Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Pew Study: Atheism NOT Increasing in World Population

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 Pie chart: Pew Study

Recently I put up an article about a study that showed that atheism had was now at 13%of the world population. Now I find another study to call that one into question. That would be the Pew Study on Global Religious Landscape. I had reason to doubt the first study, which was done by an organization calling itself Gallup International. Its' not affiliated with the Gallup Poll in America. Here's why I doubted it:

(1)  the study was done by the rouge Gallop international which is a company started by people who were kicked out the real Gallup organization.

(2) they assumed northern Eruope is heavily atheist and Greely's study shows it's not. now a new study shows it's not. We will see the new study  smashes the myth of Northern Eruope as atheist strong hold.

(3) they also assumed Japan was 70% atheist, In many other studies Japan is 80% Buddhist. That just doesn't add up becuase even though atheists try to claim all Buddhists as atheists Buddhists have told me that ti's only in America that that thinking makes sense and that real Asian Buddhists would never accept being called atheists. Besides what sense does it make to think of "atheist" in the conventional sense we know when dealing with a culture that thinks of deity in such a radically different way than we do. If any of you have studied eastern religion you know what I mean.

The New study shows 16% unaffiliated with any religion.

Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group. A comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life estimates that there are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, representing 84% of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.

 The demographic study – based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers – finds 2.2 billion Christians (32% of the world’s population), 1.6 billion Muslims (23%), 1 billion Hindus (15%), nearly 500 million Buddhists (7%) and 14 million Jews (0.2%) around the world as of 2010. In addition, more than 400 million people (6%) practice various folk or traditional religions, including African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions. An estimated 58 million people – slightly less than 1% of the global population – belong to other religions, including the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism, to mention just a few.1
At the same time, the new study by the Pew Forum also finds that roughly one-in-six people around the globe (1.1 billion, or 16%) have no religious affiliation. This makes the unaffiliated the third-largest religious group worldwide, behind Christians and Muslims, and about equal in size to the world’s Catholic population. Surveys indicate that many of the unaffiliated hold some religious or spiritual beliefs (such as belief in God or a universal spirit) even though they do not identify with a particular faith. (See Religiously Unaffiliated.)

The unaffiliated includes those who believe in God. It doesn't say what percentage believe in God so it could be only 3% thus 16% unaffiliated and 13% of those atheist with 3% believers in God. The study doesn't say but there are reasons to think this is not the case. The best one is that the statistic of 16% tallies with the old data from Adherents.com,* they said half the unaffiliated believed in God. There's no real reason to think that changed if the 16% over all figure didn't change. Moreover, the Pew study lists percentages of atheists in each area and show for individual counties what percentage believe in God, "belief in God or a higher power is shared by 7% of Chinese unaffiliated adults, 30% of French unaffiliated adults and 68% of unaffiliated U.S. adults. ." On a world map showing distribution where a given religion is majority it shows for all of Europe Christianity is the majority although for Northern Eruope barely so. The majority of unaffiliated live in Asia-Pacific region  because of China. which due to the communist history has the most atheists. "The religiously unaffiliated are heavily concentrated in Asia and the Pacific, where more than three-quarters (76%) of the world’s unaffiliated population resides. The remainder is in Europe (12%), North America (5%), Latin America and the Caribbean (4%), sub-Saharan Africa (2%) and the Middle East and North Africa (less than 1%)." That's interesting because it puts unaffiliated at 12% in Europe, which according to many atheists sources such as Zuckerman is counted as "the atheist countries." That tally s with Greely who puts hard core atheism at no more than 10% in Norway. Of cousre fora ll of Europe the unaffiliated percentage is smaller than it may be for any particular country. This is unaffiliated so some of them believe in God. The study doesn't delineate atheists much at all.

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Pie chart: Adherents.com

* The pie chart is still up. But unfortunately the site has folded and been taken over. It was up as long I've been on the net. now it's gone. this is a real blow.

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