What Are The Most Atheist Countries? The Most Religious?

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  krishna  •  3 weeks ago  •  23 comments

What Are The Most Atheist Countries? The Most Religious?
Religion has played a major role in the development of the culture and society, but in recent years, more and more countries have turned their backs on the whole idea of believing in a central diety.

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Source: Pew Research Center


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Religion has played a major role in the development of the culture and society, but in recent years, more and more countries have turned their backs on the whole idea of believing in a central diety. So, which countries are the most atheist, and why?


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Krishna
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Krishna    3 weeks ago

Religion has played a major role in the development of the culture and society, but in recent years, more and more countries have turned their backs on the whole idea of believing in a central diety.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Krishna @1    3 weeks ago
more and more countries have turned their backs on the whole idea of believing in a central diety

This chart doesn’t necessarily say anything about belief. Many people believe, but don’t consider religion most important. Surveys of Americans consistently indicate that the percentage who believe is much higher than those who belong to or regularly attend a church.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @1.1    3 weeks ago
Many people believe, but don’t consider religion most important.

I think you are correct here, but I would add a subtlety.   The question is 'in what do they believe'?    If one only believes that there must be a sentient creator, then this individual might indeed be irreligious:  basically a deist.  To me, that is a rational view (if one is compelled to believe in a sentient creator).  I suspect, however, that most believers believe in the god of their most recent religion.   For example, I know plenty of non-practicing Catholics who believe in a purified abstraction of the Christian God (basically just take all the good of Jesus, Heaven, angels, etc. and ignore everything else).   They hold, in result, Christian beliefs but do not buy the super majority of the religion.  

Personally, I understand the logic of a deist as well as that of a pantheist (and panentheist).   But it strikes me as odd that one can believe in a purified Jesus, etc. and reject the balance.    If they have reasons (in their minds) to reject the balance, then what causes them to selectively believe in Jesus?   It is all one package as presented, so what is the justification in selectively believing?   Typically the selective belief is the good stuff (and the bad stuff is rejected), so maybe it is just wishful thinking.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.1.2  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.1    3 weeks ago
The question is ' in what do they believe '?

Gallup has asked the question in different forms for several years. They actually ask it in different ways and get different responses based on the wording. If they just ask people, “Do you believe in God?” The affirmative bounces around 90%. In 2011, it was 92%. The last time they asked in 2017, they got 87%. When they allow people to equivocate a little, or give options for some doubt, the numbers are somewhat lower, but it doesn’t come anywhere near the 53% we see here.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.2    3 weeks ago

Thing is, the term 'God' is vague.   The question:  'do you believe in God?' no doubt means very different things to people such as:

  • Do you believe in Jesus?
  • Do you believe in Allah?
  • Do you believe in Yahweh?
  • Do you believe in a sentient creator?
  • ...

I would be interested in a more specific poll (likely does not exist).    One that, for example, distinguishes those who believe in God as defined by the Bible vs. those who believe in the concept of a loving God (an abstract Jesus).   My guess is that at least half (in the USA) believe in God as defined by the Bible (they believe the Bible is true) while the balance have abstract beliefs and view the Bible, and similar works, as the work of human imagination.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.1.4  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.3    3 weeks ago
Thing is, the term 'God' is vague

Of course. But the point is almost everybody believes in something God-ish. This seed has come to the erroneous conclusion that religion being less important therefore means people are atheist. They aren’t.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.1.5  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @1.1.4    3 weeks ago
But the point is almost everybody believes in something God-ish.

Given.  

This seed has come to the erroneous conclusion that religion being less important therefore means people are atheist. They aren’t.

I think the seed is simply looking at the continuum from theist to atheist (from extreme to extreme) and assuming that the less religious one is the more they gravitate towards the atheist extreme and away from the theist extreme.


Back to what I wrote, to me it is highly significant if someone believes in a particular, highly attributed god such as the Christian God, the Islamic Allah or the Judaism YHWH versus an abstract notion of a sentient creator.   The former makes all sorts of very specific claims without a shred of evidence.   The latter makes no such claims other than a strong feeling (belief) that surely there is a sentient creator.

