Pew study: One in five American adults now have no religious affiliation

posted at 9:51 pm on October 9, 2012 by Allahpundit

It’s a steep climb to respectability, but at the rate we’re going, I think America might be ready for an atheist president within, oh, another hundred years or so.

Openly atheist president, I mean. You-know-who doesn’t count.

In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%)…

However, a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted jointly with the PBS television program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, finds that many of the country’s 46 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way. Two-thirds of them say they believe in God (68%). More than half say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth (58%), while more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” (37%), and one-in-five (21%) say they pray every day. In addition, most religiously unaffiliated Americans think that churches and other religious institutions benefit society by strengthening community bonds and aiding the poor.

With few exceptions, though, the unaffiliated say they are not looking for a religion that would be right for them. Overwhelmingly, they think that religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics.

Click the link and start scrolling, as there’s plenty of tasty data to digest. Most unaffiliateds aren’t atheists but neither are they “seekers,” as believers often assume about the nonreligious crowd: Fully 88% of those who say their faith is “nothing in particular” aren’t looking for a religion that’s right for them. This is interesting too:

Five years ago, 38 percent of people who rarely attended services copped to having no religious affiliation. Today it’s 11 points higher. That suggests a change not so much in behavior as in people’s willingness to identify as unaffiliated, which, I suspect, is one legacy of Hitchens, Dawkins, and the capital-A Atheism identity movement. The more publicly acceptable professions of disbelief become, the more comfortable marginal members of a church will be in calling themselves unaffiliated. I’ve seen that happen among people I know, although there seems to be a generational divide: Younger friends who never go to church drift into unaffiliated-ness whereas older ones who never go to church still consider themselves nominally members of the faith. There’s a generational divide in Pew’s data here too, with 34 percent(!) of 18-22 year olds calling themselves unaffiliated versus 15 percent or less of people born before 1964 calling themselves that. Although it seems that has less to do with comparative reluctance in openly identifying that way than it does with more fundamental disagreements over values:

The new Pew Research Center/Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly survey contains some data that can be seen as consistent with this hypothesis. The survey finds that the unaffiliated are concentrated among younger adults, political liberals and people who take liberal positions on same-sex marriage. In addition, two-thirds or more of the unaffiliated say that churches and other religious institutions are too concerned with money and power (70%) and too involved in politics (67%); these views are significantly more common among the unaffiliated than they are in the general public.

That’s the “political backlash” theory of declining religious affiliation; follow the last link for three more. As for the inevitable partisan split, behold:

Unaffiliateds are now the second-biggest religious demographic in the Democratic Party, ahead even of Catholics. Among the total electorate, they split 63/26 between Democrats and the GOP, although 75 percent of them broke for Obama in 2008. They’re significantly more likely to say they’re pro-choice and pro-gay marriage than the American public at large. That’s something to keep an eye on in the years ahead as the parties’ demographic bases evolve. Are we headed to a true “GOP is the religious party, Democrats are the secular party” dynamic? Even more so than now, I mean.


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Allah, if you did what I think you may have done. Praise be to Allah! This thread will tell.

Bmore on October 9, 2012 at 9:54 PM

These trends will likely accerlerate as more and more people stop believing in fairy tales.

Dr. Manhattan on October 9, 2012 at 9:54 PM

…you can tell!

KOOLAID2 on October 9, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Appalling.

ChooseLife on October 9, 2012 at 9:55 PM

On the GOP side, it’s essentially margin of error level change.

On the Democratic side it’s more pronounced, but that may be as much an artifact of democratic voters trending to be much younger. A lot of individuals leave their homes and sort of, meander religiously for awhile before settling.

Overall its interesting, but I’m not sure it means as much as you think.

WolvenOne on October 9, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Are we headed to a true “GOP is the religious party, Democrats are the secular party” dynamic? Even more so than now, I mean.

Good question. You are an Atheist, yet you are Conservative, room for both in the R party. I hope so. If not may they go the way of the Whigs. Dems will be more closely aligned to the Socialist Party.

Bmore on October 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

No wonder that so many people have chosen government as their god.

Enjoy your secular humanistic hell on earth reprobates!

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Yay. What a tremendous achievement for the MSM and popular culture architects of this country. We may not be Communist (yet) but we’re well on our way to being Godless. Our founding fathers would be so proud.

cynccook on October 9, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Can this be the beginning of the great apostasy?

