‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Monday, 21 March 2011

British Humanist Association is abusing the census

I believe the British Humanist Association is abusing the integrity and therefore the quality of the census by campaigning for people to say they are not religious when given a choice of options. Clearly they don't have much confidence in people to answer as they see fit, but believe they need encouragement to fill it in 'accurately', but also in a way that suits the BHA. (See  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12799801). As a result the BHA risks undermining the quality of an important survey.

I would go further and argue that such campaigning around the census should be illegal because it puts pressure on people to answer in a way that is not necessarily in accord with their deep seated beliefs.
Andrew Sibley 


godwinslaw said...

The idea is not to make people tick "no religion" if they are not actually non-religious. It is simply because the question is framed in such a way that huge numbers of people in this country will answer Christian even though they don't believe in God, Jesus etc. The whole point is to obtain more accurate census data, not to obfuscate the real data.

Dissenters said...

The problem is that many go to church perhaps once or twice a year, but still consider themselves Christian. There are many non-conformist Christians who go to church regularly, but also do not consider themselves 'religious'.