Core values unite Americans, despite divisions

Aug 26, 2010

Americans are united when it comes to many core values, according to a University of Michigan survey. But the nation is deeply divided about certain issues, including gay marriage, immigration, and universal healthcare.

Those are the some of the findings from a series of nationally representative surveys of approximately 500 Americans, conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR) at three times over the past year. The surveys, funded by ISR and by the Carnegie Foundation, were conducted as part of the monthly U-M/Thomson Reuters Surveys of Consumers in June and December 2009, and in March 2010. A fourth survey will be conducted in September.

"More than 90 percent of those surveyed agreed that all people deserve equal opportunities in life," says Wayne Baker, the project's principal investigator. "Just about everyone also agreed that respect for people from different racial and ethnic groups, and for people of different faiths, is also important to them."

In fact, these values are so widely held that they can be said to be American universals , according to Baker, who is a faculty associate at ISR and a professor at the U-M Ross School of Business.

Baker is discussing the survey findings in his daily blog on American values and ethics at www.ourvalues.org.

Almost 60 percent of Americans polled in March said they support U.S. policies simply because they are the policies of this country. Just under half agreed that U.S. policies are morally correct.

Nine of ten Americans said that, if they oppose U.S. policies, it's because they want to improve the country. Over three of four Americans said that if they criticize the U.S., they do so out of love of country.

While most Americans said they valued freedom, Baker wanted to learn more about just what "freedom" meant to them, so he asked "To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of these statements:"

"Freedom is being left alone to do what I want;" and

"Freedom is being able to express unpopular ideas without fearing for my safety."

Only about a third of Americans agreed that freedom is being left along to do what they want. But over 90 percent of Americans agreed that freedom meant being able to express unpopular ideas without fearing for their safety. "There was no difference between liberals and conservatives. The vast majority on both sides agreed," Baker said.

Two-thirds of Americans in all three surveys agreed that "Providing healthcare to everyone would be a sign that people in this country value other people's lives." The poor, not surprisingly, were more likely to agree with this statement than the rich. And conservatives and liberals roundly disagreed about this statement. Almost all liberals (95 percent) agreed while fewer than half of conservatives (48 percent) said the same.

Generally, Americans were opposed to same-sex marriage. In all the surveys, fully two-thirds said that "marriage should be defined solely as between one man and one woman." But there was considerable variation in opinion. Older Americans were much more likely to support the traditional definition of marriage than younger Americans were, and so were those with less formal education, conservative Christians, and Americans living in the South.

Attitudes about immigration also revealed some sharp divisions. A large majority (69 percent) of those polled in March said that immigrants - wherever they come from - should adopt American values. But older Americans were much more likely to say this than younger Americans. Formal education mattered as well, with over 80 percent of Americans with a high school education agreeing that immigrants should adopt our values, compared with only 50 percent of those with a graduate education. Eight of ten conservatives agreed that immigrants should adopt American values, but only four in ten liberals said the same.

Explore further: Less privileged kids shine at university, according to study

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sociologist Asks What It Means to be American

Apr 22, 2006

How would you define an American? According to a new Purdue University study, more than 94 percent would say that having United States citizenship makes someone "truly American."

Understanding anti-immigrant sentiment

Feb 19, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Immigration is a long-simmering issue in the politics of many countries, including the United States. A 2007 Pew poll found that three-quarters of all U.S. citizens want to further restrict ...

Half of depressed Americans go untreated, study finds

Jan 04, 2010

A national survey of 15,762 households by UCLA/Wayne State University researchers found that only 21 percent of Americans suffering from clinical depression receive medical care consistent with American Psychiatric Association ...

Survey: You are fat, but I am not

Apr 13, 2006

The Pew Research Center in Washington says Americans believe their fellow Americans have become fat -- but not themselves.

Recommended for you

Why are UK teenagers skipping school?

Dec 18, 2014

Analysis of the results of a large-scale survey reveals the extent of truancy in English secondary schools and sheds light on the mental health of the country's teens.

Fewer lectures, more group work

Dec 18, 2014

Professor Cees van der Vleuten from Maastricht University is a Visiting Professor at Wits University who believes that learning should be student centred.

How to teach all students to think critically

Dec 18, 2014

All first year students at the University of Technology Sydney could soon be required to take a compulsory maths course in an attempt to give them some numerical thinking skills. ...

User comments : 92

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

croghan27
5 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
I would like to see how they defined 'liberals' and 'conservatives' .....

I know many union people that feel they are 'conservative' - in that they unwilling to cast aside what they value from the past - yet they are often called liberals ...
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
I would like to see how they defined 'liberals' and 'conservatives' .....

I know many union people that feel they are 'conservative' - in that they unwilling to cast aside what they value from the past - yet they are often called liberals ...

Depends upon the union.
Nearly all union leaders are democrats and support more government and more government union membership as private unions are dying.
Some unions, like some trade unions are responding to market conditions, but would probably die off if they were in a right to work state.
But, come on, the modern definition of 'liberal' is democrat/socialist who support more government. Definitely NOT the classical use of the word.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2010
But, come on, the modern definition of 'liberal' is democrat/socialist who support more government.
That's the FOX news definition of liberal. It's not accurate. It's called demonization.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Aug 26, 2010
"The left changes monikers whenever their chosen title becomes too easily identified with their collectivist political intentions."
"Socialist ideals quickly co-opted the early Progressive movement, giving the title a black eye. Leftists then adopted "Liberal," a more inviting identifier, but one that also defies their agenda.