I won’t be here then, but it would be interesting to see how the 18-22 year olds poll when they are 50+. I bet they are more affliated then than ‘unaffiliated’.

jclittlep on October 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Where the heck have you been hiding? Was just talking about you last night at QOTD. ; )

Bmore on October 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Not shcoking seeing that the biggest jump is on the left. Churches demand you are charitable, give to others without asking for anything in return…

watertown on October 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM

sad.

MontanaMmmm on October 9, 2012 at 10:01 PM

cynccook on October 9, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Fixed?

Bmore on October 9, 2012 at 10:01 PM

the capital-A Atheism identity movement.

this is the worry.

quiet atheism is fine with me…but let’s be real…we’re heading toward banishing public religiosity…eventually. Now Christians will understand that…they’ve been there before, but formally atheistic countries don’t seem to be all that much fun

cult of personality is hardly a substitute

r keller on October 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM

shcoking= shocking.

watertown on October 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

…where you been?…Dancing with the Stars?

KOOLAID2 on October 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Bmore on October 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM
KOOLAID2 on October 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Living the dream! Camping in the Smokies and the Rockies 8D

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Ebb and flow of any society.

SouthernGent on October 9, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Good. And the trend amongst the younger, more internet exposed, more free thinking younger generations is less religious still. In the Western US (by FARRRR the best region of the country, for those sad pitiful Southerners, Midwesterners, and Northeasterners who aren’t aware) the trend is even stronger.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM

“Unafilliated” by itself is not necessarily a bad thing as the “church” has devolved from a Theological basis to a largely Therapeutic model with the accompanying professionalization of the “clergy”. There’s really less and less to BE affiated with.

The problem comes in when those unattached persons have little real connection with the transcendant other than their own ideas and the “cares of this life” crowd out any such notions.

Until it’s too late, of course.

Very few, I imagine, say, “I should have bought more crap” on their death beds.

Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM

more free thinking younger generations

What does that mean?

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Living the dream! Camping in the Smokies and the Rockies 8D

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Schweet! Glad you had a safe and fun time. Welcome back. ; )

Bmore on October 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

“Pew study: One in five American adults now have no religious affiliation”

According to books and religious magazine articles I’ve read concerning this topic, many of those who claim “no religious affiliation” still believe in God, or even identify as Christian, but have stopped attending a local church because they have become disillusioned with churches for several reasons, and some of these choose to identify as “none” or “no affiliation” when asked what ‘religion’ or church or denomination they belong to.

TigerPaw on October 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

These trends will likely accerlerate as more and more people stop believing in fairy tales.
Dr. Manhattan on October 9, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Yes, and just look what’s been busy replacing them. Future’s so bright you gotta wear shades, right, Doc?

Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Enjoy your secular humanistic hell on earth[,] reprobates!

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Ha!

Tzetzes on October 9, 2012 at 10:16 PM

It’s a steep climb to respectability, but at the rate we’re going, I think America might be ready for an atheist president within, oh, another hundred years or so.

LOL

Doubt it. Real atheists is what? 6% of the population?
They might be more open to self identify as such now, but I doubt the actual percentage has moved much in the past 50 years.

Besides, their reproduction rate is dismal.

Norwegian on October 9, 2012 at 10:16 PM

What does that mean?

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

It means they are less attached to assumptions about either State OR religious autohority. Contrary to what a whole lot of old, stupid, out of touch, Republicans believe, the youths didn’t vote for Obama because they liked the promise of a heavy government, they voted AGAINST Republicans because they saw (and not unreasonably so) the Republicans as the main agent of a heavy government. Patriot act, endless wars, stimulus, bailouts, corporatism. Under 30s aren’t going to turn out at even the 50% of the rate they did in 2008, because a lot of their sorry asses have woken up to the fact that Democrats are just as big of statist warmongering doucheknobs as their Republican counterparts.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:17 PM

No wonder that so many people have chosen government as their god.

Enjoy your secular humanistic hell on earth reprobates!

tom daschle
concerned on October 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

.
Government, or . . . . . . themselves.

I have come to believe that conservative (libertarian) atheists consider themselves to be “their own god.”

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:18 PM

That’s a very good start! Now if the rest of you inbred bible thumping wackjob freaks would stop believing in fairy tales about magical sky friends and his gay zombie kid the world would such a better place.

