"Rejection of Christianity and Self Esteem:" a review of a study by Leslie J. Francis, et al



I have for a long time now contended that most atheists had low self esteem. I found several sources that asserted it but with no empirical proof. The reason I thought it must be true is because they are always mocking and ridiculing religion and religious people. It stuck me that they were doing that to bolster their own egos. I have now found empirical evidence of this notion. There are several studies that claim to demonstrate that atheists have low self esteem. This is still not proof. There is a long way to go to prove the argument, and I'm sure that its not true of all atheists anyway. These studies are limited in many ways. but there are several of them and they do cover more than one culture. It's a good start on exploring a hypothesis. The main study I am examining here, however, is called "rejection of Christianity and Self Esteem." I will refer to this study as RCSE.

All the studies are done by the same group Emyr Williams, Leslie J Francis, Mandy Robbins
University of Wales, Bangor, UK the major study uses A sample of 279 13- to 16-year-old secondary school pupils in Wales completed the Rejection of Christianity Scale and the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. After controlling for sex differences a small but significant correlation was found between the two variables, indicating that low self-esteem is associated with the rejection of Christianity. Leslie J. Francis did three of the IQ studies that show no correlation between religious belief, lack thereof, and intelligence. The last such study he did was in 1996, but he has done three such studies on IQ and religious belief.

The rejection of Christianity scale was constructed by Francis, but not just for this study. The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventor is standard has been used for a while.The study was done as a smaller piece of a larger picture that consists of several more studies and seeks to understand the relationship between self esteem and religoius belief. The larger picture is an argument that acceptance of Christianity is based upon good self esteem.

From RCSE:

Much of the work that measures religiosity uses items that are specifically designed to determine positive valency. For example, the Francis Scale of Attitude toward Christianity (Francis, 1978; Francis & Stubbs, 1987) assesses how positively people feel about God, Jesus, the Bible, prayer and church. Using this instrument, a number of studies have demonstrated a positive association between a positive attitude toward Christianity and a range of positive psychological categories, such as happiness (Francis, Jones, & Wilcox, 2000), general psychological health (Francis, Robbins, Lewis, Quigley, & Wheeler, 2004) and life satisfaction (Lewis, 1998). In particular, several studies have now confirmed the link between a positive attitude toward Christianity and better self-esteem (Jones & Francis, 1996).
In other words a fairly large body of work already exists documenting the relationship between acceptance of Christianity and good self esteem. Measurements of things like happiness and self esteem are standard and have long been demonstrated by well validated measurement instruments.

The rejection of Christianity scale:
from RCSE:

By way of contrast, the Rejection of Christianity Scale proposed by Greer and Francis (1992) was designed to assess negative valency. The authors of the measure presented 32 negatively phrased questions to a sample of 875 fourth- and fifth-year secondary school pupils attending ten Catholic and ten Protestant schools in Northern Ireland. The questions that received the lowest item-rest-of-test correlations were rejected, leaving a scale of 20 items generating alpha coefficients of 0.94 for the Protestant sample and 0.90 for the Catholic sample. This scale has been shown to have internal consistency reliability among Northern Irish undergraduate students (Lewis, Maltby, & Hersey, 1999) and Welsh undergraduate students (Robbins, Francis, & Bradford, 2003).
Little research has been done to relationships between this measure and self-esteem. Since previous research has shown that there is a positive correlation between self-esteem and indices of religiosity designed with a positive valency (Jones & Francis, 1996), it is hypothesised that a negative relationship will be found between self-esteem and this measure of religiosity designed with negative valency.

METHOD

Participants

A total of 279 secondary school pupils in Wales from years 9, 10 and 11 completed the 20-item Rejection of Christianity Scale (Greer & Francis, 1992) and the 25-item Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (Coopersmith, 1981). One quarter (25%) were aged 13, one third (32%) were aged 14; 30% were aged 15, and 13% were aged 16. Males comprised 56% of the sample and females 44% of the sample.

Measures

The Rejection of Christianity Scale (Greer & Francis, 1992) is a 20-item Likert-type instrument, employing a five-point response scale ranging from ‘agree strongly’, through ‘agree’, ‘not certain’, and ‘disagree’, to ‘disagree strongly’. The scale measures negative valency toward Christianity. This scale is designed so that higher scores indicate a higher tendency to reject Christianity.
The Coopersmith Short-Form Self-Esteem Inventory (Coopersmith, 1981) is a 25-item instrument, employing a dichotomous response scale of ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The possible range of scores for this form of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory is 0-25, with higher scores indicating higher self-esteem.


RESULTS


Both measures achieved satisfactory Cronbach alpha coefficients (Rejection of Christianity Scale, .88; Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, .80). After controlling for sex differences by means of partial correlations, the data demonstrated a small, but significant, correlation (r= -0.14, p <.05) between self-esteem (M = 15.3, SD = 4.9) and rejection of Christianity (M = 62.7, SD = 13.2) indicating that as teenagers’ endorsement of negative statements concerning Christianity increases, their scores of negative self-esteem also tend to increase.



CONCLUSION

The present study has explored the relationship between rejection of Christianity and self-esteem among adolescents in Wales. After controlling for sex differences a small but significant negative
correlation is found between high-self esteem and rejection of Christianity, as hypothesised. This finding strengthens the conclusions drawn from studies like that of Jones and Francis (1996), which demonstrated a positive correlation between high self-esteem and a positive attitude toward Christianity by demonstrating that the association is not a function of the valency of the measure of religiosity. Evidence of this nature appears to be suggesting that the Christian tradition is supportive of the development of self-esteem among young people rather than detrimental to it.
(References used by RCSE can be seen in link above).

