Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Juiciest Religious Factoids

posted by swaldman

For someone who is both a religion junkie and a numbers junkie, the fabulous new Pew Religious Landscape survey has left me a bit giddy. Every page tells an amazing story. Eventually, we’ll parse this more thematically but for now I want to just tell you which stats I put exclamation points next to, and why.
The Spirituality of Atheists – 21% of Atheists believe in god. What this means is that Atheism has become a cultural designation, rather than a theological statement. Some are likely declaring themselves atheists as a statement of hostility to organized religion, rather than to God. This might help explain polls showing rising numbers of Atheists.
Gender Gap – The spiritual gender gap is enormous. 49% of men say religion is very important in their lives – while 63% of women did. This gender gap exists in all religions except Mormons but is most pronounced among Catholics.
Very vs. Somewhat Religious – We tend to think of religious differences as being between believers and non-believers. The more significant difference is around intensity – those who are certain and those ware less certain, those for whom religion is a major part of life and those for whom it’s smaller part. For instance, 83% of Protestants and 87% of Catholics say religion is “very” or “somewhat” important in their lives. But break it down and a fascinating story emerges: 70% of Protestants say it’s “very” important compared to 56% of Catholics.
Evangelicals Similar to Muslims – In many questions, the group most similar to evangelicals was Muslims. For instance, 79% of evangelicals say religion is very important in their lives. The compares to 56% for the population as a whole, 56% among Catholics, 31% among Jews – and 72% among Muslims.
Faithful but Not Religious – 71% are absolutely certain about their belief in God, 56% say religion is “very important in their lives” but 39% attend services weekly. What this means is that a huge chunk of the population strongly believe in God but don’t attend weekly services, and about a quarter of those who say religion is very important don’t attend services.
The Certainty Gap – About equal percentages of Protestants and Catholics say they believe in God. But while 90% of evangelicals say they’re certain about God only 72% of Catholics do, and only 41% of Jews do. 99% of evangelical Protestants and 97% of Catholics say they believe in God in general – but 90% of evangelicals are “absolutely certain” about it while 72% of Catholics are.
The Heaven-Hell Gap – 74% of Americans believe in heaven but only 59% believe in Hell. So where do serial killers go when they die?
Prayer is the National Religious Practice — While 39% attend services weekly 75% pray weekly. It is the dominant form of spiritual engagement. 31% say they receive ‘definite and specific answers from God at least once a month.”
Homosexuality – Most people disagree with the following statement: “Homosexuality is a way of life that should be discouraged by society.” The exceptions (i.e. the folks who mostlyy do want to discourage homosexuality) are: Evangelicals, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims.
Tolerance — 70% of Americans say “many religions can lead to eternal life” and 68% that there “is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.” Most amazing, 57% of evangelicals say many religions can lead to eternal life. Given that one of the most important teachings of evangelical Christianity is that salvation comes ONLY through Christ, this finding ought to rattle Christian leaders.



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Ed

posted June 23, 2008 at 8:36 pm


The stat about tolerance is heartening. My own vision of the 21st century is that we find more common ground between religions, and more respect for each other. We have to…to much violent thought and action going on nowadays. My favorite spiritual teacher says: “having to be right is a form of violence we inflict on each other”. I couldn’t agree more. It’s necessary to have our opinions, to have a backbone. The violence, whether in thought forms or physically, is unnecessary.



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Rebeccat

posted June 23, 2008 at 11:34 pm


I wonder if some of the questions aren’t a bit outdated or too narrow to capture what people actually believe. For example, I bet that there are a lot more people than you’d think who believe that hell is not eternal and may have answered the hell question differently. I also think that a lot of Evangelicals have come to accept the idea that salvation comes through Jesus, although not necessarily through BELIEF in Jesus. IE, if a person is saved, it is due to the salvic work of Jesus. However, since a person need not necessarily believe in Jesus in order to live His teachings of love for God and others, they may be saved without having accepted Christianity. The necessity of specific belief has come to be seen as a problem in many circles because it’s become obvious that correct belief often doesn’t translate into correct behavior or heart. So people have started to open up to behavior and heart as a sign of God’s presence in their lives rather than a profession of belief. It’s definitely a more generous understanding of salvation than many pastor’s preach. But it’s not really in conflict with Christianity’s claim to hold the exclusive path to salvation. Besides, the verse says, “I am the way the truth and the light; no one comes to the Father but by me”. It does not say, “no one comes to the Father but by BELIEVING in me”. Anyhow, I have encountered this line of thought in a lot of evangelical circles as of late. I kind of doubt that the questions in the poll were nuanced enough to catch thing. Biblical universalism is also on the rise, but I would be surprised if the questions were able to pick up on that belief system either.
At any rate, if nothing else, it does seem that religious belief in America is in flux. It could be that our beliefs are becoming more nuanced as we are challenged to think harder and more critically about what our religions teach and what we believe as the society has become less homogenous.



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Paul

posted June 24, 2008 at 12:06 am


Not all non-Catholic Christians are Evengelical. The Pew report wants to lump us all into one mind set and that is unfair. Besides, I know many Catholics and Orthodox Chirstians that are as Eveangelical as any Southern Baptist.
For this reason, the Pew Report is flawed.



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Charles Cosimano

posted June 24, 2008 at 2:16 am


Where do serial killers go when they die? To heaven of course. Given the behavior of the god of the Old Testament, who never missed an opportunity to kill everyone for a few hundred square miles, serial killers would seem be among the most blessed of humanity as those who best carry out the will of god.
And then, of course, we have the Japanese tradition of the sword saint, exemplified by Miyamoto Musashi, who attained enlightenment by killing 63 men in single combat. So it would seem that serial killers get their choice of heaven or Nirvana, unless they are martyrs for Islam in which case they get their choice of virgins.



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Mary

posted June 24, 2008 at 7:51 am


This survey says nothing about atheists as far as I can tell, only the “unaffiliated”.
Also, the questions isn’t whether one believes in God, but whether one believes in God or a universal spirit. Who knows what that is assumed to mean.



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Samantha

posted June 24, 2008 at 9:04 am


This whole article is heartening, especially since I often deal with individuals who swear up and down that atheism is the only way to go, and the only rational way of life. They portray all theists as deluded, hateful, etc. But there is no use in showing them something like this….*sigh*



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Matt

posted June 24, 2008 at 9:17 am


I do have to question how they acheived there data.
For example the Catholics the interviewed.
Practicing or non-practicing. A non-practicing Catholic often holds much more liberal views the a practicing Catholic.



