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← U.S. 'Satisfied' With Religion's Public Role, But More Want Less

U.S. 'Satisfied' With Religion's Public Role, But More Want Less - Comments

CDG's Avatar Comment 1 by CDG

Well, we are a long way from 100% saying out with religion, but at least we are trending...

Sat, 03 Feb 2007 15:40:00 UTC | #18447

MelM's Avatar Comment 2 by MelM

The number of Americans who think religion should have less impact has increased 10 percentage points since 2001, according to Gallup.

Good news! I still maintain that to mainstream Americia, Pat Robertson and his pals are a joke. But, Americans don't understand the power grab being engineered and have never heard of most of the "big names" in the movement or their disgusting ideas. Radicals trump moderates so, there's no time to relax. Besides, without being able to account for the stats, we don't really know how much significance to give them.

Sat, 03 Feb 2007 15:41:00 UTC | #18448

zoro's Avatar Comment 3 by zoro

If it were a linear system, then in the results we could find some encouragement: 20 to 30% in five years, only 35 years to go! And on the other hand, because it's a nonlinear system, there's either encouragement or discouragement. Discouragement in realizing that there's some diehards who won't change, almost no matter what. But encouragement from "the butterfly effect" (as in the reality that a butterfly can initiate a hurricane): only during the past five years have "butterflies" such as Harris and Dawkins started to flap their wings; now, if only another Voltaire would take flight!

Sat, 03 Feb 2007 15:59:00 UTC | #18450

mmurray's Avatar Comment 4 by mmurray

Didi they do an age profile for this ?


Sat, 03 Feb 2007 16:59:00 UTC | #18456

Dogbreath's Avatar Comment 5 by Dogbreath

The details of the poll are here

Sat, 03 Feb 2007 18:29:00 UTC | #18457

AtheistJunkie's Avatar Comment 6 by AtheistJunkie

The problem in the U.S. is that a lot of atheists and agnostics will not show their true colors in the fear of being persecuted. However, this attitude is changing slowly with the help of heroes like Dawkins , Sam Harris and others.

Sat, 03 Feb 2007 19:45:00 UTC | #18463

denoir's Avatar Comment 7 by denoir

After nearly a decade of Bush and 27% want more religion in government? Not a very encouraging poll.

Sat, 03 Feb 2007 23:08:00 UTC | #18472

Joadist's Avatar Comment 8 by Joadist

We have to remember that this poll uses the word 'religion' to refer specifically to 'Christianity'.

I doubt it reflects a desire to have Scientology or Satanism be a greater influence.

Sun, 04 Feb 2007 02:37:00 UTC | #18478

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 9 by scottishgeologist

Ah, yes, data, statistics, extrapolation. One of the funniest examples of this is from that great freethinker Mark Twain:

The Lower Mississippi River meanders over its flat valley, forming broad loops called ox-bows. In a flood, the river can jump its banks and cut off one of these loops, getting shorter in the process. In his book "Life on the Mississippi" (1884), Mark Twain suggests, with tongue in cheek, that some day the river might even vanish! Here is a passage that shows us some of the pitfalls in using rates to predict the future and the past.

In the space of one hundred and seventy six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over a mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old O├Âlitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-pole. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo [Illinois] and New Orleans will have joined their streets together and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

Twain Quotes are great - there is a whole pile of them here:

And one of the best:

The Bible: It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
- Letters from the Earth

Sun, 04 Feb 2007 03:51:00 UTC | #18483

Riley's Avatar Comment 10 by Riley

I read: 67% of Americans want organized religion's influence in the U.S. to remain if not increase.

and that's depressing.


Sun, 04 Feb 2007 14:22:00 UTC | #18511

Martha's Avatar Comment 11 by Martha

Twain Quotes are great - there is a whole pile of them here:

Scottishgeologist: I love Mark Twain, and thanks for the link. Only problem is, it won't open up for me! I'll try googling it myself.


Sun, 04 Feb 2007 14:39:00 UTC | #18512

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 12 by Chrysippus_Maximus

It won't open because there's a U in the word "quotes".


Sun, 04 Feb 2007 15:43:00 UTC | #18518

Pantore's Avatar Comment 13 by Pantore

Polls don't mean a thing, they're handy tools to hype up the majority.

Mon, 05 Feb 2007 08:42:00 UTC | #18559

melisande's Avatar Comment 14 by melisande

I just don't see how they can come up with these numbers. I haven't been asked. No one I know was asked. How the hell can you extrapolate from 1000 people what the rest of the country thinks.


Mon, 05 Feb 2007 16:12:00 UTC | #18597

Homo economicus's Avatar Comment 15 by Homo economicus

Thats the nature of polls.

They survey a small random sample, and sometimes weigh the results based on the total population (eg. if most of the population is 20-30 then this group will have more weight in the poll).

It really helps to know who conducted the poll, how the sample was choosen, and the results finalised. If you do not have this information, scepticism is worthy.

I should add that Gallup are considered fairly reliable as a polling organisation.

Tue, 06 Feb 2007 06:26:00 UTC | #18649

Tintern's Avatar Comment 16 by Tintern

"When Adam ate the apple in the Garden and learned how to multiply and replenish, the other animals learned the Art, too, by watching Adam. It was cunning of them, it was neat; for they got all that was worth having out of the apple without tasting it and afflicting themselves with the disastrous Moral Sense, the parent of all the immoralities."
- Letters from the Earth
This was Mark Twain's take on sex. Historical yet so enlightened. Talk about the need to learn from the past.

Tue, 06 Feb 2007 06:55:00 UTC | #18656