Reality-Based Evaluation Of Faith-Based Measures

It occured to me this morning that being "Reality-Based" does not mean dismissing "Faith-Based" measures out of hand. Quite the opposite, in fact, since to do so would be a faith-based action. Rather than arguing against, say, religious programs to fight poverty, teenage pregnancy, drugs, and STDs, we should simply call for *all* programs to go through empirical testing. If a religiously-based program proves effective, then great, that's what matters. Those programs that don't work, regardless of their basis, should be tossed.

Given how effective ineffective programs like DARE are at jostling for a place at the public trough, I have little faith that accurate testing of government measures will ever happen. After all, empirical testing serves the people, not the powers-that-be, and the unfortunate reality of democracy is that it tends to serve the latter. Still, I think its important that our pipe dreams be non-hypocritical, so let's call for reality-based evaluation, not just faithfully dismiss religious solutions.

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If they work, why shouldn't

If they work, why shouldn't we fund them? If they don't work, why would we fund them?

It seems very screwed up to me to focus on the religious aspect rather than the functional one.

The mystical motivation, in

The mystical motivation, in all probability, is more effective at promoting self-sufficientcy as virtue. The real problem lies with the assumption that government monies demand as much disipline as private funds...corporate or philanthropic. I think the government is creating more dependants than it otherwise would if it stayed out of the social engineering business.

In fact I think they've

In fact I think they've proven that the non-abstinence based sex education is harmful, and actually encourages pregnancy. So if abstinence is completely ineffective it's an improvement, and it doesn't gratuitously offend half the population.

That's funny, Rachel,

That's funny, Rachel, because the studies I've seen quoted said that abstinence-only education made teens more likely to not use a condom. Oh well.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/09/health/main604877.shtml

And who's proven that actually talking about condoms and other forms of birth control increase pregnancy? Cite please.

Rachel, You should check

Rachel,

You should check your facts a bit. Most research seems to show just the opposite. The American Pychological Association has concluded that although both comprehensive and abstinence-only programs are effective in delaying initial sexual activity, only comprehensive programs show a measurable rate of reduction of STDs. Check out the APA website at http://www.apa.org/releases/sexeducation.html (sorry, I don't know how to do links yet).

I thought the main point of

I thought the main point of debate about "faith-based" services was not whether they work, but whether the state can fund them without violating the US constitution.