Out of about 3,700 respondents, over 2,000 responded as either being Atheist or Agnostic.
I think that the denizens of the Internet are less religious in identification than the general population for two reasons. One, many people of a more fundamentalist bent will avoid Internet usage because it’s a place of inherent temptation, being a place full of not just things like pornography, but of a wider range of free thought than some are comfortable with. This is not to say that all fundamentalists are against freedom of expression of differing ideas, but that such people are more likely to be found among religious fundamentalists than elsewhere. Two, while I can’t say for certain how the Pew Research center conducts its research, I can easily imagine a scenario in which someone calls a home and asks, “Can you tell me the religious affiliation of the members of your household?” to the head of household, who replies, “Oh, we’re Christians.” thus making every member of that household count regardless of actual beliefs held on an individual basis.
Not religous = Lack of belief in gods. Atheism = Lack of belief in gods. Therefore, Not being religious = Being atheistic.
I know many have already attacked you for this, but it’s not so much wrong as over-simplified. For instance, between the ages of 12 and 22, I took part in no formal religious practice of any kind, never setting foot in a church, synagogue, or other house of worship. I suppose you could say I had a lack of belief about gods, but I don’t think I ever in my life truly believed that there was no higher power. Actually, as a Christian fundamentalist, I know that there are many of my fellow Christians who will deny that Christianity is a “religion” for certain technical reasons that I won’t go into because they’re really disingenuous. On the other hand, while there are few people who would deny that Buddhism is a religion, most sects of that religion do not include belief in god(s) as part of their doctrine.
I myself believe in the christian god but i don’t follow the faith. I don’t like the whole concept of “believe in God or go to Hell” thing. Having said that, Christianity has some of the best morals in any religion.
I would have to question your statements here. The “Christian God” is Jesus Himself, who explicitly taught that the criteria for going to Heaven was knowing Him. In addition to that, I would question the idea of “Christian” morals. There are very, very few moral imperatives given by Jesus to His followers that weren’t already part of Judaism.
Captain Serious wrote:
I also believe that the Church should, as stated in the Constitution of the United States of America, be wholly and completely separated from the state, with no religious test in order to hold a position of power.
I don’t recall such a statement in the Constitution, can you enlighten me as to where this is? (I’m not saying I disagree in principle, only that I’m not aware that such statement exists.)
I do believe that the government should denounce religion and openly declare that anyone using religion as a reason for doing something, such as introducing a piece of legislation or appointing a person to a position of power, should have their actions blocked on the grounds of the separation of church and state.
I believe that all laws are moral in nature, and for most religious people, their morals are informed by their religious beliefs. Therefore such a declaration would violate the First Amendment as it would be “prohibiting the free exercise” of religious convictions.
The whole concept stems from the theory that just as how the sun expands as it cools, perhaps this is what the earth is doing as well.
I don’t think this makes any sense with respect to what is known in astrophysics, though. Most things shrink as they cool, and while the sun may be one of the exceptions, I don’t think think it’s expanding because it’s cooling, but rather the cooling and expansion are both side-effects of other processes. (I could be wrong; it’s been a long time since I studied astrophysics.)
Derpy Hooves wrote:
Although I am Christian, I don’t believe in the New Testament. It was changed countless times, and was once even changed by a king to only include the parts he liked and to change it to the way he wanted it to be.
How can one be a Christian and not believe in the New Testament? I mean, I’ve known Christians who reject parts of the N.T. (I have a friend who is a theological professor who wrote a book on why the Epistle of James should not be Canon, for instance) but not the whole thing. How do you define Christianity then, by what you imagine Jesus’ teachings were? Also, while you are right about the fact that it has been edited in a variety of ways (although how much is a matter of hot debate, and @BSoD, the Dead Sea Scrolls don’t contain any N.T. documents, so that’s a separate matter) the idea that Emperor Constantine had a hand in the process is a myth.
My religious beliefs are as follows:
Do good deeds= heaven
do bad deeds= hell
I’ve often wondered where this belief came from, as I don’t know of any religions that actually teach this and yet it is still a very popular belief.
Natsuru Seno wrote:
The idea of heaven and hell actually scares me, because the idea that if I don’t believe in a certain god means I get kicked into a pit of eternal suffering? Any god willing to cause eternal pain is a fucking asshole!