Talk:Mystery:Why Do Atheists Dislike Underdogs?/archive1

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Uhh quick question, aren't Atheists in competition with Christians to rule the United States... But there so many more Christians than Atheists? Are Atheists the underdogs in that competition? Curiousity 20:56, 6 February 2012 (EST)

There isn't any competition for what religions to "rule" the US. Christianity and Atheism are just at a minor, petty feud with each other. JLefkowitz 21:47, 6 February 2012 (EST)

Contents

Britain's hatred of the underdog

Since when? --JohnSpheniscidae 21:23, 6 February 2012 (EST)

I see that Andy has seen fit to remove the fact tags that I inserted seeking references for the bizarre assertions that he makes about the British character. No explanation was given for the removal. No surprises there I guess. I will await an explanation or a reference. If neither are forthcoming I will reinsert the fact tags. At that point I assume I will be blocked and reverted and any offending evidence will be burned. As an underdog on this site I am only too aware of the irony. --JohnSpheniscidae 23:36, 6 February 2012 (EST)
John, Britain's attitude against the underdog is common knowledge. Please research the issue and add references if you think it is really necessary.--Andy Schlafly 23:38, 6 February 2012 (EST)
If it's common knowledge you should be able to back it up easily enough. What about Americans love of the Yankees? DaveE 23:46, 6 February 2012 (EST)
Is it really common knowledge ? I was really enthusiastic about this encyclopedia but I am starting to see its limits...--PhilipN 23:45, 6 February 2012 (EST)
Here is a source showing a British love for sporting underdogs, and let's not forget Susan Boyle. IvanC 08:32, 7 February 2012 (EST)
Here is an entire article on the subject. Here is an article which references the British love of the underdog quite a lot. Here is another. Don't you think that it is time to delete that part of the "article?" RachelW 18:25, 7 February 2012 (EST)

The claim that the British hate underdogs is easily one of the worst statements to come from conservapedia. If anything, Britain is probably the MOST supportive of underdogs. Take football (the good kind) for example. The English football league system is enormous, possibly the biggest in the world, going down 23-24 tiers. Even the lowest of these clubs gain support. How much more "underdog" can you get? I also have two atheist friends (at least they tell me their atheists), one of whom supports Blackburn Rovers, who are going through a torrid time at the moment, currently near the bottom of the table, and having just lost 7-1 to Arsenal, yet he still backs them fully.

After such a heavy counter to your statements by many of the posters here, are you going to give us some evidence for your claims? --RedGoliath 23:40, 7 February 2012 (GMT)

Weak argumentation

I am not an atheist but I believe your arguments can be countered easily. --PhilipN 21:32, 6 February 2012 (EST)

Survival of the fittest

1. Survival of the fittest (natural selection) is not a lifestyle choice. It is a biological theory. Just because evolutionary scientists accept the theory does not mean that they promote it as a way to live in human society.

2. Survival of the fittest (natural selection) is also accepted by creationists. Why then does the author of this "mystery" article point the finger at atheists alone?

--JohnSpheniscidae 21:59, 6 February 2012 (EST)

IQ and Atheism

If atheists have an above-average IQ, doesn't that mean that non-atheists, i.e. religious folks, have a below average IQ? --JustinD 22:13, 6 February 2012 (EST)

That sort of simplistic argument appeals to potential atheists. But upon closer look it suggests that atheism is less appealing the smarter one is, above around 105 in IQ.--Andy Schlafly 23:43, 6 February 2012 (EST)
Justin, as far as the issue of IQ and atheism, I wanted to help you out and point out that you misspelled the word atheism. :) I bet if you worked on your spelling and vocabulary that your IQ would go up. :) Conservative 01:51, 7 February 2012 (EST)
Okay, I guess I'm missing something. I thought that the average IQ was 100, but our article doesn't mention that so maybe I'm mistaken. Wikipedia agrees, but the statement isn't referenced. Is that not the case? Because if it is, and if we can divide everyone into two groups (atheists and non-atheists) then if one group has an above average IQ (atheists), the other must necessarily have a below average IQ (as a group, though obviously individual IQs would run the gamut). Or am I just misunderstanding the claim being made? Conservative, thanks. For whatever reason I didn't get the little red squiggles in the "Subject/headline" field and I've always had a problem with the i before e rule (which oddly doesn't apply here). Thankfully, technology is (usually) around to save me. --JustinD 03:05, 7 February 2012 (EST)

Faith and hope

Atheism is not a denial of faith or hope. It is simply a lack of belief in a god or gods. No more. No less. --JohnSpheniscidae 23:42, 6 February 2012 (EST)

Wasn't "hope" a central pillar of the election campaign of a certain B. Hussein Obama? DaveE 23:44, 6 February 2012 (EST)
Well, atheism does technically lack faith in terms of worship. JLefkowitz 23:51, 6 February 2012 (EST)
Yeah, but that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. "I don't believe in God, therefore the Giants cannot beat the Packers"? Doesn't work logically. DaveE 23:54, 6 February 2012 (EST)
I agree there. The argument presented especially fails when considering people who have a team nearby playing in sports. Regardless of who is favored to win, sports fans that have local teams playing will probably cheer for them. Just because atheists don't believe in God doesn't mean that they don't believe in anything. JLefkowitz 00:06, 7 February 2012 (EST)
What I meant was that atheism says nothing about either faith or hope per se. An atheist can have faith in all manner of things other than gods. And they can certainly have hope. --JohnSpheniscidae 00:12, 7 February 2012 (EST)

Do Atheists dislike underdogs?

