Monday, January 6, 2014

Is American Beleif in God in Decline? Half Americans don't believe with Certinty and 1/4 are agnostic or atheist?

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this is dated 1/4/14. that will be important latter when we have 15 articles on Religious A priori:Bogus Atheist Social Sciences dealing with different levels of poll results.

 Here we go with more distortion of the stats on God belief. It is so important to atheists to believe that they really are secretly the majority becuase they do believe in appeal to popularity. How do they cope with the fact that they are unpopular? They pretend they are not. They do everything they can to forge statistics. I've seen them claim all Hindus are atheist. I've seen them claim all other religions are atheists that are not Christian. I've them claim that Christianity is so divided that it's an amalgam of one billion smaller religions and thus atheism outnumbers each one individually. That's right. that's about as lame as you can get. Talk about living in denial.

An article in something called "liberty voice"[1] half of Americans don't believe in God "with certainty," and a quarter are atheist or agnostic.[2] So 2% could be atheist the rest of the quarter agnostic. They could count as agnostic people who believe in God. The article doesn't say "half don't bleieve in God at all" It says "with certainty." So depending upon how certain certain is they  could be calling the Southern Baptist Convention "uncertain," because they haven't gone into the arena to fight lions yet. While this article uses a couple of good sources that are important to observe (Harris poll and NPR) it's primarily catering to an atheist audience to get ratings. That in itself tells us something, that there is a strong enough niche for atheist thinking that it can be used as a market. It also tells us that the article itself is merely propaganda. The general point of the article is that belief in God is declining in Ameirca. Several categories have gone down 5-8% such as certinty about God or belief in Chrsitmas as religious holiday.

The newest poll, released earlier this week, supports previous research, including a study done by PEW which showed that a third of young people were not affiliated with any specific religion. PEW also released a new study this week showing that half of all Americans do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday.

In general, belief in the supernatural of all kinds declined significantly over the last eight years. The drop off in such beliefs were as follows: The Devil (four percent drop), resurrection of Jesus (five percent drop), virgin birth (three percent drop), miracles (seven percent drop), survival of soul after death (five percent drop), Jesus being the son of God (four percent drop), creationism (three percent drop), witches (five percent drop) angels (six percent drop) and heaven (seven percent drop). Belief in God overall dropped eight percent since 2005. There were two areas of supernatural belief that rose one percent each: belief in UFOs and belief in ghosts.[3]
Atheists are really making a big thing out of the rise of the 'nones.' The None category means no affiliation  with an established religious institution they are treating it like it's the rise of atheism itself. The Pew study of recent vintage shows that the atheist segment of none is still less than 5%, more like 2 or 3% and has not risen significantly in the last several years.[4] The segments that have risen include believers in God. About of them are believers in God, the rest are don't know (agnostic).[5]

The article uses two serious sources, Harris poll and NPR, and three Joke sources, or what I consider to be jokes but which are put over as serious, Huff post, which has become a shameless wasteland of propaganda for atheism, and The Blaze. I'll deal with the Joke sources, then the serious ones.

Joke sources

The source she sites from Huffington is on the Religion page by

The article is mainly about the secular attitude toward Christmas taken by half of Americans who know longer see it as a religious holiday. Their source is Pew study. [6] The pie chart for the report shows 92% do Christmas. Of that 51% find it a religious holiday, 32% cultural, 9% both/other. We have a bit of a math problem here. Not only does that not make 100% but it doesn't come close to half who think Christmas is not a religious holiday. It's also pretty Ambiguous as to how important the changing Mazeways are regarding Christmas. Is the dropping off of Christmas a big religious holiday, if it's even happening, really indicative of loss of faith in God? While the atheist cheer leaders are jumping up and down going "Yes! Yes!" I don't think so. Not to the extent atheist hope. There was a time when Christmas was regarded as less important than the Holiday for various saints.

