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# BREAKING: Stanford Study: COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate May be Overstated by a factor of 85

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As we have discussed in these pages, the CFR (case fatality rate) for COVID-19 is extremely difficult to calculate. We have a rough estimate of the numerator (deaths). But even that may be off, because of the difference between dying “with” COVID-19 and dying “of” COVID-19. In other words, if a person who was going to die of cancer today anyway gets COVID-19 an hour before he dies, is it correct to say he died of the virus just because he had it when he died. This is not theoretical. The Health Minister of Italy said the virus fatality number in his country is certainly overstated for this reason.

For all the problems the numerator has, they pale in comparison to the denominator. I think it is fair to say that any estimate of the actual number of cases out there borders on wild speculation, no matter the good faith and expertise of the researcher making the calculations. We know that “cases presenting for treatment” would be way too low, because most cases don’t present for treatment. We know that “all those that test positive” is too low, because the rate of testing is both uneven geographically and limited numerically for logistical reasons.

Now we have this study out of Stanford to really throw a monkey wrench into the calculations. Very briefly, they tested a large sample of people in an attempt to get a handle on the incidence of the virus in the wild. It turns out that way more people had the virus and did not even know it that was previously thought. Read the study. But here’s the bottom line: The denominator may be understated by a factor of up to 85.

So, if the previous estimate of the CFR was 2%, the actual CFR may be 2% divided by 85.

Total Deaths in USA: (as of 6:00 PM EST) 45,126 Total Deaths in New York and New Jersey: 24,446 (presumably all around New York City for the most part) So, in one giant metropolitan area (roughly): 24,446 The other 48 states in the Union: 20,680 If you eliminate New York and New Jersey, the corona virus looks like a mild flu season, so far. Right? Is this simply due to the "lockdown"? I don't think so, but, as they say, time will tell. However, study after study points to a CFR of 0.1% or less. The CFR for the common flu is, of course, 0.1%. I believe that it will ultimately prove to be less than 0.1%. I've said that from the beginning. I've made this point above. Again, what happened in the New York area? Was there some kind of willful contamination that took place? Was it because New York is the financial capital of America? Were the Chinese involved? These questions should be looked into and, if possible, answered. PaV
Sev
That was mass killing on a scale that the 20th century dictators could only have dreamed about.
But if their god does it, it is morally acceptable. Didn’t you get the church leaflet? Ed George
TF
You do not support abortion?
No. Ed George
Nothing quite like the blatant hypocrisy of an atheist as when an atheist with no objective moral basis starts making moral judgments on the people who dare point out to him that he has no objective moral basis in which to make moral judgments. I have a parable for you EG:
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES https://andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html
bornagain77
@Ed George You do not support abortion? Truthfreedom
EG TBA77
I guess it is easy to win an argument when you tell your opponent what he must believe. I guess you take your victories where you can get them, even if they are hollow ones.
Inane rejoinder by TF
According to you, killing an unborn is something that should be advocated ‘for the greater good’ (women, society). How are you any better than the nazi who supported killing jews ‘for the greater good of the Deutsch people’?
TF, if you have to lie to try to win an argument, you are no better than BA77 telling me what I have to believe in so that he can claim victory. Is the hollow victories the reason some call this an echo chamber? Ed George
Bornagain77 @
It is estimated that in the past 100 years, governments under the banner of atheistic communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives.[6] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel’s mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[7]
According to your Old Testament, God killed almost every living thing on the surface of the planet, men, women, children, the unborn and all other animal and plant life. That was mass killing on a scale that the 20th century dictators could only have dreamed about. Seversky
@Ed George According to you, killing an unborn is something that should be advocated 'for the greater good' (women, society). How are you any better than the nazi who supported killing jews 'for the greater good of the Deutsch people'? Truthfreedom
BA77
EG says that murder is senseless. And just why is murder suppose to make any sense under your atheistic worldview EG? Yours is a worldview of pitiless indifference!
