June 1, 2016

10 facts about atheists

Estimating the number of atheists in the U.S. is complicated. Some adults who describe themselves as atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit. At the same time, some people who identify with a religion (e.g., say they are Protestant, Catholic or Jewish) also say they do not believe in God.

But one thing is for sure: Along with the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans (many of whom believe in God), there has been a corresponding increase in the number of atheists. As nonbelievers and others gather in Washington, D.C., for the “Reason Rally,” here are key facts about atheists and their beliefs:

1The share of Americans who identify as atheists has roughly doubled in the past several years. Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study found that 3.1% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 1.6% in a similarly large survey in 2007. An additional 4.0% of Americans call themselves agnostics, up from 2.4% in 2007.

2Atheists, in general, are more likely to be male and younger than the overall population68% are men, and the median age of atheist adults in the U.S. is 34 (compared with 46 for all U.S. adults). Atheists also are more likely to be white (78% are Caucasian vs. 66% for the general public) and highly educated: About four-in-ten atheists (43%) have a college degree, compared with 27% of the general public.

3Self-identified atheists tend to be aligned with the Democratic Party and with political liberalism. About two-thirds of atheists (69%) identify as Democrats (or lean in that direction), and a majority (56%) call themselves political liberals (compared with just one-in-ten who say they are conservatives). Atheists overwhelmingly favor same-sex marriage (92%) and legal abortion (87%). In addition, three-quarters (74%) say that government aid to the poor does more good than harm.

4Although the literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary8% of those who call themselves atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit. Indeed, 2% say they are “absolutely certain” about the existence of God or a universal spirit. Alternatively, there are many people who fit the dictionary definition of “atheist” but do not call themselves atheists. About three times as many Americans say they do not believe in God or a universal spirit (9%) as say they are atheists (3%).

5Unsurprisingly, more than nine-in-ten self-identified atheists say religion is not too or not at all important in their lives, and nearly all (97%) say they seldom or never pray. At the same time, many do not see a contradiction between atheism and pondering their place in the world. Three-in-ten (31%) say they feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least weekly. A similar share (35%) often thinks about the meaning and purpose of life. And roughly half of all atheists (54%) frequently feel a deep sense of wonder about the universe, up from 37% in 2007. In fact, atheists are more likely than U.S. Christians to say they often feel a sense of wonder about the universe (54% vs. 45%).

6In the 2014 Religious Landscape Study, self-identified atheists were asked how often they share their views on God and religion with religious people. Only about one-in-ten atheists (9%) say they do at least weekly, while roughly two-thirds (65%) say they seldom or never discuss their views on religion with religious people. By comparison, 26% of those who have a religious affiliation share their views at least once a week with those who have other beliefs; 43% say they seldom or never do.

7Virtually no atheists (1%) turn to religion for guidance on questions of right and wrong, but increasing numbers are turning to scienceAbout a third of atheists (32%) say they look primarily to science for guidance on questions of right and wrong, up from 20% in 2007. A plurality (44%) still cite “practical experience and common sense” as their primary guide on such questions, but that is down from 52% in 2007.

8Americans like atheists less than they like members of most major religious groups. A 2014 Pew Research Center survey asked Americans to rate groups on a “feeling thermometer” from zero (as cold and negative as possible) to 100 (the warmest, most positive possible rating). U.S. adults gave atheists an average rating of 41, comparable to the rating they gave Muslims (40) and far colder than the average given to Jews (63), Catholics (62) and evangelical Christians (61).

9About half of Americans (51%) say they would be less likely to support an atheist candidate for president, more than say the same about a candidate with any other trait mentioned in a Pew Research Center survey – including being Muslim. This figure, while still high, has declined in recent years – in early 2007, 63% of U.S. adults said they would be less likely to support an atheist presidential candidate. There are currently no self-described atheists serving in Congress, although there is one House member, Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who describes herself as religiously unaffiliated.

10About half of Americans (53%) say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral, while 45% say belief in God is necessary to have good values, according to a 2014 survey. In other wealthy countries, smaller shares tend to say that a belief in God is essential for good morals, including just 15% in France. But in many other parts of the world, nearly everyone says that a person must believe in God to be moral, including 99% in Indonesia and Ghana and 98% in Pakistan.

Note: This post was originally published on Nov. 5, 2015, as “7 facts about atheists,” and updated on June 1, 2016. 

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Religious Beliefs and Practices, Religiously Unaffiliated

  1. Photo of Michael Lipka

    is a senior editor focusing on religion at Pew Research Center.


  1. Gail Fitzorbert1 year ago

    After being educated in a convent school for 12 years, I believe in morality due to the indoctrination we endured. At 14 I realized that I would never be allowed to be a priest just because I was female. At 16 I was an atheist. I am grateful for my education and hold a school leaving O Level in Scripture issued by the Cambridge Board of Education!!!

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Being a female shouldn’t be a reason for you not to be a priest. The first preachers were women, Mary and Mary Magdalene. If you read Mathew the resurrection of Jesus you will see these two women were the first to go to the others and say “He has risen”.
      Another example, Joyce Meyer is a preacher, shes fantastic. Don’t let what the world say to you Push you away from God.

      1. Zach Russel1 year ago

        1 Timothy 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[a] she must be quiet.

        4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for it is just as if her head were shaved. 6If a woman does not cover her head, let her hair be cut off. And if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

        7A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man did not come from woman, but woman from man. 9Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10For this reason a woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.

        11In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For just as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.

        13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Doesn’t nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, 15but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16If anyone is inclined to dispute this, we have no other practice, nor do the churches of God.

        The bible is a waste of paper

  2. Anonymous1 year ago

    The Merriam Webster dictionary is incorrect to define an atheist as “a person who believes that God does not exist,” because disbelief isn’t belief is it? It’s lack of it in the same way ‘Health’ is not a disease but a lack of it.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      No actually I believe (pun intended) that The Merriam Webster dictionary is right : most atheists actually do believe in the fact that there is not God ; in the same way, ‘health’ can indeed be defined as the absence of disease, but also as a general well-being. Things can be defined in several different ways

    2. David Stout1 year ago

      No. Disbelief and lack of belief are different.
      If I say X is true, and you believe I’m right then you think it’s true too.
      If you disbelieve me, then you think X is false. If you have no opinion
      either way then you lack a belief in the truth or falsity of X.

  3. James Kujawa1 year ago

    This response is for Christians, because I live in the US, and Jesus is the “primary” god that most citizens believe in. I am atheist, and a humanist. I care about my fellow man. If Jesus returns, “the Rapture”, over 5+ BILLION fellow humans will go straight to eternal damnation and hellfire just for not kneeling down and worshiping your god, no matter how good we have been to our families and friends. This is the insanity of the Christian belief system. It also pertains to the Muslim and Jewish beliefs, and they are ALL the same god taught in different “writtings” so to speak. Jesus, vrs., Allah, vrs., Yahweh, over bullshit real estate, may cause WW3, and the religious can’t wait for this “battle” between God and Satan. We do not know what created this Universe, but given time, we will, through science, common sense, and knowledge. Unless this bullshit final battle, a self fulfilling imaginary human construct, comes first. There is no “RAPTURE”. It’s called species extinction.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      “If Jesus returns, “the Rapture”, over 5+ BILLION fellow humans will go straight to eternal damnation and hellfire just for not kneeling down and worshiping your god, no matter how good we have been to our families and friends.” So many flaws in that statement that it displays the lack of common sense you have.
      Many people around my area have read about Jason Dalton, the Uber-driving mass murderer that killed six people and injured two others. Records about him show no felony charges, no reports of insanity, nothing majorly bad in particular. But, the point is, he disobeyed the law. He spit on the laws that have kept his, and other’s lives safe. So, are we to look at his past records and let him go?
      You don’t accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, that is like denying Obama as our president. You are suppose to “bow” to your superiors. If you don’t, there will be consiquences. If you don’t obey your boss, there will be consiquences. When you are a kid, if you disobey your parents, there will be consiquences. When an officer asks you to pull over, if you disobey him/her, there will be greater consiquences. It doesn’t matter what you did in your past, the focus is more on the present and greater details.
      “It also pertains to the Muslim and Jewish beliefs, and they are ALL the same god taught in different “writtings” so to speak.” Please do real research before copy and pasting atheist site propaganda bullshit.
      “Jesus, vrs., Allah, vrs., Yahweh, over bullshit real estate, may cause WW3, and the religious can’t wait for this “battle” between God and Satan.” As I recall, both World Wars were caused by human conflict, rather than religious conflict.
      What do you mean “we can’t wait?” Are you really that negative towards religious people? That you say we crave war and have a thirst for blood? Dude, you need professional help, because the life you choose to live with will leave you unhappy for life.
      “We do not know what created this Universe, but given time, we will, through science, common sense, and knowledge.” Ever heard of the big band theory? As for science, it never claims absolute truth. Common sense, the loud atheists demonstrate a lack of it. Knowledge, the loud atheists demonstrate a lack of it too; both religious and scientific knowledge.
      FYI, our persuite of scientific knowledge would be far slower without religion. The Islamic and Christian religions, they inspired many great people to persue science and teach natural philosophy. But of course atheist sites won’t tell you this, since they rely on propaganda to gain support. Pathetic.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        The only problem is that Obama actually exists. God does not. Any other imaginary friends you think we should “bow” to?

      2. Anonymous1 year ago

        “You are suppose to “bow” to your superiors. If you don’t, there will be consiquences.”

        The issue the commenter was pointing out is that, why is Jesus defined as the “superior” of people who are born and grow up in a country that follows another religion? They either never heard that Jesus is their superior, or that their family and culture and country where they grew up told them that Jesus is not their superior, but some other thing. It’s not their fault for being born in a different country that does not consider Jesus its superior.

        “Please do real research before copy and pasting atheist site propaganda bullshit.”

        Judaism, Christianity and Islam are following a historically traceable path of tradition from ancient Egypt and are connected. Christianity in some ways was a reaction to Judaism of its time and shares a lot of similarities; the Bible was originally in Hebrew, which is the Jewish language. The Bible borrows a lot of stories from Judaism and the Torah. Islam and Quran borrows from both Torah and Bible, and claims that their prophet is the last in a line of prophets involving many characters from Judaism and Christianity.

        “The Islamic and Christian religions, they inspired many great people to persue science and teach natural philosophy.”

        Sure, but scientific progress cannot be attributed to these people’s beliefs, it is attributed to their human ability, curiosity, thinking, reasoning; just like you say how wars are not attributed to religions but to humans.

  4. Anonymous1 year ago

    Where is heaven and hell by the way? Can I go see the hell at least? How are we going to get there? If God is all merciful, why would he build hells to begin with? Why would I burn eternally? If he is merciful, shouldn’t he have mercy on me and let me go to heaven at some point?
    Why all the Gods were physically here thousands of years ago? Is the world such a nice place now what we can’t use the Help right now? Don’t tell me God has many forms, He is among us all the time. God should come down or be visible once in a while to keep us straight.
    Believe me, if my God can heal my Autistic son, I will give up everything I have to charity. I will sell my houses, cars, withdraw all the savings, retirement funds, everything and I mean everything and give it to charity of his choosing and start from the scratch financially. Show me that you exist and cure my son. Let him enjoy the world. I know that will never happen. I am a sinner? Ok then heal this other kid I know whose parents are as religious as anyone else I know. Heal him and show me that you exist.
    Why ‘fear’ is the basis of all religion? Why can’t I just do good things to other fellow human and that be my religion? If I just do that, what does that make me? Why do I have to go to Church/mosque (definitely human made) to talk to God? Why can’t I just think it in the head and talk to him? Why are we wasting billions of dollars to build these ‘holy’ buildings if God is everywhere?
    Why these all merciful Gods give these children horrible diseases? What the hell kind of sick ‘tests’ are these? Forget the diseases, why do these Gods bring children in this world with autism and other nasty stuff? What the hell have these kids done to anybody? Why are they here if they can’t enjoy this world? How sick minded is God?
    Why the hell there are so many religions? Why the almighty God let it happen? Why God is making us confused by allowing all these religions? Which one should I follow? If I follow one, am I offending some other Gods? What if there are too many Gods and my God is weak and by following him I make other Gods angry and He takes me to his Hell? Who is going to save me then?
    I have million more questions. I can just keep going but what is the point?

  5. Ed Selby1 year ago

    “Nones” are not, by default, atheists. They simply claim no affiliation to or affinity for religious systems. I would wager that the “atheists” who believe in a good or universal spirit are actually “Nones”.

  6. Ernie Eastman1 year ago

    The trouble I have with being an Atheist is that so many other Atheists are just jerks about it. In a discussion with an Evangelical, for instance, it only takes an atheist a few minutes until he begins to belittle the believer: comparing Jesus to The tooth fairy, or ridiculing other beliefs that the believer holds dear. Sarcasm and mockery seem to be the go- to arguements of many atheists. Many atheists seem to need to prove they are just so much smarter than everyone else. I don’t tell people I’m an atheist simply because I don’t want to be associated with people like this who are so impressed with themselves.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Ernie, I use to think the same thing. I didn’t want to offend the Christians. I thought that as an Atheist we should not behave like so many radical religious people. But, I have been debating religious people for a while now and they have no problem telling us that we are going to hell, or that we should be killed and worse. I try to not attack them if they are not being rude or aggressive but I will fight back if they are. They are not the sweet little church going people they want you to believe they are. A lot of them are down right hateful and bigoted and violent. Most are not open to any kind of civil debate. All I can say is pick your battles, and try to be who you are but don’t let them walk all over you. Just like not all religious people are radical fundamentalist neither are all Atheist angry and hateful. There are good and bad in every walk of life. Hopefully we land somewhere in the middle.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      I’m impressed with myself because I’m awesome not because I’m an atheist

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      Logically there is no difference between unfalsifiable beliefs like Jesus, the tooth fairy, leprechauns, the flying spaghetti monster, Allah, Shiva, Krishna, Avalokiteshvara, Amaterasu, or the Lochness monster.

      You will be insulted or offended only if you take some of these beliefs seriously and not others. Everyone will get offended when it is pointed out that their favorite unfalsifiable belief is logically the same as any other that they consider silly. People are strongly biased toward the particular unfalsifiable belief of the culture they grew up in.

      Put yourself in other people’s shoes. There are people who follow folk religions who seriously believe in fairies, just as seriously as you do in Jesus. Wouldn’t they feel insulted when you say that you are insulted when Jesus is compared to fairies? They could find Jesus equally silly as you find their fairies.

  7. Anonymous1 year ago

    Take the man made word “religion” out of the equation. A belief in GOD and spirituality abounds in our world! Man is forever trying to label and categorize GOD and peoples beliefs. Live and let live and by God hope that we can find peace and salvation for our planet!

  8. Tony Thompson1 year ago

    As an atheist, I cannot make heads nor tails of this:
    >>Estimating the number of atheists in the U.S. is complicated. Some adults who describe themselves as atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit.<<

    How can an atheist believe in God? I can sort of, kind of, understand how an atheist can believe in a universal spirit (after all, there are atheists that believe in pseudoscience and woo BS like reincarnation and karma), but no an atheist who believes in God.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      That’s not what they’re saying, they only survey people, people are free to be illogical or irrational. They could take “God” to mean the Christian god and call themselves “atheist” in opposition to the most popular religion they live in. Maybe they mean “Deist” or something like that.

  9. Anonymous1 year ago

    S. Mason you are not using logic. This planet has perfect oxygen of 21% along with other gases that we breath that provide precise pressure to keep the alveoli in your lungs open enough to breath comfortably and normal. How could this air be on this planet without a genius who made it? This earth just didn’t arrive on it’s own without an expert creating it. I am in the medical field and the number of times I spoke a sentence to my God during an emergency I was able to accomplish success. I have many stories that involve my Blessed God Almighty because I BELIEVE IN HIM!! If you don’t then He will turn away from you. He gave US ALL the choice of how we want to live our lives, but if you turn away from Him and not use logic of your existence then you will find out the hard way some day. When I was a little child I used logic and always looked around with my eyes and with thinking. I didn’t go to church much either, but logic was the key. If you value your life and want to live forever then do some research. What can you lose?

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Is it logical to think our environment was tuned for us or that we were tuned for our environment? If the former is true, what evidence allows one to take a leap and say a deity is the causation of this tuning? Your claim of devine intervention is logical bases on an unsupported premiss, therefore it is a logical fallacy.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      “This planet has perfect oxygen of 21% along with other gases that we breath that provide precise pressure to keep the alveoli in your lungs open enough to breath comfortably and normal. How could this air be on this planet without a genius who made it?”

      Please educate yourself on how evolution, natural selection, or modern evolutionary synthesis all address these “miracles” with ease.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        How and why do we exist? Once you connect with God your life changes greatly and gets better. The Holy Spirit entered me one day and there are many others who have experienced the same euphoria. If you don’t want to believe that from many others and you think we’re crazy that’s okay. I would just feel sorry for those who don’t believe.

      2. Joseph Patterson1 year ago

        Members of the animal kingdom evolved to fit the percentage of oxygen existing in the atmosphere, not the other way around. No wonder that 21% oxygen is “perfect”!

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      What are you on about? We would be just fine with higher or slightly lower concentrations of oxygen.
      It isn’t until you get down to about 17% that you might start to experience any negative effects. In fact some people, such as those that live in higher elevations, are just fine on far lower
      On the flip side humans should be just fine breathing up to 50% oxygen.

      As far as the other gasses they don’t matter much. Nitrogen could be replaced with neon and we would probably be fine.

      As far as the pressure, it is a function of the gravity of our planet and the size of our atmosphere. We can withstand both higher and lower.

  10. Anonymous1 year ago

    I think you have the definition wrong, which probably represents your own religious views. Atheist simply do not believe in a god. Without your hang ons. There are no buts or exemptions, if there are they are not atheists.

  11. Doug Chivers1 year ago

    Yea, they identify as atheist, but if they are on a plane that is going down, that changes real quick! Then they will call out for God.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Or maybe remain calm and follow the established safety procedures? Hmmm…

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Why would I cry out to something that doesn’t exist? That’s like crying out for Bigfoot to come save me as I plummet down the rapids. It’s simply ludicrous.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      You should look up “Military Atheists” organization. They strongly oppose the mentality you are speaking of (“no atheists in foxholes”).

  12. Doug Chivers1 year ago

    They say they are Atheist, but I know for a fact who they will be calling out to if they are on a plane that is going down!

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      That’s just silly. I didn’t call out to God when my son died. Why? Because what good would it do? Planes crash. By your logic the people on them irreverent praying hard enough.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      and how often has god snatched that falling plane out of the sky ?

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      Really? Well, if you know that for a fact, then there is presumably some source of evidence for that “fact.” Please post it here. I shall decline to hold my breath as I await your response.

    4. Paul Babcock1 year ago

      To each their own. But Jesus is different from the tooth fairy how exactly?

      In an open and pluralistic society, all ideas are open to doubt, being questioned and ridicule. That is what it means to live in a free society.

  13. Anonymous1 year ago

    I believe there is something responsible for the world but I do not believe in the gods that people worship today. I was taught (16 yrs Catholic schools) that god is a supreme being and that we are finite. By that definition it would be impossible for a finite being to understand an infinite being. Religion has done good things in the world i.e. Hospitals, schools etc. But it has been used as an excuse for killing and torture throughout the ages.

  14. Paul Rabin1 year ago

    Number 4 is a bad definition. It’s not so much that we BELIEVE God does not exist as much as it is we DON’T believe it does. There’s a difference. The former makes a claim; the latter dismisses a claim, which is all that atheists do.

    1. Phil Loubere1 year ago

      Yes, that’s an important distinction. In fact, a more specific definition is simply a-theist, ie, not a theist, which means not accepting the proposition of a theistic deity, one that is personally involved in your life. But it seems to be more broadly applied to anyone who doesn’t accept the proposal of any deities. And yes, it’s not a matter of believing something different, it is a rejection of that belief.

  15. Anonymous1 year ago

    The rise in atheism in the U.S. especially amongst young voters is entirely due to the pervasive Christian conservative voice alone in the U.S. Prgressive Christians are nearly the opposite of these floundering people.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago


  16. Don Bredes1 year ago

    Sorry, but #4 is mistaken. The literal definition of “atheism” is the absence of theistic belief. The claim that a god cannot exist is a category of atheism, one that may be misleading with respect to the basic nature of atheism. In its basic form, atheism is not a belief. It is the absence of belief. An atheist is not a person who believes that a god does not exist. Rather, an atheist does not believe in the existence of a god.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      I agree and was going to call attention to this error. Thanks, Don.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Only someone who believes in a god will perceive a practical distinction between those two positions. (That’s rather a lot of people, I’m just pointing out that for those who don’t it’s immaterial.)

      I understand there is a logical distinction you may be trying to make; a person who does not believe in the existence of a god could be seen as more passive (perhaps hasn’t even thought about it, say they’ve been raised in a remote jungle without exposure to “civilisation”), whereas a person who believes that a god does not exist is more active in their belief (they’ve considered and rejected the proposition that a god exists).

      Now from the pov of someone who believes in a god, let’s face it we’re talking about someone who believes in the Abrahamic God and can’t conceive of the possibility He doesn’t exist, there is a clear difference between a heathen (whether in fact i.e. unexposed to Abrahamic religion, or de facto i.e. too apathetic to give it any serious thought) and an atheist (i.e. one who has been exposed to Abrahamic religion and has rejected the notion of a god).

      From the pov of someone who does not, it’s a distinction without a difference. To see why, just replace the concept of “god” with something we can both scoff at – the spaghetti monster. Is there really a practical difference between someone who’s never heard of the spaghetti monster and therefore can’t be said to believe in it, and someone who has but rejects the notion? None. We shouldn’t need two words to distinguish the two forms, and really don’t even need one (a-spaghettiist?)
      And for the spaghetti monster we can substitute any number of “gods” (such as Zeus, Shiva, etc), or Russell’s teapot etc.

      We presumably can agree to dismiss an unlimited number of gods as non-existent.

      The only difference between an atheist and a monotheist is that the atheist rejects just one more god as non-existent, out of all the ones that “might” exist.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      Dismissing a belief towards the ‘absence of belief’, does not bring sense into the equation.

      Having the tendency to think for oneself in terms of the ‘absence of belief’ allocates one to supposedly have a belief towards what they think is logical in one’s thought. Expand yourself on ‘absence on belief’, because it contradicts what one may belief in, regardless of religion/morals. Correct term, unbelief of others belief?

      Question? I’m happy to participate in your rebuttals if so.

  17. Anonymous1 year ago

    Being religiously non-affiliated does make someone an atheist. Religions are man made constructs. An acceptance that a higher or spiritual entity or power exists is a human perception that many people (Billions…) will have who identity with no religion.

    This acceptance excludes them from being an atheist.

    Agnostics are at best a 50/50 as they accept that a God, or higher spiritual power can exist, but have no proof or conviction either way.

    That leaves between 4.1% & 5% as actual atheists, and the rest are not atheist but the atheists are just as keen as everyone else to pad their numbers, although they continually claim that percentages & numbers of believers is no evidence…

    So approx. 4.5% atheists it is. That’s all there is, there isn’t any more…

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Being religiously non-affiliated does NOT make someone an atheist. Not believing in a ‘god’, ‘higher power’, etc., makes you an atheist. Atheist means ‘without god’, not ‘without religion’.

      Agnosticism is about knowing, not belief. It is NOT an intermediary step between atheism and theism. You can be an agnostic atheist as well as an agnostic theist. Personally, unless you have an autograph, you are an agnostic. I don’t care how fervently you believe, you don’t know.

    2. S Mason1 year ago

      Well – there’s a little more to it than that.

      First: it is a fact that billions believe in a higher power. But that fact is fairly meaningless. The whole world used to believe the world was flat. Of those billions who believe in a higher power frequently they violently disagree about the higher powers basic characteristics and requirements of them. Not a single one of them can produce this higher power in any meaningful way.

      In terms of agnosticism: your definition is inaccurate. Yes – agnostics accept a god might exist, but it is not required of a normal definition of agnosticism to have no conviction on the matter. That’s a misnomer frequently spread by the faithful many of whom who would like clear water between atheists and agnostics.

      However, every atheist I know is also agnostic. I am definitely both. I am agnostic because I accept the possibility that there could be a silent, hidden and invisible high power. I am atheist because the evidence for it is (massively) underwhelming, and therefore I lack belief in gods.

      1. Joshua C Danley1 year ago

        Most people have an incorrect view of agnosticism.

        The latin root of Agnostic is “lack knowledge” to possess knowledge is to be Gnostic.

        Most all of us would state we do not possess knowledge. We only believe or not. Therefore Agnostic.

        The currently popular definition is a misuse of the word.

        It implies that being christian or athiest means that you are Gnostic…since you must be either Gnostic or Agnostic.

        Now there may very well be a group that possessess knowledge and can claim to notnbe agnostic.

        It is also important to acknowledge that evidence is not knowledgel.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      “Being religiously non-affiliated does make someone an atheist.”
      No. Everything is possible.

      You can be affiliated and theist (for example, Christian)
      You can be unaffiliated and theist (believe in your own god that is not affiliated with any religion, Deist for example, though some people make distinctions)
      You can be affiliated and atheist (for example, Buddhist)
      You can be unaffiliated and atheist (just irreligious atheist)

  18. Mario Rodgers1 year ago

    Number 4 makes absolutely no damn sense whatsoever.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      You are absolutely correct. As an atheist, I do not believe in any supernatural anythings, be it god, angels, devils, demons, or whatever. The definition should actually be “Does not believe in any supernatural entities or events.”.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Poly-nonsupernaturalist here!! Not believing in theist is just a part for me

      2. Anonymous1 year ago

        No, some supernatural stuff is not considered a “deity.”
        Some Buddhists believe in some supernatural stuff, like Dharma, but do not believe in any deities.
        Some atheists believe in supernatural stuff like magic.

    2. Wayne Urton1 year ago

      Correct. Most atheist I know, self included, do not believe in any supernatural entities or events, period.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      It’s the people filling out the survey being nonsensical: “8% of those who call themselves atheists also say…”

  19. Anonymous1 year ago

    Morality was stole by religion so they can keep all other beliefs down.

    1. Vern Reuther1 year ago

      Religion came about by Eveolution, to help people deal with Death. Religion is also an excellent method to control great numbers of People.

    2. Vern Reuther1 year ago

      Religion came about by Evolution, to help people deal with Death. Religion is also an excellent method to control great numbers of People’s with fear taught by the Religious Origination’s that’s teach that fear to the young to become Relegious.

  20. Anonymous1 year ago

    I’m a 60 year old female, republican, conservative, anti abortion, atheist. As I understand atheism, it is the lack of belief in a deity due to a lack of evidence in which to base such a belief on. If some new evidence were to come along that could prove a super natural, intelligent being exists (or existed), most atheists would be willing to reconsider their views.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      So outliers totally exist no one can deny that.
      Im a white mother in my 30’s and Im a member of a group of mothers who are all atheists and the majority of us are all socially/economically (one tends to affect the other) progressive.
      And your others beliefs reside primarily in religion, so you are *probably* still a “product” of your religious upbringing, and your social status.
      And Im so glad you said you were anti abortion and not pro life, as the pro life movement is only pro birth not pro life at all.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Agreed, while in a presence of no evidence of a super natural, intelligent being exists (or existed), virtually no religious person is willing to reconsider their views.

    3. Ernie Eastman1 year ago

      I hear that and can totally relate. But if one is open to the possibility of changing your conclusion, doesn’t that make one agnostic rather than atheist?

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Not really. Sometimes you just have to dismiss something completely. I don’t believe in Santa Claus. It’s made up. I know generally why it was made up, that it is a useful story. I don’t believe in him. I don’t think about 99% of my days. It’s just a non factor.

        If He showed up one day and proved he had an invisible home at the north pole i’d certainly follow the evidence, but that doesn’t really mean i’m agnostic about Santa Claus. I don’t wonder, I don’t say I don’t know. There is zero evidence. If the notion that sudden, overwhelming evidence will alter your view means you are agnostic, then every single reasoning person is agnostic about everything, and the word loses any usefulness in the english language at all.

        agnostic tends to mean actively wondering, not sure sure, on the fence. Not that there is a .00001% possibility so hey, it’s possible.

  21. Anonymous1 year ago

    Use logic: How could this planet be the ONLY planet that humans can live on? How did you enter your body? There is One who’s intelligence is EXTREMELY far above us all and many can’t comprehend this. Why not think logically about this earth and how you came to exist? If you don’t you will find out the hard way at the end of your existance. Why let that happen? What have you got to lose? -ETERNAL LIFE!!!!! GOD DOES EXIST!!!! If you don’t try to get to know Him then you are lost and will end up in eternal pain in hell. Using logic is the key to find answers to start with.

    1. S Mason1 year ago

      “Use logic:”

      Ok – lets try that shall we?

      “How could this planet be the ONLY planet that humans can live on? ”

      Did anyone suggest such a thing? What are you talking about?

      Thanks for shouting at us though. It helps us stupid atheists understand so much better and definitely doesn’t betray any anxiety or wobbles on your part.

      “How did you enter your body? ”

      Define “you”. There are so many well documented answers to this type of question. I suspect you aren’t interested in them though, right?

      “There is One who’s intelligence is EXTREMELY far above us all and many can’t comprehend this. ”

      How do you know this?

      Thanks for the shouting again. I’m finding it very helpful and definitely attracts me towards believing in your god.

      “Why not think logically about this earth and how you came to exist? ”

      The irony.

      “If you don’t you will find out the hard way at the end of your existance. Why let that happen? ”

      How do you know this? Really: how do you know this thing you threaten us with so vehemently?

      “What have you got to lose? ”

      Please look up Pascal’s wager. If the Muslim’s are right – and their claims are pretty close to yours – you burn. Never mind any of the other thousands of contradictory god-claims out there.

      “-ETERNAL LIFE!!!!! GOD DOES EXIST!!!! ”

      You really should see someone about that shouting problem you’ve got.

      “If you don’t try to get to know Him then you are lost and will end up in eternal pain in hell. ”

      How do you know? I used to believe this too: and then I realised I needed to distinguish between things I knew and things I wanted to be true. It turns out there was a massive gulf between the too – perhaps unsurprisingly, given our limited capabilities as human beings, and our well demonstrated propensity to just make it up.

      “Using logic is the key to find answers to start with.”

      Again: I’ve just drowned in your river of irony.

      Belief in mystical, magical, invisible, undetectable, silent beings is entirely irrational – though explicable, with a little base psychology.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Thanks for objectively dissecting the fundamentalist outburst. I don’t think I could have done it better. According to the survey, atheists are statistically likely to be educated. This, I think, is a key factor behind their lack of belief. They have been introduced to, (and largely accept) the scientific method when making a choice about what information is valid. Fundamentalists have always, and will continue to play Belief as their “trump card.” Belief requires no proof whatsoever. This creates the gulf which separates atheists from believers. To see a religious person admonishing an atheist for not being logical is hilarious.

      2. James Kujawa1 year ago

        NICE !

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      A god is a mythical being. There are many gods but who’s god is right. There is nothing in the bible that can be proved. Because the bible saying it’s true, does not make it true. I have been to many churches in my life, and near and far they pretty much are all the same. Religion is to control people, and nothing more than that. The TV preachers prey on the weak, the poor, the destitute,the sick. If A god can heal people why can he not feed all the children. Religion has caused most wars. religion has killed more people over the years than can be counted.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      I believe in an Almighty God but reject belief in a hellfire that most Christians teach. Why would a so-called loving, graceful ‘god’ be allies with a ‘pitched fork’ devil? This hellfire belief is not really mentioned in the holy Bible. I believe it was made up to scare people into getting involved with religions that want members for their money. It’s also probably derived from other beliefs made up. There is a lot of symbolisms in the Bible and it’s not all literal. Using this type of fear tactic would push any open minded agnostic or atheist away.So I can understand there are many different reasons this included, turns people off.

    4. Anonymous1 year ago

      “Use logic: How could this planet be the ONLY planet that humans can live on?”
      Scientists have been recently discovering a lot of “Earth-like” planets. You might want to look it up.

      “How did you enter your body?”
      This is a loaded question. You are assuming that there is something called “me” that is separate from “my body” that had to “enter” my body. You can’t assume all that without proving it first.

  22. Nicholas Moore1 year ago

    So at least 12% are atheist, and if you include agnostics in that, which I do, then at least 16% of the population are atheist.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      No problem with that

  23. Anonymous1 year ago

    I am a theist, but I don’t believe you need to have faith in a God in order to have morals and be a good person. That question is misleading.

    And to those of you who say that Atheism is simply a “lack of faith”, please learn english. The term you are looking for is Agnostic.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Agnostic means you are uncertain if god exists or not. Atheism means lack of belief. So go learn your English before you criticise others.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        A thousand times ‘yes’.

  24. Anonymous1 year ago

    the wise will find goodness and solace in whatever their faith (or lack of it); fools will be fools no matter what they believe.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Well put. If people are honest, they will discern their truth within their own hearts. An external system of rules to create morality is an artificial construct that discourages people from taking an honest look at who they are, and what works in their lives. Many find they don’t need God; others find belief enhances life. Life is not constant; people’s needs shift with time and events Obviously I’m a relativist; the craving for an absolute authority, and answer, works against an honest appraisal of what’s going on around and within oneself.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Perfectly said, thanks!

  25. Anonymous1 year ago

    “True atheism.” Is not a thing. Atheists do not believe in religion. Being an atheist means being exempt from religion. I believe NOTHING you die, you die. But that’s just my opinion.

  26. J Steffes1 year ago

    “Rating” people or groups of people based on religion has to be the least accurate way of determining honesty, trustworthiness, ability to govern or general human “warmth”.
    I would prefer someone without religious filters hands down.

  27. Anonymous1 year ago

    Atheist comes from the Greek for Negative God, you can try to redefine Atheism, but it means you claim to know there is no God. A logical fallacy, you can’t prove a negative.
    Atheists just in the 20th century are responsible for 130 million deaths, all religions put together only account for 20 million.
    Read Dr. David Berlinski, book. “The Devils delusion” for a full acct. of all the murder by atheist regimes etc.
    You can claim as Ayn Rand did you can get morals using reason, but actually logic tells you In some cultures they love there neighbors, and in other cultures they eat them, all based on there logic and feelings.
    With no moral law giver, there can be no real moral law, as anyone can be a law unto themselves.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      You can prove negatives … Who told you that was impossible?
      There is no rational number equal to sqrt(2) or Pi.
      Omnipotence is impossible since you would have to able to pose an unsolvable problem and also solve it.
      Also, trivially, every claim is just the negative if another … so every proof is a proof of a positive and a negative.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      The word “Theism”, as we use it today, pertains to belief in deities. Gnosticism pertains to knowledge. Being an athiest just means one larks belief in god(s).
      You’re just altering how we use language today to support your claim. Also, only athiests can be truly moral, as they are capable of being good people, without the expectation of rewards from god (s).

    3. Justin Felce1 year ago

      No. You are soooo wrong.
      There is no comparison between the 2.
      Religious start wars because of their religion.
      A non religious ruler starting wars and causing genocide is NOT because they have no religion, its because they are freaking insane power mad freaks.
      Justifying those 20 million deaths by saying atheism is a cause is stupid.
      Yes, stupid.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Zedong and many other Communist leaders killed people who were religious in their countries and surrounding countries not only for power but also to try to get rid of religions. So your answer is actually the stupid one.

        1. S Mason1 year ago

          “Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Zedong and many other Communist leaders killed people who were religious in their countries and surrounding countries not only for power but also to try to get rid of religions. So your answer is actually the stupid one.”

          There is so much wrong with this statement. The starting place has to be to ask whether you are interested in understanding, or merely defending your faith position? If its the latter, then there isn’t much point in having a discussion right?

          So first the German was definitively not atheist. What he was by the end is unclear given that he was flirting with some kind of pantheism. But he was definitely a Roman Catholic, and they must take responsibility for that, in that he was baptised one and was never excommunicated. At the time you could have been excommunicated for a wide range of small offences. Having an abortion say. But killing 6 million mostly Jews, but also atheists, gypsies, JWs, intellectuals, Trades Unionists, left wingers and disabled people apparently didn’t qualify him for it.

          With regard to the others: yes – there were purges to get rid of religion in Russia and China – and the religious were targeted. But they were one group of many – and it wasn’t lack of belief (atheism) which inspired the psychopaths, it was threats to their power bases. I do hope that you remember the intellectuals, atheists, middle classes generally, activists, lawyers, journalists who were also targeted by these regimes. Or do you just remember your own tribe?

          It is simply inaccurate to suggest that atheism caused psychopaths to kill the religious, not least because then we need to come up with a different cause for their targeting the other groups. But I’m not sure you will be that bothered about accuracy, right?

    4. S Mason1 year ago

      If you are going to be dogmatic and aggressive, it is important to be factually accurate. Otherwise we might have to doubt your position more widely perhaps? And it leads us to wonder if your ability to deduce conclusions is intact.

      “Atheist comes from the Greek for Negative God, ”

      It really doesn’t. Theos (θεός) is the Greek root. Prefixing with ‘A’ means without. You are just making it up and need to distinguish between what is true and what you want to be true.

      “you can try to redefine Atheism, but it means you claim to know there is no God. ”

      The irony.

      “A logical fallacy, you can’t prove a negative.”

      That’s fine then. No one is trying to do that. Let me get your argument straight: you redefine atheism to mean something that no atheist means by it, and then tell us we’re wrong because the thing we don’t believe is impossible. Hmmmm…

      “Atheists just in the 20th century are responsible for 130 million deaths, all religions put together only account for 20 million.”

      Yes – but so were people with moustaches. About as relevant. When you make this crass point you really do show your lack of understanding. If you want to tar me with the crimes of the 20th Century psychopaths, you need to show causality. And I’d be keen to see you as eagerly adopting the mantel of the religiously inspired wars. I suspect you aren’t as keen – though the causality is frequently strong. After all, when someone kills because their god has told them to do so in one form or another (recent examples being George Bush and Tony Blair) then there is a direct causal link, expressed by the war monger.

      When the 20th C psychopaths murdered it wasn’t because in any sense, there lack of belief in god told them to do so. Some of them were indeed atheist. Some were not. I fail to find any causality.

      We could talk about every single fascist regime in the 20th C though, and their close links (can you think of one where it wasn’t true?) with the Catholic Church. Argentina, Germany, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain… I could go on for a long time. RCC deeply embedded, supporting and leading the charge in every single case.

      “Read Dr. David Berlinski, book. “The Devils delusion” for a full acct. of all the murder by atheist regimes etc.”

      No thanks – it’s an academic perversion.

      “You can claim as Ayn Rand did you can get morals using reason, but actually logic tells you In some cultures they love there neighbors, and in other cultures they eat them, all based on there logic and feelings.”

      Yes. Reason has not always led us to a sound place when it comes to behaving decently. However, as measured right now in Europe and the US, self-identifying atheists are the most moral people in our societies, the least likely to commit crimes. I don’t support that fact will cause you any pause at all – but it should.

      “With no moral law giver, there can be no real moral law, as anyone can be a law unto themselves.”

      Well – in one sense you are right. There is no absolute moral law. But then I’ll take that over the disgusting moral laws we have received from the religious which have condoned whatever is useful to the ruling classes throughout history. Having watched ’12 Years a Slave’ recently, I am reminded for eg that slavery was firmly founded in the bible, and the 17th, 18th and 19th C slavers found their basis for slavery in their religious book. Today, when the UN believes that there are 56m slaves globally, a large majority of these are being held by highly religious people with their basis for keeping slaves firmly rooted in their religious book.

      Reason really is the best hope we’ve got as a species because it makes us individually responsible for our behaviour. But I’d temper it with a need for empathy which makes us decent human beings, more than scared automatons.

  28. Anonymous1 year ago

    “About half of Americans (51%) say they would be less likely to support an atheist candidate for president,”. . . What percentage of atheists say they are less likely to support a very religious candidate for president?

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Or “What percentage of christians say they are less likely to support a very religious muslim candidate for president?”

  29. Anonymous1 year ago

    I believe that all people of religion are atheists. Christians, for example, do not believe in Judaism, Islam, Buddism, Hinduism, Scientology, etc… So, in effect, they are atheistic about all of those religions. So the difference between an atheist and a Christian is that Christians believe in only one more religion than atheists do. But they are still atheistic about the collective religions that 3/4 of the worlds population ascribes to. How is that for common ground??

  30. Anonymous1 year ago

    I would define some of those in 4 as Deists rather than atheists. There are many who have deistic beliefs but have never heard the word so call themselves atheist for lack of a better term.

    1. S Mason1 year ago

      What about those of us who have ‘heard the word’ and entirely reject it?

      Obvious questions that spring to mind are a) which word? Presumably you meant the word of Allah, right? b) does ‘hearing the word’ = ‘believing what I believe’?

  31. Carl Chudy1 year ago

    We have ongoing projects of dialogue between secular and religious folks, not battling who is right, but looking for common ground, which is a much more interesting conversation. The research here verifies the enormous diversity among atheists, humanists, agnostics, seekers, and others. The comments here also reflect that. It also speaks of the changing religious landscape as well. As a religious person, I find it a very interesting time.

  32. Anonymous1 year ago

    An Atheist can have a good heart, be of sound mind and be morally intelligent.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Um… Okay? Did this poll say they couldn’t? It’s just a descriptive study showing how people answered some questions, Jesus. Is it some kind of compulsion with you people, do you have to bring it up anytime someone compares atheism to theism? Who are you trying to convince?

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      I could say the same thing about christians.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      Yes, but if they don’t believe in God and have not accepted Jesus into their heart and believed He died for their sins, they will not meet him in Heaven when they die.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        If you’re an atheist then you don’t care. You die. The end.

  33. Anonymous1 year ago

    1 & 4.) What true atheist would say they believe in ANY form of entity?
    2.) Education level definitely makes sense, the more educated, the less taken in by fear and man made evil.
    5.) What does “thinking about the purpose of live” have to do with an entity?
    6.) You CANNOT have a civil conversation with the religious as the religious love to start wars when it comes to who’s religion is better than another….or none at all! (Just ask the 2.5 million dead in the name of religion….oh wait, you can’t, religion killed them!)
    7.) If you need an entity to be a good person or have a moral compass, then PLEASE have one, for the sake of the rest of mankind!
    8.) We don’t care, as the religious are on an even lower scale then the one they put atheists on.
    10.) Again, if those 45% need an entity to not harm or kill others, then have one. It will save the rest of us from possible, if not probable harm!

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      You sir or madam are the stereotypical narcissistic atheist who takes their atheism so seriously it has become a religion. Congratulations, you have literally (yes literally, not metaphorically) become a parody of yourself.

    2. Ian Wardell1 year ago

      2) People who are educated will obviously more readily embrace the prevailing western metaphysic.

      5) If there is a purpose to our lives and the Universe, this implies the Universe isn’t just a brute fact but that there is a reason behind all things. This in turn connotes some type of awareness underlying all things.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      Ever heard of Stalin and his head count, oh and by the way he was an athiest.

  34. Anonymous1 year ago

    In the 2014 Religious Landscape Study, self-identified atheists were asked how often they share their views on God and religion with religious people. Only about one-in-ten atheists (9%) say they do at least weekly, while roughly two-thirds (65%) say they seldom or never discuss their views on religion with religious people.
    Americans like atheists less than they like members of most major religious groups. A 2014 Pew Research Center survey asked Americans to rate groups on a “feeling thermometer” from zero (as cold and negative as possible) to 100 (the warmest, most positive possible rating). U.S. adults gave atheists an average rating of 41, comparable to the rating they gave Muslims (40) and far colder than the average given to Jews (63), Catholics (62) and evangelical Christians (61).

    Gee, I wonder if there’s any correlation here.

