The most atheist country in the world is…

posted at 9:39 pm on April 18, 2012 by Allahpundit

…no longer a country.

The surveys found:

Atheism is strongest in northwest European countries such as Scandinavia and the former Soviet states (except for Poland). The former East Germany had the highest rate of people who said they never believed in God (59 percent); in comparison, 4 percent of Americans had that response.

The country with the strongest belief is the Philippines, where 94 percent of those surveyed said they always had believed in God. In the United States, that response came from 81 percent of the people surveyed.

Although by most measures, belief in God is gradually declining worldwide, it is increasing in Russia, Slovenia and Israel. In Russia, comparing the difference between those who believe in God but hadn’t previously, and those who don’t believe in God but used to, researchers found a 16 percent change in favor of belief.

Take advantage of the slow news night and spend time with the data (PDF), paying special attention to how belief has fared in former Soviet bloc countries compared to their European neighbors. (The tables on “Changes in Belief in God” on page 16 and “% Never Believed” on page 18 are especially juicy.) Among young adults who say they’ve never believed, the spread between what was once East Germany and what was once West Germany is more than 50 points. In the Czech Republic too, adults under 28 who’ve never believed is close to 70 percent. Proof positive that communism succeeded in destroying religious faith wherever it found it? Not quite: In Poland, just 3.5 percent of young adults say they’ve never believed. Among Poles over the age of 68, who lived through the Soviet era, the percentage of disbelievers is … 0.0. That’s a testament, I assume, to Poland’s Catholicism and, perhaps, the cultural influence of John Paul II, but it’s confounding to me that the descendants of people who suffered under communism are actually more atheistic — sometimes considerably so — than those who actually had to endure Soviet anti-religious propaganda and reprogramming. In the Czech Republic, for instance, there’s a nearly 50-point gap between young adults and seniors among those who say they’ve never believed. (It’s not universally true that younger generations believe less than older ones do, either. Older people in Israel, interestingly, are more likely than young adults to say they’ve never believed. Whether that’s an aftereffect of having lived through the Holocaust or proof of a religious revival in Israel, or both, I’m not sure.)

Adding to the mystery here: The country that experienced the biggest growth percentagewise in belief in God was — wait for it — Russia. In Russia, just 5.9 percent of young adults say they’ve never believed compared to 17.7 percent of those aged 58-67 who say so. Why are former Soviet countries like East Germany and the Czech Republic seeing faith collapse in younger generations whereas the former Soviet Union itself is seeing faith come back? I have no idea. Again, as with Poland, I assume it has to do with the Russian Orthodox church being more deeply embedded culturally than any church was in East Germany, but then that doesn’t answer the question of why there’d be such a huge gap in nonbelief between East and West Germany. You would think they’d be similar enough culturally that you’d see some effect from communism but not a gigantic difference. Instead — gigantic difference.

One big takeaway from the results: If you’re looking to stave off godlessness, Catholicism and the Orthodox faiths seem like much better bets than Protestantism. It’s not universally true that Catholic countries are immune — lots of nonbelievers in France — but it looks like a decent rule of thumb. Second look at rigid institutional hierarchies as critical to sustaining belief?


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Comment pages: 1 2

Atheist!

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Bratislava, nowhere near Berlin.

Rusty Allen on April 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Allah will you ever weigh in on what you thought of the big Atheist gathering last month.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 9:42 PM

******************** ABOMINATION ***************************
(sarc).

canopfor on April 18, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I believe that’s why we have a German Pope, the decline of Catholicism in Germany. They should have chosen Latin America. I don’t think Benedict has changed much.

Marcus on April 18, 2012 at 9:44 PM

wow, really slow news day. i could tell you were having a hard time typing this one up AP.

kastor on April 18, 2012 at 9:45 PM

.=?

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Wow! It is shocking to see how many people believe in Crom.

Check that….uh…exactly which God does this article mean?

BobMbx on April 18, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

live

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Liberals hardest hit. And squish conservatives like AP.

sbvft contributor on April 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Embargoed For Release
April 18,2012
12:15 Eastern Time
******************

Wow AP,hot off zee press’s!!

canopfor on April 18, 2012 at 9:48 PM

As a lifelong Lutheran, I have to confess that AP’s observation about rigid and hierarchal institutions is correct. While the abuses of the Catholic Church throughout history is well documented, less publicized are the development and civilizing of all regions of the world sans East Asia and the Middle East. One could certainly focus on the negatives such as discipline, but also these more established institutions provide a sense of community based on something bigger than the personality cults that the “megachurches” have developed into.

