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Old 11-16-2017, 08:35 AM
Status: "Humanitarian" (set 28 days ago)
 
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Religious

Now we know that the term "nones" is used, as it may include non-affiliated believers, or at least that has been the narrative. Personally, I suspect that virtually all that identify as "none" are in fact atheist or agnostic, but may still view those words as negative.

I see this as a very positive trend.

From the article:

Thirty-four percent of Americans surveyed said they were atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular,”

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Old 11-16-2017, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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"No affiliation" by definition has to include theists without a formal religious affiliation. Depending on how the study defines it, it could also impose that there is no corporate religious practice going on.

While I agree that many who are functionally non-theists may avoid the labels "atheist" or "agnostic" as too loaded, and/or may not want to admit their non-theism to themselves, much less to others ... we still cannot infer more definition from the classification than its actual use supports. Which is basically that the members of that group are not willing to accept for themselves, any of the other labels in that pie chart.

I agree with you also that the growth of this group is good news for those of us willing to self-label as atheist.

My wife is, like me, a None, and, like me, fits the definition of atheist (one who does not believe in the existence of one or more deities). Yet the first time I suggested she was an atheist she had a fairly strong reaction to the label, for reasons she's not self-aware about but I suspect have to do with the loaded nature of the word and her total indifference to all things theological -- therefore, having devoted very little thought to it. After all if you're indifferent to theism and have no baggage from a theist past then "atheist" is not a very useful or relevant term to identify with -- just like no one reading this bothers to identify as an "aphilatelist" because you don't collect stamps.

There are many people like this. Those of us who engage in these debates probably tend to discount their existence -- but they DO exist, and in significant numbers.
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:55 AM
 
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Yes. We have to accept that a lot of people - a lot - do not want to use the title "Atheist", it isn't a problem. Any religion - unaffiliated person, god-believer of not, is just what we want.
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Old 11-16-2017, 04:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
Yes. We have to accept that a lot of people - a lot - do not want to use the title "Atheist", it isn't a problem. Any religion - unaffiliated person, god-believer of not, is just what we want.
I hope that you don't have the same problem with Unitarian, humanistic, or Religious Science/New Thought churches.

There are actually a lot of fundamentalist Christians who do NOT think that they need to tell others about their faith. They think of it as a personal thing. I have as much respect for these kind of Christians as I do for any other type of believer or nonbeliever.
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:07 PM
 
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No problem (just academic disagreement, which I only load and aim when they go Public with their views) with any of those; not even Fundamentalists. I don't even have a Problem with flat -earthists, or those who believe in astrology, except when it gets peddled to the public for money, or they roll up here pushing their flat earth views - not that it matters but it's just fascinating to see how they brush away any objections.

No, it's only when the secular, humanist (and largely democratic so far as it goes) society gets threatened by Fundamentalists, or the rights of this or that group get threatened on a basis that isn't part of the secular humanist society. Obviously we are going to "discriminate" against criminals, because that's the law. We are not going to discriminate against someone who believes the earth was made in one day and T Rex ate cabbage. Provided he doesn't try to teach it in the science-class.

Then I have a problem, and so (if I have anything to do with it) do they.
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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The problem I have with such data is that it is totally debatable.

For example, let's just take Ray Moore. Ultra-religious person, religious right, founder of a faith-based legal charity, etc. But is he really a religious person?

The person who, when surveyed, says he or she is a Methodist, but NEVER goes to church. Is he/she really a Methodist?

A majority of convicts say they are religious. Are they?

So it says that Protestant is 33% of the population. But what is the real figure for real religious people. It's certainly less than the survey indicates.

"Religious" is an awfully vague term. Does it really mean anything at all?
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:59 PM
Status: "Humanitarian" (set 28 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
The problem I have with such data is that it is totally debatable.

For example, let's just take Ray Moore. Ultra-religious person, religious right, founder of a faith-based legal charity, etc. But is he really a religious person?

The person who, when surveyed, says he or she is a Methodist, but NEVER goes to church. Is he/she really a Methodist?

A majority of convicts say they are religious. Are they?

So it says that Protestant is 33% of the population. But what is the real figure for real religious people. It's certainly less than the survey indicates.

"Religious" is an awfully vague term. Does it really mean anything at all?
Yes, I agree with some of your points. I have no doubt many who identify themselves as "Protestant" or "Catholic" may well be so only culturally, and not real believers.

What is more revealing though is that the number of "nones" keeps growing. In other words, people are ready to move away from those cultural labels.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normstad View Post
Yes, I agree with some of your points. I have no doubt many who identify themselves as "Protestant" or "Catholic" may well be so only culturally, and not real believers.

What is more revealing though is that the number of "nones" keeps growing. In other words, people are ready to move away from those cultural labels.
I agree.

I think there are many people like I was in the last few years before becoming an atheist. I no longer considered myself Catholic or Methodist, but I still had faith. I guess you could say I was "independently religious". Other might say unafilliated.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Land of the Caddo and Tonkawa
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Where does this information come from? I searched around online, to look for this and the details of the statistics (the fine print), but could not find it. Most people these days instantly believe anything they come across online (and in forums), but a few of us old timers insist on the old approach of verifying the data before ever responding to it (including believing it). Maybe it's there, but it wasn't obvious in a few minutes of searching.

Last edited by Thoreau424; 11-16-2017 at 07:54 PM..
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:27 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
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"None" is only the largest because Christians are sorted into subgroups. Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant (and arguably Mormons) would all be subcategories if the graph was consistent, since Jews, Muslims and Buddhists are treated as single categories.

Clearly Christianity is still the dominant religion in the US.
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