Poll: do we need such a survey, is it worth it?
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PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL SURVEY AMONG FREETHINKERS
#1
I am writing this with limited knowledge of polls and surveys but I m hopeful that we can add a lot to the idea.

WHY A SURVEY?
1. I m not aware of any mass survey done amongst freethinkers. Every group needs a survey and so let us have one
2. There are several topics on which freethinkers differ and that is a necessary product of freethinking. The purpose of the poll to know how much resonance do we have on selected issues.
3. Freethinkers also differ in their backgrounds, which we can scientifically corelate with their present ideas. That can let us know statistically the role of each of the key factors in making a freethinker sprout among dogmatic society. While we let go of many of the beliefs we see around us, we still hold grip to some of the things that were implanted in our minds
4. Atheists suffer confrontation from the extremist theist groups and it is useful to survey the extent to which it effects our social lives, marital lives, work, education, friendships and anything else we can
5. Atheists differ in their degree of skepticism, whether we confront or silent to the damage to the society done in the name of religion, degree to which we remain closeted, whether we read literature on freethought, religion, reason, science and a a lot more.
6. Difference in ethics is inevitable and a survey can help us question our own ideas in a better manner.
7. If this survey gets a good reach, it will help in popularising the cause of nirmukta and getting involved a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise care to involve in the discussions. The very same people can be contacted when another effort of nirmukta needs to reach the public.
8. I can keep adding, but I guess this suffices as the intro.


WHAT WE WOULD NEED, SHOULD WE AGREE TO EMBARK ON THIS IDEA
1. Designers of the elements of the survey: people with skills in psychology, sociology, anthropology, statistics etc
2. Designing the material visible to the public, on paper and on the web
3. Those who can popularise this survey effectively, so that it reaches even those unaware of nirmukta
4. Administrators, leaders, we already have them.
5. Funds etc.


WHAT WE NEED TO DISCUSS NOW?
1. Whether or not we should go for it.
2. If we go for it, how big can we make and how big we need to make it
3. Who all are ready to volunteer
4. Where do we get the funds.
5. When and how
6. Whatever else.
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#2
That's a great suggestion (and also a coincidence since a very similar survey project which was being planned for sometime is almost ready to deploy!) Therefore, it will be great to have some widening participation and feedback regarding this. The survey about to be commissioned, was conceptualized not for a strictly freethinking audience but for a more general audience in order to gauge better the challenges of the social milieu in which initiatives like Nirmukta operate. As has been mentioned here, there is a good deal of inhouse expertise in design, analysis and promotion of this activity, and it will be great to augment this with more volunteers as well.

For now, here's a sneak preview of sorts, a couple of sample questions from the survey that is planned. Only a sample is being included here for now, so that readers can come up with their own suggestions, without having their imagination limited due to having read the entire survey beforehand. This way, there is a better chance of receiving suggestions that might have been missed earlier. So here go some sample questions:

Quote:Q: “To be genuinely honest and trustworthy in professional and public life, a person must have at least some faith in some religion, any religion.”
A: (1) Strongly agree (2) Agree (3) Undecided (4) Disagree (5) Strongly disagree

Quote:Q: How often do you read the scriptures of your religion, or commentaries and discourses on the same?
A: (1) Never (2) Rarely, once a year or less (3) Monthly (4) Weekly (5) Daily or more than once a day

Feel free to add questions to the list and suggest volunteers.
Do keep the questions coming...and watch this space!
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#3
I had been wondering whether or not to expand my idea of survey to the general public.
if we make it general, some questions that can only be asked to a freethinker will have to be left out.
if we make it freethinkers, it seems like a limited study.

a third option struck me and that is pretty simply imagined. just add a set of questions when the person chooses non-theist options or something.

i would like to know if this is workable. we can have two teams (i see one team is already working with the general questions) and we have another team (or maybe the same team) to work on questions exclusively meant for freethinkers.

I had a set of questions thought of before i suggested this. and going by Arvind's idea, i would share only a few for now

1)Suppose u were the only person who could satisfy a petty religious wish of a random dying person, would u do it? [we can put options as yes or now or ask the person to rate his/her chances of doing it by putting multiple options]

2)Would u accompany a theist friend to a temple, whose architecture you have already appreciated to not find it any more interesting?

3)If your death wasn’t too near and a miracle still expectable would u still ask for euthanasia when your suffering becomes unbearable to u and your loved ones?
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