Background Probability

The Agnostic Popular Front has moved to its new home at Skeptic Ink, and will henceforth be known as Background Probability. Despite the relocation and rebranding, we will continue to spew the same low-fidelity high-quality bullshit that you've come to expect.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pusillanimous parishioners perpetuate preachers' primitive propriety

Here we go again with the new Pew Forum study data. (No, I’m not trying to get a job at Pew.)

[Click on image for full-sized graph]

Here are the propositional claims tested in this particular part of the study:

  • Abortion should be illegal in all or most cases
  • Homosexuality is a way of life that should be discouraged by society
Note that the scatter-plot is very nearly linear, as one might not necessarily expect given the relative dearth of homosexuals hanging about the abortion clinic. Perhaps these answers are highly correlated because these seemingly distinct issues address essentially the same fundamental moral question in two different contexts:

Should adults be allowed self-determination over their own bodies when it comes to matters of sexuality and reproduction?

It is becoming alarming clear that certain faith-based groups are far more interested in following ancient dogmas instead of following our national ideals of personal liberty and autonomy.

Here is the money-quote from the report synopsis:

The connection between religious affiliation and politics appears to be especially strong when it comes to certain issues, particularly those that have been at the forefront of the “culture war” controversies of recent years. Some religious traditions, for instance, are overwhelmingly opposed to abortion; seven-in-ten Mormons and six-in-ten members of evangelical churches (61%) say abortion should be illegal in most or all circumstances. On the other side of the issue, six-in-ten members of mainline churches (62%) and seven-in-ten of the unaffiliated say abortion should be legal in most or all instances. A similar divide exists on the question of whether homosexuality is a way of life that should be discouraged or accepted by society.
This accurate assessment should scare the living shit out of you all. Rather than listen to their own consciences and reason out the ethics of victimless crime for themselves, religious believers in our free and secular society most often rent out their moral faculties from a handful of poorly-educated public speakers who fill their heads with Bronze-Age ethics. This would be downright pathetic if it weren't so effing infuriating.

Now, I don't have a womb and I'm not into men, and hence my own personal liberties are not directly tied in with the political fate of those who find seminal fluid less revolting than I do. That said, these are not matters of personal taste but public policy issues, and it should be blindingly clear that the tyranny of the majority can turn its spiteful venom upon anyone, at anytime, for any reason or none. Accordingly, we freethinkers must make our stand against those who stand against personal liberties in any form. Now, thanks to the Pew Forum, we have now a clearer idea of those against whom we struggle. Onward, non-Christian soldiers, to the culture war!

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