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Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:32 AM

 

Americans are losing their faith in religion

Most people lost their faith in politicians and America's political institutions long ago. Now, they're abandoning organized religion.

The trend has existed for some time. According to statistics released by Gallup in 2012, fewer Americans than ever before have a great deal of confidence in organized religion. This is not all, though; public confidence in television news, banks and public schools has reached rock bottom as well.

In March, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed that things haven't turned around over the last two years. According to NBC reporter Carrie Dann, "One in five Americans say religion does not play an important role in their lives, a new NBC/WSJ journal poll shows the highest percentage since the poll began asking participants about their focus on faith in 1997."

She continues, "Twenty-one percent of respondents said that religion is 'not that important' to their lives, compared to 16 percent who said the same in 1999. In 1997, 14 percent of Americans said religion did not play an important role in their lives."

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/07/16/faithful-trend-religious-belief-becoming-disapearing-act/12732567/

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply Americans are losing their faith in religion (Original post)
SecularMotion Jul 2014 OP
edhopper Jul 2014 #1
DavidDvorkin Jul 2014 #2
rock Jul 2014 #3
rug Jul 2014 #4
cbayer Jul 2014 #5
AtheistCrusader Jul 2014 #6
Iggo Jul 2014 #7
cbayer Jul 2014 #8
edhopper Jul 2014 #9
cbayer Jul 2014 #10
edhopper Jul 2014 #11
cbayer Jul 2014 #12
edhopper Jul 2014 #13
cbayer Jul 2014 #14
edhopper Jul 2014 #15
cbayer Jul 2014 #17
edhopper Jul 2014 #18
cbayer Jul 2014 #21
edhopper Jul 2014 #22
cbayer Jul 2014 #23
edhopper Jul 2014 #24
cbayer Jul 2014 #25
atreides1 Jul 2014 #27
cbayer Jul 2014 #30
trotsky Jul 2014 #31
edhopper Jul 2014 #32
cbayer Jul 2014 #33
edhopper Jul 2014 #38
AtheistCrusader Jul 2014 #35
cbayer Jul 2014 #36
AtheistCrusader Jul 2014 #37
hrmjustin Jul 2014 #16
edhopper Jul 2014 #19
hrmjustin Jul 2014 #20
brewens Jul 2014 #26
Thinkingabout Jul 2014 #28
Township75 Jul 2014 #29
Enthusiast Jul 2014 #34

Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 09:06 AM

1. That is a good trend IMHO

I wonder how it compares to European countries?

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 10:04 AM

2. That's encouraging.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 10:08 AM

3. Or as I would say, "regaining their sanity."

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 10:35 AM

4. The real question is, in what are they putting their faith in instead.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 12:34 PM

5. That is indeed the real question.

While the author correctly reports that people are leaving organized religion, he makes a mistake when he conflates this with a general decrease in religiosity.

There is not question that self-identified atheists are a growing demographic, but many of those who have left organized religious institutions still identify as believers. It's just not clear what it is they believe in.

I would love to see what the author describes as a growing community of secular organizations that do some of the things that religious organizations do now, but I've seen no data so far that really supports that notion.

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 03:11 PM

6. Hopefully; themselves.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 04:08 PM

7. To that I say "Good" and "Not fast enough."

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Response to Iggo (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 04:13 PM

8. You need to get out there and do some deconverting.

Don't just leave it to chance. It's way too important.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 04:28 PM

9. Dear God he shouldn't do that

We need more believers with unshakable ideals that know they are doing exactly what God wants.
Dissuading someone of their beliefs is hateful thing to do.
As Justice Alito told us, it doesn't matter if the belief is untrue, as long as the person thinks it is.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 04:33 PM

10. I know! It's really important that we show people the way and the truth

and the light.

We have very important work to do here and we should not waste our time beating our chests in an internet discussion.

There are believers out there that need to be saved!!!!

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Response to cbayer (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 04:40 PM

11. No matter how idiotic, hateful, regressive or ignorant

A religious belief is, we should never, never, never try to persuade the believe they are wrong.
A believer can believe gay people should be put to death, but until they try to act on that belief, don't challenge it.
Got it.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 04:43 PM

12. Never have I said anything remotely resembling what you are saying here.

You seem to want to believe that I could, but I don't.

I am a strong advocate of fighting back against religiously held beliefs that harm or infringe on the rights of others.

You have gone to an extreme position that is absolutely untenable.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:35 PM

13. Maybe if you stopped

showing your complete disdain to anyone who persuades a believer that they may be wrong.
Start with that


"You need to get out there and do some deconverting.

Don't just leave it to chance. It's way too important."

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Response to edhopper (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:40 PM

14. I find evangelizers from either side objectionable.

I think those that think they have found the way, the right answer, when it comes to religion to be equally offensive.

You want to be a crusader to your cause? Go for it.

But realize this. YOu are no more right than the evangelical christian or the mormon missionary or anyone else that thinks they have the answer and feels the need to share it with the world.

You are right. I have disdain.

People should be allowed to believe or not believe as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others.

I object to proselytizing.

And that is exactly what persuading someone that they may be wrong, when you have no more evidence than they do, is.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:43 PM

15. I got that

I find it absurd, but i know it's your opinion.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:45 PM

17. Of course you find it absurd.

Evangelizers never see that they are exactly like those they oppose.