Whilst I recognise that this is Andy's website, and he is free to write about whatever mystery he is unable to answer; I feel that someone must point out that there appears no reason at all to suspect that atheists dislike underdogs. Certainly Andy has not given one other than "common knowledge". Well, the knowledge cannot be all that common because I have never heard of it.

However my objection goes further than simply one of insufficient evidence; I simply don't think the claim is true. I was at a major rugby 7's tournament in the weekend in NZ, obviously one of the most atheistic countries in the world, and in an event with excesses of drinking, incivility and lewdness (all atheistic traits as I'm sure we can agree). I can assure everybody that apart from when NZ was involved without exception the teams that got the most support were always the lesser team or underdog. I have witnessed this trait in sporting crowds all throughout the world, from South America to Australia to the UK - whenever there is no local team playing crowds invariably support the underdog. I don't see any reason at all to think that atheists see things differently, and this essay does not provide assistance. I hope we can have a sensible discussion about this idea. --DamianJohn 00:15, 7 February 2012 (EST)

You say, "I don't see any reason at all to think that atheists see things differently." I would be astounded if two groups of people, atheists and Christians, who have fundamentally opposite view of reality, saw things identically. It would be like saying a color-blinded person saw reality exactly the same as someone with perfect color perception. Surely they don't.
As to New Zealand, atheism is not nearly as high there as in European nations, including Britain. [1] Also, fan conduct at a stadium is probably not a representative sample.--Andy Schlafly 00:38, 7 February 2012 (EST)
On your first point, I would agree that there are many things that atheists and Christians will not see identically; however I don't know why support or otherwise for underdogs would be one of them. In any case you have not offered any evidence that they see this particular thing differently - it appears you have simply assumed it. I don't think it is inappropriate to ask for some form of positive evidence.
Your next points, are valid, but they are only valid in a rebuttal sense. They do nothing to provide support for your thesis that atheists and Christians differ in their support for underdogs. I would say that as for NZ it has been 15 years since we have had a theist of any variety as Prime Minister (and standards have slipped markedly in that time!)
Let me approach this in a different way. When did you first know that atheists don't support underdogs in the same way as Christians? Was it in an article you read, or something someone told you? Or was it something you realised for yourself after noticing a general trend? Perhaps if we work out why you think its true we might be able to gather some evidence for it -positive or negative. I have an open mind on this, but we do need to see some form of evidence. --DamianJohn 01:38, 7 February 2012 (EST)
Andy - fan conduct at a stadium is what brought this discussion about, is it not? You wrote this article to illustrate your own point about atheist fans at the Superbowl. Please tell me, how do we tell when "fan conduct is ... relative" and when it is not? Bobson 07:56, 7 February 2012 (EST)
They might not be as atheistic as the UK, but they are more atheistic than the USA, so it still contradicts your point that the more atheists there are, the less they root for the underdog. I'm still waiting for even a shred of evidence here. You state "The lack of cheering by atheists for the upset victory by the Giants in the Super Bowl...", I'm just wondering where you got your facts there. Do you observe it yourself? How could you know who was an atheist and who wasn't? Did you read some statistic somewhere? Where? So far it appears you're using a circular argument: atheists didn't rot for the underdog. How do i know this? Atheists never root for the underdog. Evidence? Well, look at the Super Bowl! Also, keep in mind the Giants weren't even much of an underdog, the Patriots were favored only by about 3 points. They were the real underdog 4 years ago. If you really wanted to make your point here, you should have gone with Tebow, as he was a real underdog who a lot of Christians rooted for. He's still one atypical example, and the reason a lot people who didn't like him is because they thought he was overhyped, getting much more attention than many better players, some even on his own team. He really isn't a very good quarterback, at least not yet. DaveE 10:05, 7 February 2012 (EST)

Is this serious?

If this page had not been added by Aschlafly I would propose speedy deletion as obvious parody. To suggest that people in the UK do not support the underdog shows a lamentable lack of knowledge of the British and of UK culture in general. Davidspencer 03:16, 7 February 2012 (EST)

Britain's attitude against the underdog is common knowledge

Aschlafly, you claim that the British don't favor the underdog. OTOH, there seems to be a fine tradition in Great Britain to stand up for the little man - and the bookies don't complain that no one is ever betting on the outsider.

I don't recall that Hollywood changed Karate Kid or Rocky to please the British market. Nevertheless they were successful over there, more successful than Apollo Creed - the movie could ever have been.

The whole mystery seems to be made up! In fact, the root seems to be the following reasoning:

  • Aschlafly doesn't like atheists.
  • Aschlafly likes underdogs (with the possible exception of North Korea).
  • Therfeore atheists don't like underdogs.

For those who think wait, that isn't fallacious enough for me, another gem is thrown in:

  • Stalin was an atheist.
  • Stalin probably didn't like underdogs-
  • Therefore atheists don't like underdogs.

Aschlafly, obviously you can't cave in in front of the many critics above: the more critics there are, the more wrong they have to be, as you become an underdog yourself.