Your Mamma loves me on October 9, 2012 at 10:18 PM

One in five American adults now have no religious affiliation

They’re more honest than many folks who call themselves Christians, yet live like there’s no God.

The Lord Jesus predicted 2000 yrs ago that he’d have many pretend followers.

itsnotaboutme on October 9, 2012 at 10:19 PM

That’s a very good start! Now if the rest of you inbred bible thumping wackjob freaks would stop believing in fairy tales about magical sky friends and his gay zombie kid the world would such a better place.

Your Mamma loves me on October 9, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Thanks for affirming every pre-conceived notion I have about your type.

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:20 PM

It’s easy to be an atheist. Until your ass is being shot at in combat or until you’ve been given by your doctors three months to live or until you have children, and even more so when they have been given that three months prognosis.

As such, I’ve always thought atheism was a convenient and conditional phase for most its adherents. Easy to talk the talk, very hard to walk the walk when Fate rears its ugly face. I pray for them anyway as long as they don’t mess with me and mine.

Then again, atheism requires a belief after all, a belief in the non-existence of God, which is an affirmative position when you dissect it. That is why it is so easily shaken when adverse or sometimes so beautifully wonderful circumstances present themselves.

TXUS on October 9, 2012 at 10:20 PM

TigerPaw on October 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

.
I tend to agree with you, Tiger’.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Don’t negate all unaffiliates. Some of us ARE Conservative prolife, and everything most affiliated believe completely.

Don’t let AP start a fight.

Seems like a post designed to do just that.

My religion is my business, and those that I “affiliate” with. I get ticked when folks try to use it as a wedge in politics,, or for web hit counts.

I don’t care if you are an athiest anymore than you care what I am.

Religion is a personal thing. I discuss it with family and close friends. I don’t argue it with Strangers. Especially ones trying to provoke.

wolly4321 on October 9, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Government, or . . . . . . themselves.

I have come to believe that conservative (libertarian) atheists consider themselves to be “their own god.”

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Yeah, because they believe their future is in their own hands. Unlike your sorry “god-fearing” ass, who actually thinks there’s some dude out there listening to your self-serving personal requests to advance yourself and your “loved ones”. You have the exact same mentality as some welfare POS, except you are asking some fabricated entity for handouts instead of an actual government. Grow the eff up. Still, you’re better than the actual welfare seekers who beg the government for handouts, since you are just messing around in the realm of fantasy. Too bad so many of your Christian so-con leaders like Mike Huckabee want to use the force of government to achieve their “Christian” goals, though.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:22 PM

The Lord Jesus predicted 2000 yrs ago that he’d have many pretend followers.

itsnotaboutme on October 9, 2012 at 10:19 PM

.
Do you arrive at a further, deeper conclusion beyond that?

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Unafilliated” by itself is not necessarily a bad thing as the “church” has devolved from a Theological basis to a largely Therapeutic model with the accompanying professionalization of the “clergy”. There’s really less and less to BE affiated with.
Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Yup and a good percentage of churches are not affiliated with a specific denomination. Or their leaders may be, but the church itself is independent. e.g the Billy Graham organization has operated inder-denominationally for decades in it’s crusades, as do other Christian organizations in their evangelism efforts.

whatcat on October 9, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Now if the rest of you inbred bible thumping wackjob freaks would stop believing in fairy tales about magical sky friends and his gay zombie kid the world would such a better place.

Your Mamma loves me on October 9, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Ah, an intellectual challenge to my faith.

I’ve heard worse.

Some of the most brilliant minds on Earth embrace the Lord Jesus.

And some of the most brilliant minds on Earth reject the Lord Jesus.

Unfortunately, the commenter quoted above does not share this honest, realistic assessment.

itsnotaboutme on October 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM

It’s easy to be an atheist. Until your ass is being shot at in combat or until you’ve been given by your doctors three months to live or until you have children, and even more so when they have been given that three months prognosis.

As such, I’ve always thought atheism was a convenient and conditional phase for most its adherents. Easy to talk the talk, very hard to walk the walk when Fate rears its ugly face. I pray for them anyway as long as they don’t mess with me and mine.

Then again, atheism requires a belief after all, a belief in the non-existence of God, which is an affirmative position when you dissect it. That is why it is so easily shaken when adverse or sometimes so beautifully wonderful circumstances present themselves.