HTnFBCoachnTX1980 on April 18, 2012 at 9:48 PM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Maybe because that’s not who God is?

DavidW on April 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Believe it.

Some people believe the best part of you ran down the crack of your mother’s ass when you were born.

CorporatePiggy on April 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM”

it’s less than that – i think when faced with the question, people enable “occam’s razor mode” and they say they believe but from a normal day to day opinion, they really don’t.

kastor on April 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

might tell ya something, Allah. Well, that and Tebow goin’ to the Jets…..

/

ted c on April 18, 2012 at 9:50 PM

So,the French are in third place,at
23.3%!

canopfor on April 18, 2012 at 9:50 PM

I guess I live in the 14th century.

so do most people i know.

although it IS interesting that with a decline in consistent Christianity in our country has come greatly increased crime, distrust of each other, and increased socialism.

Maybe those 14th century ideas aren’t so bad after all.

avgjo on April 18, 2012 at 9:50 PM

The country that experienced the biggest growth percentagewise in belief in God was — wait for it — Russia.

Putin put the fear of God into the yunguns of Russia !

burrata on April 18, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Sweden,Denmark,Norway are almost split!

I thought for sure they would be in high numbers
in denying Gawds existance,and thats why Muslims
have an axe to grind with the…hmmmmm!!

canopfor on April 18, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Putin put the fear of God into the yunguns of Russia !

burrata on April 18, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Well…sort of. Putin was only the last in a very long line, and some of the previous rulers made him look like a choirboy!

More like the religion only grew under the threat of death and torture. (protip: this is why eradicating Islam is a fantasy. Deal with it.)

MelonCollie on April 18, 2012 at 9:54 PM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

…says a dumb dufus with his head in the clouds, who resides up his own azz!

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 9:54 PM

it’s confounding to me that the descendants of people who suffered under communism are actually more atheistic — sometimes considerably so — than those who actually had to endure Soviet anti-religious propaganda and reprogramming

huh???…seriously, AP, is this so hard for you, of course these people are more likely to be religious, that’s all they had left during communism, their faith/religion…commies stole pretty much everything else, but people found solace in the spiritual/religious realm and their beliefs…’the reprogramming’ as you called never worked… look at the dissident movement in Poland, it was mainly led by the Catholic church from outside and inside the country…that plus the unions led by Walesa, but they weren’t atheists either, they were probably as religious as anybody else in Poland…

jimver on April 18, 2012 at 9:55 PM

The former East Germany. What makes up the population of former East Germany what was left after Soviet occupation? I know after the War we outlawed socialism in West Germany. We did the same after the fall of Saddam Hussein we outlawed the Baathist party – Socialist.

In eastern Germany the Soviets took over, and many ex-Nazis were interned or sent to Soviet camps in Siberia: many never returned.

If the Nazis in East Germany were gulaged, what were the people who made up the population of post war East Germany?

Dr Evil on April 18, 2012 at 9:56 PM

AP said:

Adding to the mystery here: The country that experienced the biggest growth percentagewise in belief in God was — wait for it — Russia.

This may be related to the fact that Russia now has a fast-rising fertility rate (their population has recently stopped shrinking). There seems to a worldwide correlation between faith and fertility. Atheists tend not to produce many offspring.

Jon0815 on April 18, 2012 at 9:56 PM

The former East Germany had the highest rate of people who said they never believed in God

…so atheism is now defined as NEVER having believed in a god? The hell?

MadisonConservative on April 18, 2012 at 9:56 PM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

I can also refuse to believe that you have the IQ of a baked potato, but that won’t make it any less true either.

Go get some counseling…and not the kind that comes in a 6-pack.

MelonCollie on April 18, 2012 at 9:57 PM

In the Czech Republic too, adults under 28 who’ve never believed is close to 70 percent. Proof positive that communism succeeded in destroying religious faith wherever it found it?

The Communists took our churches away AP and turned them into assembly halls for Communist party meetings and the Communist youth gatherings. A few were turned into concert halls for Party members.

It’s hard to believe that there is a God when we were starved and treated so poorly.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Had a revelation today. There are no atheists in hell.

JellyToast on April 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Godless Commies. Well, that worked out well. NOT.

