“No religion” segment of U.S. population profiled

September 23, 2009

At the “Values Voter Summit” of conservative Christian activists I attended last week in Washington, more than one participant lamented the “secularization” of America.

That will come as a surprise perhaps to more than one foreign reader of this blog, given America’s famously high rates of religiosity which set it apart from much of the rest of the developed world. And the evangelical tradition which much of the U.S. “religious right” comes from has been fast growing in recent decades.

spire1But Americans who claim no religion are fast growing and Trinity College in Hartford offers a detailed portrait of this group in a new report released this week called “American Nones: The Profile of the No Religion Population.”

The 1990s was the decade of the “secular boom.” Regarding the percentage of adult Americans who claim no religious affiliation, the researchers found that it had grown from 8.2 percent in 1990 to 14.2 percent in 2001 and to 15 percent in 2008. The growth of the Nones is a national phenomenon. They are the only group that increased in every state and region of the country during the past 18 years,” the report says.

“Who exactly are the Nones? “None” is not a movement, but a label for a diverse group of people who do not identify with any of the myriad of religious options in the American religious marketplace – the irreligious, the unreligious, the anti-religious, and the anti-clerical. Some believe in God; some do not. Some may participate occasionally in religious rituals; others never will. Nones are easily misunderstood. On the one hand, only a small minority are atheists. On the other hand, it is also not correct to describe them as “unchurched” or “unaffiliated” on the assumption that they are mainly theists and religious searchers who are temporarily between congregations. Yet another incorrect assumption is that large proportions of Nones are anti-rationalist proponents of New Age and supernatural ideas,” it says.

The report will no doubt be held up by conservative Christians — a key base for the Republican Party — as further evidence of the country’s cultural slide since the permissive 1960s and the end of school prayer. The neo-atheist movement on the other hand will probably say it attests to their growing popularity (even if outright atheists are only a minority of Nones).

The report is drawn from the massive American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), which questioned 54,461 adults in either English or Spanish between February and November 2008. Its main findings were released in March.

Here are some highlights of this report:

* The “None” numbers — 34 million American adults — far exceed the combined total of all the non-Christian religious groups in the United States.

* Whereas Nones are presently 15 percent of the total adult U.S. population, 22 percent of Americans aged 18-29 years self-identify as Nones.

* Regarding belief in the divine, most Nones are neither atheists nor theists but rather agnostics and deists (59 percent) and perhaps best described as skeptics.

* The most significant difference between the religious and non-religious populations is a gender gap: Whereas 19 percent of American men are Nones only 12 percent of American women are Nones. The gender ratio among Nones is 60 males for every 40 females.

It is also interesting to note the political affiliation of Nones. Some observers of the U.S. political scene would no doubt regard “secular humanists” — many of whom would be classified as Nones — as a key base for the Democratic Party. Certainly many among the conservative Christian crowd I rubbed shoulders with last week would hold that point of view. But perhaps unsurprisingly the report says when it comes to partisan politics they tend to have an independent cast of mind: “Politically, 21 percent of the nation’s independents are Nones, as are 16 percent of Democrats and eight percent of Republicans. In 1990, 12 percent of independents were Nones, as were 6 percent of Democrats and 6 percent of Republicans.”

(PHOTO: The spire of Memorial Church rises above Harvard Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts September 21, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)

160 comments

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I sympathise with the ‘nones’ who have concluded that there is no evidence that God exists when considering the state of affairs in the World today.
I sympathise because organised ”religion”offers no solutions to their dilemma. God on the other hand DOES! How many of the posters here have actually read what The Bible has to say? The Prohetic Word indicates specific and arresting answers to the questions posed.
Archaelogical evidence that supports the authenticity of The Bible is abounding today ..check the internet !
God is not responsible for the state of affairs in today’s World – Mankind is ! The further we have removed ourselves from God ..the worse the consequences we have reaped! Things are looking bleak..but God offers a solution! A truly edified conclusion can only be reached when all the information available has been considered and analysed. The Bible has a great deal to offer in this repect and is bang up to date!
It aligns with the current world situation in extraordinarily specific detail! It is of paramount importance to reach a conclusion about whether God exists from an edified position rather than an uninformed one that views only the symptoms of decay affecting our present day Society and the wider World without knowing what has caused them from God’s point of view and without being aware that God alone has the solution !

Posted by Kristin Solo | Report as abusive

None of these findings should be a surprise to anyone. However, the stats in the survey are almost certainly understated since there is still very much a stigma attached to self-identification as being non-religious. There are particularly few folks who are willing to admit they are atheists. The Religious folks are overstated since many people will answer with whatever sect they happened to be raised in, regardless of their current beliefs or disbelief.

Previous poster Mona is typical of the many people who fervently self-identify as religious…they have been brainwashed by their parents/clergy/community to be unthinking zealots who bash everyone outside their own religion (not even acknowledging the many other sacred texts). Very few so-called Christians (of any sect) have actually read the Bible— they’ve read a few passages and heard some in church, but haven’t actually read it and studied it cover-to-cover including the Old Testament (much less the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.) I HAVE read them all abd many other studies done by learned Biblical scholars. Having read them and seeing all the political redactions, gross misinterpretations & mistranslations and seeing the wantons continuous murders of “believers” at the hands of other “believers” is precisely why I have rejected the notion of a God! I think everyone SHOULD read the Bible! If more people actually READ on their own instead of having it spoon-fed to them in little soundbites there would be far more atheists!

