crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

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Ryan07
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crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by Ryan07 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:21 pm

What do you think about these statements:

Crime is far lower among atheists than religious communities... even on a global scale.

Murder rates are lower in secular nations and higher in more religious nations where the belief in God is widespread. Of the top 50 safest cities in the world, nearly all are in relatively non-religious countries. And within America, the states with the highest murder rates tend to be the highly religious, such as Louisiana and Alabama, but the states with the lowest murder rates tend to be the among the least religious in the country, such as Vermont and Oregon.

And these findings are not limited to murder rates, as rates of all violent crime tend to be higher in "religious" states. Atheists are very much under-represented in the American prison population (only 0.2%).

In a 1999 Barna study that finds that atheists and agnostics actually have lower divorce rates than religious Americans.

A study in Canada found that conservative Christian women experienced higher rates of domestic violence than non-affiliated women.

A study in 2009 found that teens who make religion-inspired "virginity pledges" are not only just as likely as their non-pledging peers to engage in premarital sex, but more likely to engage in unprotected sex.

Happiness: The most secular nations in the world report the highest levels of happiness among their population.

Altruism: Secular nations such as those in Scandinavia donate the most money and supportive aid, per capita, to poorer nations. Also two more studies show that during the Holocaust, the more secular people were, the more likely they were to rescue and help persecuted Jews.

Outlooks and Values: Atheists and agnostics, when compared to religious people, are actually less likely to be nationalistic, racist, anti-Semitic, dogmatic, ethnocentric, and authoritarian. Secularism also correlates to higher education levels. Atheists and other secular people are also much more likely to support women's rights and gender equality, as well as gay and lesbian rights. Religious individuals are more likely to support government use of torture.




So far I have replied with:

Well if you take away the religion you won't take away the crime. Also I am certain as someone who spent a few weeks in jail once that a lot of people become Christians while they are there just hoping to look good and get out sooner.

and

"The Nazi Fuehrer Adolf Hitler stated repeatedly Nazism was founded on science not faith."

Singalphile
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Re: crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by Singalphile » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:31 pm

First thing that comes to my mind: Where can I look at the source, details, and methodology behind those statistics?
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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Ryan07
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Re: crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by Ryan07 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:53 pm

Yea. These people in this Secular Theology group usually have lot of sources for all the junk they say. So I guess I more look for opposing ideas. Maybe I should just leave all these debate and argument groups LoL
but I can't stop asking questions and looking at both sides

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Ryan07
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Re: crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by Ryan07 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:23 pm

Scientists have discovered that people will believe anything they say scientists have discovered!

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mattrose
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Re: crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by mattrose » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:13 pm

A few thoughts I would have (assuming the statistics are legit)...

1. Religion often does make people more zealous/passionate... and this can indeed take negative forms just as it can take positive forms
2. Who gets to decide what constitutes a 'crime'? God? The State? I'm pretty sure those countries have high rates of abortion (for instance)
3. What's this supposed to prove? Does it change the evidence regarding Jesus' resurrection?

Singalphile
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Re: crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by Singalphile » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:43 pm

Along with what you and mattrose wrote, I'd add:

As for Christianity, Jesus identified his followers (i.e., Christians) as those who put His teaching into practice (Luke 6:43-49), do the will of God (Matt 7:21), and love each other (John 13:34-35), as opposed to those who simply claim Him as Lord (Matt 7:22-23).

The responses of a few 100 or 1,000 people in a telephone, internet, or research questionnaire are an interesting start, but that is all.

I would think that a fair minded person would recognize that these are all fair points and that such (questionable) stats don't prove anything, but I'm not sure that you're going to get such a reasonable response. I'm sure you can dig up stats of your own, but I'm not sure that it will do any good.
Last edited by Singalphile on Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

MMathis
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Re: crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by MMathis » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:40 pm

The more secular this country gets, the more everyone you run into is mad. Just make a boohoo in traffic and people want to chase you down and do harm.

We've killed something like 40 million innocents since Roe v Wade. That puts us up there with Stalin and Mao.
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TheEditor
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Re: crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by TheEditor » Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:13 pm

Well, like it was said "lies, damned lies and statistics". I am sure one could kanoodle and figure out just about anything if one wanted to. I will say this, one thing that seems to be left out of the consideration is the "stamp" of Christianity on these people. Whether they know it or not, their ethics have been formed by things outside their control. Have we ever had a culture that was atheistic for very long? The former USSR comes to mind. After the wall came down, they seemed to have, if memory serves me correctly, quite the organized crime problem. But perhaps this was the fault of the Russian Orthodox.... ;)

Regards, Brenden.
[color=#0000FF][b]"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."[/b][/color]

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steve
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Re: crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by steve » Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:27 pm

Statistics like these don't really provide adequate analysis. If it is true that "when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him," then I would actually expect, in crime-torn regions, to see God raising up Christian influences to counteract those trends.

If this were to happen, then we would find significant "religious" movements, especially, in the worst regions—which is what the alleged statistics suggest. But the less-obvious factor would be what was the cause and what the effect. One might say, "There is all of this crime because there is so much religion," or, perhaps more accurately say, "There is so much 'religion' because of so much crime in the area."

I think we all recognize that the word "religious" is a very broad category, and Christians need own little responsibility for the actions of vaguely or overtly "religious" groups or individuals—depending on the nature of the "religion" the claim to embrace. All I can say, from my 50+ years as a Christian in fellowship with other Christians, is that those who are faithfully following Christ are not generally the same people committing the crimes.

There are exceptions, though. Some Christians, sadly, do succumb to temptation and end up committing crimes. I have a pastor friend who was unquestionably sincere in his desire to live a life pleasing to God, and who often confessed to me the overwhelming sexual temptations with which he wrestled, who is now serving a 20-year sentence in Texas for inappropriately touching his underage niece. What goes under-recognized by many is that, in the general population, there are all kinds of people—some better and some worse; some weaker and some stronger. If the Bible is true, then it is generally those of the weaker, more sinful, segment that turn in larger numbers to Christ (and to other religion, as well). It is the sick that need, and who seek, the physicians.

Fortunately, most atheists will never commit heinous crimes (and most Christians will not do so either). Of those in the general population who are weak enough to be overcome with evil in their natures and in their environments, we would expect a significant number to turn to various spiritual remedies, including God. However, people of weak character, such as I am describing, even after coming to Christ, still struggle with their demons at some level, and are often humiliatingly defeated and caught in the act. The morally strong atheist has no sympathy for the morally weak person (as Jesus had), and when those people turn to Christ but still experience occasional moral defeats, detractors scoff at the "religion" of those people, rather than recognizing the flaws in the person himself, and inquiring as to how much a better person he may be than he was (or might now be) without his faith.

In any case, these alleged statistics do serve to underscore the need for those who name the name of Christ to live holy, righteous and godly lives before God and before the world, lest we, as David did, give the enemies of God occasion to blaspheme.

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Ryan07
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Re: crime statistics in religious places vs non-religious

Post by Ryan07 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:15 pm

Hrm. Well I appreciate your answers Steve and the rest.

""There is all of this crime because there is so much religion," or, perhaps more accurately say, "There is so much 'religion' because of so much crime in the area.""

I do think you are right there. That for instance there aren't so many Christians in prison because Christians have more of a tendency to commit crimes, but that being in prison is such an awful condition that one could develop a seriously repentant heart and desire God and Christ while there.

I find it sad that people expect Christians to automatically be better people than others when I simply believe that they are people who are striving to be better than they were.

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