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  1. #51
    JohannBessler
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    Re: Surprise Finding About Atheists (you better sit down)

    @Hard-up:

    Thank you for your insights on Alaska. They don't generally coincide with the insights of a relative, however, who lived in Fairbanks for many years.

    He spoke of the religious "nuts", but he said they represented the minority. To be fair, Alaska is a very large state. It may be hard to generalize.

    On another note: I once saw a map of crime rates in Canada. Guess what? The highest crime rates were in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories--very lightly densely populated areas.

    No, I think we have to move on to other factors. I don't think population density matters.

  2. #52
    RazorzEdge88
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    Re: Surprise Finding About Atheists (you better sit down)

    Quote Originally Posted by JohannBessler View Post
    No, I think we have to move on to other factors. I don't think population density matters.
    Nonsense. The exceptions don't disprove the rule.

  3. #53
    Impish and Mercurial Rolyo85's Avatar
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    Re: Surprise Finding About Atheists (you better sit down)

    I don't really find this surprising at all. I mean, it seems only natural to me. People tend to find god in mostly dire situations - tragedies, wars, incarceration, suicide survival...
    That we are capable only of being what we are, remains our unforgivable sin.
    - Gene Wolfe

  4. #54
    JockBoy87
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    Re: Surprise Finding About Atheists (you better sit down)

    Quote Originally Posted by JohannBessler View Post

    If one checks the statistics more closely, one finds that the single biggest contingent of prisoners consists of Catholics.
    Pew Research disagrees markedly.

    Inmate Religious Affiliation
    Approximately what percentage of inmates identify
    with the following religious groups?

    Mean %


    Protestant 50.6
    Catholic 14.5

    Mormon 0.8
    Orthodox Christian 0.4
    Muslim+ 9.4
    Native American spirituality 2.7
    Pagan/earth-based practitioner 1.7
    Jewish 1.7
    Other non-Christian religions
    ++ 1.5
    Buddhist 0.9
    Hindu 0.2
    No religious preference 10.6
    Proportion of inmates whose religious
    preference not known 5.0

    Q22a-m. Responses could range from 0 to 100 for the set of
    12 groups. Mean response based on all answering. Those
    who gave no response to the question are excluded.
    +
    Includes followers of the Nation of Islam and the Moorish
    Science Temple of America.
    ++
    The question listed the following examples: “Baha’is,
    Rastafarians, practitioners of Santeria, Sikhs and others.”
    PEW RESEARCH CENTER’S FORUM ON RELIGION & PUBLIC LIFE

    http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFile...%20Prisons.pdf

  5. #55

    Re: Surprise Finding About Atheists (you better sit down)

    Quote Originally Posted by JohannBessler View Post
    One other person mentioned this aspect of the phenomenon, JMA, but I see a problem with the reasoning.

    If one checks the statistics more closely, one finds that the single biggest contingent of prisoners consists of Catholics. Now, historically speaking, Catholicism has not attracted many converts. Indeed, most people get raised into the faith.

    Moreover, conversion to Catholicism takes a great deal of time and effort. One has to go to catechism, and get confirmed, and so on. By contast, conversion to a Protestant religion can literally take minutes.

    Yet, as I noted before, the largest contingent of prisoners consists of Catholics. Something interesting is taking place that doesn't seem to provide any answers.
    I don't know if it's true or not, but from MY perspective, Catholics seem like the most forgiving. You can do just about anything, confess your sins to a guy in a box, say a few Hail Mary's, and you're forgiven and good to go until you slip up again.
    http://www.justusboys.com/forum/signaturepics/sigpic216959_1.gif

  6. #56
    JohannBessler
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    Re: Surprise Finding About Atheists (you better sit down)

    Quote Originally Posted by LeicsDom View Post
    One in five young men in youth jails is Muslim, an increase of nearly 25 per cent on last year, figures released today show.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...m-8392928.html
    Very, very interesting, Leics. I have begun to believe that the trend may exist across the globe.

    Quote Originally Posted by csb999 View Post
    True to really prove this the same test would have to be administered in the same way to both US prisoners and the US general population or Scandinavian prisoners and the Scandinavian general population , I state without proof that the US general populace is roughly the same as the "Scandinavian" . Moreover there is a generally recognised ranking among nations , not my statement .
    That would be very useful to know.

    If we had the Scandinavian statistics, I think we could draw a definitive conclusion.

  7. #57

    Re: Surprise Finding About Atheists (you better sit down)

    The research that I recall reading decades ago was based solely on prisoner's religious affiliations at the time of their first incarceration. Obviously many prisoners convert to some religion or other during their time inside for whatever reason.

    It seemed to indicate that the stronger the belief in some form of religion the more likely a person was to disregard the law. Catholics and Muslims certainly seem to be over-represented in British prisons and I doubt that can be blamed on any sort of discrimination.

  8. #58
    CE&P Secret Police xbuzzerx's Avatar
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    Re: Surprise Finding About Atheists (you better sit down)

    Quote Originally Posted by JohannBessler View Post
    It would be very interesting to see those statistics, Leics.

    It leads to still another conundrum.
    Johann, prior to the "greater social patterns" discussion coming up, if I would have just given you my one line answer on why so many people 'become religious' in prison, I would say it's because in our society, embracing Christianity while in prison gives-- truly or falsely-- the appearance of contrition and reform. Other people have noted it helps in parole hearings and even in the court of public opinion. In that sense I believe sudden religiousness in prison is often utilitarian-- though not necessarily exclusively so. I would have given that answer before assuming any sort of greater pattern between tendency towards religion and tendency towards ethics or crime, just because it seems like the far simpler explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohannBessler View Post
    I merely attempt to make some sense out of the statistics, because, at first glance, they do seem counterintuitive.

    I think Buzzer came pretty close to a fair, accurate analysis. Crime rates in any populace may tend to relate more to population density.

    But not always. I see that Alaska--one of the most sparesely populated states in the Union--also has one of the highest crime rates.

    I find it hard to find any one common thread. Alaskans,by and large, have libertarian tendencies, and tend to be irreligious.

    It seems like any time one comes up with a theory, one can find examples that directly contradict that theory.
    Well don't forget, my comment about population density was never meant to be made in a simplistic vaccuum, I noted as well Sweden's lack of dense urban poverty and I didn't note, but meant to imply, its lack of widespread or acute economic disparity compared to us. Japan is very much the same way, it has very high population density, but compared to us, the economic inequality is nowhere near so severe. There are of course cultural factors at work as well, which is why you have outliers like sparsely populated areas with high crime, such as Alaska... although I still think it would be informative to look at whether that crime rate in Alaska is uniformly spread, or highly concentrated to metropolitan Anchorage.

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