Are you a 'Sunday stalwart' or 'solidly secular'? New study sorts Americans by religious habits

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  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Sept. 8, 2018 10:29 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701

    “Tell us, what would it take for an atheist to change their beliefs and admit there was a God?”

    Proof.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 4, 2018 7:33 a.m.

    To "Karen R." but God isn't hiding. You just haven't recognized him.

    Tell us, what would it take for an atheist to change their beliefs and admit there was a God?

    Other than God appearing and showing himself, and even then they would question it, the atheist already has their mind made up that they will not believe in God.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Sept. 3, 2018 7:01 a.m.

    @ Pops

    I guess I don't understand why a god would hide itself from discovery when it's supposedly critically important that it be found. Or why looking for falsifiable evidence wouldn't qualify as "real intent." There are billions of people who have done it your way and, according to you, found the wrong god/religion. And then there's the knowledge that, out of sheer need/desire, we humans can make ourselves believe things that aren't actually true. So why wouldn't we want to test our perceptions to guard against this? It is important to get it right, yes? Or at least more advantageous? If this is the case, then to me this makes falsifiable evidence a necessity. A person can believe anything on faith. Anything. It's falsifiable evidence that tells us whether or to what degree that faith is based in reality.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    Sept. 2, 2018 11:16 a.m.

    Over 12,000 religions have existed. Each and every one, with few exceptions, had "proof" that their God(s) had the Revealed Truth. Many of them had their very own Holy Book(s)
    Many of them believed that only their God was self-evident, true and correct.
    Every Believer is an Atheist.....denying and rejecting those other 11,999 Gods, except for the one God they were required to worship.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Aug. 31, 2018 6:20 p.m.

    There's a certain amount of hubris in the demand that the scientific method should be able to find God, if in fact he exists. It presumes that God is not sufficiently powerful to hide from the probing of those making the demand. So, what kind of God would that be if some scientific experiment could expose him? Not likely one capable of creating the universe, nor one worthy of worship. Even DB Cooper couldn't be found using the scientific method, why should God be?

    The funny thing is that there is a variant of the scientific method for finding God, which is to seek him with real intent - "real intent" meaning that if you succeed in finding him, you intend to obey him. Since he knows our hearts, he isn't fooled by fakers. The proof of God that one acquires by this method is not a photograph or a video, but to those who find him it's just as real, or even more so.

    I agree with many that non-belief in God is not a religion, per se, but scientism is. The theory of evolution, for example, requires tremendous faith, given there is no compelling proof of crucial aspects of biological evolution. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 31, 2018 3:01 p.m.

    To "Ranch" here is the problem. To prove that there is no God, using the scientific method would require knowledge of the entire universe. Do you have that knowledge? If you do not have that knowledge, then you cannot prove the existence of God.

    You and your ilk hid behind science to deny the existence of God. Unless God came and stood before you, you will deny it until the day you die.

    The biggest problem that your ilk has is that your base assumption is the only assumption you are willing to make. If you use the scientific method, but start with the assumption that there is a God, then you can easily prove that there is a God.

    It all goes back to your base assumption, and the evidences you are willing to accept. You and your ilk will accept nothing less than God himself showing himself to you.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 31, 2018 1:42 p.m.

    @Red;

    "You want proof, yet when the proof is given you dismiss it because it doesn't meet your particular standard."

    "...what type of proof would it take for you to believe that there is a God?"

    --- More proof than you'll ever be able to provide; and as far as a standard of proof; well it's going to have to be a lot more convincing than your word or the word of a "prophet" about it. TJ did answer your question though (but you ignored it as per usual): "The scientific method is the best way to examine reality."

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 31, 2018 1:12 p.m.

    To "Thomas Jefferson" no, you are not willing to change your beliefs. I have see and heard from people like you for a long time. You want proof, yet when the proof is given you dismiss it because it doesn't meet your particular standard.

    Tell us, what type of proof would it take for you to believe that there is a God?

    Funny that you talk about how humans will invent religions, and you now believe in one of those made up religions. You believe in the made up religion of atheism.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 31, 2018 10:30 a.m.

