Americans and their beliefs

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Ivan Seeking

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The short version is that you really can't tag people so easily. You won't find more religious diversity than in the US.

I once met a guy who prays to Thor!!!
 
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Rach3

I think a low 22% support of the fundamentals of biology is not a symptom of an issue with a minority. It's not that you're underestamating the numbers of the fundamentalists (they *only* compromise 28% of some 3*10^8 Americans); it's their influence that you underestimate. They are numerous, rich, committed, and loud; as a result of their campaign, a supermajority of Americans, "fundie" or not, disagree with established science because of their religious belief. This is significantly worse than with European Christians, for instance, and is a consequence of a large and influential fundamentalist movement in the mainstream here.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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Ah, yes, even at 28% I thought I was pretty close. And I would challenge that on a person by person basis. As for the influence, recently they have been scary enough to make me look to Canada. But I think - I pray - that alliance is faultering. The fundies have been betrayed by the Republicans and they are starting to realize it. What's more, there is a mainstream movement within the Christian community to expand their focus to include things like feeding the hungry, uniting instead of dividing the nation, working for peace instead of war, little changes like that. It is argued that all else has been excluded for the extreme fundamentalists political agenda.

Interestingly, last night I picked up a SciFi called Time Changer. It turned out to be an evangelical style propoganda movie for the anti-evolutionists!!! [correction, I should have said born again/evanglicals, not anti-evolutionists. I don't think evolution was ever mentioned specifically] That one really surprised me. It was bad, but I ended up watching just to see where they went with it.

I was squirming pretty badly when it was clearly stated that science is only correct when it agrees with the Bible. But, that is a faith statement.
 
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Chi Meson

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Is it true that the majority of Americans believe in the literal translation of the bible?
If this were so, then few could believe in dinosaurs, and all museum displays of dinosaurs would be shunned, and books for children depicting dinosaurs would not sell. This is clearly not so since dinosaurs are a hot commodity here.



America is an advanced nation - really??????????????
The arrogance of this statement shows that you would make a fine American!
:wink:
PS, just in case you are not familiar with my sense of humor: I love irony!
 
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Kurdt

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The short version is that you really can't tag people so easily. You won't find more religious diversity than in the US.

I once met a guy who prays to Thor!!!

The guy in the video in the link (Alan Moore I think his name is and probably a relative of Astronuc) prays to a hairy snake :smile:. He seems like a very nice man anyway.
 
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The short version is that you really can't tag people so easily. You won't find more religious diversity than in the US.

I once met a guy who prays to Thor!!!
I'm trying to find the poll, but something like 92% of Americans consider themselves christians. I wouldn't call that diversity at all.
EDIT: I misread the poll:
95% believe in a God, not necessarily the Christian God.

I did find this, however, which states that 77% (as of 2001, it may be higher or lower now) were considered christian. Still pretty high, although not as high as I thought.
 
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A 64% supermajority of Americans are creationists, which means they believe their God created everything in it's final form, period.
There's a very big problem with that statistic: if you ask them in a serparate poll if they believe in evolution, I think you'll find another supermajority beleives in that, as well.

You're supposedly in the U.S right now. Try stopping some people on the street and asking them if they believe in evolution, without first asking them about creationism.

Go ahead: most of them won't bite.
 

Moonbear

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I did find this, however, which states that 77% (as of 2001, it may be higher or lower now) were considered christian. Still pretty high, although not as high as I thought.
Keep in mind that a lot of people consider themselves Christian only because that is the faith their parents raised them with, even if they don't follow the faith as adults (i.e., never go to church, never pray), or don't follow it in it's entirety (i.e., Catholics who regularly go to church but still use birth control). That's part of the limitation of polls that ask people to simply identify their faith; polls are designed to categorize people together, not reflect the full spectrum of individual beliefs.

As Ivan has attempted to point out, there's also a problem with trying to identify people as fundamentalist, and that's because the term is widely misused, and lumped in together with terms such as evangelical, which also gets misused. There is also many evangelical religions, and they do not all hold the same beliefs. Even within a religion, the beliefs of the individuals can vary widely - take note of the current splintering off of congregations in the Episcopal Church as an example of that.
 

russ_watters

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Is it true that the majority of Americans believe in the literal translation of the bible?
No.
There is an inverse proportioality between intellect and religion - comment?
Not really.
Most Americans in positions of authority lack the courage of conviction to state the obvious regarding religion - comment?
No.
The majority consider Intelligent design to be correct whilst evolution is disregarded - comment?
No.
America is an advanced nation - really??????????????
Where do you get these misconceptions? There are good reasons why America is advanced in a lot of ways.

These questions say a lot more about you than they do about the US! Your screen name is appropriate, though. :rolleyes:
 

russ_watters

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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.
Be careful with your conclusions, Rach3 - that isn't what the poll says. A good fraction of Christians believe that God did his creation through evolution.

Still - the poll Gokul posted is quite disturbing - it said 55%/51%.

That said, I think if you asked the question "is the Bible creation story literally true?" you'd get still a different answer.
 
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russ_watters

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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.
I basically agree, but want to point out that there are many levels of funamentalism, so people might be defining it differently. Some might say anyone who believes in the Biblical creation story is a fundamentalist (though I would not agree). There are a lot of very strict religious beliefs/laws that the vast majority of American Christians don't follow. So to me, a "fundamentalist" is someone who their religion strictly controls a good fraction of their lives.

For example, I work with several guys who do not ever seek medical treatment and don't wear seatbelts or get insurance because of their religious beliefs.

