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Religion selectors, pages, etc.
Does God exist? Only half of Americans say a definite yes
By Curt_Anderson
May 22, 2023 3:34 pm
Category: Religion

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Not quite 50 percent of Americans say they have no doubt about the existence of God, according to the 2022 survey, released Wednesday by NORC, the University of Chicago research organization. As recently as 2008, the share of sure-believers topped 60 percent.

Thirty-four percent of Americans never go to church, NORC found, the highest figure recorded in five decades of surveys.

Another new report, from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), said that 27 percent of Americans claimed no religion in 2022, up from 19 percent in 2012 and 16 percent in 2006.

The PRRI report tracks a historic decline in the nationís Christian population, especially among white people. The share of Americans who identify as white evangelical Protestants has dwindled from 23 percent to 14 percent since 2006. The share of mainline white Protestants has fallen from 18 percent to 14 percent. White Catholics have declined from 16 percent of the population to 13 percent.


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Comments on "Does God exist? Only half of Americans say a definite yes":

  1. by Ponderer on May 22, 2023 5:41 pm

    I have felt for some time now that the name "God" is far far too insufficient a label for the vast reality of what everything is. Or as Douglas Adams put it, "The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything".

    I actually like the name Everything a lot better.


    I'd bet anything that when we die and we actually realize and come full-grok comprehension and understanding with the reality of what this is all about, we spend what we would perceive on this plane of existence as the first three or four millennia of afterlife in a constant state of unimaginable laughter at the mere thought of how our former puny little three dimensional meat puppet minds could have never even gotten close to understanding the actual "truth" of Everything.



  2. by Ponderer on May 22, 2023 5:43 pm



    I hereby declare the old lamented PHILOSOPHY FORUM to be fully resurrected for all takers..........





  3. by Curt_Anderson on May 22, 2023 5:48 pm
    I'll take that bet!


  4. by Ponderer on May 22, 2023 5:52 pm



    What do you believe, Curt?




  5. by Curt_Anderson on May 22, 2023 7:59 pm
    I believe there are:
    no gods, no god, no afterlife, no heaven, no paradise with 72 virgins, no hell, no ghosts, no post life epiphaniesÖI believe itís all bunk.


  6. by HatetheSwamp on May 23, 2023 3:39 am

    po,

    Trump is God?

    I agree. The ol Philosophy Forum was da bomb.


  7. by HatetheSwamp on May 23, 2023 3:45 am

    Gang,

    As a student of what the institutionalists call CHURCH history, I'll note that it's widely accepted that, in the colonies in 1776, ten percent of the population belonged to a church.

    We have far to fall.


  8. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 6:03 am

    "po,

    Trump is God?"
    -Hate

    No. Of course he isn't. Interesting that your first post on a thread about God has you bringing him up.

    Look, Bill. I realize that this is a religious belief that you have held close to your heart for several years now. And I can understand how in that time he has managed by his bottomless cornucopia of ungodly actions to give you some slight pause and make you even question your obsequious devotion and allegiance to him.

    But if you're looking to me to help reinvigorate your convictions in his divinity, I am sorry to have to disappoint you.


  9. by HatetheSwamp on May 23, 2023 6:11 am

    I'm taking it that you are a pantheist.

    One question any that every religious belief system has is to account for the problem of evil.

    So, in the religion of po-ism. What do you do about evil? How do you splain OrangeMan?


  10. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 7:59 am

    "One question any that every religious belief system has is to account for the problem of evil." -Hate

    I account for it be simply stating that humanity is made up entirely of humans. That accounts for the vast majority of problems in the world today. Humans are a terribly flawed species to have so much intelligence. We're like a rambunctious child with a flamethrower.

    Greed is an ingrained aspect of our genetic makeup. It's a part of who and what we are. Some humans can keep it to a minimum and live peaceably with others. And some go all-freaking out feeding it and don't care who, what, or how many they destroy to get what they want and are still never satiated.

    I think that evil stems pretty much entirely from greed. I think evil will be defeated when greed is eradicated from our human makeup completely.

    And good luck with that.


  11. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 8:09 am

    Curt, that is certainly an option. I used to be in that camp myself. But I have evolved over time as the mystery has deepened for me. And given everything that I have garnered over time, that conclusion just doesn't work for me anymore.

    Whatever this all is, I just don't need for it to have a name. For me, if you give something a label, you have instantly limited it and confined what it might actually be. And when you start giving the complexity of all that is beyond our understanding pronouns and canon and such, you lost me.

    I try to be open to the full scope and reality of what this all is. And if I ever declare that I know what it all is, I want someone to slap me upside the head roundly please.


  12. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 8:11 am

    And if it turns out that there really isn't anything else than this reality, Oh well. What did I lose?


  13. by HatetheSwamp on May 23, 2023 8:38 am

    "Curt, that is certainly an option. I used to be in that camp myself. But I have evolved..." po

    Yeah. When you look up "evolve" as a verb in the dictionary? That sketch? It's po.

    I will say that Curt's atheism is crotchety outdated modernism. It never did satisfy the heart, nor the mind.


  14. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 8:57 am

    "Yeah. When you look up "evolve" as a verb in the dictionary? That sketch? It's po." -Hate

    And there is something wrong with that...? There is something wrong with one's beliefs evolving with new facts, data, and experience?



    HA! forgive me. I forgot who I was talking to for a second there.


  15. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 9:00 am

    I will say that Curt's atheism is crotchety outdated modernism.

    And I will say that your brand of monotheism is outdated, antediluvian mysticism.