  35. Anonymous1 year ago

    I am a female Atheist…
    Guess I am of the few 😕

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Me too!!

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Same here

    3. Betsy Marshall Barda1 year ago

      Nope – not at all!

  36. John Turner1 year ago

    Being an atheist doesn’t mean you “believe” that there is no god. It means that you have a lack of belief that there is a god. Get your facts straight, there is a huge difference. Stop looking at this through the perspective that there has to be a belief of some kind.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      I would have to disagree with you John. An athesist by definition, is one who disbelieves in the existence of a God or gods. Look it up. However, an agnostic is a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God. A person who claims neither faith nor disbelieve in God.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Exactly. Also, any dictionary that capitalizes the word “god” when not talking exclusively about the Christian god is a pretty bad dictionary. As an atheist, I don’t believe in ANY god or gods–that includes the Greek, Roman, Norse, and any other ones.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      John. Check the dictionary and get YOUR facts (definitions) straight.

      An agnostic is uncertain (a=Not, gnosis=knowing). Atheist means what it (in Greek) says A-Theist, that is, A= Not and Theist=God.

      Your believe is that there is No God. You have definitive knowledge that there is no God.

      1. S Mason1 year ago

        This really is not accurate. The question is why you continue to try to push a definition of atheism on atheists which is a) inaccurate and b) atheists do not recognise.

        I have to wonder about your motivation. I’ve posted above about the Greek root, but it occurs to me that while that source shows you are wrong, language changes – so the current meaning / usage could indicate something else.

        It doesn’t though. While there is notoriously little that connects atheists – they have close to nothing in common other than they find the evidence underwhelming and therefore lack belief in gods. That’s it.

        So why are you trying to say we have a different position, when you have consistently been told you are wrong? What do you get out of telling us we do not know what position we hold? Why is that important to you? Does it tell you anything about yourself at all?

    4. Anonymous1 year ago

      John, get YOUR facts (definitions) right. Grab a dictionary, reference the Greek root to these words.
      A=Not theo=God, theist=belief in God…
      Atheist believes there is no God
      A=Not gnosis=knowing, gnostic=one who knows…
      Agnostic is one who does not know (if there is a God)

      It would appear that you are actually an Agnostic

    5. J Steffes1 year ago

      Thank you!

    6. Anonymous1 year ago

      No, that is unintelligible. It simply will not do to change the meaning of the word atheism as so many “atheists” do on the net. A rock is not an atheist even though it lacks a belief in any God.

    7. Anonymous1 year ago

      Actually, being an atheist does mean you believe there is no god. A lack of belief in god makes someone an agnostic.

      Not that I’m interested in splitting hairs, but if you’re going to be a pedant, get it right.

      1. S Mason1 year ago

        “Actually, being an atheist does mean you believe there is no god”

        Again – why are you trying to force a definition on us that none of us (that I am aware of) accept? Every atheist I know just lacks belief in gods. They find the evidence unimpressive – and therefore do not move into a belief position.

        I suspect you lack belief in most gods too. You find the evidence for the Indonesian Mud God Pockwicki so underwhelming I suspect you don’t even bother examining the truth claims made about him. You might go so far as to say, your lack of belief becomes a positive belief: you feel safe concluding that this god – one of thousands dreamt up by humans – does not exist. Well – fine if you want to. But atheism does not demand that.

        I do have a belief that there are no gods because I find the evidence to be fraudulent – but that is anti-theism. It’s a different thing entirely.

        “A lack of belief in god makes someone an agnostic.”

        No – this really is completely wrong. A lack of knowledge makes someone an agnostic. Please do educate yourself. Most atheists I know (and I am one) are also agnostic. They are atheist because they lack belief (the [lack of] evidence does not lead them to believe). They are agnostic because they don’t know for certain.

        This ground is very well discussed in atheist circles. Dawkins lays it out clearly in the God Delusion with his scale of 1 to 8 or whatever it was.

        “Not that I’m interested in splitting hairs”

        Fairly clearly you are interested in splitting hairs.

        “but if you’re going to be a pedant, get it right.”

        The rivers of irony. I’m drowning.

    8. Anonymous1 year ago

      As a long time atheist, I think the author and most of the commenters are leaving out what I think is an important issue with respect to the definition of atheist. If one defines an atheist as one who claims there is insufficient evidence to support a belief in a god, then the whole issue of “belief” becomes moot. Even leading atheist authors such as Krauss, Dawkins and others have stated that if sufficient, documented and reproducible evidence existed for the existence of a deity, they would change their minds. So, it’s not an issue of parsing the dictionary or arguing over what constitutes brief, but simply one of evidence. Anyone who feels there is not enough evidence to support a belief in a diety is an atheist.

  37. Anonymous1 year ago

    > “About three times as many Americans say they do not believe in God or a universal spirit (9%) as say they are atheists (3%).”

    I suspect with over 800 comments it’s already been mentioned that this is a very interesting finding. I’m quite comfortable identifying a person who says “they do not believe in God or a universal spirit” as an atheist, a percentage (9%) quite a bit larger than the 3% who self-identify as atheists.

  38. Max T. Furr1 year ago

    I appreciate these stats, but I do wish PRC would use the proper grammar when speaking of atheists and what they do not belive.

    An atheist does not believe in any gods. To say that atheists do not believe in God, singles out monotheistic religions and, logically, it implies that atheists COULD belief in many gods.

    I don’t like being picky, but it is a minor irritant to me. It tends to validate the monotheists assumption of the existence of one god in which atheists do not believe.

  39. Anonymous1 year ago

    One of the fundamental questions that is never asked is; “Do you believe in belief?” I, for one, do not; that is, I do not think that “belief” is the product of reason, but rather, that it is a product of emotion. My position is, you either know something or you don’t. Anything in between is mere suspicion. So, does “God” exist? Based on the evidence, I suspect not.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Well we don’t know anything do we. But it would be absurd to suggest it is mere suspicion that a stone that I release will fall.

  40. Bill Bruehl1 year ago

    What has happened here? Is every contributor anonymous or is this only one person?

  41. Anonymous1 year ago

    Who the hell cares? It’s like being a nominalist. If you’re a nominalist you doing believe in Platonic forms; if you ‘re an atheist you don’t believe in God, or gods. Whatever is the problem? I happen to believe in God–though not Platonic forms. What is the big deal?

  42. Anonymous1 year ago

    10. The Bible agrees.

    Romans 2:14-15 “For when people of the nations, who do not have law,+ do by nature the things of the law, these people, although not having law, are a law to themselves. 15 They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them, and by* their own thoughts they are being accused or even excused.”

  43. Anonymous1 year ago

    There is no true atheism. It’s most bitter and Angry people who turn against God and religion for whatever reason. The way some cute “science” as the end all be all would suggest that science is the “god” they actually worship.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      I’m not bitter, angry, or offended by the notion of a god’s existence. I simply have no reason to believe. I’m confident in saying you’re angry that people don’t believe the same things that you do.

    2. Kent Forrest1 year ago

      There are no unicorns either (but they are mentioned in the Bible.) One thing about a “believer” is that they can’t accept anyone else’s belief (or non-belief). Personally I deny any of the so-called “gods.” However, if it gives you comfort to face the problems of everyday life and you don’t push your superstitious beliefs onto others (by shame, ridicule, or legislation) than enjoy it. If not, than I have no respect for you or your “god.” “It is not hardness of heart or evil passions that drive certain individuals to atheism, but rather a scrupulous intellectual honesty.”
      — Steve Allen (1921-2000)

      1. Steven Bridges1 year ago

        Excellent Response Kent!

      2. Michael DeBell1 year ago

        There’s an article on scienceheathen about the elasmotherium. There is an ancient description in there of it. Since “unicorn”means one horn it’s likely that it is the description of this animal. Rhino’s could also have been indicated in the biblical record. In fact the latin bible traslates two instances as such. To use our present understanding of the mythical horse with a horn is eather to be ignorant or disingenuous.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      I’ll bet you are the kind of zealot that refuses to let your children watch certain programming because it conflict with the brainwashing and fear you experienced as a child.

    4. Anonymous1 year ago

      I’m not bitter or angry. I find some beneficial and also harmful tendencies in religions I have encountered or participated in during my lifetime. I know that many friends and family members who take great comfort in believing in a god/gods/universal spirit/etc. I have no evidence of the existence of any supernatural force or entity, nor do I feel the need to believe in one without evidence in order to have a moral code.

    5. Anonymous1 year ago

      You do realize I can easily just say the same about Christianity and say: there is no true christianity. Christians are just bitter angry people who turn against Allah for some reason…but see I wouldn’t…because I’m not a pious egotist who pretends to know others’ minds.

      Hey wait, if your god(s) is/are ‘all-powerful’, then why can’t it/they make everyone believe in it/them…?

      p.s. secular humanism is DOPE, but I respect the free-thinking of other’s because free will is also DOPE (granted that one does not force their unfounded beliefs onto others)

    6. Anonymous1 year ago

      No,actually I’m saddened and embarrassed for humanity.The search for answers has been pondered for thousands of years.The answer is actually quite simple and wonderous without all the written insanity,moral corruption and mental suppression.Can you imagine where we would be by now as a human race if this plague was rejected back then?We can only imagine.

    7. Anonymous1 year ago

      You have just written some assumptions about me that are patently untrue. Should I then state all believers are liars? Of course not. Stop assuming you know what motivates another person . You do not have that ability. Instead, have a conversation with an atheist and ask them. It is a more mature approach.

    8. S Mason1 year ago

      I’m angry: I hate the human doctrine of gods who apparently could reduce suffering but choose not to because they ‘love’ us and our freedom to choose.

      I hate the religious abuse I suffered as a child, my teens and 20s.

      I hate the religious abuse I see being inflicted all over the world today by superstitious bigots causing unnecessary pain and misery.

      I hate the religious indoctrination which tells people its OK to believe truth claims with no evidence.

      I hate the tribalism – so evident on this thread – which allows people to be publicly stupid, ahistoric, anti-evidence, anti-knowledge and proud of it.

      I hate the fact that these stupidities, grotesque abuses might lead to the decimation of our planet sometime soon, when some numpty gets a weapon of global significance and decides that their god needs them to use it.

      Sure: I’m bitter and angry – not at gods (that would be weird: the ones posited so far don’t exist). I’m angry with the faithful for the evil they inflict, while convincing themselves of their moral superiority.

      I think the only reasonable moral position to adopt is anger in the face of overwhelming evil.

  44. Anonymous1 year ago

    I think it’s interesting that religious people think you have to believe in a god to be a moral human being. You just have to believe in common decency, respect and the goodness of humanity. Life is much easier if we help each other out.

  45. Patrick Mark Venton1 year ago

    ….. I would think, that if all were to be taught throughout their K to 12 years and beyond , Biology, that atheism , if there would be something called that , would nearly waste the absurdities of the religious in several generations…..

  46. Ronald Martin1 year ago

    Actually, the correct definition for “atheist,” is an adherent of the atheism political organization – a political organization opposed to theist doctrine as a bases for state law.

    “Humanism” is the correct designation for a lack of belief in supernatural entities.

    This misnomer situation is because of atheists’ lack of exploration of ontology.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      That is complete nonsense. Humanism is compatible with theism, and atheism does not intrinsically connect to political action. However, it’s only to be expected that any person who feels their rights are being unjustly infringed will be somewhat likely to engage in political action to defend them.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Sorry, you can’t make up your own definition for atheist.

    3. Brandon Moldenhauer1 year ago

      You got those backwards.

    4. S Mason1 year ago

      Why are you trying to inflict a definition on atheists which is a) inaccurate and b) they overwhelmingly would reject.

      Does that tell you anything about yourself? It really should…

  47. Anonymous1 year ago

    Agreed with some of the previous comments. The definition is wrong, and the “does not” is in the wrong place.

    Correct way: “An atheist is a person who does not believe that gods exist.”

    It doesn’t look very different, but it means something very different.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Therefore,Moslems have only two wards regardingly: Ka’fer ( does’nt believe in Allah or refuse his directions-part or all ) & Mo’men ( believes in Allah and all His directions,even sometimes overrides some ). Whether it were in daily life,policy,work or treatment with the others.

    2. Craig Gosling1 year ago

      Of course an atheist does not believe in any gods or goddesses. However, most atheists would agree that such deities may well exist , but until good evidence is forthcoming, they cannot believe.

  48. Anonymous1 year ago

    The question for believers is: If there are over 2,000 gods being worshipped by different societies what makes you think your god is THE god? Because if you tell me that everyone believes in the same ONE god then you believe jihadists get virgins for being a martyr. I always say which one of these things is not like the others: Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, God. None of them are any different. I hate that I’m told to “have faith” there’s a god. Well your god kills children, undeserving people lose limbs and sanity and some are driven to kill others. They believe in god. Most wars are begun over religion or Land ($).

    1. James Lind1 year ago

      That’s honestly how I became an atheist at the age of around 7. I’d worked out that Santa Claus was bogus and by extension so was “God”. They both have special powers, are all knowing as to whether I’ve been good or bad, can make toys/people/planets from nothing, etc etc.

      When I went to assembly at School and our headmaster was talking about God (this was the UK, mandatory religious indoctrination) I chuckled and nudged the guy next to me – “hehe, he still believes in God, and he’s a grown up”. It was only some time later I discovered that many grown ups still believed in God (and probably Santa too).

      1. Betsy Marshall Barda1 year ago

        LOL you sound like my daughter. She said that even when very small she thought people were just making up god to make her behave. Was surprised that most actually believe these stories into adulthood.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Dear Anonymous,

      The right answer to your question about how to know which of the many gods to believe in is found in John 15:17 (q.v.) is to love the brothers. Here are some observation from a middle-aged moralist about this:

      1. Feelings of love don’t come first. Don’t sit and wait for feelings before acting.
      2. Some people are just unlovely, no matter what.
      3. Love isn’t a ‘group thing’.

      There might be more.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        How can someone turn their backs on something that NEVER existed?

  49. Anonymous1 year ago

    does the cell know you are Michael,as the great lady said “Get going,get done with it, Sir ,I am stuck with my my bunch of worries”

  50. Anonymous1 year ago

    Why is it that more white people are non-religious/athiest and say black people are not?? Just curious about that I have my thoughts as to why, would be interesting to read others thoughts on this question.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      That’s actually a fairly easyquestion,”Anonymous” …ask yourself how many avowed atheists have been involved in the abolishing of slavery or the Civil Rights Movement, and you’ll have your answer.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        I didn’t quite understand your answer..are you saying Atheists aren’t involved in social issues?

      2. S Mason1 year ago

        “That’s actually a fairly easyquestion,”Anonymous” …ask yourself how many avowed atheists have been involved in the abolishing of slavery or the Civil Rights Movement, and you’ll have your answer.”

        That’s a fairly bad answer. What happened to atheists in those times? Being an atheist just was not socially acceptable. In many places the faithful persecuted atheists and sometimes killed them (it’s what their gods would have wanted).

        A much better question would be: how many atheists are involved in social action today? The answer is millions of us. Don’t think it tells you much though. There are good and bad atheists as well as religious. It seems that beliefs and lack of them doesn’t do much for morality, though the self identifying atheists are measured to be slightly less likely in Europe and the US to commit crime than their religious counterparts.

  51. Levi Burks1 year ago

    Actually, the literal definition of atheist is “someone that lacks a belief in god” because the word comes from Greek a=not/without theos=god. It also covers those that actively believe god does not exist, in the same way that the word rectangle also covers squares. But not all squares are rectangles, and not all atheists believe got does not exist. All atheists do not believe in a god or gods. Not all atheists believe god does not exist. There is a difference.

  52. Anonymous1 year ago

    This article is wrong. The definition of the word “atheist” is “a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of god or gods.” We don’t believe that god doesn’t exist. Atheism is not a belief. It’s a lack of a belief. Christians always try to flip the definition so that they can say stupid shit like “ah ha! You have faith too.” We lack faith. If we didn’t lack faith, then we would still be apart of whatever religion we came from.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Actually, if a Christian says that it’s valid to claim Christians are roughly 99.99% Atheists since they do not believe in any god but one.

    2. Bill Bruehl1 year ago

      No. Sorry. My belief there is nothing supernatural is a faith. There is no evidence for the supernatural. There is no evidence against the idea. No evidence means faith. I have faith there is no supernatural. I have faith the idea of the supernatural was created by human beings.
      Can you prove there is no supernatural? No. Can you prove there is? No. No proof either way means no evidence. No evidence means faith. Sorry.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Isn’t this usually what is considered agnostic? The belief that it is impossible to know whether the supernatural exists from within the natural world?

      2. S Mason1 year ago

        I have never heard an atheist describe their lack of belief as faith. I wonder what other belief lacking situations you also call faith?

        Lack of belief in pixies = faith
        Lack of belief in santa = faith
        Lack of belief in Osiris = faith
        Lack of belief in chi energy waves = faith.

        That’s a serious abuse of the word faith.

  53. Anonymous1 year ago

    I have never been exposed to any religion, As an Atheist, it is pure and simple. There is no such thing as a god or any other supernatural being. Life is life, and death is dead. Period. My only issue with today is that people need to commit. None of this “I am atheist, but believe in god.” It is a personal, private situation with yourself, and shouldn’t be up for discussion, or alterations.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      “Amen.” smh

  54. Jesse Ohlsson1 year ago

    No. How many times do we have to point out that atheists don’t believe any gods exist? It does not mean we believe gods do not exist. There might exist a god somewhere, but no convincing evidence exists to make me think so.

    Learn the difference. It matters.

  55. Anonymous1 year ago

    Perhaps I know too many horrible people but I can Proudly say I have very strict moral standards and I am an Athiest unlike many people who I know are very religious and are not very nice or kind people at all and their moral values are down right horrible. I would not trust them alone with my cat. I don’t really think one thing has anything to do with the other. The older I get the more I realize horrible people are just horrible it has nothing to do with religion or no religion.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Not quite true.
      A good man can usually be relied upon to do good.
      An evil man can usually be relied upon to do evil.
      But it usually takes religion to make a good man do evil.

  56. Anonymous1 year ago

    Number 3 is sad. The only real negative of the Republican party is their pandering to religious groups.

    1. Tarik Dean1 year ago

      “Number 3 is sad. The only real negative of the Republican party is their pandering to religious groups.”

      You must have been in a coma since the 1940’s.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Atheists tend to be more scientific in their thinking. It is not surprising that the party that believes global warming is a hoax isn’t going to be appealing to atheists.

    3. Charlie Sitzes1 year ago

      Hillary should be included in the pandering.

      Google: NYT Clinton Religion

    4. Anonymous1 year ago

      And their racism, misogyny, bigotry, and hatred of the poor.

    5. Anonymous1 year ago

      Anonymous – Amen

  57. Anonymous1 year ago

    To follow up on several comments here in the name of accuracy, etymologically, Merriam Webster is incorrect. Looking at the word origin of atheist, it’s from the Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god’. So “8% of those who call themselves atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit,” are, *by definition*, not atheists, regardless of how they self-identify.
    If we are going to do this correctly, let’s go for accuracy.


    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      You might want to read that sentence again. Merriam Webster defines it correctly.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Why does believing in a universal spirit automatically default to a belief in a god? I am an atheist and I do not believe in a mythical god but I am starting to see a lot of scientific research about holograms that point to the possible existence of powers outside our realm that may be guiding us. I do not believe these waves or frequencies are in anyway the mythical religious gods made up by holy men. PS: I looked up Atheism in Webster and it defines it as, “Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of God”. It does not say anything about those believing in a universal spirit. Therefore, using Christian rules of order I make a counter claim that those believing in universal spirits default to Atheist. So to be accurate we must add back the 8% and multiply it by the 3 times estimate mentioned in that paragraph. Atheism and logic win again!

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        What makes you believe in a “universal spirit” and not, ya know, aliens. I mean waves and frequencies and energies guiding us doesn’t mean divine gods…. You can be atheist and wonder about those things without making it a spirit.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      I think they misunderstood “atheist” as “agnostic”

      1. S Mason1 year ago

        Lack of belief is very different from lack of knowledge. Most atheists I know are also agnostic.

        The evidence presented so far is massively inadequate: therefore I lack belief in gods. I don’t know definitively whether they exist or not.

  58. Anonymous1 year ago

    Regarding #3, atheism as such has nothing to do with progressive ideology or social justice. In an atheistic society, white people would still notice that blacks degrade property values when move into white neighborhoods, and they would want to keep the blacks out somehow. 

  59. Anonymous1 year ago

    I’m an Atheist and I’m curious as to whom these other “Atheists ” are praying to on occasion

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      I wondered the same thing as prayer goes against Atheistic ideologies. These could be the Atheists who self identify and are actually Agnostics? Or perhaps misinterpret a census question and check the wrong box on a survey? Perhaps the question was ill written? Who knows, there are lots of idiots out there.

    2. Jon Michael Cherney1 year ago

      If prayer is irrational wishing “please, please, please make that field goal!”, Then prayer doesn’t require belief that someone actually hears the prayer. Likewise, some atheists may participate hypocritically in prayer to fit in. I’ve politely bowed my head at funeral services. Does that constitute prayer? Some, I bet, would say yes.

  60. Anonymous1 year ago

    I’m Brazilian and 100% proud of being an atheist in such a religious country as Brazil, fortunately we’re increasing among the younger and more educated generation just like in America, our neighbor Uruguay is the least corrupt country in Latin America and the most atheistic one, about 40% of Uruguayans are unnafiliated and here in Brazil only 8% according to the 2010 census, but about ten years ago atheism was practically non-existent here in Brazil and now on my Facebook a lot of my friends are starting to come out as atheists, there’s still hope for the future after all.

  61. Anonymous1 year ago

    It’s funny how atheists always say they are a minority, but whenever I go on YouTube videos or yahoo answers there will be comments that say there is a god with around 30-40 likes and replies that say there is no such thing as a god or gods with around 100-400 likes. Also on Reddit r/atheism has almost 2 million subscribers while r/christianity and r/islam combined probably have around 400,000 subscribers. This pretty much proves to me that atheists are not a minority and if they really are a minority can someone explain why this is?

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      most atheists are young white men. Most people on reddit and youtube are young white men, its not that there are more atheists it just depends ware you look. Atheists according to this list are more educated and that means more money allowing them to have axes to computers AKA youtube and reddit.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      They are what you’d call a vocal minority. For some reason atheists feel the need to call out the alleged stupidity of anything that even mentions God on the internet. Anonymity makes it easier because they can be as abusive as they want and can just block you when you press them to prove their arguments. Even though that paint Christians as the bigoted ones, the majority of Christians don’t feel the need to broadcast how they’re right and everyone else is wrong.

      1. Shqiperia Ime1 year ago

        Atheists point out stupidity because they want to live in a less stupid world. when I say less stupid world, I mean a world where people are less ignorant — nothing to do with intelligence, has to do with education and putting effort into seeking the truth. You say Christians don’t push their views on others, but you constantly see preachers everywhere you go in the south and media. I would rather people do something that will improve the human condition with their time rather then go to church talking about a god that doesn’t exist. If you see something that is wrong happening, like slavery would you be vocal about it? I certainly would. That’s how I view religion.

        I’ll leave this here:

      2. Viv Arney1 year ago

        You’re kidding, right? Every day I see “proof of god’s existence” nonsense plastered EVERYWHERE, but then it’s okay for “christians” to blather ad nauseum on about their mythical beings, isn’t it?

      3. Anonymous1 year ago

        Yup – the majority of xtians just feel the need to legislate their beliefs onto everyone else

      4. Anonymous1 year ago

        Then why do these theists in the US are against abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, and insist that there should be prayer in school which involves only the Christian GOD and no other Gods, want that Creationism (which is not based on scientific facts be taught in school.

    3. Charles Stewart1 year ago

      How many people speak up about something on the internet is no indication of numbers. I personally don’t use reddit… those people are just the ones that want to talk about it.

    4. Anonymous1 year ago

      Many atheists still hide their feelings on religion for fear of religious family or friends ostracizing them. Sometimes it is just easier to allow those around you to make their own assumptions about what religion you follow. The internet gives us a sense of anonymity that no other forum allows. That may be why you notice a higher percentage, followers, people commenting, etc as atheists. Additionally, these sites are worldwide while this article focuses solely on the United States. Many countries have higher populations of atheists verses religious (Sweden and Denmark for example [if my memory serves me correctly]); so while they may still be a minority the margin is less than that of the US.
      Hope that helps.

    5. Anonymous1 year ago

      And yet, ironically, here you are.

    6. Anonymous1 year ago

      Christians take up about 60% of the US

  62. Anonymous1 year ago

    “the literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who believes that God does not exist,”. that is not true the literal definition is “a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods” and that was out of the dictionary, and there is a huge diffrence because one makes a claim, and the other does not

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Absolutely correct. Thanks for posting.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        right on

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Agreed. The wording is important. The theist claims there is a god. The atheist does not believe the claim made and asks form evidence… the theist swears at the atheist, blocks him and hides…

  63. Anonymous1 year ago

    Actually I think you’ll find that 100% of atheists don’t believe in God. If they do, they aren’t atheist. Telling me that self-proclaimed atheists say they believe in God makes me think that they’re simply confused. Same way I could tell you that I identify as a lemon, it doesn’t make me a lemon.

  64. Anonymous1 year ago

    My mothers favorite story from religion was “footprints”, I have to admit it was mine too. When she past away I was only 20, It was then I went on a search for truth about life and death and religion. This was the hardest time in my entire life, I had lost my mother and now I was losing my faith and felt completely alone. This was when I recalled my mothers favorite story “footprints”, It was my turn to be carried by Jesus along the beach in the sand…but then it hit me…The man in the story was only dreaming right?, he had to have woken up sometime right?. Maybe this is the true ending of “footprints”, Maybe he wakes up for his faithful dream…Maybe my faith is nothing but a dream, Maybe all our faiths are just dreams.. Maybe I need to wake up.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      I wouldn’t say so much ‘wake up’ as I would just embrace evident reality. It’s ok to have beliefs or faith, but if we want to be true to ourselves and the universe in which we live, we have to accept reality on reality’s terms.
      To quote Matt Dillahunty, “I want to believe in as many true things and as few false things as possible.”

  65. Anonymous1 year ago

    I just want to point out to everyone (even the ones who tried to explain this before) that theist doesn’t just mean the belief in God or gods. That, specifically is deism, not theism. Theism takes it a bit further and believes that the God or gods intervine with people’s lives, like in Christianity and Greek mythology. As Merriam Webster puts it: [Theism is the] belief in the existence of one God(s) viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world. Furthermore, the word theism comes from the Greek root theos, meaning gods. In Latin, the word for God is Deus, meaning a diety, which they believed to intervine with the Greek and Roman people.

    Atheism, therefore when you add the prefix “a” to the word, cause it to mean the disbelief in a God who intervenes with humans. So you can believe in a God that doesn’t intervene with you and still be an atheist by literal definition. Deist, who believe in a higher power that created us but doesn’t mess with us anymore, are atheist by definition.

    I just wanted to point that definition out to everyone in understanding how an atheist can believe in a higher power.

    1. Charles Stewart1 year ago

      The problem with defining atheist as a-theist, is the word atheist is older than the word theist. The original usage was: monotheist = worships one god, polytheist = worships many gods, atheist = worships no gods. The definition and even usage of theist didn’t exist yet, and it was later defined as a specific version of monotheism.

  66. Anonymous1 year ago

    You know…..#4 is the definition of a THEIST. That “factoid” should be omitted completely as those are people who do not understand what an “Atheist” is.

  67. Anonymous1 year ago

    If everybody did not have eyesight and could not hear who would they blame. Have you tried asking the person that lives like that and then create The Human.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      I’m sorry… What are you trying to say. I do not understand your wording

  68. Anonymous1 year ago

    So, this article is actually about how people have no clue as to the definition(s) of atheism, agnosticism, religion…?

  69. Yong Rui Chen1 year ago

    Conservative atheist here. Oxymoron? I don’t think so. I was raised Buddhist by my Asian mother, but lost my religion in my late 20’s. I believe in small government, low taxes, and the right to bear arms. Non of that conflicts with my belief that there is no magic in our world.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago


    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      I believe the government should be like a waiter at ones table. You don’t even know it’s there unless needed.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      I don’t see any correlation with religious belief and economic policy, and I’m not an american so – there’s that when it comes to their local politics.
      I think the point where most atheists align with Democratic policies are on social issues. Marriage equality, social reform, gender discrimination etc.
      I do see that there is a cross over given yo uexpect more pushback on say, marriage equality from someone who believes marriage is a god defined institution than someone who is unburdeoned with that beleif .. same goes with gender roles being defined by religious belief, and human sexuality falling into a “Sinful” “Righteous” binary.
      Why conservatives are so hell bent on keeping the poor poor is a mystery tho

  70. Anonymous1 year ago

    I thought the literal definition was oddly worded, but in looking it up on Websters and Dictionary.com I concede that’s what’s written there. For myself I favored the wording of:

    “A person that does not hold a belief in a god or gods.”

    I did think it interesting that there are folks that claim the label but express a belief in a god or gods. Though I just chalk that up to folks either not knowing what atheism means or not knowing the term for agnostics.

  71. Anonymous1 year ago

    Poorly written piece. This article is filled with inaccuracies; from the definition of atheist being wrong to the idea of atheists believing in gods. Nonsense.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago


  72. Anonymous1 year ago

    Many people in this world deny the existence of God, but we must keep in mind that the universe is completely in order with everything on its place, at least was, before men unbalance it. More or less 3.8 billions years ago the Earth was on fire and afterwards got frozen, of course with a purpose. Physics, chemistry, biology, etc. were involved in the process. It is also useful to remember that in our galaxy there are many other planets and elements precisely aligned (some, say by chance), supported by physics laws that avoid them from falling on our heads while we’re walking on the streets, and nature, works in perfectly within its casual luck. When the big bang theory is considered , fortune has to come into play for plenty of times, so It is quite rational to accept that the Earth formation was intelligently manipulated, for long periods of time in order to acquire specific results. besides it all, the planet needs fluid maintenance, what for sure, considering the chaos of human´s confused negative feelings and thoughts, could not be offered by us. Thus, this energetic support is probably provided by a supreme intelligence that does not have human origin . But why is it so difficult to our pride admit that we were created? Maybe because we do not want accept any submission. We don`t want our acts to be accounted by anybody. But the existence of God is so alive in our hearts, that the first thing we do when we are aware of ourselves is to ask about him. The problem, is that sometimes children are presented to a wrong God with human attributes , or, are not introduced to him at all. So why doesn´t he come up to say Hello? There are no miracles but nature laws created by him to organize the universe and to guide human´s routes during their lives. People will have to struggle to learn more, to help others, to influence and change social environments by their clever ideas and findings. God, wants us to develop ourselves, to become better, to achieve higher levels of humanity and kindness, but the merits MUST be ours. We are not puppets and he doesn´t wish we all to live with canes. Human beings have the right to bring forth their future, but how to face so many diseases, accidents, traumata without blaming God? Unfortunately people cause theirs own misfortune by being stubborn , hating, etc. or simply being stupid. There is no punishment but laws that rule life. We are always trying to understand God but how to teach nuclear energy to a five-year boy who is beginning to learn how to read? The truth is that our brain does not comprise God´s greatness, then we usually make many questions. Why so many religious ranges, for example? It is simple, variety of understandings and concepts; diversity of religions. Which one is right? All those that can lead men to the truth in different ways. There are no magic tricks. God works with science to impel humanity progress but scientists don´t create. They search, discover and match. My friends, we should understand that the spiritual side of life is full of mysteries, and some of them, are still beyond our comprehension but it does not mean there are not superior beings guiding us, nor, that they don´t give us a little help. Rs Believe! We are not going to lose our personal accomplishments and efforts to become a better people, so let`s invest on ourselves!!! Ah! And praying is good.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Very typical self-favored response from a believe. Absolute lack of logical or evidentiary support. The attack on atheism should be from a social standpoint, not a scientific one.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        The writer lost any valid argument when they said wrote “the wrong God”

      2. Anonymous1 year ago

        Good point, main. Seriously. You would think people were more open minded now a days.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      Boo! Please stop the nonsense preaching. I understand it makes perfect sense to you. Can you try and understand that it makes no sense to some others?

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Thank you I’m tired of people saying it’s so unlikely that life found its way into the discovered universe is 45 billion light years across the fact that life can happen for a short amount of time is no surprise.

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      “but we must keep in mind that the universe is completely in order with everything on its place, at least was, before men unbalance it. ”

      How exactly has the insignificant (in both size and age) human race unbalanced the Universe? Whatever is going on in the Universe has nothing to do with humans!

      “More or less 3.8 billions years ago the Earth was on fire and afterwards got frozen, of course with a purpose.”

      Why “of course with a purpose”? The Earth doesn’t think and therefore it has no purpose to exist. If the Earth ceased to exist tomorrow the Universe wouldn’t notice.

      I really can’t be bothered picking apart the rest of your strawman.

    4. Anonymous1 year ago

      Man, what a load. You go on and on about stuff you don’t understand. Try diving into a reality that does not involve God. If you’re truly open minded about it, you’ll be amazed at what you find. God is an unnecessary complication in our existence

    5. Anonymous1 year ago

      Excuse me but the human body is NOT perfect and balanced…. weak spines, rotting teeth, hernias, ACL tears, etc. If god created humans he has no right to be worshiped

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Most of the things you mentioned about the imperfect human are caused in part by the imperfect humans themselves. Were a person to take care of themselves, most, if not all of the imperfections you listed, would not be. You need a scapegoat and you have made god it. Either believe in god or don’t but bashing each other achieves nothing. Why can’t atheists just follow their chosen path without hate and objectionable discourse to those of faith? Why can’t atheists understand “separation of church and state” as it was intended? Many great and wonderful things are done in the name of god. Hospitals, shelters, food pantries, etc. Name one service provided by atheists that comes close.

        1. Anonymous1 year ago

          Not denying science is more important than feeding homeless people. The furthering of societal intelligence is more important that helping the needy. Mankind is more important than man, and weak spines are cause by evolution. 20,000 years and we should be alright…if we make it.

        2. Anonymous1 year ago

          and what has an atheist ever imagined that is as capable of such harm and hate as religion, or full of such evil as the idea of eternal torture.

        3. Philip Pennington1 year ago

          Don’t bash, but then I will explain how your world view is inferior to mine. Can you people even hear yourselves?

          While we are asking questions, what evil has atheism ever provided the world that can rival the likes of religion? What insane injustice has non-belief ever invented that can compete with the vile hatefulness of an idea like hell?

        4. Anonymous1 year ago

          here’s some for you then that have little to nothing to do with humans on average. How about cancer that afflicts a young child, herpes, syphillis, AIDs… do I need to go on? Their argument stands… we are far from anythings perfect creation… Believers just can’t deal with the fact that the “miracle” of life is a simple random accident that evolved into us.

        5. Anonymous1 year ago


          Might I suggest that you actually do a little research before you spout off? I’m an atheist who also defines myself as a humanist. My entire career has focused on helping others.

          Claiming that no atheist organizations exist for humanitarian missions is ignorant and unresearched. And when you compare demographics, yes, of course there are going to be more church related charities because atheists 1). Don’t normally have a “church” 2). Are painted as hateful, mean, undesirables and 3). Don’t have as much backing financially as religious organizations.

          Now let’s look at those hospitals you mentioned: How many women have suffered illness, complications in pregnancy, or even death because the faith running that hospital believes a fetus has more rights and is more important than the life of the woman carrying it?

          How many pantries just simply provide food or shelter without proselytising?

          It’s not true humanitarianism if it comes with a catch.

  73. Al Settle1 year ago

    It’s likely someone has already mentioned this in the 700+ comments, but I’d like to remind you that the dictionary definition of atheism is not correct. Dictionaries frequently contain biased definitions, and the Miriam-Webster’s one appears to be one.

    I am a non-believer in a god or gods, and therefore am considered by theists to be an atheist. Which is to say, I do not ‘believe a god or gods do not exist’, but rather I ‘do not believe a god or gods exist’. Although the two statements appear superficially similar, there is an important distinction, in that the first is a belief claim, and the second is not.

    You may be aware that the root Greek origin of the word, ‘atheist’, means literally ‘without god(s)’, and as such is a good deal more accurate than the definitions found in many popular contemporary English dictionaries.

    Claiming that atheism, which is non-belief, is a belief is simply absurd.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      I would think your statements indicate an agnostic not an atheist. An agnostic doesn’t see any evidence that God exists, doestn’t believe in God, but leaves a window however tiny, that God might be there. An atheist specifically believes that God does not exist.

    2. Jason Clark1 year ago

      Ummm, you mention the root word, but then don’t address the attachment. If “atheos” (no/not/without god) is the root, then “ist” (someone who believes) is the attachment. Athe(os)-ist = someone who believes, “no god”, that we are without gods. The Merriam-Webster, not to mention many other dictionaries, definition is just fine.

      Everyone else counts when it comes to word usage. Self described a-theists don’t get to decide definitions, all on their own. Not only is their usage in the minority, counting everyone, it’s in the minority of all non-theists, the majority of whom will self-identify as agnostic, or nothing, rather than atheist, if given options.

      1. William Young1 year ago

        Jason, the suffix ‘ist’ is attached to words to form nouns that designate much more than “someone who believes”. It can also denote one’s creative abilities or profession, e.g., artist, pianist, scientist, machinist, etc.

        Also keep in mind that dictionaries are descriptive (common usage); not prescriptive (meaning). This is why more comprehensive dictionaries will have often have a numbered list of several usage definitions.

        Usage also depends on location. British and World English dictionaries define the most common usage of the noun ‘atheist’ to be “a person who does not believe in God or gods”.

        And while “everyone else” does indeed count when it comes to word usage, when it comes to defining the meaning of being atheist, no one else counts but the person who self-identifies as such.

        You might want to reconsider your claim about “counting everyone”, since there is no way you can actually count everyone, without asking everyone.

  74. Anonymous1 year ago

    I may be a bit late but you seem to have forgotten to put an “a” before the god word plus an s after it when describing atheism it makes the author of the article seem a bit bias.

  75. Michael McLaughlin Siciliano1 year ago

    Several issues with this article:
    “Some adults who describe themselves as atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit.”
    Then they are using the term incorrectly, and are not atheists. All they have to do is apply the definition. It may require telling people the definition if they are unaware of it, but it is not complicated.

    “At the same time, some people who identify with a religion (e.g., say they are Protestant, Catholic or Jewish) also say they do not believe in God.”
    Why would that confuse the issue? If you don’t believe in a deity asserted by the religion but still identify with it you are then either culturally or allegorically a member of that faith. It isn’t like this is new. Christianity has had a place for that since St. Augustine.

    “3.1% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity”
    It is sad that 3.1% of Americans are under the impression that atheism is a religious identity. Yes, they probably meant ‘I am not religious’, but being an atheist doesn’t mean you are automatically a secular atheist, not when there are religions that accept or require atheism (Jainism, Nastik Hinduism, Unitarian Universalism, etc). Atheism is just not believing in god(s), not weather or not you are religious.

    Without that clarity, the other statistics they list become suspect.

    “many do not see a contradiction between atheism and pondering their place in the world”
    Why should they see that as a contradiction? The author apparently has some attitudes that need to be made more explicit.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      A god or gods would be correct, not just god.

    2. Anonymous1 year ago

      There are so few boxes to check if you do not have a strong religious viewpoint. Non-believers come in various sub-sets. We may have been raised in a particular church and find that we don’t believe all the stories but still feel an affinity for it. Disbelieve all parts, don’t know nor care enough to follow it further. Plus more. Not enuf boxes to check.

  76. Meh n1 year ago

    I am an agnostic but represent myself as atheist as most people do not have an understanding of agnosticism even when explained. I live in Charlotte NC and I can tell you that it is the worst place for a guy like me. These folks take genus too seriously.

    1. Eduard Doron Flores1 year ago

      What is a genus?

      1. Gerry Gentile1 year ago

        I believe he meant Genesis.

  77. Rusty Shacklford2 years ago

    Atheism does not mean “a person who believes that God does not exist,” Unless Asexuality means “a person who believes that sexuality does not exist.”

    1. John Vattic2 years ago

      Your analogy is invalid. Atheism is a belief about the world; asexuality is a condition that involves solely the subject. A set of propositions about the world is a belief. A condition is a fact about the nature of a subject. Asexuality is a statement about a person’s particular condition regarding their sexuality. Atheism is a belief that a person holds about the world. They are not alike.

      I honestly don’t know why atheists feel like this is some major sticking point to argue against. The question has no bearing on the validity or soundness of their belief, and any attempt by theists to use this as a way to conflate their belief with atheism is asinine.

      1. Michael McLaughlin Siciliano1 year ago

        “Atheism is a belief about the world”
        Well, positivist atheism is a belief about the world. Non-positivist atheism is a description of a specific belief not being present. That is why you get that ‘non-belief’ term (they are describing non-positivist atheism), and why people argue about weather atheism is a belief. Usually one is using the term on way while the other is using it the other way. Typically they won’t know there is a difference.

      2. Al Settle1 year ago

        Non-belief is not a belief. Not collecting stamps is not a hobby.

        Atheism is not a faith claim, and is nothing more nor less than a lack of belief in a god or gods. An atheist may believe in all manner of fantastic nonsense, but does not believe in a god or gods. I think that not believing in something lacks sufficient substance to form a world view, just as not believing in Russell’s teapot is not a world view.

        Rusty’s analogy was incorrect, but not for the reasons you provide.

        Atheism is not a belief about the world; it is a lack of belief about god(s)

        1. Edwin Cobb1 year ago

          Semantics lol

  78. W Jay2 years ago

    For most of us, religious indoctrination began from birth. It has attached itself to the human belief system where it grows like a cancer. It masks itself as good and righteous. Without fault and beyond questioning. Doubt is the beginning thought that leads to reason that leads to truth that leads to freedom from religion. Belief in a supernatural god that that somehow impacts on anything in reality requires gullibility. Humans have had and still have thousands of gods to worship. None are real. Many talk to a god, give god credit for all the positive in this world, but this god exists only in their mind. I understand well how not to believe in some god is difficult to overcome. Until you realize you have been duped, scammed, lied to, brainwashed. I see now how grown, sometimes educated people, continue to be fooled. Just think. Would an all powerful, all knowing god send its creation to an eternity of suffering simply for not believing? No matter how good you are? And this god will allow the worst of humankind to live in heaven just for believing? Makes no sense. Educate yourself. There were many gods that preceded Jesus and Mohammad with the same stories of a virgin birth, walking on water, healing the sick, dying and ascending to heaven, resurrected on the third day, etc.
    You don’t have to continue to be lied to or continue deceiving yourself.
    Please join the rest of the us in reality, using logic and reasoning. Go to Ironchariots.org, Americanatheist.org atheismunited.com/


    1. Conor Dufresne2 years ago

      Well said. Good food for thought!

    2. Donal Pangborn2 years ago

      All I know is Athiest claim to know everything. All the way back to the beginning of existence. They have evidence of what happened millions of years ago supposedly. However they can’t say definitely when humans where made. They humans ancestors are monkeys. <— lol… but their is no major skeletal proof. Yeah they have found 12 monkey/human like skeletons. But their should be hundreds of thousands! They wouldn't be hard to find. A (neanderthal) would be the most intelligent animal of the time and would have flourished. Evolution is a lie. To strive people away from god. I will trust my book which has been around 10,000 years for facts about the past, instead of the last 100 years of science.

