Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Violence of the Christ / Atheists and NDEs

Violent religious text, like the Bible and Quran, can make people act more aggressively, according to a new survey!

Both the religious and non-religious participants were more aggressive and delivered louder blasts when told the passage was a piece of Biblical scripture or read God's sanction but the believers outdid the others in both cases.

"That the effect was found in such a sample may attest to the insidious power of exposure to literary scriptural violence," Bushman wrote in his report.

A study by a believer in the afterlife, P.M.H. Atwater, is available on this page. Interestingly, she also noted the religion or lack thereof of the subjects, and used that in her results. While she tries to puts her spin on the results and twist them until they fit her framework, the results are still interesting. Basically, having an NDE as an atheist really, really sucks.

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At 3/21/2007 8:30 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

The violence study is interesting- I'd like to see some confirmations performed with some alternative methodologies, although it does provide a fascinating prospective confirmation of what has been seen retrospectively for years- that the more religious people are (on average), the more likely they are to do harm to their fellow man. I think this should be, at the very least, a signal to Christians to rethink their advocacy of violence, especially in matters related to their faith.

As for the afterlife survey, I found it hard to make any sense of the data, given that it's presented so unscientifically. Not surprisingly, its author (the honorable Dr. Atwater, LhD, PhD) is credentialed only by the "International College of Spiritual and Psychic Studies" and the "Medicina Alternativa Institute" in Sri Lanka. Both degrees, even if legitimate, would be worthless scientifically, but as it stands, they're both honorary. She also proudly claims to be an "accomplished rune caster." Not surprisingly then, her report of the data is statistically worthless, as she doesn't give any description of her methodology nor of the population size which was sampled. In short, it's unscientific gibberish.

If you're interested in a more rigorous approach to the subject of NDEs, check out "Dying to Live," by an actual scientist, Dr. Susan Blackmore.

At 3/21/2007 3:17 PM, Blogger breakerslion declaimed...

There is a certain suggestibility to all humans, to what they find themselves exposed to. Have you ever noted the behavior of people in a parking lot after watching an auto race or a football game? I would be more inclined to blame the rabid rhetoric of the "fire and brimstone" preachers than the individual devotion of the listeners. I know some deeply devout Presbyterians who aspire to nothing more dangerous than volunteer work and ham and bean suppers.


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