TXUS on October 9, 2012 at 10:20 PM

So basically you are saying what drives people to embrace religion is the fact that they are cowardly pieces of crap that refuse to face the cold hard fact of reality. They are sad sacks that will go to any pathetic length to justify the existence of some absurd paradigm as long as it gives them comfort when they’ve suffered some trauma. Nice. You make a great spokesman for irreligiosity.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:26 PM

THE POSTMODERNISTS WHO HAVE RUNNING THE ACADEMY AND THE MEDIA HAVE TAUGHT FOR 3 GENERATIONS THAT GOD IS A SKY FAIRY, ALL RELIGION STRUCTURALLY AND FUNCTIONALLY THE SAME – AND THE ROOT OF MUCH CIVIL STRIFE.

SO OF COURSE MANY HAVE LEFT THEIR FAITHS.

THE FACT IS THAT ATHEISTS KILLED MORE PEOPLE IN THE 20TH CENTURY THAN JUDEO-CHRISTIANS IN THE PRECEDING 19 CENTURIES.

MOST FOLKS HAVE BEEN TAUGHT THAT IT’S FINE TO BELIEVE IN SCIENTISTS – IN THEIR BIG BANGS AND THEIR HIGGS PARTICLES – EVEN IF THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND THEM – AND EVEN THOUGH ALL SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE IS PROVISIONAL. BUT THEY ARE TAUGHT THAT BELIEF IN GOD IS BAD BECAUSE GOD CAN’T BE EXPLAINED SCIENTIFICALLY.

AND SINCE THE POSTMODERN LEFT CONTROLS POP CULTURE, BELIEF HAS BEEN DEEMED “UNCOOL”.

TO CHANGE THIS WE NEED TO BREAK THE POSTMODERN LEFT’S STRANGLEHOLD ON THE ACADEMY AND THE MEDIA.

reliapundit on October 9, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Yeah, because they believe their future is in their own hands. Unlike your sorry “god-fearing” ass, who actually thinks there’s some dude out there listening to your self-serving personal requests to advance yourself and your “loved ones”. You have the exact same mentality as some welfare POS, except you are asking some fabricated entity for handouts instead of an actual government. Grow the eff up. Still, you’re better than the actual welfare seekers who beg the government for handouts, since you are just messing around in the realm of fantasy. Too bad so many of your Christian so-con leaders like Mike Huckabee want to use the force of government to achieve their “Christian” goals, though.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:22 PM

.
Well, … ahem (clearing throat) . . . . . thank you for your honesty.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:26 PM

I was raised in a culture of Judeo-Christian values, but I as a free-thinker no longer believe in supernatural events. I kinda miss that feeling I had when I was a kid, but if I chose otherwise, I would be living a lie.

V-rod on October 9, 2012 at 10:29 PM

we’re well on our way to being Godless. Our founding fathers would be so proud.

cynccook on October 9, 2012 at 9:59 PM

I suspect some of them would be.

SauerKraut537 on October 9, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:26 PM

You know, they make a pill for what ails you. Its called Pr!losec, and it prevents all that bile from being released into your system.

thatsafactjack on October 9, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Comfort in trauma is a bad thing?

wolly4321 on October 9, 2012 at 10:31 PM

TXUS on October 9, 2012 at 10:20 PM

.
So basically you are saying what drives people to embrace religion is the fact that they are cowardly pieces of crap that refuse to face the cold hard fact of reality. They are sad sacks that will go to any pathetic length to justify the existence of some absurd paradigm as long as it gives them comfort when they’ve suffered some trauma. Nice. You make a great spokesman for irreligiosity.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:26 PM

.
Recognition of a “higher power” very much comes naturally. You have to proactively reject it to arrive at the place where you call yourself an atheist.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

No wonder that so many people have chosen government as their god.

Enjoy your secular humanistic hell on earth reprobates!

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

another thoughtful-believer making Jesus proud

Capitalist Hog on October 9, 2012 at 10:33 PM

So basically you are saying what drives people to embrace religion is the fact that they are cowardly pieces of crap that refuse to face the cold hard fact of reality. They are sad sacks that will go to any pathetic length to justify the existence of some absurd paradigm as long as it gives them comfort when they’ve suffered some trauma. Nice. You make a great spokesman for irreligiosity.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:26 PM

No, I am just underlining how shallow atheists are, and how they find salvation only when they have nothing left. You missed my point, but God may have gotten it, and He welcomes all no matter how they ultimately found Him. Isn’t that what Jesus said?

