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    Atheists are more dedicated to Atheism than the average Christians.
    By Jean-Sebastien B.... | August 3rd 2010 11:45 PM | 21 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Jean-Sebastien

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    Not so long ago I started adding atheists to my Facebook account. I added about 100 of them and at least 20 of them are aggressive atheists. Aggressive atheist are easy to recognize, they often have the red ''A'' of atheism on their profile picture. What I mean by aggressive is that they are very integrated into atheism and will make it looks like a religion.

    I consider myself ignostic, I'm not religious in any way and I am a critical thinker. After observing them for a while I came up with the conclusion that some of them were more dedicated to atheism than the average religious people. 

    Actually, I counted the number of posts related to atheism and religion in 24 hours today (not a busy day by the way) and there were 49 posts (mostly links and many were by the same users) directly linked to religion or atheism. Atheists often criticize religious people for being dedicated to something not real and being manipulated but this behavior is also seen in atheist people.

    Even though I didn't had 100 people that had Christian or Catholic as their religious view, I am pretty sure that I would never see so much post about religion and atheism even by those religious people. The average Americans are not spending to much time dealing with religion questions. In fact, they don't question themselves quite often on this topic nor try to find scientific evidences for their beliefs. They don't read the bible everyday nor pray every day. On the other hand, atheists will spend much more time into thinking rationally, finding bugs to religion and ultimately become very informed about religions resulting into practicing.

    This rise many questions regarding if atheism should be considered a religion itself. It is clear that both world share beliefs, integrity, symbols (the cross VS the red ''A'') and it is affecting their life.

    It is true that some religions in other countries such as Islam will require more dedication but do they think more about religion than atheists? I don't think so. The Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion conducted a survey and it goes like this...

    In fact, only 19% of American Christians are Active Christians. Those are the one who will go to church and read the bible on a regular basis. They have rituals and pray a lot.
    • ''20 percent are referred to as Professing Christians. They also are committed to "accepting Christ as Savior and Lord" as the key to being a Christian, but focus more on personal relationships with God and Jesus than on church, Bible reading or evangelizing.
    • 16 percent fall into a category named Liturgical Christians. They are predominantly Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, or Orthodox. They are regular churchgoers, have a high level of spiritual activity and recognize the authority of the church.
    • 24 percent are considered Private Christians. They own a Bible but don't tend to read it. Only about one-third attend church at all. They believe in God and in doing good things, but not necessarily within a church context. This was the largest and youngest segment. Almost none are church leaders.
    • 21 percent in the research are called Cultural Christians. These do not view Jesus as essential to salvation. They exhibit little outward religious behavior or attitudes. They favor a universality theology that sees many ways to God. Yet, they clearly consider themselves to be Christians.''

    So now I ask to myself, in all the proclaimed atheists, how many of them who are ''Active Atheists'' known as Explicit Atheists?

    ''It is difficult to quantify the number of atheists in the world. Respondents to religious-belief polls may define "atheism" differently or draw different distinctions between atheism, non-religious beliefs, and non-theistic religious and spiritual beliefs.[109] A Hindu atheist would declare oneself as a Hindu, although also being an atheist at the same time.[110] A 2005 survey published in Encyclopædia Britannica found that the non-religious made up about 11.9% of the world's population, and atheists about 2.3%. This figure did not include those who follow atheistic religions, such as some Buddhists.[8] A November–December 2006 poll published in the Financial Times gives rates for the United States and five European countries. It found that Americans are more likely than Europeans to report belief in any form of god or supreme being (73%). Of the European adults surveyed, Italians are the most likely to express this belief (62%) and the French the least likely (27%). In France, 32% declared themselves atheists, and an additional 32% declared themselves agnostic.[111] An official European Union survey provides corresponding figures: 18% of the EU population do not believe in a god; 27% affirm the existence of some "spirit or life force", while 52% affirm belief in a specific god. The proportion of believers rises to 65% among those who had left school by age 15; survey respondents who considered themselves to be from a strict family background were more likely to believe in god than those who felt their upbringing lacked firm rules.[112]''

    So we can roughly say that 27% are agnostic or atheism in the United States. This give rise to the question: how many of them are Active Atheists/Positive Atheists/Explicit Atheists. I have no data for this but on the about 100 atheist people I added on my Facebook account I can say that there are more than 20% which the number for Active Christians too and it might be more than that.