I guess it is easy to win an argument when you tell your opponent what he must believe. I guess you take your victories where you can get them, even if they are hollow ones. Ed George
EG says that murder is senseless. And just why is murder suppose to make any sense under your atheistic worldview EG? Yours is a worldview of pitiless indifference! bornagain77
@ Ed George No mockery here. Just reasoning. The same reasoning naturalism has destroyed. The same one you have been silencing for decades. If life is an accident, it has no value. Why should I refrain from killing dozens of purposeless chemical bags and blow my brains out after that? Naturalism has been seeding death. You despise babies, and characterize them as 'parasites'. And now, when you reap death, you dare to complain. Hypocrite. Truthfreedom
TF
Each person has to find their own purpose in life. For some people, it’s killing other human beings. And you are no one to judge, since morality is subjective.
Well, I don't use the senseless murder of 18 people, and the suffering of their families, as fodder to mock someone simply because I disagree with their opinions. This says more about your reprehensible nature than it does about the point you are trying to make. Ed George
EG, in fact both US and Canada have tracked in the same band of cases, rates of growth and fatality rates, as the regular OWID tracking charts show. You have made an unrepresentative contrast, ignoring the population. Surely, you know that there are probability distributions? And, across history, governance and culture in the two states are significantly different, Canada being far more centralised and regulated than the US. KF kairosfocus
TF as to
Each person has to find their own purpose in life. For some people, it’s killing other human beings.
To wit
Young mass murderers Recent increases in tragic mass murders perpetrated by young individuals have prompted questions about their rationale for doing so. Below is evidence that their motives have been overwhelmingly from deteriorating social conditions in their personal lives.[1] For example, (most were) atheistic or liberal, or driven by hatred of God.,,, https://www.conservapedia.com/Young_mass_murderers Atheism and Mass Murder Concerning atheism and mass murder, Christian apologist Gregory Koukl wrote that "the assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them."[1] Koukl details the number of people killed in various events involving theism and compares them to the much higher tens of millions of people killed under atheistic communist regimes, in which militant atheism served as the official doctrine of the state.[1] Historically, atheism has generally been an integral part of communist ideology (see: Atheism and communism). Communist regimes killed 60 million in the 20th century through genocide, according to Le Monde, more than 100 million people[2] according to The Black Book of Communism (Courtois, Stéphane, et al., 1997).[3] and according to Cleon Skousen[4] in his best-selling book The Naked Communist.[5] It is estimated that in the past 100 years, governments under the banner of atheistic communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives.[6] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[7] https://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_Mass_Murder
bornagain77
@EG
Each person has to find their own purpose in life. For some people, it's killing other human beings. And you are no one to judge, since morality is subjective. You only have your opinion, that is not even yours, it is the result of neurochemicals. Meaning it is irrational. That's what happens with certain philosophies. I am talking of naturalism, of course. Truthfreedom
PaV @ 38 -
You did. But how did you go from those facts to your conclusion? That's what I'd like to know. Bob O'H
BTW if anybody wants a pdf copy of the classic Intro to Error Analysis textbook it’s here: http://hep.ucsb.edu/courses/ph128_18f/Taylor.pdf Jim Thibodeau
@Ed George I highly recommend the book Bad Blood, which details how Theranos tried to cheat and do lots of tests on microliter samples. They came up with the genius idea of just diluting the crap out of them and then running them on normal Abbot, Kleiner Perkins etc machines and then multiplying. You don’t need to have an entire semester of Error Analysis to guess that was going to be disastrous fraud ending in jailtime. Jim Thibodeau
The recent spree killing in Canada (18 dead) made me think about whether the lock-down in the US has reduced the number of mass shootings (I’m always looking for the silver lining). Sadly, this has not happened. Ed George
JT, most patients accept lab results as if they were gospel. If they knew how much uncertainty was involved with most medical tests they would always be demanding retesting. Ed George
@EdGeorge, I remember the very last immunology/serology tests that I ever did, it was a batch of rprs for syphilis on those cards with 3x4 spots. H. Pylori was the only other test that I did on a regular basis in that department. 2-3% positive for antibodies? That could just be false positives. There were multiple disease conditions that could throw false positives on the syphilis rprs. Agglutination is sorta nonspecific. Jim Thibodeau
As to herd immunity. https://apple.news/ABQknxC2PTjuhgKozySLyDA Ed George
Now that North America has reached the peak of the wave, it might be a good time to compare Canada and the US. Cases/million: US 2,395, Canada 976. Deaths/million: US 128, Canada 45 Tests/million: US 12,164, Canada 14,826 Median age: US 38.1, Canada 42.2. Urbanization rate US 82.3, Canada 81.1%. Health care system: US private, Canada public. The question that has to be asked, with similar median age, testing levels, and urbanization rate, why is Canada so different in infection and death rates? Ed George
Here’s a question to chew on: how much as basic epidimiology helped us? It has been, for the most part, a compete hindrance.
