February 11th, 2011, 08:41 AM #1
Are Atheists statistically better people/Christians than Christians (and why?)
What Atheists have less divorces
I find this number all over the internet but I am still trying to understand what some of it means. The catholic who facebooked me this stat last night raised questions as to statistics of atheism. So I looked around and was a little confused. With between 40 and 50% of marriages ending in divorce it would appear as if there it seemed like all groups should have chimed in higher than in the above link. But the number is repeated over and over that Atheists/Agnostics come in at the bottom of divorce rates even besting catholics with the absolute ban on divorce except when it is deemed to have not been a marriage.
The answer that has been generated by the religious community has been almost universally that Cohabitation before marriage is the reason. But almost every statistic on cohabitation indicates no decrease in divorce statistics. So if living together does not increase marriage success how is it possible that Atheist tendency of living together prior to marriage can both make the divorce rate lower while causing higher divorce rate???
Besides I have known many a catholic who cohabitated. I cant find any stats on cohabitation vs religious faith.
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%). 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%).
If this is anywhere near true how is this possible? With no moral compass to guide them?
I find these statistics strange, with the threat of hell fire and sin and belief in the sanctity of marriage, the biblical teaching thou shalt not steal, covet, murder... I would have thought logically that Atheists would have better moral stats yet they clearly do not.
Last edited by Epidemic; February 11th, 2011 at 09:05 AM.
February 11th, 2011, 09:03 AM #2
I think the main problem is moral codes, they are not strong enough to lead people, logically understanding why things are "bad" and others are "good" is a more powerful guidance.
and maybe this: Religiosity and intelligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
February 11th, 2011, 09:11 AM #3
I can not find a statistic for cohabitation vs religion. Help be Gomer
February 11th, 2011, 09:36 AM #4
Keeping two people married is pretty tuff....with all the day to day differences that have to be worked out...
Where to go to dinner..burger bigger or chicken a go go...
Fighting over the remote
etc etc bla bla bla.
Add RELIGION into the mix and ya got one more large catagory for two people to have differences....Imagine a world where dogs took bad owners to the pound...
February 11th, 2011, 09:44 AM #5
down here I can think of a couple of church suspected divorces where one party gets so wrapped up in their church as to be cult like zombies. The partner who does not equally join in the church it can drive them apart.
My mom and dad frequently but heads. The church family they are in is very invasive in to ones time My dad is not that into it, my mom for a while was spending tons of their alone time away from dad and at the church/church family.
Weeks would go by with limited contact. I think if my dad had not bought a snow bird house in Florida that their marriage might have failed.
February 11th, 2011, 09:47 AM #6
Just a couple of quick comments.
The Catholic Church does not ban divorce. However, it does ban re-marrying without an annulment. Basically, you can get a divorce and move out, but as long as the sacrament was valid (not annulled) you are still seen as married, but not living together by the church. In very quick and simple terms, the reason behind this is that during your Catholic marriage you make a vow to God that you will stay with that person for the rest of your life (or theirs). Remarrying is knowingly and permanently breaking that vow to God, and the church cannot condone knowingly doing so.
That being said, I don't have an answer as to why Catholics or other religious may be more inclined to divorce.
As to the criminal stat; just because someone considers his/herself to be religious, doesn't mean that they actually follow any religious "rules" (obviously if they did, they wouldn't be in jail to begin with). If you attribute at least a good portion (I would suspect majority) of the "unknown, no answer" group to be non-religious, I think that stats start making more sense.
Just my quick inputI don't like signatures.
February 11th, 2011, 10:30 AM #7
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Last edited by Cajunheat; February 11th, 2011 at 10:34 AM."Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
February 11th, 2011, 10:38 AM #8
why would someone who doesn't believe in god call himself a Christian (or any other religion) just to make sure the stats look better for atheists?
February 11th, 2011, 10:48 AM #9
Because many religions are more cultural than spiritual for some people. Judaism is the most prominent, but Catholicism among Latinos is also sometimes considered a culture.
How many people divorce and remarry, yet still consider themselves to be Catholic (even though they can't be in full communion with the church while remarried)?
Take a look at how many Americans consider themselves to be Christians and compare that to the number of people who attend mass or services required by their church....I don't like signatures.
February 11th, 2011, 12:05 PM #10
February 11th, 2011, 12:27 PM #11I don't like signatures.
February 11th, 2011, 01:52 PM #12
February 11th, 2011, 02:01 PM #13
Nope. No excuses. If (at least the mainstream) religions were filled with people that could follow the rules, they wouldn't have anyone in jail.
In other words the religious are probably just as likely to commit a crime or get divorced as anyone else, especially when you include people who affiliate themselves with a religion but knowingly don't attempt to follow the religion's teachings.I don't like signatures.
February 11th, 2011, 02:08 PM #14
In Clarification :
Jesus’ teachings on divorce. Not only does Jesus reject no-fault
divorce, he departs from common Jewish opinion by objecting to
polygamy, denying that divorce is necessary after adultery,
saying procreation is not an obligation, and encouraging spouses
to forgive and not divorce when marriage vows are broken
(Matthew 19:4-12). Jesus does not mention neglect as a ground for
divorce. However, since he disagrees with other common views,
“his silence on divorce for neglect is deafening,” says Instone-
Brewer, and he concludes that Jesus agreed with the universal
view among rabbis that Exodus 21:10-11 permits divorce for
The Nation which forgets it's defenders will itself be forgotten
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February 11th, 2011, 02:18 PM #15
The Catholic Church does not issue or recognize divorces. A valid sacrament is a sacrament. However, the church does not preclude you from pursuing a civil divorce (though the church would encourage the couple to work it out if at all possible, and as far as the church is concerned you are still married). You can, however, be divorced in the eyes of the law and still be in good standing with the Catholic Church (as long as you don't get remarried).I don't like signatures.