The major criticism is that this study is not representative. It's only a small sample of Welsh children.


The rejection of Christianity scale has been validated.

fromRCSE :

This scale has been shown to have internal consistency reliability among Northern Irish undergraduate students (Lewis, Maltby, & Hersey, 1999) and Welsh undergraduate students (Robbins, Francis, & Bradford, 2003).

That is to say these are not the same as above, where those were done on secondary students these are done on college (Undergraduate). Although Wales and Ireland are basically the same general culture. The work on self esteem and rejection of Christianity is just getting started. The other pieces of the puzzle in this equation have all been put in place. The rejection of Christianity scale has been validated cross culturally in several studies. The link between postie self esteem and acceptance of Christianity has been validated cross culturally and the attitude toward Christianity scale has been validated cross culturally. Francis scale of attitude toward Christianity has been cross validated in Hong Kong and Belgium.

A second argument used by atheists is that kinds are being given negative self images by religion, they are blamed for being gay and other things churches call 'sin' thus they are given their negative self esteem in return they reject religion because it has rejected them. On the face of it that looks a pretty likely senerio. Through what mechanism does this happen? Is it inherent in all religion or is there way to avoid it? Ralph Peidmont wrote a book that is part of a mulch-volume set called Research into the Social Scientific Study of Religion volume 16.He discusses a study by Francis (p105) that establishes a positive correlation between a positive God image and high self esteem. In other words if you teach children that God is good and loves them they will will tend to have higher self esteem than if you teach them a negative, that is critical, fault finding, legalistic, blame oriented view of God.

The Fracis study in Peidmont's book used

...a 735 secondary pupils between 11-18 competed the Coopersmith Self-Esteem inventory and Revised Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and a semantic differential index of God images in order to examine the relationship between God images and self-esteem while controlling for personality factors. The data demonstrates a significant corroboration between positive God images and positive self esteem, after controlling for individual differences in personality. (105)

Peidmont traces the currents of social science research on the top through seven different "strands" of thought which include everything form "religions causes negative self-esteem" to "religion causes postiive self esteem" and all the machinations one can think of based upon variations of those two poles. The problem is none of that research was based upon the kind scientific instruments and controls that Francis uses. Peidmont discusses the work of Spilka and Benson who start from the other end of the spectrum and investigate the assumption that self-esteem shapes he acceptability of God images. Francis in Peidmont quotes Benson and Spilka in 1973:

Persons with high levels of self esteem may find it difficult to share the same religious belief. A theology predicated upon a loving accepting God is cognitively compatible with high self esteem, but it could be a source of discomfort for a believer low in self esteem. It does not make good cognitive sense to be loved when one is unlovable. Consequently the latter person can march to a different theology, one that is more consistent with his self image. (Benson and Spilka 209-210).

The implications are intriguing becuase it not only means that people who present a mean legalistic view of God have low self-esteem, not only that atheist's rejection of God is due to their low self esteem but that for those atheists who really rail against God as evil, mean, and vicious, they are really railings against themselves. Whereas it doesn't necessarily follow that we can correct it by teaching people that God is loving. Would they just reject the notion of a loving God because it doesn't fit their sense of self?

Benson and Spilka* did two studies in (73) and (75). the latter done by Spilka, Addison and Rosenshon. Both studies determined self esteem by a modified Coopersmith. They assessed God images by means of semantic differential grid which generated two scales defined as measuring a loving God image and a controlling God image.Self-esteem was negatively related to a wrathful God image. Among female students self esteem was negatively related to a wrathful God image. Although Peidmont shows other studies that didn't find a correlation, Cartier and Goehner (1976) related measures of self-esteem with God images (Peidmont 109).

The significance of this is two fold. If it is true that theological teaching is to blame for self image, or to laud for good self image, it behooves the chruch to seek to teach healing images of God. This may be a huge short coming for which a great deal of theological education deserves blame. It may also be the case that being an atheist, at least for some, has less to do with reason and logic as the atheist tyr to argue it does, and more to do with hidden psychological motives.

Part 2

Last time we looked at an general overview of the research, examined a specific study and put it in the context of its research milieu. That study said that rejecting Christianity correlates with low self esteem (LSE). This time we examine an argument made by an atheist, Skycomet the fallen angel (O him! of course). What's old Sky up to these days? He's on the Think Atheist blog. (I don't know the guy but screen names crack me up). In his article "Religious People Have More Self Esteem than Non Religious People," Skycomment argues against this view.
I was sitting in Adolescent Psychology class this morning and the topic was "self-esteem." About half-way through the class, the girl in front of me suggested that "more spiritual [which to theists means more religious] people have higher self-esteem than less spiritual [ie less religious or non-religious] people."

As most of us know, this is an extremely common theist argument against non-theists, particularly atheists. And, although I think the girl truly believed what she was saying...

But, the fact is that I REALLY disagree with her on this!

As documented in my last installment the studies show that there is a fairly solid conclusion suggested by the data, that religious people have high self esteem and such self esteem is a major factor in being religious. That does not automatically translate into the corollary that, therefore, those who reject religious belief must have low self esteem (LSE). We looked at a couple of studies that suggested it was true, but I admitted that is far from being actual proof. The research is just beginning. (I say a couple--one was directly designed to measure that hypothesis, the other correlated self esteem with God image, and skepticism with negative God image so it forms the basis of an argument but in an indirect way).

