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      08-25-2011, 05:12 PM   #1
solefald
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Atheists in prison population

Hm... it looks like atheists are a underrepresented minority in the prison system.


Atheists Supply Less Than 1% Of Prison Populations, While Christians Make -Up 75%.
http://current.com/community/9283193...make-up-75.htm




Quote:
Atheists Supply Less Than 1% Of Prison Populations
--------------------------------------------------

It's suprising how many people say to me, "You're an Atheist? You must
have no conscience about commiting crime then." Nothing could be further
from the truth. In fact, if we examine the population of our prisons, we
see a very different picture:

In "The New Criminology", Max D. Schlapp and Edward E. Smith say that two
generations of statisticians found that the ratio of convicts without
religious training is about 1/10 of 1%. W. T. Root, professor of
psychology at the Univ. of Pittsburgh, examined 1,916 prisoners and said
"Indifference to religion, due to thought, strengthens character," adding
that Unitarians, Agnostics, Atheists and Free-Thinkers are absent from
penitentiariers or nearly so.

During 10 years in Sing-Sing, those executed for murder were 65% Catholics,
26% Protestants, 6% Hebrew, 2% Pagan, and less than 1/3 of 1% non-religious.

Steiner and Swancara surveyed Canadian prisons and found 1,294 Catholics,
435 Anglicans, 241 Methodists, 135 Baptists, and 1 Unitarian.

Dr. Christian, Superintendant of the NY State Reformatories, checked
22,000 prison inmates and found only 4 college graduates. In "Who's Who"
91% were college graduates, and he commented that "intelligence and
knowledge produce right living" and that "crime is the offspring of
superstition and ignorance."

Surveyed Massachusetts reformatories found every inmate religious, carefully
herded by chaplins.

In Joliet, there were 2,888 Catholics, 1,020 Baptists, 617 Methodists and
0 non-religious.

Michigan had 82,000 Baptists and 83,000 Jews in their state population.
But in the prisons, there were 22 times as many Baptists as Jews, and 18 times
as many Methodists as Jews. In Sing-Sing, there were 1,553 total inmates with
855 of them Catholics (over half), 518 Protestants, 177 Jews and 8 non-
religious. There's a very interesting qualified statistic.

Steiner first surveyed 27 states, and found 19,400 Christians, 5,000 with
no preference, and only 3 Agnostics (one each in Connecticut, New Hampshire,
and Illinois). A later, more complete survey found 60,605 Christians, 5,000
Jews, 131 Pagans, 4,000 no preference, and only 3 Agnostics.

In one 29-state survey, Steiner found 15 unbelievers, Spirtualists,
Theosophists, Deists, Pantheists and 1 Agnostic among nearly 83,000 inmates.
Calling all 15 "anti-christians" made it one half person to each state.
Elmira reformatory overshadowed all, with nearly 31,000 inmates, including
15,694 Catholics (half), and 10,968 Protestants, 4,000 Jews, 325 refusing
to answer, and 0 unbelievers.

In the East, over 64% of inmates are Catholics. In the national prison
population they average 50%. A national census found Catholics 15%. They
count from the diaper up. Hardly 12% are old enough to commit a crime.
Half of these are women. That leaves an adult Catholic population of 6%
supplying 50% of the prison population.

Liverpool, England produces three percent as many young criminals as
Birmingham, a larger city, 28% coming from Catholic schools.

What does this tell you about parochial school systems or claims that religion
is the guardian of morals?

* Fifty-two percent of people belong to no church, yet live clean lives and *
* supply less than 1% of the total criminal population. So much for *
* religious indoctrination
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      08-25-2011, 06:16 PM   #2
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Makes sense.. the less intelligent you are the more you rely on religion for your answers in life.
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      08-25-2011, 07:07 PM   #3
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not arguing for 1 side or another but you fail to take into account how many Atheist turn into Christians AFTER they go to prison.