"Liberal" spawns from the Latin "liberalis" and "liber" meaning noble, generous, and free. A genuine liberal bristles at authoritarian attitudes and fulfills the nature of the word. "
"Leftists have moved from Progressives to Liberals and back to Progressives, but in name only, never in definition. Their quasi-metamorphosis results from their ever-present collectivist mentality. Once the public realizes the agenda behind the name, the name is changed to obfuscate the agenda."
http://www.americ...ssi.html
Thrasymachus
2.3 / 5 (15) Aug 26, 2010
You need to turn off Fox News marjon. Glen Beck is not your friend.
croghan27
5 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
"But, come on, the modern definition of 'liberal' is democrat/socialist who support more government. Definitely NOT the classical use of the word"

Here in Canada we have a political party named the Liberals. They proclaim they are socially liberal, but fiscally conservative.

(I am not a supporter.) But that shows that there is more subtility to the term 'liberal' than allowed by your definition, marjon.

Just to completely flip things over ... it was the Conservative Party (yes, that is the name) that began the process of bringing in the Canadian medicare system, the National Railroad was a Conservative idea, as was the CBC and the National air line (later privatized).

The labels 'liberal' and 'conservative' are too broad to encompass these groups.

oh .... both reject any suggestion of socialism.
Shakescene21
3 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
This article doesn't qualify as science. Why is this babble wasting space on Physorg, when there are so many remarkable hard-science advances to be discussed?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2010
This article doesn't qualify as science. Why is this babble wasting space on Physorg, when there are so many remarkable hard-science advances to be discussed?

Welcome to physorg.
marjon
3 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2010
This article doesn't qualify as science. Why is this babble wasting space on Physorg, when there are so many remarkable hard-science advances to be discussed?

Politics and government have nothing to do with science?
croghan27
4.7 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
Science, or at least the scientific method , can be applied in many different situations to great benefit.

(Even if I agree this has some short comings.)
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
Science, or at least the scientific method , can be applied in many different situations to great benefit.

(Even if I agree this has some short comings.)

But it cannot be applied to all which many don't want to acknowledge.
GDM
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2010
Tea party supporters claim to support the constitution, and want "strict constuctionist" justices, yet they would amend the constitution to make the US a theocracy, end 14th Amendment protections, restrict the 1st Amendment to shut out Muslims, Gays, and anyone else they don't approve of. Oh, and don't forget, if they don't get their way, they will take up arms and rebel against the majority under a rather vague interpretation of the 2nd amendment. A complete and dangerous bunch of hypocrites.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2010
Tea party supporters claim to support the constitution, and want "strict constuctionist" justices, yet they would amend the constitution to make the US a theocracy, end 14th Amendment protections, restrict the 1st Amendment to shut out Muslims, Gays, and anyone else they don't approve of. Oh, and don't forget, if they don't get their way, they will take up arms and rebel against the majority under a rather vague interpretation of the 2nd amendment. A complete and dangerous bunch of hypocrites.

Let them try and amend the Constitution. If you have not read it lately, amending the Constitution is not a quick process and it was meant to be a very deliberative process.
Amending the Constitution is preferred to having judges create law were none exists.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
But it cannot be applied to all which many don't want to acknowledge.

Again, name one.
croghan27
5 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2010
"Amending the Constitution is preferred to having judges create law were none exists."

or for that matter having judges ignore offenses against the Constitution and so, silently, condone what has been before acknowledged as illegal. If the US wants to torture pretending that it does not just compounds the crime. (John Yoo should be charged.)

But I think we may be talking of different things here ... the scientific method is a means to an end, it is not the end. It is an effective way to explore the universe, and not, in an of itself the answer to anything.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2010
If the US wants to torture pretending that it does not just compounds the crime. (John Yoo should be charged.)

The law was followed. Look up the Geneva convention definition of torture.
the scientific method is a means to an end, it is not the end.

I don't think many here will agree with that.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2010
"By about the time of the French Revolution, however, an inner dilemma in this "science ideal" was becoming clear to many humanists. The dilemma was this: if complete scientific mastery is the key to human power and freedom, then what happens when scientists conclude that human nature itself is completely subject to the laws of nature which the sciences are mastering? What happens, of course, is that human freedom evaporates. If human nature is also subject to the laws of nature, and if intellectual mastery of nature reaches completion, then human power gained by means of scientific knowledge leads to the complete reduction of human freedom to the control of science. Human freedom turns out to be an illusion."
http://www.cpjust...der$1077
Now I see why so many here can't accept human rights as inherent.
MacAuley
5 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2010
Forecasting into the late 21st Century, I can envision a scenario where hyper-intelligent artificial beings would consider humans to be little more than talking monkeys. In that scenario human rights would be comparable to the rights we would allow to zoo animals.
croghan27
3.8 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2010
"The law was followed. Look up the Geneva convention definition of torture."