Unfortunately, sometimes the underdog fights for the wrong side. AugustO 08:18, 7 February 2012 (EST)

In the USA atheists are the underdog. Do true American Christians therefore root for them? Anyway, one of administrator Karajou's rules does apply here: "... do the research when you write an article. I’ll have more respect for you if you hit the books and do a detailed article then [sic] if you simply put in one or two sentences...". Baobab 09:35, 7 February 2012 (EST)
Also, on the international stage the USA are probably the most non-underdog nation in the world. Do Americans root against the USA when their Olympic basketball team plays Slovenia? Clearly there are many cases in which they are the underdog (e.g. World Cup), but we are still the overall favorites in international competition, having won 2549 medals in Olympic games (more than twice our nearest competitor). Are Americans more likely to root for Barbados, who have only ever won a single bronze? DaveE 09:52, 7 February 2012 (EST)

Who do atheists root for?

I did a little research, and found some circumstantial evidence that suggests that a slightly higher proportion of those rooting for the Patriots may have been atheists. This assumes people usually root for the home team. Of course, this is certainly not always the case, and many New Yorkers hate the Yankees specifically because they are the antithesis of the underdog, and rooting for them is seen as rooting for WalMart or Ticketmaster. In any case, we assumethe New England states are the most likely to root for the Patriots, and according to this, the 6 New England states are among the top 10 least religious in the country. The other most unreligious geographic area is the Pacific Northwest. However, these states are the ones most likely to support the Seahawks, who most certainly are underdogs. The most religious area is, unsurprisingly, the South, where the Falcons, Cowboys, Titans, Panthers, and Texans are going to be the most popular (the Bucs, Dolphins, and Jags, while technically southern, are probably going to be less popular outside of Florida, and the Jags have little fanbase at all). Some of those teams are perennial underdogs, others not so much, depending on each season and who they're playing. So it seems that statistically, it is likely that a slightly higher proportion of NE fans may have been atheists than NY fans, if only because New England has a slightly higher rate of non-religiousness than NY. New York, having more fans overall than the Patriots, still might have had more atheists rooting for them. There's really no way of knowing at this point. Nevertheless, this has nothing to do with atheists supporting underdogs or not. They, like anyone else, probably root for the home team more, and in this one case, the "atheist home team" was the favorite. The truth is, should, heaven forbid, Tom Brady break his back in a car accident today, and never play football again, the Patriots would immediately be labelled underdogs in the 2012 season, but those New Englanders, atheists and all, would keep rooting for them, because they'd still be the home team.

Also, the Packers were underdogs for years, but after winning the Super Bowl last year, they weren't the underdog in a single game they played. And after last year's win they became the country's most popular team, according to this site (other give different results). This sort of contradicts the statement that America loves underdogs. If they did, the Packers would be unpopular, and the Seahawks (perhaps currently the most atheistic team in the league) might be somewhere on that top 10 list. DaveE 11:08, 7 February 2012 (EST)

Citation Needed

Hi Mr Schlafly, I noticed that you removed the "citation needed" I added on this page. Is it because a "Mystery" page is considered to be an essay and therefore does not need as much reference ? --PhilipN 15:26, 7 February 2012 (EST)

You added numerous citation tags. If you feel references are needed for those points, then please take a look for them first.--Andy Schlafly 15:36, 7 February 2012 (EST)
Yes, I do feel references are needed. Unfortunately, I am not able to add references because I believe there is no references backing your claims. Also, I believe it is up to you to provide references when you add some disputable information. --PhilipN 16:01, 7 February 2012 (EST)
I agree. I've been looking for anything indicating that Brits as a rule disfavor underdogs more than anyone else, as well as the fact that atheists were against the Giants in the Super Bowl. In fact, I looked for anything indicating trends of sports favorite among atheists and came up with basically nothing. I found a few discussion groups on atheist websites about some teams here and there, but they were far too few to indicate any sort of overall trend (one of the few NFL teams mentioned by name was the Bills, a classic underdog). Are there any sources for anything in this article? DaveE 16:25, 7 February 2012 (EST)
No, there is not. Citations are not needed for claims that fit the worldview of Aschlafly or the senior sysops. See Homosexuality and Barack Obama for reference. RachelW 17:47, 7 February 2012 (EST)
Rachel, you are being a deceitful liberal as far as one of your claims. The Homosexuality article has over 300 footnotes plus I did note that your claim as far as that article lacked support and specifics. Conservative 20:25, 7 February 2012 (EST)

UK has worse social mobility than most other developed countries plus ungodly UK citizens and poodles and other underdogs

UK has worse social mobility than most other developed countries - including the United States. [2] It would seem being an underdog in the UK is more difficult than in many other developed nations. Social Darwinism started in Britain too. Plus, ungodly UK citizens and poodles and other underdogs: Bestiality and Britain Conservative 20:48, 7 February 2012 (EST)

Social mobility has not improved in Britain for 30 years.[3] Conservative 21:31, 7 February 2012 (EST)
Hum, apparently social mobility is pretty good in atheist countries like Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden ! --PhilipN 21:49, 7 February 2012 (EST)
By the way, social mobility in the US is not good, it is even worse that it is in atheistic France.--PhilipN 22:54, 7 February 2012 (EST)
PhilipN, the degree of equality of opportunity is not the same thing as equal results. Who are the poor in the United States? What are the causes of their poverty? Conservative 00:25, 8 February 2012 (EST)
First, the degree of equality of opportunity is not the same thing as equal results in UK neither. Second, you did not answer to my first objection that atheistic Denmark and Norway have the best social mobility. --PhilipN 00:36, 8 February 2012 (EST)