Posted by Ken Lim | Report as abusive

I sympathise with the ‘nones’ who find no answers to their dilemema in organised ‘religion’ and have therefore concluded that God does not exist. Organised ‘religion’ has no remedy for the state of affairs in our present World but God DOES ! Things are looking bleak but God is not responsible for that- Mankind is! The further we have removed ourselves from God the worse the consequences we have reaped!
The Prophetic Word of the Bible accurately indicates in extraordinarily specific detail its alignment with what has transpired throughout history right down to our present day. It is bang up to date!
Archaeological evidence which confirms the authenticity of the Bile is abounding today ! How many people have actually read the Bible? It is of paramount importance when reaching a conclusion about a matter of such magnitude to consider all the information available.
Otherwise a conclusion is based on a consideration of the symptoms only without realising what has caused them and whether there is an effective remedy.
The Bible responds to all three aspects and is the only source of complete information that can lead to a reliable conclusion- which is that GOD exists and that
He knows the sickness which affects the World today, is aware of its causes and offers the only remedy!

Posted by Kristin Solo | Report as abusive

A serious study of the Bible as opposed to the scanty knowledge of the few Bible Stories you once knew will inform you that it is the ONLY authentic religious Book that makes complete sense ! Yes there are a multitude of others but the Bible has something to say about that too !Bet ya don’t know what though! Wise up Folks! Read the Words of the Living GOD ! Beware of allowing the denials of those who claim to have read them to influence you.
Anyone who gives serious time and attention to an in depth study of The Bible cannot escape its awesome truth. Check out the Prophecy of Daniel and the amazing correlation of The Revelation . The Apocalypse is on the horizon..are you gonna be ready ? You wont make it if you don’t know what is coming !Go and take a look for yourself . Your future security depends on it. Your choice!

Posted by Angel | Report as abusive

“Athiests are morons!!!”
Mirror says hi. Learn to spell, ladies and gentlemen.

Posted by Disconnect | Report as abusive

Can someone explain to me why people resort to derogatory terms of other peoples views and opinions when their faith is being discussed/questioned? Reading the below echanges is like standing between to supporter/hooligan groups in an English soccer stadium!

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive

It amazes me that the that say there is no G-d, wont look either, I said I can prove with out a shadow of a doubt that the Bible is True, and that there is a G-d.
I have on ONLINE Bible School, all you have to do is click on my name, not one email from anyone here, not one.
I am putting, as said above, and Quote “the burden on me” to prove it.
I challenge anyone here to email me and ask me to HOW we can prove it! email me from our our web page
you’ll walk away questioning your non-belief
THIS is what we do………..
Dominick From
WSOPNE.org

Greg.
Man I don’t think you have read anything.
THe Christian. Muslims & Jew all share a common faith in Beginning of the world etc.
Read before you fire..

Posted by Warren | Report as abusive

Atheists are hindered by the self imposed boundaries of their limited knowledge unless they can claim to know every prophetic word of the Bible that relates to the situation in today’s World .
NB:
The cheap comment pertaining to the reversal of two letters in the spelling of the the word ‘atheist’ does not minimise that truth !

Posted by Angela | Report as abusive

Re: Disconnect!!!

You’re right – I did mean “ALL of THEM!!!”

Posted by Magend | Report as abusive

Just consider atheists the Spartans to the ‘no religion’s’ Greece.

Posted by Mr. Green | Report as abusive

Athiest views and puzzles:

1. Holy texts are written by man. Hence, there is no actual proof that the information in those texts is divine. And hence, the bible can not be used as evidence to prove that the bible is true.

2. Religions operate on the assumption that God exists. If your argument proving that God exists is based on that assumption, your logic is circular. Which is a bad thing, by the way.

3. Considering all the many religions that exist, both living and forgotten, the probable chance that your particular chosen religion is correct is about 1%. Assuming, of course, that one of those religions *is* actually correct. (This is the reason why Pascal’s wager is a logical failure)

4. Religion has the onus of proof for proving the existance of God. And by reaching a conclusion based on assumption (ie. a complex system *must* have a designer) you fail to meet this onus. Because your assumption is not based on fact, which kind of ruins your logic.

5. If a divine source for the universe did exist, there is no evidence to show that source is a conscience, or that it can be quantified in any term we could apply to humanity. Or that such a being would have a reason for requiring worship from, or interest in, mankind. Of course this is moot because as you know, there is no actual evidence a deity exists at all.

6. If the universe was created by a creator, who created the creator? If you believe your creator does not require a cause, why do you believe a creator can exist without cause but not the universe itself? There is an additional level of absurdity in the idea of a creatorless creator’s universe, as opposed to a creatorless universe.

7. When you pray to God, what does he say in reply? If he doesn’t actually talk to you, why do you believe this is so?

8. A common misperception is that Athiests do not believe in a God. This is false. An Athiest is a person who listens to an assertion that a God exists, realise it the assertion not based on fact, and dismisses the assertion as unproven.

9. Why is it that people will disbelieve evolution because of slight gaps in scentific evidence, and instead believe in a religion based on no scientific evidence at all?

10. If it was proven that God didn’t exist, would you still be able to live a normal life? If not, do you consider this to be the main reason for your belief in God?

