What do Americans think matters in life?
Americans with high levels of household income and educational attainment are more likely to mention friendship, good health, stability and travel. A quarter of Americans who earn at least $75,000 a year mention their friends when asked to describe, in their own words, what makes life meaningful, compared with 14% of Americans who earn less than $30,000 each year. Similarly, 23% of higher-income U.S. adults mention being in good health, compared with 10% of lower-income Americans. And among those with a college degree, 11% mention travel and a sense of security as things that make their lives fulfilling, compared with 3% and 2%, respectively, who name these sources of meaning among those with a high school degree or less.
Many evangelicals find meaning in faith, while atheists often find it in activities and finances. Spirituality and religious faith are particularly meaningful for evangelical Protestants, 43% of whom mention religion-related topics in the open-ended question. Among members of the historically black Protestant tradition, 32% mention faith and spirituality, as do 18% of mainline Protestants and 16% of Catholics. Evangelical Protestants’ focus on religious faith also emerges in the closed-ended survey: 65% say it provides “a great deal” of meaning in their lives, compared with 36% for the full sample. At the other end of the spectrum, atheists are more likely than Christians to mention finances (37%), and activities and hobbies (32%), including travel (13%), as things that make their lives meaningful. Atheists tend to have relatively high levels of education and income, but these patterns hold even when controlling for socioeconomic status.
Politically conservative Americans are more likely than liberals to find meaning in religion, while liberals find more meaning in creativity and causes than do conservatives. Spirituality and faith are commonly mentioned by very conservative Americans as imbuing their lives with meaning and fulfillment; 38% cite it in response to the open-ended question, compared with just 8% of very liberal Americans – a difference that holds even when controlling for religious affiliation. By contrast, the closed-ended question finds that very liberal Americans are especially likely to derive “a great deal” of meaning from arts or crafts (34%) and social and political causes (30%), compared with rates of 20% and 12% among very conservative Americans. “Where Americans Find Meaning in Life” at Pew Forum
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See also: Skeptic asks, why do people who abandon religion embrace superstition? Belief in God is declining and belief in ghosts and witches is rising (keeping it real about what people really believe… )
62 Replies to “Could the recent Pew Center survey on meaning help us interpret some controversies?”
Although atheists, in forsaking God, may try to invent illusory meaning, purpose and value for their lives, (as Dr. Craig has pointed out), the fact of the matter is that, without God and eternal life, their lives are completely meaningless.
Many atheists will object that their lives are just as meaningful as they choose to make it.
But this ‘invented meaning’ of atheists proves exactly the point. i.e. Any true meaning for life is illusory if atheism is true:
Moreover this denial, by atheists, of any objective meaning and purpose for life is reflected in their (mal)practice of science.
In fact, the denial of meaning and purpose is, in fact, the primary reason why much of modern science is in such a mess.
In short, in science, in their insistence that the universe and life have no objective meaning, purpose or value, atheists end up denying teleology altogether.
Yet science is impossible without presupposing teleology, i.e. end directed purpose, on some deep fundamental level.
As Dr. Michael Egnor states in the following article, It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
Again simply put, science is impossible without presupposing teleology, i.e. end directed purpose, on some deep fundamental level.
Yet atheists live in constant denial of the purpose that they themselves see in nature:
Francis Crick was not just whistling Dixie. Every molecule in our bodies is literally screaming to us that we have objective meaning, value, and purpose for our lives.
As Professor of physiology Denis Noble notes in the following article, “it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.”
And in the following article Stephen Talbott challenges scientists and philosophers to “pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness”
Thus, since it is impossible for molecular biologists to speak of molecular biology for any length of time without using language that directly implies goal directed purposes, and/or teleology, then it is hardly fair for Darwinian atheists to falsely claim that there is no ultimate meaning in life and that we live in a universe of ‘nothing but pitiless indifference’
In fact, given the the fact that teleology, i.e. goal directed purpose, is so intricately infused into life at such a fundamental molecular level, I would hold that it takes a rather large amount of willful intellectual blindness on the part of evolutionary biologists for them to say that life gives no indication of purpose or meaning.
