learning. Its also apparent that we need to branch out from just the bible and learn about religion as a whole.

    It is not shocking once you look at the questions why atheists would do better than Christians on those questions where they scored higher. Most of those are world religion questions  such as "which of the following is an Islamic Holiday, 'Ramadan, Duwali or Christmas.' I got this one right too. Most Christians don't learn enough about Hinduism to even know their major holiday. BTW Duwali is the festival of lights. The celebration of rebirth and triumph of good over evil, they celibate with lots of little candles and lanterns and lights, they have parities. I think it should be a point with Christians to learn about festivals of re-birth.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Atheist LIes About Christians and Prison: Made up Pew Study

    In an article entitled "Some Hard Truths about Prayer and Crime a blog called Ploiticus USA asserts that a Pew Study finds that Christians are more likely to go to Prison.This artilce contians some of the most haius lies I've ever seen. The author, Hrafnkell Haraldsson,  self described: "social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy." 

    I recently wrote about the Republican school prayer myth. I thought we’d revisit the question of prayer and violence  given the Republican mania over the question. They’re pushing a narrative of prayer = nonviolence. They want us to believe that the absence of prayer in our public schools is breeding criminals. They want us to believe barring religion from politics at the government level is corrupting America. Religion, they say (as do many Muslims) is the maker and enforcer of morality. Without God, morality, so the narrative goes, is impossible.
    If the morality police are right, most of our criminals are nasty old atheists and secularists and Pagans.
    But they’re not! Atheists and agnostics commit fewer crimes than Christians.  A Pew Research Values Study shows that “crime correlates inversely with levels of religious conviction.”

    The problem is he never sites the source and the Pew Research Center has never heard of it. They could not find me a researcher who could point me to the study. Pew is an Evangelical organization funded by private money from a family. It's not very likely they would produce such a study.

    He doesn't stop there he has a whole article of lies:

    We already noted that secularism is on the rise, from 8% of Americans in 1990 to 15% in 2008. If this is the case, and if the morality police are right, then crime should be on the increase as well, because these are the immoral slobs committing all the crimes.
    He doesn't say 8% of what. He doesn't define what he means by "secular" there are secular priests, I'm a secular person. Does he think he means atheists? There sure are not 8% atheists in Ameica. Maybe he means 8% who don't like organized religion, does that make them "secular?" maybe, maybe not. what's he talking about? We know can't trust atheists to honestly represent their figures because they love to inflate them. There are not more than 6% atheists nd probalby 3%, and no more than 9% who overall dislike organized religion but do believe in some sort of God or higher power.

    Instead, violent crime remained at a steady level from 1990 to 1993 and since 1993 it has declined. As America has become more secular, it has become less violent.

    He doesn't give us any idea as to what he means by "become more secular." America has not become more atheist. If anything it's less atheists. Some have shifted from Christian belief to Neo-pagn or general sort of theist/deist kind of haze. No laws of have peen passed making the country more secular he doesn't really give us an idea of what he means. As for less violent a variety of measures were enacted under Clinton such as putting a hundred thousand more cops on the street and having more lights are locks. These measures known to reduce crime.

    The core argument he's working against in the first place is  kind of lunck headed to begin with. Anyone who makes an uncritical association between religious belief and lower crime rates is sociologically naive. Haraldsson moves to the opposite extreme that is not helping either. Now he demonstrates his true sociological ignorance by drawing upon well worn and disproved atheist mistakes in bogus social analysis:

    Who fills up our prisons? Why, secularists of course! Atheists! Pagans!
    Wrong again. The Federal Bureau of Prisons says that nonbelievers are only two-tenths of 1% of inmates. Since Christians are approximately 80% of the population and 75% of it’s prisoners, we should be drawing some vastly different conclusions, shouldn’t we?
    While I’m sure the apologists will explain the 91% of executed murderers on persecution of the faithful, the numbers suggest that Christians are simply more likely to murder somebody. How many atheists were executed for murder in the same ten-year period? Less than a third of 1%.

    I have already discussed other atheist claims and alled "studies" where I cught atheists open fabricating statistics.
    I reproduce that article below

    One attempt at this bogus atheist social sciences is a site by Boyd Swift. Swift, thought he would be a wrote the bureaus of prisons for stats, but unfortunately he doesn't know how to read a table.

