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More than 9 out of 10 Americans believe

thett3
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12/3/2013 12:23:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
According to a Gallup poll from June 2011, 92% of Americans believe in God. When more options were allowed, 80% believed in God and 12% believed in some other spirit.

And get this: 73% of Americans are convinced that God exists.

I had no idea how religious the USA still is. What do you think is the cause of the US being significantly more religious than other Western nations?

http://www.gallup.com...
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Eitan_Zohar
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12/3/2013 12:32:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Desperation for meaning, and lack of a meaningful religious intellectual tradition.
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thett3
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12/3/2013 12:36:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 12:32:19 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
Desperation for meaning, and lack of a meaningful religious intellectual tradition.

Can you elaborate? What about other Western nations gives their citizens meaning? Maybe a historical cultural and ethnic heritage? And what's the US lacking that keeps it from having a meaningful religious intellectual tradition?
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Eitan_Zohar
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12/3/2013 12:47:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 12:36:20 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 12/3/2013 12:32:19 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
Desperation for meaning, and lack of a meaningful religious intellectual tradition.

Can you elaborate? What about other Western nations gives their citizens meaning? Maybe a historical cultural and ethnic heritage? And what's the US lacking that keeps it from having a meaningful religious intellectual tradition?

First of all, I think the monotony and emptiness of day-to-day life in America is partly responsible. We are a nation of settlers. We don't have cities and traditions and languages like Europeans do, we have suburbs and parties and favorite football teams. We don't care about politics. So I think that it has created a vacuum in which people desperate for meaning cling on to whatever traditions and beliefs they have, which is primarily religion. And the type of religion we have is bad religion; where priests are motivational speakers and write books for our depressed population. Loyalty to Israel or whatever biblical prophecy is being fulfilled by the latest Mid East conflict is also a symptom. Europe has a long intellectual tradition from Augustine up to Nietzsche, and are much more "aware" of the real world than we are (for instance, they generally are multilingual and conflicts in the Mediterranean actually affect them).

So basically, we have several sociological factors working here, and we as an immature society are undergoing a transition. I think that if Christianity as a major religion doesn't die outright in this century, it will experience a major revival in the political era in which we will find ourselves (globalization and all that).

Ugh, I know I ramble, but hopefully I'm understandable.
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themohawkninja
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12/3/2013 5:19:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 12:23:18 PM, thett3 wrote:
According to a Gallup poll from June 2011, 92% of Americans believe in God. When more options were allowed, 80% believed in God and 12% believed in some other spirit.

And get this: 73% of Americans are convinced that God exists.

I had no idea how religious the USA still is. What do you think is the cause of the US being significantly more religious than other Western nations?

http://www.gallup.com...

What are the numbers for the other Western countries?
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Noumena
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12/3/2013 5:52:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 12:23:18 PM, thett3 wrote:
According to a Gallup poll from June 2011, 92% of Americans believe in God. When more options were allowed, 80% believed in God and 12% believed in some other spirit.

And get this: 73% of Americans are convinced that God exists.

I had no idea how religious the USA still is. What do you think is the cause of the US being significantly more religious than other Western nations?

http://www.gallup.com...

I'm sure there are plenty of educated guesses out there. Different thinkers have highlighted the superior influence of different fields of emergence, whether it be Nietzsche's psychological account, Marx's economic, Freud's psycho-analytic, etc etc. I think looking into the (relatively newer) work centered around self-conceptualization and self-formation might shed light on this, given how entrenched into one's self concept religious belief usually is.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Wren_cyborg
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12/3/2013 7:11:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 12:23:18 PM, thett3 wrote:
According to a Gallup poll from June 2011, 92% of Americans believe in God. When more options were allowed, 80% believed in God and 12% believed in some other spirit.

And get this: 73% of Americans are convinced that God exists.

That's not saying much, in my opinion. "God" is a vague term. Some people say they believe in "something" and how they mark a researcher's questionnaire is not a rock-solid statistic. Even if they are pressed to differentiate this dichotomy, there are many who might have either taken Pascal's Wager or felt pressured into answering "God" for some reason. I'd bet that a good 15-20 percent of that could go the other way if prompted differently, and in certain different settings. Personally, I'm in the "something" group and I'd probably vote yes on the survey.

I had no idea how religious the USA still is. What do you think is the cause of the US being significantly more religious than other Western nations?

http://www.gallup.com...