The plain fact of the matter, despite what leading evolutionary biologists, and Atheists in general, may claim, is that every one of the trillions upon trillions of molecules in our bodies screams that we have a intrinsic meaning and purpose for our lives.
As Stephen Talbott goes on to state in the following article which happens to be entitled “How Biologists Lost Sight Of The Meaning Of Life And Are Now Staring It In The Face”, “A given cell, typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. ,,, “The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells.,,, And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,,”
Thus, contrary to what atheists in general, and Darwinists in particular may say, the fact of the matter is that it is the trillions upon trillions of molecules themselves which are within our bodies, (which are dedicated to the singular end directed teleological purpose of keeping our bodies alive ‘precisely for a lifetime and not a moment longer’), which are giving us some of out most devastatingly crushing evidence against the atheist’s claim that our lives have no intrinsic meaning, purpose, or value:
I have often found a strange dichotomy between the strong link between strong conservatism and strong religious belief. I understand the appeal of both with regard to resistance to change and the importance of tradition. The link between the two makes sense in that regard. But I find it more difficult to rationalize the conservative drive for smaller government, fewer laws and greater personal freedom with the willingness to use laws to impose strongly held religious views on others. Whether it be abortion, same sex marriage, capital punishment, minimum sentences, etc.
There is not really much one can say to someone who cannot see a link between being pro-life and being a Christian.
Has anyone suggested that there is not a strong link between pro-life and Christianity? Have I missed a claim that someone has made?
“the willingness to use laws to impose strongly held religious views on others. Whether it be abortion,,,,”
Without the “minimal” right to life guaranteed, eventually all other rights and freedoms fall by the wayside.
,,, moreover, “greater personal freedom” and larger socialistic governments are mutually exclusive.
Since I know you love European socialism, and detest American conservatism,,
BA77 quoting EG
This clearly claims that pro-life is a strongly held religious belief.
Again, who is advocating for larger socialistic governments? Certainly not me.
Ed George, if you don’t think that “pro-life is a strongly held religious belief” that should be given the full protection of the law perhaps you would like to debate the details of the matter a little more personally in my basement so as to give me the chance to convince you that you yourself are a deeply ‘religious’ pro-life advocate? Far more so than you think.
I have repeatedly stated that pro-life is a deeply held religious belief. I don’t see what you are disagreeing with.
Again, where have I stated that I am not a pro-life advocate?
Well Ed, so I take it that your answer is “no” to my invitation to you to join me in my basement? 🙂
,,, You are just disagreeing to be disagreeable, in one instance you stated that you,,
And yet when pushed on the matter you stated,,,
You are either in favor of laws protecting life are you are not. You cannot rail against the conservative’s desire to have pro-life laws in one instance, and in the next instance say that you yourself are a pro-life advocate.
I have better things to do than try to force you to be logically consistent in your position.
Of note: I have a low tolerance for such argumentation
“the willingness to use laws to impose strongly held religious views on others”
Dismembering/dissolving a someone in the womb is probably up there on the list of the worst forms of imposing one’s view on someone.
You can fight stupidity, but it’s persistent.
BA77 and Andrew, you guys really should read for context and content. At no point did I say that I supported abortion, or opposed laws banning it. What I expressed was the contradiction I see between stated conservative goals of less government and fewer laws, and their propensity to advocate for laws that are based on deeply held religious beliefs. I used abortion as an example, but there are many others.
For the record, I believe in God, oppose abortion, believe in minimal laws and small government, and am a fiscal conservative. If we can’t realize that there are some contradictions in our ideology, and either address them or accept them, then we are just deceiving ourselves. And, also for the record, liberal ideology also suffers from contradictions. Different but contradictions none-the-less.
The right to life is a ‘minimal law’.
So what? How does that impact on my observation that it is a deeply held religious belief that is supported by a political ideology that advocates for fewer laws? This involves a contradiction. I am comfortable with this contradiction but to pretend that it doesn’t exist is hypocritical.
So you want no laws?
,,, Trump has certainly cut the massive over regulation of the left that was choking off the American economy,
In 13 Ed George stated that,
Funny, Ed G was defending European style socialism just the other day:
How the H E double hockey sticks did you get that from what I said? All I said was that when we advocate for something that we have to address or accept the contradictions that are inherent in our views. Is that really so hard to understand?
