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ParkingPlaces



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There was a direct correlation in the rise of crime teenage pregnancy, divorce, and murder and the expulsion of school prayer, bible reading and the Ten commandments from Schools.  Back when all this was taught, even the unbelieving in God conducted themselves better than they do now.  I think atheists should embrace Christianity even as a fantasy for the practical reason of the well being of society. 

Wayne

I know the above quote was from your response to nogods, but the paragraph I quoted is a general enough statement that I hope it is okay if I comment.

You need to be real careful with statistics. Especially when you just generally allude to them. You are assuming a cause-and-effect that may not be provable with numbers the way you think.

For instance, the murder rate in 1963, before prayer was banned in schools, was 4.6 per 100,000 people. In 2011, it was 4.7 per 100,000. Wow, what a huge increase.

On the other hand, motor vehicle deaths (measured differently, in that they are figured as number of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled) have dropped dramatically. In 1963. the death rate per 100 million v.m.t. was 5.39. In 2011, that rate dropped to 1.10. Does that mean I can say that the influx of atheism in this country actually caused traffic deaths to drop while holding murders almost steady? I don't think so. But you can't blame it on the lack of prayer either.

Yes, if you too look at the murder rates, you will see that they were quite a bit higher in the 90's than they are now. But if we're still not praying in school, why would the rate go up and then back down? Could it be that there are other factors? Golly gee. You think?

Divorce rates? Yep, they sure are up. In the religious red states as well as the blue states, though the bluest of the states actually have divorce rates that are fairly close to common rates prior to prayer being removed from schools. And in the red states, they are higher than the national average.

And by the way, though school prayer was legal prior to its banning, not all schools included prayer in their curriculum. I, for instance, was never led in prayer in grade school in the 50's. Yet the pre-prayer-ban moral statistics you find so important applied to the people in my area just as they did elsewhere in the country.

If I had to point to a reason for the decline (in those areas where there definitely is a decline, like rape, robbery, burglary, assault, I would put far more of the blame on the real change that has occurred in this country since the 1960's. What is that? Entertainment. We have gone from being a socially active society, in which entertainment was a pleasant but minor player, to an entertainment based society. People feel that it is their right to have fun. And when that became our priority, many social responsibilities went by the wayside. Toss in some other factors, like the constantly growing inequality in incomes between the rich and the poor, the drug culture (obviously related to the entertainment problem), which is far too complex to be only prayer-induced, and the growing chasm that divides the educated from the uneducated, and you have many ingredients contributing to the admittedly obvious failings of our society.

We have also, since the banning of prayer, brought racial equality far closer to being a reality, reduced cancer death rates, especially in children, gotten lead out of paint and gasoline, started recycling programs, stopped our waterways from catching on fire, increased funding for the education and care of disabled children and adults, started entire new industries that have contributed greatly to economic progress, sent folks into space and shot spacecraft out of the solar system, made jet travel safe and, (I know, this sounds impossible) more or less kept Martha Stewart in check. I, for instance, don't have one frickin' craft project in my whole house. And Boston won a world series. So unless you're a Yankees fan, it hasn't all been bad.

You want to keep it simple and blame one thing for all our woes. It would be very convenient for you were that the case, because it would strengthen your case for this god guy. But even my theory regarding the entertainment industry is nowhere near the only cause for the changes in our society.

You, in constant premonition mode and in agreement with others regarding the effect of the prayer ban in schools, think you have things pretty well figured out. Both stances require that you keep all your theories simple and that you carefully avoid contrary information because you probably have no room for dissenting opinion, let alone dissenting facts. Which is common amongst believers, many of whom are quite willing to ignore scholarship and discovery and the science that shows the actual age of the universe and our planet and of the human species; realities that simply just don't fit the biblical story. There is that which you want to be true, and then there is that which is actually true. And you've made your choice. Which is sad.

The nice thing about being wrong is that one can, if motivated by something other than ego, occasionally figure out the error and adjust. But as long as you continue to think that you've had premonitions and signs and offers of a hot date from someone named lilian, you are probably more inclined to stick with the status quo. And argue with us.

Which is fine. Arguing is entertaining.

By the way, you seemed to quote Jag in your last post just fine. But if you wanted to include further quotes, with your comments between them, and couldn't figure it out, PM me and I'll teach you. Without prejudice. Because that's the kind of guy I am.
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DumpsterFire PP, your posts are consistantly awesome. Keep it up! January 12, 2013, 12:09:10 PM
pianodwarf Very well said. January 12, 2013, 07:15:58 AM