I think a lot of people in the US who we label fundamentalists (the Christian Right) are not. Devout, perhaps, but in other countries fundamentalists' religions are practically tattooed on their forheads.

And lets go right where people want to be here: Bush. Is he a fundamentalist or just ignorant?
 
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Rach3

Be careful with your conclusions, Rach3 - that isn't what the poll says. A good fraction of Christians believe that God did his creation through evolution.

Still - the poll Gokul posted is quite disturbing - it said 55%/51%.

That said, I think if you asked the question "is the Bible creation story literally true?" you'd get still a different answer.
I'm not the one who's careless here!

a new national survey shows that almost two-thirds of U.S. adults (64%) agree with the basic tenet of creationism, that "human beings were created directly by God."
22% Human beings evolved from earlier species.

64% Human beings were created directly by God.

10% Human beings are so complex that they required a powerful force or intelligent being to help create them.

4% Not sure/Decline to answer
http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=581
 
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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.
Thanks Rach3,
a very precise and concise reply. You seem to have valid data to draw upon.
 
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Moonbear

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For example, I work with several guys who do not ever seek medical treatment and don't wear seatbelts or get insurance because of their religious beliefs.
:grumpy: Meanwhile, the rest of us get to pay for them with "uninsured motorist" coverage on our insurance. I don't care if they don't want to protect themselves, but they ought to be required to have insurance to cover treatment of any injuries they cause to someone else, or not be allowed to drive a car.
 

russ_watters

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Here is another poll, Rach3: http://www.zondervan.com/Cultures/en-US/ZCS/CLB/NearlyOne-ThirdofAmericansBelieveBible.htm [Broken]
According to the survey, about 3 out of 10 Americans continue to profess belief in a literal Bible today, which accounts a 10% drop over the past three decades. More than 1,000 adults were asked to describe their view about the Bible with 28% responding that the Bible is the "actual Word of God and is to be taken literally."

Poll results see a 45% to 49% increase among those who say the Bible is the inspired Word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally. However, the survey also records a larger increase of Americans who say the Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man (13% to 19%).
Gotta love the headline there, though - 28% is closer to 1/4 than 1/3. :rolleyes:

Anyway, the point is that the poll you posted was very general and you are reading into the results some things that they simply do not say.
 
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russ_watters

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:grumpy: Meanwhile, the rest of us get to pay for them with "uninsured motorist" coverage on our insurance. I don't care if they don't want to protect themselves, but they ought to be required to have insurance to cover treatment of any injuries they cause to someone else, or not be allowed to drive a car.
In PA, it is required by law, so they get around it by having company cars that are insured. Not sure how that jives with their beliefs. :uhh:
 

Rach3

Argh, the polls are very different. Harris poll does not distinguish between theistic/nonthestic evolution, but does provide an option for "intelligent designer" other than God (10%). I'm not sure how to compare the two, especially since the voters might have changed their response based on cues in the wording. That's suggested by the fact that the numbers in no way correlate between the polls. (Or it might reflect the 2004-2005 difference, which is not trivial...)
 

Rach3

I think the CBS poll has better wording...
 
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to russ watters

No. Not really. No. No. Where do you get these misconceptions? There are good reasons why America is advanced in a lot of ways.

These questions say a lot more about you than they do about the US! Your screen name is appropriate, though. :rolleyes:
Dis I say that I had misconceptions? If they are why should they be mine? Did I say that America was not advanced?
Why should these questions say anything about myself? The response will say more about the respondent. Bold print ?????????
 

Rach3

Look at table 6 of the Harris poll - 82% want either creationism or ID in the classroom, either on equal footing with evolution, or in place of. :eek:
 

russ_watters

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Argh, the polls are very different. Harris poll does not distinguish between theistic/nonthestic evolution, but does provide an option for "intelligent designer" other than God (10%). I'm not sure how to compare the two, especially since the voters might have changed their response based on cues in the wording. That's suggested by the fact that the numbers in no way correlate between the polls. (Or it might reflect the 2004-2005 difference, which is not trivial...)
I'm not seeing the problem here - it looks to me like the two polls do corellate very well:

Harris: 64% agree with the basic tenet of creationism, that "human beings were created directly by God."

Notice that the words "directly" on "indirectly" do not appear in that question and it does not say anything about the level of influence. The CBS poll, however says:

"God created humans in present form" - 55%
"Humans evolved, God guided the process" - 25%

Now I had the proportion wrong in my previous post, but to me since the wording of the CBS poll is much more specific, you get different results. Ie, "God created humans in present form" is much more specific than "human beings were created directly by God", which is why you get fewer "yes" answers. Someone who answered "Humans evolved, God guided the process" may have also answered yes to "human beings were created directly by God", but not necessarily.

To me, the numbers corellate very well.
I think the CBS poll has better wording...
Yes - more/more specific choices is generally better.
 

Rach3

How do the numbers correlate?

(Btw, I agree the CBS wording is less ambigious).
 

russ_watters

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Dis I say that I had misconceptions? If they are why should they be mine?
If you believe them, then they are yours, regardless of where you got them from. One of the great advancements in modern culture is personal responsibility. You are just as responsible for your own beliefs as American fundamentalist Christians are for theirs.
Did I say that America was not advanced?
You implied it with your "really?" question and dozen question-marks.
Why should these questions say anything about myself? The response will say more about the respondent. Bold print ?????????
You revealed your misconceptions and prejudices with the questions and implications.
 

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