The lack of understanding is on you. Not to mention inconsistency in logic.
Moreover, do you know that much of what you listed was enacted via judicial fiat of the left, not by legislative action?
i.e. Legislation from the bench, which I view to be unconstitutional.
The rulings should have been kicked back down to the legislative branch, maybe even back down to the state legislatures, instead of the Justices deviating from the ‘original intent’ of the constitution to basically write brand new laws themselves.
The fact that you have repeatedly misrepresented what I have said suggests otherwise. But if you insist that I spend time with you in your mother’s basement to disabuse myself of these conclusions, I must say that I am disinclined to acquiesce to your demands. 🙂
No, I quoted you directly.
My mother has passed away. If you keep up such insults about my mother and me I will ask to have you banned for trolling.
Your “judicial fiat” is what the constitution calls “checks and balances”.
There is nothing stopping the legislative branch from re-drafting legislation that doesn’t contradict the constitution. But, so far, they haven’t. I look forward to when they revoke Roe v Wade.
And misrepresented what I said.
Is that how you normally deal with anyone who disagrees with you?
“checks and balances” LOL,,, Yeah right. The left knows that they could never get their radical agenda through congress,,, that is why they have relied so heavily on ‘legislation from the bench’ (i.e. which is, again, an unconstitutional practice). And that is exactly why they falsely and vehemently accused Brett Kavanaugh, who is a ‘constitutional originalist’, of all manner of sexual crimes. The left did not want a ‘constitutional originalist’ on the supreme court precisely because they knew that they can no longer short circuit the legislative branch, with a leftist supreme court, to get their radical agenda through.
Moreover, I find it extremely hypocritical of you to claim to be a conservative and yet basically championing leftists ideology, a leftist supreme court, and even bashing Trump.
And if I recall correctly, you are not even an American.
Ed George, “Is that how you normally deal with anyone who disagrees with you?”
No, it is how I deal with trolls, as you are revealing yourself more and more to be.
Less government is needed when people are more able to govern themselves, and do so in a uniform manner, which requires a relatively common moral standard they adhere to. Also, the higher the moral standard people are able to attain, the fewer laws and law enforcement that will be needed. Hence, no contradiction.
The problem arises in a culture that is headed in the wrong direction, where conservatives find themselves surrounded by things they believe to be harmful (both to themselves and others), and where government’s size has passed the tipping point where it can be controlled, etc.
Could you enlighten me on the leftist ideology I champion? Could it be my opposition to abortion? By opposition to big government? My opposition to deficit budgets? My opposition to undermining the judicial branch of government? Are you seriously arguing that opposing Trump, a repeat adulterer, a repeat contract breaker, a repeat liar, a person who has raised the deficit to an all time high, a person who labels Mexicans as rapists and murderers, a person who condones the Saudi killing of a US reporter, a person who thinks Kim Jung Un is a good guy, is somehow anti-conservative? Sorry, but if being a conservative means that I have to overlook all of his reprehensible behaviour, then your idea of conservative and mine are incompatible.
bornagain77 @ 1
Why don’t you or Dr Craig explain why the meaning God invents is any less illusory than those that human beings might invent?
No, we didn’t. See above.
Craig still hasn’t shown why God’s meaning is objective.
Craig says earlier that Sartre argued that someone may create a meaning for their own life which in Sartre’s case was Marxism. The he attempts an unwarranted inference to Sartre actually claiming that the Universe has meaning. That looks like a straightforward misrepresentation.
Why not? If this life is the only one we will ever have then we might as well make the best of it while we have it since existence is mostly better than non-existence.
If scientific mess gives us keyhole surgery, antimicrobial drugs, MRI scanners, ever more powerful computers, iPhones, materials light and stronger than steel from which to build aircraft, pesticide-resistant crops, images of Mars, space probes that image the outermost planets and beyond then I’ll take it over any alternative that hasn’t shown itself to be nearly as fruitful.
No, science must recognize that there is an ordered Universe to be observed and explained, that’s all. There is a profound mystery about the ultimate origins of it all but there is no need to assume it was the product of some advanced alien intelligence. It’s quite possible to do science without such a presupposition even though it offends Egnor’s belief that (his) religion is fundamental.
