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Journal of No. 118


March 4th, 2009

Soft Sciences to the rescue! @ 03:37 pm


Just a quick link to enliven Aaron's day.

A leading political scientist finds that intolerance of opposing political views is stronger among people with the strongest religious views.

The graph illustrates this relationship. Depicted on the horizontal axis of this graph is the index of religious traditionalism, which varies from low (“0”) to high (“6”). The vertical axis is an indicator of political intolerance: the willingness — expressed as the percentages expressing intolerance of the rights of atheists — to deny one or more political rights to those “who are against all religion and churches” (typically referred to as “atheists”). The political activities on which we queried the respondents include the rights to give speeches and hold demonstrations, as well as the right to run as a candidate for public office. As the graph makes plain, as religious traditionalism increases so too does political intolerance. For instance, among the least religious, 17 percent are intolerant of the political rights of atheists, in comparison to 47 percent who express intolerance among the most religious. This relationship is statistically significant and politically potent.
 
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From:doctorray
Date:March 5th, 2009 04:51 am (UTC)
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Reading the whole article, and not just the misleading headline, it sounds like what the data really show is that specific political intolerance for atheists is stronger among people with the strongest traditional religious views.

Not exactly an earth-shattering revelation when put in those terms.

What I do find interesting is that digging through the turgid social scientist prose and eye-crossingly poorly presented data seems to reveal that the percentage of religious folks who are politically intolerant of atheists seems to correspond pretty closely to the crazification factor.

Of course, when the author leads his conclusion with something like "Within this context, the intolerance of religionists might be neutralized by building institutional barriers to their participation in politics... one might wonder if he's in that 27%...
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:March 5th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I did think it dodgy that "opposing political views" turned into those "who are against all religion and churches".
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From:doctorray
Date:March 6th, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)
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I suppose that asking about Unitarians would probably have muddied the results...
From:aaronjv
Date:March 5th, 2009 09:23 am (UTC)
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I wonder how constipation affects these kinds of surveys.

Journal of No. 118