      1. Hermione Zhou2 years ago

        Right. And they probably faked the moon landing, buried giant dinosaur bones under the earth and carved ancient fossils onto rocks for art projects. There is, however, major skeletal proof of angels, which overules facts like the genetic difference between a human and a chimpanzee being 1.2%. We should trust in our book- but which one? Assuming that you are Christian, then I hope that you do not trust in the Bible enough to think that “you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners…you may treat them as your property” (Leviticus), or that a stubborn and rebellious son could be stoned by all the men in his city (Deuteronomy). The Bible teaches many things which I have found truly beautiful, but nonetheless it is written by humans and should sometimes be interpreted less than literally. Religion and science do not have to clash, and scientific developments can further help us appreciate the wonders of the world around us. It may actually strengthen your faith to acknowledge brilliant theories like that of evolution so that you are neither blinded by the flaws in religion nor restrained by an over-reliance on your senses and facts.

        1. Anonymous1 year ago

          Just because something was in the Bible doesn’t make it okay. Just like teachers, if someone does something repetitively, they show it to show what was wrong or they dont want to be incorrect and provide no amount of context to what they are teaching. Plus slaves in the bible are most like households servants of the today.

        2. Koby Bragewitz1 year ago

          See, finally a man/woman of reason! I myself believe in the bible, however I’m not blinded by my faith. I know that evolution is real, and I don’t think of “My God” as a patient father but more as a “Creator”.

          I think this as nobody has found the true origin of the big bang, and as a result something as a all powerful force isn’t on the realms of impossibility. I wish people held a little slack from the bible, and wouldn’t blindly follow it but think!

      2. Anonymous1 year ago

        Right with you on this one. Evolution is obviously a lie. Whenever someone finds “proof” of the missing link between apes and humans, it is soon discovered to be something else, like a pig (actually happened once, lol). The evidence clearly points to there being a creator due to the numerous missing links in the evolution theory which are only worsening as more fossils are being found. I hope that later in my life, other scientists will finally come to their senses and look to the obvious proof that evolution is (and has been) a joke since it was first created.

        1. Michael McLaughlin Siciliano1 year ago

          Even if evolution were wrong, how would that mean there was a creator? Likewise, if evolution is right, why shouldn’t there be a creator?

        2. kbdreath1 year ago

          Don`t you have a dog ? Where do dogs come from ? Haven`t you seen how species trapped geographically away from others evolved a bit differently ? There are iguanas that eat and swim in the sea, or animals in Madagascar or Tasmania with trades unique never seen in other places. Isn`t that evolution ? Use your brain.

        3. Charles Stewart1 year ago

          It seems many people still misunderstand science. Even if evolution wasn’t true, it wouldn’t be a “lie” it would be a mistake. Calling it a lie is akin to an overblown nutjob’s conspiracy theory, it’s just propaganda.
          Yes, sometimes science is wrong, but do you know what discovers it is wrong? Science. Nobody read the bible and said “hey that’s really a pig” it was other scientists that discovered the error. There are plenty of ‘missing link’ fossils but we don’t need them to prove evolution anymore… we have DNA. Yes, that stuff that evolution would need to work, and the same stuff that would cause evolution to happen just by existing… if you can prove DNA doesn’t exist maybe then you have an argument.

        4. Anonymous1 year ago

          I guess you would be one of those people who, when provided with a missing link between two species, will argue that there are now two missing links between three species, and that the case for evolution has become weaker as a result.
          It seems that nothing short of a complete record of all living organisms that have ever existed will convince you.

      3. Edwin Cobb1 year ago

        But that is one of the points of an atheist perspective, the effort to gain information from our past to understand our present. That in itself is a process of discovery and understanding, of course the “proof” is questionable, as is everything else in science. That is the point of science, to question, to develop theories, to seek to prove those theories. I find religion difficult to embrace because people, in general, do not question its existence, tho in my opinion, it should be a natural obligation to question the ideals and beliefs that you are raised with.

      4. Anonymous1 year ago

        And there is so much more evidence for the existence of god… Also don’t say “lol” about the fact that we evolved from apes bc the bible states THAT WE WERE MADE OUT OF DIRT. DIRT!

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      right on!

  79. Mario Arana2 years ago

    “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”

    —C.S. Lewis

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      that’s equivalent to “I am ignorant to biology and neuroscience, so I believe in god.

  80. Johnnie D. Ainsley2 years ago

    All infants are born atheists. The masses simply depart from that label as childhood mythological brainwashing causes logic to be replaced with a false reality, similar to being taught to believe in Santa Claus but, as a collective, never learning to dispel the myth of theism. Let’s all take pride in the fact that most of us who have procreated the human species have, ever so slightly, contributed to the process of DNA modification so that future generations, thousands of times removed, will be endowed with enhanced functionality and a more enjoyable life.

  81. Jonathan Deaux2 years ago

    As an Agnostic (I am hopeful though) I don’t care what anyone else believes or disbelieves, just as long as they don’t inundate me with their unsolicited opinions 24/7.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Spot on Jonathan – i agree entirely

  82. vwm dabbler2 years ago

    What do atheist think of Charles Darwin’s views and evolution, in general?

    1. Hawk Silverthorn2 years ago

      I can’t speak of other atheists, but in my view, Darwin was a product of his time, although with a fairly good sense of decency given the period. He did believe that man was superior over women due to sexual selection – the male being superior to the female in society was (and often still is), a common belief. I do not share this belief.

      He valued the spreading of European civilization to the “savages”, even if this would lead to the extinction of some of those “savages” that would not accept this new way of life. This was a form of “Manifest Destiny”, which, again, was a commonly held belief of the time. Again, I do not share this belief.

      Darwin was strongly anti-slavery and against the mistreatment of indigenous peoples. This was not a common belief of the time and I agree with his position. Slavery is, and always has been, wrong. As is the mistreatment of others – especially those whom you hold power over.

      Darwin was intrigued by his half-cousin, Francis Galton’s, ideas about human breeding – later named eugenics, but he did not agree with them. He feared that humans might lose their instinct for sympathy, “the noblest part of our nature”, and he believed that education and other factors could be more important than breeding. He saw practical difficulties in eugenics and thought the idea “Utopian”. –

      Here I agree and disagree with Darwin. It is true that genetics can play an important role in a person’s life. However, a child with a 200 IQ, who grows up poor with no access to education and no reasonable chance to elevate her position above that of, say, a dishwasher, due to economic/other factors (perhaps she becomes teen mother, or holds a belief that a woman’s place is in the home, etc), will not generally rise to much prominence. However, that same child, given proper health care, education, and so forth could well become someone of importance…or, no one of importance. Again, IQ is not a determining factor. IQ measures potential, not how someone will use it. There are some brilliant people working mundane jobs, and some average IQ people doing brilliant work.

      Eugenics will, in some way, become more and more a part of society, even as we attempt to stave it off. Probably not in the manner that Francis Galton envisioned it, however. As we learn more and more about our genetic code, we will learn more and more about how we work, and how to change how we work. Right now, we can do DNA testing and tell many things about a fetus. Genetic abnormalities, gender, and so forth. How long until we can find markers of other cancers or other illnesses? We already have tests for a major genetic contributor to breast cancer. What about alzheimer’s? How long until we can treat those things in the womb? And then what about things like bad eyesight? Is that a condition worth treating in the womb? If we go that far, what’s next? Eye color? Hair color? Propensity for baldness? Surely someone with more money than sense will want the “perfect child”. These are medical and moral questions that society will have to decide.

      Myself, I draw the line at medically necessary defects.If the “flaw” is merely cosmetic, like eye color, it is unnecessary – unless there is an associated underlying medical condition that would adversely impact the vision of the child. Baldness is a difficult call for me. I don’t really see it as a medical necessity…but as I am aging and losing my own hair…I sure wish that I could turn back the clock just a bit.

      As I said, he was a man of his time, and while evolution is well studied and anyone finding a flaw in it would win not only a Nobel Prize, but also research grants from various research and religious organizations, it is not a model for human behavior or human society.

      Evolution is uncaring – a natural force, with no animosity and no compassion. It has no moral code. Humans have survived this process (and continue to survive…so far), and have developed the ability to think and reason. We have decided on codes of conduct – and most of them involve some system of mercy and compassion. These are good developments and it have allowed us to advance to the point where we can, in the not too distant future, eventually expand beyond this planet, or potentially destroy all life on it. Which future will we choose? I hope that it is the one that leads mankind to the stars, but each day annihilation is a button-press away.

      1. Arsany Osama2 years ago

        Well said 🙂

      2. John Heininger2 years ago

        “anyone finding a flaw in evolution would win not only a Nobel Prize”, you say. Actually, there heaps of flaws with Darwin’s supposed evolutionary continuum so there wouldn’t be enough Nobel Prizes to go around. This is precisely why advocates of evolution cannot ‘Close” the issue, and why the theory is still being disputed. This is precisely why the Nobel Committee doesn’t regard evolutionary “historical theories” about unobserved and unrepeatable events in the distant past as “prize worthy” science. Or as Stephen J Gould stated “Not the real thing”. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has always been the “Fairy story for adults. Here’s why:
        “I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked as the greatest deceit on the history of science. When this happens many people will pose the question: How did this ever happen?”- Soren Lovtrup, author, Darwinism: Refutation of a Myth

        There are mountains of books, magazine articles and other material supposedly proving evolution to be true. None of which represents any experimental of observational science for evolution – none. What is presented is entirely subjectively opinion based ideological inferences. All of which are founded on the atheistic ideology – hard-core philosophical naturalism and raw materialism. That’s it, nothing more! In fact, the most repeated experiment and observation on planet earth affirms that every form of life in existence has “reproductive boundaries” and “crossbreeding limits”, without exception – as every breeder and horticulturist who has ever lived knows: Making the “supposed” evolutionary continuum from earth to Einstein impossible. Natural Selection has no “overall perspective” and no “predictive” power: And thus wouldn’t have the foggiest notion of where anything and everything is evolving to, or even why. Making it “impossible” to ever account for the profound fully integrated and interconnected matrix of life and environmental systems that surround us. Evolution is not a scientific theory, but an unverifiable hypothetical “historical” theory. Based on what “supposedly” happened in the unobserved distant past. In reality there is no possible way of ever scientifically verifying that events happened one way, and not another way, or even whether evolution from goo to you via the zoo happened at all. In short, the whole notion of evolution is a sham. A global fairy story for adults perpetuated by atheistic leftist sociopolitical movements and activists intent on imposing a godless worldview and lifestyle without God and spirituality on humanity.
        Here: thegodreality.org/miraclesofscie…

        1. RigorOriginal1 year ago

          Specific example of evolution being observed:

          8 More examples:

          87% of actual scientists in USA say evolution is true:

          Just because one influential scientist (Soren Lovtrup) made a book about how he thinks evolution is false, is not a valid enough argument, and he wrote that book 30 years ago, we’ve learned a lot since then.

          You said: “This is precisely why advocates of evolution cannot ‘Close’ the issue” – the only reason we can’t close the issue is because of religious people like you.

          You said: Evolution is based on “hard-core philosophical naturalism and raw materialism” – yes we do, and we don’t see any evidence of god making these materialistic changes, if god were doing it, I’m sure he’d let us know, until that day happens evolution will only ever be complex chemistry and materialism.

          You said: “the most repeated experiment and observation on planet earth affirms that every form of life in existence has “reproductive boundaries” and “crossbreeding limits”, without exception” – this is false, any experiment exploring reproductive boundaries or how much greater each generation of animal or life form can change from there ancestors, have not reached limits. Evolution takes course over millions of years, and there is only a limit to how much a certain animal can evolve within a given time frame, but that only represents how fast an animal can evolve, not how far they can evolve. Where you got that information about those limits and what people said about them I believe to be a blatant lie on your behalf.

          You said: “Natural Selection has no “overall perspective” and no “predictive” power” – You’re implying that natural selection is conscious and aware? This is just a misunderstanding of what you think Natural Selection is. I will use the example of lions, male lions will fight, literally to the death for a pride of females, females will then mate with males that win, who are stronger (showing that the males can protect the cubs, and the cubs will grow up to be just as strong as the father lion) because it is beneficial for the cubs when they grow up, and for the females to make sure the cubs live long enough to grow up. This is why lions are so strong, through natural selection, this specific trait (although not the only one) results in strength within the whole species, because in this case generally the strongest will produce the most offspring, and the offspring will be of similar strength to their father.

          You said: “Evolution is not a scientific theory, but an unverifiable hypothetical “historical” theory. Based on what “supposedly” happened in the unobserved distant past” – The Bible is an unobserved distant past, based on fiction (that is a fact). It is up to you to believe in the Bible, but it is still “unobserved” and was in the “distant past”. And evolution is on the contrary, there are thousands of fossil records showing slow transitions from the original homo genus ancestor to humans, and more fossils are being discovered all the time. evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrar… We didn’t evolve from monkeys (which is popular belief), but we share a common ancestor. This physical proof of evolution along with the very complicated science behind genetics (which is too long to explain here) makes evolution almost a guaranteed certainty.

          I have combated every argument you have made, I would only appreciate you show the same respect and rebuttal my counter-arguments (each one). If you fail to do so, I’ll have to consider that you just aren’t capable of providing a rebuttal. I invite other theists to give a rebuttal on behalf of John Heininger if he fails to give one. Thank you.

          1. Anthony Black1 year ago

            Yes yes yes I agree. Everything you said took the words right out my mouth. Everyone knows that is not about what you know it’s about what you can prove. Science have shown us several things about how things works and like he said it would be to much to explain in writing. The atoms and elements that flow the space and travels millions of years from imploding star that has been collecting massive amount of elements is how the evolution starts. Everything starts as an organism and through millions of years and those organism got more advanced. All I want is for people who try to judge the atheist people to stop talking negative about us especially if your facts are limited down to only one human made book. That book was created to give people hope and direction and security, and that’s because they are scared of death and the aftermath of it. Your body is made of atoms and atoms are energy and energy never dies that means our soul never dies it moves on to something else could travel for another millions of years. Death is good for the simple fact that you are finally at piece from the cruel world we live in. Everyone has there right for their beliefs. There is no need to look down on someone that don’t believe in what you do. Whatever help you people get through the day. I like to look at the facts of science, physics, and the way of astronomy. That’s been show more and more results. That’s my piece since this guy said everything else countered them arguments. Have respect for the people cuz we all live on the same place.

    2. Joe Dubya1 year ago

      Don’t care for Darwin. I’m more of a Wallace person.

  83. Sirr Merideo2 years ago

    the literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who believes that God does not exist”
    No that is not the definition of atheist and DEFINITELY not literal meaning of the word, nowhere near reality.

    The definition of atheist is “a person who does NOT BELIEVE in a god/diety”.


    1. Guest2 years ago

      Interesting, can you expand on what you mean?

    2. Jackie890002 years ago

      Your logic actually makes sense because by their definition a person who believes in the Greek gods would be considered an atheist as they do not believe that “God” exists, refering to the one god that many religions look to. Your definition makes the most sense. Good job!

    3. Dylan Phillips2 years ago

      Thank you for clarifying that, was about to do it myself. Not sure how the writer messed that one up.

  84. L.G. Swift2 years ago

    To me it is a question that, like infinity, goes beyond my comprehension.

  85. Stu Chisholm2 years ago

    Interesting to find articles expounding on what I believe! As an active atheist who is a member of several different atheist groups, I take exception to item #4. By definition, if someone believes in a god or “universal spirit”, then they aren’t atheists. Such ambiguity in polls simply shows that respondents may either be confused or purposefully toying with the survey. An atheist does not believe in god(s). Agnostics hold the position that “I don’t know and you don’t either.” (Or that it is impossible to know for certain.) Of the agnostics I know, most think that god is unlikely.

    1. John2 years ago

      I noticed that as well. 🙁

    2. C’mon Think2 years ago

      I use to think I understood the word agnostic as it pertains to a “religious belief”, but now I’m not sure… LOL. But seriously, this definition is so general that it can pertain to Atheists and Theists alike. The truth of the matter is that none of us are certain of the existence of anything supernatural. We may think we are certain and operate according to that belief, but no one is absolutely certain that they are correct. Belief and knowledge are not codependent of one another. Saying that you don’t know, is not saying that you believe, and vice versa. So by definition, aren’t we all agnostic? This seems to be a tricky way of avoiding question about belief with an answer about knowledge. Anyone who says that they know that god/gods exist is lying, or is misguided in their ignorance of the definition of the word knowledge. The same goes for anyone who says that they know that god/gods don’t exist. It’s a strange phenomenon that makes perfect sense, whilst making no sense at all. Call me an optimist, but every time I hear someone refer to themselves as agnostic, I secretly chalk it up to a victory for atheism.

  86. Thomas Muldoon2 years ago

    Atheists are people who have given up on the problem evil: what it is, where it came from, where it will finally end. They commit the sin of despair, which is believing that God cannot or will not help them. The flip side of spiritual despair is pride; atheists can be brilliant in dealing with certain aspects of the created world, and so they believe that they are sufficient in themselves for eternity as well.

    1. Stu Chisholm2 years ago

      That is blatantly incorrect. Atheists simply place the blame for evil where it belongs: with the person who generates it. The last thing atheists feel is despair!

    2. GR2 years ago

      Read some Freud. You might actually get some answers.

    3. Brandon2 years ago

      Assertions… all you see here is the easiest committed particular kind of sin and that the world is created… How about some evidence and argument… how about trying to convince people that world view is accurate

    4. Cameron jackson2 years ago

      On the flip side in parts of the world Christians are considered to have a form of mental retardation. I on the other hand feel sorry for those who have been indoctrinated with unjustifiable beliefs at a young age.

    5. spookiewon2 years ago

      By definition, something that does not exist cannot help me. There is no “will not” because there is no will.

      There is no giving up, because there is no one to give up on.

      It’s time theists stop telling atheists what they believe.

      1. Morbious Stone2 years ago

        Its time the shrill minority be silent

        1. Anonymous1 year ago

          Shrill Minority? The article seems to indicate Aetheist DON’T discuss their views with others. Hard to be shrill with your mouth closed.

        2. Anonymous1 year ago

          We only shrill when you tried to preach in science class.

        3. S Mason1 year ago

          Will you say that if you become a minority to the Muslims?

          Are you really trying to silence those who question your insistence of inflicting your beliefs on them?

          How very totalitarian of you. And how very predictable.

    6. Hawk Silverthorn2 years ago

      First of all, may I ask which god is it you speak of? Is it the Abrahamic god worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims? Or perhaps one of the gods worshiped by the Hindu? Or do you speak of one of the pagan gods? Brigid perhaps, or Herne? Or maybe one of the other 5,000 or so gods currently worshiped worldwide today?

      I would guess that you are speaking of the Abrahamic god, but, then, which sect? Christian, Jew, or Muslim? Christian I assume? Now, which branch of Christianity? There are over 33,000 different denominations of Christianity, each differing on some aspect of doctrine such as how baptism is performed, whether one is saved by Grace, by Works, or by both, whether it is “Once Saved, Always Saved”, or whether one can lose their salvation, and so forth. So…which one of those is the “correct” one? And how do I know? It would be foolish of me to choose incorrectly and find out later that I have been doing it wrong, only to find my efforts leading to naught.

      Actually, let’s get to a starting point – first, prove to me that there is/are god(s) out there at all. Perhaps there are, I just haven’t seen them. I was a practicing Christian for over 35 years. I was a Bible-thumper, knew more than my Seminary teachers, and so forth. But once I actually decided to read the Bible, study it, look at it with an open mind…I saw problems that I couldn’t dismiss. I prayed – believe me I prayed. I looked for answers, and they came alright, just not the ones I wanted. The answers that led me to my atheism.

      Now, perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps there is/are god(s) out there somewhere. If there are, I would hope that they care more about an honest search for truth, than blind obedience in the face of contradictory evidence. If not…I’m not sure they would be a god I would want to worship in the first place.

      According to the Bible, God spoke directly to Adam, Cain, Noah, Moses, Abraham and others. He has revealed himself in physical/angelic form and in the form of a whirlwind. Jesus appeared in physical form during his life, and after death in both spiritual and physical form (complete with wounds). They (or he – depending on if you are a Trinitarian, Unitarian, or something else), even performed miracles quite openly, without regard to witnesses, “Free Will” or anything else. In fact, God has seen fit to toss “Free Will” out the window as he sees fit. Just look at Pharaoh – the man wanted to “let the people go”, but God, “hardened Pharaoh’s heart”. No “Free Will” there. So, “Free Will” can’t be all that important. Therefore, why can’t get some sort of personal consultation? A one-on-one chat? Something that I can verify the next day, so I know that no one “slipped me a mickey”. I get one of those, sure, I’ll believe in God. Now worship…that’s a whole other can of worms….

      Oh, and for the record. I am happily married to a *wonderful* woman and we love each other very much. We have good friends, a place to live, food to eat and generally, I am a happy person. As to eternity…no thanks. After a while, that would be rather boring. A few hundred years? Maybe a thousand? That I might be able to do. But eternity? You can have it.

    7. XaurreauX2 years ago

      Exactly. And furthermore (because I haven’t seen if there are any other responses addressing this), atheism is the lack of belief in gods. If one claims to be an atheist, but still believes in God then that person is confused and needs to buy a dictionary.

  87. Aaron2 years ago

    First of all…. The definition sited for Athiest is wrong. Clearly wrong. Theism is the belief in a god…. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god. NOT the ‘belief’ in no god. Learn this people!!!

    1. John2 years ago

      Wrong….atheists assert that there is no god. They do not “believe ” that there is no god…there just isn’t. I don’t believe anything…there is or isn’t or I don’t know.

      1. Irish2 years ago

        Not really. Atheism is just the lack of belief in a god/s. Not the claim to know if there is or isn’t a god. That’s where being agnostic comes in. Most atheists are agnostic, because we can’t prove there isn’t one, so we won’t claim to know there isn’t one. But we will bet on the fact that there most likely isn’t a god.

      2. Eduard Doron Flores1 year ago

        Although etymologically correct, I disagree with your definition. People who grew up without a concept of a god (or not indoctrinated) would fall within that definition. Those people however once introduced to theist civilizations may be indoctrinated and converted or on the other hand reject it. However, I am quite sure that if a theist would try to convert you, you would outright reject it and thus different from just a lack of belief in god.

  88. Jim2 years ago

    to be an A-theist is the absence of fear

  89. Yaroslav Levchenko2 years ago

    ‘Atheists’ was the name of Christians in late Roman Empire. Be careful with definitions 😉

    1. Antoinette Sade2 years ago

      In Your Dreams

    2. Gerry Gentile1 year ago

      And that’s precisely why the Romans persecuted them. Which is precisely why we should be afraid of allowing theocrats like former presidential candidate Ted Cruz to take over the government.

  90. Radoslaw Smaczny2 years ago

    This just seems like a poorly written article that was researched by none other than the banana man himself. It seems to me they’re getting atheists, agnostics, and lazy non-practicing religious people all mixed up in some b.s fox news sensationalist piece. Utter garbage.

    1. John2 years ago

      Clearly you aren’t familiar with Pew Research.

    2. Steve Stephen Stevenson2 years ago


  91. Nigel2 years ago

    Atheist is the absence of a belief in a god. It is not the belief there is no god.

    As there is no tenant in an absence of belief in a god, there can be as many types of atheist as humans who are atheist. There is no causal effect. e.g. you could believe in a tooth fairy and not believe in god.

    The main challenge an atheist has is trying to get an absence of belief understood as a valid view by itself. The theist is constantly projecting their illogical position onto atheists.

    Many theists are just playing safe.

    1. Aaron2 years ago


  92. Carl2 years ago

    Atheist is the absence of belief in god or gods. It is the null position. It is not a belief there is no god.

    An atheist would say “there may be a god, but I’ve yet to see any convincing argument”.

    This is also important about the burden of proof. It is for the theist to prove their god is real, until they do that then a default not position.

    Also, with the atheist correctly defined as the absence of belief, then you can correctly state that all humans are born atheist and then become indoctrinated to believe whatever is taught them, which aligns with the religion of a child very highly correlating to that of their parents.

    This then is the proof of why the god claim is false, because any true god, which actually existed, would show as a more universal acceptance.

    The typical theist arguments for gods are either circular “the bible says the bible is correct”, or god-of-the-gaps “you don’t know something therefore god”, or just use vague words. If there was a decent argument for god, there would be far fewer atheists.

    Atheism is the most correct stance an intelligent person can make.

    Any time a god wants to be known it exists, it can offer proof, and should not need to have a human speak for it in vague illogical and inconsistent ways. If an Apple can prove it exists by every person looking at it and agreeing they see an apple, and it takes and smells like and apple consistently by everyone, then a god can do the same. Hence, god claim not proved.

    Finally, fantastical claims require fantastic evidence, so the valid default of Atheist.

    1. Sherrie2 years ago

      I agree with every word you have written Carl. Bravo!

  93. Gemgirl2 years ago

    As an atheist, I try to limit my ‘beliefs’. ‘Believe’ is not a word that I often use to describe my thoughts, hopes, fears. I might believe my child when she tells me something that happened at school….but, I don’t “believe” in abortion or same-sex marriage. I AM pro-choice and I think that everyone should have the right to marry who they wish. I also don’t ‘believe’ in a all-knowing, all-powerful deity who I must serve in order to get to an afterlife that I similarly don’t believe in. Anyway, the point is, for me at least, is that once you ‘beleive’ in something….then you have severely truncated your ability to mentally deconstruct it, deeply deliberate it, and rationally discuss it with others. If I think something….then I can change my mind based upon new facts and pertinent information. If I believe in it…then, well…I may be stuck forever immobile and unwilling to budge even when the most profound and intelligent facts are presented to me. I have been down that road and that’s a predicament I don’t wish to be in again. It took me 25 odd years to unwrap approximately 15 years of being told by others that I ‘believed’ in God. First, I had to deal with the idea that it may be morally reprehensible of me to question my…..belief? That itself took a few years. Second, would I be ostracized or punished for disbelieving? Third,….this is a biggie…had I ever actually believed? Or had others (as a child) told me I ‘believed’ for so long that I lost (or never had?) the ability to separate my thoughts from theirs? This is brainwashing…am I right? Fourth: What factual information did I actually have to support my ‘belief’? The Bible honestly seems incoherent, contradictory, discriminatory, and just plain nuts when I read it now. Fifth, another biggie: Is this ‘belief’ something I was interested in teaching to my young child? I can tell you that I gave it a shot. I sent her to a church preschool for two years. It pretty much cemented my possibility of atheism when she came home after Bible study each Monday and parroted back what she had ‘learned’. (Incidentally, it was the same church and teachings I had as a child). As I listened to it all from her 4 year old lips….it sounded absurd, twisted, and strangely sickening. It took me another 3 years to figure out why. The ‘why’ is that as a child in a religious world…you don’t actually ‘learn’ anything…you simply parrot the words until you ‘believe’ them and can’t remember a time when you didn’t. Anyway, suffice it to say, I don’t plan on wasting another 25 years and then some on ‘believing’ when I could be studying, learning, deliberating, and revising. I am in my 40’s now. There is not much time left. I really want to see what my brain is capable of.

    1. Anthony2 years ago

      So, you don’t believe that there isn’t God, but you think that there isn’t God, without the facts to prove it?

      1. Sammy2 years ago

        @Gemgirl, I understood your post and thank you for it. People like Anthony are stuck on the idea of what they believe in. As an atheist as well, I am free to hope for what makes sense and to understand I don’t have all the answers (none of us do). I don’t know why that threatens religious people. There is so much we don’t understand in the universe and I certainly don’t feel I have the answers, unlike those that are religious are certain they have the answer and that answer is god. To me that is a simple view, which maybe some people need. Good for you for finding your own path. I grew up in a religion and never felt it made sense to me, I am happy to be living free from religion and the thought of god.

        When judged by those in religion, all I have to think of is the stats that we are least likely to commit a crime, cheat on our spouse, and our children are even nicer and better at sharing.

        Take care and thank you again for your post.

      2. Brandon2 years ago

        The Tooth Fairy Santa Claus Spiderman all of these things don’t have the facts to prove they don’t exist… Unicorns Pegasus the floating teapot in the rings of Saturn… We do not need facts to back up our belief that they do not exist… People should really only think that things exist if they have evidence, sufficient evidence

    2. Jodi Alcala2 years ago

      Gemgirl…. reading your comment was just like hearing myself think!! 49 yrs old and too afraid to tell my parents that I don’t share their belief system. Took me about 10 years, those nagging questions. Why doesn’t god show himself anymore? Where did noah get all of those animals? How could a loving god know where all of the missing children of this world are and not tell someone or do something about it? And it still took about 2 yrs to admit to myself that I no longer had this faith. You comment was very helpful to me. I’m not alone!!

      1. S W2 years ago

        You described me, exactly, even the same age. It took me 10 years to sat it out loud and “come out of the closet”…and reclaim my Sunday’s without guilt.

        I was raised in a southern baptist bible-thumper environment; extended family even worse. Every single part of life was infused with bible verses. Every card, every letter, every action, every thought. So I had no person in my life, ever, who said some people don’t believe that.

        The guilt I went through because I didn’t hear god whispering in my heart like everyone around me SAID they did. I thought I was an awful human.

        I was in college when I realized the option to not attend church even existed!!! I had never in my life known that some people didn’t go to church on Sunday (or the “other” religions on Saturday).

        A loving god does not exist. Disease, pedophile, retardation, paralysis, human genocide, kidnapped into sex slavery, drug-abuse, incest, etc.

        Jesus don’t be loving all the little children of the world. People are just afraid to die.

        I still can’t discuss it within my family. They act like somebody is Hitler if there is even a hint mentioned of thinking there might not be a god.

        So we just don’t go around them too often any more. I’m married to a scientist and I’ve asked them to stop being so religion- judgemental around him and saying “praise jesusgodetc” so much, but they think they’re saving us by exposing him to Jesus. Life is much better and less stressful for us now. One less family at the Jesus beach house, one less family at Xmas, etc. It was abusive to us to stay around it.

        When you tell people who profess to love you that you DO NOT WANT BROCOLI ON YOUR PLATE…they shouldn’t put piles of it on your plate every time they see you. And gift wrap BROCOLI for you, and mail BROCOLI to you and invite you to BROCOLI events and guilt you for not wanting BROCOLI. And continually preach to you about needing BROCOLI in your life.

        We are not hypocrite because we celebrate Xmas with presents. We love our friends and family and we enjoy buying gifts, decorating the tree, etc. We just leave the religion part out of it.

        We didn’t raise boys “with the devil” in our home. We raised them to respect everyone’s belief, and they know that some people never let go of the Santa Claus make-believe wish of a god.

        Noah and the animals hahahahahaha! Every species of tigers, fitting in his little row boat (pre ark) going from continent to continent. Those sweet lions and tigers and polar bears just waiting in pairs to hop into his boat and travel the oceans. Cobras, vipers, constrictors, crocodiles, alligators, black bears, grizzly bears, cows, hippos, giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, gorillas, dogs, cats, birds, etc ALL THE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF EACH!!! since religion doesn’t recognize evolution. Not to mention the several hundred thousands of insects he collected… thanks Noah!

        The noah story arch alone is enough to prove it’s all a Harry Potter plot.

  94. Doris Sutliff2 years ago

    I fit the definition of atheist in that I do not believe in the concept of an all knowing, all powerful God, or eternal life in a heaven some place. However I strongly believe in the Christian ethic, the teachings of Jesus. I feel I am more “Christian” than most of the self professed Christians. I believe killing is wrong, period. I believe war is wrong under all circumstances; that we have the skills if sufficiently mature to use them, to live in tolerance, accommodation, and peace. We are frequently arrogant, threatening, and see power as our only asset. Too bad. Also we see the faults of others, not our own. Is bombing someplace to rubble and killing thousands better than beheading a few? Sending drones into a wedding party in Pakistan ok, but to shoot up a restaurant someplace a terrorist act. We do not respect people we perceive as different from us.

    1. Nigel2 years ago

      There is no evidence Jesus existed.

      1. Tony Beasley2 years ago

        “There is no evidence Jesus existed”.

        Nigel – Do you believe there is evidence that Julius Caesar or Napoleon Bonaparte existed ? I think you could apply very similar tests to all three figures and see what you come up with …… then compare your findings with
        some self-professed historians …. firstly making sure they are not professing any religious faith …. just for good measure.

        I wonder if your assertion carries more emotional attachment than it does reason, logic and science …… Am I being unfair to psych you out thus ?

        Interested in why you made a statement more akin to a Parthian shot than
        a reasoned argument …. it would be similarly obtuse if I said there is no evidence to prove that Jesus never existed ….. this I admit would be a pretty vacuous statement.

        1. Stu Chisholm2 years ago

          Not entirely true. Differing historical documents show that Napoleon not only existed, but we have artifacts of his life. OTOH, an historical Jesus seems to be a composite, as all accounts seem to come from a single source, and official verification of these accounts are non-existant or sketchy at best. Current scholarship legitimately calls an historical Jesus into question. Nigel didn’t just make that up.

        2. Cameron jackson2 years ago

          @Tony Beasley there are key similarities between tales of Jesus and previous religious icons thus there is evidence that suggests Jesus never existed.

      2. Charles Stewart1 year ago

        There is evidence that Jesus existed…. but I don’t think there is enough evidence, and it’s all pretty flimsy, so I don’t believe that he did.

  95. Christian2 years ago

    Number 4 is a little obtuse. Most atheists are not those who “believe god does not exist”, we rather hold the position that we “do not believe god exists.” There is a fundamental difference, regardless of how Merriam-Webster defines atheism. Atheism takes the default position of non-belief. Should you have any proof to back up your claim that god exists, we are all open ears to listen. It’s just that…well….up to now, at least, there is no evidence suggesting any god exists.

  96. Lynette Butron2 years ago

    I’ve read a lot of the comments below and its obvious that many people believe that without belief in god or another deity that life is meaningless. But to myself as an atheist life has so much more meaning. We live in moment because we know that we wont have an eternity in heaven, or hell 😉 and instead make the most of life. Unlike theists we have everything to live for but nothing to die for.

    1. Sammy2 years ago

      Beautiful comment.

  97. tilly2 years ago

    Statistics always be gettin’ blamed for hasty, lazy, or unqualified consumers of statistics. sigh.

  98. Tom Derri2 years ago

    The only thing anyone can say for certain about god is – we dont know science cannot disprove it and any “proof” is only personal proof. So whilst my reason beleives there isnt a god….i dont truly know. What i do beleive however is thaf if god exists, he would not approve of what religions have done or are doing in his name. For example, the crusades, witch hunting, 9/11….. if there is a god then its a personal beleive. No book would be able to claim absolute knowledge.

  99. Raymond Bieber2 years ago

    If god created humans, he had to remodel a chimp since humans are genetically close to chimps

  100. David Mitchell2 years ago

    I always find it incredibly sad when theists say things like that. You find no meaning in your life apart from the a belief a god exists? Really? I’m sorry to say you’re living with a mindset that has been burnt into you by your religion, and it’s not true. You’ve attached meaning and happiness to your belief, when that meaning and happiness don’t actually require an external force to be present. I do not believe any such thing as a god or gods exist, and my life has meaning to me, and I care about people without the need for some great reward. That is a fact. If you think your life has no meaning without a god existing, you may just have clinical depression. I hope you get better.

  101. Roger Long2 years ago

    I’m a 76 year old white educated male, and a 2nd generation atheist. Also, a card-carrying atheist since 9/11. But I am an active Unitarian since the early 60’s, and a Humanist since
    the new millennium.

    1. Tony Beasley2 years ago

      Hello Roger – I’m a 63 year old white educated male, and a 2nd generation atheist – now retired. Which marks me out as a card-carrying Christian believer since 1980.
      I have exchanged my Humanism for the above and have been a human since 1952 –
      although many have cast doubts on that final attribute.

      You will note that my atheism is not compatible with my Christian belief …. hence one gave way to the other.

      May I enquire how you manage to hold together Unitarianism (asserting that God is one entity and not Trinitarian) and Humanism (one attribute of which is I believe the refusal to accept dogma or superstition of an nature that is irrational to human logic) and finally your well established Atheism (disbelief in the existence of a Divine being).

      Unless my definitions are faulty ….. can you enlighten me how your philosophical equation works or can anyone else assist here ?

      We might need to work through our nomenclature as does a atheist gentleman here in the UK who has a propensity to use the phrase ‘God forbid’ when referring to something of cataclysmic proportions that might come to pass.
      Life is beset with strange, illogical experiences.

      1. Deborah M.2 years ago

        Both Unitarianism and Universalism have historical roots in Protestant Christianity. However, the modern Unitarian Universalist denomination has moved away from those roots. UU congregations do not have a creedal test for membership. Our congregations covenant to affirm and promote a set of 7 principles, such as the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and justice and compassion in human relationships (you can find the full list at uua.org), but none of these requires a belief or disbelief in a God or gods, and religious beliefs or the lack thereof vary among members of UU congregations. Therefore, using the historical definition of Unitarianism is likely to lead to mistaken characterizations of many modern UU people. Thanks for asking rather than assuming!

  102. KEVIN MARTINEZ2 years ago

    Just to clarify, some atheists don’t believe in a personal god; a god that answers to your prays and such. But do believe in a universal god; of harmony and beauty.

    1. J. Gratrix2 years ago

      You postulate a very interesting idea. It’s likely something that most would not notice, though Pew could test it.

    2. C. Will2 years ago

      If these people of which you speak believe in a universal god they are not atheists. They are more agnostics or deists. Atheism is the assertion there is NO god.

      1. Michael Aaron2 years ago

        Amen, brother.

      2. Radoslaw Smaczny2 years ago

        Now you my friend are POSTULATING the truth 😉

      3. Stu Chisholm2 years ago

        Actually, atheism is the neutral non-belief in a god. For an atheist to conclude there is no god is just that: a conclusion. This may seem like a fine difference, but it’s distinct in that one is passive (all of us begin life as atheists until we’re taught about gods) and the other is active (I’ve seen what passes for evidence and I’m unconvinced, and further, I conclude there is no god). I’m in the latter camp; I’ve concluded there is no god simply due to the paucity of the evidence and the length of time that no evidence has been produced. Yet, being a scientific thinker, should new evidence arise, my opinion is open to change. This is what separates the scientist from the dogmatist.

        1. mmmail19692 years ago

          theism = the belief in some type of “god/s”
          agnosticism = neither for or against the possibility
          atheism = a disbelief in any type of “god/s”

          It’s easy and words mean only what they do actually mean and in this case, have have meant, for countless generations!

    3. mamajana2 years ago

      I consider myself an agnostic. I believe in a divinity, but not any specific religion, altho I was raised Baptist. I pray for others and my family, and I believe in saying thank you for my blessings. At a holiday get-together I posited that altho not a Christian, I love Christmas for the love and fellowship and opportunity to spend time with friends and family. A Christian “friend” told me she would have to pray for me! It’s the issue I have with Christianity, and it’s “You gotta be in it to win it,” mentality!

  103. Maneck Bhujwala2 years ago

    It is true that most of us have not seen God, nor seen Heaven or Hell as specific places. We don’t know where our soul comes from nor where it will go after our physical body dies. So, all these elements are a mystery to most of us, except those who believe (have faith) what they have been told by their parents, religious teachers, and/or scriptures.

    There are many things that we have not seen, many things we do not know much about, like electricity, medicines, etc., and yet we believe the experts like scientists, doctors, etc. If we consider, prophets, sages, etc. who have seen or communicated with a spiritual entity, as experts in the spiritual realm, we can then believe what they have said.

    There is a difference between blind faith belief in what a prophet or sage or holy book tells us, and considering what is said as a possibility and whether it makes sense in some parts or as a whole, in light of our experience and independent thinking.

    In the religion founded by Prophet Zarathushtra (or Zoroaster as known by Greek philosophers like Plato, who studied his teachings of one Creator, twin spirits of good and evil in the material world, rational thinking, freedom of choice, true happiness in this world and the hereafter resulting from choosing and leading a righteous life, moral accountability for one’s own decisions, resurrection of everything in a perfect state at the end of time, etc.) emphasis is placed on the wisdom aspect of God, as suggested by the name, Ahuramazda (Wise Lord or Lord of Wisdom) used by Zarathushtra, importance of meditation on his teachings to properly understand them, and thinking for oneself before making decisions in life. Besides calling it as the House of Songs, Zarathushtra does not say anything specific about the hereafter. His emphasis is on living an ethical life, treating all creation with respect, to achieve happiness for one and all.
    So, whether one is a religious person or atheist or agnostic, the important thing to learn from the original words of prophets and sages, is living an ethical life to be happy and create happiness for others.

    1. Mark Bryson1 year ago

      Very well written and fascinating.
      I have always thought their must be a higher power, but adhered to no specific deity or process, but I always strive to be ethical and helpful to everyone and everything. Whatever ruling God there might be, I figured that is what they would expect from us. Harmony, helpfulness and happiness.
      Thank you!

  104. Bob2 years ago

    If there is no God there is no life for any of us no point to anything nothing will ever make you happy you’ll never be satisfied and even if you say your content with your life you can’t see how much the rest of the world is hurting which when I look around I can only be happy if other people are happy

    Without God were here for nothing we live a meaningless life and die a meaningless death

    1. Goddess .FourWinds2 years ago

      I wrote something once that I think will help you understand some things, since it’s clear you’ve never even talked to an atheist. Let me find it and post it…

      This is a response I wrote to someone who went on about “what atheists believe.” Atheists are all individuals. We usually only “get together,” in large groups, to do something awesome, but I tried to give the most honest I could:

      I don’t know why Believers think people need something to believe IN. But atheists share a lot of common beliefs that Believers have…

      (I think it’s safe to say I’m speaking for a lot of atheists I’ve met and those I know about.) 🙂

      We believe in things like Love. And Family. And Friends. And raising our kids. And keeping our jobs/careers. (I’m disabled, but you know…) And Honesty and Integrity. And Paying it Forward. And leaving the planet a better place than when we found it. We believe in Causes. We donate and volunteer. We build floats. And do bake sales. And clean our closets to give coats and blankets to the homeless. We do Relay for Life, for Breast Cancer. We write checks for victims of floods and tornadoes and hurricanes. We serve in the military. (I’m a Navy Vet.) We are cops and teachers and doctors and janitors and stay at home moms and dads and students.We believe everyone has a right to his/her beliefs as long as they are kept separate from government. We think if the government supports one religion, it must support them all…and none. We are active in championing civil rights…human rights. We want the law to be fair to everyone because we believe rights are something you’re born with in this country…not something you should have to fight for.

      We believe in the power of art and music. We are amazed by the vastness of space and the intricacies of the smallest flower. We can admit when we’re wrong and have no problem saying, “I don’t know.” We love new discoveries. How exiting is it that we are living in a time when people are able to take photos of deep space?? And to find distant planets that *may* contain the physical make-up necessary to contain life?! That is astounding! We’re okay with waiting for Science to figure it out. That’s what Science is for…looking at things and trying to figure out what it’s all about. And that’s what I want it to do. . .

      You *may* want to ask me about things that have no absolute answers. “The creation of the Universe.” You know the theory with the most credible evidence is The Big Bang, and most people don’t even know what it actually IS, but will argue about it anyway. Of course, *that* is not the most important thing in my world. And really, I wasn’t there. 🙂 Nor is “what happens when we die.” As far as I can determine, it’s light’s out. The very same thing as before we were born.

      Which is WHY we have to make the most of the life we’re given. I don’t want to sit around feeling all filled with regret or guilt. I want to work *toward* something. Not to make a name for myself, but to help advance my Causes. That is what matters to me. There are a lot of wrongs in the world. I believe we can work together to fix them.
      You may have noticed this doesn’t contain anything having to do with deities, books, rules, religions, etc. Our lives don’t revolve around the word “atheism” (unless we’re doing some specific “atheist activism”). Our lives generally revolve around living. (slightly edited)

      Maybe that helps you understand a little better. Our lives are not meaningless. Thanks. 🙂

      ((I saved this so I could share it, if I ever needed to.)) 🙂

      1. Bert Illmann2 years ago

        Very well said!