TXUS on October 9, 2012 at 10:33 PM

I was raised in a culture of Judeo-Christian values, but I as a free-thinker no longer believe in supernatural events. I kinda miss that feeling I had when I was a kid, but if I chose otherwise, I would be living a lie.
V-rod on October 9, 2012 at 10:29 PM

May I ask you a question then?

These “A list” atheists, AP talks about, Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris etc. what do you think of them and what they promote?

Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 10:34 PM

The Lord Jesus predicted 2000 yrs ago that he’d have many pretend followers.

itsnotaboutme on October 9, 2012 at 10:19 PM

There is, of course, no evidence that Jesus existed.

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Enjoy your secular humanistic hell on earth reprobates!

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

If someone doesn’t believe in god, then what makes you think they would believe in hell?

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:35 PM

.
Recognition of a “higher power” very much comes naturally. You have to proactively reject it to arrive at the place where you call yourself an atheist.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

You may as well be a liberal if you’re going to expect to be believed simply for making a statement. Try supporting your ridiculous assertion empirically.

Capitalist Hog on October 9, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Capitalist Hog on October 9, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Please judge me. I need it. I deserve it. You have to do it.

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:36 PM

I suspect some of them would be.

SauerKraut537
on October 9, 2012 at 10:30 PM

.
SauerKraut537 ! . . . I haven’t argued with you on one of these “existence of God” threads in a while. How ya’ been?

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:37 PM

No, I am just underlining how shallow atheists are, and how they find salvation only when they have nothing left.

TXUS on October 9, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Speak for yourself. Just because YOU had some hard moment that gave you a “come to Jeebus” moment hardly means everyone else has the same cowardly epiphany.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:37 PM

If someone doesn’t believe in god, then what makes you think they would believe in hell?

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:35 PM

If, then, stupid question…

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Sure… because secularism and atheism have worked so well in Europe./

thatsafactjack on October 9, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Militant Atheists are going to be the ones that save the world from Militant Jihadists. That is they are really are anti-religion in the town square or just anti-catholic religion in the town square. Will they go to court to silence the centuries old Sunday only church bells but also go to court to allow the new call to pray 5 times a day from the minaret on public land. Time will tell but there are sure some that will not want both and they will be the ones to save.

It is fun to see when everything that they complain about religion being backward only applies to judo-Christian religions and not Islam. What does the Koran say about creationism and science. Under the Taliban they for the farmers could not predict the weather as only Allah knows what tomorrows weather will be and to try, that is a beheading.

tjexcite on October 9, 2012 at 10:40 PM

This would come as no shock if one had read Ann Coulter’s Godless about six years ago. The real difference in the numbers is on the Democrat side. Even those who claim to be Chrisians are often Christians in name only — Nancy Pelosi for example.

Christian Conservative on October 9, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Maybe people should start looking to the skies.

/

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Sure… because secularism and atheism have worked so well in Europe./

thatsafactjack on October 9, 2012 at 10:38 PM

More religious European countries in the Eurozone: Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland.

More IRRELIGIOUS countries in the Eurozone: Germany, Netherlands, Finland.

Even MORE IRRELIGIOUS countries NOT in the Eurozone: UK, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland.

Yeah, I see your point. The backwards religious shitholes are dragging down the productive irreligious countries. That WAS your point, right, moron?

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Athiest amuse themselves thinking they are enlightened enough to believe in nothing. It’s quite the paradox. We all know nothing. But somehow they are the smart ones for mocking us for believing in something.

Get back to me when you can explain anything. Like life itself.

wolly4321 on October 9, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Under 30s aren’t going to turn out at even the 50% of the rate they did in 2008, because a lot of their sorry asses have woken up to the fact that Democrats are just as big of statist warmongering doucheknobs as their Republican counterparts.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:17 PM

We would prefer such naifs staying away anyway.

thebrokenrattle on October 9, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Of course, the extrapolation of the numbers into the future ignores one thing: God. He has sparked revivals in much worse societies than our own and caused radical shifts in the loyalities of those affected. May He do it again. Here. Now.

