Off Topic Messages

What Americans Believe

Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:34 pm

More Believe In God Than Heaven
By Dana Blanton


More Americans believe in God than in angels, miracles, and even heaven. And while half attend worship services on a regular basis, a majority thinks religion plays too small a role in people’s lives today.

Fully 92 percent of Americans say they believe in God, 85 percent in heaven and 82 percent in miracles, according to the latest FOX News poll. Though belief in God has remained at about the same level, belief in the devil has increased slightly over the last few years — from 63 percent in 1997 to 71 percent today.

The national poll, conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation, shows that about a third of Americans believe in ghosts (34 percent) and an equal number in UFOs (34 percent), and about a quarter accept things like astrology (search) (29 percent), reincarnation (search) (25 percent) and witches (24 percent).

There is a gender gap on many of these subjects. Women are more likely than men to believe in almost all topics asked about in the poll, including 12 percentage points more likely to believe in miracles and eight points more likely to trust there is a heaven. The one significant exception is UFOs, with 39 percent of men compared to 30 percent of women saying they accept the existence of unidentified flying objects.

Young people are much more likely than older Americans to believe in both hell and the devil. An 86 percent majority of adults between the ages of 18 to 34 believe in hell, but that drops to 68 percent for those over age 70. Similarly, 79 percent of young people believe in the devil compared to 67 percent of the over-70 age group.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they believe in God (by eight percentage points), in heaven (by 10 points), in hell (by 15 points), and considerably more likely to believe in the devil (by 17 points). Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they believe in reincarnation (by 14 percentage points), in astrology (by 14 points), in ghosts (by eight points) and UFOs (by five points).

Overall, most Americans think religion plays too small a role in people’s lives today (69 percent), with only 15 percent saying it plays too large a role and seven percent saying “about right.”

The poll finds over a third (37 percent) say they attend church, synagogue or other place of worship at least once a week, 13 percent almost every week, 12 percent about once a month and 19 percent seldom attend. Three percent attend on holidays and 15 percent never attend.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:41 pm

You don't mean to tell us atheists we are more intelligent than 92% of Americans...as if we did not know already:-)

Notice how little God was mentioned during the Katrina tragedy. Although it was of Biblical proportion.

George W Bush will be praying very hard indeed to survive the backlash according to our news reports.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:04 pm

And just when I thought your limits of being a pompous ass had been reached...

Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:18 pm

Always underestimating me will only get you bogged down deeper than you can imagine :lol:

Me pompous? How little you really know my child.
C'mon lets get a little injection of humour around here, after all GWB is the joke of the century now.

Even I cannot compete with him :lol:

Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:54 pm

MauriceinIreland wrote:You don't mean to tell us atheists we are more intelligent than 92% of Americans...as if we did not know already:-)


What you atheists do not know Maurice is what caused the big bang to occur out of nothing and how life on earth came to be from inorganic material. So I guess you're not as intelligent as you think. If you figure it out, do let us know. But 92% of us won't be holding our breath.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:02 pm

What Big Bang...you believe there was one? Interesting.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:20 pm

MauriceinIreland wrote:What Big Bang...you believe there was one? Interesting.


You don't believe in the big bang Maurice? Now that's interesting considering that it's the consensus of astro-physicists and cosmologists.

And just because I'm a Christian theist it doesn't mean I have to be a literal-Genesis 7-24 hour day creationist.

Incidentally Maurice, as early as the 5th century St. Augustine warned against a strict literalist interpretation of the Genesis creation account.

Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:22 pm

Maurice wrote:
What Big Bang...you believe there was one? Interesting.


Yep...and there's another one every time you open your mouth, windbag.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:30 am

OMG, is it me, or people believing in fantasy tales (aka The Bible) try to put down scientific researches?

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:36 am

Pete -

Aren't you in danger of having your cake & eating it, too ?

You profess to be a believer, but anything crops up in the Bible that you don't like or can't defend, you say:

"Well, we shouldn't take it literally !"

Or does the expression 'running with the hare & the hounds' suit the situation better ?

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:37 am

Spanish_Eyes wrote:OMG, is it me, or people believing in fantasy tales (aka The Bible) try to put down scientific researches?


It's funny you mention the Holy Bible, because it just so happens that you and Maurice are both mentioned in it.