11. People believe that the proof that God exists is the fact that something incredibly unlikely happens, like the creation of Earth. The problem is a failure of understanding probability. The universe is infinite, meaning there is infinite chance of something happening *somewhere*, no matter how unlikely it is that it will happen at all. Hence the existance of Earth is hardly amazing. Even if the chance of something happening is 1 in 100000000000000000000000, as long as the result complies with the rules of the universe, it has to happen *somewhere* inside an infinite space.

Hope you enjoyed reading :)

Posted by Hahaha | Report as abusive

Krister & Jessica

how well versed are you?
Explain the former and the latter Rain to me?
AND how they will happen in the same month?

World School Of Prophecy & News Events
Dominick
WSOPNE.org

To be clear, to those that claim there is such a thing as an “athiest[sic] religion”:

Atheism is not a religion.

I say again:

Atheism is not a religion.

Is it a hobby to not collecting stamps?

An atheist is someone that simply requires evidence in order to believe in something. The Bible is a rather poorly written collection of stories.

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to drop the “nananana god is great, and you suck, my bible is a ticket to heaven” approach entirely.

If you were honest with yourself and others, you would have to admit, that although you feel very strongly that there is a god, you don’t really KNOW whether or not this assertion has any merit. There is no evidence to support the claim that god exists. None. Feeling strongly about something, or relying on a story book from the bronze age do not hold up.

I know what you are thinking: How dare he! How can anyone question the perfection of the good book?!

I’ll make it easy for both of us. Grab your King James Bible and skim through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts. After getting a refresher, try to name all of the Apostles.

12 right?

But what are their names?

What? You mean the Bible doesn’t consistently name the same guys in those four books? The names change, without explanation? The stories don’t match?

Bummer.

On the Internet you can find thousands of testimonials to the many ways that God works in our lives today. Ask and you will receive. What could be simpler than that?
In Matthew 17:20 Jesus reiterates that same message:

For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

I have never seen faith move a mountain, but I have seen it fly a plane into a building.

It is time for us to recognize as a society that there is no such thing as an atheist. Let me help you understand why this is the case.

Do you believe in Leprechauns? Probably not, because Leprechauns are imaginary. Yes, there are lots of books, movies and fairy tales dealing with Leprechauns. People talk about Leprechauns all the time. Leprechauns even have a popular brand of breakfast cereal. But that does not mean that Leprechauns exist.

We know that Leprechauns are imaginary. Why? Because there is no evidence for their existence. Despite all the publicity Leprechauns get, normal people dismiss storybook creatures like Leprechauns as myths, and rightly so.

If you do not believe in Leprechauns, what are you? Are you an aleprechaunist? Of course not. You are normal. People who do not believe in Leprechauns are completely normal.

The problem is that, in America today, if you say, “I am a normal person,” what everyone assumes is that you mean, “I am a Christian.” Currently we are a minority, and as long as we are a minority we need a name.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Ask yourself the following questions:

-When I speak to God in my head, why doesn’t he respond like a conversation?
-Why hasn’t God made any attempts to openly contact his supposed children?
-Why does God allow good people to suffer from random occurences?
-Why is it that there is no actual scientific evidence of God?
-Why is it that the only evidence we can find for the existance of a god is based on assumptions? (eg: in order to prove the existance of a designer, you use the “evidence” that the universe is designed, which means you are assuming the existance of a designer, and using that assumption as evidence the designer exists)

Notice that when you ask these questions to yourself, you need to come up with some form of increasingly rationalization? And doesn’t it make you feel a little uncomfortable to come up with these reasons?

That is because you are feeling a sensation known as cognative dissonance. Where you believe something is true, even when there is no evidence that it is true, or where the evidence says it is false.

The only difference is that there are some people who recognise this situation for what it is. Those people are called Atheists.

Or as some people would label them, “nones”. Still, doesn’t it feel better to lable Atheists, rather then think about the uncomfortable feeling you have when trying to logically justify your religion?

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

Jessica, let me let you in on a little secret! I was Atheist, and one day I heard the truth, the word of God. From the moment I heard the truth my heart was opened to a new world and a new light. I am not in the dark anymore and I don’t care what century or era we are in. Nor, do I care about a degree in education. I know something you don’t. I know that God exists and I thank him every day for it! It’s free will. I will go to the right and you will go to the left. The Great thing about God, he lets you decide.

Posted by Mona | Report as abusive

My most recent T-shirt:

“Waiting for the Rapture,
so they’ll all go away.”
(I have to have faith in something.)

Since “God” knows all;

he is fully aware of his nonexistence.

Religion is what defines our species as primitive.

Belief in god is delusion, a class of mental illness,
if it persists.

Delusion causes severe cognitive dissonance beginning at about I.Q. 115, so “believers” claiming higher
IQ’s are liars!

-BT

Dominick,

I tried to email you but got a delivery failure notice. Maybe god didn’t want me to communicate via email. But I will persist and use human force via this blog to understand the proof of God which you and only you have. I was wondering what perturbed a man in company of god so much that he became a blogger and started saying whatever you are saying. I hope god didn’t get perturbed by god’s ignorance by mortals created by god. Please do not send me audio or video because I am deaf and dumb to these medium of communication. And make a good working email available and let’s pray to god in meantime when you get that email that it doesn’t throw failure notices due to act of God. All agreements including my post have this disclaimer “Act of God”.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

And on the Seventh Day, Mankind said:

“I shall create a concept called God. I will use him to explain all things I do not understand. I will use him as an excuse for why my laws and values should be obeyed by others. As my desires change, so too will he change to reflect my will.”