They do this for a variety of reasons. the majority being

1. Going to church and becoming a Christian is looked up more favorably by the parole board, thus giving them an edge in getting paroled
2. Prison is a dark and cold place. Sometimes, when you are out of support, God, real or not is the only support left.
3. Being Christian gives you something different and a different feel in the group of normally violent ghetto crowd. its a variety thing
4. The pressure to convert to Christianity is strong in the prison system. Its VERY relentless.
5. you really got nothing else to do...
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      08-25-2011, 07:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HungHingHK View Post
not arguing for 1 side or another but you fail to take into account how many Atheist turn into Christians AFTER they go to prison.

They do this for a variety of reasons. the majority being

1. Going to church and becoming a Christian is looked up more favorably by the parole board, thus giving them an edge in getting paroled
2. Prison is a dark and cold place. Sometimes, when you are out of support, God, real or not is the only support left.
3. Being Christian gives you something different and a different feel in the group of normally violent ghetto crowd. its a variety thing
4. The pressure to convert to Christianity is strong in the prison system. Its VERY relentless.
5. you really got nothing else to do...
almost a intelligent post..

OP I'm not sure if you are saying that "atheist" are better people, or that they do less crime, But I think anyone can call themselves a "christian" or a "atheist" or a "god"

In reality you're action speak louder then words, don't judge a person by what they say, follow there actions, then you can tell if they're a real christian.
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      08-25-2011, 07:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HungHingHK View Post
1. Going to church and becoming a Christian is looked up more favorably by the parole board, thus giving them an edge in getting paroled
2. Prison is a dark and cold place. Sometimes, when you are out of support, God, real or not is the only support left.
3. Being Christian gives you something different and a different feel in the group of normally violent ghetto crowd. its a variety thing
4. The pressure to convert to Christianity is strong in the prison system. Its VERY relentless.
5. you really got nothing else to do...
yes, lots of people turn religious when they go to jail, but are they *really* becoming religious, or they just have nothing else do, because none of the reasons you've mentioned would be enough to turn me into a religious person.
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      08-25-2011, 07:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
In reality you're action speak louder then words, don't judge a person by what they say, follow there actions, then you can tell if they're a real christian.
What IS is a real christian? Please define.

Also, anyone can't call themselves an atheist, or you are trying to convince me that a religious person would ever call themselves an atheist? Most likely not.

What I am saying is that lots of religious people are convinced that no matter what they do, all they have to do is pray, and the magical person in the sky will forgive them, wipe their slate clean and take them to heaven.

Atheists don't have this belief system where their "score" resets every time they pray.
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      08-25-2011, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith. View Post
Makes sense.. the less intelligent you are the more you rely on religion for your answers in life.
and the more republican you are.
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      08-25-2011, 10:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solefald View Post
What IS is a real christian? Please define.

Also, anyone can't call themselves an atheist, or you are trying to convince me that a religious person would ever call themselves an atheist? Most likely not.

What I am saying is that lots of religious people are convinced that no matter what they do, all they have to do is pray, and the magical person in the sky will forgive them, wipe their slate clean and take them to heaven.

Atheists don't have this belief system where their "score" resets every time they pray.
Someone who tries there best to shun away from sin and live by the word of God.
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      08-25-2011, 11:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
Someone who tries there best to shun away from sin and live by the word of God.
where best? the word you are looking for is "their".

please define "their best" for me, please.
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      08-26-2011, 12:17 AM   #10
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No big surprise seeing as only about 1.7% of the US population describes itself as atheist. Stats seem to match up fairly well.
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      08-26-2011, 01:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
almost a intelligent post..
Please enlighten me which part is not intelligent enough for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by solefald View Post
yes, lots of people turn religious when they go to jail, but are they *really* becoming religious, or they just have nothing else do, because none of the reasons you've mentioned would be enough to turn me into a religious person.
Then you've obviously never been to prison...

Its like a king sitting on his fat ass saying "no amount of hunger will make me farm for my own food."

Get real
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      08-26-2011, 02:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
In reality you're action speak louder then words, don't judge a person by what they say, follow there actions, then you can tell if they're a real christian... Someone who tries there best to shun away from sin and live by the word of God.
Aside from the misused words, there's several problems with your very right-wing definitions.

