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Subject: Belief in the usa, in figures. rss

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Snowball
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Just read that in a book
Raising freethinkers, Dale Mc Gowan et all. wrote:

What Americans Believe

Believe in God 86%
Believe in heaven 81%
Believe in the Devil 70%
Believe in hell 69%
Bible is literally word of God 31%
Bible inspired by God 47%
God guided human evolution 38%
Evolution occurred without God 13%
Literal belief in biblical creation story 61%
Literal belief in biblical Flood and Ark 60%

The principles of astrology are true 25%

I wonder how it compares to Iran figures (if you replace Bible with Koran).
Mahdaviat might be the next word used for president.
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Gary Page
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HavocIsHere wrote:
Just read that in a book
Raising freethinkers, Dale Mc Gowan et all. wrote:

What Americans Believe

Believe in God 86%
Believe in heaven 81%
Believe in the Devil 70%
Believe in hell 69%
Bible is literally word of God 31%
Bible inspired by God 47%
God guided human evolution 38%
Evolution occurred without God 13%
Literal belief in biblical creation story 61%
Literal belief in biblical Flood and Ark 60%

The principles of astrology are true 25%

I wonder how it compares to Iran figures (if you replace Bible with Koran).
Mahdaviat might be the next word used for president.


Those are some pretty scary statistics, particularly the ones you have bolded. I guess I am not surprised that some people believe things with no remotely convincing evidence whatsover, but I am always caught off guard by how many do. Even worse are those that the evidence against is so overwhelming and / or testable.
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M@tthijs
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HavocIsHere wrote:
Just read that in a book
Raising freethinkers, Dale Mc Gowan et all. wrote:

What Americans Believe
[..]
Literal belief in biblical creation story 61%
Literal belief in biblical Flood and Ark 60%

[..]

I wonder how it compares to Iran figures (if you replace Bible with Koran).
Mahdaviat might be the next word used for president.

Wow... just wow... is that reliable data?

Anyway, good question to which I would like to see an answer too.

I know there are some christians over here too who believe the above, but that's a small group, which more is like an embarrasment for the large group of christians over here. (At least that's my 'atheist impression'). I have no idea about the muslims here.
What I want to say is: I would not only like to know for Iran, but for muslims and christians in other countries too. Does that data exist anywhere? Some UN branch maybe?
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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I'd like to know the research he cited when he posted those in the book.

It would be helpful if you cite the same when you post things of this nature, because the author isn't likely the source of the data in this case.

I have a problem with the stats. This is not the America I live in, despite living in the "Bible Belt". These sorts of studies are often failures if they don't ask the right questions, in a manner that understands the complexities of belief.

I mean, asking if someone believes in the devil for example, isn't an informative question. Finding out what they believe about the devil, if they do believe, is informative. That cannot easily be categorized in a simple statistical analysis.

I'm a person of faith, and I have traveled within no less than 25 different denominational expressions of christianity. I can tell you that within even the churches, the responses to these questions would vary dramatically.

The U.S. is certainly not indoctrinating their children. Maybe some parents are, which is certainly their right and their legacy of belief. Just as McGowan chooses to espouse his views and bring up his children without a predisposition toward doctrine, he still comes to parenting with a strong set of beliefs which he indoctrinates his children with.

Even militancy against faith expresses it in beliefs which become mantras to children, who want to know things for certain. Much of their psychological and social development is found in seeking safety and security in finding out things which they find to be true in the world.

Clearly, I have not read the book. I might.

But I do react against the elitist notion that we ought to try and prevent our children from believing things, particularly on religious things. McGowan says that he reads non-prosyletizing literature about christianity and mythology to his children, so he is likely not saying something that strong.

But the tendency for militant overreaction on BGG to things which people who detest faith find objectionable really sours my milk. Why so aghast at the beliefs of other people? Are you of the mindset that believes that religion causes every conflict in the world? Or do you fear that you might be eventually swept away in the flood of faith? Or simply in a flood?

Intellectual honesty requires that one distills motives before commenting on such things. Determining why one is concerned about such things is the essence of knowledge. Anything less is bitterly ignorant.
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diehard4life wrote:

But I do react against the elitist notion that we ought to try and prevent our children from believing things, particularly on religious things.

I can only answer with my own reaction to that; I never told my daughter she should or should not believe. I even informed her on christianity and other religions as well, to the best of my knowledge. In Belgium we can put our children in religious or ethic course, I choose religion until she asked to change when she was 10.
She ceased to believe in God, Jesus, St Nicolas and the tooth fairy at the same time.
Quote:

But the tendency for militant overreaction on BGG to things which people who detest faith find objectionable really sours my milk. Why so aghast at the beliefs of other people? Are you of the mindset that believes that religion causes every conflict in the world?