    I can't reproduce the table here without screwing up the side bar, but I will link to the tables, please read them. I will reproduce some of the stats.

    One attempt at this bogus atheist social sciences is a site by Boyd Swift. Swift, thought he would be a wrote the bureaus of prisons for stats, but unfortunately he doesn't know how to read a table.

    Response Number %
    Catholic 29267 39.164%
    Protestant 26162 35.008%
    Muslim 5435 7.273%
    American Indian 2408 3.222%
    Nation 1734 2.320%
    Rasta 1485 1.987%
    Jewish 1325 1.773%
    Church of Christ 1303 1.744%
    Pentecostal 1093 1.463%
    Moorish 1066 1.426%
    Buddhist 882 1.180%
    Jehovah Witness 665 0.890%
    Adventist 621 0.831%
    Orthodox 375 0.502%
    Mormon 298 0.399%
    Scientology 190 0.254%
    Atheist 156 0.209%
    Hindu 119 0.159%
    Santeria 117 0.157%
    Sikh 14 0.019%
    Bahai 9 0.012%
    Krishna 7 0.009%
    ---------------------------- -------- Total Known Responses 74731 100.001% (rounding to 3 digits does this) Unknown/No Answer 18381 What's really intereting is what has to say about these stats and Swifts website. Here is a letter by researcher on who checked out Swift's data:

    David Rice has written to us (23 October 2002) concerning the origin of the data in the table below: The data came from Denise Golumbaski, who was a Research Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The data was compiled from up-to-the-day figures on March 5th, 1997. (Note that as of the year 1999, Analyst Golumbaski is no longer working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons; I had telephoned Analyst Golumbaski to request the latest figures, and was told by another analyst that Golumbaski was no longer employed there.) The data was requested by Mr. Rod Swift, who passed it on to me for my web site. I later called the Federal Bureau of Prisons and confirmed that the data did in fact come from their database.

    This is the actual data Swift had to work wtih and Rice documents that fact, here it is:

    Response Number %
    Catholic 29267 39.164%
    Protestant 26162 35.008%
    None/Atheist/Unknown 18,537
    Muslim 5435 7.273%
    American Indian 2408 3.222%
    Nation 1734 2.320%
    Rasta 1485 1.987%
    Jewish 1325 1.773%
    Church of Christ 1303 1.744%
    Pentecostal 1093 1.463%
    Moorish 1066 1.426%
    Buddhist 882 1.180%
    Jehovah Witness 665 0.890%
    Adventist 621 0.831%
    Orthodox 375 0.502%
    Mormon 298 0.399%
    Scientology 190 0.254%
    Atheist 156 0.209%
    Hindu 119 0.159%
    Santeria 117 0.157%
    Sikh 14 0.019%
    Bahai 9 0.012%
    Krishna 7 0.009%

    I have represented both talbes exactly as they appear on the website.

    Several interesting points. The original says "National of Islam," Swift's Version says "Nation" only. The Original puts Muslims at 5.837% While Swift's version puts them at 7.273%. Swift's has Mormons as seventh from bottom. The original doesn't have Mormons on it.

    What's really interesting is what has to say about these stats and Swifts website. Here is a letter by researcher on who checked out Swift's data:

    David Rice has written to us (23 October 2002) concerning the origin of the data in the table below: The data came from Denise Golumbaski, who was a Research Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The data was compiled from up-to-the-day figures on March 5th, 1997. (Note that as of the year 1999, Analyst Golumbaski is no longer working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons; I had telephoned Analyst Golumbaski to request the latest figures, and was told by another analyst that Golumbaski was no longer employed there.) The data was requested by Mr. Rod Swift, who passed it on to me for my web site. I later called the Federal Bureau of Prisons and confirmed that the data did in fact come from their database.

    I have represented both talbes exactly as they appear on the website.

    Several interesting points. The original says "National of Islam," Swift's Version says "Nation" only. The Original puts Muslims at 5.837% While Swift's version puts them at 7.273%. Swift's has Mormons as seventh from bottom. The original doesn't have Mormons on it.

