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← Belief In God Plummets Among Youth (CHART)

Belief In God Plummets Among Youth (CHART) - Comments

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 1 by The Truth, the light

I still find 68% a pretty scary number, but at least it is on a downward trend.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:01:08 UTC | #947276

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 2 by Neodarwinian

You may have mistyped the address or the page may have moved.

I don't think so! Still, this is to be expected, after all this is the 21st century.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:08:59 UTC | #947280

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 3 by mordacious1


Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:12:31 UTC | #947283

Reason Saves's Avatar Comment 4 by Reason Saves

The assertion "I never doubt the existence of god" is loaded. If the subject ever doubted the existence of god, even once for one second, they would have to say they disagreed with the assertion if they were to be brutally honest.

The survey could simply reflect the subject's interpretation of how their response might be inferred; subjects of greater age presumably being better at reading between the lines...

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:19:58 UTC | #947289

zengardener's Avatar Comment 5 by zengardener

It's hard to believe ANYBODY would say that they NEVER doubted.

I am skeptical that this is very informative.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:32:51 UTC | #947294

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 6 by Carl Sai Baba

15% loss in 5 years? For the 5-year period ending today, I think the Dow is doing slightly better than that.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:42:15 UTC | #947295

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 7 by Carl Sai Baba

That's a good poll question. People being as squirmy as they are, simply asking "do you believe ______?" might result in people saying yes even though they really mean "sometimes I do, sometimes I don't."

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:46:39 UTC | #947300

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 8 by Carl Sai Baba

Comment 5 by zengardener :

It's hard to believe ANYBODY would say that they NEVER doubted.

I am skeptical that this is very informative.

Yes, but it is worded in the present tense. "never do it" <> "never have done it"

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:49:40 UTC | #947301

kimberly_2012's Avatar Comment 9 by kimberly_2012

I think it shows that young people today see the harm that religion does. It proves they are becoming more socially aware of their surroundings.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 02:03:27 UTC | #947311

rjohn19's Avatar Comment 10 by rjohn19

Religion in America is much like the cockroach. Through extreme measures it can be driven from your house but never eradicated.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 04:58:21 UTC | #947327

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 11 by strangebrew

They are trying to soften the reality. Everyone knows that religiosity is on a downward spiral globally...well certainly in the Western world that tends to export their delusional bollix to anyone else that will listen...

The question was deliberately couched to be ambiguous and convoluted to instil a moment of is a crock of shite and they still did not get the answer they wanted cos the drop is so marked they cannot 'error bar' it away...but there is only so much padding to the numbers they can is displaying a drop being not so dramatic as it actually is.

“I never doubt the existence of God.”

That is redolent of preacher speak...when they harangue the victims in youth camps...." You must never doubt the existence of god"...etc etc.

Why not a simpler...

Do you believe in god ?

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 06:22:30 UTC | #947336

Reason Saves's Avatar Comment 12 by Reason Saves

Comment 8 by Carl Sai Baba :

Yes, but it is worded in the present tense. "never do it" != "never have done it"

I don't agree, given the meaning of "never". Yes, it's in the present tense, but to take another example: "I never win the lottery" implies that not only is the speaker not winning it right now, but they have not ever won it.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:16:56 UTC | #947352

mr_zero's Avatar Comment 13 by mr_zero

Graphs where the origin isn't at zero are annoying.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:24:20 UTC | #947353

Sample's Avatar Comment 14 by Sample

Look at the spin the local Catholic bishop writes about this week in our town's paper:

America, it turns out, is a very religious nation. A recent poll of Americans by the Pew Research reports that 8–in-10 Americans say they never doubt the existence of God, three quarters (76 percent) of the public say prayer is an important part of their daily life and the same number believe that they will have to answer for their actions before God. A majority of Americans are affiliated with a church, synagogue, mosque or other religious institution.

Living in a country with such a high overall rate of religious participation, it might seem that religious liberty for all would be guaranteed and protected. Unfortunately, that is not the case. (Bishop Edward Burns)

This opinion went on about the so-called violation of religious liberty going on in the US. What's this called again, oh yes, Lying for Jesus.


Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:33:14 UTC | #947358

Free2011's Avatar Comment 15 by Free2011

They would have received more concrete data by simply asking "Do you believe in a God"? As stated the question is too vague and open to interpretation. Having said that I think you will see this dramatic decline continue as the apposing views to religion message gets out along with compelling scientific data against claims made by theists. Please hurry

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 11:24:51 UTC | #947378

Aztek's Avatar Comment 16 by Aztek

Comment 10 by rjohn19 :

Religion in America is much like the cockroach. Through extreme measures it can be driven from your house but never eradicated.

I think this applies to religion all over the world. But it's not because religion is resilient, but because people are inherently irrational. Even if religious belief would disappear tomorrow, new generations would be born with the ability to to think irrationally. And because of this they in turn would turn to religion or similar stupid things. So each generation needs to be vaccinated against irrational thinking with a dose of rationality. It's an everlasting battle.

However, despite me usually being a pessimist, I have to say I'm optimistic when it comes to religions losing ground. Some people might say that religions are lifting their heads and that they have too much power in society. They worry about non-belief not spreading fast enough. But in my mind non-belief has taken great strides in a very short time considering how few resources our movement, or whatever you want to call it, has at its hands. The only reason why religions have the status they have are the massive resources at their disposal. They then use these resources to brainwash people for years to convince them of religious dogmas without any evidence. And yet, once you become religious, there is nothing that guarantees that your belief remains intact. It might crumble at any time, and that's why religions need to continue spreading their propaganda.