PhilipN, I already discussed with you the benefits of having a cultural legacy of Protestantism and this would apply to both Denmark and Norway (see: Protestant cultural legacy). Plus, Norway has significant oil revenues and a cultural legacy in the somewhat recent past of hard working fisherman and farmers. I certainly have nothing against the Norweigans and just a few weeks ago I met a very nice Norweigan Christian. In Europe, people from Germany and Scandanavian countries, which have a cultural legacy of Protestantism (and thus the Protestant work ethic), are often hard workers. As far as America, I again suggest you look at the most common causes of poverty. Perhaps, you will find there is still a lot of opportunity in America. At the same time, I am a big believer in blooming where you are planted. I know a man in one of the poorest countries in Africa who had enough gumption to be successful in his country (he told me college was free in his country when he attended at least, but many people did not have enough drive to attend due to their pessimistic attitude). Conservative 04:26, 8 February 2012 (EST)

Addendum: Give the higher degree of social stratification of British society and the lack of social mobility in Britain compared to other Western nations, I would be hard pressed to say they are a society that historically roots for the underdog compared to other Western societies. In 1975, Helmut Schmidt wrote of Britain: “If one asks oneself what are the true reasons for the differentiated development of societies and economies between the British and most ones on the Continent, I think it has something to do with the fact that British society, much more than the Scandinavian, German, Austrian, and Dutch societies, is characterized by a class-struggle type of society. This is true for both sides of the upper class as well as for the working classes. I think that the way in which organized Labour on the one hand and industrial management on the other had dealt with their problems is outmoded.”Conservative 04:41, 8 February 2012 (EST)
Good reference: a 37 year old quote from a German socialist. --GeorgeLi 09:35, 8 February 2012 (EST)

Sorry, but what ON EARTH has any of the above got to do with whether the British support the underdog or not? Absolutely nothing. The fact is that the British are known world wide for 'supporting the underdog' and this 'article' is a joke. As I suggested earlier, if anyone other than Aschlafly had written it it would already have been deleted as parody and the author blocked. Davidspencer 08:43, 8 February 2012 (EST)

Conservative, you are being a deceitful liberal by trying to pass this 2 year old report from a French think tank off as convincing evidence. Be careful, I might have to call Transitional Services on you. RachelW 08:56, 8 February 2012 (EST)
Davidspencer, are you related to Herbert Spencer? In case you are not aware, Herbert Spencer was a British Social Darwinist. Put that in your British social stratified society and smoke it! :) By the way, unlike the British, the countries of France, Germany and the United States no longer have Kings and Queens. The American revolutionaries said, "We have no king, but King Jesus!" Conservative 10:48, 8 February 2012 (EST)
Not that I know of. Are you?
I asked what this section had to do with the attitude of the British towards underdogs, you replied with a non-answer about someone who died over 100 years ago. Can you please try to stay roughly on topic when replying? Davidspencer 10:53, 8 February 2012 (EST)
Would that be the same British queen who's also the head of the state religion? --GeorgeLi 10:52, 8 February 2012 (EST)
GeorgeLi, who said I was ever for state religions? I am on record for stating that atheism is a religion and the pseudoscience of Darwinism is a promotion of the atheist religion. Conservative 10:56, 8 February 2012 (EST)
But the queen isn't anything to do with the "atheist religion," is she? She's head of the Anglican Church. Why do you keep making irrelevant comments? --GeorgeLi 11:07, 8 February 2012 (EST)

Davidspencer, one last thing, unlike Britain, the countries of Finland, Norway and Sweden never had feudalism. :) 10:56, 8 February 2012 (EST)

Yes they did.[1][2][3][4] --GeorgeLi 11:00, 8 February 2012 (EST)
Believe it or not I am probably more aware and more knowledgeable than you are of British and European history. What does fuedalism and the lack of it in extremely socialistic European countries have to do with the support of the British for the underdog? Davidspencer 11:00, 8 February 2012 (EST)
Nothing, of course. It's just a case of a couple of people who sadly won't admit they're wrong. Best to just drop it and go back to editing the worthwhile articles. --GeorgeLi 11:02, 8 February 2012 (EST)
True, I do not want to be 90/10'd for pointing out the blindingly obvious. Davidspencer 11:05, 8 February 2012 (EST)
Davidspencer, unlike you, I don't feel the urge to brag about my supposed superiority of knowledge in a given subject area. :) Your comment further illustrates that you no

doubt come from a higher than average socially stratified society with lower than average socially mobility in the Western World and feel the need to needlessly elevate yourself! :) By the way, consider reading Luke 14:7. Conservative 11:12, 8 February 2012 (EST)

"...unlike you, I don't feel the urge to brag about my supposed superiority of knowledge in a given subject area." Wow...
This coming from the user who talks like he knows the UK better than people who actually live there and ridicules those who disagree. User:Conservative, you are not as smart as you think you are. Just because you found a quote about the relevant subject by one person who might agree with you if interpreted a certain way, doesn't make you automatically the most knowledgable person on the subject. --RedGoliath 16:46, 8 February 2012 (GMT)