The latter is still faith (belief sans evidence) but it is, IMO, a rational belief that does not contradict any well-known, accumulated knowledge.   Thus one is free to discover reality (especially through science) and hold a supernatural belief that does not require one to make a choice between belief and knowledge.

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Participates
1.1.6  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.5    3 weeks ago
The latter is still faith (belief sans evidence) but it is, IMO, a rational belief that does not contradict any well-known, accumulated knowledge.   Thus one is free to discover reality (especially through science) and hold a supernatural belief that does not require one to make a choice between belief and knowledge.

A good point.  Those in that category might also see great value in the core teachings of Jesus Christ whether Christ was the son of God, or a fictional character embodying the moral teachings of thousands of years of various religions, mythology and philosophy.  I think it is likely that many fit in this category, but still might answer “yes” to the question about the importance of religion in their lives.  Even though for some the actual traditions of an “organized religion” might take a back seat to viewing the moral teachings of Christ as an example toward which we might strive, though many of us will fall short.  It is the effort that counts, not the title, and everyone has the capacity to do good.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @1.1.6    3 weeks ago

I would favor a religion that promotes acquired wisdom (e.g. much of the moral teachings of Jesus), but does not profess beliefs that contradict acquired knowledge (e.g. biochemical evolution, DNA, cosmology, geography, ...).

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
2  seeder  Krishna    3 weeks ago

While I found the list of most and least religious countries to be interesting, what I found to be even more interesting is the reasons why. (Why the most religious-- as well as the least religious . . .  are that way)

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @2    3 weeks ago

So?  Why?  I was quite interested in seeing that the USA considers religion twice as important as Canada does.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
2.1.1  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    3 weeks ago

I was quite interested in seeing that the USA considers religion twice as important as Canada does.

For some rerason that doesn't surprise me.

Although I'm not sure why its true.

(The U>S> is a very diverse country...although I believe Canada has also had a lot of immigration from diverse groups).

For whatever reason, the U.S. seems to have a fairly large number of...religious "fanatics". I'm not surte why.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
2.1.2  seeder  Krishna  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    3 weeks ago
So?  Why?

One of the things I've found interesting is how The Czech Republic is fairly different than surrounding countries.

Some low rates of religion are in Communist countries, which shouldn't be surprising since Communism is so anti-religion ("Religion is the opiate of the masses")

Regardless of their governments, Russians have always been fairly superstitious, and also believers in the spirit world, reincarnation, etc.Its been part of their culture for some time.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
2.1.3  Hallux  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    3 weeks ago

A lack of bilingual proselytizers?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.4  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Hallux @2.1.3    3 weeks ago

LOL.  However, Although both English and French are legal first languages in Canada, and both are taught in schools, isn't Spanish taught as a second language in many American schools?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.1.5  Bob Nelson  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.4    3 weeks ago

There is no "official language" in the United States. It's up to the state to communicate with the people. That means English almost everywhere, Spanish in lots of places, and then lots of other languages in particular contexts. Forty years ago there was a lot of Vietnamese, but the need has declined... 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.1.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Krishna @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
For whatever reason, the U.S. seems to have a fairly large number of...religious "fanatics". I'm not surte why.

Many see it as a means to an end.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Junior Silent
2.1.7  SteevieGee  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    3 weeks ago
So?  Why?  I was quite interested in seeing that the USA considers religion twice as important as Canada does.

No fox news in Canada?

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
2.1.8  evilgenius  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.1.5    3 weeks ago
Forty years ago there was a lot of Vietnamese, but the need has declined... 

In the US first generation immigrants often only speak their native language. The second generation often speak both the native language and English. The third generation generally only speaks English. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.1.9  Bob Nelson  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.8    3 weeks ago

Precisely. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.10  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  SteevieGee @2.1.7    3 weeks ago

Canadians would consider it a comedy channel.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.11  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.8    3 weeks ago

That would probably apply anywhere.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
2.1.12  seeder  Krishna  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.8    3 weeks ago
In the US first generation immigrants often only speak their native language. The second generation often speak both the native language and English. The third generation generally only speaks English. 

I've noticed the same thing. 

Seems to be true of most minority families I knew as a kid.

 
 
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