Philly on April 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Isn’t it close to 100% in Saudi Arabia and Iran because they killed everyone else?

yubley on April 18, 2012 at 10:01 PM

It’s hard to believe that there is a God when we were starved and treated so poorly.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Oh please. The sham of “health/wealth gospel” was never even remotely plausible outside of a few Western first-world nations.

Everywhere else, living conditions aren’t so soft that more than a handful of people think belief in God means life will be a bed of roses. Often, belief in the ‘wrong’ god (or any god at all in a hardline atheist nation) will practically guarantee a HARDER life.

MelonCollie on April 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM

What? I check the PDF and it asserts only 8.7% of Japanese people don’t believe in God? Japan is filled with atheists, this cannot possibly be close to being accurate. But it then says only 4.3% of Japanese people have total faith in existence of God, which seems about right.

ssaymvop on April 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM

If the Nazis in East Germany were gulaged, what were the people who made up the population of post war East Germany?

Dr Evil on April 18, 2012 at 9:56 PM

I was in Dresden back in the late 90′s when they where rebuilding the Church of our Lady that was destroyed during WWII.
The locals had mixed feelings about that project….
Mostly…what was the point..

Electrongod on April 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Allah’s protestant analysis does not hold up in the US though. Many of the most liberal states are largely Catholic, eg CA, WA, MA, CT, NY. Though practicing Catholics are conservative. While it’s true mainline protestants have gone mostly liberal, except for the LCMS and Reform Church, evangelical protestants as we know are the conservative bedrock of the GOP and the US Christianity.

IR-MN on April 18, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Although by most measures, belief in God is gradually declining worldwide, it is increasing in Russia, Slovenia and Israel

The latter is significant particularly because of the increase, not merely in a generic belief in God, but an historically unprecedented increase in the belief in Jesus Christ as the Messiah since the 1st century. The number of Israelis calling themselves Messianic and referring specifically to Jesus has increased steadily over the past two decades and the numbers are reported as being over 20,000 by some reports.

Cleombrotus on April 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM

The former East Germany had the highest rate of people who said they never believed in God (59 percent);

Germany became one nation again 22 years ago. It is fascinating to me that there are still studies that refer to the “former East Germany” As if two decades of reunification still kept the regions separate.

Adding to the mystery here: The country that experienced the biggest growth percentagewise in belief in God was — wait for it — Russia.

Not so surprising. There was always an underground faith network. It appears that younger generations are willing and sure enough that they will not be collected by the authorities to express that faith openly.

Happy Nomad on April 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Liberals hardest hit. And squish conservatives like AP.

sbvft contributor on April 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM

AP is not a conservative.

The Notorious G.O.P on April 18, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Why are former Soviet countries like East Germany and the Czech Republic seeing faith collapse in younger generations whereas the former Soviet Union itself is seeing faith come back? I have no idea.

Because in Communist Russia, religion was the opiate of the masses, whereas in modern Russia it’s okay?

Stoic Patriot on April 18, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Exactly what our alien overlords planned.

SouthernGent on April 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Second look at rigid institutional hierarchies as critical to sustaining belief?

Rigid hierarchies don’t fare too well if a nation’s regime truly gets ugly. A faith tied too closely to weekly meetings at big buildings and dependence on learned scholars can be far more easily crippled.

For that matter, anything that has to be big and centralized practically has a bullseye on its back if the socialists take over.

MelonCollie on April 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

I see we are still sucking on the teat of big energy/oil to post your screeds. Now how much air, water and land pollution have you caused today. Hypocrite.

chemman on April 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM

This explains the phenomenon that is angryed.

John the Libertarian on April 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Take about a Freudian slip. The 14th century is the knowledge and technology level society would fall back to if Libs were to ever have their way with regulations, restrictions, and limits on education, commerce and energy.

Fortunately, intelligent hard working people like conservatives can both build a great society and have faith in the unmeasurable.

ray on April 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Ich Bin ein believer.

Buck Turgidson on April 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM

I have a unique belief in god but am positive he exists. He is the collective conscience of all living creatures. May good prevail.

Grunt on April 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM

The most atheist country in the world is…

C’mon AP, who gives a shit.

And all the gay stuff too. Who gives a shit.

I think you’re distracting us from basic, decisive 2012 issues with this stuff.

Focus on liberty.

petefrt on April 18, 2012 at 10:15 PM

This explains the phenomenon that is angryed.

John the Libertarian on April 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Regardless, I still want to walk him to the door. I don’t like him.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Ich Bin ein believer.