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jramone

posted June 24, 2008 at 9:59 am


This report is definitely an example of a group making stats say what they want them to say by using generalizations and vague questions. Not exactly sound scientific research.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:19 am


==Where do serial killers go when they die? To heaven of course. Given the behavior of the god of the Old Testament, who never missed an opportunity to kill everyone for a few hundred square miles, serial killers would seem be among the most blessed of humanity as those who best carry out the will of god.==
Scoffers never have made good, Bible scholars. That’s cuz they read the Word of God as they read the newspaper, or an encyclopedia.



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recovering ex-Pentecostal

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:21 am


“Most people disagree with the following statement: “Homosexuality is a way of life that should be discouraged by society.”
Odd that no statistic was given for this in the article, just the word “most”. The actual report gives the following stats:
Only 34% of “mainline churches” agree, and (somewhat surprisingly – to some people, anyway) only 46% of “historically black churches” agree. Amongst Catholics , it was only 30%, amongst the Orthodox only 37% (which will shurely be a surprise to Rod Dreher of the ‘Crunchy Con’ blog!), 15% of Jews, 12% of Buddhists, and 37% of Hindus.
Amongst the general poulation, the average was only 40% agreeing, and even amongst those “affiliated with a religion” it was still a minority, at 44%, and 20% of the “unaffiliated”.
The times they are a-changin’.



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windyblue

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:25 am


The Lord gave us a free will, and we can believe in what ever we want.
For some that is that there is no God, for others their is.
Just like George Carlin, he did not believe in God at all. So one knows where he is. Same for athists, they will be in hell to.
So, I look at it this way, If the athists are right and there is no God, than we all go to hell, But if I am right and there is a God, than I go to heaven and they still go to hell.
What chance does a person want to take?



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recovering ex-Pentecostal

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:27 am


Even more surprising were the responses to the statement: “There is more than one true way to inerpret the teachings of my religion.”\\64% of all Protestants agreed, 77% of all Catholics (!), 53% of Evangelical church goers, 68% of Orthodox.
Fully 57% of Evangelical churches agree with the statement: “Many religions can lead to eternal life.”
These are astounding revelations. Certainly not the picture that we constantly get from many fundagelicals here on B’net.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:31 am


According to the majority who believe that there are many ways to the Father, the Gate is WWWAAAYYY wide, to accommodate everybody.
Ok, so, we know that God won’t save everybody. In fact, He says that He will save only a few, a remnant, who find the Gate, and He says that that Gate is not wide, rather narrow.
So, if the majority of people think they will be saved, even after being told that they are not going in the right direction and not through a broad gate, we can’t do anything about it anyway. Their not being saved has no impact on the Salvation of those of us who follow Jesus Christ. We’ll find out on Judgment Day, I guess.



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recovering ex-Pentecostal

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:32 am


windy,
“Same for athists [sic], they will be in hell to [sic].
So, I look at it this way, If the athists [sic] are right and there is no God, than we all go to hell, But if I am right and there is a God, than I go to heaven and they still go to hell.”

Whatever happened to the old song, “When We All Get To Heaven”???
I sure am glad I don’t go to your church if the attitude of condemnation is so prevalent. Heck, even Jesus said He “came not to condemn the world”. Guess you took that job, eh?



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:36 am


==If the athists are right and there is no God, than we all go to hell, But if I am right and there is a God, than I go to heaven and they still go to hell.
What chance does a person want to take?==
They think they are right and correct, and, if they are, how can there be so many right and correct ways???
Is there a disobedient way to Heaven, too???
Why would a just and loving parent treat the disobedient child the way he treats the obedient?
As I say, God will save only a few who will find the Gate which is narrow, not broad. The Salvation of the few is not impacted by the rejection of the rest.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:39 am


==Whatever happened to the old song, “When We All Get To Heaven”???==
Is THAT song in the Word of God? Is it part of Scripture? You believe a hymn over the Word???
Anyway, the hymn is talking about those who are born again.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:43 am


==Jesus said He “came not to condemn the world”. ==
You oughta try to finish the line of scriptural thought so that you don’t make yourself look so foolish.
(Joh 3:18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
So, Jesus didn’t need to come to condemn anybody cuz they have already been condemned by unbelief.



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jestrfyl

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:46 am


It fascinates me to see how many folks would bar the door to Heaven but are quite willing to prop open the gates of Hell. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? It goes to show some of the orientation we have as a sociaety and culture. We prefer to damn most people, and welcome a few. The Bible teaches, from the very beginning, the opposite.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 11:55 am


==It fascinates me…==
It does, huh.
==…to see how many folks would bar the door to Heaven…==
Who’s doing that? Who CAN do that?
==…but are quite willing to prop open the gates of Hell.==
Again…
(Joh 3:18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
==Shouldn’t it be the other way around?==
The narrow gate is wide open for those who find it.
== It goes to show some of the orientation we have as a sociaety and culture.==
What orientation is that?
== We prefer to damn most people, and welcome a few. The Bible teaches, from the very beginning, the opposite.==
Really? No, It doesn’t:
(Mat 7:13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
(Mat 7:14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
(Luk 13:24) Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
(Luk 13:25) When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
(Luk 13:26) Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
(Luk 13:27) But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 12:10 pm


==We prefer to damn most people, and welcome a few. The Bible teaches, from the very beginning, the opposite.==
Lemme correct myself. I think that I misinterpreted your statement.
First, I dunno who’s damning anybody.
Second, those who are born again welcome all who want to be saved.
All wanna be saved, and God wants-ta save all through their repentance. However, not all accept His Son. Thus, they reject the Father. Thus, they won’t be saved.
So, you’re correct that we should be open to all who wish to repent and to be saved. Anyone can turn back to God. Most will not.



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Atheist

posted June 24, 2008 at 12:24 pm


“So, I look at it this way, If the athists are right and there is no God, than we all go to hell, But if I am right and there is a God, than I go to heaven and they still go to hell.
What chance does a person want to take?”
No, if there’s no God there’s no hell and we all rot in the ground, and feel nothing, so there’s no suffering. Also, not all Christians even believe in hell, as weird as that may sound to you.
Also, just believing in God won’t save you. Which God? Muslim? Jewish? Catholic? Evangelical? There’s no way to know which is the right one, and which “hell” I will avoid.
Finally, the question is, do I want to live my life based on a system that has no solid evidence of it’s claims, in the name of which many heinous crimes have been committed?
The answer is no.