Christian Conservative on October 9, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Coming online simply to work psychological violence on others anonymously is the epitome of cowardice. I’ve seen you be equally nasty on purely political issues, too. I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re not here to persuade or debate, that you’re really just here to get what passes for excitement for you spitting that bile at others.

thatsafactjack on October 9, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Recognition of a “higher power” very much comes naturally. You have to proactively reject it to arrive at the place where you call yourself an atheist.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

.
You may as well be a liberal if you’re going to expect to be believed simply for making a statement. Try supporting your ridiculous assertion empirically.

Capitalist Hog on October 9, 2012 at 10:36 PM

.
Ok, here’s more “lacquer-thinner for the fire”:

“Self-evident” doesn’t require proof/support. Defiance of it requires proof/support.

The existence of a Higher Power is “self-evident”.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:44 PM

C’mon shake those tiny fists!

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:45 PM

SauerKraut537 ! . . . I haven’t argued with you on one of these “existence of God” threads in a while. How ya’ been?

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:37 PM

I’ve been well thanks. I don’t argue against the existence of a creator anymore Glenn, I never really did. What I argue against are the poor representations of the god that could be, ie Yahweh, Allah, Adonai, insert mythological god here.

As I’ve said before, gods impregnating virgins and angels whispering to prophets in caves is just infantile.

I wish people would grow up and get a better understanding of the god that could be and quit wasting their times sitting in pews listening to poorly thought out theological dogma/drivel.

SauerKraut537 on October 9, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Yeah, I see your point. The backwards religious shitholes are dragging down the productive irreligious countries. That WAS your point, right, moron?

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:42 PM

It’s gratifying to see that you do not require the threat of punishmnent by a supernatural deity in order to be a calm, well-reasoned and respectful person. You truly are a model atheist. Well done.

cynccook on October 9, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Yup and a good percentage of churches are not affiliated with a specific denomination. Or their leaders may be, but the church itself is independent. e.g the Billy Graham organization has operated inder-denominationally for decades in it’s crusades, as do other Christian organizations in their evangelism efforts.
whatcat on October 9, 2012 at 10:23 PM

That also is not necassarily a good thing. One of the more obvious reasons for the non-affiliations of entire congregations is a thoroughly Westernized inclination towards democracy in our theological thinking. If we don’t like what’s being done in a church we just go to another. There’s little to no fighting for what’s TRUE anymore. Rather it’s what makes me FEEL good.

Even Graham admits that if he had to it all over again his model would be drastically different.

Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 10:54 PM

There is, of course, no evidence that Jesus existed.

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:34 PM

There’s no evidence that Dante exists.

thebrokenrattle on October 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM

There is, of course, no evidence that Jesus existed.

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:34 PM

There’s more evidence that Jesus existed than there is that Christopher Columbus existed. We’re just biased because Columbus is closer to us in time.

RBMN on October 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM

There’s no evidence that Dante exists.

thebrokenrattle on October 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM

I missed that!

Hilarious!

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

See the civility your celebration of a more secular right brings out Allah? It’s like a ron paul thread. Logically, it should give one pause to reflect on who supports it.

Own them.

wolly4321 on October 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Speak for yourself. Just because YOU had some hard moment that gave you a “come to Jeebus” moment hardly means everyone else has the same cowardly epiphany.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 10:37 PM

I never needed such a moment, I’ve believed and been blessed all my life, which helped me to get through some struggles that, in retrospect, I would not have been able to get through had I not already believed. That you say that I found God through some hard moment and had some “cowardly” epiphany, says more about you than anything else.

Thank you for the insight.

TXUS on October 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

I wish people would grow up and get a better understanding of the god that could be and quit wasting their times sitting in pews listening to poorly thought out theological dogma/drivel.

SauerKraut537 on October 9, 2012 at 10:50 PM

.
The God that “could be” ? !

Did God make us, or are we making him? Daikokuco claims we are “making him”, and I’m claiming that the Intelligent Designer is “self evident” and doesn’t need to be “made”.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

There’s more evidence that Jesus existed than there is that Christopher Columbus existed. We’re just biased because Columbus is closer to us in time.

RBMN on October 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM

There is no evidence that Jesus existed. Has nothing to do with being closer in time.

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Man created god. You didn’t know that?