This other universe in which you live must be a fascinating place. One of the things epidemiology has helped us to do is calculate the effects of quarantine on R0 on the ship:https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article/doi/10.1093/jtm/taaa030/5766334 So it started spreading like wildfire (faster than in Wuhan) and the less-than-prefect measures taken on the ship slowed that considerably. There is no reason to think most of the ship caught the disease. (BTW, with regard to herd immunity, it's important to know the epidemic won't just stop when that number if reached. Many many people will have the virus when that level of infection is reached, and some of them will still infect others. If the threshold for herd immunity is 60%, you might expect more than 80% of the population to get the virus in an uncontrolled epidemic, perhaps killing > 1 million Americans) orthomyxo
Bob O'H: Here's a question to chew on: how much as basic epidimiology helped us? It has been, for the most part, a compete hindrance. Now, to answer your question: I quoted known facts. PaV
If the New York City metropolitan area is subtracted from the death total, the US drops out of the top 10 in the world in deaths per million people. And except for a few more heavily populated areas in the country, the US would be further down the list. This calculation is forever fluctuating a little since the numbers change hourly, jerry
80% of those on the ship did not develop CoVid-19. If we assume that they were exposed to the virus, does this mean that only 20% of the population even begins to develop anti-bodies? If this is so, then you don’t need 60% of the population showing antibodies, but only around 20%.
Can you explain how you came to that conclusion? I thought, from simple epidemiology, you'd need an R0 of below 1.2 for that to work. Bob O'H
As to herd immunity, I began thinking about the Diamond Princess cruise ship numbers. Some have said that there was a "lockdown," yet that has to be questioned since those on board seem to suggest, at least some, that the 'lockdown' was a joke; i.e., it was completely ineffective. 80% of those on the ship did not develop CoVid-19. If we assume that they were exposed to the virus, does this mean that only 20% of the population even begins to develop anti-bodies? If this is so, then you don't need 60% of the population showing antibodies, but only around 20%. Cooked into this view is the idea that the 80% already had antibodies in place that turned back the virus, and so, would not show antibodies to this particular virus. Just a thought. If this thought turns out to be correct, then when they show 13% of random samples in Boston showing antibodies, this might mean we're much closer to herd immunity than we think. We simply have to wait for the testing and the numbers. In the meantime, let's get back to work with sensible distancing policies in place and with healthcare teams ready to stamp down any hot spots. Or else disaster lurks. PaV
Ed George: I wish you were right, but it looks fairly certain that they are "cooking the books" right now. Gov. Cuomo shows how hospitalizations have steadily being going down, yet, this morning, New York is reporting over 1,000 dead. It's possible that this is from residual cases from even two weeks ago. Yet, New York reported 877 deaths for three days straight--I might be exaggerating, but you get the idea, only a week or so ago; and, now, over a 1,000 with hospital beds emptying out. The numbers, and the people behind the numbers, sadly, cannot be trusted. Greed is a powerful force. Government dollars--trillions, are up for grabs. Heaven help us. For four weeks, the number of new cases and new deaths were correlated, the latter trailing the former by about three or four days. If you look at the charts for Spain and for Italy, this is what you continue to see. Yet, for the United States, this correlation has completely fallen apart. We're in "La-La Land" right now. PaV
Note Jerry, here https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/ethics/on-scientific-methods-and-alternatives-to-the-placebo-control-is-the-gold-standard-view-in-the-face-of-pandemics/#comment-699032 kairosfocus
The US appears to have passed the peak and currently has just over 40,000 deaths. Given that most countries are seeing far more cases after the peak than before (ie., a very gradual decline), is there now anyone still willing to formally apologize if the death toll hits 100,000? A number that some here were being ridiculed for even suggesting was likely. Ed George
PaV, You're welcome. daveS
DaveS Thanks for tripping to save me from my mistake. I'm just sitting down in the living room and realize I was off be a factor of ten: yes, the correct figure is 37,000 per year. So the numbers I derived should be divided by ten. Nonetheless, in the same period as 1000 people died in California probably close to 400 lives were saved because of reduced traffic. We always make trade-offs in life. That's the basic point. Thanks Dave S for your kind attempt at getting me in the right ballpark. PaV
More than 38,000 people die every year in crashes on U.S. roadways. The U.S. traffic fatality rate is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. An additional 4.4 million are injured seriously enough to require medical attention.
