Friday, March 27, 2009

Atheism, evolution, and the death penalty: Speaking of the last post, I'll concede that I picked a conservative version of a barbarism. Let's pick a liberal one this time: the death penalty. The argument was made in the documentary Expelled that belief in atheism and evolution tend to reduce the value of humans, especially unproductive ones. The whole question becomes, does a person improve the population or not? People become economic units, and the door is opened to eliminate those who are a drag on society.

Murderers are certainly undesirable, so do atheism and acceptance of Darwin make us want to get rid of them? I followed the same strategy as in the last post and included a liberal outlook as a control.

Logistic regression coefficients

Acceptance of evolution -.042
Atheism .045
Liberalism -.252**

p < .01, two-tailed test

In analyes not shown, both atheism and acceptance of evolution are significantly related to being against the death penalty, but you can see in the results above that when liberalism is entered in the model, the effects of the other two fall to non-significance. So atheists and Darwinists tend to be against executing criminals, but only because they tend to be liberals. No whiff of Hitler here.


  1. I could have told you that atheist conservatives support the death penalty. Humans are biological creatures. Some of them are mentally damaged to the same degree as a rabid animal. I'd love it if there was a cure for sociopathy, but there isn't. And living in denial about it just creates more opportunities for them to victimize others.

    You can't have civilization and let the predators run wild.

    I'll leave the denial for the superstitious and the liberals. And view them both as enemies of civilization.

  2. Jason, How about dropping the ad-hominem and viewing different people as different modes of behavior which have existed in a evolutionary equilibrium.

    If your type wins, you can suppress them. That is: What is, is not necessarily right.

  3. Hume's essentially right. Ladies love bad boys, and with high IQs they can get to the top of corporations.

    I don't have strong opinions on the death penalty, honestly.

    And I may be a liberal, but I do support eugenics. Not in the sense of gassing the disabled, but I don't see anything wrong with screening embryos or paying smart people to have more kids. IMHO we threw the baby out with the bathwater after WWII. Damn Nazis.

  4. Bob, ad hominems are perfectly legitimate when discussing the nature and character of men.

    Past performance in evolution, as in investing, is no guarantee of future profits, nor is it relevant to future opposition or support.


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