User Conservative: you make some interesting points about the cultural legacy of protestantism in Scandinavia but why doesn't the same apply to the UK? As well as being historically a centre of protestant and non-conformist thought, protestantism and non-conformism were central to the English Revolution, the colonisation of the New World, liberal humanism (eg the work of Adam Smith), the first stock and insurance markets, the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire. It still remains in Britain's cultural DNA. In fact, the UK today is far more conservative than the social democratic Scandinavian countries, both socially and economically. So why doesn't your Gladwellesque reasoning apply here? Rafael 14:09, 8 February 2012 (EST)

RedGoliath, who said that I/we don't live in the UK? Conservative 18:26, 8 February 2012 (EST)
I doubt someone with such a strong interest in American politics wouldn't be living in the US. LouW 18:59, 8 February 2012 (EST)
LouW, Vox Day comments on the United States frequently and he lives in Italy and hasn't lived in the United States in a decade if memory serves. Second, I/we think it is fair to say that I have commented on world events more frequently than other Admins on the front page (Europe, Asia, etc.). Third, if the United States has Greece like economic problems, it is such a big economy it would no doubt bring down the rest of the world. When the Roman Empire collapsed for example, it causes problems elsewhere. Fourth, most of my/our content at Conservapedia deals with topics that many people are interested in worldwide and my/our content helps Conservapedia have more of a global audience. Fourth, we live in a very mobile society today plus English is spoken in many places. Lastly, you don't know if I/we are many people or one. :) Conservative 19:19, 8 February 2012 (EST)

Rafael, I did think of that. Although having the mindset of working hard helps a "underdog" become a bigger dog, I also think a society not having unnecessary barriers in the way helps too which Gladwell does talk about in his book. I also know that England has a history of social stratification compared to other countries. Here is what a Christian site says about England: “In the 1800s England had one hundred sixty crimes punishable by hanging, including ones as trivial as stealing a loaf of bread.” “I thought of this when I was reading in the Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn of the lengthy prison sentences that Soviet children received for stealing when they were hungry.”[4] The Bible has restitution for stealing.

Also, there is no doubt that atheists are more likely historically to promote social Darwinism and England was at the forefront of social Darwinism.

Since people tend to be their own worst enemies, I do think an underdog's biggest asset is not having a bad mindset and having good habits and a good society should promote an industrious/virtuous mindset. In the Western World, although there are certainly young ladies who have husband's cheat on them, there are also plenty who have sex before marriage and wind up being single mothers with unruly kids. I also think feminism and selfish males increase divorce rates which causes single motherhood. Single motherhood can be a big factor when it comes to poverty and less social mobility in a society.

Here are some relevant statistics about the above as far as the United States:

In terms of household structure, households headed by women are far more likely to be poor than other types of households. There are 4.1 million female-headed families in poverty and 2.9 million married-couple families in poverty; in total over 14.4 million households are headed by women.73 Half of all women will potentially experience single motherhood at some point in their lifetimes; 80 percent of black women and 45 percent of white women will become family heads at some time during their childbearing years.74 In 2000, the distribution of female-headed household types with children was as follows: 12 percent were headed by a woman with a cohabitating male partner, 14.3 percent were headed by a grandmother, and 73.8 percent by a single mother. A larger share of the households headed by a grandmother is black.75 Poverty rates in female-headed households are typically 3 to 4 times as high as those for the overall population.76 Individuals in households that become headed by a female are extremely likely to enter into poverty:

• When a two-adult household becomes a female-headed household, 20.1 percent entered poverty.77 • The transition to a female-headed family accounts for 59 percent of the poverty beginnings for female heads with children: 38 percent of these poverty spell beginnings result from a marital breakup and 21 percent result from what is most likely unmarried motherhood.78 • Persons in households that have been female-headed for 2 or more years are more likely enter poverty than persons in two-adult and single male-headed households.79 • More than 6 out of 10 children who have experienced persistent or long-term poverty have spent time in single parent families.80 Many female-headed households begin with a divorce. Nationally, over 13 million women are divorced, and 18.4 percent of them are living in poverty.81 Divorce erodes the economic wellbeing of custodial parents and their children. There is considerable evidence that upon divorce women and children experience substantial financial declines, with income dropping; divorced men’s relative income, on the other hand, remains stable or even increases.82 Median household income for custodial parent households declines 40 percent, on average, during the 5 years following divorce. Moreover, the decline in economic well-being held for poorly educated and highly educated couples alike.83 Of those experiencing a new marital break-up, 23 percent become poor with the month that the break-up occurs (31% for female-headed families, 19% for families with elderly members).84 A father leaving the family increases the likelihood that families with children will be poor: in one study the percent of families below poverty increased by ten percentage points (about a 46% increase in the total number of families).85 13 Female-headed households than 6 out of 10 children who have experienced persistent or long-term poverty have spent time in single parent families.80 Many female-headed households begin with a divorce. Nationally, over 13 million women are divorced, and 18.4 percent of them are living in poverty.81 Divorce erodes the economic wellbeing of custodial parents and their children. There is considerable evidence that upon divorce women and children experience substantial financial declines, with income dropping; divorced men’s relative income, on the other hand, remains stable or even increases.82 Median household income for custodial parent households declines 40 percent, on average, during the 5 years following divorce. Moreover, the decline in economic well-being held for poorly educated and highly educated couples alike.83 Of those experiencing a new marital break-up, 23 percent become poor with the month that the break-up occurs (31% for female-headed families, 19% for families with elderly members).84 A father leaving the family increases the likelihood that families with children will be poor: in one study the percent of families below poverty increased by ten percentage points (about a 46% increase in the total number of families).85 13 Female-headed households’ status is closely tied to poverty because single parent families typically have just one potential earner and are less likely than married parents to have a fulltime worker. When there is only one adult earner in the household, fewer hours are worked and fewer hours are available to be worked due to care giving responsibilities. Though employment rates are high for single women with children (almost 80% work)86, mothers who never marry are 70 percent less likely to be working full time compared to women who have only marital births.87 If there is not another earner in the household, grandmother-headed households with children have extremely high odds of experiencing poverty, significantly higher (40%) than those headed by a single mother.88[5]