"Religion" is a term that has ZERO functional meaning. There are five inquiries in philosophy, and none of them are "religion." Labeling somebody religious is as bad as labeling them a racial minority. Religious is a term used opposite of terms like logical, reasonable, open-minded, etc. You might feel safe looking at somebody, say DATCMOTO, who is full-tilt boogie about Christianity and declare your unadulterated "religious person," but I don't find any difference in an atheistic or agnostic person in essence, anyway. While one cannot serve two masters one must serve one master. Either that is purely yourself (in which you are essentially God) or else it is an underlying order to things, energy, etc. "Religious" are intellectually downtrodden because they personify their God. But this personification is the only difference between them and you.
YYW
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12/3/2013 11:21:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
To le OP:

To affirm the conclusion that the US believes in God more than other western nations, you need data to back that claim up which charts the relative extent to which people believe in God in various western nations.

Also, atheists are now, always have been and hopefully will continue to be the minority. Most people grow out of it. It's an intellectual fetish that people eventually grow tired of, for most...
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Beverlee
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12/4/2013 2:27:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 12:23:18 PM, thett3 wrote:
According to a Gallup poll from June 2011, 92% of Americans believe in God. When more options were allowed, 80% believed in God and 12% believed in some other spirit.

And get this: 73% of Americans are convinced that God exists.

I had no idea how religious the USA still is. What do you think is the cause of the US being significantly more religious than other Western nations?

http://www.gallup.com...

The US was the first country with a firm First Amendment style law. Since we could not use the power of collective action to make religious laws, the resulting state secularism allowed a safe landscape where a mass flowering of spiritual paths could develop.

So the US is religious because it is secular.
bsh1
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12/4/2013 3:21:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/4/2013 2:27:40 PM, Beverlee wrote:
At 12/3/2013 12:23:18 PM, thett3 wrote:
According to a Gallup poll from June 2011, 92% of Americans believe in God. When more options were allowed, 80% believed in God and 12% believed in some other spirit.

And get this: 73% of Americans are convinced that God exists.

I had no idea how religious the USA still is. What do you think is the cause of the US being significantly more religious than other Western nations?

http://www.gallup.com...

The US was the first country with a firm First Amendment style law. Since we could not use the power of collective action to make religious laws, the resulting state secularism allowed a safe landscape where a mass flowering of spiritual paths could develop.

So the US is religious because it is secular.

I think that is a bit roundabout.

Consider that we were a nation colonized (at first) largely by people who were religiously persecuted and who wanted a safe-heaven. This instilled an early focus on religion that has yet to dissipate.
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Beverlee
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12/4/2013 3:48:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/4/2013 3:21:21 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 12/4/2013 2:27:40 PM, Beverlee wrote:
At 12/3/2013 12:23:18 PM, thett3 wrote:
According to a Gallup poll from June 2011, 92% of Americans believe in God. When more options were allowed, 80% believed in God and 12% believed in some other spirit.

And get this: 73% of Americans are convinced that God exists.

I had no idea how religious the USA still is. What do you think is the cause of the US being significantly more religious than other Western nations?

http://www.gallup.com...

The US was the first country with a firm First Amendment style law. Since we could not use the power of collective action to make religious laws, the resulting state secularism allowed a safe landscape where a mass flowering of spiritual paths could develop.

So the US is religious because it is secular.

I think that is a bit roundabout.

Consider that we were a nation colonized (at first) largely by people who were religiously persecuted and who wanted a safe-heaven. This instilled an early focus on religion that has yet to dissipate.

Yeah, the early settlers get a lot of credit for wanting "religious freedom," but they were oppressive theocrats themselves.They got so bad that they inspired a lot of people to support the idea of the eventual "wall of separation" between church and state. I don't think that the very early American settlers from Europe were really any different from those people in the old country that they were running away from at that stage.

It was later in the nation's history that things got corrected, and the witch burnings and other super-bad things got taken care of that the secularism that I am talking about came up. After that point we could all just live here together no matter what religion we were. With exceptions, obviously. Big exceptions. But there was still enough state secularism to allow religion to develop here organically, and to adapt to the culture without the calcification that the legal system would have brought.
TN05
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12/4/2013 3:49:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 12:23:18 PM, thett3 wrote:
According to a Gallup poll from June 2011, 92% of Americans believe in God. When more options were allowed, 80% believed in God and 12% believed in some other spirit.

And get this: 73% of Americans are convinced that God exists.

I had no idea how religious the USA still is. What do you think is the cause of the US being significantly more religious than other Western nations?

http://www.gallup.com...

Christianity is still a major cultural element. As long as it remains the ideological and spiritual framework of the country, it will remain there.
themohawkninja
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12/4/2013 3:54:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 11:21:28 PM, YYW wrote:
To le OP:

To affirm the conclusion that the US believes in God more than other western nations, you need data to back that claim up which charts the relative extent to which people believe in God in various western nations.

