Granted, this is only based on 1018 respondents, but oye!

 

Some of the lowlights:

*80% believed in god

*an additional 12% believed in some sort of universal spirit

*Belief in God drops below 90% among younger Americans, liberals, those living in the East, those with postgraduate educations, and political independents

*However, belief in God is nearly universal among Republicans and conservatives and, to a slightly lesser degree, in the South.

 

So my question for you is this: Do you think these numbers an accurate representation or are people being deceptive in their responses?

 

http://http://www.salon.com/news/religion/?story=/news/feature/2011...

Tags: belief, god, in, survey

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The polls are done scientifically. The Presidential polls contain similar numbers.

A Gallup poll in 2008 said ~6% did not believe in any god or "universal spirit".  So this poll actually shows a slight increase in nonbelievers in America.  Encouraging news I guess.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism#North_America

There's a reason I want to leave the South and move to Boston.
I think most believe in a kind of foggy obscure god that they don't really care about anyway, so they just tick yes to the answer because it feels right to them. People don't examine their beliefs at all. If critical thinking was compulsory for kids, the way math is compulsory, then I bet that poll would plummet in one generation.

It's a loaded question which almost always ends up over representing theists.

 

First off the question is spurious from the get go. It is so vague that I can almost hear all the ignostics cringe. What is "god?" God with a capital G or could it mean the Hindu asuras and devas? Neo-Pagan deities? Great Mother? Great Juju up the Mountain?

 

Second, it ignores social stigmas on not believing. Crypto-atheists will always end up making these sorts of surveys crap. They will openly admit that they believe in god because social mores dictate that they should.

As said, even if you account for biased and unclear questions, the fact remains that America is a hyper-religious country. No matter what you ask, there is no way you'll ever arrive at a number that isn't ridiculously high.
Fred,
I love the term apatheists. I've never heard that but I think it's descriptive of a very significant portion of Americans, almost all of whom would identify themselves in a survey as believing in god.

It's all in how you look at it.

24.6 Million Americans Don’t Believe in God!

 

I suspect, but don't know, that some people who answer this belief question "yes" might really be saying something more akin to "sure, right, whatever." It's not a question that a lot of people feel comfortable talking or thinking about.

 

To be sure, self-professed (or "admitted" as I have seen it described, to my horror) atheists constitute a tiny minority. But I still suspect that in polls like this some people will say "yes" and not really think about it much.

Scary. America is going down hill it seems.

The more I have been vocal in expressing my Atheism the more people I have met who identify as Christian or believing in god who will tell me they really don't hold those beliefs. I was in a Veterans housing program and I shared an apartment with three other Vets who all would identify as Christian. One of the three was a heavy Christian, one was what I would call an Agnostic Theist, and the other was an Atheist who didn't ever admit it to anyone until I got there. The other Atheist would still never tell anyone in his family and would still identify as Christian on paperwork. 

 

That is just one story and the fact is I have been surprised at just how many Atheists I know who I never knew were Atheists. A lot of them identify as the religion they were raised even though they do not hold any theistic beliefs. 

 

So to answer the question I think the numbers are not what they seem and the more freely we are willing to express our views the more other people who share them will come forward. That said I recently accidentally converted an agnostic Christian to Atheist, it wasn't intentional I only told him my views when asked.

Alot of people are stubborn about their faith and see anybody different as a threat and they raise their kids to never doubt at least not out load I think there are alot non-believers but they are afraid to come out and say it

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