There were 33,654 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2018 in which 36,560 deaths occurred.
https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state In the last seven weeks this virus has killed more Americans than die in traffic accidents in all 52 weeks. Jim Thibodeau
PaV, Hm, I thought it was 30 to 40 thousand per year. Do you have a link for that statistic? BTW, I would be very supportive of us following S Korea's or Taiwan's example, but I don't know that we have the capability to do so. daveS
DaveS: No, annual traffic deaths in the US are 370,000. Puts things into perspective doesn't it. 37,000 deaths from the virus, and the US economy is at risk of completely tanking, and, meanwhile, people's businesses and livelihoods are being destroyed. Yet, 10 times that many die in traffic accidents each year. I bet few of them are 80 years of age. Probably more like 25, or 32. So, cars kill people with a future while the Corona Virus is killing people who, for the most part, are well past retirement. This shouldn't be looked at as a cold, economic statistic, yet, someone who is wise will take all of this into consideration as they make judgments about how forcefully to combat a contagion. And, since we're talking about herd immunity, locking down an economy by limiting societal contacts only serves to prevent the development of a herd immunity. IOW, nothing is gained. We're not saving lives. We're only "postponing" the date on their death certificates. If a 'vaccine' is developed in the interim, then, yes, lives will be saved. But no one really knows if a vaccine will be developed by next year. I've justified the lockdown in part. Why? Because it was possible our hospital system could have been swamped, with a concommitant devastating loss of life--and not just the elderly. (I'm almost 70). But this is no longer a justification. Why? Because we know the model estimates were wildly wrong; and, with that, we know that the only real problems the country faces are 'hotspots.' The wise strategy is to employ a methodology similar to that of the South Koreans. PaV
The most vulnerable may have already died from the virus. So, it’s much safer now to open things up then at the time of the original lockdown. So, doesn’t that mean that fewer than 1,000 are going to die from the virus
None of that makes much sense, really. Most people haven't been exposed to the virus, so it's not likely most of the vulnerablehave already been knocked off (California may have different demographics than NY or the UK, but I don't think there is reason to think they have orders of magnitude fewer vulnerable people?). The fact only 1000 people died with a lockdown can't tell you fewer than 1000 more will if you just let the virus run wild. orthomyxo
PaV, ~30,000 per year, do you mean? daveS
Orthomyxo: Thanks for that clarification. I live in California. We've been shut down for over four weeks now, and our death total is around a 1,000. Our population is around 40 million. This 1,000 death figure, everyone would admit, is a very low total for such a populous state. Deaths due to driving are around 30,000 a month. Our population is about 1/8th that of the US. We have very busy, cramped highways and freeways. Four weeks plus of lockdown--basically a month. In normal times, 3,750 people would have died because of traffic. I imagine that because of the economic shutdown (and I've traveled to places in record time during this shutdown), traffic deaths are less than 500. So, all this economic chaos to save 1,000 lives when over 3,000 lives were saved because of lessened traffic. How, then, can we justify opening up our freeways? Isn't that the same as killing people? This is the argument being made, but put in a different form. This is all maddening. PaV
Ed George: Yes, I overstated things. But, when you have that many people who have it and don't know it, then they are building up antibodies and will form part of the eventual herd immunity. But, from what I understand, there's a kind of threshold percentage rate where, if reached, the road is paved for the eventual herd immunity to come about without damaging amounts of illnesses and death. That's kind of what I meant. My hunch is that we're much further along than most experts expected. I live in California. Many think that the very low number of deaths, relative to our large population, means that something like herd immunity already exists. PaV
PaV, As a first approximation, you get herd immunity when the proportion of susceptible hosts is the inverse of the initial R0 of the disease. Estimates of R0 are for this virus are about 2.5-3 absent physical distancing and the rest, so you'd need 60--66% of the population to be infected to get there. The highest int estimate in the biased Santa Clara study is ~4%, and only a third of people in a shared living space that is known to be a cluster for transmission tested positive. So I think most of the US is a a long way from herd immunity. The number of non-symptomatic cases in the screening is very surprising. It's possible this is from very early in an outbreak and these patients will become symptomatic, otherwise it's hard to put in context next to other screening results (including crusie ships and Iceland) . Wll be very interesting to see more details of these cases and testing come out. orthomyxo
PaV
It says that 36% of those showing up at homeless shelters are testing positive for CoVid-19, and nearly all of them are asymptomatic! Herd immunity is likely already here for most parts of the country.
