Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Demographics of Atheism- Not so Outnumbered After All


Those who claim religion is important often scoff at atheism, proclaiming that "only two percent of the worlds population is atheistic."

Of course, their use of this bandwagon fallacy is easy to note- but even more amusing is their overlooking of a few simple studies and established facts that indicate that a far greater number of people are atheists than most believe.

To be quite clear- atheism and theism is purely, simply about whether an individual believes in a god or gods and has almost nothing to do with their religious affiliation or spiritual beliefs- indeed, a highly superstitious, fundamentalist christian may actually be an atheist, who merely believes that the bible is both a strong moral guide and ought to be the basis of secular law systems.

As I have pointed out to others, a number of studies have shown atheism is far more dominant than believed.

Firstly, a Canadian study which indicates that, at least within Canada, there are a great many millions of Catholics and Protestants who do not believe in a deity though they attend worship services. This also works in reverse- several million irreligious individuals do believe in a deity.So here is the truth: that a great many hundreds of millions of christian individuals would, if asked about belief in a god rather than "what religion they belong to" respond that they are atheistic.

There have been studies, also, that indicate that a large minority of priests and pastors are actually atheistic as well.

This extends to the Islamic world (and I have spoken with many closeted Arabic atheists myself) where many atheists proclaim that they are Islamic to avoid harassment or, in some nations, execution as heretics.

Many liberal Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, and others, are atheistic and participate in religion either due to family pressure or cultural expectations.

All told, it would likely not be an overstatement to declare that at least one billion and possibly upwards of two billion human beings, are actually atheistic.

That is not to say that all of these individuals lack spirituality- for spirituality, religion, and theism, are three completely different things. I consider myself very spiritual, but I am not religious, and do not believe in any specific deities in a literal fashion.

Thus, we can, in essence, argue that atheism is likely the single largest faction on Earth but, of course, is composed of both religious and spiritual individuals, not just homogeneously antireligious, antispiritual believers in science alone.There are also a great many theists who are deistic in practice, or which practice a greater deal of symbolic rather than literal worship.

2 comments:

  1. Are you insane? Why did you put Turkish flag on that picture? Turkey isnt a religion, its a country. Too bad that stupidity isnt painful.

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  2. maybe a change in this religious tyranny could end if these atheists in hiding could reveal themselves en masse. a lot of the upptity religious tyrants in the US and middle east could actually have their hands so full that they buckle

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