I saw this:
Anyone have any thoughts as to why this may be? Personally, I feel that non-religious might be inclined to be a bit more honest in a survey. But that's, just my opinion.
Like Jarrod I have LOTS of problems with the methology of these studies that claim to link "religiosity" to a whole host of factors. Measuring how religious someone is by tallying up how often they go to church/synagogue/mosque/temple, etc. is ludicrous. Asking the very subjective question about "how important is religion in your daily life...." or something to that effect is not a good, valid measure either. Any conclusions based on bad measurement instruments and bad methodology can be disregarded, in my opinion.
I read an assertion in college made by two very influential religious scholars that the non-religious are more likely to engage in dangerous, risky behavior because they were already risking eternal damnationm of their souls by rejecting God, so they felt more "free" to risk other things too. When I tried in class to point out the ridiculousness of that argument--only a religious person would see rejection of God as "risky,"--my point was pretty much ignored. There seemed to be this view that, even if they SAY they don't believe in God, the nonreligious still realize on some level that they are risking their immortal souls. No surprise that the professor was very religious as was most of the class. To them, the assertion by the religious scholars made perfect sense. Arghhhh!
People like Jesse Bering (The God Intinct / The Belief Instinct), Sharon Moalem (Survival of The Sickest), Andrew Neuberg & Mark R. Waldman (Why God Won't Go Away / How God Changes your Brain) and many others have shown in a perfectly scientific manner that there is more about religion than just it being something that makes people stupid, violent or mad. Stigmatizing religion for all evils is also irrational since we have seen the results of purely secular regimes in the 20th century (communism, Nazism - the Nazi's were anti-moralistic), they made many more victims in a short time than religion ever did. The point being that there is a problem with us, but this problem does not only exist at the other end of anyone's pointing finger just because that's what he wants to believe, and safeguard himself behind an iron curtain of unwillingness to look and really see what the problem is.
Religion is, of course, in itself just a property of spirituality - in other words religion is an often dogmatic encapsulation of spirituality. Spirituality itself is a human faculty, we all have this possibility, including atheists (which explains why atheists may even believe in a creator - even while they would not call this creator personal, let alone associate him or her or 'it' with the biblical God; I have at least 2 atheist friends that I know do believe in some sort of creator).
There is way too much fuzzy talk about all these things. We discuss to feel like 'we got it most right' but we often don't simply listen to whatever point that may make sense. No argument for or against God will be convincing, to begin with. If I believe in God (unspecified, because I'm an agnostic Christian) I do so because for me this makes me understand better mankind with all the intricacies connected with us. Atheism tends to simplify the complex issues especially in the realm of spirituality and everything that does not fit within the narrow boundaries of the 'exact sciences' (which were developed with relativism designed right into the heart of this discipline - exactly because it was meant to analyze matter, and nature - but not to put the human being under a microscope and conclude that we're just a bunch of meaningless cells).
So my advice is: relax. We all live. We are all in the same boat.
You really should rethink your comment :
"Stigmatizing religion for all evils is also irrational since we have seen the results of purely secular regimes in the 20th century (communism, Nazism - the Nazi's were anti-moralistic), they made many more victims in a short time than religion ever did."
This shows a biased comment without much research. When you consider all of the atrocities committed in the name of god throughout all of recorded history, the religious and their followers have killed thousands of times more than the secular regimes you quote.
Also, you tried to make a point saying you have Atheist friends who believe in a creator. I invite you to look up the word atheist again. Many atheists do NOT believe in a creator; they would not be called atheists, then. You may be looking for more of a word like agnostic.
And it is difficult to just 'relax' in the US as an atheist when our country is run by fair weather Christians who pass laws invoking their invisible sky daddy. However, as I believe the studies quoted before by others show, most claim to be something they really aren't, mayhap for fear of social rejection.
Personally, the problem with religion and its followers, I believe, is the lack of ability to look at unbiased evidence of other explanations(sun, earth orbit, age of earth, origin of species) with the same point of view as they do with the bible.
It is almost as though the religious, by indoctrination of their children and mentally ill people (addicts, criminals, weak minded, victims), create a socially accepted form of more mental illness called faith. No evidence, but blindly following nonetheless. Even in face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, because it feels right.
"This shows a biased comment without much research. When you consider all of the atrocities committed in the name of god throughout all of recorded history, the religious and their followers have killed thousands of times more than the secular regimes you quote."
I would like to see your data, the data you researched to support your statement, please.