Haven't you ever heard of the quote "thou shall not covet they neighbors ox or his ass". I'll let you and Millhouse determine which of you is which.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:40 am

Big Boss Man wrote:
Spanish_Eyes wrote:OMG, is it me, or people believing in fantasy tales (aka The Bible) try to put down scientific researches?


It's funny you mention the Holy Bible, because it just so happens that you and Maurice are both mentioned in it.

Haven't you ever heard of the quote "thou shall not covet they neighbors ox or his ass". I'll let you and Millhouse determine which of you is which.


I have no problem with the Bible. As I have stated, is a good fantasy anthology (lots of rip-off´s from other cultures), but I don´t give it any credibility.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:59 am

Image

Don't worry Pete, recent Astronomy magazines (See above) keep us up to date on All those Big Bangs.

Lucid updates on the Creation theory are much harder to find:-) Although we are getting many Disasters of Biblical proportion?

As for you Bird brain, did you know there was a St Maurice, and a St colgate™ too .....you could find yourself in Double Trouble:-)

Our many ancient monuments keeps us thinking very hard indeed. http://www.knowth.com/ Perhaps the oldest Observatory in the World..........here in little ol' Ireland.
It's just a short drive from our home, the very interesting nearby excavations continue...the whole place is usually covered in American tourists seeking who knows what:-)
The place in scenic surroundings is a wonderful example of the strength and intelligence of Ancient thinkers/scientists who lived thousands of years before Moses and his gang of Scribes:-)

Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:07 pm

Pete Dube wrote:
And just because I'm a Christian theist it doesn't mean I have to be a literal-Genesis 7-24 hour day creationist.

Incidentally Maurice, as early as the 5th century St. Augustine warned against a strict literalist interpretation of the Genesis creation account.


But if that's entirely false, doesn't that undermine the rest of the Bible? At the very least it means that it's impossible to say what is fact and what is fiction. Is this time for the allegory defence? That always seems like a convenient way of excusing that which time has shown to be absurd. St Augustine may have warned against a literal interpretation of Genesis in the fifth century, but was that the official position of the church through the ages?

Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:50 pm

TJ wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:
And just because I'm a Christian theist it doesn't mean I have to be a literal-Genesis 7-24 hour day creationist.

Incidentally Maurice, as early as the 5th century St. Augustine warned against a strict literalist interpretation of the Genesis creation account.


But if that's entirely false, doesn't that undermine the rest of the Bible? At the very least it means that it's impossible to say what is fact and what is fiction. Is this time for the allegory defence? That always seems like a convenient way of excusing that which time has shown to be absurd. St Augustine may have warned against a literal interpretation of Genesis in the fifth century, but was that the official position of the church through the ages?




TJ -
In my view the Genesis creation account is trying to convey an idea (albeit rudimentary) of a process of creation as opposed to God saying "exist" and everything coming into existence all at once. In respect to ancient creation accounts this idea of a process of creation was unique to Genesis. While the some of the particulars may not be consistent with what we know (or think we know) from science, the basic idea of a process of creation is not at odds with science, so in that sense can't be said to be false. That said, this account is not intended to be a scientific treatise, but rather an undertstandable origin story for a pre-scientific people. And the main point of the account is not how or when, but rather who.

The issue of the 7 day time period is a debatable one. The word translated as 'day' is used elsewhere to convey an unspecified period of time.

The Bible is not a monolith, it's a collection of writings of various literary styles including history, poetry, allegory, songs, wisdom, prophecy, personal letters.

If we are to reject the history on the basis of a historical account containing miraculous elements then we'd be doing something that secular historians don't do (if they did, then we'd know little about history). Secular historians may not accept certain fanciful or miraculous claims in their historical sources, but neither do they reject the history contained in those sources.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:13 pm

MauriceinIreland wrote:Image

Don't worry Pete, recent Astronomy magazines (See above) keep us up to date on All those Big Bangs.


You still need a starting point Maurice. You still need a point and a means for matter and energy to come into existence out of nothing. And inflationary theory is not widely accepted.

MauriceinIreland wrote:Lucid updates on the Creation theory are much harder to find:-) Although we are getting many Disasters of Biblical proportion?


I'm not a creationist Maurice, so would you please drop that straw man when discussing this subject with me?