    What's really interesting is the major difference for our purposes, the original includes "none/atheist/unknown as third from the top. Swift puts them much further down. The Originals give the atheist category almost 20% while Swift gives it 0.2% or less.

    Examine this table with the one above.

    Swift's Table

    On Swift's table there is no mention of atheist in the first five and atheist is listed fifth from the bottom. In that table atheist is 0.209%. Now here is the table sent by the Bureau of prisons to Rice, first five:,br>

    In this table Atheist/unknown/none is third form top and has 19%! Fifth from the bottom on this version is not atheist but "Hindu." So the version sent by the Bureau of Prisons is significantly different than the version put up by Swift.

    It seems Swift misrepresented the data.

    So in other words, the actual number of atheists is about a quarter as high as the Christians. It's not this tiny 0.something percent, it's actually pretty high.
    It's pretty clear he fabricated the data. These mistakes are too far off to be merely mistakes in recording.

    Swift goes on to explain how the disproportionate number of atheists in prison from the general population means they are so far better behaved than Christians.

    Now, let's just deal with the nasty Christian types, no? "Judeo-Christian Total 62594 83.761% (of the 74731 total responses) Total Known Responses 74731 Not unexpected as a result. Note that atheists, being a moderate proportion of the USA population (about 8-16%) are disproportionately less in the prison populations (0.21%)."

    Of course he's distorting these figures too because it's not 8% certainly not 16%. He's including people who believe in God but don't like organized religion as well as agnostics as atheists. He's also dealing with his false figures. The actual figure is 20% atheists in prison and 3% in society. So what does this tell us? Atheist are a lot less well behaved.
    answers Swift's page directly:
    One atheist web page ( presented statistics stating that 0.209% of federal prisoners (in 1997) stated "atheist" as their religious preference. This site said that this is far less than the 8 to 16% of the American population that are atheists.

    The atheist site, however, provided no source for the notion that "8 to 16%" of Americans are atheists. This statistic is completely without support from the available data. Gallup polls which include questions about religion have consistently shown that between 93 and 96% of Americans say that they believe in God. Presumably atheist writers would not suggest that up to half of their claimed "atheists" believe in God. The actual proportion of atheists in the United States is about 0.5% (half of one percent). This is the figure obtained from the largest survey of religious preference ever conducted: the National Survey of Religious Identification (Kosmin, 1990), which polled 113,000 people. The religious preference questions were part of questioning completely unrelated to religious preference (consumer preferences, entertainment, etc.), so the frequent retort of atheists that their numbers don't like to admit to atheism, and hence are under counted, is unlikely.

    Atheists play a little game where they refuse to accept the fact that 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 Swift's thinking and this is exactly what 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 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 prison population that some belief system leads to crime. From that same 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.

    Swift does not even take into account depth of belief, he doesn't bother to determine when the inmates started their beliefs. If I went to prison I would join a chruch and say I was a Christian, even if I wasn't. You are more likely to get parole, you have a group to identify with which may be able to protect you in certain cases, and you may get favored treatment. Parole boards really love to hear about religious conversions.I knew a guy who fakes a religious conversion because he went to jail and he continued the deception even while the was out on parole latter. When he got off parole, that ever day, he left his wife. He was not a Christian when he went to jail. He became one in jail.

    Here is the analysis of Chris Price, a friend of mine and member of the CADRE apologetics group:

    Priceless comments

    CADRE Comments, Oct 16,2007

    First, I note that when atheists are trying to emphasize their numbers, they include agnostics and nonbelievers and skeptics among their ranks. But when they want to deemphasize their involvement in negative social characteristics, they take a more limited approach to the data. This study only mentions atheists, not unbelievers, irreligious, unbelievers, skeptics, etc. So, you may think there are more “atheists” in the United States than the data supports. Most stats at, for example, puts the number of “atheists” at less than 1%.

    Second, atheists tend to be more privileged than the rest of the population, especially the prison population. They are predominately white, more educated, and middle class. These are typically the result of birth, which is not something for which their atheism can claim credit.

    Third, the study tells us nothing about the timing or strength of religious identification. There is a strong motive to “clean up your act” in prison, complete with visits by prison chaplains and evangelists working to reform the inmates. Add to this the fact that religious conversion may be a good way to signal to others—such as the warden or parole board—that the inmate has reformed, there are ample reasons to find increased religious identification among inmates.

