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Atheism on the upswing in America?

I read Greg Paul in the Washington Post Today about Atheism being on the rise. He mainly quotes this Gallup Poll which gives the high level question about God and then digs in…

God1

OK 90+% believe in god, but the amount that don’t believe has ticked up quite a bit since 1967. Still, if you dig deeper, there is more doubt.

God2

Those under 30 believing are down to 84% I’m guessing that the older you are the more the God idea is going to be hard to let go. Likely we need to see a few generations die off before we numbers turn to where I would want them to be.

God3

It’s interesting that when you give people a ‘way out’ across the whole population, the number of believe in God himself drops to 80%. I would guess that’s a big difference from 50 years ago, but that’s just my guess. However for me the story gets even better…

God4

When you have only 73% convinced that God exists, you have a lot of people that can be reached today. With the internet, it only gets easier to reach out to these folks. It’s going to take time to deprogram people, but it will make the world a better place.

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Categories: Atheism Tags: , ,
  1. peddiebill
    September 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    It is a no brainer to calculate the changing percentage who state they believe in God from repeated polls. The real problem is that it glosses over what people mean when they say they believe in God. A number of recent studies eg the book “Four Gods” make it very clear that people are far from agreed as to what “God” means. For example for me “God” is a word to encompass what is the best of love and compassion which is a very human centred definition and one that even an atheist would find it difficult not to believe in as an ideal. Others think of God as a “he” of the old Testament version of a person God of wrath. I note in passing that from the language of your commentary that is what you had in mind. You may be disconcerted to know the God you dont believe in is the one I dont believe in – and I am a full time lay minister in the Methodist Church! To Einstein there was no personal God – but he could hear the music of the spheres! That is why he rejected atheism.

  2. September 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    No poll that I know of is going to go into that much detail. I would say that most of the 80% who ‘believe in God’ are going for the man in the white beard and a lot of the ideas that you are going for are the other 12%. At least that is what I think the poll was going for with that question.

    Any form of Methodist that I know of believes in the trinity so its hard to see how you can reject the God of the Bible, but everyone molds God in their own mind and the number of denominations in the world reflect that. I don’t believe in ANY God in any form.

    As for Einstein, his quote at the end of his life was: ‘The word god is for me nothing more than the expression of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.’

    Clearly Einstein rejected what many people in the US call God today. That said, what Einstein thought of God carries no weight to me. What does is proof that can be seen and measured.

  1. October 3, 2011 at 12:26 am
  2. October 14, 2011 at 11:24 am

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