Atheism on the rise in U.S., poll shows

Aug 13, 2012 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Salt Lake Tribune

Religiosity is on the decline in the U.S. and atheism is on the rise, according to a new worldwide poll.

The poll, called "The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism," found that the number of Americans who say they are "religious" dropped from 73 percent in 2005 (the last time the poll was conducted) to 60 percent.

At the same time, the number of Americans who say they are atheists jumped, from 1 percent to 5 percent.
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“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

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#1
Aug 14, 2012
 
I nearly deleted this article because it was largely a duplicate of the article on the loss of religiosity in Ireland. In the end, I reedited and kept it because of its focus on the U.S., the cautionary remarks of Barry Kosmin, and the surprisingly secular comments for the Salt Lake City readers. Those comments are worth a look for the glimpse of the secular minority in the heart of Mormon land.
EdSed

Wishaw, UK

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#2
Aug 14, 2012
 
Quote, "Barry Kosmin, the principal investigator for the ARIS report, said hes skeptical of the new study..."
He says that people don't change their beliefs that quickly? Some people do, especially if they conclude that acts of faith aren't a good thing after all. Others like me may be indifferent to religion used to profess to be Christian to 'keep the peace'. The more agnosticism (or atheism) is tolerated, the more it is likely to be openly accepted.

Continue quote, "......Specifically, he points to the polls finding that Vietnam, while showing a sharp 23 percent drop in religiosity since 2005, also shows no atheists. "Eight million Communist Party members but zero atheists?" he said. "That statistic makes me very doubtful of the accuracy of the survey overall and some of the international comparisons."
In some cultures, atheism seems to have very negative connotations. Agnostics sometimes don't like to be called atheists and the wording of the question matters too...
quote, "Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person, or a convinced atheist?"
I'm seldom 'convinced' of very much and I keep an open mind. It might depend on the definition of 'god'. So even I would probably answer 'not religious' to such a vague question and with such a limited choice of answers.

Quote, "..based on interviews with 50,000 people from 57 countries and five continents. " An average of less than 1,000 people per country and some of them the size of the USA, or maybe bigger.

I think one can say is that the game is up for religion. People are starting to THINK about it!

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

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#3
Aug 14, 2012
 
The key difference is in how the question was phrased. The refusal rate was with normal parameters, so the question was obviously clear to the participants. The phrase "convinced atheist.: though, might have resulted in more people choosing "not a religious person" instead. I suspect that the way the phrase translated into Vietnamese may have caused the zero rate for atheism.

Barry Kosmin is probably the world's most prominent expert on the demography of religion and has been documenting the decline of religion for decades with no discernible bias. I don't take his skepticism lightly. Rather, I look for a reason that his results have shown a more modest decline--hence the focus on the question's phrasing.
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

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#4
Aug 14, 2012
 
NightSerf wrote:
The key difference is in how the question was phrased. The refusal rate was with normal parameters, so the question was obviously clear to the participants. The phrase "convinced atheist.: though, might have resulted in more people choosing "not a religious person" instead. I suspect that the way the phrase translated into Vietnamese may have caused the zero rate for atheism.
Barry Kosmin is probably the world's most prominent expert on the demography of religion and has been documenting the decline of religion for decades with no discernible bias. I don't take his skepticism lightly. Rather, I look for a reason that his results have shown a more modest decline--hence the focus on the question's phrasing.
being an atheist is not necessary or sufficient, for being a good person. there are other elements, more important. to be an ethical person is more important in determining character. to be well informed and well intentioned is even better. to be misinformed and well intentioned could result in bad mistakes. an atheist may be better informed - or have made a better guess - but unless he is well intentioned,, I do not see that an atheist is a splendid person merely because of his atheism.

I generally agree with you more than with most other atheists on topix forums, and my comments are meant to be on nuances rather than to dispute anything. i will let you know if I am ever very much opposed to some view of yours, and will be interested in your explanation, because I have a strong sense that you are a good person. secular humanism is a sort of shorthand for the kind of well intentioned view that I prefer, though I like my own term informed kindness even better.