    You can believe in God or in the Universe but it doesn't chance the fact that you can become part of a movement involving integrity.

    Of course atheists don't believe in God but we can see different patterns close to those of religions emerging from atheism. It is good to inform the world about critical thinking but is atheism is becoming a pseudo-religion?

    The psychological aspect of this question is that people need drives. Some will find this drive into religion and other into atheism etc... People back in the days and also still today were driven by religions. It worked great until global awareness became more prominent. Now people many people are driven by science and atheism. We replace bad understanding of the world around us with good understanding of the world around us. The transition is extremely slow but the results are relatively the same.

    ''If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.''

    -Dalai Lama

    Jean-Sebastien B. Miousse

    References:

    -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian#In_the_United_States_and_Canada
    -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

    I know it is pretty bad to have wikipedia as references but since this is only a blog and not an article, why not.

    Comments

    Gerhard Adam
    Individual beliefs aside, religion is about politics and power.  This was more true in the past (for Christians) than today, but it is still clearly seen with many of the major religions of the world.  So, in that sense, atheism cannot be a religion regardless of how zealous individuals might be.

    I'm also not clear on why you equate "critical thinking" with atheism, or in any religious context.  People believe all manner of nonsense, and it often has little to do with their professed religious views.  Whether it be extraterrestrial visitors, to paranormal phenomena, or psychics, these individual beliefs have nothing to do with either atheism or religion (although they may "color" it to their particular preference).

    From a political perspective, there is little doubt that atheism is often equated with the old communist regimes, and equally it is one of the few groups that people feel justified in discriminating against at will.  So, I would suggest that some of the atheistic attitudes are more aggressive because of this perception than anything to do with raising the cause of "critical thinking".

    Similarly, it is disturbing to watch religious people engage in hypocritical behaviors (obviously not all of them), while acting as if they are somehow inoculated against "sin" because they belong to a church.  This is precisely why there is such a problem with public figures (i.e. Falwell, Robertson, etc.) behaving as they do.  This isn't to suggest that atheists wouldn't behave similarly, but rather they don't set themselves up as "those with the answers" while taking advantage.

    I believe you're correct in asserting that atheists are probably more dedicated that Christians to their beliefs, since a significant number of Christians rarely know much about the religion they are part of, and are largely members of their faith because of childhood indoctrination rather than their own will.

    Mundus vult decipi
    M4Y0U
    The relation with critical thinking is clear with atheism. on the other hand, the religious people are not critical thinker. At the end I said pseudo-religion regarding atheism. It cannot be considered a religion in no way.

    ''Atheists tend to lean towards skepticism regarding supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence. Common rationales for not believing in any deity include the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief. Other arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to the social to the historical. Although some atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as humanism, rationalism, and naturalism, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.''
    Gerhard Adam
    ...the religious people are not critical thinker.
    I think you're really stretching that point.  Of course, religious people can be critical thinkers.

    I think you're being entirely too broad in your statements.
    Mundus vult decipi
    M4Y0U
    Yes it was broad but being a critical thinker implies not believing in any kind of God. Critical thinking in incompatible with religions, one could argue that Buddhism doesn't fall into that category but it depends if you see it as a philosophy or a religion. Thinking critically about God will result as there is no such thing as a God, no evidence, no credibility.

    ''The list of core critical thinking skills includes interpretation,
    analysis, inference, evaluation, explanation and meta-cognition. There
    is a reasonable level of consensus among experts that an individual or
    group engaged in strong critical thinking gives due consideration to the
    evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making the
    judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming the
    judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding
    the problem and the question at hand. In addition to possessing strong
    critical thinking skills, one must be disposed to engage problems and
    decisions using those skills. Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness.''

    I respect your point that some religious people can think rationally about things outside their religious beliefs but their religion is incompatible with the pure definition of what is a critical thinker.
    Gerhard Adam
    ...critical thinker implies not believing in any kind of God....
    Sorry, but that's an unjustified leap.  There are many beliefs that are simply not subject to critical or analytic thinking, so you can't really stretch that definition to the conclusion you've drawn.