EDTA@24, I cant argue with anything you have said. But my question is, who determines when a culture is headed in the wrong direction? I know that I am not qualified to make that judgment. Is it when we allow abortion? Same sex marriage? Legalize recreational cannabis? Repeal prohibition. Grant women the vote? Abolish slavery?
I look at life as a grand experiment. My current ideology is basically conservative in many respects, including fiscal, but more liberal with respect to things like health care and sex.
Society is replete with examples of failed experiments, but just as replete with examples of experiments that have stood the test of time. Does anyone really want to return to the times when indentured servants and the equivalent of the Indian caste system was the norm? Or to a time when women were not permitted to disagree with their husbands? Or a time when it was illegal for a black man to marry I white woman? Or a Jew to marry a Christian? Or to a time when child labour was acceptable? All of these changes were the result of people questioning and challenging their traditional (I.e., “conservative”) views. It is my opinion that it is important that we always be willing to fairly examine arguments against what we have always felt to be beyond questioning. Not being willing to do so will only lead to more division and, possibly, violent disagreement.
“Could you enlighten me on the leftist ideology I champion?”
As to the rest of your exaggerated hyperbole, especially concerning Trump, I’ll let readers decide for themselves who is parroting the over the top fake news talking points of the left.
Seversky, not only is meaning for your life illusory if Darwinian evolution is true, you yourself are a neuronal illusion of your brain. Moreover, “you” have no ‘real’ free will.
Simply put, if God is not real then nothing else, including meaning for our lives, can be real for us. PERIOD!
Moreover, this is more than just a philosophical argument. Advances in quantum mechanics, i.e. Leggett’s Inequality, have falsified what has been termed “realism”, which is the belief that reality exists ‘out there’ independent of conscious observation.
As to the rest of your post, well like I did for Ed’s hyperbole, I’ll let readers decide for themselves who is being disingenuous and who is being forthright.
Ed George, you really need a history lesson:
BA77@28, if you think that it is leftist ideology to point out that the US spends more per capita on health care than all other OECD countries, with one of the worst health care outcomes, then you don’t know the difference between liberal and conservative. I view these facts as an affront to my conservative ideology.
My conservative ideology is not so blind as to exclude the possibility of universal health care. A system that has been shown to provide the best health outcome at the lowest per capita cost. However, if you feel that it is better to pay more for your health care in return for:
—> higher infant mortality rates,
—> lower life expectancy,
—> higher mortality rates amenable to treatment,
—> higher disease burden,
—> higher hospitalization rates for preventable diseases,
—> higher rates of medical, medication and lab errors,
—> higher mortality rates for respiratory disease,
—> higher mortality rates for endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases.
—> slower access to medical and nursing care,
That is your choice.
But don’t get me wrong, universal health care is not without its own serious challenges. Wait times for elective procedures are unacceptable. You may not get a private room in a hospital. But I will trade that for the fact that I will never lose my house over medical bills.
Wrong again. I am sixth generation American. And proud of it.
Ed George, IMHO, you are a democrat pretending to be a conservative.
You can lie to others, and perhaps even to yourself, but I am not buying it. Especially since you precisely echoed leftist fake news talking points. CNN and MSNBC would have said exactly what you said.,, Conservative my foot! You could host Morning Joe for crying out loud.
Pushing socialized medicine on top of all that!
A quick note,,,
Thankfully, you are not the final arbiter of what political ideology people can associate themselves with.
No. I am presenting facts about health care in OECD countries. And, sadly, the facts do not paint a pretty picture for health care in the US. Universal health care is not socialized medicine. It is just access to health care regardless of economic status. A very Christian concept.
No, thankfully, I’m not, as Jesus said:
And may we at least agree on the one point that we both desperately need God’s grace in that area?
A supposed conservative pushing European style socialism? Really???
No argument. But one of us more than the other. 🙂
Ed George @ 27,
>But my question is, who determines when a culture is headed in the wrong direction?
Only our Creator can tell us that for sure. I know that opens up many other issues that we debate here, but that’s my answer in brief.