Buck Turgidson on April 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM

yeah, but you bet you can’t say that in Austrian :-)

jimver on April 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Angryed….weirdly so many of you bigoted atheists are so obviously unhappy.

I don’t understand it./

CW on April 18, 2012 at 10:19 PM

but it’s confounding to me that the descendants of people who suffered under communism are actually more atheistic — sometimes considerably so — than those who actually had to endure Soviet anti-religious propaganda and reprogramming. In the Czech Republic, for instance, there’s a nearly 50-point gap between young adults and seniors among those who say they’ve never believed.

Well, if they’re answering “never believed” then maybe it’s because the reprogramming worked, and they raised their children to be atheistic, thus pushing society in that direction for generations.

Esthier on April 18, 2012 at 10:20 PM

This explains the phenomenon that is angryed.

John the Libertarian on April 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Regardless, I still want to walk him to the door. I don’t like him.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

…should I start being the D!ck to this guy’s moby?
(You know how I would start with Dr.T…but the next day his meds would work, so I’d lay off?)…I’ll bore myself but this one is getting anal!

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM

This explains the phenomenon that is angryedand Obama

John the Libertarian on April 18, 2012 at 10:12 PM

enhanced it for you John.

hillsoftx on April 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM

(You know how I would start with Dr.T…but the next day his meds would work, so I’d lay off?)…I’ll bore myself but this one is getting anal!

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM

the one with the T has gone AWOL though…dn’t know if this means meds are working or not…

jimver on April 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM

I guess I live in the 14th century.

so do most people i know.

although it IS interesting that with a decline in consistent Christianity in our country has come greatly increased crime, distrust of each other, and increased socialism.

Maybe those 14th century ideas aren’t so bad after all.

avgjo

Actually violent crime is an at all time low I believe. Its a fallacy to think that we are in some crime epidemic, crime has been much worse in the past.

And look at how prostitution was so much more common in the past too. In the south, men losing their virginity to prostitutes was more of the norm 50 years ago.

And in the 1920s, Christians commonly performed seances to talk to the dead too. Not that it is a crime, but it is not all that correct to act like in the past, we were so much more moral.

firepilot on April 18, 2012 at 10:28 PM

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Anything we can do to help him. To the door.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 10:31 PM

firepilot

I’ve heard this kind of argument made.

I just point to some simple things:

When i was a boy (not that long ago, btw), you could pump before you pay. Can’t do that anywhere anymore.

When I was a boy, C.O.D. was usually an option on TV sales. Hardly see it anywhere anymore.

When I was a boy, you could join one of those music clubs without a credit card or deposit. Not anymore.

I could go on. But you get the point. These changes are in response to increasing dishonesty and theft. They didn’t turn out of thin air.

No, the country’s going down the tubes.

avgjo on April 18, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I remember Sean Hannity asked Howard Stern if he believes in God. He said “Well… I’m afraid to say no.”

I think that sums up most people’s feelings.

bernverdnardo1 on April 18, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Oh, and as far as the charge that crime is down…

I don’t know if those numbers are being padded to keep gov’t money coming in for various crime fighting initiatives, or to make King Obama look good. I don’t know if crimes are down, ‘or reporting is down, as criminals become bolder and law enforcement more neutered by ‘civil liberties advocates’. that’s the problem with a society like ours now is. You can’t trust anything.

avgjo on April 18, 2012 at 10:38 PM

the one with the T has gone AWOL though…dn’t know if this means meds are working or not…

jimver on April 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM

…he came in one night in the last week or so on a geh topic thread…wasn’t crazy and had some good points.

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Anything we can do to help him. To the door.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 10:31 PM

…k!…

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 10:45 PM

And my church (Lutheran, in the Philadelphia area) has a pastor who was born in East Germany.

Otto Zilch on April 18, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Euro figures on this are going to be cranked by the rapid influx of muslims. That’s not a good thing.

slickwillie2001 on April 18, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Well I think the nature and kinds of crimes change. But crime has always been around.

There can be some thinking that everything in the past was just rainbows and unicorns, sort of a romantizing that everything was wonderful, when it was not always that way.

I am sure in the 1930s, they thought that everything was doing downhill, and only if people could be as moral as they were in the 1870s.

firepilot on April 18, 2012 at 10:50 PM

I look at it this way.

The world is fairly simple to understand. It is simply a fight between Satan and GOD.