“I will use him as a reason to cast out those who defy me. If needed, I will use him as an excuse to kill or punish people as I desire. I will use him as a means to identify my tribe, and identify those who do not belong in my society”

“I shall write a book about him, and that book will be used as evidence he exists. His existance and rules will be taught to young children. The children will be told to believe he exists, until they believe he exists. They will be told that if evidence contradicts their belief, they must ignore this evidence or be punished”

And it was good.

Posted by Noah Idea | Report as abusive

Matt, here is the answer to one of your questions and this is what I mean about Atheist not truly reading the bible. You take bits and pieces without reading its entirety and claim to be well versed. here is the answer about the apostles Other than the original twelve apostles and Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot, the New Testament identifies several other men as apostles, among them Barnabas, Paul, James and Jude the Lord’s brothers, and (probably) Silas (also called Silvanus). Read the bible and then you can debate once you have ALL the facts.

Posted by Mona | Report as abusive

You can put a pointy hat on a pig and “Believe” he’s Pope Porky…but believing does not make it true. Always seek evidence, where there is none…DON’T BELIEVE !!!

Posted by Bob Wood | Report as abusive

When someone says words like “god,” “spirit,” or the like, I automatically think the word “delusion,” instead.

Try it; “Praise delusion,” “Thank delusion,” “Going to

delusion when I die,” “Delusion created the heaven and

the earth,” “Delusion provides,” Delusion is my

copilot,” “The holy delusion is in our church,” etc., etc.

“Delusional” is only slightly more descriptive than “stupid,” so the latter will do for my purposes, just fine!

“Person’s of arrested cognition,”
just seems too polite, anymore.

Cheers, Bob

Absolutely correct Chesed. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the world’s population will be lost. It is only a remnant who will believe and be saved. Wide is the pathway to destruction and many there be who finds it, but narrow is the path to salvation and few there be who find IT.

So many people walk in the stubborness of their own hearts, denying that there is a G-d. Some think to themselves that they will repent “later”, after they have had all the “fun” they want to in life. After a tme, their hearts become hardened and they no longer want to come to the L-rd. Then, it is too late.

Posted by Sarah Marie | Report as abusive

Those of you who choose not to believe in the one true living God, the God of Abraham Issac and Jacob, what will you do if it turns out that HE infact DOES exist? Just becaue you don’t want to believe, you don’t want to live by His rules, does not excuse you in the judgement at the end of this age. Just as in civli law, ignorance of the law is no excuse. You will be held accountable for every action, every deed you have do in this life, every hash word, every SIN you have committed. This is not something to be taken lightly!

Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Your choice is WHEN you will confess it. You can do it now, and be saved from eternal damnation, or you can do it later, when it is too late to be saved. That choice is yours to make. All you have to do is ASK God to show you that He is indeed real, that He does exist. He will show you beyond the shadow of a doubt that He is real, that you can depend upon Him for everything. There is no other God but the God of the Bible. Jehovah, Yaway, YHVH are but a few of His names.

If you think that because you live a “good” life you will be accepted into heaven, without honoring and worshiping the God of the Universe, you will be sadly mistaken. Would you invite someone to live with you, in your home who has no respect for you, who insults you, your family, your very existence? I’m pretty sure you would not. Neither will God accept those types of people into His Kingdom. The soul is eternal, and it will exist somewhere. Since there are only 2 choices, heaven or hell, choose wisely!

Please do not group Islam with Judeo/Christian beliefs. Allah is not the God of Abraham, but the pagan moon god of the Arabs. Mohammad only put an end to their worshiping the other gods & goddsses linked to allah. If you notice, their symbol is still the crescent moon. This is proof that allah is the pagan moon god to this day.
God bless Isearl, and may Ha’Shem (God) bring peace to Jerusalem!

Posted by Chesed | Report as abusive

To Rohit
ijust spent 3 hrs with our web sever, who i wont advertise, fixing our contact isues………..
Now lets try this again
contact me
Dominick From
WSOPNE.org

What is up with all the people saying that we should read the Bible before rejecting it? Did you Christians read the Qur’an before rejecting it? Must we read the Qur’an, the Talmud, the Bhagavad Gita, and every other holy text in existence before we have the “right” to be non-religious? Or is the Bible so special that everyone in the world (including those raised Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist) should be required to read it before rejecting Christianity? Geez, people, get some perspective. The world is full of non-Christians. In fact, the great majority of humans are non-Christian. So quit trying to cast atheism as meaning “one who rejected the Christian god.” I mean, how self-centered can you get?

Posted by Damon Hastings | Report as abusive

Believe what you will and so it is unto you so far as you are powerful enough to make it happen or remain deluded.

Individual believing and ‘organized religion’ that crosses the line to wield the sword of politics and corruption are sharply different issues.

Believe what you will, for as you see it, say it and do it, so it accrues to, as you.

That is your business.

However, most organized religions are essentially at war in the name of each their own ‘God’ with ALL others religions or lack thereof unless they sharply well ‘bow the knee’ when given the ‘choice’.

There is much ‘work’ to do to better straighten out this mess.

However, I am mightedly heartened by all those NOT of organized religion!!!!

Posted by Yukala | Report as abusive

I recently saw these words:

“There is no god, and you know it,”

which reminds me that I actually do have a “belief.”

