Statistics and Studies can support anything you want them to

I visited unkleE’s blog today and read his current post , “Do atheists pretend to know things they don’t know ?”   I rarely agree with unkleE but today I did agree with some of what he had to say.  As many of you know who know unkleE, he tends to think he provides overwhelming evidence for his positions.  What tends to happen, happened today when he was citing “studies” to support his post.

unkleE, says, “The evidence I can find is not all one way, but overall it shows that christian faith (and some other religious belief) is actually associated with higher levels of physical and mental wellbeing. (There is a link at the bottom to a list of studies.)”

My response to him was, “I would be curious to know if there have been studies about other social groups like social clubs / organizations. Are members of non-religious social organizations also associated with higher levels of physical and mental well being. Although I have no evidence for this, my initial inclination would be, “yes” . Your thoughts ?”

unkleE says, “Hi Ken, I think you are right about other social groups, though I don’t have a reference I can put my hand son.”

But you see, before I posed the question about non-religious groups being able to do the same thing, unkleE (a christian) was quite content to let people think that it was religions (particularly christian)which help to promote a higher level of physical and mental well being.

I’m sure Neuro / Victoria will be able to shed some insight on this.  🙂

I think my next comment to unkleE will be that he might consider joining the :

Australian Beer Can Collectors Association

Now that’s an organization we could all get behind !  🙂

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10 thoughts on “Statistics and Studies can support anything you want them to

  1. “According to this multivariate analysis which takes into account a plethora of indicators of societal well-being, those states in America with the worst quality of life tend to be among the most God-loving/most religious (such as Mississippi and Alabama), while those states with the best quality of life tend to among the least God-loving/least religious (such as Vermont and New Hampshire).”

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-secular-life/201410/secular-societies-fare-better-religious-societies

    Is Religion Bad For Your Health? Yes!

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/death-love-sex-magic/200909/is-religion-bad-your-health

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  2. Thank you, Victoria ! I knew you could shed much light on this subject. I think people tend to take these studies at face value rather than analyze them and see them for what they really are.

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  3. Religious Trauma Syndrome — Published in the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies

    “Mental health professionals need to recognize the seriousness of Religious Trauma Syndrome. Religion can and does cause great personal suffering, fractured families, and social breakdown. There are many individuals needing and deserving recognition and treatment from informed professionals. We need to let go of making religion a special case in which criticism is taboo. It is our ethical responsibility to be aware and our human obligation to be compassionate.

    http://www.babcp.com/Review/RTS.aspx

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  4. I would guess he’s probably (technically) correct. If I turn to you right now, this evening, and say, “Some children will be born in Africa, face hunger, be brutalized by poverty, become sex slaves, contract AIDS and then die by age eighteen having led miserable lives”- you probably wouldn’t feel great about the world.
    If I lied and promised you esoteric justice and afterlives and who knows what else, you might sleep more easily. It takes an extraordinarily thick skin to be able to confront what the world actually is. A degree most people are trained into ‘not having’.

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    • Well said. Here’s how I worded your observation in the past:

      “Life, as we find it,” said Freud, “is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks.” To bear it, the Austrian neurologist stated, we invent, employ, and deploy three principle solutions, or what he called “palliative measures:” ‘powerful deflections,’ which cause us to make light of our misery; ‘substitutive satisfactions,’ which diminish it; and ‘intoxicating substances,’ which make us insensitive to it. Religion, it can be argued, draws upon all three. It promotes suffering by selling the notion of reward – an afterlife – for endurance in the face of hardship where suffering is celebrated and tallied by the devout like the accumulation of chips at a casino. Religion employs substitutive deflections by promoting the displacement of responsibility as claimed by the likes of Dena Schlosser, Deanna Lajune LeNay, and Andrea Yates. And lastly, religion as an intoxicant is perhaps the most powerful palliative measure as it quite literally emboldens the devout to wilfully ignore reality; a deflection perhaps nowhere more recklessly displayed today than in Kentucky’s Creation Museum or in the abhorrent actions of a suicide bomber. Again, for the believer, insensitivity to reality draws its strength from the promise of reward in an afterlife which, as a notion, is as appealing and addictive as heroin to seemingly sane but otherwise deeply frightened individuals.

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  5. Hi Pink, long time no see. I hope you’re doing well. I wasn’t necessarily disagreeing with his statement. I was making a point that he left out the possibility that many social organizations which are non-religious can also promote physical and mental well being.

    As Neuro has provided evidence for, there can also be a down side with religion as well .

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  6. How on earth did this foolish manchild get from “Do atheists pretend to know things they don’t know?” to “christian faith is associated with higher levels of physical and mental wellbeing”??

    I swear most of the really insane apologists in blogland, like unkleE, attended Glenn Beck University.

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  7. I just have to read the name unklee and my teeth hurt.

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