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Atheist

posted June 24, 2008 at 12:27 pm


Also, atheism is defined by lack of faith in God anyway. It isn’t a religion.
The people answer (the unaffiliated, not atheists anyway) may believe in a “universal spirit”, but it might be “the spirit of humanity”, “the spirit of goodness”, “the total of the universe”, not an anthropomorphic God figure.



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Mr Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm


==…atheism is defined by lack of faith in God anyway. It isn’t a religion.==
Except that you disagree with a federal court:
http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45874
==if there’s no God there’s no hell and we all rot in the ground, and feel nothing, so there’s no suffering.==
That’s what the Devil says, too.
== Also, not all Christians even believe in hell…==
They don’t align with the Word of God.
==Which God?==
I AM.
==There’s no way to know which is the right one…==
There is, but you reject it. So, of course, you can’t know.
==…do I want to live my life based on a system that has no solid evidence of it’s claims…==
There is solid evidence which you reject:
(Rom 1:20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
(Rom 1:21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
(Rom 1:22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
(Rom 1:23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
(Rom 1:24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
(Rom 1:25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
(Rom 1:26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
(Rom 1:27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
(Rom 1:28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
(Rom 1:29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
(Rom 1:30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
(Rom 1:31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
(Rom 1:32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
(Heb 11:1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
==…in the name of which many heinous crimes have been committed?==
“Heinous crimes”?? According to whom? YOU??
==The answer is no.==
I just hope that you are also willing and courageous enough and big enough to accept the consequences of your choice without whining.



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Shilo

posted June 24, 2008 at 1:32 pm


MMmm – an existentialist I see *to above suby* – we should all do that, I think, but I’m quite an existentialist myself on many subjects so ^_^.
Quite nifty little tidbits of info to put life and faith into context, though I am curious what definition of “God” you are using in the poll (I’ve heard so many that I like to know what I’m arguing for and/or against) ^_^.
Ty and Blessings ^_^



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 2:02 pm


==…atheism is defined by lack of faith in God anyway. It isn’t a religion.==
Here is the actual, federal court opinion that says otherwise:
http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/EG0RLQR3.pdf



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Clonehead

posted June 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm


Dichotomically Challenged:
Human beings are the only animals that laugh and weep; for the human being is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be. ~W. Hazlitt
Genesis 3:05 admonitorily states: “God knows that when we eat the fruit of that tree, we will know things we have never known before. We will be able to tell the difference between good and evil. We will be like God.”
Dualism: The concept that the world is ruled by the antagonistic forces of good and evil.
Hebrews 5:13-14 – But solid food [ wholeness ] is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.



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Paul

posted June 24, 2008 at 7:16 pm


Where’s the category for the Religious but not faithful? I suspect that there are a far more people in that category than any other. I saw so many generalizations in the Pew Report that I said PHOOIE to the whole thing. People don’t know what they are or else they just plain lied. I’m an Evangelical Centerist, a liberal social Justice Christian and anti war, poverty and neglect of the elderly. No one asked my opinion. I firmly believe that Jesus brough a message of liberation from the constraints of legalism and self-righteousness of the “Church”.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 24, 2008 at 9:49 pm


==Genesis 3:05…==
No such verse.
However, guessing that you mean Genesis 3:5…
==… admonitorily states: “God knows that when we eat the fruit of that tree, we will know things we have never known before. We will be able to tell the difference between good and evil. We will be like God.”==
First, it does not say “we” this and “we” that.
Second, that verse quotes the Devil, not God. The Devil, in that verse, is talking to Eve who willingly and willfully participates in the filthy conversation.
Why are you quoting the Devil? Are you saying that the Devil is warning Eve NOT to eat of THAT tree?



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Mr Evangelical

posted June 25, 2008 at 7:25 am


So, according to this poll, 57% of Evangelicals say that many religions can lead to eternal life.
Well, the Lake of Fire is eternal too! Duh!
One of the most important teachings of Evangelical Christianity is that salvation comes ONLY through Christ. So obviously, if a person disagrees with this, he or she is NOT an Evangelical.



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John Biles

posted June 25, 2008 at 9:06 am


I’m thinking those 57% of Evangelicals probably are not thinking ‘Buddhism can lead to salvation’, but instead are thinking ‘Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc’ can all get to Heaven.



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NK

posted June 25, 2008 at 9:27 am


Rather than assuming that the stat about atheists believing in God indicating that atheism is a cultural designation, I think it’s far more likely that the respondents were ignorant or misinformed or fuzzy-headed about the meaning of the word ‘atheist’. Anyone who understands that it means ‘believing there is no God’ would never claim to be an atheist while also claiming that believe; it’s absurd.
Given how fuzzy a lot of people are these days about the actual definition of the word ‘theory’, I find it completely, woefully credible that there are people wandering around claiming to be atheists who have no actual idea what that is. Maybe they’re really agnostics, or maybe they’re really just unaffiliated believers, but most likely they’re muddled people who aren’t used to thinking very much about ANYTHING.



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Sarahndipity

posted June 25, 2008 at 9:57 am


21% of Atheists believe in God.
So, I guess 21% of Jews believe Jesus is the Messiah? Um, you can’t be an atheist if you believe in God. These people are not atheists; they are theists who reject organized religion.
68% say that there “is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.”
This is logically impossible. If there is more than one way to interpret the teachings of a religion, only one of them can be true, by definition. Or perhaps none of them. But not more than one.
70% of Americans say “many religions can lead to eternal life.”
You may be surprised to hear that the Catholic Church agrees with this, sort of. As Catholics we believe that Catholicism is the only religion that teaches the fullness of the truth, but all other religions have at least part of the truth. Jesus is the truth, therefore all honest seekers of the truth are ultimately seeking Jesus, whether they realize it or not. I agree with Rebeccat that everyone who is saved is saved through Jesus, but also that one does not have to believe in Jesus to be saved.
You don’t have to be Catholic to go to heaven, or even Christian. Someone who lives the best life they can, according to what they believe to be the truth to the best of their knowledge, can absolutely go to heaven. Catholics and other Christians can also go to hell, if they don’t live their lives in accordance with Church teaching. In fact, I have a hunch (this is not Church teaching, just my speculation), that most people in hell are actually Catholics and other Christians, because they more than anyone else should have known better. “To whom much has been given, much is required.”
31% say they receive “definite and specific answers from God at least once a month.”