    2. Stu2 years ago

      Such a nihilistic viewpoint! Without God, we live for everything, not nothing. We are happy in making the world a better place. There is contentment in love between each other and enjoying the great world we were born into. There is so much cause to celebrate, so many opportunities to help, so many ways to make each others’ lives better.

      I would do more good sharing a hug and a ham sandwich with a friend than genuflecting before an ephemeral hobgoblin.

    3. Pete Watson2 years ago

      Nonsense on #4 It’s really quite simple. Atheists do not believe in the existence of a god or gods. No evidence, no belief.

    4. Pete Watson2 years ago

      Speak for yourself, Bob. You do not have the right or authority to speak for those who do not believe in what posted.

  105. Ken Terrill2 years ago

    Still totally unbelievable numbers of believers and pseudo-atheists (“atheists” that say they believe in some form of god or super being). Clearly, critical thinking continues to decline in this society as fear and ignorance are on the upsurge. Pathetic. How can the citizens of this country deal with the complexities of the modern world when 90% live in some kind of intellectual fantasy land? Leaves little hope for the future.

    1. tilly2 years ago

      If critical thinking were in decline, wouldn’t *fewer people be self-identifying or accurately described as nonbelievers?

      Try to get past the ratio, it’s the rate of the ratio’s change that’s important here. The increase in nonbelievers is really a big deal, when accounting for the odds against it. Parents who value raising kids to be independent thinkers is a relatively recent trend, and it’s competing with a deeply rooted competing value in child-rearing -obedience.

      I’m optimistic we’ll begin to see an exponential snowballing in the rate of the ratio’s change, soon enough. The Internet is the Information Age of Enlightenment’s version of the printing press, and it has the potential and means to change the course of human thought much more profoundly. We can see this every time we read, ‘you wouldn’t say that if you weren’t behind your computer.’ It’s an expression of frustration and resentment, when someone wants to punch you in the face for disagreeing. Fallacious appeals to force and threats are rendered hollow barks with no bite.

  106. matt2 years ago

    If a person identifies as an atheist and then claims to believe in a God, they’re either a troll or an idiot, possibly both. in either case, data like this should be disregarded and isn’t worth mentioning. The religious dwell on linking science to moral issues because they feel they have a patent on morality and justice. And like good patent trolls, they attack all alleged infringers. But science has NOTHING to do with right or wrong. At most, one could say that a scientific approach should be used to discover or better understand social well being or “right and wrong” — whatever the hell that means. But a comprehensive understanding of your fellow man won’t come from science — or religion. Linking science to a lack of morality is a critical tactic used by today’s pulpit men (bullies). The religious do not understand what science is about. They do know it offers alternative ideas, and that’s why they’ll whip out the morality patent when the argument get’s tough to prove religion is useful. Usefulness. That’s what religion has been reduced to. It’s the last ditch, on-the-ropes argument they’ll make and the most humiliating.

  107. scribejot2 years ago

    How do you gather your information? I am a 53 year old women of middle class income, a professional, who became an atheist earlier this year. I studied for years to make that conclusion. Add me to the list!

    1. Michael Lipka2 years ago

      Our survey methodology can be seen here: pewforum.org/2015/11/03/appendix…

  108. Brian2 years ago

    “a person who believes that God does not exist,”
    is not the same as
    -a person does not believe in god-

    one has a belief, the latter has a lack of belief….
    important distinction for one is a positive claim whilst the latter is a refusal to accept the claim god exists….

    Most atheists do not believe in god… come one PEW you can do better than this !!

    1. tilly2 years ago

      A person who believes god does not exist doesn’t believe in god, no?
      Just as a person who doesn’t believe in god, believes god does not exist.

      Not saying using semantics to equivocate two otherwise tautologous statements lacks merit. It’s especially useful when researchers are more interested in an accurate survey of respondents’ actual religiosity, than in what respondents *think describes themselves.

      Apply the same semantics to the sentence following the one you’re quoting. Some self-identified Christians, Jews and others are reported *not as making a positive claim, but rather, as you put it, refusing to accept one. It says, they “do not believe in god.”

      I fail to see how Pew could have improved their efforts to get an accurate picture of U.S. religiosity in spite of the tendency for people to inaccurately self-identify. Most of the comments seem to be misreading Pew’s diligent attention to controlling for its subjects’ common misconceptions, as if the researchers themselves didn’t understand their own questions? Imagine that.

  109. Diane Moore2 years ago

    I’ve been an atheist most of my adult life. Brought up Catholic, soon realized nobody could prove the existence of anything spiritual and all stories of a religious nature were made up by men after the fact. Sometimes hundreds of years later. It doesn’t take a brain-child to figure out that all things wrong with the world in general are religious based. Do I look in wonder at nature, yes. Are we natures keepers, yes. Most people don’t realize how much nature makes their life possible. Ask the general public how the circle of water works and most won’t know. More awareness and less religion.

  110. Linda Wolfe2 years ago

    The fool has said in his heart there is no God. On the other hand, Christians often have a false view of “humility”, thinking they should allow people to walk all over them. It only took 1 woman to ban prayer from our schools.
    There was no such thing as a school shooting when we had prayer in school. I will be 70 yr old next month, & to this day, I recite the last verse of the 19 th Psalm that my 5 th grade teacher taught us.
    After prayer was taken out of school, America started murdering babies in the womb.
    America has lost it’s moral compass.

    1. ST2R ST2R (Science&Truth2Rock)2 years ago

      Every religion claims that everyone else is a fool for not believing in THEIR god.

      The words written on a page, are written by men, and men can imagine many things, including that only fools don’t believe in god. That doesn’t make it real.

      The separation of church and state is what has made this country into one of the most advanced countries on the planet. You want a theocracy? Move to Afghanistan.

      There were no such thing as school shootings back in your days? No there was just major economic depressions and people starving in the streets, or World Wars. But you had god… Nice going, you can keep him.

      The rest of your ramblings are so preposterous, that I think you actually don’t live in the same planet.

    2. Nelson “StEwPiD MoNkEy” Hernandez2 years ago

      Really? I remember a few shootings in school growing up. Depends on where you live. Middle to upper middle white Americans live in a different world.

    3. tilly2 years ago

      Prayers are still, and always have been, allowed in public schools. Students are not banned from prayer.

      Teachers, on the public taxpayer timeclock, were banned from walking all over taxpayers. It’s theft, and misuse of taxpayer dollars for public school teachers to turn work time into personal time to force others to participate in their beliefs.

      School violence, shootings included, continued to decline for more than 20 years. Schools are safer today than ever before, and kids are safer at school than anywhere else, including at home.

      Fun fact: school violence began declining the year after the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed it’s 30-year-old constitutional ban on public school teachers misusing tax dollars to promote their personal religious beliefs. I’m not suggesting teacher-led prayer *caused the school violence back then. Adjusted for the facts, though, that is Linda Wolfe’s accidental claim. Bless her heart. It’s indeed a mysterious, wondrous universe that led her to comment on a site whose data readily and credibly disproves her claims.

      More fun facts: A single woman? Engel v. Vitale was several parents, Steven Engel was a man, as were most of the others. Madalyn Murray O’Hair had nothing to do with it.

  111. Bryan2 years ago

    Atheists by definition do not claim god does not exist. You have to check multiple dictionaries to get a good reading for a word especially if it’s an ambiguous or contentious one.

    Better yet break the word down into it’s components to find what it really means. For example the prefix ‘a-‘ means the lack of (more specifically away from or without) and NOT the negation of and ‘-theism’ means the belief in a deity. Therefor the correct definition for atheism is ‘The lack of belief in a deity’ which is VERY much so different than the belief a deity does not exist. They mean significantly different things

    A useful example of this difference goes like this:

    If someone asked you “Do you believe you had a family member named Sudaharia?” You would have to say (unless you know you do) no you don’t believe you do BUT you don’t know if you don’t either. This is the stance of atheism.

    A more proper word for the belief that there is no god would be ‘intheism’ stemming from the latin prefix ‘in-‘ meaning negation (of)


    1. tilly2 years ago

      Cicero’s sloppy romanization of Greek, be damned!

      Though irrelevant here, the points you raise are intriguing. I like the etymology of your suggestions… a lot. I think I still prefer Huxley’s ‘agnostic’ over ‘atheism,’ though, even accepting your definition and alternative. This is probably because I often use ‘agnostic’ in a very general epistemological context, recognizing it has broader application than describing the religious views of those who lack them. Atheism lacks this versatility, IMHO.

      Of all the comments mistakenly assuming the researchers require a vocabulary lesson, yours was the only one worth reading. In all fairness, Pew’s survey methodology isn’t limited by their own vocabulary, but rather that of the general public. Surveys of the general public on topics like religiosity and political ideology must control for inaccurate self-identification by the subjects themselves. I’m reminded of this every time I see a self-proclaimed Libertarian use liberal, or even libtard, as a pejorative to describe those disagreeing with him. I’ve often wondered with incredulity, how many times they’ve typed it out and yet persist in failing to etymologically connect the ‘liberty’ dots.

  112. Lon2 years ago

    Greek a-theist, a = not, theist = God. there is “NO GOD.”

    Greek ag-nostic, ag=not; nostic, from “ginosko” or nostic or knowledge. = “NO KNOWLEDGE.”

    Define God: one who knows all, etc, etc.
    When one says “There is NO God, he is saying “I know all.” Therefore claiming himself to be God.
    When one says “I don’t know if God exists, he is an Agnostic.

    1. TJOzzzie2 years ago

      Sorry, but that is a misinterpretation.

      Theist / atheist is binary. They are about belief. Either you believe in a god or gods, or you don’t. As was said, a-theist means ‘without god’, not ‘no god’.

      Gnosticism refers to knowledge. It is NOT an intermediate step between atheism and theism. You can be an agnostic theist as well as an agnostic atheist. I am an agnostic atheist. I don’t KNOW that there are no gods, but I don’t believe that they exist.

      Your definition of ‘god’ is certainly unusual. Genesis 3:9 shows quite simply that the god of the bible does not know all. Given that, your conclusion is suspect.

  113. Bryan Sellars2 years ago

    Darwin’s origin of species remove the need for a god to make the wonders of nature possible.

  114. Jeff Maurer2 years ago

    Having been a statistician in the CDC for 33 years, I appreciate the really good surveys that Pew conducts! Here are my comments on this report:

    What is in common with atheists and agnostics and theists is that they are all BELIEF oriented. By that I mean that their beliefs are fundamentally based on THOUGHTS about whether god exists or not.

    In this moment you may have some judgments about what I just said. You may agree, disagree or don’t know.

    The question I have is:

    EXPERIENTALLY, what is noticing, observing or aware of your thoughts/judgments?

    If you REALLY LOOK to see what is noticing, observing or aware, you may not find anything. You may experience that NOTHING is there. If you spend enough time resting in the NOTHINGNESS, eventually you will find it has certain qualities, such as UNCONDTIONAL peace, freedom, love, vastness, higher intelligence, creativity, etc. – qualities that are attributed to God.

    When a person has DIRECTLY EXPERIENCED the NOTHINGNESS enough, a person has REALIZED beyond doubt, BEYOND BELIEFS and BEYOND THOUGHTS the Absolute Truth/God. This is called Enlightenment or Awakening or Realization… All beliefs appear and disappear in This Conscious Realization…

    Having said that, I would suggest that Pew add a new spiritual category called something like “Enlightenment Path”. There may be some survey respondents that would select “Enlightenment Path” if it were offered, but may have selected some of the contradictory categories or an unknown category.

    I don’t know how many people are on the “Enlightment Path,” but it’s somewhere in the tens or hundreds of thousands in the U.S. You may wish to check out YouTube for some of the following true spiritual teachers: Gangaji, Adyashanti (both American born), Eli Jaxon-Bear, Jeff Foster, Mooji, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and hundreds of others (batgap.com).

    Thank you for your consideration.
    in This Peace…jeff

    1. Tony2 years ago

      Nothing you said made any sense.

      1. Jeff Maurer2 years ago

        What I’m talking about is experiential – not intellectual. Some call it self-inquiry. For example, if someone asks you “What is your emotion right now?” You inquire/look inside to see and you report, happy or sad or angry or fearful or confused or whatever is the emotion you are experiencing.

        You have thoughts, right?

        And so what I’m asking is “In this moment, What is noticing or aware of your thoughts?” So you really look to see. And you may find that there is nothing there – just Space. That Space is experienced and is who you really are. It’s been there your whole life and is not affected by anything. It is Freedom and much more.
        Does that help?

    2. Julian2 years ago

      I kind of agree with your thought. Yes there seems to be some sort of awakening happening. Many are beginning to awake from the realistic truth that RELIGION has failed humanity. And, let me be clear-NOT GOD. I feel like many combine the word religion and God. Religion is men made. God is not. Therefore, the thought of a NEW enlightment is not too far off. However, humanity turning into Atheism is not far off either, because RELIGION has failed numerous times. The unfortunate thing is that when the word RELIGION is mentioned, one automatically links it to God. Hence why, people are turning to their own selves and science in order to understand life, which is what you said about a person still believing in something. Another issue is that no Pastor, Priest, Rabbi, or teachers of other religions will ever be able to explain the totality of God. And the Bible or any other religious book, because they are books pertaining to humankind, will only give us a glimpse(1%) of God’s mind.

      1. Jeff Maurer2 years ago

        Yes, I agree with much of what you’ve said, Julian.

        I’ll add that, the vast majority of people not only have BELIEFS about God, but also have BELIEFS based on the Bible or Koran or whatever is their sacred text.

        However, BELIEFS are not the same as REALIZATIONS, which are based on DIRECT EXPERIENCES.

        What I’m talking about is experiential – not intellectual (beliefs). Some call it self-inquiry. For example, if someone asks you “What is your emotion right now?” You inquire/look inside to see and you report, happy or sad or angry or fearful or confused or whatever is the emotion you are experiencing.

        You have thoughts, right?

        And so what I’m asking is “In this moment, What is noticing or aware of your thoughts?” So you really inquire/look to see. And you may find that there is nothing there – just Space. That Space is directly experienced. As a person rests more and more in the Space, then that person REALIZES that the Space is who you really are. It’s been there your whole life and is not affected by anything. It is Freedom and much more…

    3. grace2 years ago

      It absolutely made sense.

      1. Jeff Maurer2 years ago

        I’m glad grace…

        The challenge is to live life by resting in This Spaciousness. And it is Grace that supports us is awakening…

    4. Michael2 years ago

      Everything you just said is based on THOUGHTS. Everything anyone has ever said is based on thoughts. All thoughts are fundamentally based on you (your brain) processing sensory information that is in accordance with outside inputs and/or is generated within the system itself via the many biases and illusions we as humans are prone to have.

      As it happens, no one has been able to provide an atheist any tangible sensory inputs that would even remotely suggest there is a God or gods. And I suspect that those that have been provided with such inputs are victims of the same kind of biases and illusions that the messenger is likely to be.

    5. frank2 years ago

      what? wait a minute. you got me confused. why do you think that’s evidence that God exists ?

    6. tilly2 years ago

      I disagree with your characterization of agnostic as inherently belief-oriented and inseparable from one’s perspective on whether or not god/s exists. Thomas Huxley didn’t coin the term to describe an epistemology necessarily framed by one’s answers to religious questions. Indeed, Huxley defined agnostic as a framework explicitly *independent of religious questions.

      While Huxley’s agnostic might possibly ponder whether or not god/s exist, he’s describing someone who very well may *never consider those questions at all. You’ve misconstrued it here to be a way of asking and answering questions according to how the god question is answered. An agnostic purist, for lack of experiential or a posteriori grounds, doesn’t consider it a question at all, let alone answer it.

    7. tilly2 years ago

      Regarding your survey question suggestion, this is pretty much already covered. While some fitting your Enlightened Path description may self-identify as Hindu or Buddhist, you’re still covered in questions that explore beyond the religious affiliation self-identification question.

      Surveying religious belief based simply on self-identification gives an inaccurate account. We need only explore the comments for evidence of the lack of consensus on what atheism is, and so researchers must control for this by measuring religiosity in a variety of ways. Some of Pew’s respondents affiliating with atheism didn’t answer other questions in a way that supports their self-identification, but that’s predictable and it happens in several ways. Most of the comments seem to be disputing Pew’s comprehension of ‘atheism,’ and fail to see that Pew simply recognized the general public’s lack of consistency in its comprehension. Some people, for another example, with deeply held religious beliefs, won’t self-identify as religious if they rarely or never go to church.

      If you’re interested in learning how you and others sharing a similar worldview to your Path, fit into the bigger picture compared to others in the U.S., your inner statistician will probably enjoy playing with the database tool for the survey: pewforum.org/religious-landscape…

  115. Ricky of L.A.2 years ago

    I do not consider myself an atheist which suggests to me as anti-religion. I am not anti-religion and believe as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others anyone can follow a religion and it’s belief system. I really see myself as a not religious person, one who doesn’t believe in the supernatural in any form, which is to me a more tolerant view point.

    1. Alan2 years ago

      I was a religious person on my way to hell!
      In 1978 I went from religion to relationship in Jesus!
      I pray that you too would call out to God & ask Him to reveal the truth about Jesus ( John1:1,14 & John 14:6 &romans 10:9-10)

    2. Matt2 years ago

      I am an atheist, and am not anti-religion (or rather, I am not anti-faith). I believe we all have the right to believe or not believe in whatever we choose. As I hold that right dear to myself and would not like my atheism to be persecuted, I would be quite the hypocrite if I did not extend that right to others.

      1. Mikko2 years ago

        And that’s how everything the free world holds dear is handed over to theocrats on a silver platter. How can good ideas ever win if rational people don’t promote them and defend them against nonsense? Believing in bronze age mythology for example should never be a crime, but it is still utterly foolish and wrong. If you see no problem with people professing beliefs you feel are irrational and as such detrimental to their well-being, you’ve failed as a moral person.

        1. Thinker stuck in Fla2 years ago

          Thank u for your crisp and cogent comments. I too squirmed @ the notion of anyone declaring to be an atheist – but who then suggests that they believe in a God or some higher ‘power’?

          Ugh, and right when I thought we THINKERS were getting somewhere.

          I suspect that , sadly, as Dawkins has highlighted, many Thinkers (atheists) fear social/professional repercussions from self describing as an atheist.

  116. Gwen Williams2 years ago

    How do they say science guides them in matters of rite and wrong?

    1. bob2 years ago

      I’m an atheist and wonder the same thing. Sounds to me like something made up or whoever answered understand the question.

    2. Edward Nemo2 years ago

      Basically you seek to understand what objectively is, and what we evolved to prefer and work best with to give yourself a good understanding of what our human nature actually is and work from there.

      A decent place to start reading about that would be: scientificamerican.com/article/t…

    3. tilly2 years ago

      Applying the Rituals of Scientific Method?

      If you can’t test it in the natural world, you’re doing it wrong?

  117. Ruddy2 years ago

    Atheist is a nonsensical word. You cannot have the opposite of nothing.
    That most likely explains the difference from the 9% and 3%.

    1. Tony2 years ago

      Why is atheist a nonsensical word? You don’t know what you’re talking about.

      If there exists theism, there can exist atheism. It’s not that hard.

    2. Sarah2 years ago

      The word theist means a person who follows a theology. Atheist is a person who opposes theology. What about that doesn’t make sense to you?

      1. Bryan2 years ago

        That’s not entirely true. What you describe is called ‘Antitheist’ not athiest. An atheist is someone who lacks faith in a deity not someone who opposes theism

    3. David2 years ago

      Atheism is not “the opposite of nothing”. Even if it were, you *can* have the opposite of nothing, that would be “something”.

      1. Eduard Doron Flores1 year ago

        I think Ruddy’s point is if an atheist does not believe in a god/diety then it is nothing as opposed to what theist believes: that god exist and therefore something. If you do not believe it and no scientific evidence of it exist then there is really no such thing and thus nothing. Thus atheism is not believing in a creature that is nothing.

        Not really sure if a case of trolling but still interesting and funny to ponder upon.

  118. RandCommentMaker2 years ago

    A few points. First, folks, please stop trying to prove metaphysical things with material arguments. It just hurts. Personal incredulity is not evidence (wow, I don’t understand the universe, it’s so complicated, therefore god). Second, burden of proof always rests on the person positing a positive position (there IS x), because it’s impossible to prove a negative. I cannot prove that there are no space iguanas, no unicorns, no werewolves. And I don’t have to, because no person can be sanely expected to provide proof that spinning wheels of fire sent down by the lord (one incarnation of christian angels) don’t exist….because, again, it’s impossible to prove a negative.

    Second: numbers here might be low because many atheists don’t care about what other people believe. There are no stakes in converting people to atheism, unless their version of religiosity is coupled with bigotry and violence (in which case the religiosity is just an alibi for being a terrible person. People take what they want from metaphysical texts and ideologies). Whether or not my neighbor worships a snowpea kept in a glass case, whether or not s/he is incredulous or confused by the process, the earth will continue to revolve around the sun, the seas will continue to rise as ocean temperatures fluctuate in response to carbon pollution, and I will continue to ignore evangelicals at bus stops. Death is scary, stuff is confusing, the immensity of the universe is sublime, complex, heart-stopping–and I still have no interest in worshiping anything.

    Conversely, religious institutions have played important and fascinating historical roles, and the new-atheist rhetoric uses atheism the same way the far right uses the bible: as a cover for bigotry/persecuting particular groups of people. It’s complicated, and I wish we’d take the time to think about this stuff historically–ideas and beliefs have histories, and if the point of discussion is to inform/persuade/learn/be moved by others, we should work to understand those histories. If that’s not the point, you might as well stay home and have a conversation with the television.

  119. Bryan2 years ago

    Merriam-Webster DOES define atheists as “a person who believes that God does not exist” but defines atheism as “a disbelief in the existence of a deity.” While those may sound similar they are actually a conflict in definition. Believing that something does not exist versus not believing something exists. When you first hear it they sound the same, but there is an important line between the two.

    1. BryanT2 years ago

      Exactly. One needs to research more than one repository before they can make any accurate claims. Although subtle the resulting differences between ‘lack of’ and ‘negation of’ are VERY much so different and imply very different things

  120. Michael Bierce2 years ago

    Atheism is not a belief. Webster’s definition must have been written by a theist.

    Oxford Dictionary gets it right. Atheism is a disbelief or a lack of belief in god… any claimed god.

    To say that atheism is a belief is to commit the logical fallacy known as “Begging the Question” that a God already exists.

    1. RandoCommenter2 years ago

      We’re sort of forced into that by the historical nature of atheism, in the sense that “a-theism” is formed in response to theism; theism itself is central to the rejection of a god (we wouldn’t have to define ourselves in relation to religiosity if it didn’t already exist. Someone has to posit the existence of god in order for it to be rejected). You can also apply this to other identity/concept categories where the presence of a particular ideology in part shapes ideologies that follow. So it could technically be a fallacy, sure, but I don’t know that it necessarily indicates that the writer is a theist, inasmuch as it indicate the historical influence of theism.

      1. Bryan2 years ago

        I agree with you, and well put. The word that would more properly describe someone who believes there is no god would be ‘intheist’ stemming from the latin prefix ‘in-‘ meaning negation (of)

  121. Travis W.2 years ago

    N=35,000 correct? Is this just oversampling to attain statistical significance (i.e. very Gallup-esque)? Please post your methodologies in clear detail if possible or link me to their published location please. As I’m sure you’re concerned with, I’d like to review the epi (specifically, how you adjusted for confounders, view your inclusion cirterion, review analysis, etc.).

    Your work seems solid; thanks for sharing.

    1. David Kent2 years ago

      Thanks for your interest. The full methodology is available here: pewforum.org/2015/05/12/appendix…

      1. Michael Lipka2 years ago


        To follow up on David’s response, the large sample size has several benefits, including the ability to look at the views of even small religious groups and denominations, as well as the populations of all 50 states and 22 metropolitan areas (which you can do on our interactive website at pewforum.org/religious-landscape…).

        The full methodology for the report can be seen here: pewforum.org/2015/11/03/appendix…

        Thanks for your interest in our research.

        Michael Lipka

        1. tilly2 years ago

          Disclosure: I haven’t read the comment policies. I hope I’m not breaking any rules in pointing out what the author’s professionalism left unsaid.

          I readily found the methodology. There’s a link to the study in the first fact.

  122. Mr Kek2 years ago

    Goes to show about people constantly complaining about atheists forcing their views on them haha. I’m confronted about religion far more by theists in general than atheists. I’ve maybe been confronted twice by atheists, countless times by theists. While this is only my experience, I can say with confidence it’s not just me. I’m agnostic leaning more towards atheism, mostly been drawn away from Christianity because of the people involved with it, but I never really “believed in God” since I was a child.

  123. scott2 years ago

    So… anyone else wanna call out the fact that if they’re claiming to be atheist, AND believe in a god, they are not atheist and thus should be removed from that category. saying “technically speaking” atheism is a belief in no gods and then saying that some atheists believe in gods, those aren’t atheists. they’re agnostic in the least. ugh. stupid people. everywhere.

    1. tilly2 years ago

      This report you’re commenting on, already ‘called’ that out, remember? As did most of 300+ commenters before you, who also missed it the first time when they “read” it in the report. So… why not?! Who doesn’t appreciate redundant irrelevance ad nauseum. Pile it on, clever bandwagoneers in your fasts of abstinence from original thought and feasts of ritualized point-missing. 🙂

  124. bob2 years ago

    I wonder how many people have read Summa Theologica?

  125. V2 years ago

    A true Atheist does NOT believe in god. They also do not believe in angels, devils, the afterlife etc… no superstitions. They seek empirical truth and logical reasoning.

    If you believe in a ‘universal spirit’ or say that you are ‘spiritual’ you’re not an Atheist. You are a fuzzy minded thinker who is unwilling or unable to separate yourself from superstition.

    There is no God. It’s a silly idea for which there is no real world evidence.

    Among the world’s population only Atheists are sane.

    1. Austin Lake2 years ago

      If you’re taking that approach, then there is also no evidence indicating there is NOT a God.

      1. AustinTexan2 years ago

        Actually, there is an immense amount of circumstantial evidence that “supernatural” beings are a product of our very fertile imaginations.

      2. Bob b2 years ago

        Its my logical opinion there is no god. If there were a supernatural being then there would be some evidence of its existence, somewhere somehow. There’s also no advantage for a supernatural being to shield its existence from us if it could. Why, what’s to hide? And it matters because many deaths have actually occurred for being on the wrong end of the religious spectrum and in the wrong place in history. Most Christians have the child’s view of the smiling good god. When actually the real god of the bible has periodically exterminated man, woman child and beast. God always has a good reason for his killing. It doesn’t help the Christian argument that there is no dynamic god and there is not one popsicle stick of physical evidence that the parables in the bible actually happened in history. Quoting Bill Maher, the men that wrote the bible didn’t know where the sun went at night and didn’t know what a disease or atom was. But some people today insist what’s in the bible is perfectly true and relevant. For me the evidence is there is no god.

    2. Maden Lees2 years ago

      V says: “There is no God”.
      Such confidence in something he does not know.

      1. T. Mack2 years ago

        Correct!! I used to KNOW there was no terra-centric universe. I used to KNOW man could not fly. I used to KNOW….

        I used to believe everything I know.

      2. James2 years ago

        Can you say with confidence that there is no Santa or Tooth Fairy? I can. It’s a game of probabilities. You can’t 100% know for sure, BUT you can conclude based on the lack of evidence that there is a 99.99999999999999999999999% chance there isn’t any. Same reasoning for a god.

    3. Ryan N.2 years ago

      “There is no God.” – Some guy

      That’s pretty compelling stuff there. I’m sold.

      1. Michelle Carstens2 years ago

        You realize that by believing in only “your god” you are almost an atheist yourself?

    4. Bryan2 years ago

      Atheism is not the stance that there is no god it is simply the lack of belief in a god. Those are two very different stances to have

      What you are thinking of might be called ‘intheism’ which is the negation (of) theism

  126. Clayton2 years ago

    As an agnostic-atheist I feel the need to clarify a statement made about atheism in this article that defines atheism as “a person who believes that God does not exist”. Not necessarily, it’s lack of a belief in a god or gods, often due to what is interpreted as a lack of evidence for one or them. If you are agnostic and think there is 50.0000001% or more chance there is no god(s) you are technically an atheist as well… If you are an atheist and somehow sure there is no god(s) you are a gnostic-atheist. and vice-versa, there are gnostic theists who are sure there is a god(s) and there are agnostic-theists who generally believe but do not claim to be sure…

  127. GW2 years ago

    I’ve always considered myself an atheist but Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism provided me context. I agree that liberals are more likely to be atheists than conservatives but argue that many who consider themselves libertarians would also align with atheism.

    1. Charles Stewart1 year ago

      Yea, the whole false dichotomy of liberal/conservative in this country is holding us back, so much so that it shows up in the theist/deist/agnostic/atheist/etc. discussions as well. How many atheists are libertarians? How many are Statists? And what about Nationalism and Federalism? How many survery questions actually have a choice for “neither” or “none of the above”?

  128. Jonny2 years ago

    Just in time to share with family at the Thanksgiving table!

  129. Julio Atehortua2 years ago

    “8% of those who call themselves atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit”

    Those are not athiests. Those should be bucketed under agnostics.

    1. tilly2 years ago

      Not when the buckets are collectively titled, self-identification. You can’t just change survey responses in that way. Even if you could, you’d lose a wealth of useful information and insight into the underlying issues of inaccurate self-identification. This wasn’t a simple headcount of who thinks they’re what…

      1. Mellie Mel1 year ago

        Tilly is correct. Even though there are some morons out there, their response must be counted and cannot be changed. Hence why PEW is a highly respected research think tank.

  130. John Woodard2 years ago

    FYI, Atheists have faith. Having faith is believing that which has not been proven. The absence of God cannot be proven.

    Agnostics (including myself), on the other hand, have no faith in God or the lack thereof. I’ve seen no proof of God. I also realize that there is a LOT about the universe (or universes) that we don’t know.

    Said another way, if you think you know the answer you have faith.

    1. Deanjay2 years ago

      Most atheists are agnostic atheists: don’t know, don’t believe.

      1. apollosperson12 years ago

        let’s take this one step further… We don’t know, we don’t believe, and we don’t care.

        1. pasky2 years ago

          But that’s often not true for atheists, is it? Many of them care very much, because they believe religion is actively harmful. (Sometimes, they get as annoying as the most proselytic missionaries.)

    2. Jennie2 years ago

      You are correct that the existence or absence of a god cannot be proven, but you seem to be confusing the terms a little. Agnosticism is a position of knowledge and atheism is a position of belief (just look at the root words). Atheism (a- meaning not and -theism meaning belief in god) is actually lacking a belief about god rather than believing in the nonexistence of god. Most atheists are actually agnostic atheists, meaning they hold no belief in god but they do not claim to know with certainty that it does or does not exist. It sounds like you are an agnostic atheist, too. You have seen no proof of god so you don’t have faith, but you also see no reason to claim with certainty that a god could not exist.

      Interestingly, many theists are actually agnostic. They don’t claim that they can prove the existence of a god but they have faith because of their personal experiences, usually.

      In all honesty, though, these terms are not always useful. Some people claim they know god doesn’t exist, which sounds like putting faith in evidence that doesn’t exist. Are they atheists? They have a belief, but certainly not one in god.

    3. GWS2 years ago

      “The absence of God cannot be proven.”

      Indeed, and neither can the existence of any god. So the *rational* thing to do is withhold belief in said god(s).

      Agnosticism is a position on your knowledge of something, not the existence of it. Theism is a binary position – you’re either believing in a god or you aren’t. Two different things.

      You just described the position of the Agnostic Atheist. Congrats, you’re an atheist!

    4. Anonymous2 years ago

      Other way around.

    5. Gabe Conway2 years ago

      I think you’re a bit confused as far as the definitions of those words go. Atheist simply means not having faith in religion, with theist meaning the opposite. However, agnosticism is the belief that you don’t know all the answers, while gnosticism implies that you know 100% that your belief is correct. These sets of words go hand in hand, and most people who consider themselves “agnostic” tend to actually be agnostic atheists.

      Unless they are gnostic atheists, I would not go so far as to say they have faith. Typically atheists are agnostic and don’t believe they know everything about the world.

      With that said, I don’t mean to try to define you as a person, but as an agnostic atheist myself I’d rather not be considered to have faith as I don’t believe I know all the answers. Hope this helped!

    6. Kyle2 years ago

      I disagree with the assertion that atheists have faith, but I guess it depends on how nuanced the language you use is. I don’t agree that absence of a belief is itself a form of faith. If religion did not exist in the world today, the concept of Gods and religions probably would never have even entered my thought, as it was before I was taught about religion in school. My lack of knowledge of that concept and, as a result, lack of belief in a God, couldn’t be considered as faith.

    7. Rev. Tim2 years ago

      A lack of faith is not faith. Your definition is like saying bald is a hair color… no, it’s a lack of hair.

      1. YAHWEH2 years ago

        I like: Abstinence is not a sexual position.

        Prove there is no god and prove there are no tooth fairy. Or magic green elves. Impossible.

    8. Bryan2 years ago

      Your incorrect assessment stems from the misunderstanding that atheists know there is no god which is a misnomer perpetuated by this article

  131. Cody Horne2 years ago

    This article is “trending” on Facebook today (11-5-2015) Why? It has a minuscule number of comments and likes compared to other topics. Just another example of FaceBook pushing agendas and misinforming the public as to what “trending” means (A common sense understanding of trending that is). Trending is now “who paid FaceBook for ad-space” and “what does FaceBook want the world to think is important to the masses”

    1. Robert2 years ago

      Maybe you should take a crack at re-writing their trending algorithm then.

  132. Zane2 years ago

    The Merriam-Webster definition seems to be a minority opinion. Almost every other reputable dictionary defines atheism as a disbelief. But perhaps this confusion over terms contributes to the disconnect between “nothing in particular” and “atheist”.

  133. Wolfgang Amadeus2 years ago

    Could you please add a category for anti-theists such as myself?

  134. Bob b2 years ago

    As a young man in the seventies I struggled with being an atheist. I knew I was an atheist at heart but I wasn’t smart enough to really be one. In 84 on a Los Angeles public TV station I found Madalyn Murray O’Hair and became a card carrying member of American Atheist. At one point I even loaned the organization money. That’s what I needed because from it I became a much better atheist but at the cost of losing the love of my Christian family.

    1. Terry2 years ago

      I just bought a book called–all the questions you ever wanted to ask an american atheist-O’hair co wrote the book and answered all or many of the questions inside, Its a fascinating read!

    2. Adam Tipton2 years ago

      You loosing the love of your Christian family, tells me, your family is not very Christian. The belief in Jesus is love in itself, He has called us to love one another as He loves His church. Church being His people not a building.

      1. Niels2 years ago

        So most American Christians are not very Christian? Since one of the biggest oppositions to things like gay marriage is still Christianity.

  135. Hierophant2 years ago

    Substantial proof of Jesus christ existing and supernatural existance : his burial shroud.

    1. LilithMaeve2 years ago

      Wow. The Shroud of Turin, which was disproved to be Christ’s shroud due to carbon dating, is proof that God exists. Welcome to the atheist side, Heirophant. We have pi. 😉

      1. Nancy Bell2 years ago

        God made Pi

        1. kek2 years ago

          God doesn’t exist, honey. 🙂

          1. Edward Nemo2 years ago

            We don’t know that. But there is no reason to think such a being exists. If we apply Occam’s razor to our models of the world, it ends up cutting out god. There’s no reason to think there is one but there could be a god that doesn’t want us to be able to know whether or not there is a god. That strikes me as a dick move for a supposedly benevolent being, though.

    2. A Lady2 years ago

      Atheists don’t claim Jesus didn’t exist, nor do they denounce historical significance of the Shroud of Turin.

      1. Niels2 years ago

        So most American Christians are not very Christian? Since one of the biggest oppositions to things like gay marriage is still Christianity.

      2. Dutch2 years ago

        Speaking as a actual Historian. There is no evidence other than obvious false claims relying on fabricated fantasy
        that any person who supposedly caused the Romans so much trouble is not mentioned by any of the many scribes or official documents of which there were many.
        Funny there was a previous Messiah. Simon lived less than a century before the bible Christ .
        But we have a overwhelming amount of evidence that he was a real person. Because actual people leave factual evidence.
        Jesus has no proof of life other than early Christian stories written hundreds of years afterward.
        You can lie to yourself. that’s fine
        But I refuse to bow to society’s hatred and abuse of those who dare to base their life on facts
        Freedom is dangerous in a nation full of gun flailing Christians willing and ready to beat their Jesus into you!

  136. Bob b2 years ago

    The almighty fictional god is an atheist, since he has no creator. And since god evolved through time into the intelligent being we all know, then the theory of evolution would have to apply to god and man. But mostly to man since man is real.

    1. Gwen2 years ago

      God believes in himself, he is God. Atheist say they do not believe in God. Therefor he is not atheist -_- And the theory of evolution does not apply to God because he does not believe in biological evolution, only in spiritual enlightenment and works through Revelation.

      1. Bob b2 years ago

        I can explain something to you but I cant make you understand it.

  137. Adams2 years ago

    I am happy that i am on this earth too. in fact people who religious are dumb. In my country(Ghana), they are the dumbest.

  138. Austin Peters2 years ago

    CORRECTION: Any one who says I do not have faith or belief in god is Atheist. Agnostic just mean you are open minded and don’t know you ideas are right. It just means “I could be wrong maybe”. Gnostic is “I KNOW I am right”. So probably around 21.6% (2012) were Atheist and around 19.2 were agnostic.

    1. Jason Clark2 years ago

      Exactly as they said, the literal translation is atheos (no/not/without god) + ist (someone who believes) = someone who believes “no god”. The word, theist, wasn’t even created until almost a full century after, by doing the exact same thing with the word theos.

      An amoralist is someone who believes we are without morals, rather than simply … not a moralist.

      An abiogenist is someone who believes in abiogenesis, rather than simply … not a biogenist.

      An atonalist is someone who believes in creating atonal music, rather than simply … not a tonalist.

      An acosmist is someone who believe the universe doesn’t really exist, rather than simply … not a cosmist.

      The broad definition has only become somewhat more popular in the last 30 years, and mainly in atheist circles…

      “In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels ‘positive atheist’ for the former and ‘negative atheist’ for the latter.

      The introduction of this new interpretation of the word ‘atheism’ may appear to be a piece of perverse Humpty-Dumptyism, going arbitrarily against established common usage. ‘Whyever’, it could be asked, ‘don’t you make it not the presumption of atheism but the presumption of agnosticism?'” ~ Antony Flew, 1984

  139. Robin McDaniel2 years ago

    The 14% that say they believe in a god, and especially the 5% who say they are certain there is a spirit, are not atheist. Obviously, they have not clue what being atheist means. They should not be included in this study. At the very minimum, they are agnostic.

    You cannot be atheist and believe in a god (or devil for that matter). By definition that makes you a theist. I know satanists are always trying to claim they are atheists as well. Not true..they have a god they call satan.

    1. Evelyn2 years ago

      I’m atheist but when Christians are trying to be bullies with their religion it is a lot easier to demonstrate an apples for apples experience by claiming to be a Satanist. “Put prayers back in schools” Ok, great idea, I’m all for it! Where can I set up my goat sacrifice? Should we do it in the cafeteria or the football field? It demonstrates how easy it is to change religions too.

      1. Ephialtes2 years ago

        I actually am a laveyan Satanist, and I just LOVE the look on people’s faces when I tell them that.

  140. デード ソール2 years ago

    I’m an agnostic-theist and have met athiests, who aren’t even athiest by definition due to skepticism.

    My close acquaintance claims he is an athiest, but he isn’t 100% sure, he stated that he doesn’t know who he is wrong, says that he might or might not be wrong, and still claims to be athiests.

    I asked him if he understood what an agnostic was, and he nodded “no” and asked what’s that, I’ve observed this with multiple proclaimed athiests who call themselves what they aren’t. I do believe that some individuals have limited vocabulary knowledge on both sides which leads to a misunderstanding of what each person believes or doesn’t believe in. Definitions also vary.

    For instance “God” to me can be a constant that is responsible for the big bang theory, a law that dictates the formation of anything and everything, and whatnot. Another interesting point I’ve observed from so called “athiests” is that they limit the definition of a “God”, higher being, force, spiritual realm, and whatnot to that of the “Christian God”. They proceed to utilize weak counter argument by utilizing one belief system to disprove an idea.

    Just for those who don’t understand Christians who are athiests, this signifies that they interpret the “Christian God” as being what I described above which ironically is what I along with others consider “God”, “God”. These athiests metaphorically interpret biblical text, therefore broadening the range of translation.

    At the end it narrows down to personal translation.

    Athiest-Christian/ Christian-Athiest:
    “Christian God” is metaphorical therefore it isn’t an actual being, more of a force, or universal constant that dictates everything.

    Athiest (Gnostic):
    100% sure there isn’t a “God”> Typically refers to “Christian God”, can interpret “God” as a force, universal constant, etc. which would align Theistic views of “God”.

    Relies on the provided knowledge for a topic, this is by far the most logical/ rational position since it doesn’t disprove an idea, and doesn’t base an idea off of one translation.

    *Classifying the argument “something doesn’t exist therefore it’s unreal” is a weak counter argument, you’re debating “X” idea is invalid because “Y” is fake, “X” being the idea and “Y” being the “proof”, human logic requires ideas to come to fruition before evidence can be provided, not vice versa

    Theist: 100% belief in “God”, typically “Christian God”

    Interpretaron of God can be a universal constant, the “Christian-Atheist God”, a force, nature, etc. Skeptical individuals not 100% dedicated to either side of the argument.

    Literally narrows down to interpretation.

    1. Austin Peters2 years ago

      NO NO NO NO No NO your friend IS Atheist ho has no faith that is atheist by definition.
      As in no theism, A means no. Gnostic Atheist is what you are talking about. Your friend is Agnostic Atheist. I am a true Atheist and I do not think any body can KNOW anything since your mind can be trick to ANY conceivable extent. You can only trust what is most likely and probable nothing is 100% definite but you can go up to %99.9999……..

      1. MICHAEL2 years ago

        Even the famous atheist, Richard Dawkins says that on a scale of 1-7, 1 believing 100% there is a god and 7 believing 100% there isn’t, he is a 6.

    2. Shawn W.2 years ago

      Austin is right. Your friend is an agnostic Atheist. Agnostic meaning one admits that they can not prove the existence of a deity or deities nor can they disprove them either. Anyone can be agnostic based on the literal definition and actually everyone should be because science can not prove either side and that is fine. Atheist just means you PERSONALLY DO NOT BELIEVE in the existence of any deity or deities. Just like you place your belief on faith, the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen right? An atheist usually comes to their conclusion based on science…most of the time, I say most of the time because some just say for personal of reasons one does not exist; And since science can not prove nor disprove the existence of a deity or deities, which I think it will never be able to because one does not exist at least not in the traditional definition, it is only logical your friend does not make a solid scientific claim and is an agnostic Atheist like myself.

  141. David Eisenberg2 years ago

    That last question reminds me of the story about Transcendentalist, Margaret Fuller, who said “I accept the universe,” to which the more famous Thomas Carlyle supposedly replied, “Gad, she’d better.”

    I’m an atheist, which means to me that I don’t believe in God, not an agnostic, because I don’t see God as a possibility, though, of course, nothing can be proven or disproven with 100% certainty. We do not have to prove to believe or not believe. I do feel spiritual, and by that I mean – I hate to say it – that I feel connected to the universe. Feel free to say – Gad, he’d better. But not everyone does feel that way.

    1. Jacob Miller2 years ago

      I found the article interesting as well as how many atheists categorize themselves.