    These are some of my opinions.

    Its hilarious to watch this 'debate' about the semantics of not playing golf as a sport and bald as a hair color. But the fact remains that no one has ever provided any convincing evidence of any god, let alone the god of the bible. Just the same old 'look all around you'. Well I see nature when I look around.

    Amazing claims require amazing evidence. Evidence which simply hasnt been provided.

    You claim that a deity exists and so far I dont believe you. I am willing to change my beliefs. Show me the evidence or at least make a decent philosophical argument.

    And quit ignoring the obvious facts. Humans make up religions. We all know it. We have all seen it. I doubt anyone who has posted so far on this page doesnt think Mohammad made up Islam without any help from any god.
    But some of us are able to apply that truth in an honest look at the religion we were taught as children. Some cling onto their religion for many reasons-not wanting to die being the most common.

    The scientific method is the best way to examine reality.
    Faith is the best way to make yourself 'believe' what you wish were true.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 31, 2018 7:27 a.m.

    To "SC Matt" the problem is that you are still the same person when you die as you were in life. So, if you did not like the LDS church here you won't like it there either.

    To "RJohnson" what is wrong with referencing the Feds? They may not be right very often, but, like a broken clock, they are right every once in a while.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 31, 2018 6:19 a.m.

    MEB says:

    "...and I'll do my best not to knock yours if you can show me the courtesy of not knocking mine."

    -- The problem is that your belief system is being used to denigrate and demean others.

    Oatmeal says:

    "The most dogmatic individuals I know are militant atheists."

    -- I have to call you out on that one.

    "Jeremiah Flanksteak: You want to create a secular world where we all live by the Golden Rule, which is a proposition first proposed and cherished by religious persons for the last four thousand years?"

    --- I'll see your 4,000 years and raise you a 100,000 where the golden rule was not religious but was a necessary means of survival.

    @Red:

    "You don't define Christianity by what they don't believe, but by their beliefs."

    -- Xtians don't believe in Ra, Zeus, Hera, etc. They don't believe in treating others as they'd be treated themselves (hence the request to be able to discriminate). That defines Xtians by what they *don't* believe.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Aug. 31, 2018 5:41 a.m.

    @Tyler D: I sense your frustration. And religion is just the tip of the iceberg! Why, there's hardly anything about the human experience that doesn't contradict the principles of biological evolution, beginning with consciousness and agency, moving on through the absurdity of human emotion, and expressed in art, literature, poetry, dance, music, drama, and, (gasp!) religion. Look at all the evolutionary absurdities we silly humans have created: stock car racing, synchronized swimming, downhill skiing, stand-up comedy, corn mazes (or should that be corn maizes, ha ha?), bad puns, roller derby, tic tac toe, sour cream, low-riders, hairpieces, Barbie dolls, biking shorts, lawn darts, beer, fidget spinners, bacon, twinkies, bacon-flavored twinkies (you wish), and, maybe worst of all, opera!

    Seriously, though, my guess is that those who reject the Judeo-Christian fundamentals of western civilization, including overt religiosity, live in harmony with 99% of what it is they claim to reject. The acknowledgment or denial of the existence of God is pretty insignificant when stacked up against how we live our lives. If that isn't the point of religion, then what is?

  • SC Matt Saline, MI
    Aug. 30, 2018 3:35 p.m.

    While this running debate is interesting in a way, it appears that many of us here all agree on something.

    While on this earth, we should do our best to treat others with love and kindness, avoid causing needless pain, and live in such a way that we make the Earth a better, not worse, place to live.

    And then one day, we'll die.

    And I will either wake up dead (happy day) and learn to what degree I've been wrong.

    Or I won't wake up dead, and I'll never know.

    According to LDS beliefs, nearly everybody who has at least tried to live a good, helpful, upstanding life, showing love to others, will have the opportunity to accept the Savior after death, right?

    So, why worry about it now, other than to help somebody avoid needless pain?

    I hardly think arguing about it helps to further that goal.

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 3:09 p.m.