I believe that “believers” are simply participating in a

social phenomenon called “religion,” and don’t really

believe the Tooth Fairy parts, because I take it on

faith that so much of the planet

couldn’t possibly be so dumb,

which just goes to show that I’m as delusional as the

rest, because we live on the high seas of Stupid!

It’s hard to overcome a lifetime of brainwashing,

so get busy right away; be your own person– be real!

Regards, BT

Atheism not a religion? The Supreme Court has ruled it is a religion.
It is a religion based on faith that there is no God. It takes as much faith to believe there is no God as it does for others to believe there is a God.
So the Universe brought itself into exsistence, Nothing created Something? Had design and order and this came out of chaos? Formed itself out of nothing? That takes real logic? Where did the material’s to create this Universe come from, nothing?
As Kristin solo stated, every spake of dirt turned over in the middle eas proves the Bible is totally correct, 44 men wrote 66 books and never contradicted each other? Can’t get two or three to agree on this post. There is more real evidence for God then there is for evolution, yet those who don’t want to live by His rules, want to be be a rule unto themselves, where everything but God is okay. I pray for them, because without God there is no peace:

Noah Idea: that’s about the best written and well thought out synopsis I’ve ever read. Thanks for that. :-)

Posted by Damon Hastings | Report as abusive

To those who have so much faith, I have a request:

The next time you go to a funeral, ask the assembled friends and family to pray for the resurrection of their loved one. Stand up and proclaim that Jesus can bring this person up from the grave, and have everyone pray with you. Be bold. Show your faith. This is not an unreasonable request to ask of God, as He raised people from the dead in the Bible. He didn’t cure anyone of cancer in the Bible, so if you can pray for that, you can surely pray for resurrection, for which there’s a precedent.

Let me know how well it works. This will surely bring those atheists around.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

Re Anon at 2:22 PM
What makes you think God does not communicate with His People?
Of course He does ! God is a loving Father aswell as
The Awesome God and King of the Universe and He loves nothing more than sharing a close personal relationship with each of His children.
If you understood the concept and the absolute necessity of Personal Salvation as depicted in the Bible you would know that when a person accepts Jesus Christ as his Saviour, the Holy Spirit indwells that person which is why the term ‘Born Again’ is used to indicate that a person has been spiritually enlivened , regenerated,
or re-born of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit communicates wth us and informs us of the Heart and Mind of God. He reveals to us the character, attributes and ways of God via answered prayers or through the many and varied ways in which God speaks to us. For example as you speak with God in a personal way, which is one aspect of what prayer is all about, [not something you chant out of a book!] God responds > He may speak with a strong conviction or a still small voice into your spirit.
He can and does speak audibly at times. Oh yes-it’s true! He speaks via dreams and visions or in a prophetic utterance.Prophecy is not only foretelling it is also forthtelling and it is the channel by which God addresses issues and circumstances which are of relevance or concern to you . As you daily read The Bible or hear it preached it comes alive as The living Word of God and He will often highlight a particular verse or passage which applies directly to you and your personal circumstances and so give His personnal comment on them! Amazing and Awesome ! Prayers are answered often over and above what you asked and in ways which surprise you and take your breath away. In quiet communion with God He will often draw very close and His Presence can actually be felt and experienced. He watches over His children and continually leads and directs them. Christianity is unique in that it offers such a living relationship with God ! It is not based on a set of rules and regulations recorded in a book authored by men.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God written by men who were indwelt by the Holy Spirit and who were therefore able to commune with God . Hey !Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! The choice is yours!

Posted by Kristin Solo | Report as abusive

There are two proofs of God.

First, is the fact that so many argue that He does not exist. If He does not exist, why all the arguing? If someone does want to believe He exists, what is the big deal. Why try to argue them out of it?

Second, is the fact that there is love. Those who believe that there is God and that Jesus Christ came into the world to re-establish a relationship with Him which is to last throughout eternity, tell those who don’t believe out of love because we also believe that the alternative to that is hell. Do those who argue against His existence argue out of love? Can you prove genuine love exists?

The existence of God means that each of us is accountable to Him for our lives. He has standards and we don’t want to live with those standards so the easiest thing to do is do all we can to believe He doesn’t exist. I, then, can live my life the way I want. That way is usually “for me.” I do what I want and do what makes me happy. The thought of being humble and putting others ahead of me is more than I can stand. It’s called putting “self” first.

Posted by Naomi | Report as abusive

Why doesn’t God heal amputees? Why doesn’t he intervene when innocent children are being killed and beaten and molested and sold into slavery? Why doesn’t God stop war, disease, terrorism, torture, and authoritarian regimes? Why does God care about how much or how little people believe in him? Why does God need their belief? What does he do with it?

A. Because there is no god.

Posted by kyle | Report as abusive

Quote by Benfox:

“As Kristin solo stated, every spake of dirt turned over in the middle eas proves the Bible is totally correct, 44 men wrote 66 books and never contradicted each other?”

This is completely bogus. You are trying to hard to believe in a ‘fairytale’, me thinks!