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

I never needed such a moment, I’ve believed and been blessed all my life, which helped me to get through some struggles that, in retrospect, I would not have been able to get through had I not already believed. That you say that I found God through some hard moment and had some “cowardly” epiphany, says more about you than anything else.

Thank you for the insight.

TXUS on October 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

So you were just making retard assumptions about atheists supposedly finding Jesus when the going got tough then, without any evidence whatsoever of your idiotic claim?

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you were speaking from experience. Instead you are just making claims about people you’ve never met and never known and their supposed weakness of conviction. That’s even worse, bub. Who the hell do you think you are?

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Man created god. You didn’t know that?

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

God creates dinosaurs.
God destroys dinosaurs.
God creates man.
Man destroys God.
Man creates dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs destory Dante.
If he existed.

With respects to Dr. Ian Malcolm, who also never existed.

thebrokenrattle on October 9, 2012 at 11:02 PM

There is no evidence that Jesus existed. Has nothing to do with being closer in time.

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

I guess that makes you ineligible to serve on a jury, if you don’t accept testimony as evidence.

RBMN on October 9, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Instead you are just making claims about people you’ve never met and never known and their supposed weakness of conviction.

So rich.

LMFAO!

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 11:05 PM

There is no evidence that Jesus existed.
Dante

It’s perfectly predictable that a thread such as this would instantly be swarming with the most vile bigots that lurk here on Hot Gas, so I’m not going to bother trying to reason them out of positions they hold out of pure hate and malice, but I will note just how utterly ridiculous and ahistorical that statement is. Plenty of atheists and agnostics point to well-documented *evidence* that Jesus was a real man who lived in Jerusalem roughly 2000 years ago and all of that. They may not believe he was a divine being, but there’s actually a LOT more hard, historical and scientific evidence (thus not counting scriptural accounts and spiritual evidence) of the existence of Jesus than there is of many other figures whose place in history we take for granted.

CanofSand on October 9, 2012 at 11:06 PM

I guess that makes you ineligible to serve on a jury, if you don’t accept testimony as evidence.

RBMN on October 9, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Here’s some testimoney, you sorry sucker:

“The hamburgler raided my BBQ! He took everything! Everything!” Do you know how hard it would be to round up a handful of people to regurgitate my story, people who weren’t even at the BBQ at the first place (h/t new testament)?

Protip: not very hard at all.

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Allah says they must have religion or die.

KMC1 on October 9, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Protip: not very hard

Likely not “pro”

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 11:09 PM

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

.
Man created god. You didn’t know that?

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

.
Then what/who created man? Also the the fowl of the air, fish of the sea, all of the mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects of innumerable varieties?

All of them able to reproduce themselves in ways that human engineers could never think up.
All of them with a unique “genetic code”, that holds more information in a single cell than our Super-computers can.
.
The Intelligent Designer is … ‘self-evident’.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 11:13 PM

Hear that AP? Your fellow athiest are sooo tolerant they call people of Religion “cowards”.

Maybe your bigotry is more subtle. Secularism generally is. By definition.

Vague post without opine will do. Just throw it out there and let it ride. Look what it brings, huh.

I hate seeing this kind of ugliness.

wolly4321 on October 9, 2012 at 11:13 PM

CanofSand on October 9, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Isn’t it sad? The one topic that should inspire deep, reflective, and profound dialog concerning the mysteries of life are reduced to this nonsense. That, in itself, is a reflection of the sorry state we’re in intellectually and spiritually as a people.

Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 11:15 PM

There is no evidence that Jesus existed. Has nothing to do with being closer in time.

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

.
I guess that makes you ineligible to serve on a jury, if you don’t accept testimony as evidence.

RBMN
on October 9, 2012 at 11:04 PM

.
Hold the phone . . . . . you and Dante maybe onto something there.
Haven’t you ever wanted to get out of jury duty?