A lot of your later examples (slavery, e.g.) simply suggest turning back the clock. I don’t advocate a blind return to the “old days”. Let’s keep what’s good about today (most technology, medical and otherwise; less pollution; lack of world wars at the moment, etc.), but get rid of what is bad that we still have (some racism, abortion, etc.)
Life as an experiment? Well, if you call selectively deviating from what our Creator wants of us, and watching the resulting failures mount, then, yes, that’s an “experiment”. I guess that’s fun when things aren’t as bad as they could be, for us at least, at the moment.
“No argument. But one of us more than the other.”
Well seeing as,,,
,,, then I have no problem with your insinuation that I need more grace from God than you do.
I was truly a despicable man before God saved me. And I still fall exceedingly short of God’s perfection.
In fact, because of my many imperfections, many times I’m simply glad God has anything whatsoever to do with me even now when I am supposedly already ‘saved’.
Please don’t insult me. I am well aware of what socialism is. But are you aware that western democracy, amongst other things, is about agreeing on the amount of socialism we accept as being good for society. Equality is a form of socialism. As are many of the freedoms we fight for. Many of our moral values are socialistic in nature. The balancing act is maintaining a society with many socialist values while still rewarding individual initiative and hard work.
But health care is simply an equation. Does society benefit more from a pay as you go health care system or from a system where everyone pays a levy, whether you use it or not, so that everyone has access to the same level of health care. And, obviously, it’s not black and white. There can be abused and inefficiencies at either end of the spectrum. I don’t know what the best mix is, but the one thing I know is that the statistics for the US system are poor.
But it’s not like we don’t have plenty of examples of other societal benefits that we all pay for regardless of whether or not we use them. Schools, roadways and other infrastructure, national and state parks, libraries, welfare, etc. Maybe if there was empirical evidence showing that the US system of health care produced health outcomes comparable to or better than other systems, at a cost comparable to or lower than the other systems, we would have something to debate. But there isn’t, and we don’t.
But I have harped on about my personal pet peeve long enough. Thank you to BA77, EDTA and Andrew for listening to me without slapping me upside my head. 🙂
It is an insult to point out the fact that you are in fact a supposed conservative pushing European style socialism? Hmm, it is insulting but certainly not for the reason you think.
To counterbalance the leftist propaganda you are trying to push.
Or as Reagan once said:
And to counterbalance your counterbalance.
But you have yet to address the facts presented at 31. How does the US reconcile having the highest cost per capita health care system amongst the OECD countries and yet rank amongst the worst for most (but, to be fair, not all) health outcomes.
Ed George according to your own site, both MSNBC and CNN, who’s talking points bashing Trump you have echoed precisely in this thread, also made the list of biased press:
Thanks for the link that refutes your fake news talking points against Trump.
And since you do not trust the ‘overtly Christian’ Canada Free Press, (but apparently trust CNN and MSNBC for your talking points bashing Trump), here are a few more sites that reveal the nightmare of socialized medicine:,,, For instance this caught my eye from American Thinker,,,
“Britons’ survival rates for those diagnosed with cancer or heart attacks are little better than those of the former East European Communist countries.
A recent study conducted by the University College London and Columbia University revealed that nearly ten percent of British patients died in the hospital as compared to 2.5% in the United States. This disparity is due in great part to post-operative neglect and inadequate care issues.,,,
And again, your claim to be a conservative whilst pushing socialized medicine, as well as pushing CNN and MSNBC fake news talking points, is laughably absurd.
Of supplemental note:
We are not talking about biased press. CNN, MSNBC and FOX were all classified as biased. Canada Free Press was categorized as a questionable source for factual information. Neither CNN nor FOX received that ranking. Your source shares this ranking along with other reputable media outlets such as Bare Naked Isla, Black Genocide and Hang The Bankers.
So a fake conservative is trying to defend fake liberal news?
You just can’t make this stuff up! 🙂
Step away from the liberal koolaid Ed!
BA77, you are obviously hung up on the word “socialist”. So let’s step back a moment and just talk about the cost of healthcare. I was just on an old scoliosis chat group that was talking about the cost of scoliosis surgery. I only refer to scoliosis because I had that surgery when I was 17.
