Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hate Mail

It doesn't matter one bit that you would like to be able to find out such information as sociology pretends to discover, if the methods available to you can't do that, you can't use them to find out that information.  It also doesn't matter that the fraud of doing that is generally accepted, it doesn't change the fact that their methods can't yield reliable data or reliable information.

That "nones" are defined on the basis of saying "none of the above" only means that they are otherwise undefined as a group and to make any kind of an assertion about them is false about some of them, perhaps most of them and so it is a false statement.  Any group which is defined on such a loose criterion can't be characterized other than that.   Yet people are always making claims about the "nones" generally identifying them as anti-religious if not atheists.

I would say that the fact that Pew found that it was about the group least likely to retain people identified as such - by the researchers, not themselves -  is a good indication that it isn't a legitimate grouping for researchers to create.   That the sub groupings, atheists, agnostics, indifferent, vaguely believing in some "spiritual force" or "god" would be tiny in numbers doesn't mean anymore than that some of the other groups in such polls are tiny.  Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, are all small groups in such polls, but there is no ideological motivation to make assertions about them for the benefit of anti-religious ideology.

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