Granted this, taken with the rise non affiliated young people is important and does definitely single changes it's far from certain what the changes mean. It's a shifting of the Maze ways. Changing of the Mazeways is not necessarily bad even for belief. The theory of the Mazeways was by Anthony Wallace (b 1923--), one of America's major anthropologists at one time. The developed a theory of social change and political and religious change and social revitalization around the concept of maseways. Mazeways are "mental maps that join personalities with cultures and therey illustrate how individuals embrace their culture, conduct everyday life and cope with illness and other forms of sever personal or cultural stress." [7]

The Blaze article is shameless propaganda. They even use the Monty Python image of God form the Holy Grail movie. They sight the Harris poll as saying belief in God is down to 75% from 82% a few years ago.

then they just sight a list of beliefs that are "down."

Belief in miracles, heaven and other religious teachings also declined in the latest poll, as follows:
–72 percent believe in miracles, down from 79 percent in 2005;
–68 percent believe in heaven, down from 75 percent;
–68 percent believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God, down from 72 percent;
–65 percent believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, down from 70 percent;
–64 percent believe in the survival of the soul after death, down from 69 percent;
–58 percent believe in the devil and hell, down from 62 percent;
–57 percent believe in the Virgin birth, down from 60 percent.[8]
 No analysis. all from the Harris poll. These article show us how the material reverberates around the net uncritically with no analysis, used by various entities to gain readership and plays into the hands of atheists for propaganda.

The serious sources

Harris poll. Both of the Joke sources used the Harris poll

New York, N.Y. - December 16, 2013 - A new Harris Poll finds that while a strong majority (74%) of U.S. adults do believe in God, this belief is in decline when compared to previous years as just over four in five (82%) expressed a belief in God in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Also, while majorities also believe in miracles (72%, down from 79% in 2005), heaven (68%, down from 75%), that Jesus is God or the Son of God (68%, down from 72%), the resurrection of Jesus Christ (65%, down from 70%), the survival of the soul after death (64%, down from 69%), the devil, hell (both at 58%, down from 62%) and the Virgin birth (57%, down from 60%), these are all down from previous Harris Polls.
Belief in Darwin's theory of evolution, however, while well below levels recorded for belief in God, miracles and heaven, is up in comparison to 2005 findings (47%, up from 42%).[9]
 Evolution is not a contradiction to belief in God so that does not correlate with a lose in belief. What is the methodology of the Poll?

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States November 13 and 18, 2013 among 2,250 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
While representation of the poll is scientifically determined, while some times the shift to using computer sources means a more acute poll (shift to cell phones as opposed to  ground lines) but that doesn't mean that a poll done entirely on line is representative. If one atheist knew about it they could probably get an army of atheists to answer it. Harris interactive is a market reserach firm:

  1. Harris Interactive, headquartered in Rochester, New York, is a market research firm, known for the Harris Poll. Harris works in a wide range of industries, across countries and territories through North America, Europe, and Asia. ...[10]
you can write our own questions. We don't know who wrote the questions for survey that makes a big difference. how you ask a question on a survey will determine the way people answer. Just being market research makes it suspect. I was in Market research for a number of years. It's not scientific. they do have a from of science but when you intorudce profit motive science goes out the window.

The Harris poll is contradited by Gallup:

"PRINCETON, NJ -- More than 9 in 10 Americans still say 'yes' when asked the basic question "Do you believe in God?"; this is down only slightly from the 1940s, when Gallup first asked this question." 

Despite the many changes that have rippled through American society over the last 6 ½ decades, belief in God as measured in this direct way has remained high and relatively stable. Gallup initially used this question wording in November 1944, when 96% said "yes." That percentage dropped to 94% in 1947, but increased to 98% in several Gallup surveys conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. Gallup stopped using this question format in the 1960s, before including it again in Gallup's May 5-8 survey this year.[11]

The chart shows 92% still say "yes" to the question do you believe in God? [12] The poll was done in 2011. It's doubtful that it dropped that much in two years. As the quote tells us it's down from the 40s. That means back in the God fearing 1940s fewer Americans believed in God than they did in the sinful postmodern 90s, or the scary Godless oughts. That means it fluctuates and some changing is not a sign of decline. It could well be that the difference is accounted for in the inaccuracy of representation by doing it form market reserach panels and on line.

