Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

Who Believes in God–and Why?

Check out Michael Shermer’s article “Who Believes in God–and Why?” An excerpt:

In sum, being female and raised by religious parents in a large family appears to make one more religious, whereas being male, educated, in conflict with one’s parents, and older appears to make one less religious. As people become older and more educated, they encounter other belief systems that lead them to see the connection between various personal and social influences and religious beliefs. This helps explain the differences we observed in reasons people give for their own beliefs versus the reasons they attribute to other people’s beliefs.


Here’s what he says are the top five reasons people say they believe in God (sorry, you have to work with his awkward syntax here):

1. The good design / natural beauty / perfection / complexity of the world or universe (28.6%)

2. The experience of God in everyday life (20.6%)

3. Belief in God is comforting, relieving, consoling, and gives meaning and purpose to life (10.3%)

4. The Bible says so (9.8%)

5. Just because / faith / the need to believe in something (8.2%)

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posted September 1, 2006 at 12:10 am

Yes. Let’s assume God made us. Must we return the favor?>

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Amy Jasso

posted September 4, 2006 at 3:17 pm

I would like to believe that God touches everyone’s life the way he has touched mine. How can you not feel him? How can people be so blind? I don’t believe I am a stupid person and just need something to believe in.God gives everyone free will to believe in whomever. I do believe he has touched your life or the question would not be so signigifient.I wish people would stop being so blind and just give God a chance. It’s the most perfect love and brightest light.And actually, it’s just living life without hurting others and helping whomever. Pure love! I wish u could feel it.>

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posted September 5, 2006 at 10:02 pm

I shared this with my study group, skeptics all, and their first comments were, “So what’s the sample size? Distribution? Statistically valid?” Tough crowd. I just liked the surprises in the survey. For example, given the growth of Christian conservatives, I thought Bible-based belief wouldv’e been more than 10%. And I was floored by almost 50% attributing their belief to empirical evidence. Most surprising of all: the few comments on this post. ????>

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posted September 6, 2006 at 5:42 pm

I know the IS exists. How? I’ve got the cosmic bruises on the back of my head to prove it! WHACK!>

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