June 25, 2008

Remember Those Old "Unclear on the Concept" Cartoons from The Far Side

Carroll Andrew Morse

This is not from The Onion. According to a survey conducted by the very reputable Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

  • 15% of atheists are fairly or absolutely certain that God exists.
  • 29% of agnostics do not believe in God.

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To further muddy the issue...

I believe the entity you call "God" existed. I also believe that it wasn't the omnipotent, Santa-like sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake -type being that you think it 'is'.

I think it's closer to the "Stargate" model of deity. And it's long gone.

Heaven is a myth created to make you behave like good little sheeple.

Satan is the boogeyman in the closet.

Posted by: Greg at June 25, 2008 10:08 AM

...and Greg is the Great OZ!

Posted by: Marc at June 25, 2008 11:00 AM

That poll found people of strong faith more willing to believe that other faiths could find the path to heaven, too.
That tells me that Americans of faith are becoming (dare I say it?) more liberal about others' beliefs. That is very encouraging.

Posted by: rhody at June 25, 2008 11:34 AM

In other news water is now dry.

Posted by: george at June 25, 2008 2:17 PM

I think that we,infinitesmal parts of the whole ,are being incredibly arrogant when we think we can "understand" the Creator.
The Big Bang Theory only means there was a match and fuel.They didn't make themselves.We can't understand concepts like infinity and forever meaning time going back or forward,so we should be humble in the presence of creation.So-I could never be an atheist,but by the same token,I can't follow a man-made religion with interminable silly rules to control people.
I'm not an agnostic-I don't doubt that there is an omnipotent intelligence running everything.
I don't mind references to God in public life-I myself say the 23rd Psalm every day because I believe it voices my acceptance of a higher power without necessarily defining exactly what it is.
As far as God in our daily lives knowing "if we're bad or good"-I truly don't know,but it's possible.
I believe in prayer,but don't ask me to be rational about it because I can't be.I don't necessarily think that in the arena of belief rationality is a prerequisite.
I can say one thing I've observed-I was in the last high school graduating class year(1963) to have school prayer(the 23rd psalm no less)and since that time the quality of schools has declined.I'll leave it to whoever reads this to make what they will of that.
The vehemence of Steven Brown and his ACLU cohorts in their frantic attacks on public expressions of faith have me wondering about whether in fact there are satanic agents wandering the earth.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 25, 2008 2:26 PM

I don't get the meaning of this topic. Is the topic that atheists and agnostics are confused?

Atheists have NO belief in any deity.

Agnostics believe in 'some' type of deity.

FWIW, there is a God and he reveals himself in every moment of every day. He is always available to us and it's our choice to believe or not.

I truly believe it's a personal decision but I don't get this post unless it is to show the inconsistencies of those who think they know themselves.

Posted by: Roland at June 25, 2008 9:00 PM

What I love most about Christians is their righteous indignation and bottomless condescension.

Posted by: Greg at June 25, 2008 9:05 PM

You don't think it's a little strange that 15% of atheists, defined as people who don't believe in God, say they believe in God?

The generally accepted meaning of agnosticism is not knowing whether or not God exists. I suspect that the 29% don't really know the actual definition.

What Greg describes in his first comment falls under the general heading of Deism, the belief that God created the universe, set it in motion, and then took off.

Christians ain't got no monopoly on "righteous indignation and bottomless condescension".

As for the Stargate reference, even the Doctor (known colloquially here in the U.S. as "Doctor Who") has come to accept the existence of supernatural beings who have existed before time. And the Doctor could kick the butts of those Stargate bozos (including MacGyver and the guy from Farscape) to the nine corners of the Universe and back on any day of the week.

Joe -- no snark here -- the personal candor you are willing to express always makes the comments section a better place.

Posted by: Andrew at June 25, 2008 11:00 PM

"You don't think it's a little strange that 15% of atheists, defined as people who don't believe in God, say they believe in God?"

I think it's proof that stupidity is universal. Or that the questions were worded in vague enough ways to have screwed up the data sample.

Posted by: Greg at June 26, 2008 7:35 AM
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