Skycomet goes on

Having been a former theist myself, I think it's more likely that religion [especially the monotheistic ones] impose low self-esteem on a person rather than bolster it!
That's irrelevant, the thesis is that people reject Christianity because of their LSE, and he did fall away. It may have been due to his self esteem. Now observe his view of God and Christianity:
After all [and since I came from Christianity I will use that as an example], what type of messages does Religion send it's believers?

- I am not worthy of your love, Christ.
- Why do you love me?
- I'm a sinner.
- Jesus died to save my sins, therefore I deserve to burn in hell.
- I must humble myself before the Lord.
- Pride is a sin.
He's confirming what Piedmont and the other researchers find, that negative God image is linked to rejecting Christianity, they also find that LSE is related to a negative God image. So in fact this may be confirming the original thesis thesis, Sky has unwittingly and contrary to his intent proved the thing he's trying to disprove. Of course its' only anecdotal and doesn't mean the thesis is proved. Yet, it does mean his argument is ineffective.

Some of the things in his list are not negative but they are indicative a low self esteem person. Humbling oneself before God is not negative but to a LSE person humility is equated with humiliation. LSE confuses Pride with high self esteem, and vice verse. He equates being a sinner with negative judgment on self wroth, whereas a high esteem person is capable of understanding that being sinner is not a judgment on one's worth a human being. Every single one of those statements indicate the opposite of what he wants to prove. He thinks they prove that that Christianity is negative and bad for self esteem, they really function like a semantic differential grid as the studies use and he's just proving his own LSE.

How in the world do those kind of messages correlate with positive self-esteem?!
It seems to me that they would do the opposite and make a person who is a TRUE believer [there are fakes among them, of course] think they'r * worthless.

If one starts with LSE in the first place. He's just reading the statements as low esteem would dictate. The low self esteem screws up the logic of the religious doctrine and distorts it. Take one example of the statments above:

Jesus died to save my sins, therefore I deserve to burn in hell.
That's not just illogical, it's not Christian doctrine it's antithetical to Christian doctrine, but it's a perfect example of the demonstration of low self esteem given by Piedmont (see 107-109). It's illogical that because Jesus died for me I must deserve to burn in hell. There's a missing step in there: my sins deserve punishment but Jesus loves me, I am not my sins." I am worth dying for since Jesus did die for me, that means Jesus loves me in spite of my sins. But this obvious conclusion is clouded by the LSE to remove the "I am worthy" premises so the connection between God's love and one's unworthy nature is made. This is the very example in the Piedmont book, "how could God love a person like me? I am unworthy of love, therefore, God either doesn't love me or there is no God."

Sky again:

However, this argument, and similar ones [like religion makes people happier then not having one] sound like baseless, bogus, and more manipulative attempts to use emotion and fear to turn people to religion! Afterall, who does not fear unhappiness? It doesn't seem to matter to a lot of religious people whether these claims are true or not... it only matters that they create more sheep [or slaves - whichever you want to call it] for their religion.
These claims are backed by hundreds of empirical studies, however, and I have demonstrated that and will soon (hopefully) have a book coming that about those studies. Of course it sounds bad to him he has LSE. All he's really proving is what I suspect that atheism is, at least for a lot of people, the product of LSE and psychological dynamics and unwillingness to do the hard work of re programing they way we years what's beings in the area of self esteem.
I see a lot of immorality and base cruelty in decieving people like this. [Although I don't think the girl was attempting to decieve people, I think she was one of the poor saps that believed the BS spouted from theologian mouths. And I feel sorry for her. - Which is how I tend to feel for a lot of religious people of late, sorry for them.]
This is based upon the bad assumptions colored by LSE.
I think non-theism, on the other hand, lifts someone's self-esteem. It gives us an incredible amount of power to control our own destiny and our own lives, it helps us to see through BS [whether it comes from religion or popular culture], and it raises the value of humanity above "god" giving us an incredible sense of self-worth.
This is of course an illusion based upon false premises which are in fact lies. Think about it, if LSE is leading one to reason poorly about God's love, so that love become an insult and hate and rejection of the source of love become liberating (because sin nature is now free run riot and is now confused with self esteem) then what's being experience dis not higher self esteem but a combination of temporary gratification of sin and revenge upon a father figure (God) who the skeptic hates for the alleged rejection he imagines to have been wrought upon him by God.

The fact of the matter is empirical studies prove religion = good self esteem and that people stay with their faith because it builds their self esteem. I can offer anecdotal back up for that becasue I was an atheist. I had LSE because idiots always told I was stupid because I had dyslexia. I had a born again experience and then my self esteem was healed I began to love myself for the first time since early childhood. This guy is just bucking the empirical proof because he doesn't like what scinece tells him.

So... with that said... it is clear to me... that this religious jibber-jabber is founded on nothing and sounds supiciously like an outright lie.
This little jibber jabber is based upon empirical studies. Notice he doesn't with any studies. Not a one of them. He does confirm what the studies show, the opposite of what he wants to confirm. The thing is this is not all good news for fundies. It may seem like it on the surface but not entirely. It means that the spiritual situation is mixed in with psychological dynamics. That means for the atheist it's not just a matter of "reason" and "logic" and being an atheist doesn't make him supiorior. Form the standpoint of Atheist Watch it proves my point, mocking and ridicule on message boards by atheists agaisnt Christians is probably the result of poor self esteem and their becoming atheists is a psychological problem not a logical truth or any kind of big liberation. For the fundie it means two things, they are failing to spread the gospel because they don't respect self esteem. The fundies do more to destroy self esteem than anyone (I say that having gone to fundie school and I became an atheist become of them). That means part of bringing God's love into the world is about loving people and healing them, it also means the spiritual and the psychological are mixed up together.