Really? I’m a Catholic who attends mass weekly. I am certain that God exists and I would describe religion as “very important” to me. But I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a “definite and specific answer” from God. I don’t know, maybe I’m doing something wrong. Or maybe these people are just hearing the voices in their head or something. :)
It sounds like these questions were not worded very well. They are so vague – I could write an essay on each instead of a simple yes or no.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 10:07 am


==So, according to this poll, 57% of Evangelicals say that many religions can lead to eternal life.
Well, the Lake of Fire is eternal too! Duh!
One of the most important teachings of Evangelical Christianity is that salvation comes ONLY through Christ. So obviously, if a person disagrees with this, he or she is NOT an Evangelical.==
EXCELLENT analysis!



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 10:15 am


First you say…
==As Catholics we believe that Catholicism is the only religion that teaches the fullness of the truth…==
Then, you say…
==…I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a “definite and specific answer” from God.==
Did He give you THE answer, or not?
==…everyone who is saved is saved through Jesus, but also that one does not have to believe in Jesus to be saved.==
Not scriptural. Therefore, not the Truth.
==You don’t have to be Catholic to go to heaven, or even Christian.==
You don’t have to be Catholic, but you DO have to be Christian.
==Someone who lives the best life they can, according to what they believe to be the truth to the best of their knowledge, can absolutely go to heaven. ==
Not what Jesus said. Thus, not scriptural.
What you say there is, essentially, what the Devil told Eve in the Garden.



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Foodle

posted June 25, 2008 at 10:26 am


21% of Atheists believe in god. What this means is that Atheism has become a cultural designation, rather than a theological statement.
More likely it means that you are failing to account for those who believe in a higher power or creative force, but who don’t believe in a personal, human-like God. Just as deism is distinct from theism, many who declare themselves “spiritual but not religious” and the like will self-identify as believing in God (or believing in “a God, but not that God”) while also self-identifying as atheists.



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An Actual Athiest

posted June 25, 2008 at 10:26 am


“There is solid evidence which you reject:
(Rom 1:20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…”
Using internal evidence is an example of “ipse dixitism”, you are, essentially saying “God exists, because he says he does.” Can you prove god exists without using the bible?
As for the heinous things done in the name of that god or that religion, how about the Crusades? That’s one, undeniable, bold example of a bunch of christians waging a bloody campaign for decades for no ‘earthly’ reason but a very important spiritual one. The great irony of that is that those they fought were fighting for the same reason.
The examples are many throughout history of wars fought in the name of one god or another. Christianity or Islam are not unique in that regard. So make as many theological arguments as you like about the nature of heaven and hell, and the path to salvation. You’re on solid footing there, but you are foolish if you think that religion and those who have practiced it throughout the ages are not responsible for great evil.



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Anonymous

posted June 25, 2008 at 10:26 am


Paul,
“Not all non-Catholic Christians are Evengelical. The Pew report wants to lump us all into one mind set and that is unfair. Besides, I know many Catholics and Orthodox Chirstians that are as Eveangelical as any Southern Baptist.
For this reason, the Pew Report is flawed.”

The actual report does not lump all non-Catholics as Evangelicals. Clearly you have not read the report.
Mary,
“This survey says nothing about atheists as far as I can tell, only the “unaffiliated”.”
Then you can’t “tell” very far. It actually does say a lot about atheists, as well as the “unaffiliated”. Clearly you too have not read the actual report.
I love people with uninformed opinions.
As for Mr. Incredible, he’s just that – not credible. (Kind preachy too.)



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Caio

posted June 25, 2008 at 10:36 am


NK, I hope by “fuzzy on the word theory” you mean Creationists and ID proponents. Because if you agree with the statement that evolution is “just a theory” and therefore not fact, then you’re as muddled as an atheist who believes in God.



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Larry

posted June 25, 2008 at 10:53 am


Look up the word atheist, if you claim to believe there is a GOD, then you are not an atheist. It does not matter what you believe, there is only one way to heaven. Thru the son!



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 10:54 am


==As for Mr. Incredible, he’s just that – not credible. (Kind preachy too.)==
Then we can count on you to scroll past my posts. Good.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 11:02 am


==Using internal evidence is an example of “ipse dixitism”, you are, essentially saying “God exists, because he says he does.”==
(Heb 11:1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(1Co 2:14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
==Can you prove god exists without using the bible?==
Yes. An example of “god” is money, a car, stereo and any number of worldly things to which you surrender authority which actually have no authority, nor ability to save you.
==As for the heinous things done in the name of that god or that religion, how about the Crusades?==
Those were men, not God.
== That’s one, undeniable, bold example of a bunch of christians waging a bloody campaign for decades for no ‘earthly’ reason but a very important spiritual one.==
Not for a spiritual one, rather for the pope.
==The examples are many throughout history of wars fought in the name of one god or another.==
More have died in the last century at the hands of the godless than have died throughout all of history.
==..you are foolish if you think that religion and those who have practiced it throughout the ages are not responsible for great evil.==
Not the fault of Christianity, rather of faulty men.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 11:04 am


==…if you agree with the statement that evolution is “just a theory” and therefore not fact, then you’re as muddled as an atheist who believes in God.==
If you say that evolution is not a theory, then you must have been “there” to witness it from the very beginning cuz Science is all about observation.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 11:06 am


==… there is only one way to heaven. Thru the son! ==
That’s what the Word says.
PRAISE THE LORD!



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 11:14 am


==Can you prove god exists without using the bible?==
Tantamount to the prosecutor telling the defense that the defense can prove “not guilty” only if the defense uses prosecution evidence, nothing the defense brings.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 11:17 am


==Can you prove god exists without using the bible?==
Yes. The Word of God points to all the things made by God, and the Word of God says that God planted this fact in all. So, bottom line, you don’t need the Word of God merely to know that there is something out there That is bigger than you, That made everything. You need the Word of God, however, to know how to naviagate through this wilderness.