But a nasty atheist is a nasty person, and is no friend of mine. I cannot be happy or sad merely because someone calls himself an atheist - that person might be worse than a certain sort of kind and caring believer.
EdSed

Wishaw, UK

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#5
Aug 15, 2012
 
nOgOd

Rockford, IL

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#6
Aug 15, 2012
 
It's a result of evolution that freethinkers are rising in the ranks. The human brain develops synapses which cross-over from a superstitious and impractical way of solving problems to a more rational and acceptable method.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

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#7
Aug 15, 2012
 
havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> being an atheist is not necessary or sufficient, for being a good person. there are other elements, more important. to be an ethical person is more important in determining character. to be well informed and well intentioned is even better. to be misinformed and well intentioned could result in bad mistakes. an atheist may be better informed - or have made a better guess - but unless he is well intentioned,, I do not see that an atheist is a splendid person merely because of his atheism.
I generally agree with you more than with most other atheists on topix forums, and my comments are meant to be on nuances rather than to dispute anything. i will let you know if I am ever very much opposed to some view of yours, and will be interested in your explanation, because I have a strong sense that you are a good person. secular humanism is a sort of shorthand for the kind of well intentioned view that I prefer, though I like my own term informed kindness even better.
But a nasty atheist is a nasty person, and is no friend of mine. I cannot be happy or sad merely because someone calls himself an atheist - that person might be worse than a certain sort of kind and caring believer.
Most people on here find me to be a mix of cordiality and frustration. Cordiality because I aspire to kindness, frustration in that I am a bit of a maverick, preferring to puzzle things out on my own, even at the risk of constantly reinventing the wheel. I didn't cast aside the dogma of religion only to take on another set of ready-made values, however well they seem to be thought out. Writing here helps to balance that out--if my mind takes off on a freakazoid flight of fancy, I know that someone here will surely bring be back to solid ground--gently, I hope.

Life is, among other things, for prospecting ideas. Not all of them pan out.

“I see quantum effects”

Since: Jan 11

In the macro world.

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#8
Aug 18, 2012
 

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Maybe someday the U.S. will be less religious than the U.K.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

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#10
Aug 19, 2012
 

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Aerobatty wrote:
Maybe someday the U.S. will be less religious than the U.K.
No you di'int. Oh no you di'int!
EdSed

Wishaw, UK

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#11
Aug 19, 2012
 
From:

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

Gallup International indicates that 41% of American citizens report they regularly attend religious services, compared to 15% of French citizens, 10% of UK citizens, and 7.5% of Australian citizens.

However, these numbers are open to dispute. ReligiousTolerance.org states:
"Church attendance data in the U.S. has been checked against actual values using two different techniques. The true figures show that only about 21% of Americans and 10% of Canadians actually go to church one or more times a week. Many Americans and Canadians tell pollsters that they have gone to church even though they have not. Whether this happens in other countries, with different cultures, is difficult to predict."
Unquote

Since: Jan 12

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#12
Aug 19, 2012
 

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havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> being an atheist is not necessary or sufficient, for being a good person. there are other elements, more important. to be an ethical person is more important in determining character. to be well informed and well intentioned is even better. to be misinformed and well intentioned could result in bad mistakes. an atheist may be better informed - or have made a better guess - but unless he is well intentioned,, I do not see that an atheist is a splendid person merely because of his atheism.
I generally agree with you more than with most other atheists on topix forums, and my comments are meant to be on nuances rather than to dispute anything. i will let you know if I am ever very much opposed to some view of yours, and will be interested in your explanation, because I have a strong sense that you are a good person. secular humanism is a sort of shorthand for the kind of well intentioned view that I prefer, though I like my own term informed kindness even better.
But a nasty atheist is a nasty person, and is no friend of mine. I cannot be happy or sad merely because someone calls himself an atheist - that person might be worse than a certain sort of kind and caring believer.
Well said. Yes, a person's intentions and character is very important regardless if you're an atheist, agnostic, spiritualist or religious. I have come across atheists who are corrupt with money and I have met atheists who are real and kind to others. There are many Catholics who are very very corrupt as its history has indicated over the centuries, but there are very kind-hearted Catholics as well.