One thing I realized since the last installment (self esteem part 1) atheists generally take this topic as major insult. I'm saying "there may be a possibility that your atheism is the result of psychological dynamic" they see it as saying "you are not good!" After discussing with others I realize this is the way LSE works.You understand anything that is not lauding your greatness as an insult. People with LSE can't take any sort of criticism. They equate self esteem with worth. This is why they equate being guilty of sin with being found not worthy of love. That's just the LSE talking. That does not mean we are not worthy of love or that God doesn't love us. I am a person has always been effected by LSE. I had loving parents who cared, they tired to help but due to the dyslexia I always had LSE.

One more caveat, I don't believe in hell. I think the very doctrine of taking hell as a literal place of torment is in itself indicative a bad psychological dynamic, but it's one many of us are stuck with become we were taught to see things that way as kids. I think it gets in the way.


*typos in block quotes are made by atheists. I don't correct spelling for quotes. If I quote a person who misspells a word I quote the misspelling. I know I misspells words a lot that's not the point.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I have to say that when debating religion on CARM, it is the Christians who come across as arrogant jerks, so there may be something in this.

Pix
Joe Hinman said…
Iv agree complexity px

when I was there, I was a jerk too, I kept them grounded a bit but since i left they went all to the exteme. CARM Christians have been the worst for a long time,
that's because Matt Slick wants it that way. Back in the day when the cadre began (we began on CARM as the Carm christian defenders) it was not so,BK was on CARM with me and so was weekend fisher, there were a lot of neat Christians there then such as the two I just named.
JBsptfn said…
The CADRE started on CARM? I wasn't aware of that. You learn something new every day, I guess.
im-skeptical said…
Evidence of this nature appears to be suggesting that the Christian tradition is supportive of the development of self-esteem among young people rather than detrimental to it.

Well duh. Everybody knows that Christians are arrogantly cocksure of themselves and the things they think they know. They regard skeptics as being wrong about virtually everything, regardless of any evidence. It is the hallmark of skepticism to be less than certain about things for which the evidence is not conclusive. But you can be arrogantly cocksure (read high self-esteem) when the evidence doesn't merit it, and you see that as a positive thing.
Joe Hinman said…
JBsptfn said…
The CADRE started on CARM? I wasn't aware of that. You learn something new every day, I guess.
9/25/2017 10:30:00 AM

yip waaaaAAAAAAAAaaay back in 2000! It was just a means of orating answers to fright atheists on CARM. Jason Pratt never posted on carm he came along in 2006.The only one's left from that era are BK, Weekend Fisher and me. I met met during the Early days but not on CARM, JPH is the newest member.I met him back around 2001 but not on CARM.
Joe Hinman said…
m-skeptical said...
Me" "Evidence of this nature appears to be suggesting that the Christian tradition is supportive of the development of self-esteem among young people rather than detrimental to it."

Skepie

Well duh. Everybody knows that Christians are arrogantly cocksure of themselves and the things they think they know.

that is people who hate themselves say when they see people who are confident and like themselves. A response born out of jealousy and self loathing,


They regard skeptics as being wrong about virtually everything, regardless of any evidence.

I don't. I just agreed with Px about the nature of Christians on CARM. I see the religious right as destroying the faith,I admire teh atheists (themain one;s)
on the secular outpost, Jeff Lowder, Rayan N, Eric Sotnack and Keith Parsons,
I admired your insights when I first met you but you go too far, you are bigoted,



It is the hallmark of skepticism to be less than certain about things for which the evidence is not conclusive. But you can be arrogantly cocksure (read high self-esteem) when the evidence doesn't merit it, and you see that as a positive thing.

Not true, most people who pride themselves on being skeptics are very certain they have a clear ideology of reduction sim and they are totally committed to it,
im-skeptical said…
Not true, most people who pride themselves on being skeptics are very certain they have a clear ideology of reduction sim and they are totally committed to it

- Joe, you don't listen. I try to tell you what it means to be skeptical, and you insist on using your own definition, which is nothing more than a projection of the way YOU think of things. You want to hear some bigotry? Try listening to your own words. And you can start right here with this comment. You have defined skepticism into a religion, and you're damn cocksure about it, because that's the way YOU think yourself, so apparently you believe that everyone must be as unskeptical as you are. But it doesn't work that way. There are people who actually think for themselves, and who base their beliefs on evidence. Those are not the ones who think they have all the answers. Being cocksure is a clear sign that you are unwilling to listen objectively to things that might disagree with what you think you know.
Joe Hinman said…
Joe, you don't listen. I try to tell you what it means to be skeptical, and you insist on using your own definition, which is nothing more than a projection of the way YOU think of things. You want to hear some bigotry?


I became an atheist in 1973. there is no prescribed uniform method of skepticism that is a contradiction to all Tahiti atheists say about their movement,


Try listening to your own words. And you can start right here with this comment. You have defined skepticism into a religion, and you're damn cocksure about it, because that's the way YOU think yourself, so apparently you believe that everyone must be as unskeptical as you are.


you use it as a religion substitute so it has become your region,


But it doesn't work that way. There are people who actually think for themselves, and who base their beliefs on evidence.


that's extremely stupid to think that there are no believers like that, those are not methods that only atheists have access to. I have always done the same in shaping my beliefs, this is why I have 200 studies and you have none.

you need desperately to believe in your superiority because you hate yourself,did you read the article? you hate God because you hate yourself.That is why you must pretend you are smarter than religious people.