"Follow their actions" is the big Fox News loophole, wherein any Christian terrorist is "not a real Christian", but any Muslim terrorist is a "radical Muslim", which is a code word for "very Muslim".

Equally problematic, your definition of a "real Christian" fails to mention Christ or Christianity, but references morality and God. So where does that leave the Jews? You know, they're the ones who actually put the word of God into a book.

It's funny that your reference to morality is shunning sin, which is completely self-serving. Don't watch porn, don't be gay, don't have an abortion, etc. To me, morality is all about treating others the way you would want to be treated. Your standard doesn't do me any good, and it hurts others, whereas my standard is based on how I do good for others.

Hence, yours is republican, mine is democratic.
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      08-26-2011, 08:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HungHingHK View Post
Then you've obviously never been to prison...
Have you?
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      08-26-2011, 09:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotchAndCigar View Post
Aside from the misused words, there's several problems with your very right-wing definitions.

"Follow their actions" is the big Fox News loophole, wherein any Christian terrorist is "not a real Christian", but any Muslim terrorist is a "radical Muslim", which is a code word for "very Muslim".

Equally problematic, your definition of a "real Christian" fails to mention Christ or Christianity, but references morality and God. So where does that leave the Jews? You know, they're the ones who actually put the word of God into a book.

It's funny that your reference to morality is shunning sin, which is completely self-serving. Don't watch porn, don't be gay, don't have an abortion, etc. To me, morality is all about treating others the way you would want to be treated. Your standard doesn't do me any good, and it hurts others, whereas my standard is based on how I do good for others.

Hence, yours is republican, mine is democratic.
Good luck with that, You should sell your BMW and start giving all the money to the homeless, that is what you would want people to do for you right? Oh wait, Democrats. Im not fighting a pointless fight on the internet.

Sorry about my miss spelling of the word Their and then. Wasn't a english major. But THANK YOU SO MUCH for showing me how poor of a speller I am by misspelling one word on the IntErWebS
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      08-26-2011, 09:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
You should sell your BMW and start giving all the money to the homeless, that is what you would want people to do for you right?
Not at all, why would I expect anyone to give me money?

You seem very confused; you don't seem to understand what being a moral person in society means. It has absolutely nothing to do with giving out money, nor did I suggest that in any way. Sitting on one's ass and taking handouts is a selfish act, which goes against being fair to others.

You never commented on how your self-serving morality makes you a good Christian, or how Christians like you are claiming exclusive rights to the word of God.

My point is, I believe morality means protecting each individual's rights, and that has nothing to do with believing in Santa Claus or Christ or the Green Lantern. You're certainly entitled to your religious beliefs, which may include the idea that non-christians are going to hell, but the rest of us are entitled to believe differently, but that doesn't make us less moral.
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      08-26-2011, 09:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
You should sell your BMW and start giving all the money to the homeless
I forgot to mention it's a lease, so BMW finance wouldn't take too kindly to that.
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      08-26-2011, 09:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotchAndCigar View Post
Not at all, why would I expect anyone to give me money?

You seem very confused; you don't seem to understand what being a moral person in society means. It has absolutely nothing to do with giving out money, nor did I suggest that in any way. Sitting on one's ass and taking handouts is a selfish act, which goes against being fair to others.

You never commented on how your self-serving morality makes you a good Christian, or how Christians like you are claiming exclusive rights to the word of God.

My point is, I believe morality means protecting each individual's rights, and that has nothing to do with believing in Santa Claus or Christ or the Green Lantern. You're certainly entitled to your religious beliefs, which may include the idea that non-christians are going to hell, but the rest of us are entitled to believe differently, but that doesn't make us less moral.
(Before I get called out, I do call myself a Christian, I do go to church and I'm very active in my church, I am not a perfect human, and I do sin, I do try my best to stay away from sin)

I don't know where you think that if you're not a Christian you are going to go to hell, or that we think of you less then moral.

