Statistics on "supernatural" beliefs (Gallup poll article)

  • Here is an interesting article:



    Story Highlights

    • 74% believe in God, 69% angels, 67% heaven, 59% hell, 58% the devil
    • Nearly three in 10 do not believe in hell or the devil
    • Belief greatest among frequent churchgoers, Protestants, Republicans

    The percentages of Americans who believe in each of five religious entities -- God, angels, heaven, hell and the devil -- have edged downward by three to five percentage points since 2016. Still, majorities believe in each, ranging from a high of 74% believing in God to lows of 59% for hell and 58% for the devil. About two-thirds each believe in angels (69%) and heaven (67%).

    Belief in Five Spiritual Entities Edges Down to New Lows
    Americans' belief in five religious entities -- God, angels, heaven, hell and the devil -- have all edged down since 2016, continuing a longer-term trend.

  • A question that is related to this is whether what we have listed as one of our four defining characteristics of EpicureanFriends ("No Life After Death") is clear enough to serve the purpose.

    It has been suggested to me that "No Immortal Soul" or "The Soul Dies With the Body" would more clearly eliminate some of the more "loose" interpretations that were at one time considered under the label "New Age."'

    I would be curious if anyone thinks that "No Immortal Soul" - which I do think is accurate - is in any way a better way to express the point than "No Life After Death." For most people I would wager those are substantially the same, but it's always good to compare notes.

    [I should also repeat another caveat: That list of four is not intended to be a mandatory requirement for having an account here. It's more of an effort to be considerate to people who aren't yet clear that this is Epicurus' position that if they are looking to Epicurus because they want to be "happy" - but they are committed to the idea of supernatural souls and any kind of life after death - then they should look into the point and think clearly before they decide to devote too much time to Epicurus.]

  • Came across this headline in the Washington Post today: “A plurality of Americans believe God created humans without evolution.”

    I’ll provide the link for those that want to read the political analysis pertaining to this, but won’t comment on that – only adding this more specific quote from the article: “Polling released this week by Suffolk University for USA Today indicates that this comports with the views of nearly 4 in 10 Americans – more than say either that human evolution was steered by God or that humans evolved without any divine intervention.”…n-speaker-evolution-poll/

    Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, but my initial reaction was a dismayed “Oh my!” ;(

  • “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.” Isaac Asimov

    “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

    “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” Benjamin Franklin

    “We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.” Christopher Hitchens

    “If there are any gods whose chief concern is man, they can’t be very important gods.” Arthur C. Clarke


    That last (Clarke) quote seems quite in the Epicurean spirit.