    Fourth, your review of the data is over simplistic. For example, you ignore the fact that Protestants make up a much smaller percentage of the prison population (35%) than they do the population at large (53%). Mormons make up about 2% of the population, but are a negligible portion of the prison population. Now, this may also be linked to other issues such as income, race, or education levels.

    ...Actually, if you compare church attendance (and thus exposure to the preaching of Christian values) you get plenty of improved morality. This article by a self-styled "secular liberal" who is also an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia admits that "surveys have long shown that religious believers in the United States are happier, healthier, longer-lived, and more generous to charity and to each other than are secular people."*

    The article Price sites is The Third Edge

    JONATHAN HAIDT: who is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he does research on morality and emotion and how they vary across cultures. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.

    Prices comments are "priceless," but its worse than he thought. He assumes the atheist is fudging by just not including unbelievers and those who have no opinion as atheist, as they usually do. He willfully misrepresented the stats.

    counter data: Swift is not a social scientist and his fabricated data is not a real study. But a large body of real social scinece proves that religious belief and participation deter crime.
    Dark Larson proves there are 400 studies done by real social scientists that show that religous participation reduces the likelihood of Juvenile delinquency.

    Cities on a Hill Newsletter, 1999

    Dr. Larson laid the foundation for the discussion by summarizing the findings of 400 studies on juvenile delinquency,conducted during the past two decades. He believes that although more research is needed, we can say without a doubt that religion makes a positive contribution. His conclusion:“The better we study religion,the more we find it makes a difference.”

    Attending services is the most significant factor in predicting charitable giving. Robert Wunthnow, Acts of Compassion, Princeton University Press, 1991.

    * [] Attending services is the most significant factor in predicting volunteer activity. Ibid.

    * [] Sixth through twelfth graders who attend religious services once a month or more are half as likely to engage in at-risk behaviors such as substance abuse, sexual excess, truancy, vandalism, drunk driving and other trouble with police. Search Institute, "The Faith Factor," Source, Vol. 3, Feb. 1992, p.1.

    * [] Churchgoers are more likely to aid their neighbors in need than are non-attendees. George Barna, What Americans Believe, Regal Books, 1991, p. 226.

    * [] Three out of four Americans say that religious practice has strengthened family relationships. George Gallup, Jr. "Religion in America: Will the Vitality of Churches Be the Surprise of the Next Century," The Public Perspective, The Roper Center, Oct./Nov. 1995.

    * [] Church attendance lessens the probabilities of homicide and incarceration. Nadia M. Parson and James K. Mikawa: "Incarceration of African-American Men Raised in Black Christian Churches." The Journal of Psychology, Vol. 125, 1990, pp.163-173.

    * [] Religious practice lowers the rate of suicide. Joubert, Charles E., "Religious Nonaffiliation in Relation to Suicide, Murder, Rape and Illegitimacy," Psychological Reports 75:1 part 1 (1994): 10 Jon W. Hoelter: "Religiosity, Fear of Death and Suicide Acceptibility." Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Vol. 9, 1979, pp.163-172.

    *The presence of active churches, synagogues, or mosques reduces violent crime in neighborhoods. John J. Dilulio, Jr., "Building Spiritual Capital: How Religious Congregations Cut Crime and Enhance Community Well-Being," RIAL Update, Spring 1996.

    * [] People with religious faith are less likely to be school drop-outs, single parents, divorced, drug or alcohol abusers. Ronald J. Sider and Heidi Roland, "Correcting the Welfare Tragedy," The Center for Public Justice, 1994.

    * [] Church involvement is the single most important factor in enabling inner-city black males to escape the destructive cycle of the ghetto. Richard B. Freeman and Harry J. Holzer, eds., The Black Youth Employment Crisis, University of Chicago Press, 1986, p.354.

    * [] Attending services at a church or other house of worship once a month or more makes a person more than twice as likely to stay married than a person who attends once a year or less. David B. Larson and Susan S. Larson, "Is Divorce Hazardous to Your Health?" Physician, June 1990. Improving Personal Well-Being

    [] Most happy people are also religious people.