    What is your basis for asserting the incompatibility between critical thought and God? 
    Critical thinking employs not only logic but broad intellectual criteria such as clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance and fairness.''
    Once again, this definition only addresses a small portion of what humans do and consequently is being too broad an application.  Besides not actually defining these terms, they seem unnecessarily vague for the role you've assigned them. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    M4Y0U
    I will make it simple. Ask any claimed skeptic or critical thinker if he believe in God. Then you shall see the incompatibility. I've been into the skeptic game for quite a while listening to many podcast like The Skeptic Guide to The Universe and many others and I am sorry but critical thinking is incompatible with religion. Or maybe my definition of religion is too broad too?
    Gerhard Adam
    I think you're being far too liberal with your terms.  Religion is NOT synonymous with a belief in a God.  Even so, being a skeptic is not synonymous with being a critical thinker.

    Critical thinking is only incompatible with a belief in God, if you've already accepted the arguments against.  This is hardly a foregone conclusion and consequently why it still represents a "belief" or the lack of a "belief". 

    More to the point, you need to question what your basis of "knowing" is, since it can hardly be claimed from direct experience, so your argument is largely based on what you consider to be "trusted sources" and is "hearsay".  Whether you trust that "hearsay" or not is largely a function of your own beliefs.  After all, when you listen to a podcast, you aren't engaged in critical thinking, you're simply absorbing unverified information.  Whether you consider the source credible is largely a function of your own belief.

    There are a variety of reasons why we accept certain information and reject others, but it all rests on what our fundamental belief system is.  Science is based on the belief that the world is understandable and subject to examination.  From this we can conduct experiments and derive knowledge that is repeatable.  Other beliefs offer other perspectives.  There are certainly ways to argue that a particular belief is more justified than another, however there is much that is indeterminate and depends on our personal interpretation.

    Mundus vult decipi
    M4Y0U
    Definition of religion:

    Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or in general a set of beliefs explaining the existence of and giving meaning to the universe, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.[1]


    You are talking about the philosophy of empiricism.

    Empiricism is the root of critical thinking.

    '' After all, when you listen to a podcast, you aren't engaged in critical
    thinking, you're simply absorbing unverified information''

    The information is always verified since it's what critical thinking is all about. They will never talk about a non verified topic. The only time they will is to think critically about it and against it.

    renier van rooyen
    Yes, impiricism is the root and foundation of critical thinking. However, in science its absolutely  imperative because it can be verified by collegues et al.
    Gerhard Adam
    They will never talk about a non verified topic. The only time they will is to think critically about it and against it.
    Sorry, but that's "faith".  These are things you cannot know since you lack the direct experience or the ability to verify.

    Repeating a definition of religion doesn't change the fact that one can have a belief in God and not be religious.  In addition, while many people may believe what you indicate regarding God's role in the universe, it is not an automatic conclusion.  Many scientists may hold a belief in God while they investigate the origins of the universe or life.  They are not mutually exclusive issues.
    Empiricism is the root of critical thinking.
    So what?  It only address those items in a very narrow domain of testable phenomenon.  

    Mundus vult decipi
    M4Y0U
    <cite>Sorry, but that's "faith".  These are things you cannot know since you lack the direct experience or the ability to verify.<cite>

    These are things critical thinkers avoid talking about.

    <cite>Repeating a definition of religion doesn't change the fact that one can have a belief in God and not be religious.  In addition, while many people may believe what you indicate regarding God's role in the universe, it is not an automatic conclusion.  Many scientists may hold a belief in God while they investigate the origins of the universe or life.  They are not mutually exclusive issues.<cite>

    Yeah I think i saw the statistic of scientists believing in God yesterday. It was a whopping 3%.

    To answer to the question directly being religious doesn't mean you have to practice it. Believing in God = religious since religion = believing in God.

    Sometimes when you hear scientist say God, like Neil Tyson, they are referring to the Universe.



    Gerhard Adam
    Yeah I think i saw the statistic of scientists believing in God yesterday. It was a whopping 3%.
    Where's your evidence for this?  Why do you assume that this is a credible number?
    Yet many scientists — 40 percent according to a 1997 poll cited by Shermer — believe in God.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24669748/
    Believing in God = religious since religion = believing in God.
    Not true.  Perhaps you might extend your search for definitions beyond Wikipedia

    http://www.darc.org/connelly/religion1.html
    http://atheism.about.com/od/religiondefinition/a/definition.htm

    You might almost want to look up Deism and Theism.
    Mundus vult decipi
    M4Y0U
    Woops just realized that I wrote 3% instead of 30%, now you undertsnad why I said ''a whooping''

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n22_v91/ai_19332942/
    http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/sci_relig.htm
    http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/050811_scientists_god.html

    Anyway, I don't take it for grant, those are just statistics, it varies depending on many factor like the country you live in etc...

