Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Education and religion

The article below notes a correlation between more education and less religion.  The inference is that education squashes religion and that religious people are therefore ill-educated dummies.

But that misses an elephant in the room:  The overwhelming presence of Leftism in the current educational system.  And Christianity is abhorrent to most of the Left.  Leftism is itself a religion and they resent rival religions.  So the longer you spend in the educational system, the more you will be exposed to anti-religious messages -- and we must not be too surprised to find that those messages have some impact.  It is therefore entirely reasonable to explain the correlation between religion and education as an effect of educational bias, not as telling us something about religious people

Note also that there are two large and important nations with high levels of Christian belief where about 40% of the population are regular churchgoers: Russia and the USA. Lying geographically in between them, however, is another large group of important nations where religious observance is very low: England and Western Europe. Yet from the USA to Russia and in between IQ levels are virtually the same: About 100. That sounds like a zero correlation between belief and IQ to me. Education is not IQ but average IQ rises as you go further up the educational tree

And there is a comprehensive study which shows little relationship between religion and IQ.  It shows that just over 5% of the variance in religious attachment is explainable by intelligence. In other words, IQ DOES influence religious attachment but only to a trivial degree. And that triviality is probably a product of the fact that high IQ people tend to undertake more education.  So there are almost the same number of high IQ religious people as there are high IQ non-religious people. IQ is unimportant to an understanding of religion. So religious people are not dummies.  Personality and cultural factors are presumably the main drivers of religious adherence

JUST one extra year of schooling makes someone 10% less likely to attend a church, mosque or temple, pray alone or describe himself as religious, concludes a paper* published on October 6th that looks at the relationship between religiosity and the length of time spent in school. Its uses changes in the compulsory school-leaving age in 11 European countries between 1960 and 1985 to tease out the impact of time spent in school on belief and practice among respondents to the European Social Survey, a long-running research project.

By comparing people of similar backgrounds who were among the first to stay on longer, the authors could be reasonably certain that the extra schooling actually caused religiosity to fall, rather than merely being correlated with the decline. During those extra years mathematics and science classes typically become more rigorous, points out Naci Mocan, one of the authors-and increased exposure to analytical thinking may weaken the tendency to believe.

Another paper, published earlier this year, showed that after Turkey increased compulsory schooling from five years to eight in 1997, women's propensity to identify themselves as religious, cover their heads or vote for an Islamic party fell by 30-50%. (No effect was found, however, among Turkish men.) And a study published in 2011 that looked at the rise in the school-leaving age in Canadian provinces in the 1950s and 1960s found that each extra year of schooling led to a decline of four percentage points in the likelihood of identifying with a religious tradition. Longer schooling, it reckoned, explains most of the increase in non-affiliation to any religion in Canada between 1971 and 2001, from 4% of the population to 16%.

The most recent paper also showed that each extra year in the classroom led to a drop of 11 percentage points in superstitious practices, though these remain common. Two-fifths of respondents said they consulted horoscopes, and a quarter thought that lucky charms could protect them. Other research has shown that religious beliefs and practices seem to make people happier, and in some circumstances healthier and wealthier, too. But to argue that such benefits more than offset the gains from extra education would require a leap of faith.



Surprise, taxpayers! ObamaCare will increase the budget deficit by $131 billion

When ObamaCare passed Congress in March 2010, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the law would reduce the deficit by $124 billion over the next decade. The purported deficit reduction was, well, a rather rosy assumption because of all the budgetary gimmicks in the law, including Medicare cuts that are almost certainly never going to happen and backloaded costs.

The CBO has since released two more cost estimates, one in February 2011 and the other in July 2012, the most recent of which showed ObamaCare lowering the deficit by $109 billion. In a report released on Tuesday, Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee note, however, that because of lower than expected enrollments, unilateral changes to the employer mandate, and reduced economic output due to the law's negative impact on the labor market, ObamaCare will actually increase the budget deficit by $131 billion over the next ten years.

"This estimate is arrived at by taking the $180 billion in projected deficit reduction from the CBO 2012 extrapolation and then accounting for the lower net cost of the coverage provisions ($83 billion), the lower estimated federal health care savings under the plan ($132 billion), as well as the lower projected revenue levels when including the labor market effects of the legislation ($262 billion)," the report says. "The difference between the 2012 extrapolation and the current estimate of the cost of the Democrats’ health law amounts to a $311 billion change in its net deficit impact."



Must not require ID to vote but must have ID to buy a gun

The liberal version of consistency.  At least they show that they really do know about racial differences

Eric Holder and his liberal allies are going after voter-ID laws again, claiming that they are racist and discriminatory.

Apparently, the reasoning used by the DOJ and the ACLU is that African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities are too poor and/or dumb to figure out how to get to the DMV to obtain a photo ID.

Liberal groups have filed dozens of lawsuits across the country trying to dismantle voter-ID laws right before the election. The result is that these cases have bounced around the nation’s court systems, yet we still don’t have any definitive Supreme Court ruling.

For example, the Supreme Court issued a ruling suspending Wisconsin’s voter-ID law however when Eric Holder went after Texas’ similar law, the Supreme Court allowed the law to remain on the books… for now.