Those are not the ones who think they have all the answers. Being cocksure is a clear sign that you are unwilling to listen objectively to things that might disagree with what you think you know.

look who is cocok sure! you we so cock sure that no medical historian could say Lourdes is not BS that you assumed Bernard Francis has to be Bishop Francis-Bernardo Michele because it could not be so that a secular scholar would not denounce Lourdes,
im-skeptical said…
I became an atheist in 1973.
- You never gave up your irrational belief. That's why you still have it.

there is no prescribed uniform method of skepticism that is a contradiction to all Tahiti atheists say about their movement
- I don't know what Tahiti atheists say, but there is one thing that all real skeptics have in common: THEY ARE SKEPTICAL. They don't buy your bullshit without evidence.

you use it as a religion substitute so it has become your region
- Not buying your bullshit is not the same as being religious. It is the opposite of that.

those are not methods that only atheists have access to.
- Of course. There's no secret about being skeptical (like the secret knowledge that you claim to have - knowledge that you say no atheist has). If anyone practices skepticism then they are a skeptic (which is obviously not the case for you).

I have always done the same in shaping my beliefs
- HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

this is why I have 200 studies and you have none.
- You have pseudoscience. I have a brain. I don't buy your bullshit.

you need desperately to believe in your superiority because you hate yourself
- I hate bullshit.

you hate God because you hate yourself.That is why you must pretend you are smarter than religious people
- You're the one who pretends to know it all - not me.

look who is cocok sure! you we so cock sure that no medical historian could say Lourdes is not BS that you assumed Bernard Francis has to be Bishop Francis-Bernardo Michele because it could not be so that a secular scholar would not denounce Lourdes
- I can be corrected if I make a mistake. YOU can't. You claimed that the people on that board are impartial. THEY ARE NOT. I proved that to you.



JBsptfn said…
Skep, you are like the people with the Skeptical Inquirer. Your skepticism is about ridicule, not truth.

Here is an example (Link to part 2 is at the top of the page) of what the Skeptical Enquirer likes to do:

Michael Prescott: Who Will Watch The Watchers? (Part 1)
im-skeptical said…
That story again? Their whole line of attack rests not on the facts that were uncovered, but on the fact that a couple of the investigators were students. So what? Kimberly Clark sells bullshit, and it doesn't take a PhD to see that. My suggestion for you is to examine the facts with a skeptical eye. If there's any shred of objectivity in you, you should be able to see that the claims of the OBE can easily be explained without any woo.
Joe Hinman said…
Blogger im-skeptical said...
I became an atheist in 1973.
- You never gave up your irrational belief. That's why you still have it.

that is stupid and you kinow it,it's the atheist version of "you were never really a true Chrisitan." you think it's unfair and dumb when Christians do it, you are just being a hypocrite. It proves you are a fundie,

there is no prescribed uniform method of skepticism that is a contradiction to all Tahiti atheists say about their movement
- I don't know what Tahiti atheists say, but there is one thing that all real skeptics have in common: THEY ARE SKEPTICAL. They don't buy your bullshit without evidence.

you are not capable of understanding real evidence. you are not tried in a graduate education you don't know study methodology,

you use it as a religion substitute so it has become your region
- Not buying your bullshit is not the same as being religious. It is the opposite of that.

you are dogmatically and without reason calling real scholarship bullshit because you are ignorant and it disproves your God hating hogwash.

those are not methods that only atheists have access to.
- Of course. There's no secret about being skeptical (like the secret knowledge that you claim to have - knowledge that you say no atheist has). If anyone practices skepticism then they are a skeptic (which is obviously not the case for you).

you treat it like it's a religion and a secret method only the adept can master,it's all you know. you can't understand real answers or scholarship,

I have always done the same in shaping my beliefs
- HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

O that really proves it! now I see the error of my ways,o typical,

this is why I have 200 studies and you have none.
- You have pseudoscience. I have a brain. I don't buy your bullshit.

you already admitted on several occasions my studs are good you are not qualified nor do you understand social science research,I don't have time to waste on your vile canards, you know nothing and you refuse to learn it's a waste of time stalking to you
Joe Hinman said…
s to examine the facts with a skeptical eye. If there's any shred of objectivity in you, you should be able to see that the claims of the OBE can easily be explained without any woo.

you don't know
anything.
It takes more than just being skeptical you have to know the topic,you don't you know nothing abouit soil science research methods, you have not made any real meteorological attacks on my studies,

every time you try to describe or summarize ideas
Ryan M tells you you got it wrong and you never correct it. He took you to the wood shed on your idiotic understanding of the hard problem you still say the same crap.
im-skeptical said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said…
you already admitted on several occasions my studs are good you are not qualified nor do you understand social science research,I don't have time to waste on your vile canards, you know nothing and you refuse to learn it's a waste of time stalking to you

- Joe, what I said is that the studies you cite may be perfectly valid scientific studies, but they don't prove what you think they do. Of those 200 studies, most of them are either completely irrelevant to your thesis, or at best marginally relevant. The only common thread id that they have something to do with spirituality. You apparently have no concern for what they actually show, and insist that they somehow prove your point, which is a lie. Even the remainder of those studies that are more germane to your thesis still don't provide a basis for the conclusion that you have drawn from them. THAT's why your thesis and your book is just pseudoscientific bullshit.

There's a good reason the the authors of all those studies have never been so brazen as to make the conclusions that you have. It's because your conclusion is not justified. Not from those studies, and not from any scientific data that exists anywhere. As I told you before, if your conclusion were true, it would be monumental news in the scientific community, and you would be hailed as the discoverer of scientific evidence for God. Well, it's NOT monumental news, and nobody is hailing your earth-shattering discovery. Why? Because there's nothing to it. It's bullshit. Just like every thing you say, and every argument you make.

