Nearly Half of Americans Do Not Believe in God ‘With Certainty’-A Quarter Are Atheist or Agnostic

Large decline in superstitious belief overall, poll shows

God

A brand new poll was just released, showing that nearly half of all Americans do not believe “with absolute certainty” in God, and a full one-quarter of all Americans are either atheist or agnostic. The numbers reflect a large and significant drop in those who believe in God over the last eight years. The numbers of the faithful have been steadily declining over the last ten years and are at an all-time low, according to recent polls and studies.

The latest survey showed that compared to 2009, the belief in God “with certainty” dropped a significant eight percent. This is a large decline over just four years. Conversely, and some would say surprisingly, only 47 percent of Americans believe in evolution. However, this number rose 5% over the last four years, showing a possible correlation to the drop in belief in God since the last time the survey was conducted.

Those who said they believed in God “with absolute certainty” dropped by 12 percent, a large drop from a test done in 2003. Southerners, those who did not complete high school and Republicans, among several other demographic groups were much more likely to believe in God “with absolute certainty” than were other sampled groups. Republicans were far less likely than any other sampled group to believe in evolution, with only 36% of Republicans reporting that they believe in Darwin’s theory.

The newest poll, released earlier this week, supports previous research, including a study done by PEW which showed that a third of young people were not affiliated with any specific religion. PEW also released a new study this week showing that half of all Americans do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday.

In general, belief in the supernatural of all kinds declined significantly over the last eight years. The drop off in such beliefs were as follows: The Devil (four percent drop), resurrection of Jesus (five percent drop), virgin birth (three percent drop), miracles (seven percent drop), survival of soul after death (five percent drop), Jesus being the son of God (four percent drop), creationism (three percent drop), witches (five percent drop) angels (six percent drop) and heaven (seven percent drop). Belief in God overall dropped eight percent since 2005. There were two areas of supernatural belief that rose one percent each: belief in UFOs and belief in ghosts.

People in Eastern and Western regions of the US were much less likely to believe in God than those located in the South and Midwest, with differences of over 10%. As educational levels rose, the belief in God dropped drastically, with a large 23% spread between those who had high school or less education and those who had post-graduate education.

The number of those who said they were not at all religious rose 11% between 2007 and this year. According to Scientific American, the decline in belief in God could possibly be attributed to a rise in critical thinking skills. As analytical thinking rises, belief in God and religion drops significantly. Nearly half of all Americans do not believe in God “with certainty” and over a quarter of Americans are atheist or agnostic. Other studies have shown that as IQ rises, belief in religion decreases. More research is needed to determine why these traits exist and what accounts for the decline in religious belief over time.

By: Rebecca Savastio

Sources:

Harris Interactive

Huffington Post

NPR

The Blaze

11 Responses to "Nearly Half of Americans Do Not Believe in God ‘With Certainty’-A Quarter Are Atheist or Agnostic"

  1. neka   August 26, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I believe in Jesus. I believe he is coming soon. I wish that I can help those who been hurt or what ever happen to them that has stop them from believing. I’m going through a tough time right now and I no that the devil trying to make me go back to something that I no is wrong I don’t want to do bad anymore and I feel like everyday Jesus and his Father (GOD) is protecting me because the feeling that I feel inside is overwhelming and I need him he is my only way and all of you will see him in the clouds ascending beyond the earth. He is GLORIOUS…………………………………………………………………………………..

    Reply
  2. Scott   December 22, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Maybe instead of us saying they don’t “believe” in evolution, we should say they reject the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution. I’m so sick of people justifying “beliefs” as if they’re on equal footing.

    Reply
  3. Roberthussein (@robert_q_h)   December 22, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Bad news for the Republicans

    Reply
  4. Rebecca Savastio   December 21, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    The semantics could be argued forever, but the poll showed that only 54% believe in God “with absolute certainty,” therefore, we’re left to conclude that 46% do not believe in God “with absolute certainty.” Some of it depends on how people self-identify, too, but basically if someone really doesn’t know for sure, that makes them agnostic even if they don’t want to call themselves that. The poll reported that “74% of people generally “believe,” (but many of those do not believe with certainty) so that leaves the other 25% being agnostic or atheist. Thanks all for your interesting comments :)

    Reply
  5. Xoanon   December 20, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    The math don’t add up, here. 1) When did America suddenly become so atheist? 2) If half — that’s 50% — do not believe in God with certainty, that makes them Strong Atheists (aka a #7 on the Richard Dawkins scale). So who is the quarter (25%) who are… also atheists? It’s either 25% or 50% who are non-believers, right?

    Reply
    • Mark Broomer   December 20, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Of the 50%, 25 % are Atheists and the other 25% are do not believe in God with certainty ( agnostic atheist
      )

      Reply
      • Xoanon   December 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm

        Then it’s not right to lump in agnostics with those who “know with certainty”; the very definition of an agnostic is someone who does not know if gods exist. They are not the same as atheists (who say they either disbelieve or strongly disbelieve).

        Reply
        • Mark Broomer   December 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

          An agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas a theist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively.[2] Philosopher William L. Rowe states that in the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that humanity lacks the requisite knowledge or sufficient rational grounds to justify either belief: that there exists some deity, or that no deities exist.

          Reply
  6. Paul Preiswerck   December 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

    No wonder christians are getting so venomous in their attacks against Atheists. They are sacred, so very scared about loosing all these followers to fleece money from.

    Reply
  7. Bastard Sheep   December 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    You’re mixing your terminology with that headline. Gnostic and agnostic are positions of knowledge. If you say someone doesn’t know “with certainty” about a topic, then they are agnostic about that topic. Consistensy would be either saying “half of americans are agnostic theists, a quarter are gnostic or agnostic atheists” or “half of americans don’t believe in god “with certainty”, one quarter believe in no god “with certainty” or “without certainty”.

    There is no such thing as “being agnostic”. If someone says that, you need to ask them about which topic they are talking about. You can be gnostic and agnostic about just about everything, from global warming to 911 to the distance between Washington and California.

    Reply
  8. Mark Broomer   December 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I’m not surprised with all the fanatical religions out there. I’m an atheist and proud of it. the very most that I will give is that there may be something before the big bang but what all these religions are saying is just the same myths that have been told over and over for thousand years before the alleged birth of christ. plus to think that a god, powerful enough to create the universe would care to watch over all of us is just stupid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oZgT1SRcrKE

    Reply

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