Martin Seligman wrote about "learned helplessness" and I do think that liberal's constant promotion of victimhood promotes "learned helpflessness" and often central government controlled social programs do also. After all is said and done, I think "America's war on poverty" has been a colossal failure as it rewards bad habits and causes a dependent mindset. I think when families and local communities were in charge of charity, there was more accountability and less fostering of a dependency and a victimhood mindset. Conservative 18:26, 8 February 2012 (EST)

Wow, look at all those words! I didn't read any of them, but I can only assume User:Conservative won the argument. --BaileyJ 19:07, 8 February 2012 (EST)
I believe you forgot the "ir" before relevant. As far as I am concerned, this has nothing to do with the discussed matter... There is no more reason to say that religion is the reason why Uk has worse social mobility than the US than to say that religion is the reason why Sweden has better social mobility than the US. --PhilipN 19:16, 8 February 2012 (EST)
PhilipN, you can continue to assert that religion and religious cultural legacies do not affect social mobility and industriousness, but you have failed to provide data to support this notion. Conservative 19:58, 8 February 2012 (EST)
I never said that cultural legacies has no effect on social mobility but I maintain that religion is irrelevant here. I have some nice data for you:
  • United Kingdom : 19% of atheists/agnostics[5] and a bad social mobility (0.5)[6]
  • United States : 9% of atheists/agnostics[7] and a bad social mobility (~0.47)[8]
  • Denmark : 43-80% of atheists/agnostics[9] and a very good social mobility (~0.15)[10]
  • Sweden : 46-85% of atheists/agnostics[11] and an average social mobility (~0.28)[12]
  • Australia : 24-25% of atheists/agnostics[13] and a very good social mobility (~0.18)[14]
--PhilipN 22:59, 8 February 2012 (EST)
Philip, my main point in this section was the UK has poor social mobility and I have provided more than enough evidence that they have a history of this. I gave some statistics above which helps explain the US and social mobility and said there is a difference between equality of opportunity vs. achieving equal results (we do live in a multi-variable world). I also commented already on Denmark/Sweden. Lastly, since you seem to not want to address my points, I see it pointless to continue with you here. Conservative 00:07, 9 February 2012 (EST)
Ok, on the basis that you now want points addressed instead of avoided can you tell what any of this, ANY IF IT AT ALL, has to do with British support of the underdog, or the lack of such support? You have sidetracked this into an attempted discussion of social mobility which has nothing to do with either the article nor with the points raised concerning the article. Davidspencer 02:31, 9 February 2012 (EST)

Davidspencer, a society which is truly underdog friendly is going to: not have unnecessary structural impediments to achievement, have high expectations of its populace in terms of their moral, spiritual and intellectual development, instill a high work ethic and reward achievement to the highest degree possible. If it does this, it will equip people to move from underdog status to moving to a higher level of competence. Bottom line: The Germans, Scandinavians and many of the Asian societies are economically outperforming the Brits and many Brits appear to be wallowing in their underdog status plus your society has low social mobility. Here is what the Guardian said in 2005: "British productivity, or output per worker, remains slightly ahead of that of Germany but is still well adrift of the levels in France or the United States." Step up your game, British laggard underdogs! :) Conservative 04:21, 9 February 2012 (EST)

You know that Germany has a huge welfare state and socialized medicine, right? --AriannaK 09:46, 9 February 2012 (EST)
Congratulations. Reasonably on topic reply. It does however display a woeful lack of knowledge of the British and British culture. Tell me, do you really think that a culture which did not support the underdog would have taken so much to heart the ski-jumper as they did during the winter olympics? Or as someone else has mentioned the devoutly christian Susan Boyle would have been taken to British hearts in the way that she was? Davidspencer 08:12, 9 February 2012 (EST)
Davidspencer, I gave plenty of evidence that Britain is not underdog friendly in comparison to many other Western nations. However, nationalism is very emotionally powerful and I believe that no matter how much proof and evidence I give you, it will never be enough for you because you are not basing matters on logic, proof and evidence, but rather on emotion. Conservative 11:28, 9 February 2012 (EST)
Well, you didn't really. You gave a lot of fairly flimsy 'reasons' why you think that the UK is less favourable towards underdogs but you gave no concrete examples. Others however, including myself, have supplied many examples as to the fact that the British are known world wide for their support of underdogs. However on the basis that if this discussion is continued I will possibly be blocked for 90/10 I will no longer be replying to the (generally) unfounded assertions on both this talk page and those within the article itself. I withdraw from this discussion. Davidspencer 13:14, 9 February 2012 (EST)
Conservative, I do want to address your points but those are not always clear to me. I do agree with you on the fact that the UK has poor social mobility and that the US have a better social mobility than the UK and I really do agree that we live in a multi-variable world and that is exactly my point. I do not agree with your linking the social opportunities with religion and I believe I have provided more than enough evidence that those are not related.--PhilipN 00:19, 9 February 2012 (EST)
User: BaileyJ, I realize that liberals are often allergic to data and the real world, nevertheless Britain having a history of societal stratification compared to many Western nations is still real. In addition, irresponsible centrally controlled social programs creating dependency and less social mobility is also still real. Conservative 20:03, 8 February 2012 (EST)
It's true that we Brits like to think of ourselves as supporting underdogs, but do we in reality? The most popular football club in England is also the most successful - Manchester United. The increase in the success of Chelsea FC over the last decade has undeniably been matched by an increase in the number of Chelsea fans. Internationally, people generally just support England, no matter whether they're an underdog (eg at the highest level of football) or a world-beating power (tae-kwon-doe, darts, tiddlywinks).--CPalmer 10:29, 9 February 2012 (EST)