I do think that if you live as "Christian" like as possible, You will live a pretty good life. Do good for yourself, and for others, Don't sin (do bad). And repent (say I'm sorry) for your mistakes. You will never get forgiveness (From yourself or others) If you don't ask for it.

Being Atheist I find really sad, Because you will never receive the happiness I do from the "religion", or the benefits I receive from it. Which really is sad, because if you did you would understand how awesome it really is.

The Religion has been made a mockery of because of all the people that will call themselves a "Christian" then go home and have affairs and watch porn while cussing at there tv. Thats not a Christian, Being Christian is not something you can just say "I'm a Christian" Its something you have to Prove to yourself and to others.

Actions always speak louder then words.
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      08-26-2011, 10:42 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
I do think that if you live as "Christian" like as possible, You will live a pretty good life.
The Religion has been made a mockery of because of all the people that will call themselves a "Christian" then go home and have affairs and watch porn while cussing at there tv. Thats not a Christian, Being Christian is not something you can just say "I'm a Christian" Its something you have to Prove to yourself and to others.
We seem to be having a problem with semantics. The term "Christian-like" is a common phrase understood by most people, but strictly speaking, it's bigoted. It equates good with Christian. Why can't a non-Christian be good? And why does being Christian mean only good? Many Christians spend their time trying to take away the personal rights of others.

I'm not criticizing your religion, and I don't know how you concluded that I'm an atheist. But if I understand you correctly, you are saying that watching porn and cursing are sins, and I find that both silly and stupid.
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      08-26-2011, 10:56 AM   #19
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That's really interesting SoFlo, thanks for that. Your statement does confirm everything that I loathe about organized religion, particularly Christians. This sense of pity on the rest of the world that doesn't believe in your hocus pocus and mysticism is, in itself, repulsive. That as a group you spend so much time drinking the collective cool-aide (opiate) that you don't realize that it's this attitude that people hate. Look, those who don't need mysticism to live a good life are also not looking for some big payoff in the end. We do the right thing day in and day out because that is what one does to contribute to a society and to help in the evolution of the species as a whole. SO who is more "Moral" here..? Those who's actions are motivated by the big payoff or those who do good out of their own volition without the expectation of anything in return?

You cited that the reason religion has been made mockery of is it's "bad eggs". This has very little to do with it as we all realize people are going to be flawed in all camps. No, the reason religion has become a mockery is that a significant portion of the world is beginning to grow up. I'm assuming (always dangerous) everyone would agree that we no longer need to pray to the sun god for good crops or to Poseidon for safe passage? That these are ancient and trivial beliefs that were created by man as he grappled to understand the world around him? What makes your religion any more valid than theirs or any other religion in the world? Each believer throughout history feels exactly the same conviction you do, yet yours is correct everyone else is wrong? Do you have any comprehension of the inherent flaw in that argument?

No, the mockery of religion is due to the fact that it still exists for a significant portion of the world that hasn't evolved and is still praying to the Sun God.
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      08-26-2011, 10:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotchAndCigar View Post
I'm not criticizing your religion, and I don't know how you concluded that I'm an atheist. But if I understand you correctly, you are saying that watching porn and cursing are sins, and I find that both silly and stupid.

I'd take it a step further and say childlike.
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      08-26-2011, 11:01 AM   #21
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I get a couple of things from this:

-Atheists are a statistically insignificant part of the general (and prison) population.
-The correlation between religious beliefs/training and doing prison time is so strong that sooner or later, all who believe must be headed for jail.

..wait a minute...

-Maybe it means people of religious "training" who don't follow their training, end up in jail.
or
-Atheists are overrepresented in the prison population
or
-People lie about religion and atheism

or, and this is the most likely, people who make what seem to be troll posts about religion are actually looking for enlightenment. Yup, that must be it.

Last edited by OldArmy; 08-26-2011 at 11:24 AM.
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      08-26-2011, 11:33 AM   #22
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I'd argue that Freedom from religion IS enlightenment.
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