And I should also add that not only does your scientific data not prove what you think it does, but the logic you use to draw your conclusion is fallacious, regardless of the evidence that backs it up. See my evisceration of Hinman's "Argument From God Corrolate [sic]"
Joe Hinman said…
- Joe, what I said is that the studies you cite may be perfectly valid scientific studies, but they don't prove what you think they do.

when you use words Like "proof" that proves you don't understand Williams,You are not rationally evaluating the evidence you are merely gain saying anything that disproves your ideology.


Of those 200 studies, most of them are either completely irrelevant to your thesis, or at best marginally relevant.

that's obviously BS because every single one of then without exception says something positive above mystical experiences; since my core thesis is that mystical experience is positive it can;t be irrelevant. Why don't you tell me what you think my thesis is? I don't think you have any idea.


The only common thread id that they have something to do with spirituality. You apparently have no concern for what they actually show, and insist that they somehow prove your point, which is a lie.

you really don't know what I claim do you? you are so full of shit, you can't stand to read anything that challenges your view You have never actually read my arguments,so you really have no idea what you are talking about,

Even the remainder of those studies that are more germane to your thesis still don't provide a basis for the conclusion that you have drawn from them. THAT's why your thesis and your book is just pseudoscientific bullshit.


what malocclusion have I drawn skepke tell me what My conclusion is?

There's a good reason the the authors of all those studies have never been so brazen as to make the conclusions that you have.

which is?

It's because your conclusion is not justified. Not from those studies, and not from any scientific data that exists anywhere. As I told you before, if your conclusion were true, it would be monumental news in the scientific community, and you would be hailed as the discoverer of scientific evidence for God. Well, it's NOT monumental news, and nobody is hailing your earth-shattering discovery. Why? Because there's nothing to it. It's bullshit. Just like every thing you say, and every argument you make.

you think My conclusion is "I have proven God exists" don't you? after I've told you a thousand times so spit it back what is my conclusion?

And I should also add that not only does your scientific data not prove what you think it does, but the logic you use to draw your conclusion is fallacious, regardless of the evidence that backs it up. See my evisceration of Hinman's "Argument From God Corrolate [sic]"

what are my premises and why are they fallacious?
Joe Hinman said…
skepie and i are going to have a formal debate on the 1x1 board at Doxa. if you don't accept we will know you are just flapping your gums.

tell me what my thesis is and show me why my premieres are illogical?

my argument 3 is on the universal nature of mystical experience Ralph Hood himself (who invented the M scale) made that argument himself, why would the M scale studies not apply to the argument made it's own inventor?
Joe Hinman said…
here is the URL for my boards, see if you get signed up for that board so we can debate on the 1x1 board?

http://www.doxa.ws/forum/
im-skeptical said…
when you use words Like "proof" that proves you don't understand Williams,You are not rationally evaluating the evidence you are merely gain saying anything that disproves your ideology.
- Joe you are constantly using the word 'proof', usually as a cudgel against skeptics. Let me assure you that as a skeptic, I don't think there is absolute proof of anything we think we know. But that raises the question: what do we mean by that term in the first place? I can accept that a sound deductive argument constitutes proof of the conclusion. "A sound argument is a proof." Soundness implies that the premises to the argument are known to be true. Now, when you make an argument like your Argument from God Corrolate [sic], you are presenting a deductive argument. So it would be reasonable to say that you are trying to prove something. That's what deductive arguments do.

that's obviously BS because every single one of then without exception says something positive above mystical experiences; since my core thesis is that mystical experience is positive it can;t be irrelevant.
- I read whatever material was available to me, including a number of abstracts for these studies, and in a lot of cases, they didn't appear to have any relevance whatsoever. I think a big part of the confusion here is that you tend to use a very broad definition of ME when looking for studies that you can count as part of your 200 (actually most of them are about spirituality), but then when you get to making your case about what constitutes a genuine ME, you narrow down the definition to exclude most of that. That's really dishonest.

you really don't know what I claim do you? you are so full of shit, you can't stand to read anything that challenges your view You have never actually read my arguments,so you really have no idea what you are talking about
- My rebuttal to your argument was a direct response to what you wrote.

what malocclusion have I drawn skepke tell me what My conclusion is?
- Your argument concludes: "Therefore belief in the divine is warranted by ME"

you think My conclusion is "I have proven God exists" don't you? after I've told you a thousand times so spit it back what is my conclusion?
- Actually the line just before the final conclusion says this: "Since the cause is real and it is divine then the divine must be real." It is based on a deductive argument, albeit not a sound one. But if you have deductively concluded that the divine is real, aren't you really saying that God exists? Isn't that what your argument purportedly shows?

what are my premises and why are they fallacious?
- Read my rebuttal.

Joe Hinman said…
m-skeptical said...
I said: "when you use words Like "proof" that proves you don't understand Williams,You are not rationally evaluating the evidence you are merely gain saying anything that disproves your ideology."

- Joe you are constantly using the word 'proof', usually as a cudgel against skeptics. Let me assure you that as a skeptic, I don't think there is absolute proof of anything we think we know. But that raises the question: what do we mean by that term in the first place? I can accept that a sound deductive argument constitutes proof of the conclusion. "A sound argument is a proof." Soundness implies that the premises to the argument are known to be true. Now, when you make an argument like your Argument from God Corrolate [sic], you are presenting a deductive argument. So it would be reasonable to say that you are trying to prove something. That's what deductive arguments do.

