71% of American adults are absolutely certain God exists

This is what it looks like inside an actual Cliff Richard wet dream

This is what it looks like inside an actual Cliff Richard wet dream

Two hundred and seventeen million people from all walks of American life are “absolutely certain” that the universe was created by a special man, who controls their every thought and action and will reward them with everlasting life if they do his bidding here on Earth.

Atheists “are talking to a very small slice of the population,” said Mathew Staver, a leading Christian conservative and law-school dean. “In some ways, they’re really just talking to themselves.”

A poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life earlier this year found that just 5% of the American population flatly do not believe in God. If that doesn’t scare the living hell out of you, it should.

Think about it. Less than 15 million people, in the of the most powerful nation in the world, have ever had a single thought of their own about the true nature of their own existence. That’s millions upon millions of school teachers, teaching millions more of tomorrows voters, tax payers, lawyers and politicians, who have absolutely no concept of reality. Legions of army generals with a holy ghost on their shoulder every time they make a life or death decision. Police officers with only the words from a bronze age book of myths standing between them and their gun in crowd of protesting hippies and queers.

What about the guys in those secret military bases buried under the desert? What does their pastor’s interpretation of the bible tell them to do in the event of a black woman becoming first lady? What does redneck Jesus do when the black man has the whip hand?



4 comments on “71% of American adults are absolutely certain God exists

  1. Yeah, they’re convinced. And I’m convinced my bank account is going to triple all on its own. And that dessert will help me lose weight. Hey, guys? Belief doesn’t mean shit.

  2. I think what’s telling is the percentage of people, more and more, who are simply saying no to all this horsecrap. Yay for the internet promoting dialogue and ways to host youtube clips!

  3. i have a question i aint too smart on arguing and shit’. but how do you respond to a religious person who uses interpretation as a defense EVERYTIME; you quote them a verse or something and they it was written ‘in those times, but that doesnt mean scripture cannot be applied to the present day’

  4. Ammar Minhas: That’s actually a much bigger question to answer than it might at first appear. There isn’t a single fixed way of answering someone who is determined to see whatever they want to see in something that can be modified to mean anything they want it to mean.

    I’ve used the analogy before, that a motorcycle repair manual tells you little about how to bake a perfect soufflé, except that it refers to needing the right tools and a lot of skill, which a particularly obsessive pastry chef might choose to interpret as meaning egg whites and a strong whisking hand. You can, as you say, twist anything you are particularly focused on to mean anything you want it to mean.

    A rather more anthropological understanding of this, might be to remind the person you want to respond to of their place in the grand scheme of things.

    Perhaps less than one hundred thousand years ago the female of our Australopithecine ancestry, first evolved wider hips and pelvic floor—making it physically possible for them to give birth to young with a larger skull. This increased capacity of internal skull size, allowed for the expansion of the adrenal gland, but because of the sloping front of the brow, still only allowed for a relatively small frontal lobe.

    This imbalance between the parts of the brain which produce hormones that made Australopithecus just angry enough to invent new ways of catching tastier food, build a better fire and generally learn vital new skills, would eventually be what gave it to becoming a distinct new genus—Homo, from which we are descended. Unfortunately the inheritance of this disproportionate skull size does leaves us open to great miscalculations of risk. It also causes us to see a pattern and order to things for which there is no deliberate, intentional structure or design, while leaving us—rather luckily—just clever enough to understand, objectively, this very facet of our physiology.

    For example, Catholics dip their fingers into some water taken from a well in a town called Lourdes, in France—where they believe a vision of the virgin Mary once appeared to a peasant girl called Bernadette. There is no good reason to believe that the water has any healing benefits whatsoever—and indeed most Catholics would agree with that. But they would also say that there is no harm in using the water as an anointment either; bargaining that it’s better to use it in case there is something to it, than not.

    Every now and then, to reinforce this irrational belief, someone who is sick with the common cold will go to work feeling dreadful, but by 10 o’clock begin feeling much better. Proving to themselves, therefore, that the miracle healing powers of the holy water which they applied in the sign of the cross, to their head, before they left for work that morning—in combination with a quick Hail Mary prayer or two—must have done some good. After all, the headache has gone and they no longer feel quite as poorly.

    The fact that they also happen to have taken a hot lemon cold remedy containing paracetamol, codeine or ibuprofen barely plays any role in their recovery, of course, because their pattern seeking brain is far more likely to favour affirmation of their superstitions than it is to bolster their faith in modern medicine, because their simian ancestry simply cannot accommodate it—which for some very important evolutionary reasons, is actually a very good thing; because it is this same sort of elective self delusion which has steered inquisitive, wandering infants and small children away from the crocodile pond for thousands and thousands of years.

    In short, Ammar Minhas, I would say this: Don’t be put off from arguing your case, because you feel spoken down to or out-gunned. The vocabulary of religious in-speak is surprisingly flimsy when the person who is regurgitating it is taken out of their comfort zone and asked to explain things like kindness and altruism in animals, for example.

    You might tell them of the chimpanzees, who show tremendous altruism towards other breeds of animal where there is no direct benefit to the chimp in doing so, from the point of view of breeding. In being kind to another animal with which it cannot mate, but where it behaves with care and attention towards them nevertheless, the monkey does so not because it has read the bible, and is therefore afraid of what might happen to it if it does not behave well towards other animals— but because the chimp is on the same side of the evolutionary gene pool which gave rise to human emotions like love and compassion. And where would we be without that?

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