The thread I was following was old (2004) so I am sure that costs have changed since then. There were three comments that caught my attention. The surgery in the US was upwards of $250,000, covered by private insurance. Conducted privately in England and Australia (not under their public health care system) was 10,000 pounds and $10,000 Ausie respectively. What I can’t imagine is what the American patient received that cost an additional $240,000. Better hospital food?
I agree that healthcare costs are way too high. I strongly disagree that socialized, single payer, healthcare is the solution.
Here are a few common sense solutions: all of which involve solutions that avoid the government becoming directly involved in our personal healthcare decisions:
I would also suggest stuff like limiting the amount of malpractice liability incurred by Doctors and Hospitals, as well common sense measures to reduce drug prices, like these:
I’m sure there a many more things that can be done ‘around the edges’ in order to bring healthcare costs back under control. All of which avoid the many pitfalls of ‘one size fits all’ socialized medicine of liberals.
In fact, a quick google search revealed that many smart people have thought long and hard about addressing this problem, all of which involve solutions that avoid the government becoming directly involved in our personal healthcare decisions:, For instance, here is one article that struck me as being comprehensively thought out,,,
BA77, I agree that there is much that can be done to reduce health care costs, but why are you so averse to government being involved? I am not talking about government running health care. In fact, in many countries where there is single payer health care, the actual health care is provided by the private sector. Doctors, testing, physio, specialists, etc. are all private. Where the single payer comes into play is that the bills are paid centrally, regardless of s patient’s ability to pay. The only sector that doesn’t make a very good living is the insurance companies.
There are certainly huge challenges (ie, setting the fees for various procedures and services). But there is plenty of room for efficiencies, personal initiatives and entrepreneurship.
What drives me crazy is the uninformed knee jerk reaction to even the suggestion of public health care. What is very telling, however, is that the populations in countries with public health care, in spite of all of its problems, would rebel against adopting a completely private system.
Whatever Ed. You have certainly not persuaded me of your position.
From my examination of the evidence thus far, your argument falls apart upon even minor examination. The only exception being health care cost. Yet even there many common sense ‘conservative’ solutions are available.
My opinion remains unchanged on Socialized medicine. I do not support it.
I am fine with that. But I prefer longer life spans, lower infant mortality, lower rates of medical, medication and lab errors, and much lower health care costs. And, of course, the ability of everyone, regardless of the size of their bank account, getting high quality health care. But maybe that is just my Christian values poking through.
Infant mortality? I addressed that point in post 44 yet you mindlessly repeated it again.
Since you are now apparently down to just mindlessly repeating false talking points no matter what I say, I am done.
bornagain77 @ 41
… you are pushing right-wing propaganda/fake news? Okay, let’s take a look:
Did someone actually go blind because they had to wait three years for a twenty-minute surgery or is this just a jab at long waiting-lists?
What is more likely is that someone without health insurance in the US will die before they get a twenty-minute procedure they can’t afford.
It’s true there’s been a shortage of NHS dentists because of relatively low fees.
But, again, if you were one of the 45m without health insurance before Obamacare, you’d be pulling your own teeth because you wouldn’t have been able to pay a dentist to do it.
Uninsured and not able to afford a hearing-aid at all?
That’s a judgment call that is made under both systems. You think health insurance companies will pay out for anything you want?
Really? You have examples?
What’s certain is that, without health insurance, you’ll be delivering the baby in your own bathroom. You won’t be able to afford hospital services so you won’t get as far as one of their bathrooms.
Evidence? Or is this another example of fake news? Why would a baby be born in a parking-lot because there is a nursing shortage?
This is such bullshit. If you are having an emergency, you get taken to a hospital that has an A&E department, not to one that doesn’t.
Ambulances can get caught up in traffic but a 12 minute ride taking three hours every time? I call BS again.
Some cancers are difficult to detect. This has nothing to do with the healthcare system running the hospitals.
You know that a Johns Hopkins study in 2016 estimated that 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors in your wonderful private healthcare system?
Cite, or I call BS again
Doesn’t happen under the NHS. Anyone who says it does is a liar.
Bit like being left to die on the floor in an ER while people step over you.
Being flown 5000 miles to a European country because the procedure you need – including a convalescent stay in a hotel – can be done at a fraction of the cost in the US.