You cannot say people are overreacting when they are literally bathing in a world of faith.
The things I find objectionnable are shared by many people who have faith, yet are mostly undebatable with theist without them resorting to religious arguments.
I am aghast at the belief of other people only if these beliefs have a negative impact. Really progressive christians are nice people I gladly associate with; however, they are a rare breed and I have the feeling they are even rarer in the US (I might be mistaken, but I just look at the figures like these). I am concerned by the world at large and thus have reason to be concerned that the world foremost military power, with access to WMD, might become a fundamentalist nation; after all, USA is the most vocal opponent to Iran, and is also the most religious nation in the first world.

I am concerned, as an ex christian, to see that most christians support policies that are very far from what I was taught was the word of Jesus, and would rather protect the tradition of the Church rather than uphold christian values. Things like the abortion issue in Brazil, for instance, makes me wonder why the Pope is not criticized in the US like he was in Europe.

More egoistically, I am concerned that religious obscurantism invades education (ie creationism); if I have one belief, it is that education is the most fundamental value of a brighter, more humane future.

And finally I do not think religion is the cause of every conflict in the world, but it is surely a lever to justify the unjustifyable.
I ve never seen anywhere in the new testament that killing a fellow human was acceptable, even when ordered by a commander in chief.
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diehard4life wrote:
I have a problem with the stats. This is not the America I live in, despite living in the "Bible Belt".

It's also not the America I meet here at BGG, so I hope you're right


diehard4life wrote:
But I do react against the elitist notion that we ought to try and prevent our children from believing things, particularly on religious things.

Who's suggesting that?
I think people have a moral obligation to teach kids things that are true or at least unproven. Within those boundaries, believe what you want.
So for me, as a non-christian:
God exists : thumbsup
World is flat : thumbsdown
Jesus was the son of god : thumbsup
The world is a few thousand yrs old : thumbsdown

diehard4life wrote:
But the tendency for militant overreaction on BGG to things which people who detest faith find objectionable really sours my milk. Why so aghast at the beliefs of other people? Are you of the mindset that believes that religion causes every conflict in the world? Or do you fear that you might be eventually swept away in the flood of faith? Or simply in a flood?

I don't know which thread you are replying to, but I assume it's the one you're posting in now.

Speaking for myself, I'm not aghast of most people's beliefs. But I am surprised by the number of people who can't see the difference between sience and belief. I notice there is a strong core of people who try to blow smoke up our collective asses and try to make the boundary between those two less indistinguisable. But there's a big difference.

diehard4life wrote:
Intellectual honesty requires that one distills motives before commenting on such things. Determining why one is concerned about such things is the essence of knowledge. Anything less is bitterly ignorant.

I think people who reject sience and replace it with believe are a scary lot. For me it seems that saying "those dinosaurs bones aren't a 100 million years old, it's false proof planted by god himself" is just as easy as "I'm told by god himself to start Armageddon" so that's people I don't wanna see anywhere near power, esp. nuclear bombs&such. So I guess that qualifies for your "do you fear that you might be eventually swept away in the flood of faith?"

On a less apocalyptic scale, I find it disturbing how people of strong faith have a tendency to demand respect, but to give so little, if given the opportunity: for instance, if you are a non-muslim woman living in some (most?) muslim lands, you do have to cover your hair.

Edit: crossposted with HavocIsHere
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Snowball
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diehard4life wrote:
I'd like to know the research he cited when he posted those in the book.

The book says: data from Gallup polls 2005-2007.

I'd like to add that the book encourages parents to foster religious litteracy, so that children can react critically to any religion; it is not an anti-christian book.
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David desJardins
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HavocIsHere wrote:
The book says: data from Gallup polls 2005-2007.


I think that if you look at the actual polls you would draw a somewhat different conclusion than his biased paraphrases.
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diehard4life wrote:
But I do react against the elitist notion that we ought to try and prevent our children from believing things, particularly on religious things. McGowan says that he reads non-prosyletizing literature about christianity and mythology to his children, so he is likely not saying something that strong.

I reject the notion that it is elitest to think that preventing children from believing things for which there is no evidence is 'elitest'. Why wouldn't one be against telling a child such things as if they were true when they have not developed the capacity to reason for themselves.

diehard4life wrote:
But the tendency for militant overreaction on BGG to things which people who detest faith find objectionable really sours my milk. Why so aghast at the beliefs of other people? Are you of the mindset that believes that religion causes every conflict in the world?