I think you might be misunderstanding how herd immunity works. Your example of 36% of people in the shelter testing positive is evidence that herd immunity is not present. Herd immunity requires that >80% of the population test negative but have the antibodies for COVID. This does not mean that the remaining few that don’t have antibodies are immune, just that the odds of them having contact with someone who is positive are greatly reduced. Ed George
Orthomyxo: You might want to look at this. It says that 36% of those showing up at homeless shelters are testing positive for CoVid-19, and nearly all of them are asymptomatic! Herd immunity is likely already here for most parts of the country. What happened in New York City should be investigated. It is completely abnormal. PaV
Just a clarification on the COVID-19 death rate. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus. If you do not have any symptoms, then you do not have the disease, even if you may be contagious. In that case you cannot be included in the denominator of the COVID-19 fatality rate. Fasteddious
@15 Kairosfocus:
Sev, what has been argued not only by Christians but by many others over the past 2360 years, is primarily, that evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or its fellow travellers have no adequate ground for morality.
Neither for rationality.
All possible knowledge … depends on the validity of reasoning. … It follows that no account of the universe can be true unless that account leaves it possible for our thinking to be a real insight. A theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but which made it impossible to believe that our thinking was valid, would be utterly out of court. For that theory would itself have been reached by thinking, and if thinking is not valid that theory would, of course, be itself demolished. It would have destroyed its own credentials. It would be an argument which proved that no argument was sound—a proof that there are no such things as proofs—which is nonsense. https://cornwallalliance.org/2019/03/the-problem-with-naturalism/
Naturalism is an intellectual dead-end. Truthfreedom
Since substantiating evidence does not matter for Darwinian atheists when it comes to them believing in Darwinian evolution itself,
Scant search for the Maker - 2001 Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms. - Alan H. Linton - emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=159282 Darwin vs. Microbes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntxc4X9Zt-I
Since substantiating evidence does not matter for Darwinian atheists when it comes to them believing in Darwinian evolution itself, then it is certainly not surprising that Darwinian atheists so nonchalantly dismiss any substantiating evidence for Christianity,
The Case for the Resurrection: Dr. Sean McDowell: A Conversation with Lee Strobel - Apr 7, 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy1lQTc0HH0 The evidence for the Shroud's authenticity keeps growing. (Timeline of facts) - November 08, 2019 What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know - Myra Adams and Russ Breault https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis
So basically, (with the Shroud of Turin itself), we have a clothe with a photographic negative image on it that was made well before photography was even invented. Moreover, the photographic negative image has a 3-Dimensional holographic nature to its image that was somehow encoded within the photographic negative well before holography was even known about. Moreover, even with our present day technology, we still cannot replicated the image in all its detail. My question to atheists is this, if you truly believe some mad genius forger in the middle ages made this image, then please pray tell why did this mad genius save all his genius for this supposed forgery alone and not for, say, inventing photography itself since he surely would have required mastery of photography to pull off the forgery? Not to mention mastery of laser holography? Moreover, why did this hypothetical mad super-genius destroy all of his scientific instruments that he would have had to invent in order to make the image? Leonardo da Vinci would not have been worthy to tie the shoe laces of such a hypothetical mad genius!
