Monday, April 18, 2016

Self-reporting doesn't equal fact

Though I do respect and admire the Pew Research Center, I have pointed out that their surveys often have flaws. They provide a lot of great research that can be used as both catalysts and starting points for more in depth studies. But since most of their work relies on self reporting it should never be used as a stand-alone resource. Cathy Grossman doesn't seem to get that. The title of the piece, ironically, is more accurate than the content. In "Highly religious people say they’re happier, too, survey finds" never bothers to point out that for decades white evangelicals, which the piece is predominantly about, have been linked with both conservatism and anger. It is not some liberal media conspiracy since reputable conservative outlets have also noted the correlation. Below is just a handful of pieces that can be found on these links.

White Evangelicals = Conservatives
Brint, Steven, and Seth Abrutyn. "Who's Right About The Right? Comparing Competing Explanations Of The Link Between White Evangelicals And Conservative Politics In The United States." Journal For The Scientific Study Of Religion 49.2 (2010): 328-350. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Campbell, David E. "Religious “Threat” In Contemporary Presidential Elections." Journal Of Politics 68.1 (2006): 104-115. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Green, John C., and James L. Guth. "Evangelical Realignment: The Political Power Of The Christian Right. (Cover Story)." Christian Century 112.21 (1995): 676. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Kiecolt, K. Jill, and Hart M. Nelsen. "Evangelicals And Party Realignment, 1976-1988." Social Science Quarterly (University Of Texas Press) 72.3 (1991): 552. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Conservatives = Anger
Corn, David. "Too Sane For Congress." Mother Jones 36.1 (2011): 10. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Klein, Philip. "Will Grassroots Anger Sink The GOP?." American Spectator 39.2 (2006): 50. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

MCCARTHY, DANIEL. "Why The Right Doesn't Win." American Conservative 14.5 (2015): 22. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Phillips-Fein, Kim. "The Business Lobby And The Tea Party." New Labor Forum (Sage Publications Inc.) 23.2 (2014): 14-20. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Von Drehle, David. "THE CONSERVATIVE IDENTITY CRISIS. (Cover Story)." Time 179.6 (2012): 28-31. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Even the "best representations" are pathetic

I have read or viewed many of the pieces mentioned in Peter Stanford's Guardian piece, "The 10 best representations of God in culture", and highly recommend them. They are wonderful. However, it is rather telling if not somewhat amusing that virtually every single example further demonstrates how pathetically weak the God concept is and how deluded theists tend to be about it. They all provide examples of how innately contradictory and or convoluted the attributes of God are. Quite a few of the pieces either imply or outright state that God is not perfect. As I've pointed out this is a huge problem since if God isn't perfect, and therefore all-powerful, it opens the door to polytheism. Why would there be only one supernatural entity with immense power? The flipside is that perfection is logically impossible. No entity can both exist and be perfect. This is, of course, just one example of the flaws revealed even with the "best representations of God in culture". The lame dismissive excuse so often used by theists that human perception is to blame since we are imperfect doesn't cut it. They never seem to notice that by that standard they themselves can't or should be wasting there time on the concept.