      “I’m an atheist, which means to me that I don’t believe in God, not an agnostic, because I don’t see God as a possibility, though, of course, nothing can be proven or disproven with 100% certainty”

      I find your comment interesting, as that I is similar in thought to myself, but I categorize myself differently.

      I am an agnostic atheist. I am agnostic because it is currently impossible to either prove or disprove the existence of a supreme being. Because of this impossibility, logic dictates that I should hold the null position and not believe in one. When arguing with believers I do not state “there is no god” ; I prefer the more accurate “there is no testable verifiable evidence of a god”.

      1. Charly Di2 years ago

        Google the last pictures taken from space of the sun. Interesting that NASA cannot take them from earth because the atmosphere (our protective system so we wouldn’t burn) wouldn’t allow them to do so. How much more evidence does somebody need, other than the entire universe showing the magnificence of God, to believe that a Super power has created everything on/and around earth for our very existence?

        1. criticaljames2 years ago

          Congenital Birth Defects
          Childhood cancer
          80% of the planet is uninhabitable for humans
          Space is deadly to humans

          doesn’t sound like it was created very well just for us

    2. Kathy Lahmeyer2 years ago


      1. ubi dubiam ibi libertas2 years ago

        True. But as Carl Sagan famously said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. And the existence of God is a pretty extraordinary claim.

      2. jeremy rocker2 years ago

        Well Christianity cant prove that a god does exist so … I’m going for the obvious answer and saying that there is no magical man floating in the sky.

      3. Doug2 years ago

        That’s not entirely true. We can prove there are no square-circles or married bachelors, since such things aren’t really “things” at all. Some atheists maintain that God is like this. As a theist, though, of course I disagree with them. At the very least, the atheist should concede that a Cosmic Designer of some sort is possible.

    3. Austin Peters2 years ago

      If you think he is impossible to exist then you are Gnostic Atheist. If you even think he is 0.00000000000000000000000001% possible then you are Agnostic Atheist

      1. Jason Clark2 years ago

        Just “agnostic atheist” doesn’t mean much. Would that be an agnostic weak/negative atheist, who has no belief, or would that be an agnostic strong/positive atheist, who has a belief but doesn’t claim to know?


  142. CHNK2 years ago

    2.4% of people publically admit to being atheist…. but many many more won’t admit it because they feel guilty. it’s a big burden on the human mind to wrestle with the fact that there may be no after life. it’s a big burden on the human mind to explain to friends and family that there may be no god. so people become agnostic and just ignore the issue because it’s not worth wasting time and energy discussing.

    1. mj2 years ago

      words of truth for most agnostics

    2. Austin Peters2 years ago

      No 21.6% (2012) admit to being atheist (lacking faith)

  143. starlynn2 years ago

    ya when you accept the lord into your life be prepared for hell you will feel burn and get the heat non stop,for a god that supposed to exist i cant understand why he wants to hide from his people, and for us to look upon his face would be death. evil exist more than good in this world and i even wonder if there is a god and heaven.

    1. Beeta2 years ago

      God does not hide from us.. He is in everything you look at. When you have a relationship with God he speaks to you through his Holy Spirit to those that believe in him and except him as their savior.. God is everywhere.. Do you realize that there in nothing man has made that he did not have to use what God had made to create it? True.. think about it.. I am a Christian.. I have a close relationship with God and from the things I have experienced in my life WITH God I could never ever deny his existence. He is the creator of all that is created. To look up on him is more than the mortal man could handle. God in his Glory and magnificence has such a powerful presence around him that we could not look up on him in our mortal bodies and live. We could not take the brightness and power of his being.. HE does not hide.. HE is everywhere if you look . I see him moment to moment in my life. HE is the creator of all that is created ,that is God. Soon and very soon he will show himself to those that he gathers to himself in Heaven. WE must have a glorified Body to be able to be in his presence.. WE walk by faith in believing in God. HE teaches you day by day of his ways and his greatness. Faith comes through hearing and hearing comes from the word of God. You believe not because you have not heard him to have the faith.. HE is my life. I do nothing that he is not foremost in my heart and mind. I follow his word for it gives you peace and happiness. He is a companion that is closer than a brother. And most of all he is God of all creation. I wish that all could see and feel what I feel in knowing God. Just because you cannot look upon him is no reason to not believe in him. It takes a step of faith and then trust and then he shows you his love that is everlasting. There is no life outside of serving and knowing God. That is the reason we are here. This life will end one day for all on this planet . If you believe his word, and read his word it is written what is coming to this life.. We can choose to be with him for all eternity and live in the awesomeness God has prepared for those that follow him or they can choose not to believe and live a 180 degree turn in life that takes you where no man wants to Go.. It is simple.. HE invites everyone to come to him. It is his wish that NO man should perish but have everlasting life.. The benefits of serving God are tremendous..

      1. Beverly2 years ago

        I like your answer. I know too many people who think God is a fantasy. I feel sorry for them. They live in the dark. Maybe someday they see the light. When I describe how certain CNAs bring light and love into my mother’s world despite her dementia, while others are a complete waste of money, they tell me, you were just lucky to find a kind person that your mother likes. They are wrong. When certain people are in my home, I feel the light that comes from within them. I don’t have to prove it because I feel it. All of these people with inner light have a strong belief in God and enjoy reducing the suffering of another human being.

      2. samite2 years ago

        Do me a favor wont you go to evil bible.com i assure you it has nothing to do with evil bibles. Its simply the regular bible its just all the stories and contradictions they dont point out to you in church. Pastors and christian people and i myself at one point said the bible dose not contradict itself. . . . how wrong i was go to evil bible.com if your sitll a christian after reading every artical on the entire website….. Ill go back to church. But you got to really read it not just say you did ill be asking questions

    2. sparrow2 years ago

      I agree…I have done EVERYTHING that has been required by the Word in the Bible for 20 years. I have been and I still am in constant HELL since. And I am now so tired of believing in a ‘good’ God that I just want to end it all…including my life. The book of Job is but true…and it is his hell that I can testify to. 99.9% Christians and Jews don’t ever take that book into account because it is so filled with horrible misery and constant tyranny. This is how I see, live, and know God…as a Tyrant without any good. I am so fed up and ready to exit just to get on with what is left. Now when I hear a Christian speak so great of God I get a sick feeling because they don’t know Job nor do they suffer the way Christ says to. I am sick of the suffering as each day I want my life to end. So for those who can get on with life, you have my deepest respect. All I know is that I tried…and can’t deal with it anymore. I just don’t understand why God needs to be such a tyrant towards a willing servant (idiot). I’m in a prison after giving up everything because I believed in what he promised. I have lost family, friends, pets, my home, my business, my freedom, and purpose…and yet to see good. And worse…I witness the liars, thieves, murderers and evil et al go free without ever seeing justice.

      1. Epicurus2 years ago

        You wrote a suicide letter, minus the actual statement of intent. Just stating the obvious. Also you’re essentially saying that in your experience there is more evidence for the existence of an evil devil than there is for a good god. If you further believed that the devil could be communed with, that would be, by definition, Theistic Satanism. Not that I’d advocate such a thing, just pointing it out. I think the facts on this page are wrong when they say that an atheist is “a person who thinks god does not exist”. I consider an atheist to be “a person that does not believe in god”, and is really only a useful word to distinguish between those who believe and those who don’t. For instance, if a bunch of other people started to believe in fairies, then I could accurately be described as an afaireist, even though the merest thought had never seriously occurred to me. Given your situation of being in prison for, presumably a violent act that you considered consistent with the teachings of the Bible, I would hazard a guess that your path to any sort of contentment in life would be to abandon the teachings of the Bible and violence. Those two things you served have served you poorly, and presumably, served the people around you poorly. I will take your posting publicly to be a solicitation for advice from the public and give you this: There are bad people who know they do bad and everyone else is wrong. The only people worthy of forgiveness for the wrongs they do are those that are willing to think deeply, then act consistent with their conclusions. That may actually include you… unfortunately that may also include a whole lot of really dumb people who’ve done really awful things.

  144. Bob Rowland2 years ago

    How would percentages change if people were not constantly opinion reinforced with unproven religious indoctrination?

    1. Aaron2 years ago

      May I ask you what kind of proof there is for there not being a God. In order to say that there is absolutely no God, one must know everything about everything. In other words the evolutionist has no clue as to how intelligence came from nothing & the evolutionist who believes in a big bang theory has no clue as to how that very 1st bit of matter ever came into existence in the 1st place. The fact is; it seems that it takes more faith to believe that something evolved from nothing that that there is a Creator Who spoke it into existence.

      1. Atheist2 years ago

        Do you have proof that there is a god? I dont believe it because there is no proof that God exists. If you show us proof then I would believe it.

      2. Eric2 years ago

        This is a stretch. There are many different interpretations of atheism but the way most atheists would interpret it is as a lack of the belief in a/the entity (a-theism). That is we don’t claim there is no god, but that there is no evidence of the god in question. Furthermore, believing in the extremely gradual development of the universe without knowing the start is far more reasonable than believing it was spat out by an extra-universal being in the way we see it now. Considerably more easy when you add on the evidence of evolution and the expansion of the universe.

      3. jeremy rocker2 years ago

        where did your creator come from, it is the same question that we will keep hitting (where did it come from?) but we do know where life came from which in turn tells us where intelligence came from. Just face it atheism has proof what dose Christianity have…a book written 3000 years ago.

        1. Eisenhower Pon2 years ago

          Basic Christian Argument – If God was all powerful and as mighty as the Bible is claimed to be.

          No one made him. He made us.

          If the Bible was not true however, then the previous claim would be false. That is your decision whether to accept that. 😛

      4. Odie2 years ago

        Saying that not having evidence proves that your god doesn’t exist is the same argument people use for sasquatch and werewolves.
        I think the fact that you lack any feasible evidence of its existence speaks more for it than the lack of evidence saying it doesn’t exist.

  145. wehrlybird2 years ago

    So… do the 14% of self-identified atheists who also believe in God understand their own contradiction? Do they understand the actual definition of atheism? Very curious about this!

    1. SOMEGUY78932 years ago

      I think they may be agnostic but don’t know the word for it and use Atheism instead.

      1. William Burke2 years ago

        That’s what I think also. It shows that Americans not only have undersized vocabulary issues, they are deficient in grammar, spelling and syntax, and seem to have little or no familiarity with their native language.

        Don’t try and pile the blame for this one on the public school system; there are plenty of kids do very well in the very same schools.

        1. Stupid American, DoiBoy2 years ago

          English, I suppose?

    2. Roy Marino2 years ago

      I was invited to a dinner party a couple of weeks ago and in conversation uncovered that in my eyes everyone there (about 10 people) were atheists. But in asking what they called themselves I got answers like agnostic, humanist, free-thinker, secular (most common) or none. But I was the only one to say atheist.
      But when I posed a question from Penn Jillette’s book, “Do YOU believe in a God?” 100% said no. For some reason people with our mindsets don’t like to be grouped together. I would like to see what the population percentage is when you include everyone that doesn’t have an acting participation in religion. I want to see more unity in the movement so we could possibly be seen in the political arena as an asset.

  146. Atheiots2 years ago

    Too many philistines here to realize the massive flaws in their arguments.

    If you think people are religious because of the “science gap”, then you’re ignorant.

    If you think a majority of people are religious because they’re ignorant, then you’re ignorant.

    If you think science is a tool that can describe everything about reality, then you’re ignorant.

    If you think belief in God is illogical, then you’re ignorant.

    American’s atheists are literally sitting pretty on a nation founded by educated theists, which continued preserving and educating the masses since the dark ages.

    You’re sitting on not just a few, but many scientific discoveries fostered by religious people, be it Gregor Mendel the ‘Father of Genetics’, Georges Lemaitre the original proposer of the expansion of the universe or ‘Big Bang Theory’ (often mis-attributed to Hubble), and many, many others:


    Here’s the point I’m making. The rise of atheism isn’t because people are becoming more educated in the sciences, or mathematics, or whatever practical discipline that our society is fostering at the moment.

    They’re arising out of a lack of critical debate, thought, and introspective of a philosophic nature.

    They’re arising out of an indifference of educated Christian philosophers, more concerned about residing within their ivory towers, rather than coming out and reminding the world both who perpetuated human knowledge through the dark ages, and who continues to keep quiet stewardship over both the importance of education and philosophy.

    Atheists are more intelligent? I haven’t been impressed, as most aren’t even familiar with the history behind their own belief, nor are they familiar with anything beyond straw man arguments against the woefully ignorant who just happen to be ‘religious’.

    1. quite2 years ago

      While I don’t agree with the way you said it, I do absolutely agree with what you said! These statistics don’t accommodate for the huge number of people who don’t understand the meaning of the word “atheist”. In a similar fashion to people who use “vegetarian” as a catch all term to describe vegans, pescatarians etc. I identify as an agnostic athiest, and while I don’t believe in God or a spiritual being, I refuse to rule it out as a possibility. In actual fact given the recent ideas in theoretical physics it is looking more likely that the existence of a higher being could be possible.
      Many athiests give the rest of us a bad name due to their own lack of education because if a scientist truly follows the scientific method, they could never ever say that God does not exist.
      I usually play devil’s advocate in these discussions with my friends (largely due to a lack of equal representation) and I will often refer to the founders of some of the greatest scientific discoveries. Several of whom were actually members of the church itself.
      Unfortunately so many athiest are not scientists and probably should not make claims based on Sciences they only half understand.
      I believe that science is a belief system just the same as every religion and neither has given an absolute truth.
      I didnt really have a point I guess I just wanted to expand a little from the point of view of an athiest that agrees with you.
      If God created the universe then math is the language he used to describe it.

      1. SOMEGUY78932 years ago

        Yeah totally agree, I’m an Agnostic Deist so while I don’t like religion, I still feel there is a higher power. It’s tiring being called a fool or illogical for believing in a higher power. When logically you can’t know.

      2. tilly2 years ago

        By “don’t accommodate for the huge number of people who don’t understand the meaning of atheist,” you must be referring to the survey’s failure to ask a variety of other questions designed to gauge religiosity by other means? Gee, if only they’d also thought to ask people if they believe in a higher power, an afterlife, the *possibility, etc. You didn’t bother to read the linked study or dataset did you? Let alone the brief summary of its statistics on atheism above -which was just one tiny morsel of its valuable, usable data? Not only does the study clearly explain the accommodation you overlooked in your haste to toss in two careless cents, i.e. control for, inaccurate self-identification – it’s so comprehensive it includes the quantitative data you were missing to give a more meaningful description than, “…huge number.” Since you’re not a scientist, we’ll call that an unwitting mistake.

        If a scientist is adhering to the scientific method, they aren’t trying to prove or disprove any supernatural claims. It is strictly limited to the testable, natural world. The fact that religious beliefs, by the limits of their own definitions, often exclude themselves from scientific inquiry, doesn’t lend them validity by default. Don’t forget, science *can’t prove those sorts of claims any more than can disprove them, and simply doesn’t care. It’s an invalid question for science.

        Science, on the other hand, often inadvertently raises perfectly valid questions which accidentally happen to prove inconvenient for many religions and their basic tenets.

        Since Huxley invented the word agnostic, it’s worth noting that according to his definition, to an agnostic the existence of god is a nonquestion. ‘Noncommittally undecided pending revelation of unknowable unknowns’ is a better fit for those who mistake the unknowable as if it were only as-yet-unknown. Then again, it doesn’t matter *what you call yourself -belief and bias are revealed much more accurately and reliably in ways other than self-reporting.

    2. George2 years ago

      Certainly, religious scientists have achieved everything the world has now. But you should see their belief system as one of the shortcomings in their scientific understanding rather than something that was as well-founded as their science. The trend among scientists clearly seems to move towards atheism with the passage of time. This report is an example: ncse.com/rncse/18/2/do-scientist…. The fact that scientists are progressively turning to a rejection of belief in god should say something about where the truth may lie. Scientists are among the cleverest of all people, after all.

  147. Steven Jacob Borthick2 years ago

    The Enlightenment is being relighted, thanks to the Age of Information via Technology. 🙂

  148. Dennis Lurvey2 years ago

    the more information is available through the internet, the more literate and educated ppl are, the further science closes the knowledge gaps the bible pretends to fill, the less religion will prevail.
    the bible became more prevalent with the invention of the printing press, but so did books on deism and atheism. as early colonists went to schools and became literate and graduated college the ‘age of reason’ (science) began during revolutionary times. religion can’t survive the light of day. if people can find the truth about biblical stories or how religion was invented they have to leave it behind.

    1. P.A. Reising2 years ago

      people act like these questions haven’t been talked about forever. You wonder why people are afraid to Identify as atheists. Well historically because they killed us! Right along with the rest. I believe in the bible we are called heretics . as a 60 year old people are more understanding of why I smoke Pot than the atheist thing. Personally I struggle enough with on my own to want fight with some radical evangelical that I don’t wish to debate. I am trying to be the change I wish to see. like all of you I am just trying to live my life the best and fullest. Because late at night It’s really only me I have to answer to for my actions or lacking. So at the end of the day I wish to have more on the + side of the ledger. For no one else satisfaction but mine.

  149. Renato Baldago2 years ago

    Forever Offering Thanksgiving
    June 9, 2007 · by Brother Eliseo F. Soriano
    16 Votes

    Those who deny God’s existence are ingrates. Anybody who believes not in a Supreme Being should pretend that he knows everything, but if his mind is telling him that he has not the capacity to know and understand everything that exist, then he must accept that there is a reason behind the existence of everything. The most intelligent man who lived on earth have confessed his inability to understand everything under the sun.

    (Ecclesiastes 8:17) “Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it. “

    Scientists believe that nothing will happen without a cause. Although it is a principle in science, some scientists who do not believe in God ascribe to nature everything that exists. Let us examine if there is a rational in this.

    Nature is defined by human dictionary as the original unaltered state, character and condition of everything that exists in the entire universe. There is no definition whatsoever that ascribes to nature the creation of anything. In nature, there are laws, there are mishaps (meaning things happening beyond the law of nature). In nature, there are accidents like, mutations, bearing of twins, triplets, etc. and the existence of third sexes caused by imbalance of the male and female hormones in an individual. Nature is not as consistent as should have been since time immemorial. But while there are mishaps and inconsistencies in nature, there is Someone consistent and will not change: this is God.

    (James 1:17) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

    God is the creator of everything that exists.

    (Acts 17:24) “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands…”

    He ordains, controls and can alter nature. Sea waves are ruled by nature to stop on the shores, but God can call the waves to transgress the shore and cover the land.

    (Amos 9) “It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.”

    Man is helpless against the power of nature. Nature kills — sometimes violently, sometimes in great number. If we are under God’s care and guidance, we will be safe before occasional furies of nature.

    I am a grateful creation of my Creator, and I will forever be, with His help. I have unspeakable reasons to be thankful to Him. My being, my strength (and weaknesses), my wisdom (and ignorance), my abilities (and inabilities), everything I posses bespeaks of His power, loving-kindness, compassion, and grace that calls for praise and thanksgiving.

    Why should everybody be grateful to God?

    I want you to answer this question:

    (1 Corinthians 4:7) “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”

    Is there anything in us that we did not receive? Have we provided ourselves with life and strength? Nobody can answer in the affirmative. Then, if the answers is ‘yes’, we must admit that somebody far-far greater than ourselves gave these things to us. The king David, after realizing this, bursts into thanksgiving.

    (1 Chronicles 29:11-13) “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”

    Thus, the Lord declared:

    (Deuteronomy 32:39) “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.”

    This declaration stands unchallenged even by the most powerful of human beings that have existed and now exist on earth. This is God’s signature on His authority over everything that exists.
    It is God’s will that His creation be grateful and offer Him the sacrifice of ‘thanksgiving’.

    (Psalms 100:3-5) “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

    I firmly believe that you and I belong to one of these generations mentioned in the preceding verses. Until now and forever, the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures.

    Thanksgiving springs from the heart of somebody who has the understanding that He does not live by himself.

    (Acts 17:28) “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also his offspring.”

    God is a being that can not be seen with our eyes, but can be felt by our hearts. Our conscience as human beings does testify of His existence.

    (Romans 2:15) “They demonstrate that God’s law is written within them, for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what is right.” NLT

    Man’s conscience can teach him what is good and what is bad; what is right and what is wrong; and the preference for goodness in the heart of a man proves the existence of God.

    Let us all offer unto God praises and voices of thanksgiving, for we are all indebted to Him.

    The offering of thanksgiving is a good thing in the sight of God.

    (Psalms 92:1) “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High…”

    Refusing to do what is good is a sin.

    (James 4:17) “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

    Being ungrateful is a sin!

    (Hebrews 13:15-16) “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

    As it pleases a doer of good, to receive gratitude from the recipient, it is well-pleasing to God to be thanked by the recipients of His goodness, loving-kindness, and mercy.

    (Jeremiah 9:23-24) “The Lord says, “Let not a wise man speak with pride about his wisdom. Let not the strong man speak with pride about his strength. And let not a rich man speak with pride about his riches. But let him who speaks with pride speak about this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who shows lovingkindness and does what is fair and right and good on earth. For I find joy in these things,” says the Lord.” NIV-UK

    There are people prophesied in the scriptures, and called the people of God in the last days ,that will fulfill this prophecy.

    (Jeremiah 30:19-24) “From them will proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who celebrate; And I will multiply them and they will not be diminished; I will also honor them and they will not be insignificant. Their children also will be as formerly, and their congregation shall be established before Me; And I will punish all their oppressors. ‘Their leader shall be one of them, and their ruler shall come forth from their midst; And I will bring him near and he shall approach Me; For who would dare to risk his life to approach Me?’ declares the LORD. ‘You shall be My people, And I will be your God. Behold, the tempest of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, A sweeping tempest; It will burst on the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until He has performed and until He has accomplished the intent of His heart; in the latter days you will understand this”

    To God belong all praises and honor forever and ever. Amen.


    1. Jim Now2 years ago

      Am I the only one who finds amusement in this person trying to prove god with god. Discounting the lack of rational in these arguments, you can’t use the bible’s sayings to prove something before you prove the validity of the bible itself. It’s circular reasoning.

      1. ufewl ufewlx2 years ago

        What like proving science with science you mean?

        1. Naiara2 years ago

          Like proving science with actual facts, current facts, experiments and discoveries made every single day. Not a religion based in some people believes 2000 years ago where people was uneducated and had no idea about how the world was even created. Religion was necessary to stop people from killing each other, raping and committing all kinds of crimes, I got that. But now it’s time for us to believe in the real world. My respects for what religion was used to, but that was when people behave like animals. Now we are civilized and educated, smart enough to reach the truth of nature and science. How you prove God? There is no actual facts, sorry. Hopefully my grandkids will live in a 90% free-religion world.

          1. John.E2 years ago

            So you are telling us that murder and rape ceased 2000 years ago on the back of religion? I wish! People have understood the difference between good and evil long before contemporary religion, since the introduction of contemporary religion and will do long after religion has exhausted its usefulness of controlling the uneducated and the naive… that is if the world does not destroy itself for the sake of religion before the time of enlightenment takes hold.

        2. Odie2 years ago

          *Proving science with insightful research, experimentation, documentation, observation, trials, test, studies, peer review, etc etc.
          While the Bible only has the alibi of “It is god’s word”, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to actually prove that any of it was written by god. Simply a few like-minded people who wrote the chapters within it. It hasn’t had it’s credibility to be proven, and shouldn’t be used as a source of proving the existence of god.
          But science itself is a more rigorous and feasible field. It has years and years of study and research to help back many of it’s points, and provides data and feasible answers for many of the things we now consider fact today.

  150. Bill Haines2 years ago

    That Merriam-Webster definition is wrong, at best incomplete and misleading. Try the OED. oxforddictionaries.com/us/defini…

    1. Jason Clark2 years ago

      a person who believes that God does not exist


  151. Daveast2 years ago

    You really cant blame thinking people for rejecting religion. Sadly, religion has probably been the cause of more bloodshed over the centuries than any other reason. Thinking people reason, (and rightly so)…. that If there was a loving God interested in mankind, how could “believing”……be the cause of so much suffering?

    And then there is science. Science has been the savior of millions of people who might otherwise have died an early death. Think of all of the medical innovations that save lives every day. Science is a real “in your face”….undeniable force that can do much good in the world.

    But science can be usurped for evil purposes… think of how many have been killed by machine guns, chemical weapons, nuclear bombs and a thousand other “breakthroughs” used for evil. Sadly, scientists, even atheist scientists in atheist countries are only too happy to have their “breakthrough” used to expand their country’s territory….killing or subjugating “others” in the process.

    Just like science, Religion can and has been usurped for evil purposes for thousands of years. Rarely if ever do you see the religious “leaders” leading the charge in some “holy war”….no, they are sitting back in the lap of luxury, watching TV while their brainwashed minions go out and kill those of a different…or even their own religion…. bringing more power and influence to the themselves.

    It’s sick….it’s sad….but it’s what is “normal” on this earth.

    So, what do I believe is the answer? I love science….but I will not use science for evil. Somehow, science must not be subject to the evil whims of religious nut cases….or atheist nut cases…or political nut cases of any kind. There needs to be a universal LAW, that you MUST love or at least “respect” your fellow man. Any religion or “other” belief system that does not respect this basic principle should be discouraged.

    I have concluded that there is in fact…. a Supreme Being….A designer of life.

    When scientists create LIFE….real LIFE from “scratch”….not using the building blocks already designed & engineered by God…. ONLY THEN would I even begin to contemplate other possibilities. As an engineer myself, having an intimate understanding of how complex modern systems are…. and understanding how EXTREMELY unlikely…. that even the most “basic” of these systems, would ever “evolve” by chance…. I am driven to my conclusion by logic.

    Most people take for granted the conveniences they use every day…. thinking that if they can afford to purchase a technology….that they somehow have created or master that technology… as if they were a god. Nothing can be more arrogant and uninformed.

    Respect what you can not do or create yourself. This is the beginning of true wisdom.

    I can not create a living thing. I can create “artificial” systems that “mimic” life…. but these artificial “things” will never rise to the level of a flower, a kitten, or a human baby.


    1. Atheiots2 years ago

      That is simply not true. The entire 21st century had more deaths as a result from secular societies specifically targeting the religious or the educated (Russia’s Stalin, Cambodia’s Pol Pot, etc.) Than any religious war, by any religion, COMBINED.

      You’re either woefully ignorant of your history, or you’re willfully ignorant of the devastating effects that secular societies have had on human beings.

      “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.11”

      -Joseph Stalin

      1. Orvo2 years ago

        Um…no. Religious minds have killed WAY more. The Civil War and the monstrosities that happened before and after were caused by the ideology that whites were created to be better. Christianity performed genocide upon several people including over 55 million Native Americans as well as the Australian Aborigines. You also have the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Iraq Police Action (which was dubbed a Crusade) and many more examples, and that’s just Christianity. Come to think of it, Buddhism, from what I know, is the least violent of the popular religions. Also, you cannot link Stalin’s bloodthirsty directly to Atheism do to the fact that he did not kill just the religious but any who tried to oppose him and his order. Lastly, the Pol Pot genocide targeted everybody who proved a threat towards the government, religious or not. Any sort of search into either a database or just on google proves your statement to be wrong.

      2. RockPunch2 years ago

        Stalin didn’t even say that, which goes to show just how much you know about the subject, try Erich Maria Remarque

        Religious people already lied about Hitler being an atheist, you think everyone is gonna buy that? Neither Stalin nor Pol Pot were atheists. You seem to be severely lacking in knowledge, so let me just say that Saloth Sar is another name for Pol Pot, remember that, ok? Now let’s continue

        Pol Pot: An Anatomy of a Nightmare by Philip Short
        Page 80
        “Most intriguing was his emphasis on Buddhism. Enlightened monks, he claimed, had ‘always understood very well the nature of monarchy’ and had written folk-tales like the Thmenh Chey(whose hero, one of the best-loved rogues in Khmer literature, famously outwitted the King), in order to show the people that they should not believe in royalty. The Buddha-“Our Great Master”- had abandoned princely life, he went on in order to become ‘a friend of the people; he had been the first to preach the virtues of democratic system alone that could defend Buddhism’s ‘profound values’. As a member of the Cercle Marxiste, Sar would not have been expected to write in such terms. Ieng Sary or Thiounn Mumm certainly would not have done so…Sihanouk, Sar wrote, had undermined the Buddhist faith by introducing ranks into the monkhood”
        Page 150
        “In the 1960’s even more than today, religious belief provided the primary value-system of ordinary people throughout South-East Asia. Sar himself had been a Buddhist novice. The first communists, like Tou Samouth and Son Ngoc Minh, had studied at the Higher Pali Institute. So had younger leaders like Siet Chne and Mok. Both within the Party leadership and among the rank and file, the grammar of Theravada Buddhism permeated Khmer communist thought, just as Confucian notions helped to fashion Maoism…Sihanouk had called his policy ‘Buddhist socialism’, and his doctrine of neutrality, the Buddhist ‘middle path’…just as Mao had sinified Marxism, Sar gave it a Buddhist tincture”
        Page 341
        “Pol…when he spoke to Khmer audiences, he usually carried a fan, emblematic of the monkhood”
        Page 448
        “Pol Pot was the supreme architect of his country’s desolation. But he and his colleagues did not act alone. In the words of the Buddhist leader Yos Hut Khemcaro, ‘Millions of Cambodians, including Buddhist clergy, worked with [them]’ ”

        Stalin was no atheist:

        “As Stalin noted in 1952: “Jesus Christ also suffered, and even carried his cross, and then he rose up to heaven. You, then, have to suffer too, in order to rise up to heaven””
        Source: Political Thought of Joseph Stalin: A Study in Twentieth Century Revolutionary Patriotism By Erik van Ree

        In the Document “The ‘Purge’ of the Libraries” Stalin ordered the withdrawal of “all anti-religious literature, exposing religion on the basis of natural science data”
        Source: The Stalin Era By Philip Boobbyer

        There is only one fake quote which is used to prove that Stalin was an atheist, however:
        “we need not believe one later Soviet claim that he read The Origin of Species at the age of thirteen while still at Gori, and told a fellow pupil that it proved the nonexistence of God. The story fails on several obvious accounts, including Stalin’s remaining religious, even pious, for some years longer.”
        Stalin: Breaker of Nations by Robert Conquest, page 20

        The killing of Nikolai Vavilov for supporting Darwin and the Doctor trials and the Jewish pogroms were hardly an example of atheist tyranny. Russia’s Christian heritage partly led to Soviet brutality, Stalin’s seminary training influenced his style of tyranny and Russia’s history of divinely ordained autocrats assist the Communist consolidation of power. You can find Communism and even Stalinism in the Bible:

        Stalin’s main motive wasn’t religious, but let’s not pretend he was an atheist, much less that atheism was relevant to any of these atrocities, the Stalin argument is just the age old argument that people can’t be good without god. Atheism doesn’t have commandments to kill so it can’t be blamed for any killings, period, this is very different from killings due to Christianity and Islam, which btw surpass Stalin no sweat

        Additionaly, religious atrocities still killed more than Communism and Nazism, people just don’t seem to be aware of the scale of religious atrocities. The Muslim Conquest of India killed 80 million(Will Durant, Koenraad Elst), the Taiping Rebellion killed 20-100 million(Black Book of Communism page 468, TaipingRebellion.com, Cao Shuji), and if we take the upper estimates for slavery in the Atlantic and the Middle East and the American Holocaust then we can easily get to the hundreds of millions for each, that aside from several other religious wars out there, the Thirty Years War has entered Guinness Book of World Records as the lonest continuous war, you might say this is unfair and try to underestimate it but people have no problem using the same methodology for deaths under Communism, and these are just for religious wars, If we just include every religious person who killed people regardless of his motive then we can get much higher, Queen Victoria herself killed as much as Mao(Mike Davis “Late Victorian Holocausts”), and most of Victoria’s victims were killed in the same manner as Mao too(famine). There are tons of religious people who’s killings are on par with Stalin. Kublai, An Lushan, Cao Cao, Toghon Temur, Zhang Xianzhong, Hong Xiuquan, and Timur(5M in 6 months alone) are all close contenders

  152. Ernie C.2 years ago

    Come on people,it is simple. If you DON’T believe in a God,gods,a higher power,etc.you ARE an atheist! If you DO believe in a God,gods or a higher power,great spirit,etc.,you are NOT an atheist! End of story! Just saying…

  153. Renato Baldago2 years ago


    In the extremely misinformed, hellish book entitled “God Delusion,” the author Richard Dawkins, with his poison wrote –

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” (God Delusion. Chapter 2 p.31)

    The author, devoid of human decency and filled with satanic blasphemy, charged the God of the Old Testament to be “the most unpleasant character in all fiction!” This stupid and false accusation against someone whom he does not believe to exist can be considered the height of insanity and delusion!


    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    It is not hard to see that to disgrace somebody who does not exist can only be caused by hallucinations of a person buried deep in delusion.

    PSALMS 53:1

    The fool hath said in his heart,There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

    To tag the God of the Old Testament worse than Dracula, Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, Frankenstein, and the like, is the grandest form of lie that an author could invent in the history of fiction making! Apparently, Dawkins is on the side of these fiction characters, being their campaign manager!


    Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    Here are things we should consider:

    The God of the Bible is Omnipotent
    GENESIS 17:1

    And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

    He desire perfection for humanity.

    MATTHEW 5:48

    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    Being perfect, an injunction to a believer, means to learn how to love and care for enemies.

    MATTHEW 5:44-48

    44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

    47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

    48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    The God of the Bible is jealous.
    That the Lord may become jealous is a deterrent. Divine jealousy is caring for His beloved not to be persuaded by lies.


    7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

    8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

    9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,


    For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

    With the accusations of Dawkins against God, it will imply that even if he sees his wife flirting with another atheist, it will still be something morally acceptable to him! But God’s jealousy is kindled against any man that would intentionally worship false gods. It is falsehood. God wants to protect His people from idolatry.

    THE ROMANS 1:25

    Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    To frankly declare, “I am a jealous God” does not mean that He is proud of being jealous. He says exactly what He feels, treating His servants honestly with compassion and concern.

    The thinking of Richard Dawkins against God is not a thing to marvel about. There are people who, according to the Bible, are walking with their head and thinking with their feet!

    ISAIAH 5:20

    Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    Richard Dawkins is “petty unjust,” and not the God of the Bible.
    To charge somebody who does not exist to be “petty unjust” is most certainly unjust! The God of the Bible is the executor of everything that is just.

    JEREMIAH 9:24

    But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

    The highest standards of human justice are reflected in the Constitution of the United States of America! (The land of the free and the home of the brave). It is clear that the Bible is the basis of the justice system in the constitution of the United States. Here’s an excerpt from an article titled, “The Supreme Court vs. Faith and the Bible” (Ref: blowthetrumpet.org/CourtverseBib… ) –

    In V. Watkins v. Torso, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Secular Humanism is a religion.

    Observations by the Legislative Branch

    “Religion must be considered as the foundation on which the whole structure rests. In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity; the great conservative element on which we must rely for the purity and permanence of free institutions.”House Judiciary Committee, 1854

    “The great vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of gospel of Jesus Christ.” House Judiciary Committee, 1854

    “Whereas the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation of people. Whereas Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of The United States … Whereas that renewing our knowledge of, and faith in God through Holy Scriptures can strengthen us as a nation and a people. Now therefore be it resolved … that the President is authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national “Year of the Bible” in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.”1983 – Oct. 4, 1982, Joint Resolution of Congress.

    We now turn to the leaders of the world as written in Wake Up America! Almost all the presidents of the greatest nation on earth now, the United States of America, believed in the Bible. It is the book upon which they laid their hands in swearing their oath of office with the concluding phrase in their oath “So help me God.” Here are some of them (Ref: togreaterheights.com/educate-you…)

    President of the United States

    1st President / George Washington

    “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

    6th President / John Quincy Adams

    “The first and almost the only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the world. . . and I say to you, Search the Scriptures.”

    16th President / Abraham Lincoln

    “In regard for this Great Book, I have this to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book”

    7th President / Andrew Jackson

    “That Book, Sir, is the rock on which our Republic rests.”

    28th President / Woodrow Wilson

    “The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.”

    30th President / Calvin Coolidge

    “The strength of our country is the strength of its religious convictions. The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teaching of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teaching would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

    32nd President / Franklin Roosevelt

    “We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity.”

    33rd President / Harry Truman

    “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul . . . If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!

    18th President / Ulysses S. Grant

    “Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties. Write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book are we indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”

    23rd President / Benjamin Harrison

    “If you take out of your statutes, your constitution, your family life all that is taken from the Sacred Book, what would there be left to bind society together?”

    40th president / Ronald Reagan

    “Inside the Bible pages lie all the answers to all of the problems man has ever known . . . It is my firm belief that the enduring values presented in its pages have a great meaning for each of us and for our nation. The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds, and refresh our souls.”

    In contrast, we notice the noise of new atheists. The New Atheists are authors of early twenty-first century books promoting atheism. These authors include Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens, as named by the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. These modern atheist writers advocate the view that “religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises,” according to Simon Hooper (The rise of the ‘New Atheists,’ November 9, 2006 CNN.Com).

    Hooper said the tone of these new atheists overtly confrontational rather than gently persuasive. In one of the interviews for CNN, Darwin is said to boast that atheists are like the gays; they only need to come out. When they do come out, the public can find that they are more numerous than believed. That is the kind of victory they see for themselves. But these pretentious intellectuals are no match to the great and intelligent men who shaped the USA as a nation!

    PSALMS 33:12

    Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD

    God bless America and the world!

    1. free thinker2 years ago

      your arguments went out the window once you started quoting scripture. I doubt you even read one page of the God Delusion. It’s sad really, atheists tend to be the smartest percentage of the population, while people like you reject science and quote lines written by old men.

      1. Desmond Wilson2 years ago

        His arguments went out the window from the very start, when he wrote this gem…..

        “The author, devoid of human decency and filled with satanic blasphemy, charged the God of the Old Testament to be “the most unpleasant character in all fiction!” This stupid and false accusation against someone whom he does not believe to exist can be considered the height of insanity and delusion!”

        First, he suggests that anyone who speaks out against religion is devoid of human decency. Then he criticizes Dawkins for criticizing a fictional character. As if he/she has never come across an unpleasant character in any fictional book, film, or TV show.

        I love when religious people act as if they have some sort of monopoly on human decency. And since he/she is so fond of quotes……

        “Religion infects us in our most basic integrity. It says that we can’t be moral, or good to one another, without totalitarian permission. It says we must be afraid. We must be forced to love someone who we fear. That’s the very essence of sadomachasism.”

        1. Jacob2 years ago

          Thanks for quoting Hitchens at the end, I loved that speech. “…The essence of abjection, the essence of the master-slave relationship.”

    2. Red2 years ago

      You seem a little upset. Care to tell us what’s on your mind? Other than a torrent of scripture, that is.

    3. Snowbrush2 years ago

      Dawkins sounds right to me.

    4. Kermit2 years ago

      Maybe you should read the old testament sometime

  154. Merne Asplund2 years ago

    These are flawed numbers, and its not surprising given the source. Do some reading on the actual study and see how the numbers are getting massaged. Basically all the “maybe’s/i dont knows” got lumped into “theism,” which (by definition) is false. If someone is agnostic, they are not automatically a theist.

    1. David2 years ago

      It’s possible to be an agnostic theist. The two terms are not mutually exclusive. Theism and Atheism deal with belief and disbelief. Gnosticism and Agnosticism deal with knowledge. I’m an agnostic atheist. I know several agnostic theists. I know one or two Gnostic Atheists. So, to summarize, theism-atheism=belief. Gnosticism-Agnosticism=knowledge.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Agnostic means you don’t know. Theist means you claim to know. That makes the terms mutually exclusive, unless you’re making up your own strange definitions and ignoring the actual definitions.

        You might call yourself an agnostic theist, you might know others who call themselves that too. I know people who call themselves vegetarians but eat meat and acknowledge it, and many other examples of people with great holes in what they say. That’s fine, you don’t have to make any sense, in fact, it seems fashionable to be nonsensical these days 🙂

  155. Nora3 years ago

    This just makes me want to do something about it. I want to take them into my arms and convince them God is GREAT!!!!!!!

    1. Waldenfrosch2 years ago

      And I’d like to just take you into my arms and convince you there’s no need for gods.

      1. Snowbrush.blogspot.com2 years ago

        Right on, Waldenfrosch

      2. kristi Douglas2 years ago

        wow that’s crazy… First there isn’t gods that’s a myth. there is only one God and one Jesus Christ and one Holy Spirit. If there was not gods as you said then please explain to me how are you and everyone else here today on this Earth.. an how is some of the people that had ebola better?? But supposedly there is no gods as you said.. then honest I feel you would be feeding that person lies. I know and a lot of people know that there is A GOD but not gods. Just saying I know my facts about religion and not trying to be rude but it doesn’t seem like you do because there is ONLY ONE GOD and that is God.

        1. Evan2 years ago

          That’s called Christianity; that is the name of your faith. Religion is not synonymous with Christianity, and you’re honestly one of the first people I’ve ever come across to think it is. I won’t even begin to express my own ideas to you on the matter, but even Christians know about other religions (other meaning, there’s more than just Christianity).

          Google Hinduism if you’ve never heard of polytheism (belief in multiple gods), that’s the one I can think of.

        2. Larry Flynt2 years ago

          All gods are equally well supported from evidence point of view. This includes the Abraham in variants.

          And no.as atheist I have no burden to tell you how everything came to bee.

          Irregardless of that actual facts and evidence has been used to complete for what is most part a well supported grand narrative e for where we come and how the universe has developed back to the plank time. Every time you switch on your car you validate that picture either you admit it or not.

          1. Philosopher2 years ago

            One question I have found all theists to avoid, if this universe cannot come into existence without a superior creator, how can the superior creator with infinite power came into existence? So, if the creator can create himself, why can’t the universe create itself too? And with our understanding of science and mathematics, we have a pretty good explanation of how the universe can come into existence from nothing, but we don’t have a single explanation how a creator can create himself.

            “At some point, something must have come from nothing.”
            ― Jostein Gaarder

          2. Philosopher2 years ago

            I have a pretty good scientific proof of the existence of god. A few steps of neuroscience can bring in a conclusion. The existence of prefrontal cortex or the frontal lobe gave an evolutionary advantage to the primates. It warned them of upcoming dangers and made them avoid taking risks, which was vital for the survival of our species. But this great advantage came with a price. Because of having the prefrontal cortex unlike most other animals, we developed the sense of fear. We became overly cautious about uncertainty and became fearful. Think of yourself going to a completely dark room, you are afraid, not because of a ghost or monster, but because of uncertainty. But uncertainty is an abstract term, too complicated for the brain to express. So the brain filled up the fear of uncertainty with ghosts and monsters, something that is easy to visualize. Now, as the human brain created fear, it needs something to save it from them. And the brain chose the best way to do it, is to create the opposite of fear, that is ‘belief’. Belief was necessary to keep away the fear of uncertainty. Again, belief is an abstruse term, human brain needed something more animate to visualize it. The collection of this belief system became god. The god created by us thinks just like us, desires like us, sometimes even eats and drinks like us. A better way of getting rid of the fear of uncertainty came into action much later, which is gaining appreciation only recently. Which is ‘knowledge’. Remember the example of entering the dark room? Now, what if you had knowledge of what is in the room, would you still be afraid? May be you know that there is something dangerous in that room, maybe there is a dangerous snake lying anywhere in the room which will bite you if you step into its tail. You know your danger, and you have taken the necessary precaution to prevent it, would you still be afraid? Hopefully not, or at least very little. So knowledge is the only way to actually mitigate fear.
            Now if you ask me if there is God, I would say there is, within the people who believes in it.