MauriceinIreland wrote:
The place in scenic surroundings is a wonderful example of the strength and intelligence of Ancient thinkers/scientists who lived thousands of years before Moses and his gang of Scribes:-)


I find the idea of very ancient advanced cultures interesting Maurice, but be careful with your timing. If you go back 'thousands of years' before Moses you're into the Cro-Magnum period (hardly 'scientists'). Unless of course you don't agree with the conventional dates and story of early humans. But if you had something else in mind or I've misunderstood you then please clarify.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:30 pm

Pete Dube, God keeps getting in the way of your explanations. The word carries far too much luggage of a very unpleasant nature.

Ireland was Pagan for many thousands of years then came St Patrick. But in my lifetime the onward march of scientific thought has taken it's toll and Ireland is fast becoming Godless.

We are all living the American nightmare. Consumerism rules, Sunday is for shopping!

This week all over Ireland American Stretch Limos took our School Cert students out to celebrate exam results - at 450 Euros a ride!

Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:19 pm

MauriceinIreland wrote:Pete Dube, God keeps getting in the way of your explanations.


Err no, it's YOUR explanations that God is an obstacle to that you have to side step.

MauriceinIreland wrote:The word carries far too much luggage of a very unpleasant nature.


Ok, then I'll set aside the word 'God' with all that it implies and use the phrase "intelligent causal agent."

1.) The universe had a point of origin. Something created the basic components - matter and energy - necessary for the big bang event. They didn't just appear out of nothing, that's a logical impossibility, so there had to be a causal agent for their coming into being.
2.)This causal agent had creative power in order to create matter and energy out of nothing.
3.) Since space and time came into being with the creation of the physical universe this causal agent must have the means to exist independent of time and space.
4.) This causal agent must possess some form of intelligence to formulate the creation of matter and energy. In addition, the universe possesses indications of an extreme 'fine-tuning' which implies an intelligent 'fine-tuner.'
All of the above implies an intelligent causal agent.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:31 pm

"Matter is neither created nor destroyed" is flawed unless one accepts the point of view of a higher being.

Even a scientist such as myself can comprehend that.

Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:40 pm

genesim wrote:"Matter is neither created nor destroyed" is flawed unless one accepts the point of view of a higher being.

Even a scientist such as myself can comprehend that.


It´s Energy, no matter.

And you are really a "scientist"?

Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:51 pm

You ever heard of the law of conservation of matter?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_mass

An equivalent statement is that matter changes form, but cannot be created or destroyed.


Yeah I am a scientist..and you are uneducated. NEXT.

Sun Sep 18, 2005 4:47 am

Genesim.....

At the moment I'm doing my PHD in astrophysics. I too hope to be a scientist like you some day........ :D

Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:11 am

Pete Dube, Quote:" The universe had a point of origin. Something created the basic components - matter and energy - necessary for the big bang event. They didn't just appear out of nothing, that's a logical impossibility, so there had to be a causal agent for their coming into being.
2.)This causal agent had creative power in order to create matter and energy out of nothing.
3.) Since space and time came into being with the creation of the physical universe this causal agent must have the means to exist independent of time and space.
4.) This causal agent must possess some form of intelligence to formulate the creation of matter and energy. In addition, the universe possesses indications of an extreme 'fine-tuning' which implies an intelligent 'fine-tuner.'
All of the above implies an intelligent causal agent."

It's lovely discussing stuff none of us know anything about, we are still in the embryonic stage of understanding the Universes...if we ever will :lol:

So far I've heard all your arguements before, many many times. They still make no sense as you are trying to explain stuff way beyond our present knowledge. Otherwise we would ALL be geniuses like genisem!

How can I side step something that does not exist be it Causal Being/agent, :lol: or God/Gods the creation of fertile, and all too human intellects.

We are on the verge of the Internext, the computer enhanced, global Truth.

The Newest Testament!

Keep reading :lol:

Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:15 pm

jake wrote:Genesim.....

At the moment I'm doing my PHD in astrophysics. I too hope to be a scientist like you some day........ :D


Well Jake rule #1 would be to digest the basics and of course not speak unless you have..i.e. Spanish_eyes :lol: . If you already have a degree and have done any research, then you are in fact a scientist.

Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:37 am

Astrophysics in Cobb county:


Image