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Re: Research Survey on Religious beliefs/Atheism and attitudes

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:53 pm
by Tulip1
Joleen Kuyper, that sounds very Dutch!! Survey done!

Re: Research Survey on Religious beliefs/Atheism and attitudes

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:35 pm
by Oscail_student
bipedalhumanoid wrote:"Homosexual couples should have the right to adopt children". This is a flawed statement. Nobody has the right to adopt children. Adopters are chosen with consideration given only to the rights of the child. I answered this question as if it were worded in such a way as to suggest homosexual people should be allowed to apply to adopt children in the same way that heterosexual people can. That is a statement I strongly agree with.

You also used the term "confirmed atheist". I don't know what that means. It seems to be a derisive/ironic term likening atheism to religiocity. Not sure why a term like that would exist in a survey.

You assume that atheism and agnosticism are mutually exclusive. They are not. Atheism is about belief. Agnosticism is about knowledge. I can accept that we can't know 100% whether a god exists, making me an agnostic, and also not believe that a god exists due to the lack of convincing evidence, making me an atheist.

Regarding the Samaritans, I agree totally.
Samaritans is a 100% secular organisation with no affiliation with any religious organisation or any kind of religious ethos. The name of the organisation is something originally attributed to them by a British newspaper and the name stuck.

But why would you think anyone would need to utilise the services of a counselling helpline as a result of completing that survey?

Hi there, firstly thank you very much for completing the survey, I really appreciate it. And thanks also for the feedback, I will bear it in mind when writing up my thesis.

With regard firstly to the need for a helpline, I felt it was better to offer the option than not at all, from an ethical standpoint, when asking people to explore their beliefs and values on these issues.

With regard to the statement, Homosexual couples should have the right to adopt children, your understanding of it to mean the same right as heterosexual couples do in the sense that they may apply to be assessed as potential adoptive parents is correct. I apologise that the wording was not clear, and I will be aware of this potential problem when I analyse the data.

With regard to the wording of atheism and agnosticism, I certainly did not mean "confirmed atheist" as a derogatory term. Quite the opposite, in fact. I meant it as someone who has examined the evidence and been convinced by it that there is no god. I am very much aware that definitions of agnosticism technically mean that it is impossible to know for absolute certain, and I actually have referred to Michael Nugent's article in the Irish Times and Richard Dawkins' 7 levels from absolute atheist to absolute believer in my draft thesis so far. However, many people use the term agnostic not in that sense, but in the sense that they don't know because they haven't thought about it, or people who believe in "something" but do not wish to identify with any organised religion, particularly given recent scandals in the church I find some former catholics doing so. As well as this, the census in particular does not differentiate between these different groups of people, just has a category for "no religion" which my experience suggests may include these various categories. I wanted to examine within this definition, and did so along the lines you saw in the questionnaire. I am aware that others may have defined them differently and I assure you I will refer to that difficulty in defining terms according to how they are used in everyday life when I write up my data.

Thanks again and best wishes

Tulip1 wrote:Joleen Kuyper, that sounds very Dutch!! Survey done!
Thanks very much! And yep, the name itself is Dutch :wink:

Re: Research Survey on Religious beliefs/Atheism and attitudes

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:52 pm
by Tulip1
haha I myself am Dutch!

Good luck with writing your thesis.

Re: Research Survey on Religious beliefs/Atheism and attitudes

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:03 pm
by Dr Raskolnikov
Hi Joleen

I'd like to take the survey, however although I'm an ex-Catholic Irishman I'm also an ex-pat, so I presume you wouldn't want my data muddying your statistical analysis...

Re: Research Survey on Religious beliefs/Atheism and attitudes

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:48 am
by Oscail_student
@Dr. Raskolnikov, - thanks anyway, you're right, I am trying to keep it just to Ireland, for now at least, who knows in the future though as there isn't really much research out there looking at atheists or atheism in any sense! Thanks for your interest though! :D

@Tulip1 - I'm half Dutch :wink:

Re: Research Survey on Religious beliefs/Atheism and attitudes

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:21 pm
by Tulip1
Good combination dutch and something else... my children are half scottish and half dutch but both born in Ireland so I tell them they are Irish!

Re: Research Survey on Religious beliefs/Atheism and attitudes

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:53 am
by Oscail_student
Hi everyone, thanks very much to all those of you who completed the survey. My research is finished and has been marked so I can now share the results. The paragraph below is just a summary - if you would like to read the full dissertation you can email me or send me a pm here with your email address and I will send it on to you!

Thanks again! :D

Summary of results
There was support for the hypotheses that atheists and agnostics would view equality
more favourably overall, and that they would be more inclined to be in favour of
equality for ethnic minorities (including immigrants and also members of the
Traveller community) and more in favour of equal status for the non-religious.

However, the hypotheses that the non-religious would be more in favour of gender
equality, equality for homosexuals and economic equality were not supported.

Analysis of the total equality variable shows greater support for equality among the
non-religious group overall.

Closer examination of the results showed that the people
who declared themselves atheists were the ones that differed most significantly in
their answers to the religious people.

Analysis of attitudes along demographic lines
did not show many significant results. Only in the case of gender were significant
differences noted. However, the effect size for the gender difference on total attitude
to equality was lower than the effect size for the belief groups indicating that beliefs
played more of a role than gender, though both were small. It may be also that the
two were linked: the majority of the religious respondents were female, so it may be
due to this that a significant difference is observed in gender.

The maximum score obtainable on the equality questions was 90; the lowest 18 (the
lower the score the greater the support for equality). The mean score for the religious
people was 35.93 and for the atheists/agnostics it was 31.46. This suggests high
overall support for equality.

While some previous studies have examined religious people from different
backgrounds, in this case the vast majority of religious respondents were Catholics.
This means it is not possible to do any effective between-religions comparisons with
regard to the data collected on attitudes. It also means that it is impossible to
generalise as to whether the attitudes observed here are a feature of religiosity
overall or just related to Catholicism.

Re: Research Survey on Religious beliefs/Atheism and attitudes

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:07 pm
by paolovf
Thanks for getting back to us Joleen, much appreciated.