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Goodbye Jesus

What Does Crime and Religion Have In Common?


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By Bill Jeffreys

 

Every criminal act committed was done so for emotional reasons. No one acts rational and logical and then goes out and commits a crime. Yes, even serial killers have emotional reasons for the crimes they commit. They just don’t have guilt. It never is, "I just realized how logical it is for me to murder". It’s always some underlying emotionally based dysfunctional belief that they are acting upon.

 

Religion is very similar. No one goes out and follows god for reasonable and logical reasons because the foundation of religion isn’t based on accurate evidence, reason or logic. People don’t convert because of the supposed evidence. They convert for emotional reasons. They convert because it's supposed to make them feel better and give them hope.

 

If I remember my Christian stats correctly (when I was a Christian) most people convert in their childhood or youth when the brain is most susceptible to fantastical thinking. That was why we always targeted young people. They were more impressionable.

 

Why do ex-Christians practice morals and ethics if they don’t do so out of fear of hell or love of God? Because it is reasonable and logical to do so if you want to have friends and a good quality of life.

 

How many religious people are in jail or prison at any given moment vs. non-believers? Statistically, there are far more religious people in jail then atheists. I work with corrections clients, and I can tell you that many offenders, I speak with, have some sort of religious belief. Many of them are Christian beliefs. In my 12 years of working in the corrections field, I have only had one offender tell me that he didn’t believe in spiritual things. Do you know that the profile is for a sex offender? It’s a 40 something white educated male who attends church regularly.That should tell us something about the ability of spiritual beliefs to change people.

 

Does having a belief in a god make us a better person? Does going to church make us moral? Does following the Bible give us ethics? Not if you look at the statistics of people in church who commit crimes verses people who don't attend church or believe in a god.

 

Religion is mostly an emotional ride. It is a pseudo system that seeks to comfort people with false hope and control them with false guilt. In my experience, criminals and religious people do have something in common; their tendency to believe that just because they feel something that makes it true.

 

http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2008/05...on-have-in.html

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How many religious people are in jail or prison at any given moment vs. non-believers? Statistically, there are far more religious people in jail then atheists. I work with corrections clients, and I can tell you that many offenders, I speak with, have some sort of religious belief. Many of them are Christian beliefs. In my 12 years of working in the corrections field, I have only had one offender tell me that he didn’t believe in spiritual things.

 

A lot of that can be chalked up to class and education. How many poor white families have a plastic Jesus somewhere in their trailer? How many young black men who have gotten mixed up in the wrong crowd have mothers and grandmothers who go to church every Sunday? How many Latino gangbangers' families have paintings of La Virgen on the wall? You're not going to find too many people in the ghetto or trailer park who decided to become atheists at age 20 after sitting through Philosophy 310 at UCLA.

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Guest Marty

I think your connection between the emotionalism of religion and crime is pretty good...never thought of that before.

 

Statisicly, areas with high crime rates will also be more religious than neighboring areas with lower crime rates. I believe this corralation is worldwide. The more religious a society, the more dangerous it is for the average person to be a victim of some sort of crime.

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According to http://www.adherents.com/misc/adh_prison.html it appears that there are no dependable stats on incarceration rates by religion. I find this believable. For example, in the general population, non-belief does appear to correlate with education (the more educated, the less likely to be a believer), and the less educated are more likely to be incarcerated. Yet, inmates may be reluctant to identify themselves as nonbelievers, fearing backlash from authorities or other inmates. It's hard to see how you could get dependable survey data on a question like this.

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Good topic.

 

I was wondering this morning after the TV news; what makes a teen decide to kill his entire family? Does he think "I'll be in jail the rest of my life, or get the death penalty, but it's better than -insert teen angst here-" And surely gawd will forgive me.

 

Could the xtian concept of holy forgiveness play into this? If, as the xtians believe, a deathbed plea for a free pass erases everything, then anythings on the table, as long as you have time for a quick "forgive me."

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I entered into a minor debate with a Youtube fundy, and I quoted some statistic about atheism in the prison system. He ad-hominem-ed me about how this was "one of the unbelievers favorite statistics to quote". His point was that criminals have a lapsed faith, while real, devout Christians would never end up in the prison system.

 

In retrospect, I find his argument to be full of "hole-y shit".

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Whether or not someone says they believe in God (which is what, 89% of Americans?) or has positive childhood memories of grandmama's sunday church (lots of people do) really don't mean anything.

 

If we're talking sociology here, you're gonna have to go with religiosity.

 

From dictionary.com:

 

re·li·gi·os·i·ty

–noun

1. the quality of being religious; piety; devoutness.

2. affected or excessive devotion to religion.

 

Religiosity is both a continuous variable and a discrete variable. If you say outright you're an atheist or agnostic or otherwise non-observant, you're out of the running. Just like you're either from Argentina or you're not.

 

But how many Americans are conditioned to describe themselves as "Christians" or say the "believe in God" even though it has no bearing on their lives? Tons. So you take person X, who answers "Yes" to "I believe in God." He will range from a functional atheist (the "yes" has zero bearing on his life. None. Nada. Zilch) to the most foaming-at-the-mouth delusional snake-licking holy roller. Now that's one hell of a range, wouldn't you say?

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Good topic.

 

I was wondering this morning after the TV news; what makes a teen decide to kill his entire family? Does he think "I'll be in jail the rest of my life, or get the death penalty, but it's better than -insert teen angst here-" And surely gawd will forgive me.

 

Could the xtian concept of holy forgiveness play into this? If, as the xtians believe, a deathbed plea for a free pass erases everything, then anythings on the table, as long as you have time for a quick "forgive me."

That may be what the person committing the act thinks but the going 'forgiveness theology' today is to forgive but prosecute anyway. We supposedly make them pay for their crimes and god will make them pay for their sins. Christians are quite vicious these days. They are not likely to forgive much. The best friend to make is the one that you forgive the greatest offense against you.

 

I know xtians that would call the police over someone taking a few gallons of gas. I couldn't count how many times I've 'donated' for someone to get somewhere else. If a person is stealing gas, it usually means they are trying to leave town, I like to think. If they are leaving, they are not likely to come back. So let them leave.

 

Kids killing their families is a different matter and is usually due to they feel persecuted by their families. It is hard to say. Their rationality is nothing I can understand. A person would have to hate someone for some reason to kill their own family like they do. Sometimes they kill for money they believe is due them. Selfishness. Kids are motivated by the same emotions as adults and if their desire is stronger than their self-control then they will act on their desires.

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