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Old 05-28-2019, 09:06 AM
 
413 posts, read 79,325 times
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Starting today, Tuesday 28 May 2019, the Vatican is hosting a 3 day conference titled Understanding Unbelief which will present the results of the cross-cultural research program, led by the University of Kent, on the nature and diversity of 'unbelief'.

The research, largely financed by the John Templeton Foundation, was conducted in Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, UK and the USA and addressed many of the topics often associated with non-belief.

Below are some of its main findings, which I though the members of this forum might find interesting, given the common arguments and misconceptions on the topic. The actual research report was published earlier today and is linked at the bottom of the post together with the source of this information.

Quote:
  • Unbelievers exhibit significant diversity both within, and between, different countries.
  • In all six countries, majorities of unbelievers identify as having 'no religion'.
  • Relatively few select 'atheist' or 'agnostic' as their preferred (non)religious or secular identity.
  • Popular assumptions about 'convinced, dogmatic atheists' do not stand up to scrutiny.
  • Unbelief in God doesn't necessarily entail unbelief in other supernatural phenomena and the majority of unbelievers in all countries surveyed expressed belief in one or more supernatural phenomena.
  • A common supposition - that of the purposeless unbeliever, lacking anything to ascribe ultimate meaning to the universe - does not bear scrutiny.
  • Most unbelievers endorse objective moral values, human dignity and attendant rights, and the 'deep value' of nature, at similar rates to the general populations in their countries.
  • Unbelievers and general populations show high agreement concerning the values most important for 'finding meaning in the world and your own life'. 'Family' and 'freedom' ranked highly for all.
Dr Lois Lee, who is the Principal Investigator of this research and the co-host of this event, had said the following:
Quote:
These findings show once and for all that the public image of the atheist is a simplification at best, and a gross caricature at worst. Instead of relying on assumptions about what it means to be an atheist, we can now work with a real understanding of the many different worldviews that the atheist population includes. The implications for public and social policy are substantial -- and this study also stands to impact on more everyday interactions in religiously diverse societies.
Dr Jonathan Lanman, who co-led the research stated that:
Quote:
Our data directly counter common stereotypes about unbelievers. A common view of unbelievers is that they lack a sense of objective morality and purpose but possess an arrogant confidence and a very different set of values from the rest of the population. Our representative data across six diverse countries show that none of this is true. In a time when our societies seem to be growing more and more polarized, it has been both interesting and encouraging to see that one of the supposed big divides in human life (believers vs. unbelievers) may not be so big after all.'
Some more details on the conference can be found here.

And the following is the link to the actual report - https://research.kent.ac.uk/understa...ReportRome.pdf

Rather than posting this in the Atheist echo chamber, I thought this forum might be more appropriate given the inclusive nature of this report and its larger cultural contribution.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:11 AM
 
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yup, I have said it since day one. And, There are all types of atheist that believe in something. that some types of atheist exhibit the personality traits of a Fundy-think-theist.

The fundy-think-atheist trying to force us all into an anti-religious/god box is a gross over simplification of atheism and makes it look like we base our choices on a statement of belief about god, here basing everything on anti-god.

most atheist, while willing to stop injustices where needed, will not base a line of logic off of "anti-religious/god.

thats a good thing.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:11 AM
 
5,905 posts, read 2,283,500 times
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Is Captain Obvious co-hosting this conference. On a serious note this is a very positive event for both sides.

And yes it is more important for believers to be aware of this than for us non believers. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:15 AM
Status: "We The North" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
25,752 posts, read 13,395,224 times
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So, atheists are people too.

I suspected as much all along.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
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Everything you quoted seems reasonable to me, and the atheists on this forum have been stating all of that for years.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:38 AM
 
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Perhaps they needed to do this for themselves. They certainly didn't need to do it for us. All they needed to do was talk to us and talk with the idea of seeing what we could agree on, and leaving aside what we disagree on. But perhaps they needed to work that out for themselves. They didn't have anything new to tell us.

Of course, Nobody's fooled. They think we are a Satan -controlled effort to undermine God and we have to be beaten and defeated.

We think they are a corrupt and hypocritical throwback to medieval superstition and the sooner it is gone, the better for the world.

That aside, we can see what we do agree about.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Sounds like a step in the right direction rather than the tired old "reasons" why people are atheists.

I'm not one, but I do understand just not being able to believe what you just can't believe.

It's why I reject the "Right Belief" form of any religion.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:47 AM
 
39,014 posts, read 10,812,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Sounds like a step in the right direction rather than the tired old "reasons" why people are atheists.

I'm not one, but I do understand just not being able to believe what you just can't believe.

It's why I reject the "Right Belief" form of any religion.
it's rather thought -provoking that these people are having to have conferences to tell them what you saw years ago -you don't have to agree with us in order to be able to live with us. It's only those who believe that only they are Right and all the others really don't deserve to live. They are the ones who need to do the changing - not us.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:31 PM
 
413 posts, read 79,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
Perhaps they needed to do this for themselves.
There is a short statement in the intro of the report, quoted below, on their motivation for this research.

Quote:
This multi-year research programme is motivated by the growing public, scholarly, and media interest in atheism, nonreligion, and secularity, fueled by the growing proportions of religious ‘nones’ and ‘unbelievers’ in many countries, the flourishing of secularist activism and nonreligious cultures such as ‘New Atheism’, and urgent policy debates around the status and rights of atheists, agnostics, humanists, and related groups. While the last decade has seen a rapid expansion in research on these topics – see, most notably, the flourishing of the international Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network (NSRN) – understandings of these topics have typically focused on narrow (and arguably unrepresentative) groups within the ‘nonreligious milieu’, and with a very heavy focus on the North Atlantic world.
I appreciate their decision to expand the research and introduce data from other countries outside of Western Europe and North America, particularly China and Japan, where political system often revolves around the cult of personality.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:39 PM
 
13,456 posts, read 4,976,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Sounds like a step in the right direction rather than the tired old "reasons" why people are atheists.

I'm not one, but I do understand just not being able to believe what you just can't believe.

It's why I reject the "Right Belief" form of any religion.
when we address it from the perspective that we are all people first and acting just like people, it can only make sense.
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