These are big questions to deal with. I’ve never seen any of the shroud-skeptics address this. We see claims that “the shroud is a forgery” and then the discussion ends with that. It seems obvious to me that the skeptics are afraid to go any further and are just relieved that they “silenced” the shroud. But wait – yes, who was this forger? We have 3-D, photographic image of amazing subtlety and refinement. Yes, it’s something that transcends the genius of Leonardo DaVinci. We continue to use 21st century technology just to try to reproduce it. But nobody knows the name or origin of this artistic genius? There is no evidence of a workshop or artistic guild where this innovative creation was designed? Nobody from history ever mentioned this person? This genius-artist only produced this one masterpiece work – a holographic image on a cloth (containing pollen traceable to Jerusalem)? It was not framed or put on display. Not sold to anyone. The artist got nothing from creating it. Even the name of the genius artist disappeared. He never influenced any other artists. No family, friends, artistic community – not even the parish church – ever knew or said who he was? Amazingly, we only discovered the true power of the image when we took a photo negative of it in the 20th century. Yes, where are the medieval instruments used to create it? Everything was just accidentally lost? - Silver Asiatic https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/weve-talked-about-near-death-experiences-what-about-visions-of-hell/#comment-689421
Verse:
John 20: 3-8 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
It is a shame that Darwinian atheists are so careless with empirical evidence so as to so nonchalantly dismiss the overwhelming evidence for the truthfulness of Christianity, As C.S. Lewis noted
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” - C.S. Lewis
bornagain77
@14 Seversky
It is also true that Christians – even to this day – deem atheists/agnostics to be similarly amoral and unworthy.
Nothing more amoral than telling people, without proof that the Universe and life are purposeless. If those are your religious beliefs, fine and good. But no children should be forced to hear it in the school, trying to pass that religious crap as science should be illegal. And the atheist steals his morals from theism and then tells the theists that they are stupid, un-enlightened, superstitious cave-men that should be re-educated for their own good. Sow the wind... Atheism is another religion, matter and humanity are the gods now. Your religion in your churches, please. Truthfreedom
Sev, what has been argued not only by Christians but by many others over the past 2360 years, is primarily, that evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or its fellow travellers have no adequate ground for morality. As you full well know from years of exchanges on this topic. You have no excuse for erecting and knocking over a strawman caricature. For one, it should be fairly obvious that there are inescapable first duties of reason, such as to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, to fairness and justice etc. In fact, your own argument just now turns on such moral government. Logically then, we cannot but be morally governed, struggle as we might and will. To be human is to be morally governed, thus to struggle with the IS-OUGHT gap and the linked performance gap: we are finite, fallible, morally struggling, too often ill willed and sometimes stubborn. (Indeed, even the former riding horse argument of Atheists, the appeal to evil, is rooted in the IS-OUGHT gap.) This is not flimsy, nor is it a projection to others, it is a recognition of something that even in trying to make objections you cannot but appeal to. The inescapable is patently self-evidently true. Denial of inescapably self-evident truth is not hyperskeptical, it is far worse: absurd, self-referentially incoherent and self-defeating. As to the pernicious social effects of widespread evolutionary materialism in the community, that is actually far older than the Christian faith's emergence in the matrix of Judaism. Appropriately, its context seems to be the lingering effects of a deadly plague, the one suffered by Athens at the start of the Peloponnesian war. As Wiki, inadvertently testifying against ideological interest notes:
The Plague of Athens (Ancient Greek: ?????? ??? ?????? Loimos tôn Athênôn) was an epidemic that devastated the city-state of Athens in ancient Greece during the second year of the Peloponnesian War (430 BC) when an Athenian victory still seemed within reach. The plague killed an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 people and is believed to have entered Athens main city through Piraeus, the city's port and sole source of food and supplies.[1] Much of the eastern Mediterranean also saw an outbreak of the disease, albeit with less impact.[2] The plague had serious effects on Athens' society, resulting in a lack of adherence to laws and religious belief; in response laws became stricter, resulting in the punishment of non-citizens claiming to be Athenian. In addition, Pericles, the leader of Athens, died from the plague.[3] The plague returned twice more, in 429 BC and in the winter of 427/426 BC. Some 30 pathogens have been suggested as having caused the plague.[4] . . . . Accounts of the Athenian plague graphically describe the social consequences of an epidemic. Thucydides' account clearly details the complete disappearance of social morals during the time of the plague: ...the catastrophe was so overwhelming that men, not knowing what would happen next to them, became indifferent to every rule of religion or law.” —?Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War[7] This perceived impact of the Athenian plague on collective social and religious behavior echoes accounts of the medieval pandemic best known as the Black Death,[8] . . . . Thucydides states that people ceased fearing the law since they felt they were already living under a death sentence. Likewise, people started spending money indiscriminately. Many felt they would not live long enough to enjoy the fruits of wise investment, while some of the poor unexpectedly became wealthy by inheriting the property of their relatives. It is also recorded that people refused to behave honorably because most did not expect to live long enough to enjoy a good reputation for it.[11] . . . . Another reason for the lack of honorable behavior was the sheer contagiousness of the illness. Those who tended to the ill were most vulnerable to catching the disease. This meant that many people died alone because no one was willing to risk caring for them. the plague developed an immunity and so became the main caretakers of those who later fell ill.[12] . . . . The plague also caused religious uncertainty and doubt. Since the disease struck without regard to a person's piety toward the gods, people felt abandoned by the gods and there seemed to be no benefit to worshiping them.[15] The temples themselves were sites of great misery, as refugees from the Athenian countryside had been forced to find accommodation in the temples. Soon the sacred buildings were filled with the dead and dying. The Athenians pointed to the plague as evidence that the gods favored Sparta . . .