Posted by Yukala | Report as abusive

He does heal amputees. Why not all? It is done according to our faith. Why doesn’t He intervene? Sometimes He does. But, there are consequences to actions. When a people do not recognize Him or acknowledge that He exists or worship their own gods, how can we blame Him? Why should He bless what He has said is sin. He has given us all free choice; He does not push Himself on us. Throughout history, He has stopped wars, disease, terrorism, torture, and authoritarian regimes. We live in a world which is now dominated by evil and it would seem that evil prevails but it does not. I, too, have wondered as well. But the time is coming when His judgment will hit the earth. He is patient because He wants as many as will to come back to Him. He cares because He loves us. We rejected Him and He loved us enough to send His Son to die for us. He still gives us the choice to accept what He did or reject what He did. He needs our belief to have a relationship with us. We need that belief to have a relationship with Him. He takes that belief and calls us sons and daughters.

He is Almighty God. His thoughts and ways are not ours. Whether there is God or not does not depend on our belief. One day we will all know.

Posted by Naomi | Report as abusive

Dear Greg,

In 1968 and 1970 “three British astrophysicists, Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time.

They published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3 The singularity didn’t appear in space; rather, space began inside of the singularity. Prior to the singularity, nothing existed, not space, time, matter, or energy – nothing.

So where and in what did the singularity appear if not in space? We don’t know. We don’t know where it came from, why it’s here, or even where it is. All we really know is that we are inside of it and at one time it didn’t exist and neither did we.

I am a Christian. The answer to the question regarding the Big Bang Theory is in Genesis 1:1-27 in its simplistic form,his word.

Until you can explain to me how our atmosphere has the precise mixture of 74% Nitrogen and a precise mixture of 21% oxygen It just happens to be the exact mix that life needs to prosper it doesn’t happen on any other planet that way.

93 million miles from the sun is the planet earth. A rotating sphere perfectly suspended in the center of the universe.
The size position and angle of the earth is a scientific phenomenon.
A few degrees closer to the sun and we disintegrate a few degrees further from the sun we freeze.

The axis of the earth is tilted at a perfect 20 degree angle. This allows equal global distribution to the rays of the sun making it possible for the food chain to exist.

Until you can answer how these events are occuring I might begin to rationalize your statement or anyone else. Otherwise there is a GOD!

Posted by Mona | Report as abusive

Naomi,

Here are your proofs of God’s existence in a nutshell:

1. Talking about God’s existence is tacit approval of God’s existence.

2. I love people and you don’t, so whatever I say is right.

These are hardly “proofs”

Posted by kyle | Report as abusive

Quote by Noami,

“There are two proofs of God.

First, is the fact that so many argue that He does not exist. If He does not exist, why all the arguing? If someone does want to believe He exists, what is the big deal. Why try to argue them out of it?

Second, is the fact that there is love. Those who believe that there is God and that Jesus Christ came into the world to re-establish a relationship with Him which is to last throughout eternity, tell those who don’t believe out of love because we also believe that the alternative to that is hell. Do those who argue against His existence argue out of love? Can you prove genuine love exists?

The existence of God means that each of us is accountable to Him for our lives. He has standards and we don’t want to live with those standards so the easiest thing to do is do all we can to believe He doesn’t exist. I, then, can live my life the way I want. That way is usually “for me.” I do what I want and do what makes me happy. The thought of being humble and putting others ahead of me is more than I can stand. It’s called putting “self” first.”

Love there is, and a vast GOD. However, Jesus and Christianity et al is all BOGUS. Believing on any Savior is ‘soul slavery’; not the freedom you desperately desire.

‘Work out your own salvation’…

Have some real courage!!

Posted by Yukala | Report as abusive

On whether atheism is a religion: this very much depends on your definition of “religion”. The standard academic definition requires many things, including (if I recall correctly): a concept of the Divine (e.g. God), a system of morality, and rituals. So it fails that definition. But the legal definition of religion is different; and atheism is legally considered a religion. So in the end, it’s really just a semantic debate (and therefore uninteresting to me.)

But I think most people can agree that atheism is a faith-based belief, and that’s what matters. In fact, this faith (in the nonexistence of God) is the only thing that separates atheism from agnosticism. Faith can be defined as “belief without evidence.” An atheist *knows* in his heart that there is no God, and he doesn’t need evidence. He just knows. Whereas an agnostic is someone who does not claim to know one way or the other. Therefore, agnosticism is the only truly non-faith-based system, because no claims are made (unless you’re a “strong agnostic”, but that’s another topic.) If you say things like “I can’t really say for certain whether God exists”, then you’re not an atheist; you’re an agnostic. Many self-proclaimed atheists are simply unaware of this distinction.

Some atheists like to say that the burden of proof is upon the theist to prove God exists. And this is correct. However, the theist’s failure to meet this burden does not prove the atheist’s belief (that there is no God) correct. Nor is that belief automatically correct “by default”. The “default” is agnosticism, not atheism. You can’t just say “God is nonexistent until proven otherwise”, any more than you could say that the tooth fairy is nonexistent until proven otherwise. The tooth fairy may or may not exist. It is unknown (and perhaps unknowable.) The purple-snouted kwidgeenuffagus (which I just now made up) may or may not exist. If I wrote enough books about him, I might convince a billion people that he exists. But it would still be an unknown, just as it is now. Being agnostic means being comfortable with unknowns. Now, an agnostic might assign “probabilities of existence” to various entities, because this is necessary to avoid insane behavior (such as coating myself in corn syrup every hour because this is the only known defense against the purple-snouted kwidgeenuffagus). But the agnostic is always mindful that these probabilities are merely a personal convenience and may or may not be reflective of reality.

Posted by Damon Hastings | Report as abusive

No matter what anyone says here, it will not change the fact that we can’t possibly know if any ‘god’ exists at this point.