Suffering alone from a terminal illness because you can’t afford to pay for a palliative care facility
Flat out lie. Doesn’t happen under the NHS
Cite, or again I call bullshit.
I’ve read of one or two cases where that has happened – and there’s been a huge uproar about it. But no way is it typical and you can find similar incidents in the US.
Cite, or again I call bullshit.
Cite, or again I call bullshit
I will tell you I have experienced the health care systems in both the US and the UK. I found that the quality of private healthcare in the US is excellent – if you can afford it. Not so good if you can’t. In the UK, the NHS has problems because it has been underfunded for years. But the standard of treatment is still high and you don’t have to worry about paying for it.
And that’s the bottom line, in the UK nobody – but nobody – goes bankrupt because of medical bills they can’t pay. Good healthcare is regarded as a right for all, not a privilege of the wealthy.
Seversky, it is humorous that you, of all people, the most dogmatic Darwinian atheist on UD, would be the only one to defend Ed G.’s claim that socialized medicine is the way for America to go.
It is also humorous that you, of all people, the most dogmatic Darwinian atheist on UD, want me to cite specific evidence for these claims.
Over the years I have literally cited hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of evidence that have directly refuted your Darwinian worldview. Yet, despite me citing mountains of evidence against your position, you still refuse to ever reasonably concede that your Darwinian worldview is unmitigated hogwash.
Shoot, I don’t ever recall you honestly conceding even a single false claim that you have made. Even when shown, by peer reviewed empirical evidence, that your claim was false.
Your track record for scientific integrity towards the evidence itself is abysmal to put it mildly. You are a shining example of dogmatism.
And since you steadfastly refuse to accept the steady stream of empirical evidence that has been presented against your atheistic position, I have very little hope that you will ever believe some of the nightmare stories about socialized medicine, even if they are corroborated by hundreds of witnesses.
But anyways hope springs eternal, and despite the fact that you are, IMHO, completely impervious to any evidence that contradicts what you want to believe beforehand, (no matter how strong that evidence is), here are a few recent well known nightmare stories of socialized medicine that received national headlines
Let’s quote that one more time to drive the point home:
Of course, these nightmare stories are in all likelihood just the tip of the ice berg. And it is such nightmare stories as these that certainly make me extremely hesitant to accept any of the ‘pie in the sky’ claims coming from the left wing fake news media concerning socialized medicine.
In fact, I was kind of shocked that Ed G. actually defended CNN and MSNBC when I pointed out, via his site, how biased against conservatives they were. In my book, that is like defending the integrity of the National Enquirer.
But for me personally, from my own unique perspective in dealing with Seversky for several years now, and then having Seversky whole heartedly endorsing socialized medicine, for me at least, that is a sure sign that it must the completely wrong path for America to take.
Like the old joke goes,
ba77 – that comment about Alfie Evans is rather one-sided. For example, it ignores the advice of the Vatican hospital (§40:
In other words, transferring him to the Vatican wouldn’t lead to an improvement in quality of life, and it might kill him.
You entirely missed the point Bob (and weave) O’Hara. The main point is that the parents were denied their right to decide what treatment might give their child the best chance to live.
It is the height of hypocrisy that Darwinists, although their own worldview denies the reality of free will, are all for the right for parents to choose, i.e. pro-choice, to kill an unborn baby in the womb no matter what the government may say to the contrary. But when it comes to parents actually trying to save their child’s life from death, all of the sudden the parent’s right to choose the fate of their child must be denied by the government.
Hypocrisy is too mild of a word for such a contradiction in logic.
BA77 citing a paper
And further from BA77:
But you failed to actually read the Chen, Oster and Williams paper.
Chen, Oster and Williams examined this and concluded:
This is nicely visualized in the plot linked from the same paper.
I don’t have an argument with this. But given that people at the poverty level can’t afford health insurance in the US, they are not able to avail themselves of the same level of health care as the affluent. This is not the case in most other OECD countries.
BA77 citing another paper:
I find this argument difficult to accept. In any other venture, economies of scale and competition result in lower costs. As well, in countries with smaller populations, the number of doctors and specialists will be lower, resulting in less choice by the patient. We should expect this to result in poorer health outcomes in the smaller countries, but we are not seeing this. However, to be fair, on some important health issues, like heart attacks and cancer, the US health outcome is marginally better than those of other countries.
