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Liberalism, culture and torture: what legitimizes torture for Americans?

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Posts

  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    We could just be seeing the result of corporatist/authoritarian (fascist?) movements gaining power in our society while waving the flag of nationalist sentiment to mask their agendas.

    Drake on
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.
    When the U.S. starts torturing people they are the monster, yes. Because that's what it is, torture. And torture is not acceptable. Other people being horrific monsters doesn't mean we should be. Now I understand that you hate America. You don't like the idea that there are people that aren't petty, cruel, and fearful like you and actually have a fucking pair to stand for what's right. Don't act as if you're any better than a terrorist when you act exactly like one.

    People always delude themselves that they're making the "hard decision" by saying that they'll make the sacrifice of using torture to defend. The real hard decision is saying that you won't compromise on what you believe in, and instead sticking with what your principles are, even, and this is important, even if it may even make you less safe. That's the real sacrifice, the sacrifice it takes to stick to your principles. I think Eisenhower said it best:
    " If all Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They'll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government."

    The government isn't dictatorial, but what it's done has only ever been justified under the guise of making people "safe" at the cost of the core values and ideals that the nation is founded on.

    With torture, it isn't even an issue. It DOESN'T make us more safe, it just makes us worse. We curse and despise those who used these techniques on captured US soldiers in WWII. In Korea, these methods were used to brilliant effect to elicit false confessions of war crimes from 36 of 59 captured US airmen. We called it torture then, we prosecuted the enemy soldiers that did it, and in the Vietnam war we even prosecuted our own who did it.

    Calling these methods by ridiculous euphemisms is an affront to everything that every one of those soldiers had to suffer. To say they're now acceptable is such a sheer ironic tragedy of such epic proportions I fear that advocates will never fully grasp how thoroughly screwed up it is.

    subedii on
  • Hockey JohnstonHockey Johnston Registered User
    edited April 2009
    My new theory is that the torture issue proves how politically marginalized women still are, even in America.

    Because I've seen polling that indicates that they're overwhelmingly against what we've done, and if they were a bigger part of the conversation I think it wouldn't have happened. There's still a very macho line of thought that says that the world is fully of enemies and we have to not show weakness to them.

    Hockey Johnston on
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    That sounds a bit like the gun issue in Switzerland. Here every 'able-bodied male' has to serve in the militia army and gets to take their gun (an assault rifle) home. In the last 5-6 years, there have been several killings and suicides done using the service weapon, so there's now a growing political movement towards militia soldiers having to leave their gun with the military while they're off service - a movement largely championed by women.

    I agree that it's distasteful how often torture is rationalised with a rhetoric of "This hurts us more than it hurts you..."

    Thirith on
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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    But the thing is that that's precisely right, it does hurt us more than it hurts them.

    So why do we do it?

    Ethan Smith on
    I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks..
  • DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »

    Or when the United States starts torturing human beings being held without charge or trial after abandoning the 1st, 5th, 8th, 14th, amendments and the Great Writ. We become that monster then, too.

    If we torture our enemies, we approve of them torturing us. You can not have it both ways.

    Also, we tortured suspects to admit to some link between Al Queda and Iraq to justify the Iraq war (Citation). So for those keeping count, torture is at least partially responsible for the deaths nearly 4,300 American soldiers and somewhere around 90,000 Iraqi civilians.

    Torture doesn't work, and it is utterly immoral especially for the 'good guys' like the United States is supposed to be. But don't take my word for it, this is what Ali Soufan one our interrogation specialists has to say on the matter:
    Ali Soufan wrote:
    There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.

    DragonPup on
    "I was there, I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor." -Cpt Garviel Loken

    Currently painting: Slowly [flickr]
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    But the thing is that that's precisely right, it does hurt us more than it hurts them.

    So why do we do it?

    The implication is that it's somehow necessary, which the uninformed seem to give credit. By the nature of the subject, it's one that many people will remain uninformed about willingly. Taxi to the Darkside and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib gave me some serious nightmares. Unless this topic and the fact that it's uneffective and wasteful as well as completely immoral can permeate our soundbite news culture, willing ignorance is going to be our largest hurdle in stamping this garbage out.

    Drake on
  • Brian888Brian888 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.


    Let me break it down for you, Emanon. I'm not going to go into the "torture is morally reprehensible and indefensible" arguments here, as you don't seem to respond to them.* I'm going to focus on the practical use (or lack thereof) of torture. There are basically two kinds of information you can get from a captured terrorist suspect: the classic "ticking time-bomb" time-sensitive information, and longer-term background information about funding, organization of cells, membership, etc.