Typically, I would not care what anyone believes in, but when powerful world leaders babble about ‘god’, that bothers me. There is so much they can change for the better in this world but if they keep clinging on to blind faith, how can real pragmatic thought ever really occur?

We don’t know, let go of your fear and accept it already.

Posted by the take | Report as abusive

Anyone may be cruel to others and anyone may be accepting.

I am an Agnostic Atheist. (I dislike t when people call themselves only agnostics, because they do not know what agnostic is.)

I do not randomly insult people about their religion, like some people portray atheists as, the stereotypical generalization.

I live in the USA and obey the laws.

Is it acceptable, that I walk down the street and a religious man hands my younger relatives a pamphlet about their sins, which will lead them to hell?

Is it acceptable that some people have to lie about my non-belief so, they do not become an outcast or have people call their boss to tell them that they are an atheist?

I dislike it how some people have such an ignorance towards science.

Why am I not allowed to love and be happy because of a non-belief?
Why are some atheists harassed by people, who DON”T EVEN KNOW WHAT ATHEISM IS?

Why do people tell me constantly that Atheism is a religion?

WHY ARE SOME PEOPLE IGNORANT OF OTHER PEOPLE?
Why do some people stereotype someone because they are different from them?

I have been told I am un-american and that I will burn in hell because of being atheist.
If I try explain atheism, I am called intolerant(Look it up in the dictionary)which is another example of ignorance.

Why are atheists considered the most dangerous minority? Why do some preachers say atheists are horrible people?

What is horrible is telling your child that their friend who just died will go to hell because her parents believed differently from you.

Anyone may be horrible or mean but also ANYONE no matter what they believe, are able to be kind and accepting.

Agnostic Atheism- An agnostic atheist is atheistic because he or she does not believe in the existence of any deity and is also agnostic because he or she does not claim to have definitive knowledge that a deity does not exist.

Posted by AprilRosedw | Report as abusive

Belief in a deity or deities is not proof for the deities existence.(Believing in God does not make him real)

Personal experiences of seeing a deity does not mean the deity exist.

If you say we do not know how our planet came to existence and we do not know why humans are so complex, SO there must be a god, then you are just inserting god into the blanks.

If we do not know HOW THE EARTH STARTED, what makes it plausible to say God created it.

And, Creation is a hypothesis not a theory.

Posted by AprilRosedw | Report as abusive

Why do we all stereotype and generalize?

I am able to say right now, that an secular society is bad and say a religious society is bad but that doesn’t make i true.

We need the separation of church and state.

Some many problems in the world and we do not need anymore because you think your beliefs are RIGHT. Let people live, and if they do disturbed or cause trouble them confront them, like what is being done with the priest molesting young children.

I do not need a book to tell me to be good. I also, obey laws and treat other people with kindness.

You are immature if you believe that someone different from you will go to hell or you believe they are horrible.

Why not be accepting and realize, SOME PEOPLE USE Religion TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE THINGS AND SOME PEOPLE USE THEIR DIS-BELIEFS TO JUSTIFY HORRIBLE THINGS,

That does not make the true beliefs horrible but if the crime was done in a belief that is not true then we need to get rid of that belief.

Grow up and realize everyone is different and their beliefs or dis-beliefs does not make them horrible, their actions do.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Atheism is NOT based on faith that there is no god ! It is based on the PROBABILITY that there is no god from the available evidence. The Supreme Court is probably all Theists and like all Goverment entities cannot function if something doe not fit a convenient category. Therefore it isn’t suprising that they wpould call Atheism a religion. Atheism is NOT a religion.

Posted by Bob Wood | Report as abusive

Okay, let me try to clear up some of the confusion I’m seeing about atheism vs agnosticism. The problem here is that some people on this forum are using the “official” philosophical terminology, while others are using common “street” terminology. Confusion ensues.

The term “atheist” in common usage typically refers to what philosophers call a “strong atheist”. This is a person who is certain that no gods exist.

The term “agnostic” in common usage typically refers to what philosophers call a “weak atheist”. This is a person who neither believes nor disbelieves in any god. Furthermore, a “strong agnostic” says “I cannot ever know whether God exists, and neither can you”, while a weak agnostic says “I don’t know whether God exists, but maybe some day we’ll find out.” All agnostics are technically considered “atheist” under the official philosophical definition of atheism (which is a broad umbrella term including many types of non-, anti-, or inadequate belief.)

When someone asks “are you an atheist or an agnostic?” what they mean (in technical terms) is “are you a strong atheist or a weak atheist?” But hardly anyone would ever ask it the second way.

I would propose that people on this forum start using only these terms: “strong atheist”, “strong agnostic”, and “weak agnostic”, since those terms are unambiguous and yet still agree with the common terminology used on the street. Well, I would propose this — but I would probably be ignored. ;-)

You can read more about the terminology here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_and_st rong_atheism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism

Posted by Damon Hastings | Report as abusive

Mona.

You believe that the existance of the planet Earth is proof God exists. Because Earth is perfectly suited for life, and the chances of it’s creation were very small.

The reason that you believe this is the case is because you do not understand probability, or causation. To assist you in realising this, use this thought experiment.

Imagine a pair of dice. You can roll 2 to 12. These are the rules of the universe. No matter how many times you roll the dice, you can never roll higher then 12, or lower then 2.

