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Americans and their beliefs

  1. Jan 1, 2007 #1
    Is it true that the majority of Americans believe in the literal translation of the bible?

    There is an inverse proportioality between intellect and religion - comment?

    Most Americans in positions of authority lack the courage of conviction to state the obvious regarding religion - comment?

    The majority consider Intelligent design to be correct whilst evolution is disregarded - comment?

    America is an advanced nation - really??????????????
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2007 #2
    The United States of America has one the largest armies in the world. The United States of America has one of the largest stockpiles of WMD in the world. The United States of America is on the frontier in many areas such as technology, science, human health infrastructure and democracy.

    I will not comment on your proposal that an increase in religion and religious values leads to less intelligent people.

    Hardly. The President of the United States have on several occasions expressed his thoughts about religion and science, acting quite convicted in his opinions.

    The United States of America is one of the worlds most advanced nations in the world, which is fairly obvious to a majority of the world's populations.
  4. Jan 1, 2007 #3
    I do not mean advanced in the technological sense but in the human sense. One could be with no technology and yet be very advanced in human terms. Tolerance, understanding, ability to reason, to question and to listen.
  5. Jan 1, 2007 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    No. Those who do are called Christian fundamentalists. We have a spectrum of beliefs that spans all religions as well as every twist of agnosticism, atheism, and cults.

    I don't think there is any definitive study showing this to be true. IIRC, scientists tend less towards religious beliefs than the average.

    I think this is a statement of what you believe. Do you believe that each person should be free to choose their own beliefs, or should they just ask you?

    False. You are talking about fundamentalists.

    It sounds to me that it is your base of knowledge that needs advancing. :wink:
  6. Jan 1, 2007 #5
    Being convicted in one's opinions in not a sign of intellect and advancement. It may reflect other factors such as being stubborn, low tolerance, misunderstanding, lack of knowledge and understanding, being misguided and so on >>>>>>>>>>>
  7. Jan 1, 2007 #6
    I'm not sure how much you do or do not know about the politics of the United States. There is freedom or speech, religious freedom and all of those key phrases are actually a large part of science and technology, both in its definition and areas such as social 'sciences'.

    Not everyone is like the stereotypical American - Middle-aged, highly religious, anti-science, anti-research or fanatic fundamentalists, just as everyone in the middle east is not stereotypical as well. Most Americans are secularized to some extent.

    The things you see on TV and read in bias newspapers is not usually not 100% true anywhere.
  8. Jan 1, 2007 #7
    It would be of some interest to know how many are fundamentalists. There are many intellectual Americans who could show the way here.
  9. Jan 1, 2007 #8
    Thank you. Of this I am aware but I am simply raising awareness of what may be perceived misconceptions. Yet there are powerful lobbies in the US which support the stereotypical view.
  10. Jan 1, 2007 #9
  11. Jan 1, 2007 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    The fundamentalists have gained much attention lately because the Bush administration successfully catered to this portion of the population in order to gain the political advantage. Also, fundamentalism has been a growing movement in the US for some time. My guess would be that perhaps 20% of the US could be considered fundamentalists - which is not a precisely defined concept. Even among fundamentalists, there are a range of beliefs.
  12. Jan 1, 2007 #11
    Interesting reply - as always the political agenda and desire for votes has a powerfull impact on direction.
  13. Jan 1, 2007 #12
    The answer is denial < fear and laziness to all your questions... the most common attributes of all humans?
  14. Jan 1, 2007 #13
    There's too much "guesswork" and "opinion" in this thread's responses - rubbish I say! These are quantitative questions, and should be looked at with due respect.

    Not quite; 28% take it literally. An additional 49% believe it is the "literal word of god", so a nice 77% supermajority interpret the origin of the bible literally, even if viewing the text as somewhat allegorical.
    source: 2006 Pew Forum poll, n=1002
    http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=10618 [Broken]

    "Intellect" is a very ambigious word. You can google for studies correlating education level and religious belief - there are lots of them with very different methodologies, so it takes some thinking to figure out what they actually mean (I'm not sure).

    I can't answer this directly, because the PF guidelines prohibit us from discussing the truth values of religions (cause fights break out when we do).