Did not the Bush administration consider the Geneva Conventions ..."Quaint" - an opinion the Obama people seem to have accepted.

http://civilliber...and.html
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 28, 2010
If the US wants to torture pretending that it does not just compounds the crime. (John Yoo should be charged.)

The law was followed. Look up the Geneva convention definition of torture.
Waterboarding is drowning. If you've never been waterboarded, you have no basis for opinion.
the scientific method is a means to an end, it is not the end.

I don't think many here will agree with that.

I think almost everyone will. The end is a description of reality. The scientific method enables us to formulate that description. It is the method.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
If the US wants to torture pretending that it does not just compounds the crime. (John Yoo should be charged.)

The law was followed. Look up the Geneva convention definition of torture.
Waterboarding is drowning. If you've never been waterboarded, you have no basis for opinion.
the scientific method is a means to an end, it is not the end.

I don't think many here will agree with that.

I think almost everyone will. The end is a description of reality. The scientific method enables us to formulate that description. It is the method.

As I said, most here think the scientific method IS the means to the end.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
"In more cerebral moments, the elitists of the left invoke a kind of Marxism Lite to explain away opinions and values that run counter to their own. Thus Barack Obama's notorious remark to the effect that economic deprivation embitters the proles, so that they cling to guns and religion."
""We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . ."

This cannot be reconciled with the elitist notion that most men are economically insecure bitter clinging intolerant bigots who need to be governed by an educated elite. Marxism Lite is not only false; it is, according to the American creed, self-evidently false. That is why the liberal elite finds Americans revolting."
http://online.wsj...pOpinion
Let the insults begin, again.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2010
As I said, most here think the scientific method IS the means to the end.
That isn't what you said. You said "most think it IS the end."

And then stated this little gem:
the scientific method is a means to an end, it is not the end.
I don't think many here will agree with that.
So it's rather clear, you stated something that wasn't true and you're now attempting a rather poor backpedal.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
As I said, most here think the scientific method IS the means to the end.
That isn't what you said. You said "most think it IS the end."

And then stated this little gem:
the scientific method is a means to an end, it is not the end.
I don't think many here will agree with that.
So it's rather clear, you stated something that wasn't true and you're now attempting a rather poor backpedal.

SH, make it clear, you do NOT believe the scientific method IS the end all be all?
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
"The law was followed. Look up the Geneva convention definition of torture."

Did not the Bush administration consider the Geneva Conventions ..."Quaint" - an opinion the Obama people seem to have accepted.

http://civilliber...and.html

"U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday ranked Chicago’s Big Brother network of well over 10,000 public and private surveillance cameras as one of the nation’s most extensive and integrated — and Mayor Daley wants to make it even bigger.

“Expansion of cameras citywide is one of the highest priorities that will help us here in the city of Chicago,” Daley said with Napolitano at his side."
http://www.suntim....article
Where is the outrage?
croghan27
5 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2010
Interesting article ... it is worth noting that Britain is looking to dismantle the CCTV system in London (the most recorded area on earth.) It was set up by both PM Major and then continued by Tony Blair. (Two bush wannabes, if there ever were any.)

http://www.sott.n...out-CCTV

Could you make a connection from that to our discussion of the Geneva Conventions and American core values ....
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
For all who can't comprehend how free markets can work and how free market money can work:
""I just love the feel of using a local currency," said Trice Atchison, 43, a teacher who used BerkShares to buy a snack at a cafe in Great Barrington, a town of about 7,400 people. "It keeps the profit within the community."

There are about 844,000 BerkShares in circulation, worth $759,600 at the fixed exchange rate of 1 BerkShare to 90 U.S. cents, according to program organizers. The paper scrip is available in denominations of one, five, 10, 20 and 50."
http://www.reuter...20070619
Of course this won't be allowed to expand if successful as the govt won't allow it. They shut down e-gold for a while as the govt couldn't control the money.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
Could you make a connection from that to our discussion of the Geneva Conventions and American core values ....

Just pointing out the hypocrisy of selective outrage.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
the scientific method is a means to an end, it is not the end.

I don't think many here will agree with that.

So it's rather clear, you stated something that wasn't true and you're now attempting a rather poor backpedal.
SH, make it clear, you do NOT believe the scientific method IS the end all be all?
You've now proved that your ability to read and comprehend is below poor. My stance was and remains "The end is a description of reality. The scientific method enables us to formulate that description. It is the method."
Just pointing out the hypocrisy of selective outrage.
So you're aware that you're a hypocrit?
croghan27
5 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2010
Could you make a connection from that to our discussion of the Geneva Conventions and American core values ....

Just pointing out the hypocrisy of selective outrage.


Selective outrage certainly is hypocritical ... this surveillance system was set up by two admirers of Pres. Bush (okay - Major wanted to be Reagan/Thatcher when he grew up) .... not any kind of liberal or left wing ideologues.

Who's outrage/hyprocracy are you referring to???? General right wing, or just Conservative?
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Aug 29, 2010
Selective outrage certainly is hypocritical ... this surveillance system was set up by two admirers of Pres. Bush (okay - Major wanted to be Reagan/Thatcher when he grew up) .... not any kind of liberal or left wing ideologues.

Who's outrage/hyprocracy are you referring to???? General right wing, or just Conservative?