You have Progressives Communist (like Mitt and Barack) fighting on Satan’s side now to implement in the greatest country on Earth what has failed everywhere else it was tried to work. Against GOD. But this article proves GOD is winning the War. People in these former Communist countries are coming back to GOD in a big way.

Though is is very disheartening to see us go the way of the USSR at least there is hope that eventually GOD will prevail.

My hope is that America is a blessed land. One blessed by GOD. Blessed to such an extent that Mitt/Obama will lose. I feel GOD will work his wonders this election and all those Tornados could be evidence he already is.

I encourage all to Pray to GOD. Else we will suffer but perhaps it will improve America in the end. After all in all the important ways America is in Hell right now. All evil is good. All good is evil.

Pleas PRAY GOD will listen.

Steveangell on April 18, 2012 at 10:54 PM

No one mentioned rainbows and unicorns, except you.

I do know that i, friends and family across the country testify to the increased crime in our/their medium sized towns. Strangers i meet also share their stories.

I do know that what I mentioned, along with metal detectors in schools, increased prices at Wally World to subsidize increased security and anti-theft measures, and an ever-growing number of laws to combat ever-growing types of crime, all testify to my point.

I think (and this is not directed at you – I don’t know you and I won’t presume to) that it is just as likely that people today making the ‘it’s always been this bad’ argument are trying to avoid the subject of restored morality which would be required to clean our situation up; the strictures that would come with this restored morality would cramp their style. And in our ridiculous, radically individual (narcissistic?) culture, we can’t have that, now can we?

avgjo on April 18, 2012 at 10:58 PM

If you’re looking to stave off godlessness, Catholicism and the Orthodox faiths seem like much better bets than Protestantism.

Woo! ;)

Mr. Prodigy on April 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM”

I bet you refuse to believe a lot of normal rational things.. like.. nobody agrees with YOU much..

it’s less than that – i think when faced with the question, people enable “occam’s razor mode” and they say they believe but from a normal day to day opinion, they really don’t.

kastor on April 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Utterly unknowable.. so a pointless argument.. because you two are UNCOMFORTABLE.. with the faith of other living beings.. you find excuses to make you feel better..

Isn’t that exactly what you accuse us of?

Try this on for size.. Many of us believe each of us in time, is given his chance to come to God on his on, a matter of free will.. that if you reject God, that is on your own head, no one elses..

So mostly.. your angst is not our problem.. nor do we even care much..

It’s not that you don’t believe that galls..

It’s that you aren’t content to grant us the same distance,

mark81150 on April 18, 2012 at 11:02 PM

You have Progressives Communist (like Mitt and Barack) fighting on Satan’s side now to implement in the greatest country on Earth what has failed everywhere else it was tried to work. Against GOD
Steveangell on April 18, 2012 at 10:54 PM

You are freaking loon.

Mitt Romney is not a Communist.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Steveangell on April 18, 2012 at 10:54 PM

it scares me people actually think this stuff up.

kastor on April 18, 2012 at 11:03 PM

mark81150

great post.

I disagree with the ‘nor do we even care much..’

Many have died for the Great Commission, because of a burden for souls…

avgjo on April 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM

kastor 11:03

It scares me that people think we can do away with the concept of God and keep our liberties.

avgjo on April 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.
angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Maybe you should give it a try. It might soften that stone cold heart of yours. Oh but there’s a catch. You can’t be a filthy liar or pretend to be someone you’re not.

jawkneemusic on April 18, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Angryed….weirdly so many of you bigoted atheists are so obviously unhappy.
I don’t understand it./
CW on April 18, 2012 at 10:19 PM

It’s an anti-Jesus thing. Life and the world is hopeless without him. It’s so obvious to those of us who believe, yet so hard to see by those like Mr. Angry.

jawkneemusic on April 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM

jawkneemusic on April 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM

…he’s lost it…if you don’t mind we’re going to let him start posting to himself. He’s nucking futs anyway.

KOOLAID2 on April 18, 2012 at 11:22 PM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.
angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Maybe because that’s not who God is?
DavidW on April 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Atheism is the craziest-ass religious cult ever invented. What else do you EXPECT those self-righteous morons to believe?

logis on April 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM

You are freaking loon.

Mitt Romney is not a Communist.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 11:03 PM

You positive?

Mitt has said he was a Progressive. Well the Communist in America started calling themselves Progressives when that first name became untenable. Almost no one admits to being a communist anymore after China and the USSR.