Also, atheists are now, always have been and hopefully will continue to be the minority. Most people grow out of it. It's an intellectual fetish that people eventually grow tired of, for most...

Umm... atheism is on the rise, and will probably become at least a great minority if not the majority as more and more people don't succumb to the blind faith of specified theism.

What's so bad about atheism anyways?
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
ConservativePolitico
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12/4/2013 10:48:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The United States has a strong tradition of being very religious or at least spiritual. It's something that has persisted through our culture since the Puritan days.
yay842
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12/4/2013 11:23:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
im in the 1 out of 10 that believe in believing
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AnDoctuir
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12/5/2013 3:56:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 11:21:28 PM, YYW wrote:
Also, atheists are now, always have been and hopefully will continue to be the minority. Most people grow out of it. It's an intellectual fetish that people eventually grow tired of, for most...

YYW loves the powerful man in the sky. "F*ck me, Jesus!" he'll cry.
RyuuKyuzo
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12/5/2013 4:12:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The cold war played a big part in this. Those dirty commies were atheists, so we responded by upping the God-talk. The cold war is the reason why "In God we trust" was added to our money.
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AnDoctuir
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12/5/2013 8:48:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I dunno ... maybe it has to do with the American constitution and "right to life"? Justification in other words, largely. I've always hated the whole "man is inherently evil" dealie - I see it, really, as one of the main indoctrinating forces of Christianity. It's to lull one into what's essentially an intellectual comatose, I think - same goes for that whole "suicide is selfish" bit.

I mean, perhaps the lesser faith of other countries is down to less solid foundations, no? down to that there are no "unalienable rights" preached by anyone outside the US really, to that these things are essentially a god for Americans and might allow for furtherance of delusion, other such gods. And then there's justification in not believing in a god, too - justification of selfishness, for example.

Maybe some people just need to feel right. I get that, no denying it. But I do think I stay solidly sensible and that everything I believe is backed up empirically ... as much as some might wish to believe otherwise. Maybe when you're such a warring nation, such a controlling people - like Americans and Muslims - you need some righteous justification on your side. Thoreau wrote of the "divinity that must be felt within the slave driver" - that sort of thing.

When a place has been through so much war, it's not likely to harbour good notions about the world. Women, the weaker sex, have fallen furthest according to the Bible - this should serve as a pretty decent illustrator there. And then you can view East Asian countries in such a light; tumultuous Central Europe, too. As I've said before, I do see the Problem of Evil as playing a large part in a person's spiritual considerations.

Of course I see a problem there, too, though. I've often consider the African American community to be so soulfully religious perhaps because they've been so downtrodden, because that's hope for them. I can solve this problem, though, and I'm getting to it. Ireland is the same, a country full of alcoholics, laughing off their insanity and highly religious. We're not a powerful people ... though I guess we've not seen it as bad. And then to solve that problem of why East Asian countries are atheistic where the Irish and African Americans are not, well, perhaps they've experienced more soul-destroying circumstances. I mean, there's no higher power either party can look to and blame, is there? - not really, no grand order, but perhaps it's just in passing. The failing of Communism in China might perhaps serve as a very corrosive force here, and Nazi Germany. I mean, it is common that both god and government will be rebelled against together ... or at least I think so. Take Vonnegut for example, and how angrily atheistic he was, having seen what he did. It's all pretty much anger, hope, or self-justification, I think - religious or not. It's all pretty mental, none of it very sensible. I mean, who knows, right? Not me ... maybe I'm f*cking god and you guys are all just a very self-deprecating dream I'm having ... damn. You know, I'd imagine being God would be a tough job - maybe that's the point of all this: God wants a little sympathy, the poor dude.
AnDoctuir
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12/5/2013 8:50:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's 2 o clock in the afternoon and I've drank two cans ... such is the life of an egomaniac, or so I hear.
AnDoctuir
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12/5/2013 8:54:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Meh. I guess I could have better detailed the whole warring circumstances of Central Europe as opposed to Ireland there, but whatever. It still makes sense. We didn't have it so bad. Makes sense of why Europe is more religious the further west you go, no?
AnDoctuir
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12/5/2013 8:54:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/5/2013 4:12:53 AM, RyuuKyuzo wrote:
The cold war played a big part in this. Those dirty commies were atheists, so we responded by upping the God-talk. The cold war is the reason why "In God we trust" was added to our money.

