Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Liberal atheists are statists

Stefan Molyneux and Scott Adams tee it up:

The GSS regularly asks respondents if they think the government "ought to reduce the income differences between rich and poor" or if it "should not concern itself with reducing income differences". We can quibble about varying definitions of statism but opinions on governmental income redistribution serve as a pretty good approximation of what we're after.

The following table shows responses to the redistribution question by belief in God. For contemporary relevance and to avoid racial confounding responses are from 2004 onward and only non-Hispanic whites are considered (n = 5,650, one standard deviation = 2.02). Scores are inverted from those assigned by the survey for ease of comprehension. That is, the higher the score, the more statist the position:

On GodStatism
Uncertain believers4.19
Firm believers3.98

Atheists are indeed the most statist. Firm believers are the least so.

This can, as Molyneux subsequently alludes to in the video, be attributed in part to political orientation. Atheists tend to be leftists. The secular right is numerically lilliputian.

That's not the entire story, however. While there is little discernible difference among conservative atheists and theists when it comes to statism, atheistic leftists are more statist than theistic leftists are. The same parameters as above but restricted only to political liberals (n = 822):

On GodStatism
Uncertain believers5.09
Firm believers5.23

It's unsurprising that atheists are often accused of worshiping the state in place of God. Hillary's campaign team was clearly aware of as much. It's why they wanted to surreptitiously push Bernie Sanders' putative atheism.

GSS variables used: YEAR(2004-2014), EQWLTH(1-7), GOD(1)(2)(3-5)(6), RACECEN1(1), POLVIEWS(1-2)(5-6)


The Z Blog said...

A frequent topic of mine is that humans are believing machines. Just because we no longer believe in an invisible man in the sky, does not mean we don't still believe. It is just that our conceptions of the supernatural have become more complex as our understanding of the natural world has grown more complex.

Things like institutional racism and rape culture are just modern manifestations of the supernatural. Instead of a rapist or a racist, we have a mysterious force that causes otherwise normal men to go crazy and become rapists or join the Klan. Gun control is based entirely on the belief that shaping metal a certain way imbues it with magical powers.

For all of human history, "magic" has been the default answer to every question. It still is.

Dan said...

Sanders was rejected by blacks utterly and atheism is probably the reason. As we who look at the data are aware, blacks are much more likely to be religious and few blacks are atheist. Urban churches are the center of the black community, especially for the older blacks who are doing most of the voting.

As for statism and atheism, the Commies understood that religion was a competitor to the state and they fought religion relentlessly.

Religion gives people courage and most atheists are weak emotional basket cases. Even in this supposedly alt-right election, Trump is drawing his strongest support from religious people.

Langley said...

The left worships government.


Random Dude on the Internet said...

Black voters are tribal voters. Old black church ladies will vote for a candidate if their preacher or community leader tells them to vote for someone. It's a given when it comes to being a Democrat but within the Democratic primaries, whoever can convince the black preachers and community organizers will likely win the black vote.

The Clintons, to their credit, have been spending time kissing the right black asses where Bernie was trying to appeal to black people without really knowing how it works. I'm not too surprised about that because 99% of his political career was spent in Vermont but you would have figured someone on his staff would have guided him towards that direction. Bernie was able to get people like Killer Mike and some of the BLM people on his side but it's the church going black women who drive the overall black vote and they weren't having any of Sanders.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked not by the atheist=statist identity, but by the number of religious people of all stripes who are also statists. According to your data, more than one SD of "believers" are statists.


Audacious Epigone said...


Yes, you've visited and revisited this theme over the summer. It's what got me thinking about it seriously in the first place.


Carpetbagging Jew from lily white Vermont might have been enough to do it even without the atheism. That said, it couldn't have helped.


What's that from?

Audacious Epigone said...

Random Dude,

Exactly. The Clinton machine was confident they were going to win big in South Carolina for exactly this reason. I was correspondingly confident that they'd deliver and when she did win big it was obvious to me Bernie didn't have a chance.


Unitarians, Episcopalians (my in-laws), Catholics and non-Catholics alike who like the current Pope, single women who go to church?

Anonymous said...

You might get a slightly improved marker of statism would more be taking some questions about what kind of services people think they're entitled to, and what civil responsibilities individuals have to maintain the state.

Cash redistribution is one of those things that might have more youthful atheists who haven't accumulated many assets come out as more oriented to redistribution. People tend to be more concerned about redistributing their own assets.

Re: political orientations and redistribution, one remarkable thing is lack of any difference between Black respondents who self id as Con vs Lib. No difference on redistribution.

Anonymous said...

Right now the gap between the rich and poor is at its widest in a century due to mass immigration distorting wages, and I'd certainly like something done about that. And further, government action(albeit to do its job) will be required. Does that fall under the metric of forced redistribution, or of correcting a forced redistribution?

)))santoculto((( said...

Religion start as a ''great revelation'', so need search for smart-naive & clever-opportunist/son of bitch to become a ''ideology'' and finally mutates to the ''religion''...

maybe the first christians were just like current leftists,

leftism is the kalergian globalist cult: to ''embrrace the world'' to the desconstruct nation-state.

and nation-states itself were just like parochial multiculturalism, like ''France'', ''Germany'' or ''Italy'', all of them that are proposal-nations that unified real or genuine local identities, most of them that are ethnically-based.

atheism is the BELIEF on nothing or in any sense to the existence... a belief

the real disbelief is the agnosticism

but the real atheist is the suicide-man or woman.

)))santoculto((( said...

pre-suicide people believe in nothing.

Audacious Epigone said...


Debatable, yes. Government-abetted enrichment is what's odious. Low-skilled immigration accentuates inequality within the country--that's an airtight place to start, at least.


"Nation-state" is used far more than it should be in proper application, that's for sure.