We have liberal statists supporting the system, not demanding it be dismantled.
You raised the issue of John Yoo.
"When it comes to what's torture and what's not, he wrote, only treatment that inflicts suffering equivalent to organ failure "or even death" constitutes torture. In later interviews, he suggested that nothing—no law and no treaty—could stop the president from ordering torture if the circumstances required it."When it comes to what's torture and what's not, he wrote, only treatment that inflicts suffering equivalent to organ failure "or even death" constitutes torture. In later interviews, he suggested that nothing—no law and no treaty—could stop the
croghan27
5 / 5 (5) Aug 29, 2010
"no law and no treaty—could stop the president from ordering torture if the circumstances required it."

...and this in the 'shinning city on the hill'? This in the democracy that you often claim that people are lined up to enter? Where is the democracy in this?

They no longer 'hate us for our freedoms' - Bush took care of that. If there is a strike against Obama it is that he, less than artfully, mumbles about 'looking ahead, not back' and does nothing.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Aug 29, 2010
and this in the 'shinning city on the hill'? This in the democracy that you often claim that people are lined up to enter? Where is the democracy in this?

First, the USA is not a democracy, it is a Constitutional Republic.
But the Constitution is not a suicide pact. The oath all government and military personnel take is to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
The Constitution describes how it can be amended in a democratic fashion.
International law recognizes differences between people who violate a nation's laws for personal gain and those who attack a nation to overthrow a government.
Terrorism is not a criminal act. It is an act of war. Those who commit acts of war have rules: uniforms and such. Spies can be detained and executed IAW international law.
The USA is a shining city on the hill for those who desire to support and defend the Constitution.
Islam IS a theocratic system and they have tried to impose their law in Canada.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
"America's liberal elites have been falling over themselves to denounce their country and fellow citizens as anti-Muslim xenophobes who don't understand that it was not all followers of Islam who were responsible for the atrocities of 2001. "
"most evidence points to the US being one of the most tolerant countries in the world. "
"Many Americans are incensed by the way that legitimate protest and questioning of Obama's policies is routinely branded as racist or ignorant. They are tired of being told what to think and when to think it. "
"Ahmed Sharif, a victim of real anti-Muslim bigotry, stated that the attack on him was an aberration and that America is a land of tolerance and opportunity. What a shame that Obama, despite his much-vaunted gift with words, appears unable to speak about such things with similar eloquence. "
http://www.telegr...nce.html
croghan27
5 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2010
".... the USA is not a democracy"

Thou sayst it. It is certainly an autocracy - democracy has nothing to do with it.
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (14) Aug 29, 2010
Marjon, you are a flipping moron. You do realize that the 4th Amendment, which is the foundation stone on which all our civil liberties are based, does not apply to citizens only, but to the People. Not just any people, but all people. Terrorist suspects are just that, suspects, and they are not guilty until proven innocent in a court of law where they have the opportunity to confront the witnesses and evidence against them. Terrorism is not an act of war, but a terrible crime, as there is no sovereign nation responsible for ordering that act. And cameras in public places are not a violation of privacy because they're in PUBLIC. Freaking moron.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2010
Not just any people, but all people.

ALL people, everywhere?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2010
Not just any people, but all people.

ALL people, everywhere?

All people who are under the domain of US authority regardless of citizenship.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
Not just any people, but all people.

ALL people, everywhere?

All people who are under the domain of US authority regardless of citizenship.

The German spies that were executed during WWII in the USA had their rights violated?
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2010
"the Supreme Court held that the
Fourth Amendment did not apply outside the territorial limits of the United
States to the search of a non-citizen’s properties in Mexico"
"The Fourth Amendment, Chief Justice
Rehnquist opined, extends its reach to “the people,” not “persons.”57
Therefore, he reasoned, the reach of the Fourth Amendment was not coterminous
or analogous with that of the Fourteenth Amendment, which had
applied at least since 1886 to noncitizens found within the United States.58
“The people,” he went on to state, “refers to a class of persons who are
[sic] part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient
connection with this country to be considered part of that
community.”59
http://www.law.ha...-204.pdf
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
Since we're jsut going to use bad quote mining to complete the commentary here I'll add one of my favorites from one of your favorites, Marjon.

"Don't let anyone tell you what you should be doing...What you should do is get back with God, and the Constitution."
-Glenn Beck

From one breath to another, complete contradiction, with a vapid smile and vacant conscience.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2010
""(T)he foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; ...the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained..." George Washington, First Inaugural, April 30 1789"
""Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams"
""We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government." James Madison"
""Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington"
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
"The following is a brief overview of the principles found in The Five Thousand Year Leap, and one chapter is devotes to each of these 28 principles.

Principle 1 - The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.

Natural law is God's law. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are "the laws of nature and of nature's God.""
"Principle 2 - A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." - Benjamin Franklin"
http://www.learnt...eap.html
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" - George Washington
"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it" - John Adams
"In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people." - James Madison

None of those men are in your corner on the religious piece Mr. Marjon. Franklin was a well known atheist.

You seem to think that the terms virtue and moral are the sole property of religion. That is a false assertion. You want to speak of what is a growing tide in the US? The US becomes more religious over each generation. That is the corruption of our values and the frightening yoke of economic and social slavery that you offer. We're done here as you've broken down into your usual form of trolling, as obnoxious as it is.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2010
You seem to think that the terms virtue and moral are the sole property of religion.

