Monday, April 27, 2009

The Rise of the "Nones"

There is a very interesting article over at NYTimes (again) discussing the rise of the Athiests in this country. They discuss the difference between a poll in 1990 and a poll recently completed in 2008. Here is the jist:

"Polls show that the ranks of atheists are growing. The American Religious Identification Survey, a major study released last month, found that those who claimed “no religion” were the only demographic group that grew in all 50 states in the last 18 years.
Nationally, the “nones” in the population nearly doubled, to 15 percent in 2008 from 8 percent in 1990. In South Carolina, they more than tripled, to 10 percent from 3 percent. Not all the “nones” are necessarily committed atheists or agnostics, but they make up a pool of potential supporters."

Where does this put me?

Now I happen to be Agnostic. In case you don't know what that means, I basically don't believe that either side of the argument has any definitive proof on the existance of God. (Don't get me wrong, I believe in the Big Bang, Evolution, and all that wonderous jazz, not to mention I think that all that hokey crap in Genesis and various other places in the Bible, ie Revelations, is a bunch of fireside tall-tale lengend bullshit.) I mean prove or disprove the existance of God and I will be right there with either the believing or non-believing zealots. But right now, I'm on the fence and happy to be there. Show me proof and I'll hop off. 

So back to my question, Where does this put me? I wouldn't say I'm a non-believer, but I'd also say that I am definately not a believer either. I'd say I'm more comfortable around athiests, but I have some great relationships with very devout Catholics.  Anyway, here is to rationality and the God of the Utterly Indifferent.


Liz Dembski said...

A few months ago, there were "ads" on the sides of buses in San Francisco "promoting" Atheism. I see nothing wrong with that, especially since now there are "ads" on the side of San Francisco buses for Islam.

As for religion, whatever floats your boat is fine with me, as long as you are not hurting yourself or others. Or evangelically trying to get me to join or give you money. God (or whatever) is about peace, acceptance and love, not money, fame or righteousness.

Matt Fate said...

I am of all religions and of none,
My church built from stones of rational thought,
Worship being love of everything beneath the Sun,
Morality a living feeling my conscience has wrought.

Ray said...

atheists are just anti-religious agnostics. i don't have a religion, but i believe there are things at work beyond ourselves; i can't prove this, but i've experienced it. i can't prove love or fear, but i've experienced both. a "higher power" is merely one of many experiences beyond proof.

Jesse said...

Hmm, I don't know if I agree Ray. Atheists believe that there is NO higher power, period. Agnostics believe that the verdict is unattainable.

True, you cannot prove an emotion. Personally, I think that is because emotions are something intrinsic to human beings. It is inside of our minds, and not out in the physical world (sorta-fMRI technology is changing this front).

However, the way that "higher powers" are typically framed is as something that is extrinsic to humans, ie. the creator of all of the universe. If that is the case, I need some proof to believe in it the same way that I believe in fear and love.

Ray said...

my last first sentence was a joke

to be honest, i think atheists
and the religious are more similiar than either
to the agnostic.
i'll take confusion over belief anyday.

i think emotions
are as intirinsic to humans
as the "god-archetype"

people who think gods are extrinsic,
totally seperate from us
are plain ol' fools
as are people who think god is everything
and yet there is still a battle between
good and evil
and evil is seperate from god.

to me, it's obvious that
"the creator of the universe" is each individual-
we create/perpetuate our own "reality"

you really can't prove anything exists
beyond your own senses
and you don't need to

why, jesse, why!!!!!?
why do we as a species
seem to need to prove
or disprove things?
is it some sort of powerplay?

jesus, save me from your followers...