Atheism is not increasing as of Nov 2015
The atheists propaganda machine is at it again. Another spate of articles based loosely upon a Pew study talking about Christianity is in decline. As I write it is Nov. 3,2015. They are still failing to distinguish between affiliation and belief in God. The Pew Study says belief in God is holding steady what is declining is affiliation with organized religion. The amalgamation none as "none" (as in religious affiliation: none) is what is growing and while those do include atheists they are not the majority in the category. First let's look at the propaganda. Friendly Atheist Blog says "the momentum is with us." He's talking about the results of a Pew study that follows up the 2014 follow up to the 2009 follow up to the 2007 study. The comment section is hilarious:
"People who believe in God have decreased among the unaffiliated. (Top chart - right side
Rastaman 462 says
Atheist reasoning. I told them about the margin of error.
"You haven't show you can read survey results, why would we believe you when you are telling us what we think? [wrongly I might add, I quoted the study directly; If I haven't proven I understand the results then they have proven to me they can't count. 3%is obvious.]
"Kind of hard to bail when you're already at the bottom of the lake." [I'm at the bottom when it's 3% atheist vs 89% Christians?]
The figures they rave about say that belief in God declined from 92% to 89%, That's 3% which is in the margin of error. In an election they would call it a dead heat. But "religion hasn't changed" is not comforting to atheists. My thesis is that there is a real problem and Christians should not feel complacent. Yet belief in God is not declining.
Let's look at some of the articles fueling this orgiastic triumphalism
Tobin Grant, Religion News Service
the great deline
http://tobingrant.religionnews.com/2014/01/27/great-decline-religion-united-states-one-graph/ They explain the gradual decline they chart over five decades but they never explain what they chart or what they take as "average." With no analysis of the context for establishing the "average" the whole thing is meaningless.
The graph of this index tells the story of the rise and fall of religious activity. During the post-war, baby-booming 1950s, there was a revival of religion. Indeed, some at the time considered it a third great awakening. Then came the societal changes of the 1960s, which included a questioning of religious institutions. The resulting decline in religion stopped by the end of the 1970s, when religiosity remained steady. Over the past fifteen years, however, religion has once again declined. But this decline is much sharper than the decline of 1960s and 1970s. Church attendance and prayer is less frequent. The number of people with no religion is growing. Fewer people say that religion is an important part of their lives. All measures point to the same drop in religion: If the 1950s were another Great Awakening, this is the Great Decline.RNS is a non-profit, limited liability corporation owned by the Religion Newswriters Foundation and based at the National Press Building in Washington, D.C., with a business office at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo. RNS’s mission is to provide in-depth, non-sectarian coverage of religion, spirituality and ideas.
Apparently they also deal in yellow journliam.
What does the Pew study really say?
Pew Research Center: US public becomes less religious. Nov 3, 215
"The share of U.S. adults who say they believe in God, while still remarkably high by comparison with other advanced industrial countries, has declined modestly, from approximately 92% to 89%, since Pew Research Center conducted its first Landscape Study in 2007.1"
As I said before this is in the margin of error. They always assume any survey could be off by 3% so they call it a dead heat in an election. What is really funny is that they will answer my book by saying M scale is a survey so it's not scientific, when it's a survey that suggests a loss in God belief atheists are all to happy to accept the validity of surveys. But atheism is not increasing in fact it could be an increase in belief since it's in the margin of error.
But the Pew Research Center study also finds a great deal of stability in the U.S. religious landscape. The recent decrease in religious beliefs and behaviors is largely attributable to the “nones” – the growing minority of Americans, particularly in the Millennial generation, who say they do not belong to any organized faith. Among the roughly three-quarters of U.S. adults who do claim a religion, there has been no discernible drop in most measures of religious commitment. Indeed, by some conventional measures, religiously affiliated Americans are, on average, even more devout than they were a few years ago.Belief in God is down among the nones. It's down from 71% to 61% but that's 61% of 10% of the country so it's in the 3% over all. Nones up from 16-23% That is not a loss in belief in God it's a loss in Christianity or maybe not even that but in organized church goers. Over all 77% still identify with a faith.
Pew Research Center surveys consistently show that not all religious “nones” are nonbelievers. In fact, the majority of Americans without a religious affiliation say they believe in God. As a group, however, the “nones” are far less religiously observant than Americans who identify with a specific faith. And, as the “nones” have grown in size, they also have become even less observant than they were when the original Religious Landscape Study was conducted in 2007. The growth of the “nones” as a share of the population, coupled with their declining levels of religious observance, is tugging down the nation’s overall rates of religious belief and practice.Gallop offers figures from a a 75 year period given that long view we can see a real change in the level of non affiliated in the last 20 years but while that is undeniable there have been ups and downs before.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/1690/Religion.aspx It's only been within the last 20 years that none and non-denominational grew enough to report. While none has increased a from 2% to 16% (1948-2015) so has non-denominational grew proportionately. The loss in protestants could be taken up in growth for non-denom and none.Between 1948 and 2015 Protestant declined from 69 to 37%. Call it 40%. That 20% could be the 10% rise in nonn-denominaltioql and 10% none that would fit with the stats. The majority of nones still believe in God. That would only be a 5% decrease in Christianity. That means there could be no increase in atheism. Most of that fits with the charismatic movement that spawned ecumenical feelings. We see from the graphic at the top that religiosity has held stable much more so than the religious news article would have us believe.
|1948 prots 69%||Non dom na||Catholic 22%||None 2%|
|1958 Prots 69||Non dom na||Cathyolic 23||none 2|
|1968 prots 67||non denom n||Catholic 25||nonje = 368|
|1998 prots 58||non denom na||Cathoics 27||non 6|
|2008 prots 47||nondenom 8||Catholic 22||none 12|
|2014 prots 37||nondenom 10||catholics 23||none 16|
While America slips in Christian id China gains.
Realistically we should assume there's been more loss in Christian belief, maybe 20%. That is a problem Christians should be concerned. At the same time there is an increase in Christians in places like China.
US News and world Report: God isn't losing Ground
At the same time, according to "A Star in the East: The Rise of Christianity in China," Christianity is surging in China. The authors of the new book – Rodney Stark, co-director of Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, and sociologist Xiuhua Wang – explained that in 2007 there were about 60 million Christians in Communist China. Now, they noted, more than 40 new Christian churches (not including underground churches) are starting up every week. "If this trend were to hold for even another decade," they wrote, "there would be more Christians in China than any other nation in the world."