On the other hand, it is fairly easy to turn atheist. It doesn't require years of persuasion. One afternoon looking honestly at evidence is all you need to lose your faith. And once you have become an atheist, it is nearly impossible to go back. How many of us can be convinced of the existence of Santa Clause once we have lost the faith in him at an early age? That makes the road between belief and non-belief a one-way street. It's easy to become an atheist but nearly impossible to return to faith. That's why I feel it's important not to be deterred by the power that religions appear to have. We need to continue spreading the understanding of rational thinking. Because it does work, and despite what it might appear, our work is easier than religions'. We get results with far fewer resources than religions. A few billboards and books lead to discussion and make people think. And thinking is the antidote to belief.

If these younger people's lack of faith in gods is the result of honest thinking and connecting the dots, they won't turn back to religion. They will be vaccinated against stupid arguments put forward by religions. And they will probably not teach religions to their kids either, making it much less likely that future generations become religious. The only thing I worry about is that these young people who identify as non-believers feel that way just because they are apathetic to religions. The reason for them to call themselves non-believers is just because they never think about religion. If their "non-belief" is of this sort, I fear that it is easy to push them back to faith. If they have never thought about the reasons why they identify as non-believers, they won't have any way to counter religious persuasion.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 11:36:20 UTC | #947380

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 17 by strangebrew

Comment 14 by Sample

Living in a country with such a high overall rate of religious participation, it might seem that religious liberty for all would be guaranteed and protected. Unfortunately, that is not the case. (Bishop Edward Burns)

They will only be mollified when the numbers state 100% and then some!

What he actually means by religious liberty is that his church are not getting the liberty to discriminate...suppress and practice intolerance...(as if they needed to practice) They are very sad little penguins cos they don't get to burn anyone any-more and they cannot preach hate as easily as they once could...sad penguins...cannot play at kiddie fiddling without someone being beastly to them in the media or on the World Wide Web...and they are not happy cos the government do not play the same games they do...they want to bully and they cannot...alas!

And people are beginning to laugh at them...openly!

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 11:57:31 UTC | #947383

hellosnackbar's Avatar Comment 18 by hellosnackbar

Atheism on the rise in the USA!!! Dawkins et al are doing a great job.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 12:03:07 UTC | #947386

Sample's Avatar Comment 19 by Sample

@comment 17, strangebrew: bingo.


Thu, 14 Jun 2012 12:07:03 UTC | #947388

cheesedoff17's Avatar Comment 20 by cheesedoff17

As pages don't move, I think this one was most likely removed. Some good news for a change.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 12:42:36 UTC | #947394

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 21 by Rawhard Dickins

Figures look high still, a question like "how do you think it all started" or similar may be more revealing!

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:00:08 UTC | #947396

Dread Pirate Roberts's Avatar Comment 22 by Dread Pirate Roberts

Good link here:

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:00:37 UTC | #947397

AtheistButt's Avatar Comment 23 by AtheistButt

It was pointed out in comment 2 that the 'Read more' link didn't work, and it still doesn't work 12 hours later. Mods!? There's not much more to be had from the article, but it would be nice to see links work.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:42:15 UTC | #947401

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 24 by Vorlund

Young people have access to more information than they used to. The world is no longer the sole views of parents, priests and sunday school teachers.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 14:25:18 UTC | #947406

Daryl 's Avatar Comment 25 by Daryl

It's a terrible question, because it might only reflect the inability to distinguish a poorly written sentence. If you asked it as: Do you always believe in god? of maybe Have you always....or do you now? Or how strong is your belief in....?

As any republican manning a phone bank for a poll can tell you, HOW you frame a question is more important than the question itself.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 15:29:06 UTC | #947413

debaser71's Avatar Comment 26 by debaser71

Pew, word your questions without the bias please.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 16:22:05 UTC | #947418

BanJoIvie's Avatar Comment 27 by BanJoIvie



For those interested, the rest of the article is HERE.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 17:07:50 UTC | #947425

/Mike's Avatar Comment 28 by /Mike

I see one of the mod's fixed the link. If you ever have problems with links or formatting in an article in the future please click on the green "report a problem" button and we'll see that right away. The mods and admins don't read all comments on all articles. Thanks

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 17:34:58 UTC | #947428

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 29 by scottishgeologist

strong textInteresting to see the net downward trend, even if it is painfully slow.

However, nearer to home, I came across this interesting staement:

"Scotland has secularized faster than any nation in history". At one time Scotland was known as the "land of the book" because religion was so entrenched. So it can be done.

That statement, BTW, is from an article by David Robertson, reflecting on the fact that possibly the biggest evangelical Church Of Scotland congregation has seceded from the national church over the issue of gay clergy:

Church secedes

Interesting times here. The article is worth reading ro get a feel for what evangies are up to.

:-)) SG

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 18:58:47 UTC | #947439

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 30 by strangebrew

Comment 29 by scottishgeologist

The article is worth reading ro get a feel for what evangies are up to.

Yeah indeed, this will not be a rare occurrence elsewhere either.

With the C of E disintegrating like a pack of cards....why does 'Catwaezle really want out? will be impossible to keep them selves intact after several years of bitter in fighting. Most battles orchestrated by evangelical fervour.

The evangelicals are stirring the pot...they want the reins...always have...these feckers really want a theocracy none of this namby pamby secular state with religion for is a straight dash for the crown and glory...they want national control...simples!

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 20:42:17 UTC | #947459