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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Belief in God in the UK

New statistics on belief in God in the UK (and 4 other European countries), which I've added to my page on "Religion in Brtain: Belief in God", resulting in the following table:

DateDetailsBelief in God
200612507 people were polled, finding that only 35% in Great Britain believe in any kind of God or supreme being, compared to 27% in France, 62% in Italy, 48% in Spain, 41% in Germany and 73% in the USA.1835%
2006Poll of 4000 older teenagers in Cornwall found that only 22% could affirm that they believed in God, and 49% said they didn't.1222%
20031001 British adults surveyed960% inc. those unsure
200355% of the British public do not believe in a higher being145% inc. those unsure

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Yeah, the particular phraseology of questions is of vital importance in polls. It is clever to phrase the same question twice, differently. For example, more people believe in a "god" than a "supreme being", simply because many people are ignorant (lucky them) of religion, and don't know what a "supreme being" is; yet the term covers beings such as Buddha that are not covered by "god", so is sometimes more accurate and relevant.

If you want to look at the original poll, try: Data - www.ipsos-mori.com/polls/2003/bbc-heavenandearth-top.shtml, and a summary here: www.ipsos-mori.com/polls/2003/bbc-heavenandearth.shtml.

Love thier first "What we belive in now" question. it's the first one where you can't pick more than one and I fit in to at least two of the catogries.

Also It raises a question about you. You can claim that there is no god some might claim that Satanisum is becoming alot more organised than most satanists would like to admit (Blame the internet). It may not be a traditonal structure but it could be said you fit in to two catogries aswell.

Q2a says "which, if any, ... BEST describes you" and leaves a "none of these" option. Only 7% of people felt that the answers weren't adequate. That's pretty good going for a religious poll.

My answer would definately, strongly, firmly be "I am atheist (convinced there's no God)". My second answer would be that I am a practising member of an organized religion - I'm fairly sure you guessed-me on both those :p

Satanism has always been an organized religion; it has a centralized office, a priesthood and a hierarchy. It's not commanding, etc, but it's not a disorganized religion, like Church of the SubGenius, Bob, Erin, etc.

The advent of the Internet (the latest CoS communique explains) has
led to the abolishing of the Grotto system, because the Internet has removed the for catchment areas.

If Mori repeat this poll again in another 5 years (1998, 2003, 2008), we've only got 2 years to see if they tweak any of the questions. They can't change too much, because consistent-questions-over-time is the best way to map trends, but they might be able to fiddle a little.

For the "What We Believe in Now" question, what options would you like to see?

I'm The difficult type. I wouldn't say none of these because I'm Two of these and enjoy screwing up polsters.

My mum maintains that the best exsample of disorganised religon she knows is our local vicar.

As to what options would I like to see I think I would like the abbility in this particular question to choose more than one option. This would probably allow for most faiths although I'm sure there will always be some that get through the gap. I wonder if by then modern communication technoledgy would allow for new feilds to be added as they come across people with a perspective they had not thought of.

Of course this would as you say make it harder to follow trends and most people's abbility to understand statistics is rubbish to begin with (Not helpped by the sellective reporting (and occational out right lies) of the media.

Looking at the second question of the "What we belive now" segment There is a definite 11% listed for don't know seperate from the 60% who say they do belive in god.

Infact I find the response to that whole question quite facinating. For instance more people belive in heven than Life after Death. Dose this mean there are people out there who belive that heaven exsists God Lives there but with just angels for company and nobody gets to go there afterwards?

For some reason I find it strange that twice as many people belive in Ghosts than Heven, but maybe that says more about me than people. I guess I always made the assumption that if there were a heven then Ghosts would also be likely to exist where as if there is no heven it does not rule out ghosts in any way. Maybe I am thinking of the likelyhood of something exsisting than how many people belive in it. Either way there seems to be quite a few people out there with interesting and possibly contraditary sets of belif out there.

1. Inconsistencies can be caused by a mixture of terminology and paradigm unfamiliarity:

People largely don't have logical, thought-out ideas on the supernatural & on religion. They might say they believe in heaven because they associate themselves with the type of person who believes in heaven, but, they might also say they don't believe in life-after-death because they associate the term "life after death" with quirky low-budget bad TV drama involving ghosts and the like, and find it embarrasing to associate themselves with it. Therefore, they can answer in a way that to them seems honest, but is simply unthought-out.

2. I agree that an absence of heaven doesn't rule out ghosts. I disagree that the existence of heaven 'makes ghosts likely', and some of the reasons I lay out on Souls Without Spirituality: Science and God, and two lines of the conclusion read: "God doesn't need souls in order to control our consciousness, God can revive and restore our consciousness as it sees fit. The existence of immaterial souls is not required to explain any supernatural phenomenon or magical events associated with willpower or even life after death."

Point one I guess dose just show how often people speak without thinking about things.

On point two I still disagree with you. Your peice looks on the issue of gods need for souls based on the Christian modle of God, both perffect and infinite. It would only take for him not to be perfect (Something I tend to think would not be unlikely to be the case if god exsists) for your argument to hit a major floor and given that in this pole question people are allowed to pick what part of the concepts surrounding god and faith they do or don't belive in as opposed to having to take or leave the whole christian faith and indeed from the pole results seem to belive only partly in the recived view of the main bulk of the christian church we can go down the line of sinarios where god may Either need souls, Want souls or see fit to provide a place for souls to go to (The second two options being ones you did not exsplore).

My point about the exsistence of heven makeing the exsistance of ghosts more likely works as follows. Given god is everywhere it seems unlikely he would need somewhere to live (Although not impossible), there for if there is a heven it would presumably need a reason to be there (Or for people to keep mentioning the place like it matters), many people belive that heven is where souls go after the death of the body and prehaps that is what it's for, if that were the case then it would mean there were souls doing something after the death of the body. One commonly belived exsplination for ghosts is that they are the souls of the physicaly dead. If the exsistence of heven implys the likely hood a persons sould continuing after death then the exsistence of heven implys the increased likelyhood of there being there being ghosts.

Of course that's if there is a heven.

And it's quite scarey that only 65% of people could name the last concervative PM.

But against that, 72% of people were wise enough not to be able to name the preceding winnner of Big Brother, either!

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