    To the point; no, there are no atheists in American politics, and there won't be anytime soon.

    Correct, never mind what Ivan Seeking says. According to an n=1000 Harris poll from 2005, a 64% supermajority believe "Humans were created directly by god", and an additional 10% believe in non-theistic intelligent design. Less than 1/4th, 22%, think that H. sapiens is a product of evolution.
    Nearly Two-thirds of U.S. Adults Believe Human Beings Were Created by God

    (There is some wavering, however, since a number of self-identified creationists have wierd chimera-theories such as "humans were created but everything else evolved naturally"; see the poll.)

    I'm writing another post to address this.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  15. Jan 1, 2007 #14
    Looks like someone's underestimating the fundies...
  16. Jan 1, 2007 #15
    Is there more to life then just quantitative answers? (just a good thread idea :P)
  17. Jan 1, 2007 #16
    As a technical clarification, very few people actually believe "Intelligent Design" theory (necessarily less than 10%, according to the above poll). A 64% supermajority of Americans are creationists, which means they believe their God created everything in it's final form, period. ID theory is essentially a hoax, an attempt to re-state Creationism without explicit reference to God and thus force it into public schools (the Dover ruling acknowledges as much). Probably most Americans don't pay attention to the particulars of ID, which is psuedoscience and not religion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2007
  18. Jan 1, 2007 #17
    The poster asked quantitative questions about the American demographic, and I alone answered them.
  19. Jan 1, 2007 #18
    There's a crucial distinction to be made here. Actual scientists, engineers, biologists, etc. make up a tiny fraction of a population; they thrive in America for many reasons independent of social ideas at large - for instance, the top schools, or the vast wealth. Education at universities and beyond thrives; it is not crippled by the ignorance of the masses, since academics is hardly a democracy. Neither for instance, is biotech and pharma research affected greatly by idiots who don't believe in microscopic cells.

    What is being damaged by bad education is issues of public policy, where the viewpoint of the majority is the deciding factor. Intelligent Design doesn't really hurt anything at all. However, ignorance of the energy crisis and global warming, are extremely destructive - fission energy goes nowhere because of irrational phobia, while millions drive Hummers. Faith-based ignorance fuels deadly public health choices, such as abstinence-only education, absistence-based AIDS policy, opposition to stem cell research funding, etc. In the particular areas where public ignorance meets public policy, America is falling far behind.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2007
  20. Jan 1, 2007 #19


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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  21. Jan 1, 2007 #20
    It could also be a sign of being right.
  22. Jan 1, 2007 #21
    Being convicted is a rather unpleasant experience.
  23. Jan 1, 2007 #22


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    The term is 'convinced' - being convinced in one's opinion (or belief).
    Certainly that would be the case if there was contradictory evidence with respect to one's opinion.

    Rach3 makes a key point. A minority of people in the US participate in the development of science and engineering. There are some evangelical religious people in science, but they seem to be in minority. I have encountered a few. There are perhaps more traditional religious people in engineering than in science, at least that has been my experience.
  24. Jan 1, 2007 #23
    actually, on the TV, we usually see cities like newyork. i cant recall a serie where many characters has south american accent.

    though in the media i sometimes get the feeling that america is changing toward religion. for example i heard of states replacing evolution to intelegent design. im not saying that it should be forbidden, but the fact that such things happen shows immaturity of mind.
    religion is never good when it leaks to political decisions.

    there still no doubt that america is the greatest nation in most areas, maybe in all areas, but its always few people who make the difference. so im still a bit worried about people getting religious.
  25. Jan 1, 2007 #24

    Ivan Seeking

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    I don't think so. For example, how many of them shave? Check your Old Testament.

    Many people confuse new-age and born again, and in this case, basic tenets of Christianity, with fundamentalism. There are many religions that consider the Bible to be the word of God, but not infallible; that is, they don't take every word literally. Also, at the heart of Christian diversity are the many interpretations of the bible.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
  26. Jan 1, 2007 #25

    Ivan Seeking

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    Also, from Gokuls second link

    By definition, all fundamentalists would object to teaching evolution to their children. And theistic evolution is certainly not acceptable to a fundamentalist; nor does it contradict scientific findings.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2007
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