    My definition of religion is not just wikipedia. I mean now were dealing with a philosophical issue. Look it up in the dictionary do whatever you want... Why the Connelly definition should be the right one? By the way the second link is supporting my definition. I didn't read thru all Connelly's definition anyway.

    Now we shall stop arguing on philosophical issues this is not the point.



    renier van rooyen
    Re:  your Definition of Religion is, again, well put and all-encompassing with regard to this definition of religion.
    right on..very good commentary!!!!!

    renier van rooyen
    Interesting postings from various aspects. However, I tend to postulate that an Atheist, if of conviction, is a closed entity whereas an Agnostic is open, non-aligned and still searching. It also can be called " sitting on a fence ".

    Neither needs to be judged for they will be judged in eternity..............
    Fred Pauser
    We must admit that there exists some outstanding scientists (critical thinkers) who happen to also be Christians, such as Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller. But maybe they suspend their critical thinking and apply something else when it comes to religion. But consider Albert Einstein, certainly a great critical thinker. Although he absolutely did not conform to any organized religion and renounced the notion of a personal god, in a sense he considered himself to be "deeply religious." At times he spoke of his "cosmic religion," and of "glimpsing" a "superior intelligence" involved in the dynamics of nature.
    A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.
    Another physicist, critical thinker, and non-conventional religionist is Paul Davies. The following is an excerpt from the final page of his book, The Mind of God:
    We, who are children of the universe - animated stardust - can nevertheless reflect on that same universe, even to the extent of glimpsing the rules on which it runs. How we have become linked into this cosmic dimension is a mystery. Yet the linkage cannot be denied. … I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama. Our involvement is too intimate. The physical species Homo may count for nothing, but the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here.
    To be absolutely perfectly clear, by "We are truly meant to be here" Davies means creatures of intelligence, whether Homo sapiens or something else. This is a religious thought. From a good understanding of how evolution works -- the evolution of the cosmos and on to the evolution of life -- a rational case can be made to at least partially support Davies assertion. The great Carl Sagan stated that if life were to gain a foothold on another planet, eventually intelligence would emerge. A pretty strong rational case can be made for a particular general directionality involved in the dynamics of the universe (Robert Wright, Nonzero, The Logic of Human Destiny). It is a direction toward ever greater capabilities -- you might say a general purpose!
    renier van rooyen
    Sir,

    your posting to the aforementioned subject is fully endorsed and, unfortunately, momentarily I have nothing to add as it is true and shared by my humble self....
    M4Y0U
    Excellent neutral and informative comment. Much appreciated, thanks!
    I don't think you quite understand the reason. When a person feels persecuted, or outcast, it is natural to aggressively defend oneself. We have seen this over and over throughout history. The civil rights movement in the '60s, for example, had black people speaking out and demanding their rights all the time. The LGBT movement today has people speaking out and demanding their rights.

    It is necessary, when one is discriminated against, to try and remedy that situation. With atheism, we often get discriminated against by our own families, much less strangers.

    As an example, my blog just got put on a top 50 list of atheist blogs. My mother was visiting when I read the email, and I told her about it. Her response was, "That's not good!"

    I have a sister and a sister-in-law that are both constantly on my case for my blog. I get questions like, "Don't you have anything better to do?" or, "You're smart enough to know God exists." The former implying that it is a waste of time, and the latter that if you don't believe in God, you aren't intelligent.

    I also have two brothers that are closet atheists. I am the only person they have told, and they don't even know each other don't believe. Their wives would have a cow if they knew they didn't believe. One brother is even forced to go to church with his wife while the other manages to escape that, since he works 3 jobs and uses Sunday to catch up on sleep.

    The problem is, atheists are in the minority, and we are treated like the minority. We will never get treated like we are normal until everyone gets used to us being around. Outspoken atheism is the only way to do that.

    I believe that one day, atheism will be considered just as normal as Christianity by the majority of people, and it will be largely because of vocal atheists, not the ones that sat on the sidelines watching and mocking us.

    All of this reinforces my resolve to continue doing what I am doing, because until people that think similarly to me can at least feel free to be honest

    Sorry about that last paragraph. It was supposed to have been erased.