  16. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 9:01 am

    (forgot the quote marks around your quote, Bill)


  17. by HatetheSwamp on May 23, 2023 9:12 am

    pi,

    I believe in Jesus but hate institutionalized Christianity. Where did that exist before Noah's flood?


  18. by HatetheSwamp on May 23, 2023 9:15 am

    My phone always corrects po to pi. Sorry.

    3.1415


  19. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 9:33 am

    Oh that's right. I forgot that Christianity has nothing at all to do with the Old Testament. Sorry.


  20. by Donna on May 23, 2023 9:38 am

    I think that there is something that has always existed and probably always will that is beyond the grasp of human intelligence.


  21. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 10:04 am

    Bill, do you believe that accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is the only way to avoid... a bad time in whatever afterlife there may be?


  22. by HatetheSwamp on May 23, 2023 10:29 am

    po,

    You show me "accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior" in the Bible and I'll believe it.


  23. by Ponderer on May 23, 2023 12:07 pm

    Okay. Fine.

    Thanks.


  24. by HatetheSwamp on May 23, 2023 12:11 pm

    So, po. In your earlier life, is that what was taught/preached to you. It's common in the American church, even today. So, no biggie. Just askin.


  25. by islander on May 23, 2023 3:08 pm
    The question i"s there a God", in Catholicism, the mysterium tremendum the mystery that inspires awe. In philosophy it has sometimes been expressed as Why is there something rather than nothing when it seems it would be so much easier for there to be nothing.

    My answer...I donít know, which is why I label myself an agnostic...(a) without (gnostic) knowledge. 



  26. by Ponderer on May 24, 2023 9:07 am
    Pretty much, Bill. I know it's a stereotype, but there's truth to it.


    So how do you account for evil, Bill?




  27. by HatetheSwamp on May 24, 2023 9:58 am

    po,

    How does pb account for evil? To simplify? Free will.


  28. by Ponderer on May 24, 2023 10:32 am

    That works. 👍


  29. by HatetheSwamp on May 25, 2023 6:12 am

    po,

    I never did answer your question. I attacked the "gospel" packed into your question and turned the question back on you, but it's a fair question and worth answering:

    Bill, do you believe that accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is the only way to avoid... a bad time in whatever afterlife there may be?

    I do not. For a time I was a part of a denomination that believed...still believes it.

    But, as I've implied, I don't believe it any longer and, in fact, these days I think it's heresy...and usually results in heteropraxy.

    I've described what I actually believe a number of times over the years. Bottom line and in abridged form:

    I believe that, in the end, there will be justice: we'll have to account for our good and evil actions. Jesus describes how that will work, most concisely, at the end of Matthew 25.

    "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat." There are six of them. Thirsty. Naked. Stranger. Sick. In prison. "Whatever you did for the least of these..."

    You know I've come to abhor institutionalized Christianity and institutionalized religion in general. You see very little of how Jesus lived and what Jesus taught in church buildings these days.


  30. by Ponderer on May 25, 2023 9:33 am

    Bill, I truly thank you for that response. Truly.

    In some ways, we don't differ all that much I suppose.


    We live next door to a megachurch. A while back, a gentleman from there must have been doing the rounds and came to our door looking to drum up new members. We had a lovely little discussion about philosophy and beliefs. I expressed to him that I actually had a lot of respect for the Christian religion and that I even went to a private Christian high school. I told him how I thought that Christianity helped a great many people. But then when I told him that for me though, when a religion promotes their way as the only one that will get you to "Heaven", that's when they lose me.

    They way the expression on his face sank at hearing that actually made me a little sorry I said it. He probably thought he had a catch. But it was my true belief.

    I have no idea what actually awaits us after we die. If anything. But the idea of a all-loving God who loves all of His creation and every single one of us, creating a place where those who don't follow His precepts and swear eternal allegiance to Him are condemned to an eternity of torturous damnation, just never made any logical sense to me at all.


    There's gotta be more to It All than that.


  31. by Curt_Anderson on May 25, 2023 9:47 am
    Ponderer,
    The church-goer who knocked on your door and many others like him imagine their God as being a Trump-like figure. That is their god demands loyalty and donations. Plus their god is vindictive toward those who donít praise and worship him. Also, their god like Trump issues pardons to the worst people who demonstrated fealty

    I am convinced that no gods exist. But if there was a God, I canít imagine him/her/it being a petty tyrant.


  32. by Ponderer on May 25, 2023 10:05 am

    🥂, Curt. I believe your position to be a totally valid one.

    South Park did an episode where much of it took place in Heaven. A character who had just died was surprised to see all the different gods there. The new arrival asked, well which religion was the correct one? Turns out it was the Mormons. Everyone else was wrong.


  33. by HatetheSwamp on May 25, 2023 11:11 am

    The church-goer who knocked on your door and many others like him imagine their God as being a Trump-like figure.

    You are obsessed, Curt. Baha baha.

    Trump Trump Trump Trump
    Trump Trump Trump Trump
    Trump Trump Trump Trump...TRUMP!

    Baha baha bahahahahahahahahahaha baha!


  34. by Curt_Anderson on May 25, 2023 1:45 pm
    HtS,
    Me?!! YOU are the cult member. Donít deny that you voted for Trump twice because he matches your notion of a vengeful God. You along with the other third or so of American cultists, who believe there was something suspicious about the last presidential election, imagine every time Trump has been the defendant in a courtroom, that the judge is Pontius Pilate.


  35. by HatetheSwamp on May 25, 2023 1:58 pm

    HtS,
    Me?!! YOU are the cult member. Donít deny that you voted for Trump twice because he matches your notion of a vengeful God.


    Baha baha baha bahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Please provide links. Baha baha baha!



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