Saul Alinsky was friends with Mitts father. George went to North Vietnam during the war and had nothing but praise for North Vietnam saying they would treat the South with kindness. This led to millions of people being murdered after we left. Mitt was an adult then and like Matt his fathers spokesman.

But I only claim him to be a Progressive. Makes people feel better.

Steveangell on April 18, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Steveangell on April 18, 2012 at 11:29 PM

I was born and raised in Eastern Europe, behind the Iron Curtain.

You have no idea what you’re talking about.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM

When it’s a sunny day and all the clouds go away, where does god go?

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 11:46 PM

It scares me that people think we can do away with the concept of God and keep our liberties.

avgjo on April 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM

scares me to think that people believe “god” is more than a concept created by man’s feeble mind.

kastor on April 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Atheism is the craziest-ass religious cult ever invented. What else do you EXPECT those self-righteous morons to believe?

logis on April 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM

We believe in, what’s the word again..oh yeah science. You believe in children’s fairly tales like Noah’s Ark and Moses wandering around a desert for 40 years. And 81% is pure BS. Maybe in rural Alabama. In the non-flyover land, more like 8.1%.

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 11:49 PM

Steveangell on April 18, 2012 at 11:29 PM

I was born and raised in Eastern Europe, behind the Iron Curtain.

You have no idea what you’re talking about.

JPeterman on April 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Sorry to break the news to you but I assure you there are those in America that are doing everything in their power to institute Communism here. Obama’s great friend Bill Ayres estimated that they would have to execute 25% of Americans if successful.

As for Mitt I see him in the naive category of communist that think there is a kinder way to do it. Some call it Socialism but all Communist call themselves Socialist and Socialist are soon to be Communist. 100% of the time Socialism fails but the countries emerge from the fail as Communist. I doubt Mitt believes it will ever come to be what it was for you there but that is what most think before it happens. Castro was seen as a savior of the people and the people saw him bring Democracy to Cuba and he did Democratic Republic of Cuba. You see Democracy is also communism. America is a Constitutional Republic not a Democracy. Democracies never work.

Obama will most likely collapse our economy and the rest of the Wests economies with it. When this happens it will be easy to make America a Communist country. Mitt is a useful idiot in my opinion I seriously doubt he has any idea what the real plan is. But that will not save us.

Thankfully I believe GOD loves America and will save us. But I also believe at this point only GOD can save America. I have no idea how much we will suffer before he chastens us enough to believe we have been truly chastened. I understand we have a very rough road ahead.

Steveangell on April 18, 2012 at 11:56 PM

Atheism is the craziest-ass religious cult ever invented. What else do you EXPECT those self-righteous morons to believe?

logis on April 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM

what in the world? atheism is not a religion. atheism’s opposite would be theism. religion’s opposite is non-religious.

and speaking of self-righteous, it’s nice to know that you know who’s right and who’s wrong in the world of religion and that the one you choose is the correct one and all the other billions of people who believe differently are wrong.

kastor on April 18, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Second look at rigid institutional hierarchies as critical to sustaining belief?

Allah, more like: Second look at actual religious identity having an effect on the durability of one’s religious views…. Who was in power before East Germany was under the Soviets? FYI: the Nazis were atheists, too. The Catholic Church wasn’t exactly in favor during the Third Reich you know.

cynccook on April 19, 2012 at 12:09 AM

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 11:49 PM

Man, remember when atheists used to actually present a challenge?

Good times.

Cleombrotus on April 19, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Man, remember when atheists used to actually present a challenge?

Good times.

Cleombrotus on April 19, 2012 at 12:13 AM

You believe an old man took 2 of every animal on a ship. I rest my case.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM

I rest my case.
angryed on April 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM

That would be a good idea, ed

Cleombrotus on April 19, 2012 at 12:24 AM

It scares me that people think we can do away with the concept of God and keep our liberties.

avgjo on April 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Why do you believe that belief in God is necessary for that? Japan doesn’t have many believers in God, and look at how civil of a society there is there. Belief in God doesn’t seem to be a positive force which promotes liberty in Islamic countries, does it? There have been plenty of patriotic, freedom-loving Americans who were also atheists, just as there have been plenty of Americans who detest what America stands for even though they believe in God as well.