    -RedShirtHarvard

    “So, the question for is this: Do you know something...the US Federal Government don't?”

    Wow. A conservative telling us to put our faith in the U.S. Government. I just don’t know what to believe anymore.

  • MEB SLC, Utah
    Aug. 30, 2018 3:07 p.m.

    milquetoasty - Great points. Two thoughts in response:

    First - The same argument that you make to define an Atheist can also be made for people who believe in God. You can't tie together a common set of beliefs for Atheists any more than you can tie a common set of beliefs for those who believe in God. Religious beliefs cover a broad spectrum.

    Second - If you take the word "religion" out of it, and you narrow it down to a belief system, then presumably you believe in something. If you believe in God, then your belief system either goes down some path of religion or you're agnostic. If you don't believe in God, then your belief system goes down some other path that consumes your consciousness. I don't know anyone who simply doesn't believe in anything.

    In the end, it's divisive to talk about whether or not one believes in God or religion. It's more inclusive and open minded to acknowledge that everyone has a belief system, and I'll do my best not to knock yours if you can show me the courtesy of not knocking mine.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 3:05 p.m.

    milquetoasty:
    A strong disbelief is simple a belief stated in a negative form. Disbelief is not the absence of belief. The most dogmatic individuals I know are militant atheists.

    Jeremiah Flanksteak: You want to create a secular world where we all live by the Golden Rule, which is a proposition first proposed and cherished by religious persons for the last four thousand years?

  • cthulhu_fhtagn Seattle, WA
    Aug. 30, 2018 2:48 p.m.

    @RedShirtHarvard

    "Most any atheist believes that man evolved from goo."

    Most theists I know also believe that.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 30, 2018 2:33 p.m.

    To "milquetoasty" you are only looking at what atheists DON'T believe. That is not part of the definition of a religion. A religion is defined on beliefs.

    Most any atheist believes that man evolved from goo, and that when you die there is no more. There are other things they believe that define the Atheism religion. Those are their beliefs.

    You don't define Christianity by what they don't believe, but by their beliefs.

    I know you don't want to admit it, but atheism is a religion. You can keep trying to avoid it, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a religion.

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    Aug. 30, 2018 2:24 p.m.

    @MEB – “Most Atheists I know simply replace belief in God with some other rabid, irrational belief system (like environmentalism, politics, or some other crackpot obsession).”

    Yes, of course… all potentially dogmatic and to varying degrees irrational. But again, what does any of that have to do with my not believing in the existence of Zeus, Odin and Yahweh (or his son as a god)?

    @RedShirtHarvard – “I get it from the dictionary definition of religion.”

    Please list the atheist beliefs - not a non-belief, but a belief.

    If you’re confused, perhaps this will help: my sister believes that knowing the alignment of the planets at a given point in time will tell you something useful about whether so and so is your soulmate. I do not share her belief. One of us has a belief; the other does not.

    If you still confused, please consult the logical law of non-contradiction – something cannot be both A and not-A at the same time.

  • wrz Springville, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 2:19 p.m.

    @Pops:
    "We are compelled to take everything on faith. We have no choice in the matter. We have no knowledge, only belief."

    True... mostly.

    According to the Christian Bible: '...faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.' (Hebrews 11:1).

    Despite this strange definition of 'faith,' in order to have faith you have to have some degree of irrefutable evidence... physical evidence being the more reliable kind. Christians have the Holy Bible to foster faith in God, since His Son reportedly walked the earth, did miracles, and established a religion. The Mormons have their former leader, Smith, as evidence, who claims to have been visited by God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. That would seem to be fairly reliable evidence to support faith in God. But it's not the best kind. We may have to wait for the best kind of evidence until after we die. But, by then it might be too late... dang.

  • DaleG slc, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 1:58 p.m.

    I'm an independent NON CORPORATE mormon and in my church we protect children and don't attack members with "courts" or "councils."

  • milquetoasty Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 1:16 p.m.

    For everyone insisting that atheism is a religion, please explain.

    Is NOT collecting stamps a hobby?