        3. Edward2 years ago

          We came to be because of the Big Bang, which is when a ton of matter condensed into a tiny area, resulting in an enormous explosion spreading across the void causing cells, planets, and stars to form. From which we proceeded to evolve from those cells over a course of billions of years. Read up on your facts before commenting

          1. William Burke2 years ago

            The God of the Old Testament asked Abraham to slay his first-born son; sent bears to dismember the children who taunted Elisha; slew the first-born and cattle of the Egyptians; drowned all the people and animals (those wicked animals!) of Earth; helped the Israelites slay all the Amalekites, Medianites and Heshbonites; had Samson bring down a temple, killing 3,000, incinerates 51 to prove he’s God, killed a man for refusing to impregnate his brother’s widow, and threatened to punish the Israelites by making them eat their own children…

            NAH, God’s really a swell, well-balanced fellow.

          2. k dub2 years ago

            Then if we evolved from apes why do apes still exist and why didn’t they evolve as we did seeing as they would have had none evolutionary to time evolve than the humans. Also when dealing with evolution, humans have devolved. Our eyesight became worse, we are weaker, we can’t instinctively swim, the only thing about humans that advanced was the brain. But why did only humans advance in the brain why have other species much older than us more advanced than us?

          3. Rav2 years ago

            “Then if we evolved from apes why do apes still exist”

            Dogs evolved from wolves and wolves still exist. Evolution isn’t a single line from start to finish. it is millions of parallel lines.

            Apes evolved from the same thing we did. What that was doesn’t exist anymore in the exact stage that we parted ways with the line that became apes.

            “Our eyesight became worse, we are weaker, we can’t instinctively swim, the only thing about humans that advanced was the brain. ”

            Our brains were all that we needed to be superior. We don’t need claws we invented weapons that kill at a distance with our brains. We don’t need thick skins we invented clothing and armor and vehicles. We don’t need to see to find food we farm and utilize animal husbandry. We don’t need acute hearing we have no natural predators.

            The evolution of our minds let these other attributes fade in non use. The things we need grow stronger, the things we don’t need grow weaker.

            “But why did only humans advance in the brain why have other species much older than us more advanced than us?”

            Likely we advanced mentally first in our cycle between extinction events. And due to our position in this cycle as the top of the food chain we naturally killed anything that was evolving parallel to us that threatened our dominance.

    2. Jim2 years ago

      Please don’t, I’m just fine

      1. Melissa2 years ago

        And so are we.

    3. kristi Douglas2 years ago

      to be honest i had lived with this foster sister that claimed she was athesis, my foster parent tried everything to get this girl to believe but that failed epicly. We went to church every sunday but still she had yet to believe. I felt terrible because I thought maybe there was something I could have done. This girl was really bad off, and anyways she would draw the upside down cross and flames and say like “Devil” or 666 and it scared me so bad. But yes it does make you want to take them in your arms and tell them that God is real and that the Devil is a lie.

      1. Pandabear2 years ago

        If God is real, the devil is real considering the story that satan was once an angel but turned bad so god made a hell and sent him there where he became ruler and all. But you know. ¨The Devil is a lie¨ but I am an athiest anaways so I am just trying to help you out fellow person.

        1. guest2 years ago

          God is real and the Devil is real. The Devil is not a lie but rather the father of lies…

    4. Conor Dufresne2 years ago


  156. Sue3 years ago

    How lovely and simple life would be if I could just let go and let god. If I could just turn all my troubles and woes over to a supernatural big daddy in the sky…. how lovely life would be. Unfortunately, ever since I was a young lass I’ve just never been able to buy into it. So I just white knuckle it and work my way through any obstacles. Still……..

    1. guest3 years ago


    2. ohandy13 years ago

      “Letting God…” doesn’t make it easier. Just worth it.

  157. redneck3 years ago

    i dont like this and i go to church

  158. Michael3 years ago

    About 85% of the people in the United States profess to be Christian. Christianity the largest of all religious groups and represents well over two billion people worldwide. Islam (1.5 billion), Hinduism (one billion) and Buddhism (500 million) with folk religions in China, Asia and Africa represent about another one billion combined. There are estimated over 38,000 different religious groups on the planet. The largest group, Christianity possesses hundreds of different denominations, sects and groupings. Well over 97% of the people on earth are spiritual in the sense that they are not agnostic, nor professed atheists. CIA fact book.

    “Whether or not there is a supreme personal intelligence, infinite and eternal, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, the Creator, upholder and ruler of the universe, imminent in and yet transcending all things, gracious and merciful, the Father and Redeemer of mankind is surely the profoundest problem that can agitate the human mind. Lying as it does at the foundation of all man’s religious beliefs — as to responsibility and duty, sin and salvation, immortality and future blessedness, as to the possibility of a revelation, of an incarnation, of a resurrection, as to the value of prayer, the credibility of miracle, the reality of providence, — with the reply given to it are bound up not alone the temporal and eternal happiness of the individual, but also the welfare and progress of the human race.” Thomas Whitelaw

    Of course, this is foolishness to the natural man…but to the Christian, this is the power of God, the Apostle Paul, 2000 years ago.

    1. fool naww2 years ago

      Of course you can’t be certain about Christianity being right among 4200 other religions regardless of the figures.So keeping it simple and short, your religion just has a minute change of being right among all those others.That is why i don’t attach myself with any religion,

  159. james hine3 years ago

    The problem for both atheists and theists is their trying to talk about something they can never know the answer to, making dogmatic assumptions about pseudo questions which is laughable. If you are an atheist who says as a matter of fact there is no god its worth re thinking your view. I myself feel there is no god and the scientific logical reasoner inside of me says there isnt but i know we can never know the answer so despite how i feel i know i musnt delve into such unanswerable things. And if you are religious i know from experience nothing will change your mind but i would like an answer to my criticism of your god for if he is both omnipotent and omniscient theres a basic paradox, he knows the future then he cant change it or if he did he wouldnt of known the future therefore he either isnt all knowing or all powerful

    1. Joseph3 years ago

      James, the idea that Atheists are dogmatic in lack of belief in God is a logical fallacy. It’s called the burden of proof fallacy.
      The burden of proof lies with someone who is making a claim, and is not upon anyone else to disprove. The inability, or disinclination, to disprove a claim does not render that claim valid, nor give it any credence whatsoever. However it is important to note that we can never be certain of anything, and so we must assign value to any claim based on the available evidence, and to dismiss something on the basis that it hasn’t been proven beyond all doubt is also fallacious reasoning.
      Although God cannot be disproven, there is no evidence to support the claim. Faith is based on disregarding facts, logic, and reality to preserve one’s pre-conceived beliefs. Where else in life do people use this same model for seeking truth?

      1. Jason3 years ago

        Yes, but when Atheists gather together, in a central location, to discuss their like-minded ideas, and discuss how they can advance their agendas… Well, I don’t know what you call that, but religious people call that church.

        1. Justin3 years ago

          A Club?

        2. jason bladzinski2 years ago

          So is the boy scouts a church? How about Congress and the Senate? Or workers unions? Or a book reading group? Campers and backpackers. Support groups? Do you see the flaw in your logic?

          1. Brock2 years ago

            All of those examples are groups who have an agenda or share a common purpose. The fact that a group of people have to join forces to express their non-belief puts them in the same category as people who go to Church. They associate themselves with like minded people who feel a particular way about the idea of a creator. I never saw a club for people who don’t believe in unicorns

        3. Cam2 years ago

          Ah, yes, the all powerful “Athiest Lobby/Club”, persecuting Christians since the beginning of time. Endlessly pushing their braining-washing tactics on the meek and disenfranchised.

          1. Mitch2 years ago

            like the Christians haven’t?, if i remember correctly, they murdered people who didn’t beleive

          2. kristi Douglas2 years ago

            This is so very true they think that there is no God but they say gods but for them to be athesis and believe there is no God wouln’t they first have to know that christians know that there is only ONE God… I mean that is where i get confused because they are like there is no gods I am like your right there is only God.. just saying I am 17 and have been raised in a bapist church my whole life and.. I was saved at 8 all the people that don’t believe because they don’t know I would be willing to help but the people that think they know and still don’t believe well i am sorry dude I am not the one you asnwer to when you die God is.

      2. Robert Graybill2 years ago

        Joseph, in order to establish that the burden of proof falls onto theism you must define on what the default position is. I assume you believe that the default position is atheism but I think it would just be a blank slate without any isms. And not to mention its childish, its like when someone says “you go first” and the other person says “no, you go first!” … “But I asked you first!”.

        People use that excuse to somehow claim that their belief is more valid because of the other persons belief being invalid. It doesn’t prove your belief whatsoever and is quite frankly an insult to those of us who actually think. Its like someone stealing valor, just repeating atheist mantras to help resecure your ” intellectual ” dominance over theists.

        Claiming that there is no god is just as impossible to prove as claiming that there is. Its not only just as impossible to prove its a deviant behavior in almost if not all cultures around the world which raises eyebrows on its own.

    2. jason bladzinski2 years ago

      A lot of this doesn’t make sense. For those atheists who say they believe in God or a universal spirit are bad atheists. Those ideas just aren’t compatible at all. Also, being an atheist doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in a god(s), it means that you reject theistic claims.

      1. Macie Doyle2 years ago

        Actually by definition is
        Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.

    3. Charles2 years ago

      Hello Joseph, I will share my belief in response to your question, “theres a basic paradox, he knows the future then he cant change it or if he did he wouldnt of known the future therefore he either isnt all knowing or all powerful “. Right up front there seems to be flaws in the premise you pose. 1. God is external of time. An all powerful God does not have a past or a future and is not limited by time. God is external of time but has the power to come onto the time line in and out as he sees fit and I believe he does know “our” future and he does guide the events in His soverignty. 2. I believe he created us in His image and he ordained that we have free will. We are to choose and I do not believe God is a rapist of the will and will not change our will forcibly. 3. In our future (His eternatl present) He will be Glorified, He will bring a final judgement on all those who have refused good and His love and his payment for thier wrong doing and Satan and death (the result of our wrong doing) and there will be paradise. He does guide our timeline we are stuck on but he will not forcibly change wills but He will ultimately judge in his righteousness those who are selfish and evil and who refuse His ways. He is Love and Light and only through submission can darkness comprehend the light. Enlightenment.

      1. Robecs2 years ago

        When you say all powerfull god, you create a paradox in itself wherein,

        Can an all powerful god create a stone that he is not capable of lifting?

        If so, he did not create the right stone which means he can not do everything, not all powerful.
        If not, he is not all powerful.
        Simple as that.

  160. Raphaël3 years ago

    LACK OF BELIEF IN A GOD OR GODS..so much for your 5 facts i reckon..

  161. Peter Evangelista3 years ago

    Atheism is born out of human honesty. He faces facts as they are. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Religion is born out of human deception to survive. He faces facts and add a bit too much more to his liking.

    1. jason3 years ago

      it’s out of fear. fear of there being nothing after this. humans get weird when they figure out their life has no meaning besides procreation.”We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.” ripHunter S. Thompson

      1. C.3 years ago

        There is only one thing to fear and that is fear itself. – paraphrasing FDR.

        Religion is nice and all, but people being compelled to be good out of fear of damnation (going to hell) or promise of reward (going to heaven) is not what should motivate you be that good person. Being or striving to be a good person should come from within and not because someone, something or some idea is pushing towards it. Ridding yourself of those archaic notions liberates you to define yourself with purpose, meaning and morality.

        I, as an agnostic, am still trying to find my purpose and meaning in thick of things, but that does not bring a void in my heart (as some devout person would profess due to my lack of belief). One day I may find that purpose and meaning, but that in itself is a journey and the adventure of life.

        I’ve also come to realize that there are no absolute morals, but only relative morals. I never had religion ingrained in my way of thinking because I began to doubt at the age 8 or 9 since the answer I sought couldn’t be answered by those who supposedly had those answers and the answers they provided were insufficient (at least to me). By age 12, when I knew the proper words decided that I was an atheist, but as life continued on, I began to realize that labeling myself was foolish because it also claims certainty without proof and thus shifted towards agnosticism when I was 20 while in college.

        Anyways, some of the “morals” that I came to live by are simply to be honest (when possible), do not kill (when possible) and treat others as you would like to be treated (like not being manipulated, lied to, being raped or being killed, etc). I add that *when possible* since, as I stated earlier, that there are no absolutes. Lying and killing are obviously wrong and would definitely bring guilt if committed, but it cannot always be avoided (self-preservation comes to mind or protecting your loved ones).

        In all, that’s my non-offensive take on religion and irreligion.

  162. Joseph Shine3 years ago

    Any one could claim to be a atheist. A real atheist, a non-believer, is not just some apathetic individual who doesn’t attend church and calls himself an atheist. A real atheist educated himself and has dismissed the Man-made hoax of all religions.

    1. Rett3 years ago

      Nice summation. Thanks.

    2. Tamera Lime (Wepite Nevkuq Gexov)3 years ago

      Exactly. We have 12-year-olds saying they don’t believe in God just because their parents got divorced or something.

      1. Jd2 years ago

        We also have children that become Islamic suicide bombers at age 12 because their parents told them that they follow the one true Religion. which one is worse.

      2. Thnkr9172 years ago

        Just because a person is 12 years old does not discount their beliefs. A person can change many times as they grow and redefine themselves and their beliefs. A 12 year old can have firm beliefs especially on the subject of atheism or religion. I know a lot of adults that feel they are atheist because their parents dies. Why can’t a 12 year old be atheist because their parents got divorced. Personally, I had some firm beliefs about my own values and morals as far back as age 5 that were different than either of my parents and that I have held my entire life.

      3. Josh2 years ago

        When I was 12 I was and still am atheist growing up in a family with happily married Jewish parents. I was and am atheist not because I was sad and said fuck it there is no God. I was an atheist cause I took a moment to think and reject the bullshit. I took a moment to thing for a myself and say that the religion shit don’t make sense.

  163. mark3 years ago

    Atheism is THE LACK OF BELIEF IN GODS . its that simple and direct . If you believe any different then your NOT a atheist …. agnostics have their heads in the sand and are nothing like a atheist . Atheism’s not a religion or a belief system . It’s a stand point on 1 simple question and nothing more …

    1. kbren3 years ago

      You would be absolutely correct. Thank you for making the point.

    2. Bob3 years ago

      Agnostics are Atheists, but afraid to admit it.

      1. C.3 years ago

        How can you be 100 percent certain on such a profound question. I don’t know the answer, you don’t know the answer and priests don’t the answer.

        So I can definitively say that I am 99.999…9 percent sure that there is no god(s), but never 100 percent. It’s as foolish as saying that you are 100 percent certain there is a god(s).

        You can say that the claimant is responsible for the burden of proof, but Schrödinger’s cat can be a b*tch.

      2. Merne Asplund2 years ago

        That is just plain false. Agnosticism deals with KNOWLEDGE, while Atheism deals with BELIEF. There are agnostic theists and agnostic atheists just the same (as well as gnostic varieties of theists and atheists).

        1. Macie Doyle2 years ago

          Nope agnostic-belief

    3. Jason Clark3 years ago

      They said “literal definition”. The French attached an “-iste” (believer) suffix to the ancient Greek word “Atheos” (no god or without god). Athe(os)-ist, literally, means someone who believes there are no gods or that we are without gods. That is still the most common definition. It was the most common definition, when Huxley came up with “Agnostic”, as well.

      “Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe.” ~ Thomas Huxley

      a person who believes that God does not exist


      a person who believes that God does not exist


      someone who believes that God does not exist


      a person who does not believe in God or gods


      one who believes that there is no God or gods.


    4. david chappy3 years ago

      agnostics have their heads in the sand? Why? Because they refuse to say with certainty there is no god? And be just as hypocritical as those he opposes who say for certain there is? An agnostic does not know…and THAT is as honest as any honest person can be. They can take the additional step and say they CHOOSE to not believe in a god, but this is in no way having ones head in the sand…although that comment is judgmental, just like the ones you oppose, making it hypocritical as well. IN other words, one cannot merely “take a stand on the question” without deciding to do so, meaning they have made a choice, meaning that that position is their BELIEF. If you cant understand that, its ok. I am a spiritual agnostic/atheist.

      1. John2 years ago

        No sane atheist can say for certain that there is no God. Gnostic atheists are a minority and generally stupid, because there is no way to prove or disprove an invisible, intangible, undetectable being. What he’s saying is that atheists and agnostics who generally don’t believe in a god are the same thing.
        Atheists: We don’t think there is a god, but don’t know fur sure
        Agnostics: we don’t know for sure, but the we don’t see proof of a god.
        it’s the same thing.

  164. Angus3 years ago

    Christians have it both ways, all the time. They don’t seem to understand the cognitive dissonance inherent in their own atheism. Unless they also believe in the existence of every other god, they are all atheists too.

    *No belief in any gods.* Those five words are the most accurate description of atheism. Merriam-Webster has got it wrong. Not every atheist is gnostic. I will freely change my mind if I am shown evidence; something I’ve never seen a Christian do. (I’d still never WORSHIP the tyrannical god of the bible, though).

    But to be fair, M-W also recently changed the meaning of the word “literally,” to now include a figurative meaning, so I think maybe they’re losing their marbles a bit. (In other news, we now no longer have a word in the English language that describes something LITERALLY happening.)

    1. BIG GOD3 years ago

      What proof do you want of the existence of GOD that would satisfy you? I know the answer already.

      1. Noah Richardson3 years ago

        A televised interview with a few godly demonstrations would suffice.

      2. Ishgebor2 years ago

        Who said ” I will only reveal myself to those who truly believe in me ” ?

        1. gary christner2 years ago

          man said that

      3. roy2 years ago

        I’m not sure, anything like a voice from the sky or a talking snake would cause me to assume I was insane. I joke about believing in Santa when he lands on my roof but I bet I would keep quite and not share with anyone that I lost my mind.

    2. Beef3 years ago

      What did the tyrant do to you? The God of the Bible is also loving and kind. He can make himself real to you if you ask him.

      1. Noah Richardson3 years ago

        Well he killed every person in the entire world because they didn’t kiss his ass hard enough, and he let the devil torment the hell out of Jobe, and he also disapproves of clothes of mixed fabrics, which is enough for me to not like someone.

        1. kristi Douglas2 years ago

          Well if you knew the facts about the story where God let satan do that you would completly understand God told satan that no matter what he did to him Job that he would firmly still believe.. i HATE when people think they knwo the Bible and can’t even get one fact straight hey if your going to be judgmental over the Bible how about go read it before you do.. Because if you knew the story you would know that is name was ‘JOB’ Not JOBE.. Just saying

  165. Kailey Karls3 years ago

    If they think there’s a God or universal spirit, they aren’t atheists. Plain and simple.

    1. Maxine Oishi3 years ago

      I agree, can’t have it both ways…it’s called hypocrisy.

    2. Alex3 years ago

      Atheism is literally the lack of theism (the a meaning non). An atheist has no RELIGIOUS affiliation. This does not mean they must deny the existence of a higher being(s). There is a huge difference between belief and acknowledgement of a possibility.

      1. Navin Johnson3 years ago

        Actually, theism is not related to religion. Theism is related to the existence of god. Merriam-Webster defines theism: the belief that God exists or that many gods exist. There are even religions, like Buddhism, where most of them do not believe in a god or deity. So, religions are not solely based on a belief in a god.
        So, I concur that atheists should not say they believe in a god. But, many people do not really understand the term. Many think is is just ant-Crhistian or anti- Bible or anti Judeo-Christian God.

      2. sandra3 years ago

        In my view there are two meanings to ‘believe in God’ 1. believe in his existence 2. believe in him.

  166. Char3 years ago

    No matter how much we study or think about things, we have finite minds that cannot go beyond the collective information we have gleaned during our lifetimes. Belief in a God that one cannot see if a comfort to human beings so they can get on with their lives. It certainly comforts me to believe in a God I cannot see even though having been raised as a Christian, I am constantly horrified by the dastardly deeds done in the name of God. So, are there two Gods? A lovely, kind, loving, God, or the God of the Old Testament. I will take my imaginary loving God, be happy with that, and get on with living. And, as the song goes, “We’ll Understand It All By And By.”

    1. Big GOD3 years ago

      Oh yeah those atheists Stalin, Mao, and Castro never did anything wrong, did they? How many churches, schools and hospitals did atheists establish? How many countries based on freedom, opportunity and liberty did atheists establish? (crickets) The 1amendment is an attack ON degenerate atheism

      1. Mitch2 years ago

        noticing a trend, when ever a christian does something wrong people rise up and say “that person was not a christian” Hitler was a christian, he believed in God as well. but no Christians are quick to dismiss this as a lie because “No christian does anything wrong ever” even though they killed thousands of people during the dark ages, killed random innocent people during the black plague because they believed if they killed the sinners god would make the plague go away. had people killed out of fear during the time of the witch hunts. anyone can join but no one takes responsibility for anything

        America was not built by Christians but free thinkers who did believe that Christianity is a perversion to the world

      2. One2 years ago

        Uh… There is the borgia pope, the past belief that if you didn’t believe in a diety therefore you are a heretic and shall be burned there is also holy wars the persecutuon of those in LGBT, the belief that of divine rule and tyanny, the misinformation of the masses and a complete disregard for all other relgions. Hell based on Christianity, Islam worships the devil but Islam believes in the same god as the jews and christians…

      3. RockPunch2 years ago

        Religious people already lied about Hitler being an atheist, you think everyone is gonna buy that? Mao, Stalin, Castro, none of which were atheists.

        Stalin wasn’t an athetist:
        “As Stalin noted in 1952: “Jesus Christ also suffered, and even carried his cross, and then he rose up to heaven. You, then, have to suffer too, in order to rise up to heaven””
        Source: Political Thought of Joseph Stalin: A Study in Twentieth Century Revolutionary Patriotism By Erik van Ree

        In the Document “The ‘Purge’ of the Libraries” Stalin ordered the withdrawal of “all anti-religious literature, exposing religion on the basis of natural science data”
        Source: The Stalin Era By Philip Boobbyer

        Funny how atheists get blamed for Stalin when he gets so much religious support, even to this day:

        There is only one fake quote which is used to prove that Stalin was an atheist, however:
        “we need not believe one later Soviet claim that he read The Origin of Species at the age of thirteen while still at Gori, and told a fellow pupil that it proved the nonexistence of God. The story fails on several obvious accounts, including Stalin’s remaining religious, even pious, for some years longer.”
        Stalin: Breaker of Nations by Robert Conquest, page 20

        Castro wasn’t an atheist either:
        “And yet the letters suggest that Castro was a man of unusual spiritual depth — and a fervent believer in God. Addressing the father of a fallen comrade, he writes: ” I will not speak of him as if he were absent, he has not been and he will never be. These are not mere words of consolation. Only those of us who feel it truly and permanently in the depths of our souls can comprehend this. Physical life is ephemeral, it passes inexorably. . . . This truth should be taught to every human being — that the immortal values of the spirit are above physical life. What sense does life have without these values? What then is it to live? Those who understand this and generously sacrifice their physical life for the sake of good and justice — how can they die? God is the supreme idea of goodness and justice.” ”

        Mao wasn’t an atheist either
        “The late Chairman Mao Zedong said when he received delegations from Peru in 1964 that “it is wrong to tell people to be against religion.””

        Yeah, real atheistic. Is that why in 1956 he created the Chinese Taoist Association? Some atheist all right!

        Usually the only quote people give that Mao was atheist comes from the Dalai Lama, he claims Mao said “religion is poison”, however:
        “Mao told the tibetan leader that religion was poison. Mao’s remark cannot be found anywhere in relevant publications in China. When recalling this incident on different occasions, the Dalai Lama has offered several versions of his reaction on the spot”
        Source: Recast All under Heaven: Revolution, War, Diplomacy, and Frontier China in the 20th century by Xiaoyuan Liu

        It’s slaughable that atheism is getting blamed when he is getting worshipped as a literal god in Chinese religion:
        “tourists have come to Shaoshan to learn more about Mao. Some still idolize him. As one elderly man explained, “I worship Mao as a god. He didn’t just found our nation. He established our system of morality.”
        Tourists who go to Shaoshan each year may pray before his statue and buy “protection cards” that are said to bear Mao’s spirit and to assume safety while traveling. In other parts of the nation, “Mao is revered…in much the same way as the Virgin Mary is viewed by many Christians as a guardian and protector,” according to a report in the Taipei(Taiwan) Times. “Drivers dangle his picture in their cars, people make incense offerings to his statue in their homes.”
        …Chinese make the pilgrimage to Shaoshan each year because they view Mao Zedong as a god”
        Source: Mao Zedong’s China by Kathlyn Gay page 122

        The Baker Pocket Guide to World Religions by Gerald R.McDermott
        “Mao Zedong…seems to have believed privately in a realm beyond the grave….The thoughts expressed are reminiscent of a religious Daoist cosmos”

  167. David3 years ago

    So only 1 in 50 Americans don’t believe in god ? That’s truly scary. You guys are the most advanced country on the planet. How do you hold such opposing beliefs? The very definition of cognitive dissonance.

    1. Jason3 years ago

      It is rather shocking. In my country it’s 1 in 4 and rapidly growing (60% from 2001 to 20011), and in my particular part of the country it’s nearly 1 in 2.

    2. Kailey Karls3 years ago

      Eh. You can’t pick what country you’re born into… sadly… I’m kind of ashamed to be a part of such a naive country, honestly you guys, there is no mythical sky man that’s going to send you to a mythical fire pit to burn for eternity. I was 5 years old when i figured it out and the gullibility of some people is laughable

      1. Alex3 years ago

        I’m an American in the exact same position! Being an atheist in America truly sucks.

        1. Mitch2 years ago

          your still in good shape Alex, at least now they can’t kill us outright for not believing like they use to

        2. Ashley2 years ago

          One of the reason I moved to Europe.

  168. larry sloan3 years ago

    I know for a fat (my fact) there is a GOD, I see him everyday, I also have a relationship with him. I converse with him, me thoughts, he sends me revelations.

    1. Max3 years ago

      What does he look like?

    2. Alex3 years ago

      Conversing with a being that others cannot see, hear, or feel typically means it’s time to see a psychiatrist.

    3. Dontae3 years ago

      why would a god allow ebola to kill his people

    4. Zach3 years ago

      The reason you had to say (my fact) is because it is an opinion, not a fact. Your opinion is that there is a God. That does not make it true, as hard as you believe it. If I believed with all my heart that the Easter Bunny really exists spreading candy filled plastic eggs across the world, would that make that true? Not at all.

    5. Mike Larson3 years ago

      To quote Daniel Patrick Moynihan “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

  169. Chinaza3 years ago

    I am an a gnostic atheist and from experience the disease we have in this world is religion and people who practice religion, otherwise known as theist. Most theist are cutthroats, greedy, selfish, homophobic and conceited humans… Not to mention how fanatic some have become. Science and rational reasoning should be the basis for judgement, decision taking and how we live. Anything beyond our experience should be cast off and each individual on this planet earth is a free man and we should exercise our freedom fully without any bias or restrictions for if we put restrictions on our lives we ain’t truly free.

    1. Ash3 years ago

      So you’ve generalized all those who believe in a God or higher power as being greedy, selfish, cutthroat, etc? That’s quite an irrational statement not grounded in science. Also, science is your basis for judgment? That’s interesting considering the prevalence of contradictions in science and research results. That would mean your decisions are anything but consistent or accurate if you stay true to “science”. If everyone should be able to exercise their freedom without restriction, you’re opening up each and every person to being victims of various crimes. If a man has a desire for murder, he should be able to freely express this desire without bias or restrictions? Your rationale for life and how to live it are extremely dangerous and full of contradictions. I’m sure if you were in the right mind you’d be able to see that yourself… Sad.

      1. Michael Dobson3 years ago

        “So you’ve generalized all those who believe in a God or higher power as being greedy, selfish, cutthroat, etc? That’s quite an irrational statement not grounded in science.”

        I agree. This is his “opinion” (and a pretty general and all-encompassing one that paints everything and everybody with a broad brush.)

        But it is not “science.”

        “Also, science is your basis for judgment?”

        No. Rational thinking and moral judgements are my basis for judgement. Are they not yours?

        “That’s interesting considering the prevalence of contradictions in science and research results.”

        Right back at’cha. Read your Bible lately?

        And science is a consensus based upon available facts that are observable, demonstrable, falsifiable and repeatable.

        These things do change as more information becomes available to science.

        Science does not claim to know everything (we leave that to the religions of the world), but instead construct models that conform to the available facts that we have at hand at the time.

        “That would mean your decisions are anything but consistent or accurate if you stay true to “science”. ”

        Again, I know of no one who uses science to base moral judgements or reasoning skills upon.

        ” If everyone should be able to exercise their freedom without restriction, you’re opening up each and every person to being victims of various crimes. ”

        Actually, that happens today, all over the planet, which is why we have prisons filled with such people (and even heads of governments “exercising their freedoms without restraint. – North Korea is a good example, so are many of the Middle Eastern countries who exercise rule of law via their “interpretation” of the Koran, etc.)

        “f a man has a desire for murder, he should be able to freely express this desire without bias or restrictions?”

        Well, no. Although the Christian God certainly looked at it this way. He murdered and pillaged throughout the Christian holy book.

        However, secular governments have made laws against things like murder, because they go against the good of the people.

        We here in America have done so based upon our Consitiution (as have other countries.)

        In fact, murder was frowned upon for generations by the peoples of the Earth long, long before the monotheistic religions came along (Judaism, Christianity and Islam.)

        “Your rationale for life and how to live it are extremely dangerous and full of contradictions.”

        Who is painitng with a broad brush of generalizations and assumptions now?

        “I’m sure if you were in the right mind you’d be able to see that yourself… Sad.”

        “In my right mind…” You mean if I believed in your god, correct? Why YOUR god? Why not one of the other 3000 or so gods currently worshiped by the inhabitants of this planet? Why not NO god?

        Surely, you dismiss every other god, in lieu of your belief in your god. I do much the same. You do not believe in roughly 2999 of the 3000 or so gods of modern times.

        I just do not believe in one more…

        Oh, and by the way. I am very happy, thanks.

      2. Nicholas Lopez3 years ago

        Wow ash that was good I don’t need science to convince me that everything is absolute. I know in my heart and soul God as I choose to call him removed my desire to drink and drug and it was not me that did this I could not stop I prayed for the desire to be removed I know I did not do it and it has been 28-1/2 years yes bad things happen wars crimes etc. We are sinners do atheist sin and do they regret sinning do they ask for forgiveness. God is almighty.

    2. Mark Whitman3 years ago

      Belief in a god or an entity like god is a form of addiction and a mental illness. We are all born atheists and the majority become indoctrinated with their parents’ belief system. BUT just as we discover Santa Cause and the Easter bunny do not exist so it SHOULD go with any supernatural belief system. THINK PEOPLE and study cosmology, science and all other factual methods of truth rather than clinging to wishful thinking philosophies!

      1. Just3 years ago

        Actually we are all born agnostics with a tendency to believe in supernatural.
        If someone lived his life withour hearing of religions or science or anything, he would most likely develop his own beliefs (this might be how the first religions came to be in the first place).

      2. Kailey Karls3 years ago

        We are star stuff!!

    3. Tylerdastone3 years ago

      100% agree! Religion is a tool to control people. You can say a complete lie and say god bless at the end of your sentence an you’ve just acquired thousands of followers lol. Not to mention the hole idea if “faith” is insane. I mean a “normal” person or a person with enough education understands that if you can’t experience something with your five sences then you have no evidence of its existence. But faith suggest that you should believe in it anyways. But isn’t that why we send people to instutiobs? Because they believe in things that aren’t there (things that they can’t sence with any if there five sences). I say five because now religion claims that there is a sixth sence because they always find a way around science by changing the rules totally contradicting the basis of their religion. Fml.

    4. Matt3 years ago

      The militant claims you make about Christianity are hardly statements that would be made by an “agnostic” atheist. These greedy cutthroat people you have mentioned must be misinterpreting what the Christian faith is all about. The 2nd most important rule of Christianity is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. My entire family and I believe in this standard of morality and live life wishing nothing but fortune for everyone, even if their atheist. Not only wishing but also actively helping those in need. I would never have anything bad to say about anyone’s faith. Whether we share the same beliefs or not, you are still human, as am I and for that I respect your POV and wish the best for you. Any Christian who doesn’t wish the same is missing the whole point of Christianity.

      1. JosephS3 years ago

        Matt, do you support gay marriage? If you don’t, you aren’t “respecting” homosexual rights. If you do, you are the exception of most Christians. Christianity has great talking points, but most followers don’t adhere to it most of the time. This is based on real world observations. As Ghandi once said, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians”.

      2. Kailey Karls3 years ago

        You don’t need religion to have moral. It’s called being a decent human being.

        1. lorry3 years ago

          you have common sense. you do not need religion beliefs to do the right thing.

        2. Eduard Doron Flores1 year ago

          I am quite puzzled when people say we are atheist when we are born. Atheism is a rejection of a notion of a supreme being thus from the definition itself and from the argument of atheists (that the notion of a supreme being is indoctrinated by our parents etc.) the concept must first be taught or learned or before rejecting it and thus not inherent or from birth. A feral child for example will never be an atheist unless people found him, learned their language, indoctrinated about a supreme being and rejecting it later.

    5. cs17253 years ago

      It’s impossible to be agnostic and an atheist simultaneously. Your almost there. Get informed.

      1. Carla3 years ago

        Yes it is, they are two separate terms. Most people I know that are non-believers identify as agnostic atheists. We don’t know if any gods exists because the evidence is lacking, so we don’t believe in gods. Gnostic = of, or relating to knowledge. Theism = belief in gods. The “a” preceding those words indicates “non” or “without”

  170. Daniel Martinez3 years ago

    I love god

    1. Ted3 years ago

      I love Santa Claus.

      1. Kailey Karls3 years ago

        I love the Easter Bunny.

        1. Mark Burns1 year ago

          I’m preferable to the Great Ju-Ju at the bottom of the sea, myself, just because of the obscurity and Dawkinsian reference.

  171. Jim3 years ago

    historically, science & technology didn’t grow or evolved well because they were controlled by religious orders

    some, if not many scientists then were called “heretics”

    the truth of the matter, scientists don’t want all answers be pointed out to God, else God will be the ultimate answer to all of their scientific quests for answers and explanations about our world, our universe

    otherwise, science will die a natural death

    that became the start of the notion that most scientists were/are atheist

    and why many, esp. male youths, are becoming atheist today

    i just have some burning questions about atheism/atheist

    1) shud an atheist marry an atheist exclusively? or are they allowed to marry someone other than atheist or having a religion?

    2) are there so called atheist-converts? were they converted becoz they fear/scared of God, religious laws, hell, punishment, tribulation, etc.?

    3) is atheism an “escape/excuse” from following religious rituals, activities, evangelism, etc.?

    4) many youths became atheist because they were more addicted to their passion on scientific exploration, technological advancements, internet, music, etc. but not interested in religion or spirituality at all?

    5) many Christians claim that atheism is a “work of a devil”. That the devil has lured many young people away from God, to never believe or have faith in God. And that the devil has destroyed the only communication line between Man & God. do you believe in this Christian notion?

    1. Just3 years ago

      As a matter of fact, while religion halted science in the 16th century, earlier it was religion that supported scientists and monks held knowledge and so on

  172. LAWRENCE3 years ago

    I am an atheist, and believe that neither the supernatural nor the paranormal exists. Over time there has never been one scintilla of verifiable rational proof of the existence of such. People of faith demand not proof, and to try and prove the existence of either the supernatural or paranormal, cheapens that faith. I have seen consistent logic errors and circular reasoning by many trying to prove the existence of their myth of choice. It is rather nice living in a country where people may believe whatever they wish, I only hope that those with “personal beliefs” keep them personal.

  173. ceolwynn3 years ago

    how weird that they would misrepresent
    something so easily verified… I just looked
    at Merriam Webster’s page at…
    and their definition for atheism is…
    “a disbelief there is a deity”….

    so one definition says “belief”
    the other says “disbelief”…

  174. Mac3 years ago

    Actually you need to learn the difference, Tess. Atheist/Theism refers to the proposition of belief, while Agnostic/Nostic regards knowledge. It is perfectly plausible to be an Agnostic Atheist. One who does not believe in a god, and claims not to know of an existence thereof. Or a Nostic Atheist who does not believe in a god and claims to “know” there is no god. Same for Theist positions. It’s a common misconception of these propositions.

  175. Tess3 years ago

    I believe someone needs to learn the term “agnostic.” You are not an atheist if you believe in some kind of higher power- you’re an agnostic. Atheism is an understanding that there is no proof of a higher power. Big difference.

    1. Ctruth3 years ago

      Its pretty much the same to GOD. People who are agnostic remain that way because they don’t want practice all the things thst faith requires, but want to believe in something b”just in case”

      1. Thnkr9172 years ago

        Although some people who claim to be agnostic might, deep down, be disillusioned believers in a god of one religion or another who avoid severing that final tie out of the fear of “what if”, there are many, like myself, who absolutely don’t believe in the god of any of the organized religions of the world (no “just in case” about it).
        I don’t fall into the category of Atheist because I do believe in something that is a source of existence, but it really couldn’t be referred to as a “god”, more like an “energy”. I am agnostic because I agree with the agnostic idea that something like a god could not be proved by humans since there is no point of reference. You would have to be far past the limitations of physicality to prove something as vast as a god or the lack thereof. I do not believe in any “god” that exists outside of the “energy” I suggested which might make me an atheist, but since I believe in this energy source, I may be said by some to believe in a form of a “god” although I dislike the term and it’s close minded connotation. The energy I believe in may or may not be able to be proved, so it brings me back to agnostic for a term. I think that agnostic is the most scientific view. You cannot set out to prove anything if your view is already set in one direction or another. You must be open to other possibilities in order to prove a thing logically, be it to yourself or for science.

    2. Cameron3 years ago

      Tess, actually agnosticism is the philosophical standpoint that you not only don’t know the truth, but that there is no way to ultimately know about the nature of God or gods. And for instance you can be an agnostic atheist, where you don’t think there’s a god but are of the persuasion you can’t ultimately know, or you can be a gnostic atheist where you know without a doubt there are no gods.

    3. David3 years ago

      You can be an atheist and an agnostic. Nearly all atheists are agnostic, but not all agnostics are atheist. Agnosticism speaks to knowledge and atheism speaks to belief. I don’t believe in God but I can’t KNOW if a God exists. The same way no one else can know if there is a teapot orbiting Saturn.

      1. David3 years ago

        But that is not to say nearly all atheists identify as agnostic, but ask almost any atheist if they know there is a god or not. Most will say no, they do not KNOW. Therefor they fit agnosticism

    4. Charles McAdams3 years ago

      Agnostic do not necessarily believe in any god or spiritual being. Their answers to , “Is there a God” if they are truly an agnostic is “I don’t know.”

      1. Jason3 years ago

        Or perhaps more accurately they’d say “I don’t know, but evidence tells me there’s a very high probability god doesn’t exist.”

    5. Hunter Whitaker3 years ago

      There is no such thing as purely agnostic. Th term “Agnostic”, modifies one’s belief. You are either an Agnostic Theist or an Agnostic Atheist

  176. Ryan Fishel3 years ago

    This article isn’t about giving a textbook definition for Atheism. It’s a cultural observation. It’s what people who claim the title are currently saying.

  177. Sasha3 years ago

    I will never trust a pew survey again. “14% of those who call themselves atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit.”?????????? Then they are NOT atheists. DUH report truth, not your bias.

    1. Sean3 years ago

      You missed the point.. They know it’s contradictory as you would know if you read the first half of that sentence. They mean these are people who CALL themselves atheists while still having spiritual beliefs, interesting in the idea that there are that many people who don’t even understand what they’re calling themselves. Nothing is untruthful or bias here…

    2. Jer – bo3 years ago

      Im not sure you understand what a poll is

  178. Peter3 years ago

    Atheists DO NOT believe that “there is no god”, we “do not believe that there is a god”. There is a difference.

    1. ceolwynn3 years ago

      they have to word it their way,,, so they can claim that they don’t have enough
      faith to be an atheist…

  179. Reggie3 years ago

    What is the average age at the time of death of an atheist ? Do atheist live longer experience a better quality of life .. Have a internal guide that gets then through the unanswered questions of the universe ? When they pass or the end of life do many of them have an enlightening experience ? Do they believe in the supernatural ? Do they have” fox hole ” religious experiences ? Have atheist had near death experiences and come back to share ?

    1. scott3 years ago

      I’m from a predominately atheist family. Average life expectancy has been high, especially going back a few generations. Many have owned thier own business, relatively successful. Father, Grandfathers and uncle’s have seen real combat, grandfather awarded silver star in ww2. No foxhole experiences. No history of drug abuse or depression. No criminal records.

      We are not afraid to say “i dont know” to unanswered questions in the universe. We sometimes belive in the supernatural as unknown scientific issues, like lightning and evil sea monster’s used to be.

      We hide as Chatholics and sometimes go to church. We have studied various religions rigorously.

      Moral compass, very high, was brought up with strict rules.
      I personaly give to charity’s often.

      Family saying ” never been swindled by an Atheist, but watch out for theists”.
      Of couse thats a numbers game, but no less true.

  180. Guido3 years ago

    I thought only here in Argentina, people talked trash about these things. I’ve read the article and many comments (many of them pretending to be scientists who became religious, others giving opinions of what THEY think is atheism and not what real atheists think about, like ‘athiests say that they’re not a religion when they are’) and none of both make any sense at all. This is such a pitty…

  181. joe3 years ago

    athiests say that thier not a reliogon when they are.

    1. Guido3 years ago

      Such a silly thing to say.. The definition of atheism is not following any god or book believed to be sacred by someone. That’s why we are NOT a religion. But after this stupid article, you can find anything

    2. Keith3 years ago

      Its not a religion ….its simple I dont believe in gods …atheist is a title attached to our lack of belief in your gods ….no worship no prayers.. no god

  182. Leonidas3 years ago

    30,000 nerds?? 95% of 30,000 is not 30,000. There’s more then 1.2 billion “”B” believers”. Majority does not mean right. Given the average IQ of people out there, it would be way more reasonable to assume that the majority is wrong when it comes to questions that actually require some critical thinking skills.

    1. okaaaaay3 years ago

      being an atheist is like saying there is a painting that has no painter.

      1. Will3 years ago

        thats kinda a bad example. in the real world there is an acual reson of why there may possably not be a god while with the example u used has to have a painter or their isnt a picture at all

        1. Thnkr9172 years ago

          It’s actually a good point but the person uses it to draw more unrelated conclusions. There has to be a source of existence or there is no existence and yet here we are. The problem is the huge leap some make between a “source of existence” and “god”.