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Ray

posted June 25, 2008 at 12:02 pm


Most Americans have lost faith in the major institutions of this country; government and organized religion especially. I don’t ascribe to a “religion”, but I am committed to my spiritual growth. And, for me, that means expanding my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not my relationship with my priest, my pastor or my reverend. But my Lord and Savior. I believe many more citizens of this great nation and our planet are doing the same.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 12:15 pm


==I don’t ascribe to a “religion”…==
And neither did the settlers who left England to come to this “country.” “Religion,” through the Church of England, presided over by the King of England, hindered them from personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
==…but I am committed to my spiritual growth. And, for me, that means expanding my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not my relationship with my priest, my pastor or my reverend. But my Lord and Savior.==
PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE THE LORD for your testimony!



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JohnB

posted June 25, 2008 at 12:17 pm


Religion is a perversion…..it has nothing to do with truth or reality. It is manmade myth….useless at best, and horrifically destructive at worst. It takes very little to ascertain the above. It is for fools and pathetic, needy people.



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Thomas

posted June 25, 2008 at 1:24 pm


Jesus is the final word not the bible and especiallly not evangelicals interpretation of the bible.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 1:36 pm


==Jesus is the final word not the bible…==
Jesus is the living Word.
==… and especiallly not evangelicals interpretation of the bible.==
Evangelicals have a better view of the Word of God than scoffers do.
One of the “best” weapons the Devil has is to get people to say that it is only our “interpretation.” The Devil has an interest in getting people to watter down the Word of God so that It becomes useless against him. He knows that it’s powerful against him and, so, he must first get people to disregard It so he can do his work.
However, we know that the Word is God is not according to private interpretation, rather Holy Spirit interpretation passed to us, those who are born again.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 1:38 pm


==Jesus is the final word …==
How do you know what that word says?
And, if you can’t tell what His Word says, how do you know who is talking to you in your spirit??? You wouldn’t know it’s not Him.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 1:40 pm


watter >>>> water



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm


CORRECTION
==Jesus is the final word not the bible…==
How do you know what that word says?
And, if you can’t tell what His Word says, how do you know who is talking to you in your spirit??? You wouldn’t know it’s not Him.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 2:10 pm


Hebrews 4:2 says that you can’t have faith without the Word, and that you cannot have the Word without faith.
So, on what basis do you know what Jesus says — His final Word — without knowing the Word of Truth?



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm


==Jesus is the final word not the bible…==
(Joh 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(Joh 1:2) The same was in the beginning with God.
(Joh 1:3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
(Joh 1:4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
(Joh 1:14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(Joh 1:17) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
So, the Word is the Christ Who is God Who is a Spirit. The Word is a Spirit. It is Righteousness, a gift of faith, and, as Hebrews 4:2 says, you cannot have faith without the Word, neither the Word without faith.



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some guy

posted June 25, 2008 at 2:24 pm


Simply put, Christians are destined for worship in the City of God cited in the later chapters of Revelation. They follow Jesus, they win. We don’t, we lose by becoming a feast at a luau. Many professed, many believed, many became corrupted and many now renounce their Christianity. I guess it was demons after all.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm


== Many professed, many believed, many became corrupted and many now renounce their Christianity.==
(Joh 16:32) Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
(Mat 9:36) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
(Hos 4:6) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
(Joh 1:10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
(Joh 1:11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
(Joh 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
(Joh 1:13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm


== Many professed, many believed, many became corrupted and many now renounce their Christianity.==
(Gal 1:6) I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel…



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some guy

posted June 25, 2008 at 3:05 pm


I never studied the Word in depth, I professed when I doubted, I attended when I felt spiritually dead. How else should a false believer act? In renunciation, I say that I wasn’t predestined and that I am bound for hell. If God chose his followers, then why create those who wouldn’t believe in the end? Or are the elect unknown and those that have become predestined are supposed to preach widely to ensure that the elect are known within their natural lives? I don’t know, it must be beyond my purview. Since I never believed, I guess God does work in mysterious ways.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm


==…I wasn’t predestined and that I am bound for hell.==
You accept that, huh? That’s what you want?
== If God chose his followers, then why create those who wouldn’t believe in the end?==
He gave you the dignity of choice. You’ll have to be big enough to accept the consequences of the choice you made.
You have the opportunity to choose to accept His offer of Reconciliation through Christ, or continue to be subject to His wrath. It’s YOUR choice now. His later, and it won’t be pretty.
== Or are the elect unknown and those that have become predestined are supposed to preach widely to ensure that the elect are known within their natural lives?==
God knows who He wants, and He hopes that they will choose wisely — that is, according to His Word — not according to their own might.
== I don’t know, it must be beyond my purview.==
If I recall, Jesus asked some people whether they are able. They said, “We are able!”
He came to show that you are able. The Devil comes to disable you. One you understand this, you will be able to discern. It will become clear as day.
== Since I never believed, I guess God does work in mysterious ways.==
Sooo, do you want not to believe? Do you want to remain in an unsaved condition?



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some guy

posted June 25, 2008 at 3:23 pm


Yeah, maybe it is. Have you ever encountered such recalcitrance before?



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 3:29 pm


some guy:
(Rom 1:20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
(Rom 1:21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
So, there is no excuse. I didn’t have an excuse and neither does anybody else.
The offer of Reconciliaton through Christ is here. Now. It is here for all who want it. It is just as available as it was two thousand years ago. As potent as it was two thousand years ago. As valid. As powerful:
(Joh 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
God’s patience, though, is not forever. He loves, but He will judge. He has warned ahead of time and for all to know that He will not treat the disobedient the way He treats the obedient.
Take Romans 1:21 backwards:
Your heart is darkened cuz you have vain imaginations cuz you don’t glorify God cuz you don’t know God:
(Hos 4:6) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
So, what’s the answer? KNOW GOD through His Word, Jesus, Who tells you exactly what to do. He doesn’t want to leave you in the dark. He is completely open. The Devil is the one who wants to leave you in the dark.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm


==Yeah, maybe it is. Have you ever encountered such recalcitrance before?==
Referencing which post?