Never claimed it was.
However, when people think of morality of virtue, their first thought are probably of religion.
While you condemn religion, atheists offer no organized alternative.
All we see from anti-religious zealots is amorality and vice.
To paraphrase, remove the plank from your atheist's eye....
the corruption of our values and the frightening yoke of economic and social slavery

...is from the atheist, marxists, liberal, socialists.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
You seem to think that the terms virtue and moral are the sole property of religion.

Never claimed it was.
However, when people think of morality of virtue, their first thought are probably of religion.
Self contradictory and entirely inaccurate.
While you condemn religion, atheists offer no organized alternative.
Because there's no need to tell people what to do when it comes to their personal beliefs. Isn't that your libertarian standpoint?
All we see from anti-religious zealots is amorality and vice.
No more than the fine upstanding members of the church.
To paraphrase, remove the plank from your atheist's eye....
Unfortunately for you, metaphor doesn't establish fact. What an insulting little troll you are.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2010
SH: You still did not address the comments that the Constitution was meant for a virtuous and moral society and how atheists have led the way in promoting the virtue and morality needed for self-government.
Data to date shows that atheists promote immorality and socialism.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
You still did not address the comments that the Constitution was meant for a virtuous and moral society and how atheists have led the way in promoting the virtue and morality needed for self-government.
If you're going to ask a question, ask it, don't dance around like you're making a point with a chaulkboard.
Data to date shows that atheists promote immorality and socialism.
Actually there are two problems with your statement here. 1) morality is subject and changes from person to person, there is no universal morality. 2) The statistical studies show that the masters of immoral behavior, as morals are dictated within Judeo Christianity, are Christians.

Atheists aren't some sort of PAC or political group. We're a bunch of people who theists classify under a term because we have a lack of belief in your imaginary friend.

You're a sheep, and like a sheep, you're about to get fleeced, fucked, and killed by your shepard.
croghan27
5 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2010
"However, when people think of morality of virtue, their first thought are probably of religion.
While you condemn religion, atheists offer no organized alternative.
All we see from anti-religious zealots is amorality and vice. "

Amorality and vice??? Torquemada was a catholic as was Hitler, who used religion to justify himself. How many non-dispelievers (?) have been burnt at the stake for not giving up belief on any God? I have yet to hear of of an atheist using any 'moral force' to molest little boys or girls, or to attempt to eradicate the native American culture.

I would like to see your date that shows atheists promoting 'immorality'. "NON-BELIEVERS!!! UNITE FOR DEBAUCHERY" is a slogan that has yet to reach my area.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2010
I would like to see your date that shows atheists promoting 'immorality'. "NON-BELIEVERS!!! UNITE FOR DEBAUCHERY" is a slogan that has yet to reach my area.

Atheists attack those that promote morality. Why not support the content if you agree with it?

1) morality is subject and changes from person to person, there is no universal morality.
\
Did you meant 'subjective'? All morality is relative?
Murder to one is genetic purfication to another? Stealing is just permanently borrowing?
Of course there are universal moral standards.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Aug 30, 2010
I have yet to hear of of an atheist using any 'moral force' to molest little boys or girls, or to attempt to eradicate the native American culture.

I don't know if Stalin molested children, but he did murder them, millions of them.
As Lenin stated, communists must be atheists. That's not saying all atheists are communists, but it is the first step, according to Lenin.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
Atheists attack those that promote morality. Why not support the content if you agree with it?
Most people don't agree with your stance that the church promotes morality.
Did you meant 'subjective'? All morality is relative?
Murder to one is genetic purfication to another? Stealing is just permanently borrowing?
Of course there are universal moral standards.

Then name them and show how every person in the world believes them to be true.
croghan27
5 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2010
"Atheists attack those that promote morality"

Eh? What atheists, what morality?

Against one Stalin I will match you a Mussolini, Pinochet, a Franco and throw in a Lord's Resistance Army.

Reagan did pretty well with his 'contras' too. (As well as supporting apartheid in South Africa.)

Ain't nothing so bad it cannot be made worse by religion.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
Ain't nothing so bad it cannot be made worse by religion.
Hitchens asks, "Name one moral action that a non-believer cannot perform. There aren't any. Now name an immoral action that was commited at the behest of religion. Your mind immediately fills with instances that fit the question."
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2010
"Name one moral action that a non-believer cannot perform.

What moral actions to non-believers support? Oh, wait,
as you claim, SH, all morality is subjective, therefore everyone is moral in their own little relativistic world. How convenient not to have standards.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
What moral actions to non-believers support?

You can't answer the question so you spew vitriolic garbage. Expected of you by now. Non-believers built this country, sorry to tell you that but we had a greater hand in the formation of the Constitution than the religious, and that is manifest in how closely the freedom from religion comes, again, from the Virginian Constitution.

Here's one moral thing that all non-believers support: fact-based education.
SH, all morality is subjective, therefore everyone is moral in their own little relativistic world. How convenient not to have standards.
How many times does the decalogue appear in the Bible, do you know? I do. Editted three times depending on whether they were leaving egypt, entering canaan, or watching Moses age while Joshua goes into a stream of conquest.