I’m a Conservative Christian, but if I stopped believing in God tomorrow, I’d still have the same moral standards that I do now – my belief in God has nothing to do with my sense of morality. As a matter of fact, I believe that it’s immoral to tie your morality to your religious beliefs – if the fear of punishment from whatever supernatural force a person happens to believe in is all that’s keeping that person from being a libertine, the basis for her morality doesn’t lie in the rational/objective part of her brain, it lies in the emotional/subjective part, and subjective morality is amorphous, causing it to have no authority whatsoever.

Bizarro No. 1 on April 19, 2012 at 12:36 AM

Bizarro No. 1 on April 19, 2012 at 12:36 AM

+1

If there is such a thing as a rational theist, you would be it.

kastor on April 19, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Kastor,

Wow, I’m glad you have all knowledge, and you can assert as a universal proposition that God is nothing more than a figment of the imagination. I guess the world can now turn the page on that long, long chapter of debate and scholarship. Thanks, dude.

Bizarro

if the rights don’t come from a non-human grounding, they are dependent on those in power. As for your Japanese example, you might want to go back to pre WWII, i.e., before WE imposed ‘democracy’ on them. As I understand it, through most of the period we refer to as feudal Japan, a peasant could be summarily murdered by a samurai for insulting ‘his honor’. One particularly galling example I recall is the accidental tapping of the scabbard of a Samurai’s sword resulted in the near splitting in half of a peasant with said sword.

You make the assertion that to tie morality to religious beliefs is immoral; you state that we should rather have morality based in rationality. What do you base this on? And mightn’t we argue that in many, perhaps most cases ‘morality’ is irrational? Why sacrifice yourself for someone else when you can live and even prosper by their death? Why not covet someone else’s belongings and steal them, especially if you can get away with it? See, the problem is that when you take an absolute arbiter of morality out of the equation, ‘morals’ come to rely on people for imputation upon them of value. That opens the door to relativism. That’s a very shaky foundation for morality. The Nazis, the Communists and other horror show freaks were very rational. The problem was their antecedent assumptions about life, the premises with which they started.

I would also counter that for those who find it necessary to be scared straight, it’s a very rational thing to think ‘either I obey God and go to heaven, or I don’t and i go to hell. i think I’ll obey God.’

It’s also interesting to note to you, a self-described Christian, that Jesus seems to have linked morality and religion. ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command.’ And if I recall correctly, His commandments neatly fall into that category commonly called ‘morals’. And for many Christians, it is love, not fear, that motivates their morality. Love of God and love of neighbor.

avgjo on April 19, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Regardless, I still want to walk him to the door. I don’t like him.

Bmore on April 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Just put him into trance and then tell him the following (I will be paraphrasing):

-And Judas went and hung himself…
-You go and do the same…
-What you have to do, do it now!

APasserBy on April 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

I don’t buy 81% of Americans believe there is an old man who lives in the clouds. I refuse to believe 81% of my fellow citizens still libe in the 14th century.

angryed on April 18, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Old man living in the clouds? That might be how Michelangelo chose to visually represent God in his ceiling painting, but I can’t think of any major religious group who thinks of God as an old man who lives in the clouds.

TigerPaw on April 19, 2012 at 2:42 AM

what in the world? atheism is not a religion. atheism’s opposite would be theism. religion’s opposite is non-religious.
kastor on April 18, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Atheism Is A Religion

TigerPaw on April 19, 2012 at 2:45 AM

kastor on April 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM

God created the human mind.

TigerPaw on April 19, 2012 at 2:46 AM

Mitt Romney is a NOT a communist. The facts don’t support that.

The LDS faith is doing very well in former Soviet Union countries and I believe it has to do with the rigid institutional hierarchies of the LDS faith.

People may complain about organized religion but it helps with keeping people active in the faith, maintaining strong belief in God and helping people feel a sense of community with other like minded people.

Conservative Samizdat on April 19, 2012 at 2:51 AM

APasserBy on April 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

I’ll try to remember that. Thanks.

Bmore on April 19, 2012 at 2:58 AM

I don’t think Benedict has changed much.

Marcus on April 18, 2012 at 9:44 PM

JPII was a tough act to follow.

swinia sutki on April 19, 2012 at 6:09 AM

The former East Germany had the highest rate of people who said they never believed in God

Well they did believe in Hitler and Honecker so perhaps one might ask how the original survey question was written in German. Did it use the word “Gott” (God) or did it say “ein gott” (a god)?

Mike OMalley on April 19, 2012 at 6:33 AM

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