Religious Survey

  • Thread starter Daniel Y.
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Which religious category would you fall under?

  • Religious

    Votes: 22 23.7%
  • Agnostic

    Votes: 22 23.7%
  • Atheistic

    Votes: 49 52.7%

  • Total voters
    93
  • #1
In writing a paper for my English class, I'd like to include a survey of the three main stances on religious beliefs. Religious (belief in a deity or deities), Agnostic (does not believe in the existence of or absence of a deity or deities), and Atheistic (does not believe in a deity or deities).

Please do not debate the religious types or opinions of others. This is purely for collection of data for my paper, and is not intended to be a contestation of any sort. Thanks.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
sysreset
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The agnostic category is challenging to define succinctly. It means different things to different people. For some it is the belief that it is impossible to resolve conclusively whether there is a diety or not. For others it is skepticism about a deity, colored by various degrees of wishing for belief to be possible or irrefutable. Still for others it is a belief in a nebulous spirituality that is not quite in the mold of a deity but in another mold. I don't want to make your endeavor more difficult but there are a lot of nuances there to deal with.
 
  • #3
The agnostic category is challenging to define succinctly. It means different things to different people. For some it is the belief that it is impossible to resolve conclusively whether there is a diety or not. For others it is skepticism about a deity, colored by various degrees of wishing for belief to be possible or irrefutable. Still for others it is a belief in a nebulous spirituality that is not quite in the mold of a deity but in another mold. I don't want to make your endeavor more difficult but there are a lot of nuances there to deal with.

I appreciate the feed back. While the definitions of the Agnostic category may differ from individual to individual, I tried paint in broad strokes the three possible choices. I meant for Agnostic to be taken as 'undecided', or more elucidated by Webster to be "a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god", which is the typical taken meaning of Agnostic.
 
  • #4
Evo
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I'd say that if you feel you can't pick, don't vote. Otherwise go with the predefined definitions the OP stated.
 
  • #5
DaveC426913
Gold Member
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You do realize you have a very poor cross-section here on PF? Your data is going to be highly skewed.
 
  • #6
You do realize you have a very poor cross-section here on PF? Your data is going to be highly skewed.

And purposely so. I created the poll here because it's a professional and scientific community - which was the ideal targeted sample for a point in my paper regarding this type of community. In my paper I've included other samples such as a general chat forum survey, artist forum survey, paranormal forum survey, and a few others. I don't intend for this survey to be representative of the general population.
 
  • #7
lisab
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And purposely so. I created the poll here because it's a professional and scientific community - which was the ideal targeted sample for a point in my paper regarding this type of community. In my paper I've included other samples such as a general chat forum survey, artist forum survey, paranormal forum survey, and a few others. I don't intend for this survey to be representative of the general population.

So, I'm curious...how do those other communities compare to PFers?
 
  • #8
~christina~
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Oh wow..many are ...atheists.:bugeye:

Is this what happens, when you're into science?
(I guess I'm the exception then, since I love chemistry and yet I still believe in some higher power :rolleyes:)
 
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  • #9
mcknia07
282
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I think this is a very good idea to include data from this aspect.
 
  • #10
Evo
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Oh wow..many are ...atheists.
You will find more atheists among academics and scientists.
 
  • #11
~christina~
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You will find more atheists among academics and scientists.

But I want to be a scientist but I still believe in "god" :rofl:
 
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  • #12
mcknia07
282
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You will find more atheists among academics and scientists.

I serously would have never guessed that to be the case at all. I was suprised when I saw the vote count at the top too, I was like, WOW, I never thought that would be the case. Can I ask why do you think this is the way?
 
  • #13
Evo
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I serously would have never guessed that to be the case at all. I was suprised when I saw the vote count at the top too, I was like, WOW, I never thought that would be the case. Can I ask why do you think this is the way?
Both from knowing a lot of scientists and academics that are atheist, ok, I do not personally know any that are not atheist and there have been many surveys that also substantiate this.
 
  • #14
You will find more atheists among academics and scientists.