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 3:44 pm


==Have you ever encountered such recalcitrance before?==
Yes, and that’s cuz the Devil is the prince of this world, of the air, and his program looks very attractive to those who are caught unawares, who don’t know his devices.
(Joh 14:30) …the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Through the Word of God, you will not be subject to the wiles of the Devil. Lookit Jesus in the Wilderness, accosted by the Devil [Matthew 4]. He didn’t converse with the Devil, rather He recited Scripture to gaurd His gate, showing us what to do.
Will you make mistakes? Yes, most definitely. However, your want-to’s change and you want not to do things that cause separation from the One you love. You are saved by Grace through repentance.



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mike s

posted June 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm


“21% of Atheists believe in god.” This does not to me mean the term “athiest” has become a cultural term. To me it indicates 21% of people who consider themselves athiests are actually morons.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm


==70% of Americans say “many religions can lead to eternal life” ==
Then they’d have to believe that Jesus lied. They’ll have a chance to face Him and explain to Him some day soon that He doesn’t make them worthy. Gorgeous.



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Danny

posted June 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm


I found this actlce to be very interesting and insignful. I think we lable things to much and many of us struck in the middle on alot issues. LIke I am for gay marriage outside the church, but in the church not allowed, becuase we can not change the bible. Should a gay person follow my logic ? Of course not, but I feel this is middle ground and very fair to both sides.



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Colleen

posted June 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm


Mosaic authorship (i.e., authorship by Moses) of the Torah can be traced to the Jewish community of the time of Jesus and several centuries before, and was adopted by the early Christian Church without question. It apparently has its basis in the several instances in the Pentateuch where Moses is described as writing “torah” (laws) at the dictation of God, including a famous incident in Deuteronomy where he orders a copy of “this law” to be laid beside the Ark of the Covenant. But while many conservative Christians and Jews still take the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch as a matter of faith, it has been abandoned by mainline biblical scholars since the 19th century. None of the instances where Moses is described as writing torah refer unequivocally to anything more than their own immediate context (e.g., the incident in Deuteronomy refers specifically to the Deuteronomic lawcode, not to the entire book of Deuteronomy), and the scholarly consensus in any case is that the Torah reached its present form no earlier than the 5th century BC, long after the supposed lifetime of Moses.
There is no single consensus among biblical scholars as to just who wrote the Torah and when. Many continue to follow the documentary hypothesis, which supposes that the Five Books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy – were originally four separate but complete and competing documents, and were edited into the present Pentateuch; others point to major problems with this idea, and suggest instead that the Pentateuch grew by a process of slow accretion of material over the centuries; and others again, while accepting the problems with the documentary approach, believe that the Torah contains one basic document which was supplemented over the centuries by other writers with their own distinctive viewpoints and objectives. There is general agreement, however, that the Pentateuch is the product of many hands and many centuries, and that it reached its present form around 450 BC.



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LnGrrrR

posted June 25, 2008 at 4:55 pm


Mr. Incredible,
You better hope Zeus isn’t really the one up there. He might not like you, after all, with your huge crush on Jesus. :)



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marymary

posted June 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm


Question on what information Waldman states his conclusion that atheists who believe in god are now a cultural designation? It strikes me that the respondents may simply be illiterate.



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Spinobobot

posted June 25, 2008 at 5:22 pm


On the “atheists” who “believe in God”: I would like to know more about what motivates people to answer in this way.
As it so happens, I identify as an atheist, but find appealing Spinoza’s idea of God as the (impersonal) totality of existence. Like other modern philosophers (Hobbes and Hume come to mind), Spinoza was accused by many of his contemporaries of being an atheist, even though he talks extensively about God in his writings. The entire first chapter of his magnum opus (the Ethics) is devoted specifically to God; God is in fact the central idea in his whole philosophy.
(A more recent example: Einstein, who claimed to believe in Spinoza’s God, and is known for sayings like “God does not play dice”, was in the news recently because of a letter of his which seemed to reject belief in God.)
In short, the real point of contention seems to be over the conception of God. The God of the Philosophers is not the God of traditional theism. If we interpret “atheist” as a rejection of theism, rather than of God per se, then it’s not at all difficult to make sense of the aberration.
However, most people are not Spinozas and Einsteins, so I wonder how many of them have really given it all that much thought. Everyone has some contradictory beliefs, and almost no one has attempted to systematize their belief structures to overcome prominent contradictions, with the exception of theologians and philosophers. So, contrary to the claims of one commenter who called God-believing atheists “morons”, it may just be that many of these are individuals who are far more thoughtful about the matter.
But it’s hard to say for sure. The survey format is not very conducive to answering this sort of complex question.



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capehoneysuckle

posted June 25, 2008 at 6:02 pm


It seems likely that most of the people who identify themselves as atheist but who believe in a god probably didn’t understand the questions. It’s not likely that people randomly chosen for a survey have read Spinoza.



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gr

posted June 25, 2008 at 6:35 pm


Re: The Heaven-Hell Gap…”So where do serial killers go when they die?”
-Salvation is achieved through faith alone… Didn’t I hear that somewhere?



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Vendredie

posted June 25, 2008 at 7:05 pm


Hang on a second! 21% of atheists believe in God? ATHEISTS?! ATHEISTS DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR GODS! WTF mate! If they believe in god, they are NOT ATHEISTS! They are THEISTS!
Jeez… whoever did this study is an idiot. Did they confuse “God” with “spirituality”? I’m a spiritual atheist and while I believe in spirituality, I don’t believe in God.



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Anonymous

posted June 25, 2008 at 8:12 pm


Steve, regarding atheists, you’re basing your conclusion on no facts. Perhaps that 20% are Buddhists. Perhaps they did not declare Themselves atheist, but Pew did. Maybe you’re right, but maybe you’re wrong. But I don’t like reading conclusions based on no facts.



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Nate

posted June 25, 2008 at 9:53 pm


None of this surprises me. Just take a look at the large circle of friends I am around, the many people I talk to in all the various groups I am involved in, the people I work with, etc, and chances are you come up with the same conclusions. All this study shows is what I’ve known for a very long time by simply emerging myself around diverse groups of people. It’s only when we stay in our like-minded groups that we often fail to see this.



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Thomas

posted June 26, 2008 at 2:11 am


By digging through the tables, it is possible to see that for some reason some atheists believe in god. If you add the numbers from the “absolutely certain” and “fairly certain” catagories, you get 15% To get all the way up to 21% you have to add in the 6% from “not too certain/ not at all certain/ unsure how uncertain”. That assumption is unsound, but 15% is the least amount of believing atheists you can have. Weird.