    Let's take the "ticking time-bomb" scenario first. You strongly suspect an attack is very imminent, and you strongly suspect the person you captured knows what's going to happen. Do you torture him? No. Why? It's useless. Once you start applying pain, he'll tell you SOMETHING to make it stop, but there's no guarantee it's the truth. In fact, it's probably not. If you plant a bomb at the White House and absolutely want it to go off, under torture you'll admit to planting the bomb everywhere but the White House. Meanwhile, for every lie you tell, your interrogators have to stop the torture and investigate what you've told them, eating up valuable time and resources. Boom, the bomb goes off. The torture was for nothing.

    What's the answer in such a scenario? Sadly, probably "We're fucked." I'm not sure standard interrogation techniques in such a time-sensitive situation would work any better. However, not resorting to torture in these scenarios does grant us a measure of moral high-ground and diplomatic well-being that is often very valuable in other situations.

    Now let's look at the other scenario. Here, torture is useless because again, you can't trust the veracity of what the person is telling you. Is the funding scheme he laid out accurate, or did he make it up to stop the pain? Generations of FBI and other law enforcement professionals will tell you that proper, standard interrogation techniques are absolutely the best way to get at this kind of information. You have time to gain the person's trust, cross-check what he's telling you against what he's previously revealed, etc. The information thereby gained is just more trustworthy and useful.


    *Torture is reprehensible and indefensible, but we're focusing on other aspects here.

    Brian888 on
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Why...

    Why is it never discussed that we're torturing people who have never even been proved guilty. There has been no trial. They are still just SUSPECTS. For all the public, the government, the interrogator knows, they might be innocent. And if they are so obviously guilty, a trial shouldn't be cut and dry right? At least prove that they know something before you try and torture it out of them... Why is this point practically NEVER discussed in the media. They only talk about effectiveness and other bullshit. I'm far more worried that innocent people could be getting tortured.

    We want to make tortue legal? At least create some due process first...

    (note, I am against toture at all times, including a ticking time bomb scenario. just making a point)


    also, wtf happened to truth serums??

    NotYou on
  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Brian888 wrote: »
    Let's take the "ticking time-bomb" scenario first. You strongly suspect an attack is very imminent, and you strongly suspect the person you captured knows what's going to happen. Do you torture him? No. Why? It's useless. Once you start applying pain, he'll tell you SOMETHING to make it stop, but there's no guarantee it's the truth. In fact, it's probably not. If you plant a bomb at the White House and absolutely want it to go off, under torture you'll admit to planting the bomb everywhere but the White House. Meanwhile, for every lie you tell, your interrogators have to stop the torture and investigate what you've told them, eating up valuable time and resources. Boom, the bomb goes off. The torture was for nothing.

    "They're on Dantooine."
    "You may fire when ready."

    VeritasVR on
    CoH_infantry.jpg
    Let 'em eat fucking pineapples!
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    four pages and no one's put it up yet?

    NSFW or Bush Apologists

    yeah, that was on live TV

    <3

    MrMonroe on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I thought that was a webcast and not actually shown on cable?

    moniker on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    It has been posted, just not this thread.

    Fencingsax on
    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • AdrienAdrien Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Brian888 wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.


    Let me break it down for you, Emanon. I'm not going to go into the "torture is morally reprehensible and indefensible" arguments here, as you don't seem to respond to them.* I'm going to focus on the practical use (or lack thereof) of torture. There are basically two kinds of information you can get from a captured terrorist suspect: the classic "ticking time-bomb" time-sensitive information, and longer-term background information about funding, organization of cells, membership, etc.

    Let's take the "ticking time-bomb" scenario first. You strongly suspect an attack is very imminent, and you strongly suspect the person you captured knows what's going to happen. Do you torture him? No. Why? It's useless. Once you start applying pain, he'll tell you SOMETHING to make it stop, but there's no guarantee it's the truth. In fact, it's probably not. If you plant a bomb at the White House and absolutely want it to go off, under torture you'll admit to planting the bomb everywhere but the White House. Meanwhile, for every lie you tell, your interrogators have to stop the torture and investigate what you've told them, eating up valuable time and resources. Boom, the bomb goes off. The torture was for nothing.

    Well, not for nothing— you've certainly vindicated his reasons for planting the bomb in the first place.

    Adrien on
    tmkm.jpg
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    NotYou wrote: »
    also, wtf happened to truth serums??

    This is a good point. Can't we drug people into telling us shit? I thought we had shit like this.

    HamHamJ on
    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    also, wtf happened to truth serums??

    This is a good point. Can't we drug people into telling us shit? I thought we had shit like this.

    They're terribly ineffective.