This fascinating discussion proves the silliness of simplification and gross generalisation. The UK has higher social stratification and slightly lower social mobility than the US because it is less Christian than the US. Scandinavian countries are more successful because they have a protestant cultural heritage, although less of a protestant cultural heritage than the UK. Germany and France have higher productivity than the UK (and credit ratings equal to or higher than the US, as does the UK) although they are both more atheistic and socialist than the UK and the US. Oh, and a "family friendly" website seems to have another article on bestiality.

Confused? You will be. Rafael 12:37, 9 February 2012 (EST)

This article clearly shows that Schlafly and friends don't care about the truth. All they care about is humiliating and defaming those who dare to challenge, if only by thinking differently, the belief system they were raised in. And for that they are willing to commit every logical fallacy in the book. It's much more a psychological than an intellectual thing. Baobab 17:10, 9 February 2012 (EST)

Rafael, obviously we live in a multivariable world, but I do believe that I have conclusively shown that Britain has less social mobility and more social stratification than many other Western Countries and a good case can be made that it is less underdog friendly than many Western nations. Second, there are well reasoned articles showing that although Scandinavian countries may have their faults and have had problems with their economies, one thing that is helping their economies and the the degree of social mobility (a rising tide can life all boats) is the influence of the Protestant work ethic on their culture. [6] Even a well reasoned article from the Brussels Journal critical of the Scandinavian economic model, concedes that their Protestant work ethic is helping them.[7] I also believe that Euroskepticism is helping the Scandinavians so they are not as debt laden and not getting raked over the coals by Eurozone bureaucrats and their bankers like Britain is (I do think the middle class gets hit with banker bailouts). There are other reasons as well why their is greater social mobility in other European countries as well, but certainly I made a good case that Britain has less social mobility and more social stratification than other countries and a good case can be made that they are less underdog friendly than many other Western nations. Conservative 19:39, 9 February 2012 (EST)

Many books and movies illustrate the lack of upward social mobility in Britain, from Mary Poppins to Charles Dickens' writings.--Andy Schlafly 20:39, 9 February 2012 (EST)
Although I see Britain less underdog friendly than many Western nations due to lower social mobility and higher social stratification (and gave strong evidential support for this), where there is support of underdogs in Britain I see the strongest factors being Christianity and British support for the personality trait of tenacity. Conservative 21:05, 9 February 2012 (EST)
Also, although I don't agree with much of the punk rock movement in Britain in the 1970s, one of the reasons why it took off was the issue of British social stratification. Conservative 21:42, 9 February 2012 (EST)
I know I said I was going to leave this discussion but I can't let that gem pass. With that you have shown without doubt that do not, and never, have lived in the UK. You are basing your view of punk, a movement that as you understand it started in the UK, on the US off shoot. Punk in the UK originally had little to do with social stratification. Trust me, I was there. I bought the records, I went to the gigs and I knew some of the people in the bands. Angry working class kids in general they most certainly were not. The working class kids were still listening to Genesis and The Pink Floyd or going to discos listening to Donna Summer. And we won't even get into the influence of the Dolls or Johnny T et al on both the UK punk movement and the eventual US punk scene. Davidspencer 02:23, 10 February 2012 (EST)
I could have been more precise, but I did clearly say one of the reasons it took off and I did not say one of the reasons it originated. Punk was anti-establishment and no doubt the joblessness at the time in the UK fed some of the anti-establishment sentiments. Of course, the large demographic of young people due to the baby boomer generation and the events of the 1960s contributed to the anti-establishment sentiments as well in Western Civilization. Of course, who does joblessness hurt the most typically? Of course, it is lower classes - particularly in societies with lower social mobility. The British punk song "No future" is not exactly an endorsement of British social stratification and the British Royalty. I clearly did say that one of the reasons. I did not say to what degree it was a reason. Here is what a music website says about the Punk rock movement: "In England, politics was their target....Unemployment and poverty reached rarely seen levels and racial tensions had elevated. Added to this was the ‘hooligan’ attitude of drinking and fighting, which was becoming common in cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham. Punk rock ignited the explosive mixture of social and economic problems."[8]Conservative 05:03, 10 February 2012 (EST)
All very interesting but unfortunately not accurate. Punk was primarily a middle class fashion movement which originated in a shop run by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood which was called SEX, on the Kings Road in West London. It gradually morphed into something sort of approaching the incorrect definition which the website you cite suggests but that was not in any way at all a reason. As I say, I was there during punk. I new Slaughter and the Dogs and I actually still know some of the guys from those days. I work with the wife of the bassist from a prominent punk band (in fact he played with several bands 999 was one of them). I was and am middle class. The friends I went to gigs with were middle class. The muscians we went to see were, largely, middle class. The working class anger now associated with punk did not arise until much later with the likes of the band CRASS (as it happens their vocalist was actually middle class as well but there you go) and CONFLICT. Perhaps I should write an article about punk in the 1970's and 80's England. Davidspencer 16:17, 10 February 2012 (EST)