Since I decided to wrote my book imn 2007 I have made a stanch practice of never claiming to prove the existence of God. I do claim to prove somethings but God is the context we were speaking of now,

Me: "that's obviously BS because every single one of then without exception says something positive above mystical experiences; since my core thesis is that mystical experience is positive it can;t be irrelevant."

- I read whatever material was available to me, including a number of abstracts for these studies, and in a lot of cases, they didn't appear to have any relevance whatsoever.

how utterly stupid, you have not read my book or my arguments so you don't know how I use them so you can't know if they are reliant or not,what a dumb ass,

I think a big part of the confusion here is that you tend to use a very broad definition of ME when looking for studies that you can count as part of your 200 (actually most of them are about spirituality), but then when you get to making your case about what constitutes a genuine ME, you narrow down the definition to exclude most of that. That's really dishonest.


another idiotic statement for the same reasons as above. you stupidly assume that my on line performance is the mirror reflection of my book,

you really don't know what I claim do you? you are so full of shit, you can't stand to read anything that challenges your view You have never actually read my arguments,so you really have no idea what you are talking about
- My rebuttal to your argument was a direct response to what you wrote.

what malocclusion have I drawn skepke tell me what My conclusion is?
- Your argument concludes: "Therefore belief in the divine is warranted by ME"

not proof it;s warrant

you think My conclusion is "I have proven God exists" don't you? after I've told you a thousand times so spit it back what is my conclusion?
- Actually the line just before the final conclusion says this: "Since the cause is real and it is divine then the divine must be real." It is based on a deductive argument, albeit not a sound one. But if you have deductively concluded that the divine is real, aren't you really saying that God exists? Isn't that what your argument purportedly shows?

what are my premises and why are they fallacious?

I don't know what argent you quote but that is not in the book, the argument in the book is not the same as the one on line,
Joe Hinman said…
you still have not told me anything about logic, you did not answer my argent on universality

my argument 3 is on the universal nature of mystical experience Ralph Hood himself (who invented the M scale) made that argument himself, why would the M scale studies not apply to the argument made it's own inventor?

you have not tried to sign up for my message board, until you debate me 1x1 I wont let youpost here,
im-skeptical said…
What's the deal with registering for your site?

Here's the thing. You say you want to debate. But you won't even address the points I make. In your previous response, you ignored the two most crucial points.

1. Have you read my rebuttal to your argument? You show no sign of it.
2. Doesn't your argument attempt to prove that God exists, even if you claim otherwise?

If you want to debate, why can't you address these issues?
im-skeptical said…
What exactly do you want to debate Joe? Do you have a proposed topic for it? It should be focused on some specific issue, or at least limited to one issue at a time, to keep the discussion manageable.

If it's about the contents of your book, I'm afraid I can't do that, because I still haven't read it. I have told you before, I will be happy to read it if you would care to provide a copy. But I follow a strict policy of never feeding the coffers of any author who purveys pseudo-science, so don't expect me to pay for it.

On the other hand, you have written a lot about the things your book discusses. Your Argument from God Corrolate [sic] would be an example (I presume) of how you tie together your "200 empirical studies" with the conclusion that belief is warranted. So that's something we could discuss. But now you're telling me that that's not the argument you make. So are you disagreeing with yourself, or what? Sometimes you just don't make any sense at all.

Joe Hinman said…
The world's leading researcher into mystical experience endorsed my book. You have no book to endorse and your views have not be endorsed by any real scientists.You are pseudo science, you also refuse to read anything I post so you have no idea what I say.


you have not answered my argument above I disproved your assertion that my studies don't fit my claims:

that's obviously BS because every single one of then without exception says something positive above mystical experiences; since my core thesis is that mystical experience is positive it can;t be irrelevant. Why don't you tell me what you think my thesis is? I don't think you have any idea.

my argument 3 is on the universal nature of mystical experience Ralph Hood himself (who invented the M scale) made that argument himself, why would the M scale studies not apply to the argument made it's own inventor?

you are pretending like I did not say these things but You will have to face it, you did not answer them,
im-skeptical said…
You have no book to endorse and your views have not be endorsed by any real scientists.
- Bullshit, Joe. Do you have peer-reviewed scientific publications? NO. Do I? YES.

Anybody can write a book containing religious pseudoscientific quackery. And you can even get a fellow Christian to give positive feedback on it. But your book does not have any acceptance or backing of the scientific community. So don't go pretending that it does.


my argument 3 is on the universal nature of mystical experience Ralph Hood himself (who invented the M scale) made that argument himself, why would the M scale studies not apply to the argument made it's own inventor?
- Your studies are not restricted to mystical experience as defined by your restrictive M scale. They cover a much broader range of experience, much of which is not even religious in nature. It even specifically says that in one your cited studies that I read, and you completely ignore that. But your own argument says that since these experiences are about the divine, they must be caused by the divine (which is unscientific and illogical religious fantasy). The only conclusion that I can draw from these facts is that you either ignore the material that doesn't support your points, or you deliberately lie about it.
Joe Hinman said…

Skeptical you are an idiot, you are extremely narrow minded, you refuse to learn you don't know any thing you e a boore. Talking to you is a huge waste of time, everything you say about my stuff is true of you. you have no scientific compilations.


God belief is not judged by science, Theology is not subject to scientific domain,you don;t know anything about theology just as you know about mystical experience or my studies, littler you say about them is stupid.

I did not say experiences must because by the devise because they area out the divine, I said nothing of the kind, you are very stupid not to understand what i said.