    Basically they dope someone up to the point that they have no idea whats going on. Then you try to break them with interrogation. Not exactly a reliable way to get information

    "Truth Serums' are pretty much a hollywood invention.

    nexuscrawler on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Terrorist attacks take years of planning. If you're down to a "ticking timebomb" scenario you're fucked already.

    nexuscrawler on
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    also, wtf happened to truth serums??

    This is a good point. Can't we drug people into telling us shit? I thought we had shit like this.

    They're terribly ineffective.

    Basically they dope someone up to the point that they have no idea whats going on. Then you try to break them with interrogation. Not exactly a reliable way to get information

    "Truth Serums' are pretty much a hollywood invention.

    Hm. Couldn't you somehow selectively target the part of the brain responsible for internal censoring?

    HamHamJ on
    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Hm. Couldn't you somehow selectively target the part of the brain responsible for internal censoring?
    Let's just invent a laser that only destroys bad people instead.

    Duffel on
  • Mr BubblesMr Bubbles David Koresh Superstar Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    You keep saying that, but I don't see how it's Anglo-centric and not a factor of human nature. Hell, considering the places where torture is an accepted aspect of the 'justice' system there it would seem to imply that this is pretty universal.

    I'm not saying that torture is a product of the English moral/legal tradition (or that other traditions don't practice or fetishize torture), but I am suggesting our system of Common Law might make us more likely to practice torture than other First World countries.

    In a lot of ways I'm borrowing from Austin Sarat (see When The State Kills) and James Whitman (see Harsh Justice) when I make this argument. Sarat and Whitman argue that the United States' use of capital punishment reflects the harshness and emphasis on individual responsibility which lies at the center of Common Law jurisprudence. In other words, they try to demonstrate that the death penalty reflects cultural and jurisprudential values that are unique to the United States, and that our skyrocketing rate of executions is tied to that.

    Granted, to take my argument seriously you have to entertain the idea that culture can exert a power over human behavior equal or above that of "human nature." But I still think it's an interesting idea, and I do think that—like our unique status as the only First World country (aside from, I think, Japan) to practice capital punishment—our unique status as one of the only First World countries to practice torture might be tied to our cultural values.

    Then explain Britain, Canada, and other Commonwealth nations which do not and have not tortured people since around the Enlightenment, which is when torture became frowned upon. You seem to be suggesting that Jamaica is more likely to torture people than France and I just cannot imagine that being the case.

    Britain used to be responsible for one of the most inhumane punishments you can ever possibly imagine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanged,_drawn_and_quartered

    This carried on until it was outlawed in 1870

    Mr Bubbles on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Mr Bubbles wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    You keep saying that, but I don't see how it's Anglo-centric and not a factor of human nature. Hell, considering the places where torture is an accepted aspect of the 'justice' system there it would seem to imply that this is pretty universal.

    I'm not saying that torture is a product of the English moral/legal tradition (or that other traditions don't practice or fetishize torture), but I am suggesting our system of Common Law might make us more likely to practice torture than other First World countries.

    In a lot of ways I'm borrowing from Austin Sarat (see When The State Kills) and James Whitman (see Harsh Justice) when I make this argument. Sarat and Whitman argue that the United States' use of capital punishment reflects the harshness and emphasis on individual responsibility which lies at the center of Common Law jurisprudence. In other words, they try to demonstrate that the death penalty reflects cultural and jurisprudential values that are unique to the United States, and that our skyrocketing rate of executions is tied to that.

    Granted, to take my argument seriously you have to entertain the idea that culture can exert a power over human behavior equal or above that of "human nature." But I still think it's an interesting idea, and I do think that—like our unique status as the only First World country (aside from, I think, Japan) to practice capital punishment—our unique status as one of the only First World countries to practice torture might be tied to our cultural values.

    Then explain Britain, Canada, and other Commonwealth nations which do not and have not tortured people since around the Enlightenment, which is when torture became frowned upon. You seem to be suggesting that Jamaica is more likely to torture people than France and I just cannot imagine that being the case.

    Britain used to be responsible for one of the most inhumane punishments you can ever possibly imagine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanged,_drawn_and_quartered

    This carried on until it was outlawed in 1870

    And the French have a period of time in their history known as both The Terror and The Great Terror during which the state murdered people on a whim without any provocation or need of proof. You could lose your head for using the wrong greeting when you met someone. We could also talk about what Germany and Japan did in living memory. I don't see what point any of that would produce.

    moniker on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2009/04/torture-prosecution.html

    At many blogs (Sullivan, Yglesias, DeLong, among others) you will find ongoing arguments for prosecuting the torturers who ran our government for a while. I am in agreement with the moral stance of these critics but I don't agree with their practical conclusions. I believe that a full investigation would lead the U.S. public to, ultimately, side with torture, side with the torturers, and side against the prosecutors. That's why we can't proceed and Obama probably understands that. If another attack happened this would be all the more true.

