secular right smarties

parapundit writes:

“Inspired by a New York Times article about Razib Khan and the blog Secular Right Audacious Epigone used GSS (General Social Survey) data to calculate that conservative atheists and conservative agnostics together make up only 0.67% of the American population…. I’d love to see a bigger data set that breaks the numbers out by IQ. My expectation is that at higher IQ levels the secular right, while still a minority, might even hit 10% of the smart population.”

more like 25%. no. more like 2.1%. (d*mn.)

of those who scored a perfect 10 on the wordsum test, something like 25% 2.1% of those were either “conservative” or “extremely conservative” and were either atheists or agnostics.

lookie here!:

update 03/23 – here’s a breakdown of the total numbers:

(note: comments do not require an email.)

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18 Comments

  1. Wordsum is an IQ substitute and represents roughly “nature.” Political opinion is the result of indoctrination and represents roughly “nuture.” Our elite colleges enroll high IQ students and subject them to heavy socialist indoctrination. Hence the correlation.

    There is no reason to conclude that adherence to socialism has anything to do with rational deduction. Just the opposite is true. All versions of socialism are violent; they justify, glorify and incite violence. The traditional color of socialism is red, representing the blood and destruction of violent revolution. Every public socialist demonstration in living memory has been violent (viz Wisconsin), and virtually every act of political violence during the recent presidential election was committed by socialists.

    I conclude that socialism is an irrational, atavistic and dangerous mental illness.

    Reply

  2. @bob – “Political opinion is the result of indoctrination and represents roughly ‘nuture.'”

    ehhhhhhhh. kinda|sorta, but not really.

    i agree with you that, specifically, being a socialist is not written in one’s genes, but whether one is a liberal or a conservative is definitely partially heritable. it’s related, i think, to personality types. and perhaps even to how much one is inclined towards mental illness which could very well account for how emotionally unbalanced the left does appear to be.

    one is clearly on the looney left or the ridiculous right because of one’s nature.

    Reply

  3. Be careful. These statistics do not show that the secular right (for purposes of this discussion POLVIEW 5,6, or 7 and GOD 1 or 2) is 25% of the WORDSUM 10 population. In fact, adding up the sums, it looks like that group makes up 6.5% of the WORDSUM 10 population, as opposed to 1.6% of the total population.

    If you want to use Audacious Epigone’s criteria, the numbers are 2.1% and .84%. You can say that secular rightists make up 16.5% of my more broader category of conservatives and 9.4% of AE’s among the WORDSUM 10 crowd, but compared to the general population, the numbers are lower

    I used the same GSS year filter that you did (I’m guessing AE did not), but I controlled for WORDSUM, using POLVIEWS and GOD as rows and columns (it doesn’t really matter which is the row and which is the column, since it involves summing the lower, non-bolded numbers and dividing by the total).

    I can’t guarantee that I’d get a WORDSUM 10, but I’d be a POLVIEW 5 and GOD 1, so I would fit into the broader secular right, but not the narrower one. As a more precise description (that doesn’t neatly fall into statistical categories), I’m an agnostic atheist (I don’t think that GOD 1 and 2 are mutually exclusive, though I’d emphasize acceptance of 1 given the choice) and an ideological hodge-podge that taken together would probably considered to be slightly to the right, though I don’t think that really does a good job of summing up my political views.

    As to Bob Syke’s suggestion, I’d say that the nature, nurture assignments are definitely rough and rougher for the nurture, as our blog host pointed out. Certainly “nurture” plays a role, though. If you were to categorize me according to the relevant GSS categories a few years ago, I would be more of a secular leftist (POLVIEW 2, GOD 1). While it’s possible that genetic and developmental factors played a role in my shift toward the right, I’d say that it was mostly chancing upon sets of information that I had not seen before.

    Reply

  4. @the reluctant apostate – “Be careful. These statistics do not show that the secular right (for purposes of this discussion POLVIEW 5,6, or 7 and GOD 1 or 2) is 25% of the WORDSUM 10 population…. If you want to use Audacious Epigone’s criteria, the numbers are 2.1% and .84%.”

    you’re right! you’re absolutely right! duh! thnx!!

    i admit it right now — i am a mathematical|statistical dunce (which is why i don’t work for nasa – d*mn! in this regard i am a TYPICAL chick. *sigh*) — and everyone should double and triple check any and all maths that i present.

    i’ll stick with the epigone’s criteria, just for consistency.

    thnx, again!

    Reply

  5. @the reluctant apostate – “I’m an agnostic atheist (I don’t think that GOD 1 and 2 are mutually exclusive, though I’d emphasize acceptance of 1 given the choice) and an ideological hodge-podge that taken together would probably considered to be slightly to the right, though I don’t think that really does a good job of summing up my political views.”

    i’m an agnostic atheist, too, more-or-less. my gut tells me there is no god, but my head tells me that we can’t be sure. but, if i were interviewed for the gss i would definitely respond #2.

    i dunno how i’d describe myself politically. i’m one of those fiscally conservative (in fact, i’d go libertarian if we lived in a mono-ethnic state populated by only anglo-saxons) but fairly socially liberal (i don’t care if gay people marry, but if the majority don’t like that i’m fine with that) folks. what does that make me? i identify with a lot of what they have to say on secularright, but i’d find it weird to say i was “conservative” or “extremely conservative.”

    maybe given how dumb i am when it comes to math, i should just admit that i’m a moderate. (~_^)

    Reply

  6. I am kind of confused by the over-arching thesis of this post, and the statistical-methodology discussion with The Reluctant Apostate confuses me more still.