Talk about lax standards. Your word of God changes more often than most believers change their tires.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
Still waiting for you to tell us what the Universal code of morality is. Then when you finish that off, you should probably go publish it as you'd be concluding one of the greatest debates of philosophy and very worthy of a prize.

I really can't wait to see what your universal morality looks like. Too bad you'll turn chicken and run before we get to have a good laugh.
croghan27
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
Ain't nothing so bad it cannot be made worse by religion.
Hitchens asks, "Name one moral action that a non-believer cannot perform. There aren't any. Now name an immoral action that was commited at the behest of religion. Your mind immediately fills with instances that fit the question."


Must admit I am not a fan of Dawkins or Hitchens (who, sadly has cancer) ... but he sometimes makes good points.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
Must admit I am not a fan of Dawkins or Hitchens (who, sadly has cancer) ... but he sometimes makes good points.
Just like all demogogues within the topic of religion, you must take your inspiration from the knowledge in the statement rather than from the originator of the statement.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2010
"I think that for many who come from a religious background, religion is synonymous with morality. Some people think that if you’re an atheist, you simply have no morals. That is just wrong. There are an awful lot of people who are atheists who do very, very wonderful things. As an objective question, do people who have religious backgrounds show different patterns of moral judgments than people who are atheists? So far, the answer is a resounding no."
"Harvard psychologist Marc Hauser's new theory says evolution hardwired us to know right from wrong. "
http://discoverma...&-C=
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
Still waiting on that "Universal Morality", marjon. Citing articles that support my viewpoint won't score you any points with me until you own up to being wrong, again.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
You shouldn't need any references for this. If it actually is universal then you should be able to "say it from your heart" and the rest of us will immediately agree. Otherwise it simply isn't universal.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
Still waiting on that "Universal Morality", marjon. Citing articles that support my viewpoint won't score you any points with me until you own up to being wrong, again.

"Harvard psychologist Marc Hauser's new theory says evolution hardwired us to know right from wrong. "
Sounds like universal morality backed by research. And from a school that was started by Puritans to have well educated ministers of God.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
You shouldn't need any references for this. If it actually is universal then you should be able to "say it from your heart" and the rest of us will immediately agree. Otherwise it simply isn't universal.

How many do not agree with 'do unto others as you would have do to you'?
gwargh
5 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2010
How many do not agree with 'do unto others as you would have do to you'?

Most people would. Now, how many people actually follow that marjon? Just as an example, how many conservatives would like to have their marriages be made illegal, considering homosexuals are not allowed to marry? Better yet, how many rich white men like yourself would like to be patted down for hours in an airport? I mean, fair is fair. And let's not forget no churches should be built anywhere near Ground Zero, or in most of that country for that matter, since if we don't allow muslims to do it, why should we allow Christians?
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
You shouldn't need any references for this. If it actually is universal then you should be able to "say it from your heart" and the rest of us will immediately agree. Otherwise it simply isn't universal.

How many do not agree with 'do unto others as you would have do to you'?
I don't agree.
I do agree, however, with the postulate "Don't do unto others what you don't want to be done unto you".

Very simple reason: I force myself to study some difficult topic because I want to gain some insight. But I don't force anybody else to do the same as he might not be interested in this topic.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
How many do not agree with 'do unto others as you would have do to you'?
I don't. I agree with Frajo as your method leads to imposition of values, which I'm starkly against.
"Harvard psychologist Marc Hauser's new theory says evolution hardwired us to know right from wrong. "
Sounds like universal morality backed by research. And from a school that was started by Puritans to have well educated ministers of God.
Then tell us Marjon, what are the universal morals? I'm still waiting for you to pin down your stance so we can examine if it is universal. If your morals are agree upon by all posters here we have at least a curosy insight into whether you're correct or not. Then we can apply it to a larger group and further verify, etc. C'mon man, let's do some science together.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2010
I do agree, however, with the postulate "Don't do unto others what you don't want to be done unto you".

It is the same as "Do unto..."
It becomes a universal moral as those who don't follow that advice eventually don't survive to pass on their immoral behavior.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
"The Universal Moral Code is a list of fundamental moral principles that can be found throughout the world. It was created by Dr. Kent M. Keith in 2003 while writing a book on morality and ethics. The code incorporates basic, universal ideas about how we should live and how we should treat each other. Living these principles can provide each of us with the meaning that comes from living our values and doing what's right."
""People who regularly lie, cheat, steal, and murder make up a very small percentage of the world's population- perhaps only 5 or 6 percent. These people cause a lot of pain and tragedy, but they are a small minority. The most significant fact is that literally billions of people - the other 94 or 95 percent of the world's population - follow fundamental, universal moral principles on a daily basis. "
http://www.univer...ode.com/
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
I do agree, however, with the postulate "Don't do unto others what you don't want to be done unto you".
It is the same as "Do unto..."
No.
First of all, because your phrasing is not easily understandable (for me). I assume you meant "do unto others as you would want them to do unto you".
But while you obviously want certain groups of people to understand your social and political points of view there is no indicator of your willingness to understand the social and political points of view of those groups of people. On the contrary, you insult and humiliate them in a generalizing way.
Do you really want them to do unto you as you do unto them?
It becomes a universal moral as those who don't follow that advice eventually don't survive to pass on their immoral behavior.
Yes, that's "Social Darwinism". The mistaken hope that "lower beings" ("the others") will vanish in favour of "Higher Beings" (the "selected ones").
By some seen as mission rather than hope.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
Marjon, lay out your moral code so that we can judge if it is universal or not. I'm not interested in a "doctor's" self help book.