In that context (Kantian Naturalist, kindly note), we can see more depth to Plato's remarks in The Laws, Bk X, which clearly speak to the deleterious cultural and community impact of evolutionary materialism:
Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ --> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . . [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-
[ --> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by "winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . " cf a video on Plato's parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]
These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,
[ --> Evolutionary materialism -- having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT -- leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for "OUGHT" is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in "spin") . . . ]
and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ --> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ --> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush -- as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [--> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].
This has been brought to your attention and that of others like you many, many times; only to be studiously ignored or angrily brushed aside. But that does not answer the challenge: ground moral government on evolutionary materialistic premises: _______ Nor is what Thucidides and Plato pointed to isolated, the history of the time from the French revolution to today has echoed these themes again and again. In that light, the following is not only strawmannish caricature but arguably a tu quoque fallacy of projection:
You may believe so [--> that the gospel is well warranted]. Others don’t. Declaring your position to be incontrovertibly true does not make it so. Brushing aside as “hyperskepticism” criticisms of the flimsiness of the evidence for your religious beliefs is not an answer.
What is utterly telling in this attempted retort is its insubstantial, projective nature. The link in the "yes" above actually goes to a substantial 101 discussion as part of an introductory exploration of systematic theology and linked worldview themes, with onward links to much more. As a concession, it starts with a video presentation. It is thus obvious that you did not address the actual case and set up a strawman of naive fideism and question-begging dismissal. Telling, and sad. I suggest, you would do far better to address substantial evidence, on sound principles and duties of reason. KF kairosfocus
Kairosfocus@ 13
JT, perhaps you forgot that in its early days, Christians were accused — and it was widely believed — of cannibalism, incestuous orgies, treasonous arson, rebellion and disloyalty etc.
True. It is also true that Christians - even to this day - deem atheists/agnostics to be similarly amoral and unworthy. It seems to be an innate flaw in human nature that outgroups are stereotyped, scapegoated and worse as a means of strengthening the sense of righteousness at being a member of the ingroup. We see this today in the partisanship in politics and society between left and right, conservative and liberal, Republican and Democrat. Unless we can get past this way of thinking - and I'm not optimistic that we can - we face a bloody future as a species.
The challenge is, is the gospel true? The well warranted answer is, yes. That is immediately decisive. KF
You may believe so. Others don't. Declaring your position to be incontrovertibly true does not make it so. Brushing aside as "hyperskepticism" criticisms of the flimsiness of the evidence for your religious beliefs is not an answer. Seversky
JT, perhaps you forgot that in its early days, Christians were accused -- and it was widely believed -- of cannibalism, incestuous orgies, treasonous arson, rebellion and disloyalty etc. Image in a world of deep polarisation, slander and agit prop is irrelevant, first duties to truth, right reason, prudence, neighbour, fairness and justice are central and inescapable. That we will all struggle in that context is a given. The fact that so many today think in terms of image is telling. The challenge is, is the gospel true? The well warranted answer is, yes. That is immediately decisive. KF kairosfocus
People like Fred Rogers help the image of Christianity. People who are angry jerks do the opposite, and that might explain why religiously unaffiliated people are the fastest growing demographic in the United States. Jim Thibodeau
Orthomyxo
Kindly consult your dictionary for the definition of the word "may." The headline is literally true.