    What other possible categories of your life would you be labeled for the things you DON'T believe in?

    I mentioned in my post that many atheists absolutely behave dogmatically. I understand that this can create the appearance of "religiousity."

    However, who here is willing to attempt to define what the affirmative beliefs of the claimed religion of atheism are? What do members of this religion share, other than lack of belief in God(s). This appears to just be a semantic argument at this point.

    As Tyler D pointed out, "you can be a radical right-wing atheist, a radical left-wing atheists, and a million other variations." Some atheists believe that crystals have magic powers. Some believe in astrology. Some believe that there are lizard people operating at the highest levels of our government.

    By the claims in some of these comments, you would absolutely have to categorize any sort of passionate opinion as a religion.

    Are political parties actually religions then?

  • cthulhu_fhtagn Seattle, WA
    Aug. 30, 2018 12:42 p.m.

    There are Atheists and there are atheists. The former will argue with theists about the definition of religion without seeing the irony; the latter don't give it any thought unless they have to check a box on a form.

  • Al_Tenuta SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 12:39 p.m.

    To Redshirt - USS Enterprise

    To "Redshirt - USS Enterprise" then I know that there is a Santa Clause because I see evidence of him at the mall.

    Again, how is your belief that there is no Santa Clause any different than believing there is a Santa Claus?

  • MEB SLC, Utah
    Aug. 30, 2018 12:24 p.m.

    Looks like Redshirt is right. By milquetoasty's definitions #2 and #4, Atheism can be considered one's personal religion. Most Atheists I know simply replace belief in God with some other rabid, irrational belief system (like environmentalism, politics, or some other crackpot obsession).

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    Aug. 30, 2018 11:40 a.m.

    @Pops – “We have no knowledge, only belief.”

    That statement is epistemologically bankrupt.

    It’s true that our knowledge of the universe is inductive and that we cannot know definitely that we aren’t just experiencing an elaborate computer simulation, but epistemologically speaking that is a million miles away from “belief” as the term is commonly used by people of faith (or kids talking about Santa Claus).

    Knowledge follows rules of logic, evidence, and proof (in the inductive sense).

    Faith is what you’re left with when reason fails but you want to believe anyway.

    They are as different as apples and 747’s.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 30, 2018 11:19 a.m.

    To "Tyler D" I get it from 2 sources.

    First, I get it from the dictionary definition of religion.

    The second source is the IRS that has granted religious status to atheist groups.

    So, the question for is this: Do you know something that the dictionary and the US Federal Government don't?

    Kind of funny how you use Atheism as a label that resembles Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or any other religion. It is almost like Atheism IS a religion.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 10:58 a.m.

    Faith may be an "inferior epistemology", but unfortunately it's all we have. The only connections our minds have with the universe are fallible senses. We are compelled to take everything on faith. We have no choice in the matter. We have no knowledge, only belief.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 30, 2018 10:22 a.m.

    "There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds. " "We are 'saved' for a higher purpose: to reaffirm our skepticism".

  • Tyler D Prescott, AZ
    Aug. 30, 2018 10:01 a.m.

    @RedShirt – “atheism is a religion.....”

    Where do you guys get this stuff?

    First of all, you do realize that all these arguments are essentially conceding that faith/religion is an inferior epistemology, don’t you?

    Second, people find all sorts of reason to bond through community. To believe that atheism gives a community anything other than a shared sense of what they are not, is nonsensical. It would be like going to a weekly meeting of non-astrologers or non-alchemists.

    Finally, atheism as a label is just weird when you think about it (again, like being a “non-astrologer”). Other than knowing that it simply means instead of not believing in the 9,999 gods we’ve invented (which btw describes all of us), they don’t believe in any 10,000 gods; the term “atheist” tells you absolutely nothing about a person’s views on anything.

    You can be a radical right-wing atheist, a radical left-wing atheists, and a million other variations.

    But by all means, kept trying to say it’s a religion thereby denigrating your own.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Aug. 30, 2018 8:16 a.m.

