mersenneforum.org  

Go Back   mersenneforum.org > Extra Stuff > Soap Box

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2008-02-26, 19:07   #1
ewmayer
2ω=0
 
ewmayer's Avatar
 
Sep 2002
República de California

101101001100112 Posts
Default Report: Americans Change Faiths at Rising Rate

Americans Change Faiths at Rising Rate, Report Finds
Quote:
The rise of the unaffiliated does not mean that Americans are becoming less religious, however. Contrary to assumptions that most of the unaffiliated are atheists or agnostics, most described their religion “as nothing in particular.”
Umm ... isn't "nothing in particular" in re. matters of faith more or less the definition of agnostic?

[Perhaps we need to draw a distinction between "credulous' and "skeptical" agnostics?]
ewmayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2008-02-27, 05:26   #2
jasong
 
jasong's Avatar
 
"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005

5×701 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Americans Change Faiths at Rising Rate, Report Finds


Umm ... isn't "nothing in particular" in re. matters of faith more or less the definition of agnostic?

[Perhaps we need to draw a distinction between "credulous' and "skeptical" agnostics?]
A lot of people want to think of themselves as Christians, but want an "out." I haven't attended church in years, but try very hard to be Christ-like.

If I don't want someone to know I'm Christian, I just don't mention it. Recently, I decided that I wanted to totally abandon the habit of wearing Christian themed t-shirts. I still believe the messages on the shirts, I just didn't want to visually state that to every random person I encountered.
jasong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2008-02-27, 09:09   #3
Brian-E
 
Brian-E's Avatar
 
"Brian"
Jul 2007
The Netherlands

33·112 Posts
Default

Maybe the problem with the terms "atheist" and "agnostic" is that they tend to be used in predominantly christian countries to indicate respectively not believing the *christian* faith and not knowing if *christianity* is the true faith. I think some people may be quite correctly acknowledging that there are other major religions in the world too and therefore they prefer to say that they have no particular religion rather than use the loaded agnostic term.
Brian-E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2008-02-27, 10:59   #4
tha
 
tha's Avatar
 
Dec 2002

787 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
Maybe the problem with the terms "atheist" and "agnostic" is that ...
How many Americans are familiar with the term "humanist" and the meaning of the term?
tha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2008-02-27, 23:14   #5
cheesehead
 
cheesehead's Avatar
 
"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA

769210 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
I think some people may be quite correctly acknowledging that there are other major religions in the world too and therefore they prefer to say that they have no particular religion rather than use the loaded agnostic term.
But this particular survey did not restrict responses that way -- as shown at http://pewresearch.org/pubs/743/united-states-religion, where not only are Buddhists (for example) specifically totalled, but are subdivided as Zen Buddhist, Theravada Buddhist, Tibetan Buddhist, or other Buddhist. So any specific anti-loaded-term preference had freedom to be expressed here rather than being shoehorned into "Unaffiliated".

Edit: In the full report http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/re...study-full.pdf, starting on page 121 are the specific instructions to the interviewer as to what to ask about religion. Respondents had freedom to specify any non-Christian religion without being forced or persuaded to choose "agnostic" or any other "unaffiliated" category.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-02-27 at 23:36
cheesehead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2008-02-29, 14:13   #6
Brian-E
 
Brian-E's Avatar
 
"Brian"
Jul 2007
The Netherlands

326710 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
But this particular survey did not restrict responses that way -- as shown at http://pewresearch.org/pubs/743/united-states-religion, where not only are Buddhists (for example) specifically totalled, but are subdivided as Zen Buddhist, Theravada Buddhist, Tibetan Buddhist, or other Buddhist. So any specific anti-loaded-term preference had freedom to be expressed here rather than being shoehorned into "Unaffiliated".

Edit: In the full report http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/re...study-full.pdf, starting on page 121 are the specific instructions to the interviewer as to what to ask about religion. Respondents had freedom to specify any non-Christian religion without being forced or persuaded to choose "agnostic" or any other "unaffiliated" category.
Yes, I was of course simply challenging Professor Mayer's interpretation of the term "agnostic". I agree with you that this survey was carried out well enough to allow non-religious respondents to distinguish themselves from people who don't believe or cannot decide about christianity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tha View Post
How many Americans are familiar with the term "humanist" and the meaning of the term?
That's an important question considering the size of the USA and its influence on the rest of the world. I hope that the number of people aquainted with humanism is increasing. A world dominated by humanist ideals would be a very harmonious one. That is not an anti-religious statement in case anyone reading this might interpret it as such: humanism can happily co-exist with all sorts of beliefs provided those beliefs are kept as private matters unrelated to everyday human affairs.
Brian-E is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bad LL-D Success Rate TheMawn Data 14 2014-10-13 20:19
My apologies to the non americans Dubslow Lounge 6 2012-02-08 02:05
EFF prize and error rate S485122 PrimeNet 15 2009-01-16 11:27
Rising attention in this project hhh Prime Cullen Prime 0 2007-05-04 19:19
Laws made because us Americans MIGHT do something(fair and/or necessary?) jasong Soap Box 6 2005-12-30 09:36

All times are UTC. The time now is 23:04.

Thu Dec 3 23:04:21 UTC 2020 up 19:15, 1 user, load averages: 1.33, 1.59, 1.63

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum has received and complied with 0 (zero) government requests for information.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.
A copy of the license is included in the FAQ.