Monday, April 24, 2006

Just as I suspected

All but four of the forty-three polls listed support the conclusion that native intelligence varies inversely with degree of religious faith; i.e., that, other factors being equal, the more intelligent a person is, the less religious he is.

Conclusions In this essay:

sixteen studies of the correlation between individual measures of student intelligence and religiosity, all but three of which reported an inverse correlation.

five studies reporting that student bodies with high average IQ and/or SAT scores are much less religious than inferior student bodies;

three studies reporting that geniuses (IQ 150+) are much less religious than the general public (Average IQ, 100), and one dubious study;

seven studies reporting that highly successful persons are much less religious in belief than are others; and

eight old and four new Gallup polls revealing that college alumni (average IQ about 115) are much less religious in belief than are grade-school pollees.

Scott Adams asks why this is so?

"it’s fair to wonder whether the low IQ/faith correlation – if real – is based on direct causation or something else. According to your comments, here are some of the top contenders for the “something else.”

1. Smart people tend to have more resources. Therefore, God’s quiet whisper to their soul is drowned out by the sound of their home theaters and BMW engines.

2. College professors are a bunch of atheists who consciously or unconsciously brainwash students to disavow their faith. So the more college you get, the more brainwashing you get.

3. Higher education teaches a rational way of looking at the world that is well suited for worldly decision-making but cripples the student for recognizing the subtlety of the divine.

4. And my favorite: People with high IQs are notoriously stupid when it comes to real world questions."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The War on Easter

has begun.
Peter the Hypocrite

One of the silliest bloggers I've come into contact with is Peter the Hypocrite. I find his hypocrisy so bat-shit crazy that I had to provide him a perma-link on my sidebar. One of my favorite characteristics of Peter the Hypocrite is his hypocrisy. That's why I call him Peter the Hyipocrite. Every so often I comment on his blog and ask him to explain how statements he makes are not hypocritical. He deletes them. Even if I'm nice about it. So I'd just like to point out an example of Peter the Hypocrite's blatant hypocrisy. Check out this post.

In the post, Peter the Hypocrite is taking issue with some conservative referring to a particular brand of conservatives--those from south-eastern Wisconsin-- as "Charlie Sykes' Stormtroopers." He also referred to them as "nutso."

So Peter the Hypocrite notes that this is just another example of "Liberals of any stripe — Republicans or Democrats — referring to conservatives using Nazi terminology."

Got it? Liberals often refer to conservatives using Nazi terminology. This is bad.

So than Peter the Hypocrite asserts that his accuser is no more conservative than "Sgt. Dale "I Know Nussing" Schultz." Now Dale Schultz is a Republican Wisconsin senator. But "I know nussing" is obviously a referencece to Sgt. Schultz on Hogan's Heroes, who was in fact, a Nazi. A bumbling one at that. So a few paragraphs after chastising liberals for referring to conservatives as Nazis, Peter the Hypocrite refers to a conservative as a Nazi.

This is not the end of it. Peter goes on to claim his accuser is not a conservative:

"Why do I say that I don't believe he is a conservative? Because the ad hominem personal attacks he launched were right out of the leftist playbook."

Ahhh, the leftist playbook and its reliance on ad hominem attacks. Peter the Hypocrite is so far above ad hominem attacks that in the same post he says this in the very next paragraph:

"This guy is most likely one of these blue-blood country-club Republicans that are the ruination of the GOP every time they are in control of the agenda. These blue-blood, country-clubbers lose at the ballot boxes unless their district is gerrymandered to ensure their election."

So this type of Republican is different and weak and wrong because they belong to country clubs or have "blue blood." I got news for you Peter the Hypocrite; calling someone a blue-blooded country clubber is arguing against the person. It is an ad hominem.