The Gallup source states that when alternatives such as expression of doubt, qualification of confidence, or other kinds of belief are compared the belief for God goes down a bit. For example when asked do you believe in God or a universal power or spirit 80% say God 12% say universal spirit. At the same time only 6% say neither. 1% say other 1% say no opinion. That shows how the way the question is ask matters and it makes me think the Harris question was not asked directly in terms of "do you bleieve in God?" It also shows the atheist segment is still down around 6% which is the liberal end of my estimate.[13]

Pew study on the rise of the "nones" (see fn 3-4 below) also disproves it:

In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%)[14]
It says atheists are "nearly" 6% but the chart they provide shows they are not up to 5% and may not be be up to 4%. That's a far cry from the exaggerations made by Blaze and Huff post. It's less than Harris polls would predict. I think the differences in questions is a good explanation. When Gallup asked "do you bleieve in God" they got a higher answer for "yes" then they broke up the notion into alternatives such as "God or a higher spirit of some kind." This tell us that there is a segment that is willing to call their transcendental signifier something other than God but it's close enough that they wil accept calling it God if they have no other alternative.

There is a pew study done in conjunction with PBS and religious ethics weekly that finds 68% of the nones believe in God (2/3) 37% classify themselves as "spiritual but not religious."[15] Overwhelming this group says they are not looking for a religion they don't like organized religion. Clearly the mazeways of modern society are changing and producing formations undreamed of by our ancestors. Yet bleief in God is not declining. The notion of "higher power" is getting at the concept of God. See my essay on how atheists have to cover up this fact but it's pretty well proved. When people say "higher power" they mean God. The alternatives people are offered such "some form of spirit" is really another way of saying "God."[16]

One thing we must always be careful with is the media will always pawn off no affiliation with not believing in God. When I Google "what percentage believe in God in U.S." I get the rise of the nones article and other articles taht rae based upon it. They all talk like "none" means none believe in God. It does not.

See Metacrock's blog on Wednesday for analysis of the None's and the changing of the mazeways.


[1] Liberty Voice was formerly a the Las Vegas, Nevada-based Liberty Voice was The Guardian Express.This leads me to conclude that this article is a publicity stunt to get circulation. not affiliated with the famous Guardian in New York.

[2] Rebecca Savastio, "Nearly Half of Americans Do not Believe in God 'With Certianty'--a Quarter Are Atheist or Agnostic.

[3] Ibid

[4] Staff, "Nones on the rise," PewResearch Religion and Public Life Project. Octo 9 (2012). Online reseource:  accessed 1/6/14.

[5] Ibid.

[6] "Chrsitmas, a non religious holiday for half of Americans, Pew Survey finds." Huffington Post, Religoin section. (Jan 5, 2014). accessed 1/5/14.
the Pew study sited in that Dec 8, 2013.

[7] Ilias Sabbir, "Theory of Revitalization Movement by Anthony Wallace."
on resource accessed 1/4/14.

[8] Staff Writer, "Poll American's Belief in God is on the Decline." the Blaze, December 17 (2013).  accessed 1/4/14.

[9] Staff, "Americans Belief in God, Miracles, and Heaven, Declines--belief in Darwin's theory of evolution rises." Harris Interactive. Harris Polls (Dec. 16, 2013). On line resource.  accessed 1/5/14.


[11] Frank Newport "more than 9 out of 10 Americans Continue to believe in God." June 3 (2011).

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Pew Study "Rise of the Nones" (above fn 4).

[15] Ibid.

[16] Metacrock, "Atheists Try to Deny That 'Higher power' refers to God." Atheistwatch (June 25, 2012). accessed 1/6/14.

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