    96% of people who say they are generally happy agree that "My religious faith is the most important influence in my life."
    George Gallup, Jr. "Religion in America: Will the Vitality of Churches Be the Surprise of the Next Century?", The Public Perspective, The Roper Center, Oct./Nov. 1995.

    [] Most people who find their work exciting and fulfilling are religious people.

    <65%>80% of those who say they are "excited about the future" agree that they find "comfort and support from my religious beliefs." Ibid.

    [] Most people who feel close to their families are religious people.

    94% of people who "feel very close" to their families agree that "my religious faith is the most important influence in my life." Ibid.

    [] Eight in ten Americans say religious beliefs help them respect themselves. Ibid.

    [] More than eight in ten say that their religious beliefs lead them to respect people of other religions. Ibid.

    *Improving Health

    [] Regular church attendance lessens the possibility of cardiovascular diseases, cirrhosis of the liver, emphysema and arteriosclerosis. George W. Comstock amd Kay B. Patridge:* "Church attendance and health."* Journal of Chronic Disease, Vol. 25, 1972, pp. 665-672.

    *[] Regular church attendance significantly reduces the probablility of high blood pressure.* David B. Larson, H. G. Koenig, B. H. Kaplan, R. S. Greenberg, E. Logue and H. A. Tyroler:* " The Impact of religion on men's blood pressure."* Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 28, 1989, pp.265-278.* W.T. Maramot:* "Diet, Hypertension and Stroke." in* M. R. Turner (ed.) Nutrition and Health, Alan R. Liss, New York, 1982, p. 243.

    *[] People who attend services at least once a week are much less likely to have high blood levels of interlukin-6, an immune system protein associated with many age-related diseases.* Harold Koenig and Harvey Cohen, The International Journal of Psychiatry and Medicine, October 1997.

    *[] Regular practice of religion lessens depression and enhances self esteem. *Peter L. Bensen and Barnard P. Spilka:* "God-Image as a function of self-esteem and locus of control" in H. N. Maloney (ed.) Current Perspectives in the Psychology of Religion, Eedermans, Grand Rapids, 1977, pp. 209-224.* Carl Jung: "Psychotherapies on the Clergy" in Collected Works Vol. 2, 1969, pp.327-347.

    *[] About half of religious people "have a lot of stress" in their lives, but only half of these "often get depressed." George Gallup, Jr. "Religion in America: Will the Vitality of Churches Be the Surprise of the Next Century?" The Public Perspective, The Roper Center, Oct./Nov. 1995.

    *[] Church attendance is a primary factor in preventing substance abuse and repairing damage caused by substance abuse.* Edward M. Adalf and Reginald G. Smart:* "Drug Use and Religious Affiliation, Feelings and Behavior." * British Journal of Addiction, Vol. 80, 1985, pp.163-171.* Jerald G. Bachman, Lloyd D. Johnson, and Patrick M. O'Malley:* "Explaining* the Recent Decline in Cocaine Use Among Young Adults:* Further Evidence That Perceived Risks and Disapproval Lead to Reduced Drug Use."* Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol. 31,* 1990, pp. 173-184.* Deborah Hasin, Jean Endicott, * and Collins Lewis:* "Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Patients With Affective Syndromes."* Comprehensive Psychiatry, Vol. 26, 1985, pp. 283-295. * The findings of this NIMH-supported study were repilcated in the Bachmen et. al. study above.

    * This data is reprinted from RIAL Update which is edited by Robert B. Lennick and published twice a year by Religion In American Life.* Reprinting of any material in this copyright publication requires written permission from the editor.

    W.K. Kay and L.J. Francis Drift from the Churches: attitudes towards Christianity during childhood and adolescence, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1996, pp x + 266Key words: attitudes - Christianity - children - adolescents - empiricalMedium: authored bookSummary:

    How and why do some young people become religious?* Are religious people happier than others?* Do church schools help pupils to develop a positive attitude toward Christianity?* What part does personal religious experience play in shaping religious attitudes?*

    Twenty-five years of empirical psychological and sociological research on young people in relation to Christianity is presented here in a set of interrelated studies which show how attitude toward Christianity in young people is linked with schooling, cognitive development, masculinity and femininity, church attendance, religious experience, science, well-being, mental health and the Eysenckian model of personality.

    page 2 of the argument

    page 3 of the argument