User Conservative: you have indeed shown that social mobility in Britain is nothing short of disgraceful; that was never in doubt. However, nothing in this interesting discussion shows any kind of consistent correlation, let alone causation, between supporting an underdog, social mobility, economics, social values or faith. Your point about fiscal prudence in the Eurozone, for example, falls when we remember that Britain is not in the Euro but Finland is, with Sweden notionally obliged to join the Euro in the future. Even Mr Schafly's cultural illustrations of social immobility do little more than further muddy the waters: they are underdog friendly and Dickens's canon, like his own life, typifies the remarkable social mobility of his time. (BTW, the song you're thinking of is God Save the Queen) Rafael 15:27, 10 February 2012 (EST)

Davidspencer, there is a difference between the origination of something and when it "takes off" (becomes popular). Punks rock (wearing spiked mohawks, green hair, etc. etc.) never was all that popular from a Western Civilization perspective and so I think it is fair to say that punk didn't really "take off" until its latter stages. So I don't believe I was incorrect in my statement. Lastly, I really don't care much about punk rock or discussing it, so I don't see our punk rock discussion continuing very long. 17:30, 10 February 2012 (EST)

Rafael, thanks for the correction. I very much enjoy watching the British politician Nigel Farage from time to time. He is an opponent of the Eurozone as you may be aware. He publicly harangues the pompous and incompetent Eurozone bureaucrats in a very humorous way. Given the commotion that Nigel Farage raises, I assumed the wrong thing about Britain and Eurozone. Also, I believe someone has discussed Sweden, Denmark, Norway and these countries did have a more favorable government debt to GDP ratio than Britain in 2010. Lastly, I think we will have to agree to disagree on the degree that religion affects economics but I do think I showed causality HERE among other places on this wiki. You may want to review the resources HERE and HERE and HERE (the historian Ferdinand Braudel points out that technology often has a more dramatic effect on history and economics than political leaders and other signficant people in history). Even the Harvard opponents of Max Weber's ideas about the Protestant work ethic concede that Protestantism led to higher literacy rates and therefore higher economic productivity as can be seen HERE. Lastly, my discussions with people in poor countries has led me to believe that often it is just a matter of blooming where you are planted. For example, I know someone in Mali (one of the poorest countries of Africa) who had some drive and he was able to be successful through hard work and study. I spoke to someone in Bangledesh who gave similar testimony about being economically successful in his country. Joseph is a great example of someone who didn't let circumstances get him down and with divine favor he eventually surpassed his brothers in terms of his station in life. Conservative 17:30, 10 February 2012 (EST) Look chaps, there's 2 different issues going on here. I'm a Brit (atheist and liberal) but Andy is actually right on one point - social mobility is terrible in our country. However, he couldn't be more wrong about the 'underdog' issue. We stood up to the ultimate evil empire - the Nazis - We needed our 'cousins' help for which we are eternally grateful. But for a long time, we were alone... EJamesW 18:21, 10 February 2012 (EST)

EJamesW, I was the one who first brought up Britian social mobility. Andy subsequently incorporated that into his essay. :) Also, I do think that social mobility and rooting for underdogs must have some correlation. How can a society which claims to be ardently for underdogs have low social mobility due to social stratification and unnecessary impediments. It's a contradiction. Conservative 18:33, 10 February 2012 (EST)

Atheists and surprises

"The belief system of an atheist clings a denial that there will be any surprises like Hell. Victory by an underdog is an unexpected surprise, which is unsettling for atheists who insist that there must not be any big surprises in an afterlife."

Not correct. Hell would indeed be a surprise to atheists (as the non-existence of Heaven would be to theists, for that matter; they deny the possibility of that surprise), but that relates to an afterlife. Underdogs winning is a surprise in this life, and there is no evidence whatsoever to believe that atheists are more prone than theists to deny the possibility of surprises in this life. Furthermore "The belief system of an atheist clings a denial that…" is not proper English and "unexpected surprise" is redundant. It is the very essence of surprises to be unexpected.

Besides, I wonder how this article stacks up to the following Conservapedia rules:

Conservapedia commandment no 1: Everything you post must be true and verifiable.

Conservapedia guideline about attribution: There's a difference between stating flatly that "the earth is 6,000 years old" and reporting that "Young Earth creationists say that the earth is 6,000 years old." […] Simply by attributing a statement to the person who said it, we can turn bias into fact. That is, we convert a statement about something from a biased assertion into an attribution. We don't say "X". We say that "A said X." […] Thus, a good article "describes" - it does not "prescribe". Baobab 09:18, 8 February 2012 (EST)


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  14. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/2/7/45002641.pdf
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