  183. Andrianopoulos3 years ago

    The Greek flag includes a religious symbol of only one out of the many Greek religious [or secular] beliefs.
    In Greece by law religion is a characteristic of the individual, [an issue of personal manner]
    and should be respected [as personal]. The entanglement of one of the Greek people’s religious [or secular beliefs]
    via a symbol included/depicted in the national flag’s design,
    contradicts the greek law that protects religion [or other beliefs of that genre] as a personal characteristic of
    the individual. The usage of that symbol [Orthodox Christian cross] on a national permanent symbol of everyday and global
    usage, violates at the most extreme possible manner the personal character of religious/non religious belief.
    It is also a conscious policy, openly admitted by the Greek Government, that Human Rights in Greece have lower
    legal validity than “tradition”, even if that claim is not included in the Greek Constitution and law explicitly.
    This policy tergiversates against the spirit of the Greek law by governmental and judicial manipulation/exploitation
    of archaic, unjust, out of date, provisional failure legal and Constitutional contradictions.
    Legal and Constitutional contradictions also legal provisional failure are not legitimate excuses for Human Rights infringement
    or other violations against people that are forced by the Greek Government to be perceived as cultural minority.
    The law is supposed to protect all citizens. If a national law or a Constitutional paragraph generates
    contradiction, by international law defended under the European Court of Human Rights, the Constitution or the Laws of
    that country should adopt via reformation the most humain variant/option.
    A general claim used as an excuse for religious infringement by the Greek Government is that
    “Christians did shed their blood in order we are now free”
    [it is also the main Islamic State ideology even if other religion is cited].
    Bloodshed is though neither a Greek nor a E.C. of H.R. recognized excuse to legalize Human Rights violations.
    Also the Greek Government implicitly claims that the bloodline of the Orthodox Christians is of higher political might and
    cultural genre than the bloodline of Non-Orthodox people, [even of atheists, agnostics, neo-paganists that recently departed
    from ancestral beliefs]. Some fanatic Orthodox Greeks claim that the Orthodox cross is only an artistic or archaic [Pre-Christian]
    either modern mathematical depiction, and not a religious symbol. This claim is totally discarded by the Greek law,
    because the well documented intention of an action defines the causality. As Greeks we shall respect the existing
    historic flag and the existing historic Constitution
    [by the way both Greek Flag and Greek Constitution have been revised many times in the past].
    Respect of national history in not an excuse for not allowing a legal system evolve by complying to the Human Rights
    standards of a modern society. Greek history is not an legitimate excuse to violate the
    individual character of personal beliefs.
    Historic awareness allows us to evolve. Germany should have remained Nazi with that Greek Governmental standards.
    Tradition of a part of a population is not a higher value than general
    respect of the human rights of all citizens and nationals of a country. Even if all Greeks were Orthodox Christians, still
    religion is a personal characteristic, but we are not all Orthodox in Greece! Also the largest majority of Non-Orthodox Greeks,
    do not accept their non-inclusion on the Greek flag, therefore we never accepted to be violated, and that violation of
    personal belief is a violation supported by many Greek Orthodox people against Non-Orthodox Greeks. It is a violation without
    consent. A clear violation. The contradictial parts of the Greek Law and Constitution do not render that violation
    milder, that’s why we absolutely demand the humain and fair legal shield of the European Court of Human Rights.
    Personal beliefs is not an issue that the majority should enforce, neither have they any legal right to do against others.
    The flag depiction is of permanent, global and highest status usage, also the Greek flag [usually only the Orthodox part]
    is included in other heraldic crests [like the Greek police crest/ensign] therefore as a symbol itself
    prescribes authority. It legalizes mentaly and physically actions against Non-Orthodox people [crimes against life,
    crimes against other people, guilt as final court decision].
    The Greek Government does not order that crimes, but the Greek flag cultivates explicitly to a large part of the Greek public
    the notion that Orthodoxy is a higher value than Human Rights.
    The European Court of Human Rights should include in the investigation criminal actions and publications that claim Orthodox superiority and Orthodox Supremacism among all variant Greek peoples cultures and personal beliefs.
    [a Greek was convicted by the Greek court for not respecting the deceased Orthodox Supremacist neonazi Elder Paisios
    who speaks with racial hate against other populations and beliefs, also Paisios speaks with hate against life
    and cites fairness of right to kill human beings for political [Paisios was an anti-communist], religious or national beliefs.
    It is legal in Greece to type his Orthodox-neo-nazi theories]
    /I personally respect neo-nazi Paisios as a human being, but not his beliefs.
    I could accept him as a non-neonazi if he didn’t support human loss as a means of ideologic prevalence/
    I respect the freedom of speech if not direct human loss is supported by the author.
    The publications are not to be convicted as actions [except from those legitimizing slaughter for ideological reasons],
    but a proof that this official/governmental violation has a huge anti-human right impact on the Greek public,
    and according to final court decisions this behavior has an impact either on direct human loss, either on slashing beatings and
    permanent injuries, either on mental injuries – all as final court decisions.

  184. Travis Rush3 years ago

    “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass, God is waiting for you.”

    That’s Werner Heisenberg,and if you’ve never heard of him, suffice to say, he’s famous for getting into arguments with Einstein . . . and winning.

    1. Jer – bo3 years ago

      A glass of life science will surely set someone wondering how people think God doesnt exist.

  185. Dave C.3 years ago

    To Bill the honest humanist: You are obviously forgetting about literary and theatrical devices. The professor in the God is Not Dead movie is not a straw man. He is a symbol. He represents atheism that dominates almost every university in America and Western Europe. Also, you are either ignorant of the very latest scientific information that is causing many atheistic academicians to reject their atheism and accept a Deistic God that created the universe and participates in the infinitely complex information transmitted by and through the DNA in biological cells. It is best to either admit your ignorance of this latest scientific information or admit that you are reluctant “follow the information where it leads.” I suggest you check out the book, THE SPECIFIC DENSITY OF SCIENTISTS, And Their Secret Fears.

    1. Jamie Agena3 years ago

      Clearly you have never taken a philosophy course or even a religious studies course at a college. To find an openly atheist professor at any distinguished college is rare and as a law no teacher can push their religion, or lack of, on their students. Pulling a stunt like the one in that ridiculous movie would get anyone fired and sued on the spot, regardless of if they’re pushing atheism or a deity.

      Also, you clearly have never met an atheist in real life. We do not think God is dead. He was never real to begin with.

      And as the movie progresses, we come to see that this professor wasn’t even truly an atheist as he was just angry at God. Not an atheist. We’re not angry with your God because he’s not real. That’d be like putting my imaginary friend Timmy in time out because he broke my favorite toy. Insane.

      So no, this guy is not a symbol of atheism. He’s every ridiculous interpretation that Christians have of an atheist. Not a single atheist in this movie is an accurate portrayal of atheism. Atheists are not immoral people that ignore your God just so they can sin. They are not angry with your God. They simply do not believe in you God or any Gods.

      That movie is so obviously a Christian propaganda stunt that it’s sickening. Because it’s totally realistic that Christians are perfect little saints being picked on by big bad atheists and all other religions, like the Muslim father, are cruel and vile. It’s also realistic that one nerdy guy could convert his entire class into Christians. Sorry, but educated people don’t fall in line with the masses. They often don’t fall for that mob mentality that this movie and so many religions feed off of. Nice try, though.

    2. Guido3 years ago

      Jamie I agree with you. Clearly this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
      I study science and I’m an atheist and, Dave C., believe me, most of the people (not all, however) who do serious science, are atheists.

  186. Scientist3 years ago

    I did not believe in God until I was 22. I even made fun of what the Bible said. I even mocked those who did believe in God. But then something started to change in me over a period of less than a week. It was nothing anyone said. No one told me about God or tried to convince me to believe in God. It was not about logic. As a scientifically minded person who has always demanded proof by way of experiment, I must confess it was totally illogical to suddenly start to believe in something that I could not prove to anyone. (BTW my field of work involves electromagnetic fields and their applications mostly for medical purposes. Both applied physics and theoretical.)

    But I could not help but believe in God for some reason. The FAITH (i.e. not logic) was put in me to believe. Again, by the effort of any man in any way did this come to me. As a man of science that must be based on repeatable experiment and logic I know the only way that you can ever come to believe in God is if God Himself gives you the FAITH (not logic) to believe.

    Both sides in this debate need to understand that clear fact. Again, You cannot believe in God unless God gives the FAITH to believe in the first place. Those who believe in God need to understand this point most of all. Stop casting your pearls where you are not supposed to. All it will get you is attacked. I will no doubt be attacked for even writing this . But I felt it was important to write it here.

    Then those who do not believe in God need to understand very clearly that those of us who believe in God do not have any proof that you will accept. You have not been given the FAITH to believe. The Bible you rail against clearly says this. But you will only accept proof in the format that you will accept. We do NOT have that proof for you.

    Science and faith are somewhat opposites, but are not incompatible. If you only want to know things based on just part of what is known by man then, good luck in your journey. I wish you no ill will.

    If all men would behave as Jesus instructed His followers to do there would be no war. No hunger, no murder, no rape. no crime. Just because some who claim to follow Christ do not follow His instructions, does not make His instructions evil or false. What has given Christ a bad name in many cases is those who falsely represent Him and even Christ warned that such things would come to be. He knew many would falsely represent Him. Some of them even stand in the pulpit on Sunday or preach to you on TV. I believe most of the big names in the Christian world are in this false teacher group. They have left their first love, if they ever had it.

    Peace to all, both believers and unbelievers.

    1. Real Scientists3 years ago

      How do you reconcile the fact that you have no proof of a god, but yet claim to be a scientist?

      That is the the anti-thesis of being a scientists or like-minded; one cannot accept an idea unless it has passed the rigors and scrutiny of evidence.

      I don’t mean to come of condescending, but how you be mindful of the amazing relationship between electricity and magnetism and yet still find it prudent to have faith in a god?

      Peace to you, as well.

      1. Christian3 years ago

        Can you prove that there is no God?

        1. truth3 years ago

          Burden of proof mate, If someone claims god is real it’s on them to prove it, after all, you cannot prove the flying spaghetti monster isn’t real.

        2. Keith3 years ago

          Lack of evidence is enough proof… you dont prove that something is not real you show the evidence to say here is tangible evidence..and more than a quote from a fictional character in the bible..

      2. Philosopher2 years ago

        As I have seen, the base of religion is belief, and belief is the other side of fear. Because of the evolution of the prefrontal cortex in the human brain, we have become over cautios about uncertainities, which causes us fear. Fear was an important tool for our survival, so it passed the evolution and became a permanent part of the intelligent ape. Now while there is fear, there has to be something to mitigate it. And there was no better tool than belief. I think your sudden change of belief has something to do with fear too. Change of career, death of a loved one, anything like that.

    2. Christian3 years ago

      As a scientist, I too believe. It’s not only the faith but the LOGIC of science that points me to God. many scientific processes actually point to there being a creator.

      1. Jamie Agena3 years ago

        And where is your proof that there is a God? Where’s your concrete, scientifically sound evidence that points itself to there being a higher power? Don’t you want to come forward and claim your Nobel Prize and reward money?

        1. ME3 years ago

          Where is your proof that there isn’t a GOD? Where’s your concrete, scientifically sound evidence that points that there is NO higher power? It goes both ways. Its all about having faith! With whatever you believe in. However, Just like there are history books from people that have written about our past that goes decades and decades ago. There are people that have written about God that goes back long ago. You will never be right. Nor would we who believes in God will ever be right. Its all what you believe in. All in all, someday you will come to see and realize there is a God and Jesus Christ. Have a Blessed Day!

          1. vinsin3 years ago

            Because I dont know who created god.

          2. Helpful Hazz3 years ago

            Have you ever heard of something called the burden of proof? It means that the task of providing evidence rests on the one(s) who presents the claim. If you are going to claim that there is a god, then you need to provide evidence, as you are making a positive claim. No evidence is required to lack belief in an unsubstantiated beliefs such as yours.

            This is exemplified by an argument known as Russell’s Teapot. In order to illustrate the concept of the burden of proof, Bertrand Russell made the claim that, somewhere between Earth and Mars, a teapot is in orbit around the Sun. You might say that such an idea is ridiculous. But here’s a question for you: can you prove that the teapot doesn’t exist? Because, according to your reasoning, if you cannot disprove the teapot, then it should be considered real. It doesn’t make sense, does it?

            And, just for the fun of it, here’s a follow-up question: where is your proof that Wotan does not exist? How about Zeus? Or Shiva? Or Amaterasu? Can you disprove them? Because if you cannot, then why, according to your reasoning, should you, or anyone else, not believe in them?

            That’s why the burden of proof for your god rests on YOU. Not us, just you.

    3. Max Bauer3 years ago

      Wow that was a great comment Scientist!

    4. Jer – bo3 years ago

      Great post Scientist. As a genetics major and exploring deep inside what makes us and keeps us alive, even beyond the magnetic properties that hold us together, its truly amazing the complexity of our coding. Genetics started out as a way to prove there is no God, but further observation of how complex and perfect DNA is, i don’t think it will be long before those older skeptics retire and young scientific minds who can read past what evolutionists call “proof” will we finally reach our goal in true analysis. Coming to the conclusion that sometimes there is no scientific explanation for the origin of the materials used in our experiments shows that its very educational, fun, productive, helpful, but hardly disproves the existence of a higher power.

  187. Matt3 years ago

    I’m always amazed that in the modern world religion is still a thing. Of course there is no God. Why does that point need defending? A magical spirit that creates universes, makes people out of dust, and consigns evil doers to a magical fire realm to be tortured by monsters?

    Of course that isn’t true. If your religion differs from the details above, but still includes magical and supernatural things, then rest assured that one is not true either.

    As an atheist, I’m astounded that my lack of faith puts me in the minority. I see religion as a negative in society, as it divides us, gives a rationale for war, terrorism and genocide, and empowers way too many nut-jobs into thinking they are doing “god’s will.”

    There is no God. It’s just war, murder, and doing a nut-jobs will.

    There is no evidence for any god, any religion, any sort of magical thing whatsoever. If you want to understand how the universe works, it isn’t as easy as showing up for church once a week. You have to do the hard, demanding work of math and science, and the answers may not be ones that make you more comfortable. That’s reality for you, it doesn’t really care what you would like to believe. It’s just the truth.

    Will we ever move past mysticism as a society? I can only hope.

  188. Ky Grown Man3 years ago

    I dont see anything logical in your argument. That you project that God capitalized represents a Judao/Christian God is what you are projecting. Did you read the question that was asked to the participants? Hindu, Buddhism, and other American non-mainstream religions were offered as options. Also a spirit was also an option of identifying with your deity, definitely not assuming a Judao/Christian God….here is what i thought was interesting. The majority of those identifying with atheism are younger males and also educated. Now you can cite older culture as being less open and religious oppressive as being the reason for a significantly higher percentage of believers. I cite that the older one gets, the wiser they generally get. That is why they believe. Also, i cite that higher intelligence/education grouped with male youth produces a formula for rebellion, for wanting to prove the old fogies wrong and validate ones own superiority, hence the break from time tested wisdom of countless generation of our fathers. I am intelligent myself and know how badly i wanted to be right and establish that i knew better but the older and wiser i get, the more i come to realize that there is a reason this knowledge was passed down…it is Ultimate Truth!!!

  189. Jack Hitch3 years ago

    I could nit pick each point but I only feel like doing one of them.

    Let’s take #3 “Although the literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who believes that God does not exist,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary,”

    As an atheist, I ask the writer of this article: Which god are you speaking of? To believe “God does not exist” implies the Jewish/Christian God, and that somehow atheist only reject that god. Quite an Euro- American view. There have been countless gods and goddess throughout known history. To say the definition of atheism is the rejection of “God” misses the point. Atheists reject ALL gods, not just your “God”.

    And guess what! Michael Lipka COMPLETELY left out what Merriam-Webester says the definition of atheism is. Per Merriam and I QUOTE : “One who believes that there is no deity”. The writer obviously cherry picked a definition of atheist that he thought represented HIS predetermined view on atheism. Total lack of journalist integrity. Which is quite typical of the America media.


    1. the guy3 years ago

      good for you!!good for you!!

    2. Drew3 years ago

      Semantics. An atheist believes there is certainly not a god. Doesn’t matter what you call it, god is most commonly used and therefore most relatable term to the majority of the target audience. This isn’t a flawed point, you’re just being nitpicky. You knew precisely what was meant.

    3. tilly2 years ago

      um. he’s not a journalist. this isn’t the media.

      hint: the god question was tailored to specific individuals based on their answer to affiliation. If you’d said Hindu, you probably would have been asked if you think Shiva or Gamesh exists. If you are like most identifying as Hindu, you would have answered, no you do not believe those gods exist.

      hope someone helped you find your way back to yahoo! comments.

  190. Ohio Atheist3 years ago

    It should be noted that these are not facts. They are survey results, which are not facts.

  191. rebecca french3 years ago

    Gods not dead watch the movie!

    1. Ohio Atheist3 years ago


      1. Anonymous3 years ago

        He’s joking. It’s a horribly offensive movie.

    2. Bill the Honest Humanist3 years ago

      I did. It makes Americans even stupider, not a single point made in it is logically sound, and the professor is a dishonest ‘straw man’. Whoever wrote his character, has never actually talked to a philosophy professor, nor do they understand atheism in the slightest.

      1. Dave C.3 years ago

        To Bill the honest humanist: You are obviously forgetting about literary and theatrical devices. The professor in the God is Not Dead movie is not a straw man. He is a symbol. He represents atheism that dominates almost every university in America and Western Europe. Also, you are either ignorant of the very latest scientific information that is causing many atheistic academicians to reject their atheism and accept a Deistic God that created the universe and participates in the infinitely complex information transmitted by and through the DNA in biological cells. It is best to either admit your ignorance of this latest scientific information or admit that you are reluctant “follow the information where it leads.” I suggest you check out the book, THE SPECIFIC DENSITY OF SCIENTISTS, And Their Secret Fears.

  192. some13 years ago

    I think the whole confusion is definition. Atheism is the idea of “there is no god(s). If someone is an atheist, they don’t believe in god(s). “Atheists” can change their view. If someday god is proven to exist. They can then be a theist if they believe in a god(s). But atheism can never change.

    1. some13 years ago

      Forgot to add, science and atheism are two different things. One can be an atheist and not believe in science at all.

    2. KnowledgeDropper3 years ago

      Atheist means “anti-theist” – or more clearly that a person does not believe any religion to be true. It is more common for people who fit this definition to call themselves agnostic, but that is more about society’s (lack of) acceptance of atheists than it is about actual definition. It is quite possible for people to believe in some ‘higher power’ or ‘universal spirit’ and still correctly identify as atheist.

      The actual belief that there is no god(s) is technically adeist, or anti-deist. Naturally, the people who fall under this heading are also atheist, and more commonly identify this way.

      Not to be nitpicky – but as a recent study showed that atheists are viewed about as trustworthy as rapists, it is good to use these correctly to try and lift that ridiculous stigma.

      Source: Christopher Hitchens

      1. Ohio Atheist3 years ago

        I don’t know if your entire comment is a Hitchens quote, but I’m going to have to disagree on a number of things.

        1. Atheism does not mean anti-theist. Atheism, etymologically, means “without gods,” or more colloquially, a lack of belied in gods. Anti-theism means “against theism.” You can lack belief in gods and not be against theism. “A” means “without.” “Anti” means “against.” Not the same thing.

        2. Agnostic is not a middle term of indifference between atheism and theism. It is the response to a completely different question. Theism is about belief. Atheism is without belief. Gnosticism is with knowledge. Agnosticism is without knowledge. I am an agnostic atheist, because I lack belief in any gods, and I do not claim knowledge of that belief. I don’t believe that a god exists, but I do not know that one does not exist. You can be –

        Agnostic atheist (no belief, no knowledge claim)
        Gnostic atheist (no belief, knowledge claim)
        Agnostic theist (belief, no knowledge claim)
        Gnostic theist (belief, knowledge claim)

        3. Lack of belief in a god can be atheism or a-deism, depending on whether you’re talking about a personal god (theism – the religious type), or a creator god that has no influence on the world we live in (deism – irreligious).

        1. lynda3 years ago

          The words we use are important. Thanks for the clarity!

      2. thesilvershields3 years ago

        Actually “Anti-theist” means someone who is specifically AGAINST the idea of a god or religion, whereas an “Atheist” is simply someone who does not BELIEVE in a god. There is no distinction between ‘atheist’ and ‘adeist’ (Deist comes from Latin ‘deus’–god; Theist comes from Greek ‘theos’–god). They are separate concepts. People also confuse “Atheist” and “Agnostic.” There is actually a scale of atheism that has been developed, depending upon how ‘atheist’ one is; most people who claim ‘atheist’ really identify themselves as ‘agnostic,’ they just don’t feel like explaining what that is. People who hear ‘atheist’ usually run away rather than grill a person, whereas if you say you don’t know (agnostic) someone will try to convince you.

    3. Judy Weismonger3 years ago

      95% of the 30,000 PhD scientists who are members of the National Academy of Science state they are ATheists.

      Where was THAT in your opinion piece?

      How about quote some famous ATheists who have impacted all of modern society: Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Mark Zuckerburg, and Warren Buffet.

    4. Greg Mech3 years ago

      This misses the entire point of what it means to be faithful. Obviously if God was “proven to exist” then obviously everyone would believe in God. End of story. Being faithful means accepting and believing in God without any “proof.” Sure anyone is free to either accept or reject God.

      Atheist think they are superior to everyone else asking God to reveal Himself exclusively to them before atheists will “believe. ” What atheist are really saying is they will only believe a God that reveals Himself. Only in concrete, literal, scientific facts. Hard numbers if you will.

      My friends, if God were to reveal himself and prove His existence then there would be no need to be faithful. The spaghetti monster or Santa Clause don’t have the historical background that Jesus has.

      At the end of the day everyone wants God to reveal Himself; however, atheists simply refuse to believe without seeing proof first.

      1. Justin3 years ago

        No, we atheists believe it is more important to build hospitals and perform scientific research to discover the answers to the universe, than sitting around building churches and waiting for your god to reveal himself. It’s called “being a rational human being” when you don’t believe something without seeing proof. It’s called “logic” and the “scientific method”. Since Christianity was so focused on snuffing out logic, reason and science, sending Europe into the Dark Ages for over 1000 years, I prefer the rational, hard, concrete method.

        Why didn’t your god answer his supposed “chosen people” when they were being herded into the gas chambers at Auschwitz? Where was your god when slaves were being dragged onto ships? How many children have been scared stiff in the night, scared that a cruel sky god will make them suffer for eternity for not following his commands?

        Your god is a vain, vengeful monster. he (he doesn’t deserve capitalization) punished our entire species for wishing to act on our own whims rather than be his slaves. I choose to be free from him, to be free from religion.

        Stay in the Dark Ages if you like. We rational people will continue advancing further towards the light.

        1. BC5003 years ago

          Where do you think Hospitals came from? Check out the names for Hospitals and note that many have christian based names. What about Saint Sampson the Hospitable? He built some of the earliest hospitals in the Roman Empire. Who does the most to assist the poor and down trodden in our society? It is faith based organizations!

          I am sorry that some who have called themselves believers have hurt you or those you know. Don’t blame God for that. God allows each of us the freedom to follow Him or be imprisoned and blind to the reality of His love and grace.

        2. a3 years ago

          christians started the first hospital

          1. Justin Chandler3 years ago

            First of all, the first hospitals were built in Ancient Egypt, and the first hospital systems were found in the Pre-Christian Roman Republic/Empire.

            And second of all, that’s not the point. You focus on a completely inconsequential point of my argument. There is no evidence for god, absolutely none, and every time he SHOULD have arrived and shown himself he hasn’t, that was the point of
            my original argument.

      2. Matt3 years ago

        Knowing there is no evidence for something and still believing it is often called “faith.” I prefer to think of it as “foolishness.”

        There is no God. Prove it or it’s fake.

      3. Jamie Agena3 years ago

        Seriously? Other than the Bible, where is there historical evidence for Jesus?

      4. Ted3 years ago

        Doesn’t the fact that satan and the other fallen angels had absolute 100% knowledge of god, and we’re still able to reject god, falsify your claim that knowledge of god would remove humans ability to choose, or reject, god?

  193. Spread the Pansy3 years ago

    Just to remind you that “atheism” only points out the absence of theism in an individual.
    It is a misconception to say that they believe he doesn’t exist. “a-” points out the absence of such, which is why it is perfectly possible to have no stance over theism and be an atheist.
    And when I say “theism”, I mean it in the broad sense; as in a belief in a god (whether it is a certain type of vodka with a certain percentage of ethanol and certain ritualistic steps to summon such, a pandeistic one, a panentheistic one, a deistic one, a theistic one – we would refer to a believer in such as a theist, in the specific sense -, a pantheistic one, et cetera… Whether the belief would be polytheistic, henotheistic, kathenotheistic or perhaps monotheistic.)

    Hard atheism or gnostic atheism is what you meant rather (well, the Merriam-Webster dictionary).
    Weak atheism is any other views that are atheistic still.
    Exempli gratia agnosticism (and all its categories), ignosticism, freethought, some schools in buddhism, agnostic atheism (ok, found 2 definitions for this one, the first is agnosticism, since it is atheistic; the other is the reverse of agnostic theism rather. As you see here, “atheism” is used in your definition, which would a rather specific definition, which isn’t used among most atheists nowadays to my knowledge. This could occur in a scientific mind, something impossible by nature, id est magic and so on, doesn’t exist until ANY kind of proof to consider even a little has been shown), some types of transtheism would fit here too (though such are only defined in a blog to my knowledge, they reflect views of many and I would like it to be defined more largely), scientific skepticism, existential nihilism and so on.

    In the scientific world, some will say themselves spiritual and so on, as Einstein refered to reality as God in a poetic sense, sure it’s rather an atheistic view if you think about it; but the awe and all… “The poetry of reality” as Dawkin said, rather spiritual 🙂
    And yes, there is alot of room for spirituality for people who aren’t theists, take absurdism for a great example 🙂 And buddhism, taoism, et cetera.

    Post Scriptum
    omnipotence+omniscience is not really a good combo when you give that to an ignostic, so that is a pretty big cause for that stance. Agnosticism and so on are, to what I’ve seen, triggered by more of reason, of “toxic environments” in religious households or scientific convictions.
    Which sums it up aha

    *Reply personally or not by mail if you didn’t accept this comment; clearly explain why. Thank you :)*

    Hope this clarifies!
    Much love and peace be upon your day <3

  194. SeeUh3 years ago

    Just mere youth whims!
    Revolutionist and hippie movements have once been in vogue, and now they’re fading away, to leave room for others.
    Once, in a recent past, being or claiming to be atheist was in vogue. Nowadays, proliferating religious discourses, makes you a believer and a staunch defender of the religion you embody, and ready to die for it. Maybe in a few decades to come, we’ll be facing some completely different types of claim that would be, themselves, in vogues.

    1. Oliver Jon Cross3 years ago

      The mere youth are the ones that have grown up in a vast database of free information also known as “The Internets”.

      We no longer have to believe in stories told in old books. I recently checked Google for the age of the earth which turns out to be 4.54 billion years. It was quite a drast claim to that of the bible. A mere ten thousand years. I then continued my search on Youtube for humans that could walk on water, part seas, come back to life etc. I was quickly greeted by a concession of thumbs down and “fake” comments.

      All sarcasm aside; the youth seek the truth and will continue to do so.

      1. Kay3 years ago

        The age of the Earth isn’t reported in the bible. The earth has been there even before God created the first human pair. The more than 6,000 years is the age of human.

        1. KnowledgeDropper3 years ago

          No. It’s not.

          The beautiful thing about facts are that they are true regardless of whether or not you believe in them.

        2. Ohio Atheist3 years ago

          I don’t think most creationists see it that way. According to genesis, God created man on the 6th day. Biblical historians than use the lineage in the Bible up the Jesus, then add 2,000 years or so to get to today.

          Some creationists will argue that Biblical days are really more like thousands or millions of years, but it still doesn’t change the fact that humans have been around for far more than 6,000 years. We know Biblical claims to be scientifically false.

          1. BC5003 years ago

            There are, “…more than 25,000 (A) archeological discoveries within the region known as the “Bible Lands” that have confirmed the truthfulness of the Bible…”, specific hard physical items, scientific evidence, that the Bible writers told the truth.

            freerepublic.com/focus/f-religio… alwaysbeready.com/index.php?opti…

  195. Us3 years ago

    Many things regarding God, religious beliefs and positions, I’d say even reaching out to phenomenon that no doubt have occurred but can’t exactly be understood no reenacted (not the parting of the Red Sea, FYI) is argued about with such furocity (is that a word?) that people are losing sight of anything of importance. Seeing ghosts, communication through means not involving the five senses, feeling the touch of an angel during a near death experience, so on and so forth. Who knows what the reality of all these things and more are and frankly who cares. Why does it matter so much that we start fighting amongst ourselves and treat people like they’re lesser or stupid. I don’t know who or what God is, how everything works, any of that to prove that anyone is right or wrong. I came to God by accident because I was so disabled at the moment all I could do was speak. So I prayed and screamed and did everything. I can’t describe nor explain what followed that moment but I’m convinced someone is there and they do care. But going back to people that were taught God was real and bible school etc (for a good 20 years I argued god didn’t exist) it’s not something worth getting hostile over. Throughout history people have fought over these things, many lives have been taken from these conflicts and it’s so very counterproductive to any cause beyond population control. And while minor bickering on this website may seem incomparable, it’s really not. I don’t care who believes what. Do your thing. Have fun. God cares about what’s in your heart. The law has a huge emphasis on proving the intent to commit. And if someone “wrongs” me and is able to apologize for it then everything is golden. There is no purpose in religion, society, evolution, philosophy, anywhere that truly wants us to be divided and malicious towards each other…

  196. Litesp33d3 years ago

    Although the literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who believes that God does not exist,”

    What an awful definition. It takes the presupposition that God exists but and atheist is in denial about that. Whereas the reality is that an atheist can see no evidence that supports the proposition that gods exist and until such evidence arrives it is sensible and rational not to believe gods do exist.

    1. Ohio Atheist3 years ago

      Agreed. And etymologically, the prefix “a” means “without.” Without belief in gods and knowledge claims that god does not exist are two very different things.

  197. Ron Wall3 years ago

    One of the problems is that religious people simply do not understand atheists or what it means to be an atheist. This seems apparent if there are really people who say they are atheists but believe in God or “universal spirit,” whatever that is supposed to mean. You are an atheist only if you do not believe in gods or universal spirits. If you say that you do not know if there are such things, then you are by definition an agnostic, not an atheist. Atheists are not different that other Americans. They can hold a wide variety of opinions on every subject you can immagine. There are atheists who believe in ESP and ghosts. They belong to every political movement in the country. Because of this simple fact, and the fact that Pew included those who claim to be atheists but still believe in some sort of creator or universal spirit, tells me that the poll takers were not too careful about definitions when they surveyed their respondents. The fact that we atheists are a discriminated minority simply means that we will we probably be the last civil rights issue in America. Some Christians claim that no atheist has ever been elected to Congress. While that may be true, I would wager that there have been. But knowing that it would be political suicide to admit it, they remained in the closet. Not unusual in a society of theists who go so far to say that atheists should be killed (based on Biblical law) and those who would as a minimum ostracize us. The U.S. is one of the most religious developed nations in the world. Islamic fundamentalists have no monopoly on bigoted and violent believers.

  198. Christian3 years ago

    The way I see it nobody would even know the concept of a god or spirit if they hadn’t been informed of the idea. It makes sense that the bulk of Americans believe in a god considering the “fact of its existence” is really the first sort of fact you’re told. The understanding of the scientific method isn’t presented until much later in life, and isn’t fully understood, if ever, until much later.
    I would wager my own life that if a population were isolated from such ideas and children were instead taught how the scientific community operates and all the things they’ve learned that they would see no need for a higher being. Indeed if one of the children raised in this hypothetical scenario were told that the majority of people believe there is a man in the skies that controls everything I believe they would be dumbfounded that such a belief could be so ingrained in a society as advanced as ours.

    1. Atheism3 years ago

      Thank you for such a witty and intelligent remark

    2. Irene3 years ago

      While I agree that kids brought up without the notion of God would find it preposterous, I don’t believe they would find it unnecessary. Keep in mind that children brought up in an entirely atheist community would be so fed up with deceit by their fellow children brought up as atheists that they might see the need to invent a God in the sky to watch everyone and make sure everyone behaved themselves, stayed married and supported their offspring, didn’t steal things, didn’t cheat on exams, etc. After all, this has already happened once. Why do you think religion was invented in the first place? Also, who do you think are the religious atheists this article speaks of? My wager is those are the atheist parents who bring their kids to a Christian or other type of church, hoping that the concept of “God” will fill in the blanks for all of the ethical reasoning that children, and many adults, could never fully grasp without a God.

      1. God3 years ago

        Man, I sure do love the ‘religion teaches morality’ while ‘atheists breed immorality’ statements.

        If you are only doing the right thing and not doing horrible acts against your fellow man because you fear backlash from your imaginary friend, you, by definition, are a paranoid schizophrenic and you need to see a professional right away because you are moments away from becoming the Son of Sam.

        Doing the right/moral thing is common sense. You don’t need a god or higher power to know that.

        How many serial killers can you come up with that were atheists? How many religious? Nearly all have been religious. In fact, Jeffrey Dahmer converted (odd word for that) to atheism AFTER he was caught claiming “the devil” made him do it. However, claiming “the devil” made him do it is not atheism nor satanism, it’s christianity. Ah, all those moral god fearing serial killers.

        Oh, how about pedo priests? Atheists? Nope, moral god fearing pedophiles.

        Wait, every married couple that’s religious is still together? Man those statics are so wrong!

        I guess all those kids with deadbeat dads are atheists, according to to the author. However, I’m willing to bet 9 out of 10 are religious. Maybe they’re just atheist when it comes to taking care of their children.

        Nobody, not a single person who believes in god, has ever cheated on a test. EVER.

        I’m so sick of atheists declaring war on other people for their beliefs and trying to kill them for being different.

        Listen, I know I’m being sarcastic. I’m just being as jerk because I’m sick of people with their blinders on pointing their finger at atheists for all the immorality and wrong doings in the world, when it’s quite clear it’s the opposite.

        God is a fairytale told to children to make them fear. End of story. “Do this or else!” “Do this and you’ll go to hell!” “If you do this, you’ll get into heaven….don’t do it and you’ll suffer for all eternity!”

        If I had children, I’d teach them about loving their fellow man, and not with fear or retribution. You see, teaching morality comes from the parents, not from fearing God. Teaching your child fear makes you the monster in their closet.

      2. Tom3 years ago

        @Irene – say what? Are you saying atheists are immoral, stealing, lying, cheating bastards (literal meaning of the word here)? I kind-of take offense to that, if that’s what you mean to imply 🙂

        Atheists are – as a general rule – very moral people. Morals are not born of religion – they exist in spite of religion.

      3. Tess3 years ago

        You need to find some atheist or agnostic friends before you make any more woefully uninformed and insulting comments about people you know nothing about.

        And to answer your question, religion was invented because humans became aware of their mortality and needed to comfort themselves about what happens when we die.

      4. Ohio Atheist3 years ago

        What makes you think that children brought up in an atheistic community would be fed up with deceit? Where is this deceit coming from?

    3. James Palen3 years ago

      There’s a problem I see with your view. People are still as dumbfounded today about certain physical properties as they were when discussions about God first came to be. That’s why the discussions came about in the first place, because there are certain things in the universe we just can’t explain. This still hold true. My brother is an agnostic with a very intelligent, mathematical and physics-based mind (he’s spent his 33 years studying biochemistry and physics), and has a theory that, for instance, we’ll never know what makes up the so-called “dark matter,” just as there are other things he theorizes we’ll never know. You could stick people in an isolated environment with nothing but the science of today, and there will still be unanswered questions, thereby leading to their own inquiries about a higher power that built all of this amazing universe but that we’re never able to figure out fully. You don’t need to be told from a young age of a concept of God. Life itself — its mysteries and its inexplicable tendencies are the reason people believe in God, not something that someone was told when he/she was a child. And that would still be the case in your isolation theory. There would still be unexplained things, which would still lead them to question.

    4. Litesp33d3 years ago

      Take a trip to almost any country in Western Europe and you will find, with some exceptions, that is the case but being non-religious is strong especially in the Czech Republic, most Scandinavian countries especially Norway and England.

  199. bret3 years ago

    Science is fascinating for what is does, great medecines, and technological improvements. However don’t kid yourself it is nothing to base ones lack of faith on. Science is based on as many assumptions as any fairytale atheist’s refer to when speaking about scripture. First of all science assumes the external world is real and it assumes the laws of physics are constant accross time and space. Wow those are gigantic assumptions but great assumptions that Einstein and Hawking were happy to point out. Hawking will not refer to science as showing us reality only model dependent reality. If science is taken to its natural conclusion one carbon based life form extinguishing another carbon based life form on an obscure planet in the milkyway is no big deal. However us Christians call it murder. Atheists do not beleive things outside the material world. In other words hope and love are not real because you cannot measure them. In fact atheists would dismiss ideas and concepts as unimportant ramblings from a nerve center in the brain of an earth mammal. Wow, and Americans have not elected a single one of these geniuses to our current congress to represent us, what a shock.

    1. Atheism3 years ago

      In response to your comment Bret…Love and hope can both be measured they’re hormones. Just because we are smart enough to realize that there’s no mythological mysterious presence that forgives us of evil demons in our soul does not mean that you can insult us and say things that are not true about what we (don’t) believe. The Bible is a STORY that has been stretched and fabricated over 2000 YEARS! We also haven’t elected any Atheists into congress because America is full of fascists who try to suppress anyone who thinks differently than what they want, because they think what they believe is superior even though it’s inferior. America was founded on religious tolerance even though if your not Christian you’re persecuted… THAT’S a shock.

      1. Facepalm3 years ago

        If you’d like to provide me with the specific unit of measurement for either love or hope, I’m listening. I’m completely unaware of their existence – not that I am dismissive. I just find that a rather large claim, but perhaps I’m just ignorant.

        Based on what I know, fMRI evidence suggests that consciously changing your thought patterns changes your neurochemistry and can even change the physical structure of your brain (a phenomenon called “neuroplasticity.”) This means, in terms of the brain, thought trumps physicality. So, by all means, correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears scientifically evidenced that consciousness – whatever that is – is technically more powerful than the physical brain.

        I hate the very condescending tendency of atheists to over-estimate their own intelligence. It is a big reason I wouldn’t vote for the average atheist, experientially speaking.

        1. Leonidas3 years ago

          There is no unit for love. When someone is feeling attraction to someone those hormones can be observed. There is no love unit, we can just observe the reaction

    2. rationalist3 years ago

      This is a gross mischaracterization of atheist beliefs, and as such is no more than a strawman argument. For instance, model-dependent reality is a highly controversial position that is philosophically based, *not* scientifically based, and to call it such reflects the writer’s ignorance. In addition, you’d be hard-pressed to find a serious atheist who believes that ideas and concepts are unimportant; indeed, it is ideas and concepts that fuel science and any other human endeavor ever undertaken. I would advise that the writer of the above comment take some time to do research into the things he/she is criticizing next time before criticizing them.

      1. Facepalm3 years ago

        Science *is* philosophically based.

    3. Irene3 years ago

      Einstein was also happy to point out that the Big Bang theory was “atrocious physics”, that the universe “has always been a steady state” and “is not expanding”. Hawking appears to disagree with Einstein about that, instead siding with the Catholic priest who first theorized about the Big Bang, whom Einstein and the rest of the scientific community at that time was insulting.

      Also, the reason atheists don’t become President, etc. is because a democracy naturally elects the most popular person, who is somebody that will meet the interests of the most common person in that society. Democracy has even been criticized by another famous atheist, Adolf Hitler, for the fact that the most common person is not necessarily the smartest person or the kindest person, but rather just somebody whom most people can relate to. For any democracy to elect a member of a minority group to power requires a great deal of external pressure in favor of that minority group, which also actually negates the true purpose of a democracy. For instance, when most Americans voted for Obama, twice, it was partially because he made several promises that sounded better than what McCain or Romney offered, which would actually benefit the majority of the American people, since most Americans are not corporate CEOs. Whether Obama has kept those promises, or attempted to, is a matter of opinion. However, it also didn’t hurt that there was a great deal of social pressure at the time to elevate black people to positions of power, even if it meant whites might permanently lose power, such as the resulting changing racial demographics of this nation. Obama favors gay marriage and his church pastor was, if anything, not at all the kind most Americans would listen to or approve of, yet they still voted him into office. However, this is, and should be, the exception in a true democracy, not the norm. Natural democratic results don’t represent fascism by the majority, but simple self interest. Democracy was initially designed to meet the interests of the majority of the people through their votes. An atheist representative would never put policies in place that fulfilled the desires of the majority of people in a religious nation. This is also why Americans also have minority protections to prevent minorities from being trampled.

      1. William Noonan3 years ago

        Another famous atheist? Hitler was a Catholic. The red scare movement by the religious right hooked atheism and communism together. Back to who’s lying

        1. Facepalm3 years ago

          Atheism was fundamental to Marxist philosophy.

          Hitler wasn’t a Catholic, nor was he an atheist. Hitler studied many strange and “occult” topics, noteworthy amongst them being the “Hollow Earth.” He attempted on a few occasions to get Aleister Crowley to take him on as a student, but even the self-proclaimed great beast rejected him.

    4. P3 years ago

      I am in fact an atheist. But yeah, love and hope can be measured. They, like all emotions, are physiological phenomenon that scientists are getting closer to learning how they work or what they really are. Hell, a the feeling you get when around your lover is just an excess release of dopamine in your brain. As I see it, at least science has helped the world (for the exception of advanced weaponry) while religion and money cause more conflicts than any scientific theory or hypothesis ever will.

  200. -L3 years ago

    yes its called a conscience

  201. Caleb Fox3 years ago

    “Although the literal definition of “atheist” is “a person who believes that God does not exist,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, 14% of those who call themselves atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit.”

    Then they are not atheists, that is Agnosticism.

    1. Apocryphon3 years ago

      Agnosticism would suggest that they do not know whether there is a supreme being/universal spirit.

      They have some sense of spirituality, regardless of the technicalities.

  202. Greg3 years ago

    Can there be a right or wrong without God? Can there be good people without God? Can there be good decisions about the state of the world or any country or it’s environment, economy, people or resources without God? Of course there can. And it should be that way. Agenda driven decisions are not free thoughts or what is right for the free world. Believe what you wish, but don’t ask for special privileges, or treatment due to your religion or lack there of.

  203. john decker3 years ago

    Adding-I believe that i time(60 million yrs per se)anything and everything that can happen,will happen and has happened. The “Theory of Evolution” is a Scientific Fact and the “Fact of God and Creation” is a theory. Religion is a facet that gives people Hope,Faith and something to Believe in. Heaven and Hell are fictional places created in Theory of making people believe that if they live their lives Morally their “souls” wil live in eternal peace in “Heaven,if not they will burn in Hell eternally. The Bible is the best story ever written by the “followers of God.” Religion is the oldest and most profitable business ever,in the world. Life is what we make of it then you die.

    1. stevn carter3 years ago

      I would bet you that most preachers live at or below the poverty level!So much profit!

      1. Barry3 years ago

        The average income of pastors of Mega-Churches is $147,000 with a rare few hitting the $1M mark. The average including small churches is $28,000. With that said the Catholic Church was the wealthiest entity in Europe for over 1000 year and organizations such as the Church of Latter Day Saints and Scientology are still ran in a corporate manner today.

        1. Irene3 years ago

          And yet still most preachers live below the poverty mark. There can be rare exceptions without affecting the facts regarding the majority.

          1. God3 years ago

            T.J. Jakes-$18 Milion
            Eddie Long-$1 Million annual salary
            Creflo A. Dollar-$60+ Million
            Rick Warren-$40+ Million
            Pat Robertson-$30+ Million
            Charles Blake-$1 Million annual salary
            Benny Hinn-$1 Million annual salary
            John Hagee-$1 Million annual salary
            Kenneth Copeland-$1 Million annual salary ($17 million jet/$6 million home)
            Joyce Meyer-$3 Million annual salary

            That’s just a small list. Man it must suck to live so far below poverty level.

            An LDS Bishop I lived by had a much nicer house, pool and two completely restored 1966 Mustang’s. So so poor.

            A guy I worked with who was also studying to be a priest told his congregation that his family needed food and bill money (not true), they gathered just over $1300 and gave it to him. He went and bought a $1200 guitar with it.

            Small tidbit fact, only 12 cents per dollar of the christian childrens fund ever went towards the children. Even then, those who were helped were forced to change their name to a “christian” name and convert before they were given aid.