This is the correlation I intend to show in my paper; in fact, the general idea of providing samples of specialized forums (Scientific vs. Paranormal for example), as you might have guessed, is to show the general consensus among the individuals in the sample. I would venture to say the paranormal forum would contain an abundance of religious persons, but one might be surprised by the results.
 
  • #15
So, I'm curious...how do those other communities compare to PFers?

In general, the results of other surveys tend to have 20-30% Atheistic (but as low as around 5%), 60% theistic (very roughly speaking), and about 10-20% Agnostic. I ran a survey in my high school - but it turned out rather unusable, considering many participants didn't even know what Agnostic meant (a good lesson which taught me to define my terms).
 
  • #16
Evo
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I would venture to say the paranormal forum would contain an abundance of religious persons, but one might be surprised by the results.
That would probably depend on if they understand "religious" to include "Wicca, Druidism, worship of Hern (one of my personal favorites), etc...

Please do let us know the outcome.
 
  • #17
Cyrus
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Where is scientology? I want that option please. (You can list it under cult)
 
  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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...They concluded that academics in the natural and social sciences at elite research universities are significantly less religious than the general population. Almost 52 percent of scientists surveyed identified themselves as having no current religious affiliation compared with only 14 percent of the general population. [continued]
http://www.physorg.com/news102700045.html

The wording in the report makes it a bit vague. While I do not really consider myself to be religious in the sense of having religious affiliations, I do have what many would call "spiritual beliefs". For the sake of your poll the word "religious" is defined, but the survey specifically asked about affiliations, so this may not be inclusive. In either case it seems that about half of academic elites have religious beliefs. This would seem to be in line with the physics department at my alma mater.
 
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  • #19
waht
1,517
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I would guess that a strict discipline in critical thinking skills, and pattern finding is going to sway people into atheism, more than the no proof of god argument.
 
  • #20
rootX
465
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I think most Engineering or Science Majors (at my university) do not have a religion ... (or they have created their own lol), and I always wondered why

I change my religion every month; from Buddhism -- > Zen -- > Engineering -- > ...
 
  • #21
Texag
20
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Man, you left out "Suspending Judgment" which is the one I will answer with most of the time, if not I will just avoid the topic... depending on who is asking.
 
  • #22
moe darklight
401
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I chose agnostic. There could be some sort of order that drives the laws of the universe, maybe even an awareness. If this is the case, to me it would qualify as a "god"— though I'm sure it would be nothing like what we have described with our mythologies, so in the sense of religion I am an Atheist.
 
  • #23
Ivan Seeking
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I would guess that a strict discipline in critical thinking skills, and pattern finding is going to sway people into atheism, more than the no proof of god argument.

The study that I posted suggests that this is not so.

Our study data do not strongly support the idea that scientists simply drop their religious identities upon professional training, due to an inherent conflict between science and faith, or to institutional pressure to conform," Ecklund says.

"It is important to understand this," she adds, "because we face religio-scientific controversies over stem-cell research and evolution, for instance, and increased debate about the role of religion in both national politics and in the public policies that influence science.
 
  • #24
Poop-Loops
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I change my religion every month; from Buddhism -- > Zen -- > Engineering -- > ...

When I was searching for a religion a few years back, I really liked the idea of Buddhism and Zen. But after some research, I figured I could follow their tenants without subscribing to the mumbo jumbo.

Jefferson did a similar thing with the Bible. He took out all the supernatural stuff and just left the philosophies it was teaching in. I could live with that, too.
 
  • #25
lisab
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When I was searching for a religion a few years back, I really liked the idea of Buddhism and Zen. But after some research, I figured I could follow their tenants without subscribing to the mumbo jumbo.

Jefferson did a similar thing with the Bible. He took out all the supernatural stuff and just left the philosophies it was teaching in. I could live with that, too.

Amen :wink: .

As I expored more in religion when I was young, I found I could feel quite...spiritual?...as I listened to a beautiful psalm, or a Christmas carol, or an inspiring prayer. But as for the details, I can't believe in miracles or supernatural things any more than I can believe in a guy bending spoons using only his mind.
 
  • #26
Cyrus
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Amen :wink: .