    On top of everything else, major Democrats in Congress are likely complicit and the Democrats as a whole hardly made this a campaign issue in 2004; in 2008 the economy was their winning issue, not torture.

    Loren Michael on
    2ezikn6.jpg
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The first comment on that post explains how ridiculous a stance it is.

    "We care too much about the law to actually enforce it."

    riiiight

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Mr Bubbles wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    You keep saying that, but I don't see how it's Anglo-centric and not a factor of human nature. Hell, considering the places where torture is an accepted aspect of the 'justice' system there it would seem to imply that this is pretty universal.

    I'm not saying that torture is a product of the English moral/legal tradition (or that other traditions don't practice or fetishize torture), but I am suggesting our system of Common Law might make us more likely to practice torture than other First World countries.

    In a lot of ways I'm borrowing from Austin Sarat (see When The State Kills) and James Whitman (see Harsh Justice) when I make this argument. Sarat and Whitman argue that the United States' use of capital punishment reflects the harshness and emphasis on individual responsibility which lies at the center of Common Law jurisprudence. In other words, they try to demonstrate that the death penalty reflects cultural and jurisprudential values that are unique to the United States, and that our skyrocketing rate of executions is tied to that.

    Granted, to take my argument seriously you have to entertain the idea that culture can exert a power over human behavior equal or above that of "human nature." But I still think it's an interesting idea, and I do think that—like our unique status as the only First World country (aside from, I think, Japan) to practice capital punishment—our unique status as one of the only First World countries to practice torture might be tied to our cultural values.

    Then explain Britain, Canada, and other Commonwealth nations which do not and have not tortured people since around the Enlightenment, which is when torture became frowned upon. You seem to be suggesting that Jamaica is more likely to torture people than France and I just cannot imagine that being the case.

    Britain used to be responsible for one of the most inhumane punishments you can ever possibly imagine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanged,_drawn_and_quartered

    This carried on until it was outlawed in 1870

    And the French have a period of time in their history known as both The Terror and The Great Terror during which the state murdered people on a whim without any provocation or need of proof. You could lose your head for using the wrong greeting when you met someone. We could also talk about what Germany and Japan did in living memory. I don't see what point any of that would produce.

    France used a method of execution that was specifically designed to be humane and efficient, though.

    Okay, yeah, there is no point to what I just said.

    jothki on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    jothki wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Mr Bubbles wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    You keep saying that, but I don't see how it's Anglo-centric and not a factor of human nature. Hell, considering the places where torture is an accepted aspect of the 'justice' system there it would seem to imply that this is pretty universal.

    I'm not saying that torture is a product of the English moral/legal tradition (or that other traditions don't practice or fetishize torture), but I am suggesting our system of Common Law might make us more likely to practice torture than other First World countries.

    In a lot of ways I'm borrowing from Austin Sarat (see When The State Kills) and James Whitman (see Harsh Justice) when I make this argument. Sarat and Whitman argue that the United States' use of capital punishment reflects the harshness and emphasis on individual responsibility which lies at the center of Common Law jurisprudence. In other words, they try to demonstrate that the death penalty reflects cultural and jurisprudential values that are unique to the United States, and that our skyrocketing rate of executions is tied to that.

    Granted, to take my argument seriously you have to entertain the idea that culture can exert a power over human behavior equal or above that of "human nature." But I still think it's an interesting idea, and I do think that—like our unique status as the only First World country (aside from, I think, Japan) to practice capital punishment—our unique status as one of the only First World countries to practice torture might be tied to our cultural values.

    Then explain Britain, Canada, and other Commonwealth nations which do not and have not tortured people since around the Enlightenment, which is when torture became frowned upon. You seem to be suggesting that Jamaica is more likely to torture people than France and I just cannot imagine that being the case.

    Britain used to be responsible for one of the most inhumane punishments you can ever possibly imagine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanged,_drawn_and_quartered

    This carried on until it was outlawed in 1870

    And the French have a period of time in their history known as both The Terror and The Great Terror during which the state murdered people on a whim without any provocation or need of proof. You could lose your head for using the wrong greeting when you met someone. We could also talk about what Germany and Japan did in living memory. I don't see what point any of that would produce.

    France used a method of execution that was specifically designed to be humane and efficient, though.

    Okay, yeah, there is no point to what I just said.