This.
AnDoctuir
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12/5/2013 8:58:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/5/2013 8:54:27 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Meh. I guess I could have better detailed the whole warring circumstances of Central Europe as opposed to Ireland there, but whatever. It still makes sense. We didn't have it so bad. Makes sense of why Europe is more religious the further west you go, no?

F*CK!111!! GOD LIVES IN AMERICA!11!!

How did I not see that before......
RoyLatham
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12/5/2013 10:12:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
There is good Wikipedia article that gives the numbers for countries around the world. http://en.wikipedia.org...

The numbers in Europe show the same high variability depending on how the question is asked and what alternatives are presented in the answers. There are large variations from country to country in Europe, with Malta having 94% belief in God. The Czech Republic is 16%, Sweden 18%, and Norway 22%. When the question is posed as belief in a "God or life force" nearly all the European countries are 60% or over. France is near the low, at 54%. I note that the Muslim population in France is growing rapidly, so that could increase.

Overall, I'd say the Europe is about twice as atheistic as the US, maybe 20% vs. 10%. By far the most atheistic countries are in East Asia, with 70% in Japan (where 90% are members of Buddhist or Shinto or both). One interesting clue is that religion has risen rapidly in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I think the reasons are largely historical. The US was founded with a large component of strongly-motivated religious dissidents from Europe, and that led to Constitutional protections for religious belief. The East Asian view of religion is more philosophical, allowing coexisstance of atheism and religion.

Humans are programmed to seek answers to questions and to build theories about how the world works. Personally, I don't see much difference between religion and all-encompassing political ideologies. Believing the evil comes from a devil or from George Bush (or capitalism) is about the same. People need theories to explain the world, so they always find one.

"Everyone must belief in something.
I believe I'll have another drink."
-- W.C. Fields
TN05
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12/5/2013 10:46:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/4/2013 3:54:19 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 12/3/2013 11:21:28 PM, YYW wrote:
To le OP:

To affirm the conclusion that the US believes in God more than other western nations, you need data to back that claim up which charts the relative extent to which people believe in God in various western nations.

Also, atheists are now, always have been and hopefully will continue to be the minority. Most people grow out of it. It's an intellectual fetish that people eventually grow tired of, for most...

Umm... atheism is on the rise, and will probably become at least a great minority if not the majority as more and more people don't succumb to the blind faith of specified theism.

What's so bad about atheism anyways?

Atheism is not on the rise, irreligion is. Most people that aren't affiliated with a religion (a faction that is a rising demographic) still believe in some higher power, they just aren't part of a religion.
Beverlee
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12/5/2013 11:07:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I still think that the main cause of higher than normal levels of religion in the US is state secularism. I also don't think that the early settlers were interested at all in religious freedom; they were horrible people, really. This includes Columbus and the witch burners. I'm not being mean, but that is true. They were so horrible that the First Amendment was made to try and keep them under some control.

Without any enforced religion, the public was able to handle and develop religious ideas that were very responsive. The result is religion "of the people, by the people, and for the people," and that has worked pretty well so far.

A lot of Christianity was wiped out of Europe after the war. This could also be part of why religion in America is more common. The holocaust was not as bad here, so we really didn't have to hear televangelists and preachers telling us that we need to help get rid of Jews and all that. As normal as that was in Europe, it was almost rare here, and so religion survived better here, and was given a bad name there. That creates a delta between the US and Europe that might explain some of it.

I don't think that America will stay more religious for more than a few generations. As we become more technological and modern, our religions seem more and more medieval in comparison. Things will get to a breaking point eventually, where the idea of gods just seems too silly to take seriously anymore. That is part of why religious zeal is more and more what you see in politics.
Noumena
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12/5/2013 11:58:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 11:21:28 PM, YYW wrote:
To le OP:

To affirm the conclusion that the US believes in God more than other western nations, you need data to back that claim up which charts the relative extent to which people believe in God in various western nations.

Also, atheists are now, always have been and hopefully will continue to be the minority. Most people grow out of it. It's an intellectual fetish that people eventually grow tired of, for most...

Ugh. Sometimes YWW...sometimes I don't know about you mate.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
inferno
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12/5/2013 12:14:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/3/2013 12:32:19 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
Desperation for meaning, and lack of a meaningful religious intellectual tradition.

Desperation for spiritual ineptitude and ideological support or meaningless existence.
Eitan_Zohar
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12/5/2013 12:17:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/5/2013 12:14:16 PM, inferno wrote:
At 12/3/2013 12:32:19 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
Desperation for meaning, and lack of a meaningful religious intellectual tradition.

Desperation for spiritual ineptitude and ideological support or meaningless existence.

The former.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."