    I am atheist and anti-theist. Atheist: I don't believe the god claims presented. Anti-theist: I believe gods do not exist. Support for the latter: Faith.

    Just kidding. The prime giveaway for me is the knowledge that we humans have worshiped thousands of gods in our history and that their nature tracks closely with culture, state of knowledge, and environment. So by knowing when, where, and under what conditions an individual lived, we can predict with great accuracy what type of god(s) s/he believed in. That alone points strongly to "man created gods" rather than vice-versa.

    Evolutionary research also provides plausible reasons for why we developed the beliefs we did. Seeing purpose/agency, believing we're being watched and looked after - these things have been conducive to survival in a brutal, amoral reality. It's just that this kind of reality doesn't point to moral/just gods, which is the kind we tend to worship. It instead points to man making gods in their image.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 8:15 a.m.

    We all agree that humans have simply made up over a thousand gods.

    And yet some (most) believe that the god(s) that their parents happen to believe in is actually the 'real' god.
    Look around the world. How are the worlds religions dispersed? The factor which most easily can predict what religion you believe in is geography.

    We have seen appeals to 'faith' on this page.
    Faith is just the excuse people use when they dont have good reasons to believe something. If I ask you why you believe something and you have good reasons, then those are what you use to explain it to me. If you dont have good reasons you claim 'faith'. Faith has never solved a mystery or answered a question about our universe. Faith has stood in the way of answering questions about our universe.

    The 9/11 bombers had more 'faith' than 99.9999% of the believers in the US. Did any of you change your religion because of their display of faith?

    We have also seen Pascals wager posed here. But anyone who has studied any philosophy knows that belief isnt a this or that. There are thousands of gods. You could have picked the wrong one.

    Religion: They cant all be right but they can (and are) all be wrong.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 6:59 a.m.

    To "my_two_cents_worth" then I know that there is a God because I see evidence of him everywhere. So I just believe there is 1 more God than you do.

    Again, how is your belief that there is no God any different than believing there is a God?

  • OldSalt94 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 6:47 a.m.

    Went right to the comment section because there are so many takes on religion versus non-religion. What I see by the headline is a way to categorize groups of people, similar to “The Greatest Generation”; “Baby-Boomers”; “Yuppies”; “Gen-X” and “Millenials”....probably left out a few in between. But I wonder why we are so adamant to categorize, profile, pigeon hole or choose how to LABEL someone.
    We are all children of parents who’s parents bore them and so on all the way back to whatever beginning the HUMAN Race had. Scientists have an opinion, theologians have an opinion about when and where “life” began.
    I for one believe we are Children of a Superior Being, whom I refer to as God or Heavenly Father, and was sent here to perform certain tasks so I could return to Him. Even if that task is just to have faith and believe there is a hereafter. After death we will have our answer.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 12:30 a.m.

    @Thid Barker
    "Faith is our spiritual currency for the here-after! Its that simple! Go to your grave with abundant spiritual currency (faith)! The alternative is really, really bad and it lasts for soooo long!"

    But which is worse, a non-believer who sincerely just doesn't believe, or someone who is approaching faith as an insurance policy rather than sincere belief?

  • Alfred Springville, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 9:07 p.m.

    @my_two_cents_worth:
    "We don’t 'believe' there is no god; we see no evidence to support the existence of god to believe in."

    Those who don't believe there is a god are usually those who have analytic minds.

    Believers have to be able to generate and live by faith. And sometimes the faithful have to ignore what are instances relatively hard to accept, applying logic. For example, how did Noah and his three sons build a boat (ark) which had to be a huge vessel to accommodate all the animals on the earth and feed them for almost a year? How did he gather the polar bears form the Polar region and the koala bears from Australia? Did he gather squirrels, rabbits, rats, moles, ants, butterflies, etc., etc., ad infinitum? The whole story doesn't seem plausible but many believe it, accepting it on faith. And that's fine with many non-believers.

    And, how could Jonah live in the belly of a whale for three days and not get digested? Another issue that has to be taken on faith.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Aug. 29, 2018 5:43 p.m.