As someone who’s had a driver’s license since I was in High School, this is just so foreign to me. It isn’t really that hard, especially given the number of things that already require a government-issued photo ID!

First of all, it is next to impossible to survive in twenty-first century America without a driver’s license or some other form of ID. You need photo identification to board an airplane, rent an apartment, open a bank account, and to apply for government assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid. You need a photo ID to drive a car, buy cigarettes or alcohol, receive medical treatment at a hospital, and buy a firearm. You need a photo ID to buy cough medicine, get married, travel abroad, and to get a job. To suggest that the minority community is somehow doing all of these things without an ID is ridiculous.

There’s nothing normal about living in America without some form of government-issued identification! If the number of people without photo ID really is so large, the government should spend less time suing states like North Carolina and more time helping these people get to their local DMVs!

Eric Holder is leading the charge against states’ voter-integrity laws and his argument is simple: voter-ID laws apparently disproportionately stop minorities from being able to exercise their rights…

Unfortunately, Barack Obama has packed the courts with so many like-minded judges that this line of reasoning is actually working. The President appointed U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos to the bench three years ago. She was the judge who originally ruled that Texas’ voter-ID law was unconstitutional.

Even though she admitted there was no evidence or “smoking gun,” she ruled that the law amounted to a poll-tax and that the legislation’s white sponsors “were motivated, at the very least in part, because of and not merely in spite of the voter-ID law’s detrimental effects on the African-American and Hispanic electorate.”

Even though she has absolutely no evidence of this, this Obama appointee still tried to kill the voter integrity law. She referred to white legislators as “Anglos,” proving just how contemptuous she is towards others!

The fact remains that we can’t rely on the judicial system to protect the integrity of the vote. Harry Reid’s “nuclear option” made it far too easy for Barack Obama to pack the courts with like-minded liberals. We also can’t trust the executive branch to protect the integrity of the vote, given that Attorney General Eric Holder is leading the charge against voter-ID.

That leaves Congress as our last defense.

*If requiring an ID to exercise a right truly is unconstitutional, then we have a lot of changes that need to be made…*

I fail to see how it is constitutional to require a photo-ID to exercise a 2nd Amendment right (gun ownership), but it is apparently racist to require a photo-ID for people to exercise their 15th, 17th, 19th, etc Amendment rights (voting).

I fail to see how a photo-ID is an acceptable requirement for press credentials or municipal protest permits to exercise 1st Amendment rights, however it is racist to ask for identification before entering the voting booth.

First let's look at firearm ownership rates. Pew has shown in its polling that a black family is half as likely to have a gun in the home as a white family. Since apparently its all the rage to make a bunch of assumptions without proving solid causation, I am going to say that this is racist and stems from minorities' inability to obtain the photo-IDs necessary to pass a background check and buy a firearm. If these roadblocks weren't in place, perhaps more African Americans would be able to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights... Chalk one up for Jim Crow-era gun control laws!

Now let's look at the media. In 2011, for example, minorities accounted for just 16% of the journalists hired by major media companies. Again, since baseless assumptions are all the rage nowadays, I'm going to say that more minorities would be hired in journalism if it was easier for them to obtain a photo-ID and press credentials.

Now, I know that these are ridiculous, tongue-in-cheek arguments. They're supposed to be. I hear every day that it's unconstitutional to require an ID to exercise a right, except the same people fighting against voter-ID are the ones pushing for increased firearm background checks. Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?

You can’t have one without the other. You can't say that it is unconstitutional to require an ID to exercise a right while simultaneously enforcing that requirement for gun ownership, press credentials, jury participation, etc. If it's unconstitutional to require an ID to exercise one right, then it should be unconstitutional to show an ID to exercise any right...

And the liberals know this… They know that their arguments are riddled with hypocrisy.



A nation that can put a man on the moon can't rise to Mexican standards when it comes to voting?


NY Gun Registry Deems Almost 35,000 People Too Mentally Ill To Carry a Gun

A new figure out of New York shows that the state has deemed 34,500 people too mentally ill to carry a firearm. While any responsible citizen would argue a dangerous and mentally unstable person should not be wielding a gun, some mental health advocates are arguing the number is far too high:

    “That seems extraordinarily high to me,” said Sam Tsemberis, a former director of New York City’s involuntary hospitalization program for homeless and dangerous people, now the chief executive of Pathways to Housing, which provides housing to the mentally ill. “Assumed dangerousness is a far cry from actual dangerousness.”

The Office of Mental Health pointed out that 144,000 people were hospitalized in New York in 2012 for mental illness, trying to justify the gun registry's seemingly high number. Yet, other health professionals argue the majority of those cases are not violent.

Mental health advocates aren't the only ones frustrated with this statistic. This new report gives New York's gun owners another reason to be fed up with the SAFE Act, the gun restricting legislation that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law shortly after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

While the liberal governor may have thought he was keeping New Yorkers "safe," one of the law's aims has seemed to be to convince gun owners they belong in the slammer. The legislation, which banned the sale of AR-15s and upgraded previous misdemeanors into felonies, resulted in over 1,200 felonies last year.

Gun control activists would counter by arguing that the law is not overly cautious if it manages to keep a firearm out of the hands of people who do not have full control of their mental state.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.  This time with pictures!


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


No comments: