21% of American Atheists Believe in God or Spirit!

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*This discussion is adapted from the Orlando Atheists & Freethinkers on Meetup.com.

According to a new Pew survey, 21% of American atheists believe in God or a universal spirit, 12% believe in heaven and 10% pray at least once a week. What do you make of this?


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My interpretation of this poll: "21% of Americans are unable to identify their belief system properly."
its probably more along the lines of pantheism, after all, i sort of half believe (more like speculation) in a collective consciousness, it basically goes like this

each time you have a thought, you emit a brain wave, and those brain waves interact with other humans and their brains, however its pretty hard to empirically test, but i think this accounts for "gut instincts" and weird phenomenon like esp or something, like when you think someones gonna call you, you pick up the phone, its nothing, then it rings in your hand, i think the person is sending out a brain wave, you subconsciously picked it up, and then sensed it, and got it before the actual call (since when someones calling you they'd have to think about you, and maybe theres individual frequencies per person, im not too sure)

anyways with the idea of a collective conscious, it could be theres brains waves bouncing off of everyone creating a network of sorts (if you ever see the movie waking life, they talk about this in a scene, which accounts for sudden leaps in culture, art, and technology/science throughout history) this is known as the zeitgeist, however it could be that the collective consciousness is a "higher consciousness" but i don't think its omnipotent or any of that shit, nor do you pray to it, i think its something you tap into for random knowledge, i've had many times where it seemed as if i was getting philosophical concepts straight from thin air, and then i looked them up and they were already established philosophies ahahaha, kinda odd really, but again, its only speculation, and could be something completely different

i never believe 100% in anything i think is interesting anyways, but maybe some of these people are talking about something like that?

i believe you can be an atheist and still believe in some other out there concepts
Atheist yes.... You can be an atheist and believe in madness. But you cannot call yourself a skeptic and believe in madness such as that.

There is no scientific data to back any of that up, and I'm pretty sure that the human brain's electro-magnetic fingerprint as it were is so absolutely minute, that if we were to able to pick up on it a microwave would probably make us shreek in pain. Now. I think it would be rather cool if a collective consciousness did exist, and we do have some knowledge of them from hive organisms such as exist in insects.

"Extraordinary beliefs require extrodinary evidence." Simply show me the evidence. Until then, I see no reason to believe in anything like that.
To some people, atheist = don't go to church. Of course, these are probably the same people who believe advertising claims.
from http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/25/they-dont-make-athe...

"Did you look at the report itself? Of those 21 percent, 12 said they believed in an “impersonal force”, and 3 said “other/don’t know”. While that sitll leaves a baffling 6 percent, it’s not quite the same as saying that 1/5 of atheists believe in god"
I think it shows that we don't have a clear definition of atheism yet.
But we do. It's "lack of belief in a god." Nothing too complicated.

It actually shows that people don't have a clear definition of a *god* yet. I, for one, think that an "impersonal force" doesn't really count.
I think it means people have a serious lacking education in religion in general and think every sort of belief in a higher deity, force or power means a god, personal or impersonal when it in fact, can be paganism, pantheism, etc.
What it shows is that lots of people are stupid. People also think Obama's a muslim and that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.
The more time I spend on forums, the more I believe that a good number (21%?) believe that whatever word they use means exactly what the speaker means it does at the time he uses it. They apparently have no use for a dictionary or are just too lazy to use it.
Yes Oliver, we have a definition of atheist, and I think it is abundantly clear ( at least compared to the definition of "is" is) :-)
Oh, it's probably just as simple as supposing that an atheist is somebody who doesn't believe in the anthropomorphic God of the Torah, Bible and Qur'an. There are loads of people out there who have pantheist, deistic or similar beliefs but who don't go for the Big Guy with the Big Plan stuff.

That some of those, especially growing up in an America with millions dreaming of a nice theocracy, should think that that is the same thing as "Atheist" is not too surprising.
I don't understand why you cherrypick certain nice parts of one religion because it seems nice, like Heaven. Either you are a Christian or you aren't, just don't fucking cherrypick and then think you still have the right to call yourself a Christian.




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