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Yup and a good percentage of churches are not affiliated with a specific denomination. Or their leaders may be, but the church itself is independent. e.g the Billy Graham organization has operated inder-denominationally for decades in it’s crusades, as do other Christian organizations in their evangelism efforts.
whatcat on October 9, 2012 at 10:23 PM

That also is not necassarily a good thing. One of the more obvious reasons for the non-affiliations of entire congregations is a thoroughly Westernized inclination towards democracy in our theological thinking. If we don’t like what’s being done in a church we just go to another. There’s little to no fighting for what’s TRUE anymore. Rather it’s what makes me FEEL good.
Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 10:54 PM

In some cases that may be so, e.g. with the Joel Osteen feel-good types. However, with the former mainstream denominations abandoning Christianity in favor of PC mush-theology they have rendered themselves obsolete to Christians – there’s no reason to be “affiliated” with such.
This is a long tradition within the Christian faith – abandoning denominations that have abandoned the gospel – an example of this would be one of the most influential persons within the history of evangelical Christianity, John Nelson Darby.
Also, consider the “House Churches” in atheist China which, though illegal, are booming.

whatcat on October 9, 2012 at 11:18 PM

I hate seeing this kind of ugliness.
wolly4321 on October 9, 2012 at 11:13 PM

It is disheartening, isn’t it?

Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 11:19 PM

I hate seeing this kind of ugliness.
wolly4321 on October 9, 2012 at 11:13 PM

.
It is disheartening, isn’t it?

Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 11:19 PM

.
I’m not going to say I like to see it, but I have a “gift” for confronting it. I guess that reduces the stress it causes most of the rest of you. : (

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 11:23 PM

There is no evidence that Jesus existed. Has nothing to do with being closer in time.
Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

I guess that makes you ineligible to serve on a jury, if you don’t accept testimony as evidence.
RBMN on October 9, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Would also render him ineligible to teach history, since we have much more documentary evidence re: ancient writings on Jesus than we do on Aristotle. He would have to wipe out the whole of ancient history.

whatcat on October 9, 2012 at 11:24 PM

whatcat on October 9, 2012 at 11:18 PM

No, I agree that, at some point there’s really nothing more one can do but leave. As a good friend of mine says, “Either stand up and fight or stand up and leave but don’t just sit there and take it” but I really don’t see real Theology resulting from these new expressions developing.

There is a real lack of Theological insights any longer in the West. Most of these offshoots mean well but have little wisdom. And just moving the current model into a house or a gymnasium is just rearranging the furniture.

Christ did not enter time and space so that men and women could occupy a specific place one hour of one day of the week to sing vapid songs and listen to soliloquies they forget by the time they get in their cars.

There’s a real problem in Western Christianity today.

Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Would also render him ineligible to teach history, since we have much more documentary evidence re: ancient writings on Jesus than we do on Aristotle. He would have to wipe out the whole of ancient history.

whatcat on October 9, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Lol where the hell did you hear that? You don’t even know how stupid you sound, do you?

Daikokuco on October 9, 2012 at 11:30 PM

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Oh, believe me, the problem isn’t with you.

Cleombrotus on October 9, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Enjoy your secular humanistic hell on earth reprobates!

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 9:58 PM

If someone doesn’t believe in god, then what makes you think they would believe in hell?

Dante on October 9, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I knew that I only needed to scan down the page and I’d see one of you cleanbrain Uberbrains say something laughably stupid.

Duh, cause in tom’s scenario it would be on earth.

When somebody says “hell on earth” it doesn’t require the guy with the pitchfork to attend.

See the “I don’t believe” argument that you’re conditioned into does not fit every case where somebody mentions a figure of speech normally associated with the supernatural, jackwagon.

Axeman on October 9, 2012 at 11:33 PM

See the “I don’t believe” argument that you’re conditioned into does not fit every case where somebody mentions a figure of speech normally associated with the supernatural, jackwagon.

Axeman on October 9, 2012 at 11:33 PM

I’m not one for subtlety or nuance :P

tom daschle concerned on October 9, 2012 at 11:35 PM

The God that “could be” ? !

Did God make us, or are we making him? Daikokuco claims we are “making him”, and I’m claiming that the Intelligent Designer is “self evident” and doesn’t need to be “made”.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

There is a god or gods that COULD be, and likely are. What are “made” are the gods Zeus, Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu, etc… It is certainly NOT self evident that the god you imagine exists and “is”, but it’s certainly PLAUSIBLE that there is a god.

You don’t need a god to be good, and you don’t need a religion to know god, and you certainly don’t have to keep wasting your time and energy forwarding a religion founded in our species historical infancy.

If you are convinced that there must be a god – a source of love and life and joy and morality and hope – then keep looking. Yahweh is about the worst candidate for that job that there could possibly be.

Read the bible for more proof of that.

SauerKraut537 on October 9, 2012 at 11:37 PM

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