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Larry Parker

posted June 26, 2008 at 10:49 am


Mr. I.:
Good to hear you’re in the “You’re all goin’ to hell in a handbasket” 43% :-P



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Mr Incredible

posted June 26, 2008 at 2:18 pm


==You better hope Zeus isn’t really the one up there. He might not like you, after all, with your huge crush on Jesus.==
I’m not worried, thanks.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 26, 2008 at 2:23 pm


==…most of the people who identify themselves as atheist but who believe in a god…==
It’s true that one who claims to be an atheist doesn’t believe in God but believes in a god, or gods, like money, cars, stereos, and others. He has given authority over to these things.
Now, the self-identified atheist doesn’t see this, of course.



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erey

posted June 26, 2008 at 4:34 pm


I think the whole idea that 21% of athiests believe in God is hysterical.



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Jennifer

posted June 26, 2008 at 5:36 pm


I have to agree with a majority of comments made here that there are quite a few people out there who are confused as to what ‘atheism’ means (I’m not really surprised either.) I will admit that that the “21 percent” did make me chuckle a little bit. Plus, Mr. Incredible, you’re hilarious! Ever consider stand-up? =0/ *half smile*



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Gilligan

posted June 27, 2008 at 5:52 am


Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of God.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 27, 2008 at 10:38 am


==Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of God.==
That’s true for the unrighteous, not for the Righteous. God calls on the Righteous to discern. Jesus calls on the Righteous to judge Righteously — that is, according to the Word of God. That we do.



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Skipper

posted June 27, 2008 at 11:08 am


“I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge?”
[Douglas Adams]



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 27, 2008 at 11:13 am


==“I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge?”
[Douglas Adams] ==
Your point?



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 27, 2008 at 11:14 am


This is not about mere, worldly taste. It’s about Salvation.



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Professor

posted June 27, 2008 at 11:30 am


“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.”
[Henry David Thoreau]



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fisherofmen

posted June 27, 2008 at 11:31 am


“When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain”
~Mark Twain



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 27, 2008 at 11:42 am


Sooo, what you’re saying is that you don’t have a point. We understand.



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Assembly

posted June 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm


“In the midst of a world of light and love, assembly, song and dance, [Lucifer] could find nothing to think of more interesting than his own point of view.”



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disservice

posted June 27, 2008 at 12:53 pm


Our generation has an Incredible amount of inequity, yet at the same time it loves to complain and not really change. Because, if it does change, then it won’t have anything to complain about.



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Anon

posted June 27, 2008 at 3:02 pm


One of these days, Mr. Incredible will realize that many religions tout their own scripture as divinely inspired truth, and none of them have any more backing for that than “well, it says it is, so it must be!” Then he will understand that scripture does not provide evidence for much of anything.



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 27, 2008 at 5:19 pm


==…many religions tout their own scripture as divinely inspired truth…==
I guess everybody is so confident and willing to take their points of view to Judgment Day and see what happens then.
==… and none of them have any more backing for that than “well, it says it is, so it must be!”==
Scoffers don’t see it anyway.
==…scripture does not provide evidence for much of anything.==
Not to scoffers, anyway. Of course, they don’t let themselves do the experiment to find out.



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Mr Incredible

posted June 27, 2008 at 5:24 pm


==…many religions tout their own scripture as divinely inspired truth…==
Well, I guess I musta read the Words of Jesus wrong, then. He musta actually said:
“Goeth into all the world and teacheth men to liveth as they wish, urging each to pursue and findeth his own path to God.
“Letteth not any one of you maketh another to feel inferior, nor victiminized, because of their beliefs. Above all, I saith unto you, be tolerant, even of those who choose not to follow Me.
“Verily, verily, I saith unto you that what you believe and how you live do not matter, as long as you are pure of heart in your own judgment and might in your pursuits.
“I am a way to God, a truth and just one possible life, and, if you are a good person, you walk that way, that truth, that life, for that is all it takes, and, if you choose not to come to the Father through Me, rather through some other, simply being a good person will enter you into the Kingdom of Heaven regardless of the way you choose.
“Now, goeth forth into all the world to liveth according to the strength and ways of your own conscience, dreams, wishes and vision.”



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Tom Pham

posted June 28, 2008 at 12:30 pm


Folks:
I always say:
“Politic is Religion of Greed
Religion is Politic of Fear!”
And make no mistake.
This is no judgment.
Just an observation
for your reference.
The bottom line is, if you don’t know yourself,
you have to believe in someone else!
Cheers
Happy Summertime!
Tom



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Mr. Incredible

posted June 28, 2008 at 12:39 pm


==…if you don’t know yourself, you have to believe in someone else!==
So, according to YOU, if I believe in — that is, trust — God, I don’t know myself???
Well, I know myself well — my unrighteous self — and I know how miserably I’d act and think and speak cuz, without God, all things are permissible. The unrightous person can let himself do anything and justify it.
The Righteous by faith, on the other hand, want to please God for the Grace He has given them.



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Seeker Seeking

posted June 28, 2008 at 8:55 pm


Another interesting paring of belief traditions is the Buddhist and Jewish ones. The responses shadow each other as closely, it seems, as Evangelicals and Muslims, though at a very different place in the belief space.



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XaurreauX

posted June 30, 2008 at 12:34 pm


Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. Nevertheless, the soporific effect of that report should make atheists a lot less terrifying to those whose faith is so flimsy that they need to make us just go away.



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Mr. Incredible

posted July 2, 2008 at 9:24 am


==Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods.==
And, yet, they have given authority over themselves to worldly things, things made by hands. gods.
So, atheists believe in/trust gods like money, cars, etc. to save them.