As I expored more in religion when I was young, I found I could feel quite...spiritual?...as I listened to a beautiful psalm, or a Christmas carol, or an inspiring prayer. But as for the details, I can't believe in miracles or supernatural things any more than I can believe in a guy bending spoons using only his mind.

I believe in the matrix THANK YOU.
 
  • #27
Math Is Hard
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I voted "religious", but the only definition of belief that ever fit with my views was panentheism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheism

..a belief system which posits that God exists and interpenetrates every part of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well.
 
  • #30
Poop-Loops
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Amen :wink: .

As I expored more in religion when I was young, I found I could feel quite...spiritual?...as I listened to a beautiful psalm, or a Christmas carol, or an inspiring prayer. But as for the details, I can't believe in miracles or supernatural things any more than I can believe in a guy bending spoons using only his mind.

I still love church Hymns (not carols and Christian Rock... but actual hymns with thoughtful lyrics or better yet Latin) and find Catholic churches very peaceful and soothing, but I just can't bring myself to believe in the stuff, you know?
 
  • #31
waht
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The study that I posted suggests that this is not so.

The study suggests so, I agree. However, the study also says that they did a broader interview encompassing scientists from many disciplines such as "physics, chemistry, biology, sociology, economics, political science, psychology."

What would be interesting to see are statistics of physicists, and mathematicians only, as their critical thinking skills would be the highest. And having that compared to their background as family influence can carry a lot of weight.
 
  • #32
Ivan Seeking
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The study suggests so, I agree.

Do you mean that their studies influenced their beliefs, or not?

What would be interesting to see are statistics of physicists, and mathematicians only, as their critical thinking skills would be the highest. And having that compared to their background as family influence can carry a lot of weight.

Actually, that seems fallacious to me. I think mathematicians are the best critical thinkers when it comes to mathematics, and I believe it has been shown that critical thinking skills translate to other areas of thought, but I don't see it as being self-evident that mathematicians and physicists have some unique ablity to out-think everyone else on all subjects. In fact I might argue that people prone to pure logic are also prone to extreme bias in regards to problems that cannot be solved with logic. It seems to me that some people have a need to either explain, or to reject a claim, with very little neutral ground. As opposed to what many refer to as "true believers" in regards to ghosts, or God, or bigfoot, or UFOs, or whatever the topic might be, I find that there are also what I call "true disbelievers" who seem to reject any claim that they personally cannot explain.
 
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  • #33
Poop-Loops
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Actually, that seems fallacious to me. I think mathematicians are the best critical thinkers when it comes to mathematics, and I believe it has been shown that critical thinking skills translate to other areas of thought, but I don't see it as being self-evident that mathematicians and physicists have some unique ablity to out-think everyone else on all subjects. In fact I might argue that people prone to pure logic are also prone to extreme bias in regards to problems that cannot be solved with logic.

Just because you are good at math or science doesn't mean you aren't a total idiot. I'm sure we all know co-workers or professors who when asked about something outside of their area of expertise are completely flabbergasted, or routinely display their lack of knowledge on a given subject, yes, even critical thinking.

Case in point: My friend is taking a Science and Societies class from the physics department. Physics professor is teaching it. Claims science and religion don't conflict, and claims that Intelligent Design (I don't know why I bothered to capitalize that) is 1) Not creationism (that's better) and 2) deserves a "fair chance".

Clearly this man isn't very good at thinking critically or at least didn't even research the subject he is lecturing on.
 
  • #34
TheStatutoryApe
260
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I was suprised by the lack of agnostics.
You may also be interested in Greg Graffin's thesis from his phd dissertation.

Poop-Loops said:
Claims science and religion don't conflict...
I would suppose this simply depends on your religion and your view of science.
Loops said:
...and claims that Intelligent Design (I don't know why I bothered to capitalize that) is 1) Not creationism...
It isn't. ID doesn't claim that the world is only 6,000 years old. Nor does it refute evolution, contrary to popular belief, just natural selection.
 
  • #35
Math Is Hard
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Just because you are good at math or science doesn't mean you aren't a total idiot.

Careful. Let's not build strawmen.
 

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