It's the nature of the business.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #17)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:48 PM

18. I find it absurd

that you find recommending a book to someone, or challenging their belief when it comes up in a discussion is the same as missionaries going door to door or standing on street corners telling people they are going to hell.
I find it preposterous that you think those are exactly the same.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #18)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:52 PM

21. Why do you always make these ridiculously extreme extrapolations from what I say?

I never said anything like you are proposing. I have not problem with recommending a book or having a discussion about one's beliefs or lack of beliefs.

I never said anywhere that I find those exactly the same, only that I see similarities.

You seem to want it to be entirely different. But it's not.

With that, I bid you good night. It's very late here and I have had a long day.

As usual, it's been a pleasure talking to you.

Although we disagree, I like that we are able to do so in a civil and respectful fashion and look forward to more conversation in the future.

I am not your enemy, no matter what my fan club says.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #21)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:54 PM

22. Who's atheistic proselytizing

do you find remotely similar to that of the born again fundies, Jevohahs or Mormons?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #22)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 04:02 AM

23. I, I don't know. Something about taking the position that there is

only one right way, that a person knows that way and the need to try and save those who don't know it.

Something which one unfortunately can be seen in some non-believers.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #23)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 09:09 AM

24. So it's about his

beliefs, and not his actions?

Does Dawkins have his followers go door to door, or preach on street corners?
Does he condemn people to hell for not agreeing with him.

A funny T-shirt makes him equal to the christian missionaries?

That's your argument?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #24)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 09:58 AM

25. His t-shirt is not funny. It's offensive.

It basically says that all religious people suffer from a disease. How freaking arrogant.

There are all kinds of degrees of proselytizing. Dawkins exhibits one kind, Jerry Falwell another. They use different techniques, but both have conversion (or deconversion) as their goal. Among their followers, there are also different degrees.

No one said anything about them being equivalent, just similar in some ways.

I'm sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, but if you have as a goal talking people out of their religious beliefs, then you are doing what evangelists do.

And I would get away from you just as fast as I would get away from a christian evangelist or anyone else who thinks they have the right and only answer when it comes to religion.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #25)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:19 AM

27. To lighten the mood

Jerry Falwell isn't exhibiting much these days...and both of his sons together have half the technique he had!

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #27)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:32 AM

30. The whole group seems to be getting less and less competent and I don't

see much coming up to replace them.

Which is good news all the way around.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #25)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:00 AM

31. Just as we Democrats also try to convert.

We try to persuade, we try to change people's minds. This attitude you have, cbayer, of how "ZOMG, they proselytize and try to change people! They're the same!" is just silly, divisive, and totally detached from reality.

If trying to get someone else to change their opinion is so freaking terrible, as you keep trying to tell everyone, then perhaps you should back away from society and go live in a shack or something. Change will never happen, as far as you're concerned. But that's bullshit - peoples minds HAVE been changed, and it's a GOOD thing. People were "converted" to accept interracial marriage, and now same-sex marriage. Arguments were made, and minds were changed. How is that bad?? FFS.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #25)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:05 AM

32. I guess i don't know the meaning of "exactly"

"Evangelizers never see that they are exactly like those they oppose."

I thought it meant equal, not just a little similar.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #32)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:14 AM

33. Your parsing of each word I write keeps you from seeing my point,

which I guess works out ok for you.

If I misuse a word then attempt to clarify my position, you can either go with that and try to understand what I am saying or you can play the "gotcha" game.

Which is what you just did.

You win. I am done.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #33)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 12:46 PM

38. I was under the impression that you were saying

there was no difference between the two.
Whenever I made the point that there was, you refuted it and double downed. That is not parsing, that is taking you at your word.

You characterize anybody who tries to change another's mind about their beliefs as evangelizing.

I disagree with all of that, and I strenuously point out how I find it insulting and bs.

You can do with that what you want. Examine what you said, or walk off in a huff.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #14)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:35 AM

35. Is it prosleytizing to point out when someone is wrong, about a non-religious belief?

Say, an old wife's tale sort of thing that can be demonstrated via a peer reviewed study, to be incorrect?
Or how about a fervent belief in the Gambler's Fallacy?

Do you oppose the dissemination of all factual information, or just things that tend to disprove religious beliefs?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #35)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:37 AM

36. Yes, I oppose the dissemination of all factual information.

You've got me pegged.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #36)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:43 AM

37. Well, that makes you consistent then.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:44 PM

16. Not surprised by these numbers. Organized religion at tomes can leave a lot to be desired.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:48 PM

19. Your on an iphone or a tablet?

Right?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 05:51 PM

20. King of the typos.

 

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:09 AM

26. I substitute superstition for the word religion and use pretend instead of believe when

discussing religion occasionally.

I have considered just what I would need to do if I ever decided I was a"seeker" and needed to go out and git me some religion? How would I decide what to pretend? Which would be the true superstion? Once I did pick one, would I not pretty much have decided that them other superstitions are all made up?

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:19 AM

28. Since messengers in some religions are in step with those in politics just may be the

Reason so many does not have faith in either, but for me it does not change my beliefs. Politicians should go about doing government work and preachers needs to return to religious work.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:27 AM

29. I'm not sure this means they reject religion, just a growing trend of avoiding labels

I don't doubt that fewer people are attending religious services but I don't think they ran into the atheist or secularist camps.

My guess is these people find atheist nuts just as obnoxious as religious nuts and want nothing to do with either party.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:22 AM

34. The American people have about had a belly full of greedly liars.

We have grown suspicious of many facets of life and rightly so.

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