Torture thread 2 - now with added Jesus

[b]Survey by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Oct. 12-24, 2005; nationwide survey conducted among 2,006 adults.

Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can:

Often be justified
Sometimes be justified
Rarely be justified
Never be justified
Don’t know/Refuse to answer

Total Public:


Total Catholic:


White Protestant


White Evangelical




Hate to link and run, but I really don’t have anything nice to say.

Thanks for the link. I think you left out the final category of answer which was “Don’t know/refused”.

I’m quite surprised actually. I thought I was in the minority.

Fixed, thanks.

Wow. How shocking! Those darned Christians and their torture!

Now, just to meet equal air-time requirements, since, oddly, you didn’t post a thread on this last summer:

[B]Survey by Pew Global Attitudes Project, Released Jul 14, 2005

Support for Suicide Bombing in Muslim Countries

Is violence against civilian targets justified:







Hate to link and run, but I don’t have anything nice to say.

Well, those numbers are down from a 2002 survey. That’s nice, I guess. But when the question can’t even be asked in kaboom!-friendly countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and the West Bank and Gaza, I can’t really be hopeful that this trend is shared across the Arab world.

Still, though. Darned Jesus freaks!

Edit: Just wanted to add that the Palestinian numbers in the territories are probably very close to those given for Jordan, as the Jordanian population is predominantly Palestinian.

What the fuck is this? OH YEAH WELL MUSLIMS ARE WORSE!!!11
Don’t get me wrong, those are some wicked-hot stats you posted, and I am honestly glad you posted them because I was not aware that they existed and I also think they are way more interesting than my stats - but are you somehow posting them as some sort of counterpoint? May I ask just what the fuck do you think is the point you are trying to counter, you presumptuous dumbass?

EDIT: Yeah, yeah - Muslims are ultra shitheads. Are you mollified now? Is the balance redressed?

I have pretty serious issues with both these surveys. I’d totally support torturing the shit out of a guy who knew the whereabouts of a bomb that was going to blow up Elisha Cuthbert, where as I’d totally get upset about the mild discomfort of some random guy off the street overeager miliitia handed to the Americans to curry favor.

As for Toddy’s survey, as worded the strategic bombing of Germany in WW2 qualifies. Lots of people support/supported that, and I don’t think they are all evil.

Wow, Toddy’s a bit knee-jerk with this Muslim thing :).

I don’t think much to Brett’s comparison. America is a very modern, liberal country with many freedoms, whereas the countries in his survey are not. A more interesting comparison would be between the views of Muslims born and raised in America and their Christian counterparts. That would show the effects of religion in the equation more than the effects of living in a less advanced, less liberal society.

Still, Turkey is not very liberal or advanced in Western terms, and yet only 15% of Turkish people think that violence against civilians can be justified sometimes/often. That’s compared to about 50% of American Christians who think that torture of innocents can be justified sometimes/often. On the UN’s Human Development Index, Turkey is ranked only 94th. I wonder how Christian countries nearby would score on the justification for violence against civilians, countries like Georgia, Jamaica and El Salvador?

One thing I don’t understand is why ‘sometimes’ and ‘often’ were lumped together in the terrorism poll. Seems like a pretty important distinction to me.

Yeah, the presentation of that poll is a bit suspect, even if the results themselves are completely fine. It’s also strange the way that they bold the “SUPPORTS SUICIDE BOMBING”, and then in smaller normal font text they present the actual question which was: can violence against civilians ever be justified. It’s the same way that I switched “suspected terrorists” with “innocents” in my post above. Suspects are innocent, just as suicide bombers are manifestations of violence against civilians, but the words would illicit very different responses in the readers of the survey, as well as the people being surveyed themselves.

So nearly all of the Christian breakdowns matched “the whole public” within 5% in every category, and we’re supposed to draw what conclusion from this?

Easy there, Tex. Hey didn’t mean nuthin by it.

That most Americans are Christians?

I think you may want to compare the average to the secular responses.

It’s hilarious that secular types are more opposed, but I think that’s really because virtually all of the secular are on the left.

That catholics are the most in favor is rather odd, though. Be nice to see this broken out by party, etc. to eliminate all the other variables.

Doesn’t it follow that a lot of the Muslims see suicide bombing as their only means of fighting countries with significantly greater firepower, i.e. Israel and the US? So why would it be surprising to see greater support for their only weapon?

Anyone have similar numbers for Ireland? How about Chechyns?

Exactly. I was leading to precisely this, although it’s really only a tangent to this thread: that most Americans identify themselves as Christians. I think this is a useful thing to be reminded of in light of some of the other discussions here. Why are elected people trying to get ID taught in schools? Why are judges posting the ten commandments at the courthouse? Why is the anti-abortion movement so strong in terms of legislation? Why are congressmen supporting life support for dead people? etc.

So when we bemoan all the shitty legislation and stuff going on in the US, guess what? Democracy in action. There isn’t something wrong with “the system”, there’s something wrong with the parties who can’t sway voters back to their points of view.

You’re assuming all Christians support these things.

I’m not assuming squat. I’m about the most contrarian Christian most people have ever met. I’m simply looking at the numbers in the survey (on all five positions) and noting how closely they match the overall. The numerical conclusion is that most US people identify themselves as Christian. It’s simple averages.

I’m then taking that simple numerical conclusion and trying to show its relevance to other discussions here. I believe that correlations would be found between “right wing” positions and people who identify as “Christian”. Therefore, in an area that is predominantly Christian, a right wing position will tend to be supported democratically.

Therefore, to use a specific example, what’s wrong with Kansas? Nothing. It’s full of people who have a different POV than most people here, left leaning authors, etc. and it is essentially operating as democracy is supposed to (excluding voter fraud type things).

But then you went on to imply that the large majority of self-identified Christians is the reason that things like pro-life and anti-evolution and other “morality-based” legislation have such traction. I was pointing out that just because someone identifies themselves as Christian doesn’t mean they support any of those things.

“Majority of Americans are Christian” does not equal “Majority of Americans support pro-life (or what-have you) legislation.”

True, but “majority are Christian” and “majority votes to pass Prop 999 which bans abortions” points to “Prop 999 is supported by Christians”. I’m clearly trying to speak in terms of the aggregate here, not defining the position of every single Christian out there.

I think that’s still oversimplifying - not everyone votes, in fact voters are a minority of the general population, so it’s tough to define the correlation in your example.