I don't think anyone claims that religion causes every conflict in the world. However, even if I thought it was a net good (which I don't), I would still find it objectionable for someone to believe something with no (or even contrary) evidence. I think being in favour of reason and rationality is definitely a good thing, so surveys such as this are depressing.

diehard4life wrote:
Or do you fear that you might be eventually swept away in the flood of faith? Or simply in a flood?

I'm really not sure what point you are trying to make here. I may as well say, "are you religious because you are too scared to face the fact that there is no afterlife, no creator and no deeper reason for life.

diehard4life wrote:
Intellectual honesty requires that one distills motives before commenting on such things.

No, it really doesn't.

diehard4life wrote:
Determining why one is concerned about such things is the essence of knowledge. Anything less is bitterly ignorant.

Again, it really isn't at all. Evidence when combined with reason is the essence of knowledge. Focusing on someone's motives rather than their statements is just the appeal to motive fallacy.

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_Kael_ wrote:
I think people have a moral obligation to teach kids things that are true or at least unproven.


Why is teaching kids things that are unproven as if they were facts ok?
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GazPAge wrote:
_Kael_ wrote:
I think people have a moral obligation to teach kids things that are true or at least unproven.


Why is teaching kids things that are unproven as if they were facts ok?

I don't believe I said "...as if they were facts".
Personally I would prefer people to teach their kids that they (the tutors) believe in God. Not that god exists, as in 'that's a proven fact'. But I think that's one step too many for the 'true believers', because it means confronting themselves that they believe, and that they not know.
 
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DaviddesJ wrote:
HavocIsHere wrote:
The book says: data from Gallup polls 2005-2007.


I think that if you look at the actual polls you would draw a somewhat different conclusion than his biased paraphrases.

Paraphrases? I only cited figures.
 
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_Kael_ wrote:
Wow... just wow... is that reliable data?

DaviddesJ wrote:
HavocIsHere wrote:
The book says: data from Gallup polls 2005-2007.

I think that if you look at the actual polls you would draw a somewhat different conclusion than his biased paraphrases.
Plz enlighten me.
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Someone should make that into a poll for RSP.
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_Kael_ wrote:
GazPAge wrote:
_Kael_ wrote:
I think people have a moral obligation to teach kids things that are true or at least unproven.


Why is teaching kids things that are unproven as if they were facts ok?

I don't believe I said "...as if they were facts".
Personally I would prefer people to teach their kids that they (the tutors) believe in God. Not that god exists, as in 'that's a proven fact'. But I think that's one step too many for the 'true believers', because it means confronting themselves that they believe, and that they not know.


Apologies, I did not mean to put words into your mouth. I only added that part as I felt it was implicit in your sentence without the caveat that you have now added.
 
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Any idea of the comparable numbers for other more enlightened countries?

You know the ones where the governments collect tithes for the churches like Germany?

I think a lot of people are going to answer questions like these in the manner they believe the poller would like to hear.
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Here are some detailed poll results.

They are rather depressing, but not as bad as what you posted.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm
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I, and I suspect most people I agree with in religious matters in this forum, am far more a secularist than I am an atheist. Philosophical positions aside, I don't have any particular problem with faith or belief in the supernatural. What concerns me to no end is organised religion, its political power and its willingness to enforce their views by very wordly means. Thats why I find believing in auras or chiromancy as weird as believing that the Qu'ran is literally true, but the first doesn't concern me a little bit. If we had millions of people lobbying for a justice system based on astrological principles, or if people blew themselves up along with a couple of dozens of innocents because Mother Nature told them so, I would be much more aggresive towards their beliefs.
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qzhdad wrote:
You know the ones where the governments collect tithes for the churches like Germany?


Are you talking about the Kirchensteuer? The contribution you pay to your church if you are a registered member of a church, and that is not a tax?
 
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HeinzGuderian wrote:
qzhdad wrote:
You know the ones where the governments collect tithes for the churches like Germany?


Are you talking about the Kirchensteuer? The contribution you pay to your church if you are a registered member of a church, and that is not a tax?


Picture the protests that would happen if the US government proposed that they collect money and give it to a church.

Sorry, if it wasn't clear that they only facilitate collection, it's not mandatory by any means.
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Probably if the system didn't exist and was introduced in Germany from scratch it would raise a lot of protests, too. I guess it's tolerated because it's a remainder of the past; much like, if a Prime Minister finished a speech here with something like "God Bless Spain", there would be huge protests, while in other countries that seems to be fine.
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