Especially when it plainly states that the morals he interjects are not universal.
It becomes a universal moral as those who don't follow that advice eventually don't survive to pass on their immoral behavior.
So are you trying to side with Pol Pot and Mao by insinuating that a universal morality will only come from death of unsuitable people? Isn't that what you accuse myself and every other atheist of in each and every thread you post on?
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
Do you really want them to do unto you as you do unto them?

Treat others as you would want to be treated.
I could say I want others to give me their money and take care of me, but then I would have to be willing to give my money to others and to take care of others.
I could say I want others to respect my property and my liberty so then I must respect their property and their liberty. I think this what the phrase intended.
death of unsuitable people?

A universal moral code, the Golden Rule, is a result of natural selection. Violations of the Golden Rule risks death or ostracization from society. Not by governments, but by your fellow human beings.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2010
A universal moral code, the Golden Rule, is a result of natural selection. Violations of the Golden Rule risks death or ostracization from society. Not by governments, but by your fellow human beings.
So you're advocating death to all who don't follow your moral code.
Treat others as you would want to be treated.
Since you advocate death to all those who don't follow your moral code, then it would be my duty to advocate your death in return in order to follow your universal morality.

Yeah, I'll pass. This is why you're wrong, on both fronts.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2010
So you're advocating death to all who don't follow your moral code.

Just making a scientific observation regarding natural selection.
Those who do not want to respect the life, liberty and property of others risk their own lives when action is taken to protect life, liberty and property.
Of course when a government steps in and has the monopoly on force, they don't have to respect the life, liberty and property of their subjects, violating natural laws.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
Just making a scientific observation regarding natural selection. Those who do not want to respect the life, liberty and property of others risk their own lives when action is taken to protect life, liberty and property.
Natural selection does not entail your redneck libertarian brigade shooting people down due to ideological disagreement. That would be eugenics, and now you've shown us that you have a lot in common with the "atheists" you name in a thinly veiled attempt to defame other non-believers.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2010
Natural selection does not entail your redneck libertarian brigade shooting people down due to ideological disagreement

It is called defending one's inherent right to life and property. That is not an ideological disagreement.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2010
Natural selection does not entail your redneck libertarian brigade shooting people down due to ideological disagreement

It is called defending one's inherent right to life and property. That is not an ideological disagreement.
You have no inherent rights to anything. Your rights are granted by your social group.

So we've established that morality is not universal. You don't even think morality is universal yet you declared that it is. Are you really talking or is someone else pulling your strings and telling you what to say?

You advocate an inherent right to life, but this is right after you state that death should come to those who don't follow your moral code. That's totalitarianism, Marjon.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2010
You have no inherent rights to anything. Your rights are granted by your social group.

So you believe. And with that belief allows your atheist statism to murder and violate rights.
So we've established that morality is not universal.

You have not.
death should come to those who don't follow your moral code.

Natural law justifies self defense.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
So you believe. And with that belief allows your atheist statism to murder and violate rights.
More bullshit blasting forth from the lips of marjon.
You have not.
Certainly have. If morality was universal you would have simply stated the "universal morality" and we would have all agreed. Morality is not universal, you've said so yourself above.
Natural law justifies self defense.
That has nothing to do with the fact you advocate the murder of anyone who doesn't hold to the same moral code as you do. You're a rather detestable person.
croghan27
5 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2010
WOW -- all sorts of stuff a-go'in on here ..

marjor: "It is called defending one's inherent right to life and property."

What 'inherent right to property' - (yes, life is protected in all sorts of ways) .... if the military decides that your farm is just the ticket for a new training camp, if the city figures out that your bungalow is in the way of a new by-pass ..... kiss your 'inherent right to property' away.

"So you believe. And with that belief allows your atheist statism to murder and violate rights."

Eh? Where were you when "Bush I" did his Desert Storm thing? Did you try a newspaper while Clinton killed of a good portion of a generation of Iraqi children by denying medicine to Iraq? There is no need to mention the Bush II invasion, for no good reason, of Iraq that killed off millions ....
frajo
5 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2010
Natural law justifies self defense.
You know who shouted this slogan, don't you?
And we all know what he and his willful helpers did unto millions of innocent people.
Thrasymachus
2.1 / 5 (14) Aug 31, 2010
Marjon is a psychopath. He refuses to acknowledge that the modern US government is as much of, by and for the People as it ever was so that he can advocate for its dissolution. He does this because the government maintains and justifies its right to the monopoly on force, up to and including the death of individuals, through its being constituted of, by and for those individuals. He desires that the right to use force, up to and including the commission of murder, be divested back to the People as individuals. Further, he advocates for the private killing of those who do not agree with his brand of moral code. Clearly, marjon wants to kill someone, and probably lots of someones, just because he disagrees with them, or because they are a different race or religion than he is. Pure psychopath.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.7 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
Clearly, marjon wants to kill someone, and probably lots of someones, just because he disagrees with them, or because they are a different race or religion than he is. Pure psychopath.
And this is my problem with religion. It is a breeding ground for psychopaths. The delusional find a home where they can fit in and hide amongst otherwise good people and slowly corrupt those good people.