February 11th, 2011, 03:43 PM #16
I think that the real cause is that people who are atheist/agnostic are thinking people generally speaking. I am not saying that you are stupid for believing in your religion, most people I meet are of average to above average in churches they span the entire bell curve.
But those people who just copy mom and dad's belief with no thought (who do not practice the religion but consider themselves of a certain faith is probably larger than you would find in atheist community) In other words atheists more often than not come to their conclusion through thought for better or worse. They are largely a group of thinkers. While you will find a lot more just plain stupid people copying what is going on around them within the religious ranks. From that group of stupid people you probably have a higher likelihood of crime and divorce.
You will also find many who turn to religion among the poor who want a leg up in the world and they side with religion in hopes of a better life. This group of people probably includes again some of the more educationally challenged. They may not truly believe or follow the tenants of their religion but none the less they would be lumped in with that faith.
So not saying religious folks are stupid but their ranks include more stupid people than atheists.
What you think.
If you are offended by what I said then I said it poorly because it is not a generic jab at the religious among us.
of the thinkers you have a lower likelyhood of becoming
February 11th, 2011, 07:18 PM #17
You're asking the wrong question in the title considering the study you have provided.
I don't think you will be able to provide enough evidence to support one way or another that people are better or worse for having a successful or not successful marriage.
Forget what the religious community says about marriage. What religion says about marriage is nothing more than fodder for the group think mentality, today aimed to sway opinion of one candidate over another. Go for Barna's money quote.Born again adults who have been married are just as likely as non-born-again adults who have been married to eventually become divorced. Because the vast majority of born again marriages occurred after the partners had accepted Christ as their savior, it appears that their connection to Christ makes less difference in the durability of people’s marriages than many people might expect. Faith has had a limited affect on people’s behavior, whether related to moral convictions and practices, relational activities, lifestyle choices or economic practices.
We Think! and aren't easily led around by group think if the evidence isn't available. Extraordinary claims needs extraordinary evidence. The lack of belief in a god is a consequence of rational thinking and lack of evidence. My empathy or thinking along the lines of reciprocity keeps me guided in many supposed moral dilemmas. "How would I like to be treated and should I treat someone else to the contrary?" Christians living by an old dusty book aren’t allowed this level of, freedom of thought. Dogma says so.
I wonder how many marriages are to a degree, appeasements to families wants and needs and not entirely what the married couple, (or just one of the people) want for their life.When those who believe in any of the available gods understand why they deny all other gods, they should come to understand why atheists lack a belief in theirs.
February 19th, 2012, 06:10 AM #18
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Let me help you out
You asked in regard to why ;
"If this is anywhere near true how is this possible? With no moral compass to guide them?"
Your misunderstanding l in your flawed logic. You see, the so called moral compass of religious people is actually based in amorality. Which is not morality at all it is in fact a choice to ignore your true internal moral compass (aka your brain) in place of a book that in most cases written thousands of years ago by the people of power at the time. To see the ridiculousness of religion one only needs to look at the more modern religions such as Scientology or Mormonism as these people actually believe we (humanity) were put here by space aliens. This is of course ludicrous. The fact is that no one truly knows how we got here or why we are here. This also applies to the scientific community but at least science is not so egotistical as to say that it is infallible allowing for the search for knowledge to grow and expand infinity.
An interesting fact about Atheists is that they in overwhelming numbers are strict pacifists. This would exclude them from most crimes that result in imprisonment. It is also important to note the overwhelming number of African Americans in the American penal system and the fact that African Americans have a much lower tendency of being atheists.
When it comes down to it I feel the difference lies in the way atheists develop their own moral compasses. Instead of depending on one piece of literature devised and written thousands of years ago by unknown entities (people) for their moral compasses they instead devise their ideas of right and wrong based upon the whole scope of human history. This would include the entire human catalog of literature, music and even movies as well as their interactions with their peers.
Do not get me wrong tho. I have read the bible, the Qu'ran, the Torah and many of the Sutras and they contain many well devised thoughts and ideas within them. They all display a genuine intent to devise a better world BUT I found that the Bible and Qu'ran in particular had tendencies towards justifying violence, sexism and racism and make generally offensive statements about people who don't fit into the religious 'norm'.
The way I see it, religion is the easy way out. Instead of using the pursuit of knowledge and compassion to devise a moral compass religion allows people what could be referred to as a "one-stop-shop" for morality. Sadly, the world is not so simple and these narrow minded view points can be potentially very dangerous to society.
Fortunately I feel there is hope! Carl Sagan said it best when he said "the old appeals to racial, sexual and religious chauvinism, to rabid nationalist fervor are beginning not to work. A new consciousness is developing which sees the Earth as a single organism, and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed." Mr. Sagan's words provide some glimmer of hope that we can move beyond the bonds of our past to a better tomorrow. I just hope we don't destroy ourselves in the process.
February 19th, 2012, 06:48 AM #19
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Too bad I missed this when it was first posted, I could have said something entertaining. But now that it's been dredged up by a one-post-wonder, I can make a comment or two.
Hell, if even 50% of Americans actually thought things through, there's no way our government would be such a useless, wasteful pool of tar, for instance.
Too, we can take Epidemic's observation about atheists and agnostics being thinking people and throw it on this pile of nonsense. Most of the atheists I know are stupid. They're atheists because it's cool to not believe in a god, not because they examine the lack of evidence with rational thought.
I'm sorry, but a study like this will only show you what the researchers wanted to prove in the first place. By and large, humanity is a greedy piece of crap and whether or not one is honestly religious or honestly atheist is not a maker or breaker of a good person.
February 19th, 2012, 10:05 AM #20
^^ What Whir said ^^
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