    @RedShirt

    “To "The Atheist" how is your belief that there is no God any different than a belief that there is a God?”

    We don’t “believe” there is no god; we see no evidence to support the existence of god to believe in. You are really no different than us: you dismiss all the other gods mankind has worshipped over the millennia; we just dismiss one more god than you do.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    Aug. 29, 2018 4:50 p.m.

    Some people believe in atheism so devoutly, it must be a religion, they never stop trying to convert others.

    Some people believe in the scientific method so devoutly they don't understand it applies to religion also, but always becomes fuzzy at the edges of knowledge.

    It would be interesting to see how this survey relates to MIchael Shermer's book, "The Believing Brain". He believes (yes, I know) that all humans are born with a "believing brain" and must believe in something. You can get a little of his book from his TED talk, "The pattern behind self-deception".

    So interesting to see things come together in a circle as we learn more about ourselves.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 4:30 p.m.

    @milquetoasty & Athiest

    Per the definitions supplied Religion Definition #4, and Atheism Definition #1b are exactly the same in support of one another. I have never met an atheist who is not ardor "passionate" about their being atheist, as I believe The Atheist as demonstrated within in his comments.

    The Atheist Said - "no wonder so many tens of millions around the world are turning away from religion!"

    Studies done on this very subject do nowhere indicated that the number of people leaving is in the tens of millions. But whatever. Ironically, did you know that one of the Top10 reasons studies have shown people leaving religion is (The rise of a fad called “atheism"). I thought is was funny they called it a fad. The other interesting thing was all 10 listed were liberal ideals of our entitled young up and comers. Just another interesting point.

    The Atheist Also Said - "How hard is that to wrap your inspired religious minds around?"

    Are you that disgruntled, that people take a definition that supports being atheist as a religion that it fires you up that much. Why so angry? Is it that hard to wrap the atheist philosophical minds around?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 4:08 p.m.

    To "The Atheist" how is your belief that there is no God any different than a belief that there is a God?

    Humans do not have the ability to see into the past to either confirm or deny that God created the Earth. Nor do we posses to ability to know what exists much beyond what we can observe directly. So, to say that there is no God, that takes faith because it is not something that can be proven or disproven using any empirical evidence.

    You are not being categorized by "what you don't believe", but are being categorized by what you do believe in. The basic beliefs of Atheists include that man was created through evolution, and that once you die that you no longer exist as a person.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 3:29 p.m.

    As "atheist", I grow tired of the same old worn out "arguments" trying to convince the world that atheism is "a religion".

    With patently absurd reasoning like that, it is no wonder so many tens of millions around the world are turning away from religion!

    It is absurd to attempt to categorize people according to what they do NOT believe.

    How hard is that to wrap your inspired religious minds around?

  • drdr Springville, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 3:10 p.m.

    [Continuing from my previous comment.]

    The fraction of 50% of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that are "Sunday Stalwarts" is roughly similar to the typical rate of "active" Church-attending members. Without more data, it is hard to assess other religious groups, but the next highest are our Muslim brothers and sisters with around 40%. I'm not implying any disrespect of other religious groups who have different theological and cultural backgrounds that help explain these differences.

    Looking more at the report, I am confused how the Sunday Stalwarts who are 91% Christian, 97% believers in heaven, and 94% believers in the Bible can also include 19% who believe in reincarnation and 16% who believe in astrology. As astrology and especially reincarnation (defined in the poll as "people will be reborn again and again in this world") are contrary to Christianity and the Bible, there must be a non-negligible fraction of Bible-believing Christians who either do not understand their own doctrine, are willing to believe theological tenets that are essentially contradictory, and/or simply did not understand the questions well enough to respond appropriately.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 2:55 p.m.

    To "milquetoasty" did you read the definitions you listed for RELIGION. You found that a religion is "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith." That is atheism, it meets that very definition. Since an atheist cannot see the entire universe, they must take it on faith that there is no God. They have no proof that God does not exist.

    Atheists, like Christians, may not all have the same beliefs, but there are some core beliefs that they all share.