Good people will be good with or without religion. Psychopaths require the threat of eternal torture to straighten up and fly right.
marjon
1.3 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
Psychopaths require the threat of eternal torture to straighten up and fly right.
Why would you oppose an orgainzation that would help those 'psychopaths'?
I met a minister who told me if he was not a minister he would have been in jail.
He refuses to acknowledge that the modern US government is as much of, by and for the People as it ever was

How can that be when the state takes 40% of your income? A man was just hired and he was 'profiled' by the state. He had to prove his citizenship, he had to declare his race, his sex, he had to declare the number of children he had.
Every dollar of income must be reported to the state. Thousands of regulations exist which at least everyone has violated one making everyone in the USA a potential criminal.
State, good, liberty, bad?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2010
He desires that the right to use force,

I HAVE the right to use force to protect my life, as do you.
advocate for its dissolution

I and millions of others advocate for a return to the Constitution. Of course this may dissolve the socialist state we currently have. Is that what the statists fear?
Thrasymachus
1.9 / 5 (13) Aug 31, 2010
I fear your kind being given any semblance of credence by any other well-meaning but naive people. But you've made yourself abundantly clear in this series of posts, marjon. You don't just desire the right to kill in your own defense, you want the right to kill for any reason you think justifies it. You think of liberty as some ideal we can only achieve when we are free to be as vicious to others as we please, when real liberty requires restraint, and yes, sometimes, outside policing. You tell lies, spread propaganda, and insult good, intelligent people because they have more sophisticated understandings of politics and the economy than you could possibly comprehend. You want to dumb the whole world down to your level and then claim supreme authority. I'm sorry, but you're a class 1, grade A psychopath. Fortunately, you're not intelligent enough to be any real danger.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
when real liberty requires restraint,

Data shows that when the government doesn't inhibit its citizens from protecting themselves with concealed weapons, crime drops.
Amazing how so many well armed, liberty loving citizens can restrain themselves.
How do they do it?
One way is by following their religious beliefs and respecting that other people have the same inherent rights as they do. Something like the Golden Rule.
have more sophisticated understandings of politics and the economy

How is that sophistication working out? Those 'sophisticates' are losing in the polls and their 'sophisticated' economic policies are destroying jobs. Verrrrry sophisticated!
Thrasymachus
1.9 / 5 (13) Aug 31, 2010
It depends on how you count crime, you jackass. Accidental gun deaths rise faster than crime drops, and in my mind, a somewhat higher rate of armed crime is a small price to pay to prevent legions more kids from blowing their own or their friends heads off playing with daddy's gun.

Further, that study you like to recite over and over has more holes in it than a colander. Some crime in some areas goes down. In other areas, it goes up. Correlation does not equal causation.

Finally, now that everybody is potentially carrying a gun, cops will have to have their firearms ready whenever they stop someone as well. I'm sure that'll make you feel free. Cops giving out speeding tickets at the point of a gun, making people put their hands on their heads just to talk to them. Oh, that's right, you'd rather there weren't any cops. Because you're a psychopath.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
Further, that study you like to recite over and over has more holes in it than a colander.

Prove it since you are so sophisticated.
BTW, VT has no laws restricting firearms.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (12) Aug 31, 2010
Prove what? that the study has holes in it? Ok, it didn't correct for rising poverty, white flight, increasing joblessness, rising drug use, local corruption, and a whole host of other factors in those areas that instituted gun control laws versus those that didn't. When you do that, and look at the whole nation, you'll see that gun control legislation is largely a wash. If you really want to address crime, though, you'll start with ensuring a good, science-based education, then you'll make sure you have a fair, inclusive economy. But then, you don't want either of those, because you're a psychopath.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Sep 01, 2010
And this is my problem with religion.
It needs not.
It is a breeding ground for psychopaths. The delusional find a home where they can fit in and hide amongst otherwise good people and slowly corrupt those good people.
Yes.
Unfortunately, psychopaths don't require a ready built home like religion to thrive. They thrived then before the dawn of religions and they thrive now on nations and ideologies - without any religious nutriment.

The fictitious forced abolishment of religions would not prevent a single crime by psychopaths but it would cause a lot of grief among those human beings who don't find any other comfort when suffering.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Sep 01, 2010
Why would you oppose an orgainzation that would help those 'psychopaths'?
I met a minister who told me if he was not a minister he would have been in jail.


You've proved my point.
The fictitious forced abolishment of religions would not prevent a single crime by psychopaths but it would cause a lot of grief among those human beings who don't find any other comfort when suffering.

Very true, however one doesn't need organized religion in order to have religion. People garner comfort from religion, that doesn't require a church, a large group of credulous faithful, or a talking head shouting from a pulpit. It requires no rules, no dogma, no doctrine.

Don't confuse my disagreement with the shape of religion to be distaste with the idea of religion. Religion should be personal, not public, and not a corrolary to receive any form of benefit.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.