Hypocrisy? I think so.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Politics

I got myself into a little exchange with a few right-wingers on the topic of immigration over at the Badger Blog Alliance. Whenever I comment over there or on Bible-Brian's blog or Jenna's blog, I always seem to get accused of being a liberal. Gee-wiz, do I hate party politics. We live in a politically ridiculous world where conservative means Republican and liberal means Democrat. People have so many totally inconsistent ideas that have been lumped together by one stupid party or the other for so long that they don't see the inconsistencies. The immigration debate is a prime example. Free immigration IS free trade. Yet the Democrats are typically for immigration and against free trade, while the Republicans are typically for free trade and are against immigration. The war is another example. If you are against big spending, why be so eager to go to war? The Patriot Act is another example. Republicans are supposed to be the party in favor of liberty over order. The Patriot act almost explicitly places order over liberty.

So where do I stand?
-I am in favor of small government. Laws that tell me (or anyone else) what I can and can't do for my own protection are bad laws. This includes smoking bans (with respect to tavern owners more than smokers), drug laws, laws telling people who they can and can't marry, and tariffs meant to tell me who I can and can't buy stuff from. In the same vein, I think that welfare programs should be reduced significantly. I think that nationalized health care would lead to shitty health care (see e.g. Canada).

-I am in favor of freedom and equality. For this reason I think our borders should basically be open. We should have some limits based on prior criminal acts perhaps. And there should be some formalities. But it should take a few days or weeks to become a US citizen, not a year or more. People shouldn't be doomed to a shitty life just because of where they were born. Also in the category of freedom and equality: I'm against affirmative action. Although I think it was necessary for a time, that time has passed. I think it's doing more harm to minorities than good these days. My stance on gay rights fits into this category too.

-I believe in the harm principle. If an act hurts nobody but the actor, the actor should be free to do it. This is one of the many things that separates gay marriage from pedophilia etc. Despite what the right-wingers argue. This also applies to drug laws. Smoking pot doesn't hurt anyone really. You can't even argue that it hurts anyone besides the user.

-I can't stand the notion of God. It has held back progress since some primitive man first put a skull on a pike and threw some red dirt on it. But today it's at a very dangerous level. We're too smart to believe such nonsense in this day and age. It should be kept out of politics as much as possible. Sam Harris said this:

We can no longer ignore the fact that billions of our neighbors believe in the metaphysics of martyrdom, or in the literal truth of the Book of Revelation, or any of the other fantastical notions that have lurked in the minds of the faithful for millennia—because our neighbors are now armed with chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

And I agree. By the way, check out this Sam Harris interview. I know Samdisappointedd some with the last chapter of The End of Faith but he is still a damn smart guy and everyone should hear what he has to say.

-That's my politics in a nutshell. My Democrat friends would laugh at anyone who characterizes me as liberal. My Republican friends would laugh at anyone who characterizes me as Conservative. I'm neither. But the chances are, either are you.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's been a while

So I thought I'd post something.

Lance Burri of the Badger Blog Alliance (Making Wisconsin Scary in '08) thinks he is smarter than one of America's greatest literary geniuses. He criticizes the logic of the quote at the top of this here blog after he read it on a bumper sticker. He's right to some degree. The quote would be more accurate if it said "Faith is believing what you ought to know aint so."

This expensive study proves the something that all of us ought to already know.

And here's a disheartening study indicating that atheists are the most distrusted group in America.

Asked whether they would disapprove of a child's wish to marry an atheist, 47.6 percent of those interviewed said yes. Asked the same question about Muslims and African-Americans, the yes responses fell to 33.5 percent and 27.2 percent, respectively. The yes responses for Asian-Americans, Hispanics, Jews and conservative Christians were 18.5 percent, 18.5 percent, 11.8 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively.

When asked which groups did not share their vision of American society, 39.5 percent of those interviewed mentioned atheists. Asked the same question about Muslims and homosexuals, the figures dropped to a slightly less depressing 26.3 percent and 22.6 percent, respectively. For Hispanics, Jews, Asian-Americans and African-Americans, they fell further to 7.6 percent, 7.4 percent, 7.0 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

How sad. These are the same people that will watch the Larry the Cable Guy Movie.