    Mass murder and torture are in the same moral no-mans land. So a point that could be made is that America isn't unique in its capacity for inhumane behavior. Also, you have to really love the irony of the name of the French Administration that perpetrated The Reign of Terror. The Committee of Public Safety. Yeah.

    Drake on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    And in "let's just chuck this gas can on the fire" news, a study shows a positive correlation between church attendance and torture acceptance.

    AngelHedgie on
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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I wonder, if there was a kind of torture that simulated the effect of being crucified, would the average churchgoer be in favor of its use?

    jothki on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    That's...disheartening to say the least.

    *edit*
    Wait, why are they only asking white people?

    moniker on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    jothki wrote: »
    I wonder, if there was a kind of torture that simulated the effect of being crucified, would the average churchgoer be in favor of its use?

    They probably wouldn't see the irony.

    Couscous on
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2009
    Was this posted? If so, here it is again!

    Ronald Reagan: vengeful, score-settling, Hard Left ideologue

    Premier kakos on
    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • AdrienAdrien Registered User
    edited May 2009
    I wonder how it changes the numbers when instead of saying "Is it ever okay to torture suspected terrorists" you say "Is it ever okay to torture innocent people?"

    You know, since they're equivalent.

    Adrien on
    tmkm.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I still just don't quite get why they only asked religious white people. It hardly seems like a truly representative poll.

    moniker on
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Of course it's representative -- representative of religious white people.

    Azio on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Azio wrote: »
    Of course it's representative -- representative of religious white people.

    Yes, but in case you hadn't noticed black people live here too. Even a few Asians and those gardening types.

    moniker on
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    If your intent is to poll a particular group, you poll members of that group. All groups need not be represented in every poll.

    Azio on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Azio wrote: »
    If your intent is to poll a particular group, you poll members of that group. All groups need not be represented in every poll.
    CNN wrote:
    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.

    More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

    ...
    Pew wrote:
    Amid intense public debate over the use of torture against suspected terrorists, an analysis by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life of a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press illustrates differences in the views of four major religious traditions in the U.S. about whether torture of suspected terrorists can be justified. Differences in opinion on this issue also are apparent based on frequency of attendance at religious services.

    Where did you manage to discern that they had no intention of polling non-white christians? You have to go to Pew's website itself and then look on the chart, and pay attention to the white (non-hispanic) tag next to the relevant religious one, rather than in any of the descriptions provided in order to figure it out. Am I missing something here?

    moniker on
  • CleonicusCleonicus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009

    Maybe that explains why they flocked to see The Passion of the Christ.

    Cleonicus on
    Debate 'n' DeHockey team: Astronauts
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    It doesn't even say that "religious practice = more acceptable to torture". It says that a certain strain of religious belief correlates with those leanings. White evangelicals - who traditionally vote republican - are more likely to consider the previous administration's actions acceptable. Meanwhile, mainline Protestant denominations - which are more likely to be liberal dems - are less likely to consider those actions acceptable.

    Fancy that.

    Also, the omission of Jews and Muslims - whose opinions I can already guess as being mostly and very firmly in the "no" camp, respectively - makes it obvious that this was a case of making a headline out of what was already common sense - pub demographics support pub policies. Whoopie.

    Duffel on
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Where did you manage to discern that they had no intention of polling non-white christians? You have to go to Pew's website itself and then look on the chart, and pay attention to the white (non-hispanic) tag next to the relevant religious one, rather than in any of the descriptions provided in order to figure it out. Am I missing something here?
    I'm just saying not every sample has to proportionately represent every demographic in order to be effective. Nor is it the study's fault that CNN's shit-for-brains editorial staff can't interpret things in an accurate and honest fashion.

    Azio on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Azio wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Where did you manage to discern that they had no intention of polling non-white christians? You have to go to Pew's website itself and then look on the chart, and pay attention to the white (non-hispanic) tag next to the relevant religious one, rather than in any of the descriptions provided in order to figure it out. Am I missing something here?
    I'm just saying not every sample has to proportionately represent every demographic in order to be effective. Nor is it the study's fault that CNN's shit-for-brains editorial staff can't interpret things in an accurate and honest fashion.

    Pew's own editorial staff can't interpret things or are horrible at communication, then, because their paragraph explaining it only talked about major religious traditions. No mention of how they stripped all people of color (and to purposefully exclude Hispanics from Catholicism seems...odd) from those religious groups for the purpose of the poll. You're right, they don't have to closely mirror the makeup of America writ large for every poll that they do, but if you're going to dissect people into that small of a subset you should kinda mention it in the abstract rather than using generalized terms.

    moniker on
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