I not sure why my posts anger you so much
Yes, I am sure you aren't. Arrogance such as that routinely in view in your posts is often accompanied by a lack of self-awareness. So it is to be expected. Barry Arrington
Pretty strong headline for a "suggestion" isn't it Barry? I not sure why my posts anger you so much, but I think the confidence I have it more related to how improbable some of the claims made here are. There are plenty of uncertainties, and how we deal with them leaves room for debate. orthomyxo
The sample issues are far less problematic then claiming a death is covid, and NOT confirming it was. If I’m not mistaken the CDC has given the OK to do that, and New York has been doing that, so much so that it is skew the numbers for deaths with flu pneumonia and even heart disease All of that can be found on the CDC I take great issue with claiming something caused the death and not confirming it Secondly attacking someone’s character does not refute their point I can say Liberals always attack the character of the person that disagrees with them Does that make me right? It doesn’t so don’t do it AaronS1978
Orthomyxo, No one doubts that there were sampling issues with the study. The authors themselves note as much:
Our sampling strategy selected for members of Santa Clara County with access to Facebook [because that’s where they were recruited from] and a car to attend drive-through testing sites. This resulted in an overrepresentation of white women between the ages of 19 and 64, and an under-representation of Hispanic and Asian populations, relative to our community. Those imbalances were partly addressed by weighting our sample population by zip code, race, and sex to match the county. We did not account for age imbalance in our sample, and could not ascertain representativeness of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in homeless populations. Other biases, such as bias favoring individuals in good health capable of attending our testing sites, or bias favoring those with prior COVID-like illnesses seeking antibody confirmation are also possible. The overall effect of such biases is hard to ascertain.
But your comment misses the point of the study and the one in Chelsea, Mass that had similar results. They do not purport to be definitive answers to any questions. Therefore, your effort to dismiss them out of hand because they are not is, itself, pointless. The studies are meant to be suggestive. And suggestive they are. The one thing they absolutely dispel is the sort of cocksure arrogance you display every time you post. Here is an excellent summary of both the limitations and benefits of the studies. Barry Arrington
Oh thank goodness! I was about to rely on a report from one of the premier research universities on the planet
Very similar to your attitude on papers about evolutionary biology and climate change coming out of this university? If you have a problem with the substance of my post please comment on that. orthomyxo
Orthomyxo
This is not a good study.
Oh thank goodness! I was about to rely on a report from one of the premier research universities on the planet. We are so lucky to have the great and wise Orthomyxo, who is here dismiss it for us. And look at how easily he did it. A mere blog post, a wave of a the rhetorical hand as it were, and poof, it's gone. Nothing to see here folks. Move along. Barry Arrington
This is not a good study. From their own data, the false positive rate for the test (on samples take before Sars-CoV-2 existed) is 1 - (399/401) = 0.5%. If we put a 95% confidence interval o that we get something like 1.7-0.01%. Then they go test their population and find 1.5% of the tests are positive. But if the fale positive rate is as high as 1.7% we might expect that many positives even if no one was infected! Of course, that's not the sensible way to propagate the errors through these calculations, but the sensible way of doing it puts the point estimate prevalence at about 1% (https://metarabbit.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/did-anyone-in-santa-clara-county-get-covid-19/) But that's the studied population, which was recruited from targeted facebook ads. It's very likely the people that responded to test ads include people, like Barry above, who had symptoms recently and suspected ti might have been covid-19. They asked about recent symptoms in their study, but don't report the results. Before accounting for this bias, and the fact deaths lag infections by weeks, the implied IFR is on the order of 0.4% in Santa Clara, a little smaller than the leading estimates from other studies (maybe 0.65%). orthomyxo
It’s looking like it’s been around since December The skyrocketing infection is actually us just finding what was already there all along I’m pretty sure my wife and I already got it I was hardly affected by it my wife on the other hand got pretty sick but nothing serious Had all the same symptoms While I had a near to none So I’m going to go see if I can get a blood test to see if I have anti bodies for it AaronS1978
Aaron, a couple of weeks ago I had a very slight sore throat for 4 or 5 days. I never even thought about going to the doctor with it, and it passed after a while. I am NOT asserting anything. But I am beginning to wonder if I had it. Barry Arrington
Alongside the reports coming from Iceland showing 50% of those infected show no symptoms, me thinks we have been lied to......a lot AaronS1978