In regards to the rise of atheism in the U.S, this is no big surprise. Western countries have become very open-minded towards other views than just religion. Science and education has enabled many to think for themselves, and the rise of freethinkers has moved the West out of the Dark Ages.

With the event of the Internet, more people are sharing thoughts and opinions about topics such as religion, science and atheism as we are doing right here on Topix. Information is spreading faster due to the Internet and more people are becoming more inquisitive about things compared to a couple of generations ago.
EdSed

Wishaw, UK

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#13
Aug 19, 2012
 
Virginia

Wylie, TX

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#14
Aug 19, 2012
 

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AussiPino wrote:
<quoted text>
There are many Catholics who are very very corrupt as its history has indicated over the centuries, but there are very kind-hearted Catholics as well.
Kind-hearted Catholics are labeled "heretics" by the RCC because they are the ones who support medical privacy for women, birth control including the pill and the IUD which are abortifacients, stem cell research and disregard the RCC's bigotry against homosexuals.These are the Catholics who would never obligate a nine-year-old rape victim to birth the spawn of her attacker...

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599...

Kind-hearted Catholics are excommunicated:

"Any Catholic who obstinately denies that abortion is always gravely immoral, commits the sin of heresy and incurs an automatic sentence of excommunication."

http://www.catholicplanet.com/articles/articl...

Since: Jan 12

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#15
Aug 23, 2012
 

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Virginia wrote:
<quoted text>
Kind-hearted Catholics are labeled "heretics" by the RCC because they are the ones who support medical privacy for women, birth control including the pill and the IUD which are abortifacients, stem cell research and disregard the RCC's bigotry against homosexuals.These are the Catholics who would never obligate a nine-year-old rape victim to birth the spawn of her attacker...
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599...
Kind-hearted Catholics are excommunicated:
"Any Catholic who obstinately denies that abortion is always gravely immoral, commits the sin of heresy and incurs an automatic sentence of excommunication."
http://www.catholicplanet.com/articles/articl...
Even in Brazil, the numbers of practicing Catholics have dropped over the past 20 years. I'm presuming its because of the gradual improvement of education. The Internet may have an increasing influence over there as more people are accessing the Internet, looking on information on the history of religion and its effects on society.

“I have chosen not to lie down ”

Since: Oct 08

Tampa

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#16
Apr 20, 2013
 

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"Thank god for atheism!"

www.ReligionKillsEverything.blogspot.com

“Adonai / Ha Mashiach Yeshua ”

Since: Jul 12

PRAISE HIM Love Never Fails..

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#17
Apr 20, 2013
 

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GeorgiaUnity wrote:
"Thank god for atheism!"
www.ReligionKillsEverything.blogspot.com
Atheism kills everything! Thank God I am a created being and God loves me!
Jesus is Love! Praise Him!

=)
kuntry

United States

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#18
Apr 22, 2013
 
Lori norskigirl wrote:
<quoted text>Atheism kills everything! Thank God I am a created being and God loves me!
Jesus is Love! Praise Him!

=)
:-)
Thinking

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#19
Apr 22, 2013
 

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Keep him the f**k away from my fig tree.
Lori norskigirl wrote:
<quoted text>Atheism kills everything! Thank God I am a created being and God loves me!
Jesus is Love! Praise Him!
=)

“Adonai / Ha Mashiach Yeshua ”

Since: Jul 12

PRAISE HIM Love Never Fails..

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#20
Apr 22, 2013
 
Thinking wrote:
Keep him the f**k away from my fig tree.
<quoted text>
Shame on you!
spudgun

Stoke-on-trent, UK

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#21
Apr 22, 2013
 

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Lori norskigirl wrote:
<quoted text>Shame on you!
Its called a joke. Jesus throws a hissy fit and curses a fig tree for not bearing fruit. Its all there in the bible.

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