Now imagine that the chance of rolling two ones represents the creation of earth. And that the chances of that roll ocurring are almost impossible, but not actually impossible. Lets say the chances of making the roll is 1 in 100000000000000000000000000000.

But the universe is infinite. And in an area of infinite space, there are infinite chances for something to occur. Infinite rolls of the dice, so to speak.

So it doesn’t matter how unlikely the roll. Because when you have unlimited rolls, over unlimited time, you have to roll that result at least once. Guaranteed. And one of those results is Earth.

In other words, the chances of Earth existing here and now was infinitly small. But the chances of a planet *like* Earth existing *somewhere* in the universe at *sometime* was guaranteed. It just happened to be us, and here and now.

As I have disproven your logic that the existance of Earth is proof of God, you must now find new proof.

To assist you in this matter, please do not submit comments which rely on:

-The bible
-Subjective human perception.
-Using an assumption that a creator exists as proof of your assumption (eg. Saying that as the universe is a design, there must be a designer. The issue being that the word design implies a designer, which means you are assuming what you are supposed to be proving)

Something involving science or physics (or just actual evidence) would be nice.

Looking forward to your reply :)

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

greg thank you so much for saying those hateful things. who needs god and the bible when we have you greg. the kool-aid has been drunk by you my friend. because you choose to listen to discovery channel and the history channel. check out the article MIRACLE OF THE SUN. a miracle predicted by a VISION of the virgin mary and i dare you to tell me 70,000 people were hallucinating.that’s the way it is with this seculiar world. everytime they can’t explain things that have happened it’s a hallucination. i think that is one of many things that prove there is something more than our puny human minds can comprehend.
p.s. by the way in some faiths the reason jesus died was for our sins. as part of god’s plan

Posted by Echo | Report as abusive

kyle the reason god doesn’t stop wars terrorism etc. because of one simple thing. free will. god won’t impose his will on us. he gives us the free will to change that. but mankind is inclined too much to greed and selfishness. so it is us to does these things not god.

Posted by echo | Report as abusive

-THE IRONY-
The irony is that religion has for millenia been the birthing bed of man’s most profound thought, his

highest aspirations and the rallying flag of civilization itself,
and is the cornerstone of who and what we are.

However, religion is what today most defines Homo Sapiens as a primitive creature, which is exactly

the opposite of the intention. Religion is indicative of arrested cognitive development, and must be

overcome if we are to face the future successfully; live in harmony and survive as a species.

It’s important to note that what separates religion from superstition is purely semantic, and the time

has obtained for a more aware, if not more rational being, to stand on the temple mound of his

ancestors and spy the horizon with a clear vision; one unclouded by the delusional refuge forced on a

creature seeking hard answers in a baffling universe.

Religion will ever continue to have an important role to play in the human experience, but it must shed

the dreams of its perpetual adolescence, and assume the mantle of its destiny in reality, which is

godless and nonmagical, except metaphorically, for only by that leap can the crowning maturity of what

we call “religion” be realized.

We must wear that crown of wisdom so dearly won; without its imaginary gems, while retaining the

gold of its substance. To be sure; we have far to go, but we are well along the way, thank God!
(Say it sans mirage.)

“Religion” must be narrowly and specifically defined to exclude cults and sects.
Under a strict definition Islam, Mormonism, The Neon Church of God would not qualify.

Theocracies must be eliminated globally by any means available without exception, and soon.

1- The many delusional elements of religion are raising questions about its similarity to mental illness

and concern that this afflicts nearly 85% of people worldwide, as the only known contagious “mental

illness.”

2- “Faith” in the religious sense is by it’s very nature error, and primarily escapism.

3- The inherent fantasy of religion is something the real world could never afford and it should
not be tolerated any longer, but be replaced with something more benign to our survival. ( “God”

would like that! )

4- The make-believe aspects of religion are enough to render it undesirable for civilized society.

5- Remember 9/11 was the result of a faith based initiative, as is the death of every American in Iraq.

6- Tax the churches as the businesses they are. Expose and jail the charlatan’s who “fleece the flock.”

7- Since the the traditional function of social welfare provider has been assumed by governments, the

main role of organized religion is as a community business, club, or gang, and should be regarded as

such.

8- Religion has enjoyed a free ride for countless centuries, and it’s about time that hayride came to an

end.

COMMENT:
The Ten Commandments and countless lessons in the Bible make sense and are irrefutably sound.
Invisible entities with magical powers, angels, prophesy, miracles, Heaven, Hell, and all the rest is

patent nonsense, and does not deserve deference, tolerance, or respect,
because it departs from the truths reality presents.

THE CHURCHES:
The churches are comprised of the cognitively arrested, and the hucksters who ply them for cash and

mind control. Tax the Jesus out of them, and give them a taste of real “religion.”

To conclude that religion is anything but superstition is error, and if earnestly pursued is patently

stupid, and actually dangerous in several aspects that raise it to the level of social poison,
i.e. “bad for humanity.”

The current “institutions” of religion are vast money generating machines, and
I cannot view the people who work the churches as “stupid,” but, rather, criminal, or
the fleeced flock as anything but stupid, or, at the very least, foolish.
I can’t believe desperation is enough to make men embrace lies.

Religion is by and for people of weak minds and character, there can be no doubt.
Certainly anyone who cannot be a good and decent person unless under threat of punishment,
isn’t the genuine article, so does it follow that religious types are essentially disingenuous or phony?

Posted by bobtegner | Report as abusive