1. the effects are real

2. :. the cause is real

3/ the content is aboiut the ovoid so that is a good reason to think the cause is divine,


huge difference,
Joe Hinman said…
Skep I mean it go sign up on the message board,I will post my first speech during the week, tomorrow's post on CADRE will give the rules of debate.I;ll say some other stuff about your general governance,
im-skeptical said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said…
God belief is not judged by science
- Good. Then don't claim scientific methods to make your case, because you really don't know much about science.

3/ the content is aboiut the ovoid so that is a good reason to think the cause is divine
- you said: "(6) Since the content of ME is divine the cause must be the divine". Note that nothing in that statement says "good reason to think". It says "the cause is divine" These are YOUR words and YOUR argument.

Now any reasonable person would say that while you may think the cause is divine, you have done absolutely nothing to demonstrate that it IS divine. And any naturalist would say that the cause is natural, no matter what the content is, and your argument casts no doubt on that. I understand you don't agree with that, but that's just what you believe. It doesn't mean what you believe is true.

Skep I mean it go sign up on the message board
- Go ahead and start. If I agree with the topic and the rules, I'll sign up. As it is, I don't even know what you want to debate.
im-skeptical said…
Sorry, it says "the cause must be divine". That is a positive assertion.
Joe Hinman said…
read the post it;s about our debate and you posting here.


here
Joe Hinman said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said…
Now any reasonable person would say that while you may think the cause is divine, you have done absolutely nothing to demonstrate that it IS divine. And any naturalist would say that the cause is natural, no matter what the content is, and your argument casts no doubt on that. I understand you don't agree with that, but that's just what you believe. It doesn't mean what you believe is true.

sure as hell have, the point is the argument is abductive not deductive stupid,do "demonstration" must used advisedly,


you wont read the evidence,
Joe Hinman said…
Joe Hinman said...
Now any reasonable person would say that while you may think the cause is divine, you have done absolutely nothing to demonstrate that it IS divine. And any naturalist would say that the cause is natural, no matter what the content is, and your argument casts no doubt on that. I understand you don't agree with that, but that's just what you believe. It doesn't mean what you believe is true.


within the context of warrant I have, you refuse to read the evidence. You better save the rest for the debate, because otherwise I'm not arguing,
Joe Hinman said…
m-skeptical said...
God belief is not judged by science
- Good. Then don't claim scientific methods to make your case, because you really don't know much about science.


stop being stupid. There;s an obvious answer but your not interested in truth, I;l tell you once you learn it now. Proving the existence of God is not within the domain of science but we can use scientific data to warrant belief because it's not a claim of direct proof,
im-skeptical said…
the point is the argument is abductive not deductive stupid

- You presented a deductive argument. And that argument makes the conclusion "the cause must be divine". That is not abduction. I refer you to the SEP article on abduction. You should read it carefully. It gives several definitions of the term, like this:
Given evidence E and candidate explanations H1,…, Hn of E, infer the truth of that Hi which best explains E.
The important point is that all such formulations involve evaluating a set of candidate explanations and then choosing the best among them. But that's not waht you do. You just assume "God did it", and dismiss any other possibility. That's not abduction. It's religion.


within the context of warrant I have, you refuse to read the evidence.

- Joe, every timeI say something you disagree with, your pat answer is "you refuse to read". You seem to think that it would be impossible to disagree if only I knew what you are saying. Well I HAVE read it. AND I DISAGREE.


Proving the existence of God is not within the domain of science but we can use scientific data to warrant belief because it's not a claim of direct proof
- Did you listen to what I said? Your argument goes through a series of logical steps to come to the conclusion that "the cause must be divine". That is a conclusion. Then you add on another line after that that says that belief is warranted. So from the argument you gave, you conclude that belief is warranted because the cause [of mystical experience] must be divine. If you follow your own logic, that final conclusion is based on the previous conclusion that God exists. READ YOUR OWN ARGUMENT. That what it says.

Joe Hinman said…
better save it for the debate
Joe Hinman said…
the point is the argument is abductive not deductive stupid

- You presented a deductive argument. And that argument makes the conclusion "the cause must be divine". That is not abduction. I refer you to the SEP article on abduction. You should read it carefully. It gives several definitions of the term, like this:
Given evidence E and candidate explanations H1,…, Hn of E, infer the truth of that Hi which best explains E.


I'm going to talk about this because it may not come up in the debate. I've read Lipton's book. The principle of accepting warrant rather than seeking to prove is a form of adiabatic, because you are taking best evidence rather than proof. the specific arguments are made deductively but the overall principle is abductive,

The important point is that all such formulations involve evaluating a set of candidate explanations and then choosing the best among them. But that's not waht you do. You just assume "God did it", and dismiss any other possibility. That's not abduction. It's religion.

Of course you are assuming that about a book you have not read,I do do that in my book that's why I have tie breakers,


within the context of warrant I have, you refuse to read the evidence.

that is a reference to the warrant like I said above

- Joe, every timeI say something you disagree with, your pat answer is "you refuse to read". You seem to think that it would be impossible to disagree if only I knew what you are saying. Well I HAVE read it. AND I DISAGREE.

your bigotry makes you stupid. you assume O he just does the God did it thing because he's a christian and that's what they do, you are assuming I'm too stupid to compare alternatives and that's what chapter 7 is about,
Joe Hinman said…
that was your last post until you make the debate scene on my message board,
Weekend Fisher said…
I thought the original topic was interesting and added a related post here:

http://weekendfisher.blogspot.com/2017/10/does-faith-in-god-lead-to-lower-or.html

Take care & God bless
Anne/WF
Joe Hinman said…
thanks Week end I'll check it out

here is your link

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