    Let me try to hash it out.

    Your proposal: If one wants to, one can divide society in this way:
    1.) Secular Left
    2.) Religious Left
    3.) Secular Right
    4.) Religious Right

    #2 and #3 are thought to be weak and rather insignificant shares of “the Left” and “the Right” respectively. You propose that #3 is bigger than we think, when it comes to the smartest people. The smartest also tend to be most leftist in their professed views, according to your table up there.

    One could attribute both (more secular, more left-leaning) to the fact that smartest whites are so-often the most-PC. The partly-internalized values of social-status-seeking. 1.) PC is high status (PC=Left). 2.) Not being a “hateful” Christian, etc. is, in some circles, another status-marker. (“I respect all religions”, “I am spiritual, not religious”, etc.).

    Reply

  7. @hail – “Your proposal: If one wants to, one can divide society in this way:
    1.) Secular Left
    2.) Religious Left
    3.) Secular Right
    4.) Religious Right”

    well, those were the audacious epigone’s divisions (based simply on gss categories, i do believe), not mine. (~_^) (altho i do agree with his divisions.) i wasn’t proposing anything — i just wanted to answer parapundit’s question as to how many smart people are secular rightists (i.e. conservative athesists & agnostics). and, as you can see, i FAILed gloriously on my first attempt. so…

    @hail – “You propose that #3 is bigger than we think, when it comes to the smartest people.”

    …no, it’s not. it only looked that way ’cause my maths were wrong. (sorry for the confusion!) it looks like 2.1% of the smartest people are secular rightists — and that’s how we all experience it — they’re (we’re) few and far between.

    Reply

  8. @hail – now that i got some sleep, i thought i could try and respond better to your comments. (^_^)

    “If one wants to, one can divide society in this way:
    1.) Secular Left
    2.) Religious Left
    3.) Secular Right
    4.) Religious Right”

    well, not fully i’d say. the whole discussion is based on the gss questions, and if you see the chart above, the options includ a whole range from extremely liberal through moderate to extremely conservative. so in addition to the four groups you outlined, there are also (at least) some moderates out there.

    the a. epigone had defined the secular right as those that identified themselves as either “conservative” or “extremely conservative” as well as either atheistic or agnostic. dunno why he left off “slightly conservative”? perhaps he feels they’re practically “moderates.” i suppose he would consider the secular left as just the opposite of the secular right, i.e. “liberal” or “extremely liberal” atheists and agnostics.

    that seems like a pretty reasonable division to me, keeping in mind that there is also the religious left and right as well as secular and religious moderates.

    Reply

  9. @hail – “‘I am spiritual, not religious'”

    yeah. those pc people always make me laugh. if you’re spiritual, then you’re religious afaiac.

    Reply

  10. HBDC,
    I was reminded of this discussion upon reading this today:
    __________________________
    Religion may become extinct in 9 nations

    …social groups that have more members are going to be more attractive to join… “For example in languages, there can be greater utility or status in speaking Spanish instead of [the dying language] Quechuan in Peru, and similarly there’s some kind of status or utility in being a member of a religion or not.”

    Dr Wiener continued: “In a large number of modern secular democracies, there’s been a trend that folk are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion; in the Netherlands the number was 40%, and the highest we saw was in the Czech Republic, where the number was 60%.”
    __________________________

    Remember, the smartest tend to be the most status-conscious in this way. This, to me, is the key to understanding the rise in so-called agnosticism among the so-called smart people!

    Reply

  11. HBDChick wrote:
    that seems like a pretty reasonable division to me

    I don’t like the terms “Left” and “Right”.

    I wonder how the surveyers classify them? Self-identification?

    Reply

  12. @hail – “This, to me, is the key to understanding the rise in so-called agnosticism among the so-called smart people!”

    i’m sure you are right. (i hope you recognize that i am not one of those, however! my agnosticism is self-developed. and i’m such an aspie that striving for status has never been of interest to me. well, almost not. that drive is severely retarded in me anyway (~_^).)

    personal anecdote: one of my cousins recently told me that her 11-year-old son declared himself to be an agnostic and i thought, oh goodie! someone else in the family! maybe i’m not alone! soon afterwards, though, i thought that maybe he’s just picked it up in school — he goes to a very politically correct, multi-cultural prep-school. *roll-eyes* i’ll prolly be seeing them over easter, so i’ll have a chance to investigate for myself.

    Reply

  13. @hail – “I don’t like the terms ‘Left’ and ‘Right’.”

    well, they might not be perfect terms, i agree, but they’re commonly used and, so, widely understood in that way. i think the audacious epigone used the term “secular right” because he was thinking of the website secular right, but the gss actually uses the terms “liberal” and “conservative.”

    @hail = “I wonder how the surveyers classify them? Self-identification?”

    yeah. it’s definitely self-identification — we’re talking about respondants answering questions about themselves. here’s the question (pg. 96) about “liberal” vs. “conservative” — or “moderate”! we shouldn’t forget about the moderates! (~_^)

    We hear a lot of talk these days about liberals and conservatives. I’m going to show you a seven-point scale on which the political views that people might hold are arranged from extremely liberal–point 1–to
    extremely conservative–point 7. Where would you place yourself on this scale?

    Categories:
    1. Extremely liberal
    2. Liberal
    3. Slightly liberal
    4. Moderate, middle of the road
    5. Slightly conservative
    6. Conservative
    7. Extremely conservative
    DON’T KNOW
    REFUSED

    Reply

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