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Brent Allsop

posted July 3, 2008 at 6:04 pm


21% of Atheists believe in God??
Most of this is obviously because people are trying to use the survey to ‘say’ something, perhaps like people disagree with organized religion, but still believe in God. After all, I consider myself a ‘Mormon Transhumanist Atheists’ ;)
Such primitive surveys are so stupid because of such. They are so last century.
That’s why we’re trying to improve things with the point of view (POV) wiki survey system at canonizer.com with topics like this:
http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/2
My camp: http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/2/5
That way everyone could know precisely, concisely, and quantitatively just what everyone believes, what they want to say, when they convert, why…, all in real time.
Wouldn’t that be some kick ass valuable data? Finally, everyone would know what the people really believe, without just considering what the popes and prophets claim they believe. And I bet once this got started, many people would be very kick ass surprised at what everyone really does believe, and everyone’s beliefs would likely make a quantum leap improvement over the quaint and limited beliefs dictated by the popes and prophets.
So, what do you all believe? Notice there are more atheists than theists so far. Care to help the cause out a bit? Or are you just going to sit around and wait for some Pugh researcher to call you with some meaningless fixed BS questions like which pope do you believe in? Don’t make me have to send over the Mormon Transhumanist Association home teachers! ;)
Brent Allsop



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Seeker Seeking

posted July 6, 2008 at 8:04 am


At first, I agreed with the observation about pairing Evangelicals and Muslims, but then I looked at the data further, and think that is far short of what the data says.
Try grouping the data into like groups, that vary together. You get two nice groups, which explain almost all the variation:
Group 1
Belief in God, Frequency of Attendance, Importance of Religion, Freq of Pray, Answers to Pray, Literal Interpretation, Scripture, Interpretation of Teachings, One True Faith, Homosexuality Views, Abortion views, Government in Morality, Environmental Protection.
Group 2
Party Affiliation, Political Ideology, Size of Government, Countrys Role
These seem to be a purely religious group, and a purely secular group.
Interestingly, the environment question falls into the religious group, not the political group. Beliefs about the environment are more like religious beliefs than political ones, it seems.
On the religious questions, Muslims are similar to Evangelicals, as reported. However, on the political questions, they are very different. In fact, Muslims are more like the Black Protestant churches. United on faith with Evangelicals, but divided on politics. This seems to fit with exactly the scenario we are in around the world.



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Mr. Incredible

posted July 6, 2008 at 5:24 pm


==…Muslims are similar to Evangelicals…==
Cats are similar to dogs, too. A door is similar to a window. Women are similar to men.
However, in cases like these, it’s the differences that are more important than similarities.



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Whispers

posted July 7, 2008 at 1:24 pm


It is clear that there are major issues with how this survey was conducted. Not only do 21% of atheists “believe in God”, but a good 10% pray with their children and/or attend church weekly.
Also, the table listing how many atheists “believe in God” is presented at least three times in the 270+page report. (I gave up after 20 or so pages.) Most serious publishers don’t feel the need to publish the same table multiple times in the same publication.
I suspect the problem here is not conflicted atheists, but rather amateur surveyists.



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Jake

posted July 8, 2008 at 3:37 am


This is why I never trust “blogs.”
This was the most retarded thing ever.
“21% of atheists believe in god”?
You’re a dumba**.



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Augury

posted July 10, 2008 at 7:30 pm


The incredible similarities of cats and dogma:
If I were required to infer off-hand, and without collusion with higher minds, what is the bottom cause of the amazing dissimilarity in material and canonical advancement of the ephemeral years, I
should extrapolate that it was the modern-born and previously non-existent disposition on the part of the human, to ejaculate religious dogma.



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Mr. Incredible

posted July 11, 2008 at 8:09 am


==If I were required to infer off-hand, and without collusion with higher minds, what is the bottom cause of the amazing dissimilarity in material and canonical advancement of the ephemeral years, I
should extrapolate that it was the modern-born and previously non-existent disposition on the part of the human, to ejaculate religious dogma.==
I’m gonna go out on-a limb here and say that it appears, from that statement-written-like-a-dissertation — whatever it means — that it’s more important to try to impress people with high-falootin’ language than it is to get something across to people.



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Fancy-that

posted July 11, 2008 at 6:41 pm


Great example! ==high-falootin?== You mean highfalutin.
Glossary of Quaint Southernisms: Highfalutin a.Incredibly fancy.
We all speak and write with the accent of the region we are raised in during the critical language learning period from our early years of age. Our accent has nothing at all to do with intelligence or
knowledge of the rules of grammar. It is simply a regional dialect and dialects are equally grammatical; they are simply slight variations in the grammar of a given language that characterize the various regions where that language is spoken. All dialects have rules every bit as rigorous as those of the standard dialect, which is usually determined by the most influential social class. So writing with a Southern, Northern, or Midwestern accent is not a matter of breaking the rules of grammar but of writing with slightly different ones.
How outrageous, overbearing, presumptuous it is that we should be going out on a limb here because of [the dogma of assumption] sacred writings, unfamiliar linguistics of a faraway land and of people
we know little about.



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Mr. Incredible

posted July 11, 2008 at 8:36 pm


And, yet, there is such a thing as standard English. Try using dialect in a dissertation, or a company report.
I used “high falootin’” purposely, and, in this arena — not a formal setting — I’m allowed latitude, for effect. A literary license.
However, what frosts me is that supposedly intelligent people make mistakes in, say, grammar outta ignorance, not sparked by creativity, and that they try to make me believe that they are intelligent.
What frost me more is people inflating their language to make it sound as though they know what they’re talking about when they don’t. I’m not impressed by academic speech/writing. Rather, I look down pretty much at it as being a ruse, an attempt to make up for some inadequacy, some shortcoming, trying to get one up on the listener/reader.



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posted July 11, 2008 at 9:21 pm


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Mr. Incredible

posted July 13, 2008 at 1:09 pm


Newsweek says, “The story of Obama’s religious journey is a uniquely American tale. It’s one of a seeker, an intellectually curious young man trying to cobble together a religious identity out of myriad influences.”
“Trying to cobble together a religious identity out of myriad influences”????? HUH?? What a curious statement.
If he is Christian, he needs only ONE Influence: Jesus, the Word. There are no substitutes, no facsimilies for the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit can’t be tellin’ him one thing and me another.



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Mr. Incredible

posted July 13, 2008 at 1:11 pm


I fo’got to mention that the Newsweek article is about Obamarama.



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Mike Lamble

posted September 5, 2008 at 11:24 am


Steve,
How are you? Long time no talk to.
I assume you saw McCain’s speech last night.
Interesting contrast between the two candidates on the role of success and selflessness. Obama’s convention promise (particularly Michele’s) was to universalize the opportunity to succeed. McCain’s was about success being selflessness, commiting to a higher cause. It’s going to be an interesting season.
Tell Mike I said ‘hello’!
Take care,
Mike



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