I am not suggesting that the government should own and operate the health care system. Only that it be set up such that everyone in the country has access to the same quality of health care, regardless of their socio-economic status. There is plenty of room for the private sector to be involved in the delivery of these services, just as they are in many countries that have a single payer system. But I do feel sorry for that single payer that has to pay for everyone’s health care. 🙂
It would be very nice if a compromise could be worked out in congress where health care costs can be brought under control and yet the government stays out of our personal health care decisions, i.e Obama’s famous lie “You can keep your doctor”,,,, . Unfortunately, I see little ‘reaching across the aisle’ in Congress these days,,, and with the insane vitriol on the left towards all things Trump, I see little room for any reasonable compromise from democrats in Congress in the future.
Which is a crying shame, because Trump literally wrote the book “The Art of the Deal”…
I see health care as sort of a shell game designed to make it impossible to tell where the money goes.
Why do health care costs keep going up? What costs more? Whose profits are increasing?
It feels to me like a big smokescreen. As long as we can’t tell what’s going on, all we can do is pay what we’re told and maybe complain when the cost goes up.
As was mentioned earlier, a big part of the problem is that we don’t know how much anything costs, especially since we’re just paying insurance premiums.
Insurance companies negotiate lower prices for everything. Does that really mean something, or is it just a scam where the prices are inflated and the only way to get something closer to the “real” price is to purchase the same services and medications through the middleman, giving it the appearance of value? It sounds too convenient. If you cut out the middleman by self-insuring, then suddenly everything costs more. All roads lead to buying health insurance.
It’s labyrinthine. Who can follow it? All I know is that as long as there’s money in it, people will find a way to skim as much as they can get away with.
This gets cast as a left vs. right issue, but I think that’s all just theater. Create two sides that reflexively oppose each other on every issue and it becomes easier to manipulate both.
OldAndrew, it’s hard to argue with what you have said. The primary responsibility of the Board of any publicly owned company is to maximize the profits of its shareholders. This is obviously part of the problem, but with real competition, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Add to this the practice of pharmaceutical and supply houses providing incentives (either direct financial or indirect perks) to physicians to prescribe their drugs or use their equipment. Somebody is paying for the profits of the insurance companies and hospitals, and the perks provided to health care professionals. I’m not opposed to profit, but the profits should be reasonable, not excessive; especially in relation to health care, a basic human need.
I don’t know the answer to the problem, which is huge, but the knee jerk reaction of refusing to look at how other countries manage it is just being remarkably short-sighted.
I wonder if the benefit of competition is outweighed by the cost of competition (sales and marketing) + the profits. But it’s impossible to know without having all three figures to do the math.
Here’s a hypothetical, and this is quite likely some sort of ignorance on my part: What if a health care provider stopped marketing, and didn’t pay salespeople to actively push their product, and they passed through the savings to customers?
Wouldn’t that be a form of competition? Wouldn’t customers automatically gravitate toward that insurer? My guess is that they wouldn’t, because if they would, insurers would already do that.
That means that part of the problem is us. When we purchase the service, we willingly pay the provider for the expense of convincing us to buy it.
Perhaps part of it is that for so many people insurance is linked to their employer, something else that makes no sense. If it wasn’t, hopefully we’d all be smart enough to buy our insurance from the provider that saves the most money. It would still cost us more because our employer wouldn’t subsidize it, but it wouldn’t matter because our employer could pay us the money they used to spend on the health insurance subsidy.
We get insurance through our employers because it creates an insurable group, which means a group that wasn’t created for the purpose of purchasing insurance and therefore has a balanced mix of healthy and sick people. But the entire population of the country is also such a group, so if they all received “insurance” through a single provider we wouldn’t need groups comprised of employees of particular companies.
OldAndrew, interesting thoughts. But where health care is different than most other services is that for most other services (buying a car, a house, a TV, a barber), we plan for it. Health care is often something that, when we need it, we need it quickly. Because of this, we are not likely to shop around. In a system that is completely private, with little oversite, is it any surprise that people get ripped off?