Apr. 15, 2012
[T]he variations are enormous. In the Philippines, 83.6 percent of people say, "I know God exists and I have no doubts about it." In Great Britain it's only 16.8 percent. Even among some similarly developed countries there can be a wide variation; 38.4 percent of Spanish people have no doubts about God, but only 15.5 percent of French people feel the same. One fascinating result comes from Japan, where only 4.3 percent have no doubts about the existence of God, but only 8.7 percent say they don't believe in God at all. So almost nine out of ten Japanese are in the believing-ish category.
Wow, this is great! Thanks for posting. We should have this pdf as a page.
The result from Japan is indeed fascinating. I think superstitious fears keep many people from openly admitting they don't believe in god at all.
One astonishing fact is that the United States, only 60.6 % said: "I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it." This means 4 out of 6 people have at least doubts about the existence of god. Remarkable.
In addition despite those doubts 80 percent of Americans say that they now and always have believed in a God. I think we can conclude"
1. No one wants to admit they are atheists or don't care less than 2 percent in the USA
2. Twenty percent of Americans are closet atheists of agnostics
3. Another twenty percent do not really care about God but go along with the crowd
Why does old East Germany have to be the leading European atheist country - talk about a bad example!
Apr. 15, 2012
Yes, I saw that 80% result, too, baffling. It makes me think the sampling methodology is not very good here. Undoubtedly how you ask the question heavily influences the answer.
There is no East Germany, and hasn't been for over two decades, why is it separated? Perhaps to give atheism a "bad name", to associate it with repression and communism? "West" Germany comprises Bavaria which is highly, highly Catholic, I think that's the reason between the differential between the "two" Germanys (Germanies?). There is only one Germany, anyway.
From Epipheniom - the importance of training in religous ideas while young
Religion facilitates learning about omniscience – but it still has to be learned
Posted: 20 Apr 2012 01:38 PM PDT
Recently, the New Scientist published a special ‘God’ issue(behind pay wall) arguing that religion is natural and beneficial to society. All very interesting, but several of the articles gave quite a one-sided view of several issues (properly speaking, they were opinion pieces written by leading scientists advocating their particular view point).
Take, for example, the article by Justin Barrett, arguing that children have an innate understanding of omniscience. That’s an important question, because if we have a built-in appreciation of the thorny concept of omniscience, then this suggests that religious, and in particular Judaeo-Christian, beliefs are intuitive.