            The church is a business. I may just start my own, dupe a ton of people. Gather millions and then just close the church. Why not? I am, afterall, an immoral atheist, right?

        2. Facepalm3 years ago

          “The average including small churches is $28,000.”

          That would make it true that most live … well.. technically just above poverty level.

    2. Facepalm3 years ago

      There really is no such thing as “scientific fact.” All it would take is one instance of something falling up to “disprove” the law of gravity (a phenomena which, while it does work nicely, has still not been explained I might add.)

      The sciences find their root in philosophy, tracing their way back to Socrates, who taught Plato, who taught Aristotle….. and then you go through natural philosophy, Descartes, the British Empiricists…. and then you pretty well get Modern Science.

      You’re over assuming its power, however. The actuality is that the scientific method is a toolset to provide (material) evidence to support a logical conclusion. It is still all philosophy, like it or not.

      While there is some pretty good logic to evolutionary theory (until you get into evolutionary psychology, anyway… at which point it is probably the most laughable school of psychology) I, myself, will remain agnostic until you can show me that complete fossil record you’ve got there…

      Oh… wait…. you don’t. You do have all the explanations to support your faith, though.

      It is just another “religious philosophy” in all truth. Maybe a true one.. maybe not… maybe partially so. It has not been proven, and a pet peeve is people who claim that.

      One way or the other, I myself will stand by the prefrontal cortex being the most advance/evolved portion of the brain whether God did it, whether it evolved, whether some mixture of the two (as Darwin originally believed before his daughter died and he got pissed off at God), whether we were designed by aliens who evolved, or whether we were designed by extra dimensional beings who spawned from a brain fart by some divine source consciousness…

      There is some evidence for evolution. It is a logical philosophy. It has not been proven (the very fact that it is called a theory should directly tell you it is only commonly accepted, not undisputed.) To suggest it has, really only shows the ignorance of the person pushing that claim.

      1. P3 years ago

        Science is more than just the study of space. It is a fact that most plants produce energy through photosynthesis (with the exception of Venus Fly Traps and other related insectivorous plants). It is a fact trees are plants. It is a fact that everybody was at one point a fertilized egg. All of those are scientific facts and cannot be proven otherwise.

  204. john decker3 years ago

    I enjoyed the 5 facts about Atheists and the percentages were informative. Thanx.

  205. William3 years ago

    I dont believe in a god for shear fact thers no proof of him besides a book written by man heaven hell those are just myths hopeful thinking humans want to feal special to have purpose for there suffering and meaningless lives there is no meaning no purpose sept to just live and enjoy it while you can for you only get one ther is no after life

    1. Atheism3 years ago

      so true

    2. johny cash3 years ago

      obviously there is only one life that we know of here on earth,

      and with that finite time you have, there are two precepts that you could live under,

      there is a god and everything that implies , or there is no god and nothing matters,

      but as atheists like to be rather analytical people, lets make it simple,

      if you live your life with the precept that there is no god, and then you die and it turns out you where right, well, cutoes to you and nothing happens-but if you die of a godless life and you find yourself face to face with the god that you thought wasn’t there, what’s gunna happen when you look back on a life you never thought youd be held accountable for? it would be allot like final at school you never saw coming and never studied for because you where too lazy to study. exept this one decides the fate of your eternity
      if you live your life entirely with the precept that there is a god, and then you die and it turns out there is no god, then when you die, all you have is a life that was lived with the goal of being someone god would bring to heaven-(which in and of itself can bring you more happiness than you could imagine),
      and of course if you die like this and there is a god, then you go to heaven,

      of these two ways to live, which one has more possibilities that lead to happiness???

  206. William F. Weigel3 years ago

    What shocks me about all this is how poor a job the supposed master pollsters of Pew Research have done here. When a significant number of people self-identify as atheists who believe in God or a universal spirit, or when a lot of people self-identify as Catholic and atheist, well, then, something important is going on that the poll is simply not picking up on. Are we simply to assume that the respondents were stupid? In my experience, this is where you switch gears, do some in-depth interviews, and then redesign your poll.

  207. The truth hurts3 years ago

    Christianity and religion are the leading causes of problems in the world whether it be war or the fact that we are destroying our environment, but the majority don’t care because they believe a magic man in the sky will send his magic son to fix everything that we destroy. There is no magic man in the sky however there is an amazing, beautiful and wonderous universe out beyond our skies and in our skies as well

    1. Facepalm3 years ago

      Not really.

      Humans were doing vile things to one another far before there was a Christianity or they had a need for any explanation other than, “We want their stuff.”

      Atheist socialists were responsible for the largest amount of death and suffering of the past century.

      This is just patently false.

      1. P3 years ago

        The amount of death is relative to the intricacy of the tools used. In the past hundred years there have been nuclear weapons, automatic weapons, ICBMs, nerve gasses, etc. Any of those would kill faster than say; a musket, a broadsword, a bow, or hot tar. Plus, to say the past hundred years is quite an exaggeration. Sure, Atheism is engrained in Marxism. But there are plenty of communist countries that are still theists. Vietnam, China, North Korea (even if it isn’t a technical god they worship), hell maybe even modern day Russia. The most aggressive people in the world in the past few decades have been Americans and the different sects of Muslim extremists that are ravaging central Africa and the Middle East.

        Compare the time atheists have supposedly caused deaths to the time other, let’s just call them philosophies, have caused deaths. 100 years compared to nearly 2000.

  208. Gabriela Diaz3 years ago

    I find it funny (and frankly a bit offensive) that anyone would be surprised at the awe and appreciation atheists have of the world. I’ve recently become obsessed with studying astrophysics and stellar evolution. When I look at the nigh sky, I sometimes become breathless because of how amazing I know the universe is. In fact, now that I understand how it works…how complex and elegant it is…I feel even more of an appreciation than when I was religious and the answer to everything was that “God created it.” The universe IS amazing. And no God is needed to make sense of it and admire it.

    1. Noah3 years ago

      Beautiful universe isn’t it, it’s a wonder how it all came uncaused, and out of nothing, isn’t it?

      Atheists do some research, real professionals(cosmologists, physicists, etc.) know that there has to be a creator.

      Intelligent Design

      1. P3 years ago

        Provide proof of such “real professionals” that believe there to be a creator. There is a theory that a creator exists, but there is also a theory that our entire universe is just the result of a point that is infinitely small and infinitely dense that began a rapid expansion.

    2. P3 years ago

      Nobody understands how the Universe works. Nobody understands how complex it is. Odds are, nobody will ever understand.

      1. Litesp33d3 years ago

        But regardless of that the answer to I do not know is I don’t know but will keep looking not well the answer must be the ‘magic man’ did it so I can stop looking.

  209. John3 years ago

    The fact remains that there is NO conclusive evidence to prove NOR disprove the existence of a god. Although modern science certainly nods in the direction that a god doesn’t exist. Any sensible person with a basic knowledge in science knows that evolution is a fact; The Big Bang is still presented as a “theory,” but most scientists accept The Big Bang as fact; most scientists (except for a select esoteric few on the fringe) subscribe to the absurd idea of “creationism.” I accept the idea that the universe was born at random. All life and everything around us is sourced from the universe. Amazing it is. I also accept with great certainty that other intelligent life forms exist upon advanced or perhaps not so advanced civilizations (than ours) in other galaxy’s. I don’t buy into the tabloid rot of “alien abductions” and the numerous bogus paranormal stories regarding UFO sightings. Some people will do anything for attention an $$$.

  210. Gloria3 years ago

    I believe many atheist keep silent about their (lack of) belief because there are repercussions, especially in small towns where the majority of people attend some church. But I think we are emerging like the gay population who have come out of the closet in droves or the acceptance of ‘living in sin’ no longer is relevant. I recall a statement that Americans can accept a murderer before they accept an atheist. Is it a coincidence that all of our presidents are Christians?

    1. John3 years ago

      Thomas jefferson wasn’t a christian. He was a Pantheist.

      President Obama claims that he’s a christian, but he’s more than likely an atheist. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

      I support President Obama with all my heart. President Obama’s ideals and ideas are very much like Thomas Jefferson’s.

      I feel that President Obama is one of our nations greatest leaders ever. His progressive administration is taking America to new heights.

      Obama’s administration is really about hope and restoration for a nation that succumbed to the wicked pleasures under the reign of the crazed cowboy from Texas, Bush’s egregious reign of terror.

      1. David3 years ago

        Okay, Atheists, help me out. If Atheists don’t believe in god because scientists say there isn’t one, then do all Atheists believe in Global Warming because science says it exists?

        1. ace3 years ago

          There is empirical EVIDENCE that climate change exists. There is absolutely NO empirical EVIDENCE that God exists. How are you confused?

        2. Atheism3 years ago

          David in response we aren’t Atheists because scientists say there is no god but because we’re smart enough to realize that there is none

        3. Litesp33d3 years ago

          David, you are coming at this from the wrong direction. It is the religious that believe there is a god because they are TOLD there is one, usually before the age of rational thought. In addition subliminal controls are put into your head (you are special, don’t mix with people from other religions, don’t go to their churches, don’t challenge anything you are told by the clergy, that sort of thing) under the threat of eternal punishment for you and all your family if you don’t believe. Because of this it is difficult for a religionists to look at their beliefs rationally. If you could would any adult, who was not exposed to this as a child believe such nonsense.

          Most people who live in religious societies often do not get exposed to alternate thoughts on this issue. However you will find most people who reach the conclusion that gods are man made will have thought about it a lot more than most people who claim to be religious.

  211. darren3 years ago

    Maybe a belief in god is the illusion or maybe a belief in the lack there of is the illusion. I do not know. Direct observation just has not been enough for me to decide on that one. Desire is the only compass I have found to follow with regards purpose and meaning in life and I’ll see where that takes me in the long run I suppose. But observationally speaking I would have to say that the idea, the feeling nay the belief espoused time and again in opinion after opinion that we as a specious have any clue whatsoever about anything with any certainty at all is the bigger illusion that needs addressing. But then what do I know. Just a few more empty words for my part. Peace.

  212. Cheri dieter3 years ago

    Wow Opera! She was describing a religious point of view, ‘being in awe of the living and the dead, plants, animals, oceans!” I am a Christian and we believe our bodies turn to ash, yet our spirit lives on because we lived a life of awe and had/ have a powerful influence during our lives. I was raised Lutheran, yet pass no judgement on other religions, it was their upbringing and culture. Maybe I’m too liberal in my Christian beliefs, but contrary to your interview, you guest describe Christianity in a beautiful way, to be in awe. To live a strong moral life. To me she is describing Christianity and living in respect and awe of the Ten Commandments. Our bodies are a shell, but our spirituality is strong and in living with morals, we will strive spiritually in this life and the promises of life ever after.
    I live with teenagers that, because God has been taken out of the schools, believe this gives them the right to destruct or be destructive and verbally and physically harm others. I believe God, or some dispute, a higher Being, is the basis of choosing right or wrong moral standards. I’ve stood visiting with Jews, I also have a Muslim doctor, while they might not label themselves as Christians, they live by the Ten Commandments. They believe God will cure ailments, educate doctors, teachers, and employees etc. and is Devine. Regardless of what religion one calls their spirituality, they will not be judged on this earth, nor should we. To be a believer in any faith, is a spiritual belief. I enjoyed this interview, your questions, and the kindness, non defensive answers your guest answered. She laid no judgement, and showed no negativity to others religions.
    I cannot express enough how this interview touched me. Yes, I’m attending Palm Sunday today with my 7 year old son, my teenage daughters exclaim it’s a shame I ‘shove God down his throat’. The sadness in my heart is I failed to plant the seed in their hearts of God and our Lord and Savior who was persecuted for our sins. These chapters in the most read Book in all of history is NOT being shared in the schools, yet all other religions are?!
    In God we trust, where has it gone Opera? One needs not to publication pronounce their faith of Christianity or other religion, to act morally. Socrates was in spence a preacher, educating good and evil. This in itself is a religion, living in the good.
    Thank you for sharing your interview,
    God bless you:)
    Cheri Dietet

    1. Robert Jory3 years ago

      Half of the ten commandments are just ego. Don’t worship other gods, don’t say my name in a bad way, don’t work on my holy day. Those have nothing to do with morality.

      As for the guest being in awe. Sure, two different people can be in awe and that might sound like Christianity but that doesn’t mean she believes as you do. I’m in awe of a really good magic trick. I’m also in awe of the beauty of nature. You may as well, but that’s probably where our common ideas end.

      As an atheist I don’t believe in a god or any supernatural being of any kind that governs or intervenes in human life. I think religion(including Christianity) is a corrupt system to control people through their hopes and fears to gain power and wealth. In no way do I believe our morality comes from the bible. Our morality comes from the fact we are social animals and we cooperate in order to increase our chances of survival. This means understanding and supporting the well being of other humans.

      Spirituality to me is just emotions. Nothing magic or mystical about it. You feel something towards something. Nature gives me an immense sense of connectivity between living things and the stars make me feel insignificant in the big picture. Those are just emotions.

      But those are all just my opinion. The same as you think Oprah’s guest was describing Christianity.

  213. george crispen3 years ago

    There are only two kinds of people in the world atheists and non-atheists.. if you believe in any form of God, spirits, a soul, the supernatural, voodoo or magic then you are not an atheist.. an atheist is only concerned with truth and understanding…

    1. nate mathan3 years ago

      Agreed 100%.
      The nonsense of ‘soul’ and ‘spirituality’ (spirits) and ‘afterlife’ is wishful thinking.
      Accepting without evidence is politely called ‘belief’, but is accurately called ‘delusion’.

      You are either scientific or superstitious. If you are superstitious, don’t use the internet – which is purely a product of science. Spread your magical thinking via smoke signals or jungle drums.

      Knowing you get one chance – this life – means you must make the most of it. Do good on Earth now because there are no ‘do-overs’. Thinking you get more swings at the bat makes you immoral. There is no incentive to fix things here and now.

      In the above video, Oprah manipulated her guest, hoping she would accept the voodoo that Oprah does. Winfrey has made millions of dollars peddling superstitious wishful thinking. Like a drunk, she wants others to drink with her. Diana Nyad took the diplomatic road and didn’t confront Oprah.

      Americans are dumbed-down by TV personalities like Oprah and Depak Chopra. Other countries are eating our lunch. America ranks 37th in science, right above Turkey. America must trade superstition for science and reality for wishful thinking.

      Personally, I find the knowledge that every atom in my body came from a star that exploded billions of years ago to be awe-inspiring. I am not just IN this universe…. i AM the universe! I belong here. YOU belong here! That proven scientific fact should be worth more to you than all the religious mumbo-jumbo in all the holy books in all of the history of the Earth. If it’s not… go back to eating Fritos and watching Oprah.

      1. olorin3 years ago

        Good argument. The Internet is clearly a monument to reason and rationality…

        Come to think of it, the Internet was built by DARPA, so really the only people who should be using it are Americans in the defense industry.

        Thank you for showing us all why only proponents of science can be trusted to hold the right beliefs, use flawless logic, and come to the right conclusions.

        1. Facepalm3 years ago


  214. george crispen3 years ago

    The “SOUL” is nothing more then an evolved brain over millions of years that has developed consciousness memory the ability for pattern recognition and an amazing capacity for creativity fantasy and destruction.. Open your eyes and see the creative animals that we have become the fantasy of “god” that holds us back and the destruction that we have caused!

  215. george crispen3 years ago

    The “AWW” that is being referred to as a spiritual feeling is nothing more than ignorance for the understanding of what is being preceived around them.. a deeper knowledge and understanding will always reveal the truth and this is only attainable through the scientific method and no other way..”GOD” is nothing more then an easy explanation for things that in the past couldn’t make sense to us and had no explanation until science caught up and could provide us with facts.. So why does most of the world still believe in “God” after science has provided an explanation?!

  216. true story4 years ago

    I was an atheist, and I didn’t believe in anything supernatural until a spirit tried to possess me. I saw some supernatural stuff then, and now I believe. Thank God for Jesus! He is real! He saved my life!

    1. StephanieWarMaiden3 years ago

      Me to!!!! He was a shadow demon and I got an ouija board, asked him to stop in the name of Jesus Christ and he did! I also prayed to God to keep my home clean of evil spirits and keep me safe. The next day after Halloween I found thin bloody scratches on the inside of my bed room door. I have not been bothered since by that demon, but I have seen more ghost since then.

  217. Lau Vmp4 years ago

    @Jason, I know!! Tell me about it! I’ve lived in the U.S. for half of my young life, and I just had this argument with my boyfriend over the weekend. His mom and dad are not very religious at all, and my boyfriend does not believe in God, but calls himself Jewish. I told him he wasn’t and explained the definition of atheist, Jewish, etc., and he got all offended that I dared to say that he really isn’t Jewish. And, I would at least understand him wanting to identify himself as Jewish because his family members are straight descendants from the men of Judea, but he is extremely blond and has really light blue eyes, and his features do not resemble any Middle Eastern features. And yes, he became extremely mad at me for pointing it out.

    1. Spaz3 years ago

      I can see where your boyfriend is coming from. It is not uncommon for Judaism to be considered a more spiritual than theist belief. Your boyfriend probably uses the Torah as a sort of moral guideline, a way to make the world a better place, and a cultural part of him. This does not contradict with his opinions about a god in his own mind, and that is where his opinion’s really matter.

    2. It’s a race and religion.3 years ago

      You can be Jewish and be atheist.

      1. Litesp33d3 years ago

        Of course you can be Jewish and atheist. You are born Jewish. That is a birth matter. A culture matter. But you might reach an understanding that god and religion are man made matters about power and control. The same applies to Islam although the Jews will not put an automatic death sentence on your head if you become non religious. However if you convert to Judaism or Islam then you probably would have issues being atheist at the same time.

    3. William3 years ago

      Jewish isnt atheis they believe in god just not that jesus was gods son learn your religion s

  218. Jason4 years ago

    well, this shows americans are very confused, lol

    1. Dude3 years ago

      Only the religious ones.

  219. Larry4 years ago

    Newton also spent his time delving into alchemy, it does not mean we need to follow his lead into superstitious nonsense–we KNOW so much more now. Einstein did NOT believe in a personal or creative deity; he said as much in many of his writings. He may have been a cultural Jew, but you cannot honestly claim him for the theist camp. Regardless, no one (regardless of intelligence or scientific brilliance) has special insight into supernatural realms. To think for one second that just because some renowned scientist claims some opaque belief in a higher power does not make it true. When it comes to religious beliefs in gods, ALWAYS count the evidence and NOT the number or quality of believers. Peace.

    1. Jack3 years ago

      You also really can’t claim him for the atheist camp either, he was closer to a pantheistic agnostic, which in many ways is more of a polar opposite to atheism than mono/polytheism, I really wish people would just live and let live.

  220. Con Sterling4 years ago

    Why is it that some group of Atheists take this time of year to attack ‘believers’?? What pleasure or joy comes to them for poking fine at them with their ‘take Christ out of Christmas’ campaign?? Why don’t they come forth with a positive campaign on the benefits of their atheistic beliefs rather than attacking the ‘believers’?? You hear all these statements about Atheists having higher IQ and being more educated. If that is true take those attributes and develop a benefit campaign for being an atheist and attracting people to your way of thinking. I’m feedup with negative campaigns that try to belittle people just because they don’t share some one’s philosophy on life or religion. To paraphrase MLK, judge a person not only by the content of their heart as well as their actions and not by their religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual performance or political ideology.

    1. David A.4 years ago

      One of the big problems is not that a person wants to believe in, and have an imaginary friend, (god), but that they want to pass laws based upon their beliefs.
      Christians also cannot keep their delusion to themselves, they want to instill their insanity upon the rest of the world.

      That is why we MUST speak against the insanity of Christianity, as it has had its reign of terror on mankind for far too long now, the insanity must stop.

      We Atheists don’t generally have a problem with Buddhists, or Jaine’s for example, because they keep their beliefs to themselves, they don’t try to instill their beliefs on the rest on humanity!

      1. Jack3 years ago

        Ah yes, you appear to be one of those confused souls (yeah, I know, souls aren’t real) who believe Christianity still reigns. How would you define Christianity as insane exactly? I myself am not a man of the word but people like you make the general population of atheists look like the equivalent of the westboro atheist church.

        Yes, that is true, but think about it, all laws are based on belief, if we didn’t believe murder was wrong, we would allow it. And don’t tell me with a straight face that Atheists on a daily basis don’t attempt to cram beliefs down everyones throats, I have had just as many people and ads directed at me telling me NOT to believe in a god as there are TO believe in a god, and atheists are the minority, let that sink in.

        The primary problem between atheist/theist groups is that they misunderstand what they are. Atheism commonly claims to be born of science, that is not necessarily true, you can be an atheist because you don’t see any evidence for a gods existence, but ultimately that is just as philosophical as theism is. Science is there to explain in cold statistics HOW stuff works, philosophy is there for people to think about WHY. So don’t taint my science with your philosophy please.

    2. Ryan Arko3 years ago

      You are aware that Jesus wasn’t born in the winter, right? So the concept of his birth being in December would be wrong. And you know, I’ll see what you mean when you say December 25th is just the day chosen to celebrate Jesus’ birth and not the assumed date of his birth…except history shows that many of the traditions (feasting, decorating trees, gift giving, singing) were assimilated traditions of pagans and even the date was proven to be an effort by the church to compete with the birthday celebration of Sol Invictus.

      Then we delve into the modern depiction of the nativity story that would only take a reading of the beginnings of the four gospels to debunk. It’s likely that there was no manger, Mary wasn’t a virgin, and the wise men (or Magi, depending on the book) were guided by a star sent by Satan.

      Lastly, there are numerous denominations of Christianity who do not observe Christmas because of it’s ties with pagan worship and celebration. They instead choose to honor the birth of Jesus as they would honor any day they believe their God created for them.

      So, as it turns out, Atheists who come out around Christmas to say there is no point seem to be better at biblical understanding (already proven) than most Christians including, apparently, yourself.

      1. Litesp33d3 years ago

        You are aware that Jesus wasn’t born in the winter,…….

        You are aware that Jesus was not born at all and is a complete myth.


    3. Dude3 years ago

      Because christians hijacked pagan holidays.

  221. Charles Purdy4 years ago

    Oh, the freedom of breaking the shackles imprisoning your mind! Yeah, I used to be a “believer” turning my back on logic and reason to follow that book of Jewish folklore. Then I read the harder books and later had all the world’s scientific knowledge at my fingertips with the Internet.

    The strides made in the Sciences completely washes out the mind poison of revealed religions. Right now, as we post, there are organisms being created in labs. Take the ingredients found in the Universe’s “soup”, add water, throw in some electrical discharge, and VOILA…simple celled organisms. Watch the evolutionary growth to more complex organisms over large expanses of time. We are complex organisms that grew from this recipe, and are merely groupings of atoms, molecules, cells and chemicals experiencing existence on a spinning rock we could have made a paradise, but chose instead to create mind locks and beliefs to comfort our fear of death, and have pulpit puppet masters spin tales of an afterlife where we see our dead Aunt Tilly and Spot the dog once more. Rubbish. The world would be a better place if everyone realized life is a magic moment we experience for a brief time and to make the most of it.

    Just have to read the harder stuff: dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/0…

  222. Ben4 years ago

    Research shows that most atheists 1. Have a higher IQ than believers 2. Therefore that earn more. 3. Because they earn more than tend to be more moral, 99.7% of federal prisoners are believers, less than .30% are nonbelievers. 4. Nonbelievers stay married longer, not sure why. We have been married 57 years.

    1. Jack4 years ago

      “Therefore that earn more”?
      “Because they earn more than tend to be more moral”?

      Take English 101 and try again, sir.

    2. Real Common Sense4 years ago

      “1. Have a Higher IQ”
      By three points…
      With all of the outliers considered, all of the lower class Americans and prisoners that remain uneducated, yet identify as religious, a whole three point difference in IQ is made, even though IQ does not correlate with all forms of intelligence. Congratulations.

      “2. Therefore that earn more.”
      About 1/6 of the variation factors, less important than family background, location, and too many other factors, you propose is the cause for more wealth, assuming that Atheism is in fact a factor that causes higher IQ (rather than the other way around or a simple correlation rather than causation)?

      “3. Because they tend to be more moral”
      Because crime and morality are totally the same concrete concepts, correct? Because nothing that could ever be considered immoral, such as evicting a family or outsourcing production of a factory, resulting in the loss of many jobs, could also be considered illegal, am I right? Because with population scaling, the non-believers are represented equally in prison, right? Because even with all of these, nobody converts in fear of their life in prison, right? Because the economic distribution, one of the most important factors in deciding where the general for locations for crime occurs, never overlaps the general trend for less wealthy peoples who tend to be religious, right?
      Obviously most of these are rhetorical, because a causation is proposed on your end that simply doesn’t explain the scenario.

      “4. Nonbelievers stay married longer”
      You would have me here if it wasn’t for the fact that this correlates more heavily with liberal ideals, as in liberals divorce less often. Liberalism, you know, the party that often correlates with atheism, but also includes lose religion (which, unsurprisingly, liberal religion experiences lower divorce rates, furthering the proposal that this isn’t an issue caused strictly by atheism).

      The lines you’ve drawn between everything typed are no different than a connect the dots for children. Unfortunately, you’ve tried to make an airplane where the puzzle attempts to point out a giraffe.

      1. Ryan Arko3 years ago

        I wont defend his use of the English language, but I’ll argue two points he makes.

        Atheists tend to have higher IQs. Regardless of IQ points, intelligence through study and observation open the door to atheism. That’s why Christian lawmakers want to defund public schools and argue that higher education is indoctrination. When you see that the world is billions of years old, that evolution is supported by mountains of evidence despite not being the method of biblical creation, that many of the laws of nature disagree with the biblical depiction of the universe, you can only reject the silly notion that the Abrahamic texts are truth.

        So being intelligent makes you more likely to become an atheist, but being an atheist has no effect on one’s intelligence. There are plenty of idiots in the atheist community, just at a smaller rate than among Christians.

        Point two is morality. You have two people. One doesn’t kill because it’s not something he wants done to him. The other doesn’t kill because a book told him he wont get a reward if he does it.
        The first person doesn’t rape because violating a person is wrong. Doesn’t steal because it’s an awful feeling to have it done to him. He uses his personal views toward actions as a compass for morality.
        The second person doesn’t rape because a book told him he’d burn for eternity if he did. He doesn’t steal because a looming character he’d been taught since birth to fear told him not to. His morality comes from a book.

        Enjoy your views on morality when I ask “which do you think is more moral? Which is the better moral compass?”

        To add, a third person, a friend and congregant of the second person, rapes, steals, and kills because he was told all he has to do is ask an invisible being he’s never met for forgiveness and anything bad he did is forgotten and he still gets his reward just for believing. He gets his morality from the same exact book as person number two.
        Now we see that biblical morality is just as subjective as morality devised without god. Turns out even God’s morality isn’t objective.

        1. Jack R3 years ago

          Honestly I think one day it will all average out to fifty fifty ratio of believers to non-believers. The old 6000 year old religions will probably either have to adapt or shrink. But when you break it down to the most basic levels of the question, is there God. Even if there was a 100% complete scientific model of progress from the beginning to now that could be rigorously tested and proven one question remains. You can ask “Why?” someone else can respond “Why not?”

          Personally it appears to me that these debates delve into the wrong questions, this is philosophy, not science. You may draw the connections, but I think ultimately it is up to things not written in stone for you to determine why you think you are here. Higher education won’t eliminate religion more than likely, it will just bring it to the 50/50 level I would presume.

        2. Dave3 years ago

          You are wrong.

          The book says we are all sinners. The book is a guidance how to do things in a right way but people have free will and decide by themselves.

          Plus… ateists do not come from a different planet.

          One doesn’t kill because it’s not something he wants done to him. Well.. it comes straight from the Bible.

        3. Facepalm3 years ago

          This isn’t true at all.

          I’ve been through “higher education” and can point out a very specific event in which I was docked a grade for arguing a non-socialist position and, when I addressed the professor and crushed her in debate, I was still told to accept her position or suffer the loss of the letter grade. Needless to say, my grade was not what it should have been. *Evidence* of indoctrination is monumental. Some people are just so unwilling to see that there perspective is flawed to accept that it is precisely what is being done.

          A simple illustration is your own argument. Most religions offer some variation on the theme of the golden rule. “Do unto others.”

          You really think that marginal IQ difference is enough to differentiate between two people that religious people will only be moral due to a fear of punishment?

          Clearly, if atheists are so smart, you should perhaps be able to effectively rethink things.

  223. Maynard4 years ago

    If the info in this article is true, people simply don’t know what the definition of Atheist is when applying it to themselves. Atheism is about doubt because of insufficient evidence. If you believe in any kind of intellectual higher power as the reason the Universe exists, you’re NOT an Atheist. If you’re on the fence, you’re NOT an atheist. What is so hard to understand about this? It’s quite simple, really.

    1. Agnostician4 years ago

      Actually, no. An Atheist is one who, above all else, believes that there is absolutely no ‘higher power’ of any form whatsoever; there never was and never will be anything to change that fact. How the universe and life came to be is a matter of scientific debate, not spiritual belief. Agnostics, however, are the ones who are the more ‘agree to disagree’ types; the ones who say that there is not enough evidence one way or another to say whether or not there is such a thing as a ‘higher power’. An Agnostic is the one who has doubt; whether they sit on the more scientific side or other. If you asked an Atheist if there is a god, their only answer is ‘no’. They believe in the utter lack of religious belief or spirituality. There is no debate. If you asked an Agnostic if there is a god their answer would more likely be ‘not sure, but want to explore more options and/or data’. Depending on which side of the fence the Agnostic is sitting would also depend on where they lean on the subject. I, for example, lean on the ‘there’s no scientific evidence to support creation-by-design and that all life is random biology.. but that doesn’t mean I am right.’

      1. eb ward4 years ago

        We are all Atheists. Some just include one more in the list. Ask another question. How many believe with 100% certainty that no gods of any definition could exist = 0 Atheists. How many for the great Juju = 100% Atheists.

      2. Katie4 years ago

        Yes Atheists are not “on the fence” I am an atheist and I believe that there are NO higher spiritual powers. plain and simple. This basic answer does bother some people but that is what Atheism is.

      3. Michael3 years ago

        For some reason people think Atheism and agnosticism are mutually exclusive. You can be atheist and still say “I don’t know”. I do not believe there is a god, but could I be proven wrong someday? Sure. But for now, it’s just a silly assumption with no backing to it whatsoever therefor I will regard it as false until proven otherwise.

    2. Illya Yagiyayev4 years ago

      I think an Atheist is one who explicitly rejects teachings (truth-claims) of all religions as false, not only God or gods. Atheism also requires a naturalistic worldview: there are nothing beyoud the physical world. Buddhist, Taoist non-theist Hinduist is not an Atheist, even if he does not belief in God/gods.

      Self-label as an Atheist and scientific definition of Atheism should not be mixed.

      1. Carlos3 years ago

        Did you even study your roots in middle school?

        “These ROOT-WORDS are THE & THEO which come from Theos meaning GOD. There has not been room on the list for names like Theodore and Theodora which have the gracious meaning of “gift from God.””


        theo- means God. Atheist mean one who doesn’t believe in gods.

        Buddhists who don’t believe in Gods are atheists by definition.

    3. Hamsa4 years ago

      Atheist is a 4th grade vocabulary word…what is there to (not) understand?

  224. Cindy4 years ago

    Too many people get lost in the definition of atheist…some even make the claim that all babies are born atheists…this is not so. Babies cannot choose to deny the existence of god. they are simply uncatechized — and one can only be catechized when one has some understanding, even if just a small amount.

    1. Jimbo4 years ago

      You don’t have to deny the existence of a god to not believe in a god.

      There are a great many gods I have never heard of. I don’t believe in any of them and yet have never denied their existence.

      1. Ben4 years ago

        Jimbo, sorry to tell you but you just did

        1. Cory Gage4 years ago

          No, an atheist simply lacks the positive belief in any god or gods. It is not the positive disbelief of such. There is a difference.

          1. Katie4 years ago

            No an Atheist does not believe in god, I am an Atheist and I do not lack anything. I do not do good things for fear of persecution nor do I do them in hopes of a reward. I do not believe that after I die there will be either. I do nice and good things because I chose to, ME no one else. I choose to be a good person because that is how I want to live. I do not judge people who believe differently than I, just as I do not judge people who are different than myself. I choose to love because I want to. I do not love or hate in the name of ANY god, I have no fear of the afterlife just as I was not afraid before I existed, I do not fear death nor do I spend great amounts of time thinking it. My life is about living, it is about knowledge and my fellow humankind. I think religion brings a great deal of comfort to those that need it, I however do not. I am not sure why the question of someones personal beliefs or lack thereof are anything but their business.

    2. Jen4 years ago

      Cindy, I’m not sure you are exactly right. I can only use myself as an example, but I don’t think being an atheist actually requires the denial of anything. I never received any indoctrination as a child and have never had the impulse to ‘fill in the gaps’ of my understanding by chosing to believe in the supernatural. There’s no critical analysis underlying my atheism, I simply do not recognize the bible as any sort of authority. After all, it is of unknown authorship and dubious translation- so, why would I give it a moment’s consideration? I very much doubt that anyone undertakes any sort of critical analysis to determine whether leprachauns, unicorns or Zeus are real. But, we don’t question anyone’s unbelief in those things.

      1. george canlas3 years ago

        Are atheist stay atheist forever?what can u say about an atheist who turn down their beliefs?I know some.

    3. John Patrick Galliher4 years ago

      Exactly, why does no one understand this, Atheism is simply the choice to not believe, and it (for me) is nothing to piss off Christians, or Jews, or Muslims, it’s simply my choice and I am happy with it, i’m not tying to impress anyone, or offend anyone. I don’t hate people who believe in God(s) and I never will hate people beause their beliefs. I wasn’t born Atheist, It’s not being gay, you’re not just born that way, Atheism is a choice.

    4. Hamsa4 years ago

      I attempt to explain that very point often…usually to no avail.

  225. Judy Van Ert4 years ago

    Jesus loves me this I know, because the Bible tells me so

    1. Johnathan Walton4 years ago

      Superman saved the Earth this I know, because his comic tells me so

      1. Hamsa4 years ago

        Do you know even one single soul which considered SM to be true? Then your analogy was truly inept.

        1. Joe4 years ago

          Soul…No. What is that? But people, yes. Lots of kids do. Kids will believe in any good story, especially if it allows them to flex their imagination. Luckily, there’s usually an adult there who’s able to explain reality.

          But what happens when the adults in this scenario feel so entitled to an afterlife that they just continually feed into the first program that promises them one? Until they die. Forever.

  226. Jerry Southard4 years ago

    After a lifetime of Bible centered churchgoing on autopilot, it became clear I needed to do a religious reality check. After a dozen years of science and theological study my findings thus far are (1) it is evident we humans have evolved and are hardwired as individuals who care for each other. (2) for our species to endure and individuals to reach a level of personal contentment the prime directive (consilience?) is to treat others the way one would like to be treated…all the time and no matter what. (3) this can be cultivated through inclusive social groupings using music, sport, dance, art, oratory, and good works as in certain metaphorical religious traditions.

    I still “do” church and think it a necessary institution as are social, civic, government and education institutions. We will always have the 5% crazies at both ends of any distribution. For me the living definitions have changed dramatically. Finding an inclusive religious group can be challenging; but change is afoot.

    1. Joe4 years ago

      Oh really huh. And could you clarify what about your delving into science and theology convinced you that we humans have evolved. Please take along on your chain of logic from basic elements to single cell amoeba to human beings.

      Got my popcorn and soda… carry on.

      1. Jerry Southard4 years ago

        Sorry, no time. But I can give you many sources to read if you are truly interested and not just gigging this very old man.

      2. Gary Williams4 years ago

        Scientists do not claim to know that they “know” exactly how the first life-form came to be, or how it evolved into the forms we see around us today. And considering mankind didn’t know much about anything a couple thousand years ago, that would be an exceedingly rational stance for them to take. This, in contrast to those who insist that despite not knowing whether the earth was a few thousand years old, what/where fossils came from, or what the Sun, Moon and stars even were, they nevertheless knew exactly where all of it came from. This obvious bit if irrationality is nevertheless insisted on by theists who somehow believe that if science admits it doesn’t know exactly what happened several billion years ago, and yet religious clerics do (despite each religion claiming vastly different things), that this somehow makes religion superior to science.

        Well. I suppose if you really don’t care about the accuracy or factual basis underlying Biblical (or Vedic, Gnostic, Coptic, etc) claims; but rather the whole point is simply to /think/ you know rather than /actually/ know, then you may have a point.

        Incidentally, a Need for Closure (or NFC Scale) was designed to assess how strongly an individuals desire for an answer comes as a matter of wanting to end any further need for information requiring additional processing and judgment, even if that answer is *not* the correct answer. IOW, people high on the NFC scale will grasp at information they believe “settles” or closes the issue, even if that info lacks credibility re: logical, rational than do people who score less on the NFCS.
        People high in religiosity consistently score more highly on the NFCS than do others.

    2. Carson4 years ago

      A well-thought-out perspective of life, Jerry.

    3. Matt Begley4 years ago

      Crazies? It seems that you are speaking of atheist as crazies. 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences are atheist… as are the vast majority of brilliant minds on Earth. I feel that I’m in good company. If requiring evidence before committing to something as absurd as magical beings in the sky makes me crazy in your uneducated view… all I can say is that I’m not surprised… most people are stupid.

      1. Tammy4 years ago

        Okay educated crazies!!!

        1. Katie4 years ago

          calling something that you do not agree with crazy seems a bit narrow minded

      2. Jerry Southard4 years ago

        No offense, Matt. I was referring to the “know-it-all’s” who don’t listen or question at the extremes of the normal curve. One definition of a crazy is a fundamentalist whether as a theologian or an atheist. Some say I am an atheist because I do not acknowledge the existence of a deity or spirit world or afterlife… that is my cognitive domain speaking. My affective domain feels a kinship or commonality with all kind. It has been said that the idea of a personal (G)god is whatever one’s mind imagines. I frankly can’t find an appropriate label. I’m just me…a work in progress.

        1. Jimbo4 years ago

          There is no such thing as fundamentalist atheism. What fundamentals would a fundamentalist atheist be fundamental about?

          1. Hamsa4 years ago

            Once a Fundie…ALWAYS a Fundie. Unless you are referring to the old-school types, all atheism in 2013 is FUNDAMENTALISM. Uneducated,bottom-line, and it tends to attract the lower dregs of society, and those lacking in education. Just another kind of Fundie.

        2. Gary Williams4 years ago

          You should be careful not to confuse atheism with anti-religionists or anti-Christians; people whose stance as a Satanist (eg.) nevertheless uses all the same imagery and language that Christians use to describe man’s /non-corporeal existence/plane/ whatever….after death…. all concepts that betray their deist beliefs in supernatural entities.

          Atheism rejects the entire notion of supernatural beings with the ability to effect the natural world in ways that defy the laws of physics, quantum physics, or any other natural “laws” not yet perceived by man, but that are, nevertheless, natural.

      3. Bob4 years ago

        The greatest men of science have expressed their faith in God, including Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.

        1. Hamsa4 years ago


          1. Alex3 years ago

            That’s clearly a misquote of Einstein, Bob.

        2. Christine3 years ago

          They had to. They lived in a time that to admit atheism was self persecution.

      4. Jack R3 years ago

        Thats a nice and balanced outlook on life. Lets make the correlation that if I am not atheist then by default my chances of achieving any form of intellectual success are nil.

    4. eb ward4 years ago

      I sincerely appreciate your eloquent take on religion. That being said, how can you set and listen to “Hell Fire and Damnation” being taught to children and not speak up. If your other social group told your children they would burn for all eternity for not getting a merit badge, I would imagine you might have something to say. Call me the 5% crazy but, I feel those with rational minds do have a responsibility to not only shine the light on bad ideas but to call out those that are promoting nonsense. I understand you may not tithe and may not attend an active church but your mere attendance gives a license to those who do real harm in the world in your name. I miss the social aspect but, could never bite my tongue that hard.

  227. Mike Schwager4 years ago

    According to Wikipedia, “A German census in May 1939, completed more than six years into the Nazi era and incorporating the annexation of mostly Catholic Austria into Germany, indicates that 54% of Germans considered themselves Protestant, (including non-denominational Christians) and 40% considered themselves Catholic.”

    That means that 94% of Germany’s population during Hitler’s regime tolerated Hitler’s anti-semitic pronouncements and policies, which led to the Holocaust and the slaughter of six million Jews, along with other minorities.

    There were a few German clergymen who stood out to take exception to Hitler, one of them the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer – but he and others were executed for their exceptionalism. So only a scarce minority acted as true Christians who lived the tenets of their faith with honor and integrity.

    I do not think religious affiliation necessarily means that people practice what they preach, especially when push comes to shove. Ethical and moral behavior must be judged on an individual basis, irrespective of religious affiliation or non-affiliation; or one’s professed spiritual inclinations. It would be nice to think otherwise, but to paraphrase the slogan of the State of Ohio: “SHOW ME!”

  228. Cynthia4 years ago

    ….those that believe in the possibility of the existence of God.

  229. Cynthia4 years ago

    I find it interesting that those who are college educated, consider themselves atheists instead of agnostic.

    1. Cory Gage4 years ago

      I find it interesting that people still think that atheism and agnosticism are exclusive of one another.

  230. Benjowo4 years ago

    Sorry, typo in my previous post, I meant check out origin-of-religion.com for an explanation of what “spirit” really means.

  231. Benjowo4 years ago

    I cannot understand that “SKAN” can be an “atheist” but still believes in Ghosts etc. I am an unbeliever and that means I do not “believe” in anything supernatural. If there is ever “proof” that ESP exists or that prayer alters the outcome of an event then they are natural happenings and not supernatural anymore but “no proof” means that any conjured up explanation is just not acceptable. The most misinterpreted idea is “spirit” (from latin: spirare), It means “breath”. Check out origin-of-religion:The caveman knew that breathing was life. The great Spirit was the air (wind) invisible but powerful and breath was the small spirit, considered the life-force, which entered the body at birth and rejoined the Great Spirit at death.
    I do not call myself an atheist, agnostic or secular humanist since these concepts carry too much baggage, and mean different things to different people. Unbelievers have as many different opinions or political views as the religious people except they do not believe in a god.

  232. afterallthat4 years ago

    God/Source/Creator/Universal Mind dwells from within each of us. Man created god in his own image. Most religions have as their roots, what we call pagan beliefs and traditions. What we all need to understand is that each of us—all of us—are connected whether we believe it or not. Religion is divisive—us against others.

  233. Edward Baker4 years ago

    I think the number would be higher ,but atheists are usually shunned or bullied by the religious .We are looked upon as not good People.We represent only .02% of the Prison population ,with mostly non violent crimes. Atheists are however slowly becoming a force to be treated equally .The Agnostics are more Atheist than they admit to .Im sorry to dispell the rumors of being evil ,but Ateists are the kindest and most humane people I have met ….

  234. Clark Bennett4 years ago

    No God, no spirit and no supernatural. You may believe whatever you wish but i will not honor or respect it in any fashion.

  235. Mendal McEwen4 years ago

    One can fully know our Creator God personally when EVERY thought demands a decision. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast___” Isaiah 26;3

    Our Creator God is more then able to micromanage each and all who put each and all who put their trust in Him.

    “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4;7 It’s a unique peace. I weep a lot experiencing it.

    “Submit to God and be a peace with him:in this way prosperity will come to you” Job 22;21

    Most atheists are invariably among the intellectually elite. They, in effect worship their mind.

    1. skeptic4 years ago

      “Most atheists are invariably among the intellectually elite. They, in effect worship their mind.