    There are even Atheist groups that meet once a week, just like an organized religion.

    If that isn't enough, even the IRS has granted Atheist groups "religious" tax status.

    To "my_two_cents_worth" you make no sense, maybe you should get a few more cents before commenting.

  • drdr Springville, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 2:53 p.m.

    I was surprised that the Deseret News did not have a breakdown of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into the typology categories until I found that this breakdown is not given in the full report. The breakdown for other religious groups is given and the Deseret News made an infographic for that.

    Using weights based on the typology (Full Report, p. 5) and the religious breakdown table (p.8), I was able to reconstruct the fraction of every religious group in each category, which matches the data that are given on page 32 to within 0-2% (which is the survey error anyway).

    In order from most religious to least religious, the fraction of those in Non-Christian Faiths in the 7 typologies are 16, 6, 12, 11, 16, 21, and 19 percent. The fraction of "Mormons" is 49, 3, 6, 10, 17, 3, and 10 percent.

    [More in another comment.]

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Aug. 29, 2018 2:45 p.m.

    Interesting article indeed! It has been said that if you are an atheist, God (faith) is not your enemy, death is your enemy! We all die, then what? Either there is nothing beyond the grave or there is. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world" Matt 11: 25-27

    Either that's true or it isn't! Faith is our spiritual currency for the here-after! Its that simple! Go to your grave with abundant spiritual currency (faith)! The alternative is really, really bad and it lasts for soooo long!

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 2:38 p.m.

    I'm not sure where agnostics fit into this study, since they were not listed.

  • Jeremiah Flanksteak Sandy, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 2:17 p.m.

    Atheists were the ‘most educated’...not surprising really. The world in general would be a FAR better place is we ‘86’d ALL religions and ‘attempted’ to live by the Golden Rule.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 2:13 p.m.

    I have never been happier since I left my childhood religion. If you are thinking of trying it give it a shot. You will never know until you try it.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Aug. 29, 2018 1:43 p.m.

    @RedShirt

    “To "The Atheist" but by the very definition of religion, atheism is a religion”

    By the very definition of shoe size, “brown” is an 11 1/2 wide.

  • milquetoasty Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 12:29 p.m.

    To "RedShirt"

    You said:

    "...but by the very definition of religion, atheism is a religion....."

    Merriam-Webster defines religion as:

    1 a : the state of a religious a nun in her 20th year of religion
    b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
    2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
    3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
    4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

    Atheism is defined as:

    1 a : a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
    b : a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
    2 archaic : godlessness especially in conduct : ungodliness, wickedness.

    That is it. There is no institutionalized system, dogma, set of beliefs, structure, or guiding text.

    To be sure, there are many things which most atheists probably agree on (although certainly not all, there are no rules to begin with), and some behave dogmatically. However, to call it a religion is incorrect, by the very definition.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 11:57 a.m.

    To "The Atheist" but by the very definition of religion, atheism is a religion.....

  • Heraclitus Prescott, AZ
    Aug. 29, 2018 11:53 a.m.

    By far the most interesting group in American society today are the “nones” and this new survey format goes a long ways towards making the distinctions necessary to understand who this “fastest growing” group is.

    One area that I found confusing though is the difference between the “Spiritually Awake” and the “Religion Resisters.” The group titles suggest some real differences, but the descriptions in the article sound almost identical – they’re both classified as “spiritual but not religious” and both are interested in “spiritual energy” (whatever that is) and nature.

  • J. Smith Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 10:48 a.m.

    Solidly Secular thank you, although you could call me a believer in Deism....

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 10:32 a.m.

    Huzzah for the solidly secular and the religion resisters!

    Go team! Let truth and reason prevail!

  • bass679 Novi, MI
    Aug. 29, 2018 10:17 a.m.

    @Forerunner
    They might be counted in the Catholic segment. We generally use Catholic to refer to Roman Catholics but it's applicable to the Orthodox Catholic churches as well.

  • Forerunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2018 9:26 a.m.

    Interesting story.
    Also interesting that while it has photos from the Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, the piece had not one mention of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.