More Improper Use of Survey Results by Atheists: No Rise in Atheism in America

pie chart for Pew article on 2009 study
Originally Posted by Gracified23 View Post
That's right. There is another pew survey recently that shows atheism is on the rise to 19%, but they also included a diverse group as NONE.

So then we can't say that the 20% in the Adherent article are all atheists. That's probably why Swift must have separated it from the atheist itself. I don't know, that's just my logical thinking.

the Examiner
July 24,2012

This went up in 2011. Today, another billboard sends the same message, instead erected in Omaha. Both billboards were funded by Coalitions of Reason, one a ColumbiaCoR chapter, the other an Omaha chapter.According to the Pew Research Center, 19 per cent of Americans identify as either atheist, agnostic, or believe in nothing in particular, a staggering increase in previous statistics which indicated only six per cent of adults were disbelievers in 1990. That anomaly was recently reflected in a billboard on show at the corner of Blossom and Pulaski Streets near USC's campus and on Interstate 20 West near Monticello Road in Richland County, which states: "Don't Believe in God? You are not alone..."

quoting a bill board. I've already shown the billboard campaign is moneyed it's not the rest of grass roots but it's an organized world wide campaign. When I follow the links in the quote above they go to the Pew Research Center but no story about atheism rising. There's nothing about it there. The Examiner is an atheist website. They have a whole section called "Atheism" that consists of propaganda pieces. Articles like "on the logic behind God."

What does logic demonstrate when it comes to the existence or non-existence of God? Of course, atheists claim and fully believe that logic dictates that there is no God, nor gods, nor otherwise. They believe that science has demonstrated through Autonomous Evolution Theory that life simply came into existence through an act of random happenstance all upon its own. They assert that this is what logic dictates and that they are being logical in adhering to this line of thought, while any who believe in God are being purely emotional and have only faith on which to rely.(ibd)

That's a real unbiased website hu? It's nothing more than atheist propaganda. Of cousre I've demonstrated countless times in article such as "debunking the atheist fortress of facts" that this notiong that scinece piles up a huge piile of facts that supports atheism is unscientific and violates what Karl Popper says about science. As for the logic issue that's a matter of knowing logic. Atheists are always trying to deny that logic supports God but they always lose the arguemnt and wind up saying that logic doesn't' tell us anything. The paragraph above asserts that logic says there is no God. If that's the case show me the lgoic, we'll end this nonsense right now. they never do. The it immediately shifts to the fortress of facts misconception. In that one paragraph they go around the logical arguments as though they know they will lose, move right into claiming "well it's scientific empiricism, we don't need logic."

This is not an objective source. We should expet them to be dishonest about their sources and they are. There is no such poll on any of the pages they link to. I suspect they mean to refer to the original 2007 poll. That one shows 16% unaffiliated and breaks it down with 1.6% atheist.

Pew Research shows a 2009 study that finds:

Not All Nonbelievers Call Themselves Atheists
According to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, 5% of American adults say they do not believe in God or a universal spirit, but only about a quarter (24%) of these nonbelievers actually call themselves atheists.
That's 24% of 5% which is about in agreement with the 1.6% of the 2007 study.

the article:

American Atheists, a group that advocates on behalf of atheists in the U.S., will hold its national convention later this month. According to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, 5% of American adults say they do not believe in God or a universal spirit, but only about a quarter (24%) of these nonbelievers actually call themselves atheists.
below that it says:

Data from the Pew Forum U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted May 8 to Aug. 13, 2007, among more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older; released in 2008.
Pie chart based on respondents who say they do not believe in God or a universal spirit.
Due to rounding, nested figures may not add to the subtotal indicated.
It really does reference the 2007 study.

At that rate the 19% if there is any basis to it is probably based upon people who don't affiliate with religious institution but of them only a small percentage say they don't believe in God and an even smaller percentage say they are actually atheists.

As far as I can tell this is the only "new" study on the matter by Pew and it's based upon the 2007 findings. Rather than being a new study done in 2009 it's a 2009 article reprising the 2007 findings. Then this exaggerated by the Examiner which makes it sound like the 5% of non God believers is the whole American public so the 24$ of those who say "I am an atheist" or 24% of all Americans not just 24% of 5%. Then it's being touated by atheists on message boards like Gracrifed (I don't know if that person claims to be an atheist or not).

Now there's a USA today article that says "Unbelief is on the uptick." "Survey finds 19% without religious affiliation" is the title of the article. They don't really have right to equate lack of affiliation with unbelief. They link to their on put up page with the same materiel I found on the actual Pew page. The USA today article itself doesn't take it's 19% form Pew but form Barry Kosmin, co-author of three American Religious Identification Surveys. Kosmin is quoted as explaining the rise in non afflication thusly: "Young people are resistant to the authority of institutional religion, older people are turned off by the politicization of religion, and people are simply less into theology than ever before." It's not a rise in actual identification with atheism but a resistance to authority and institutions. this is actually how I explained it in an artilce I did for AW about "is Christianity dying in America?" (Part 2)

Get this, the Kosmin artile refers to a general social survey taht found 19% but that is traced to Pew also: "The 19% count is based on aggregated surveys of 19,377 people conducted by the Pew Research Center throughout 2011." Guess where the link leads? Back to the same Pew pages where the only thing I can find is the one with the pie chart. All these claims of 'studies' are merely citations circles that keep going around and round always wind up back that Pew study pie chart that doesn't say anything becuase it's only talking about 5%. It looks like the 19% is really the 5%. At least if it not there's no basis for claiming the 19% are atheists.

All the actual data flow thorugh the citatiaon circle but the aritlce in it's guts consists of a string of quotes such as:

How high the Nones numbers might go depends on demographics, says Mark Chaves, professor of Sociology, Religion and Divinity at Duke University, an expert on the General Social Survey.

Two forces could hold Nones' numbers down. First, they are disproportionately young, often single, and highly educated — all groups with a low birth rate. Second, the number of believers who immigrate to the USA from particularly religious nations, such as Catholics from Mexico, fluctuates with government policies and economic issues, Chaves says.

But the chief way the category grows is by "switchers." A 2009 Pew Forum look at "switching" found more than 10% of American adults became Nones after growing up within a religious group.

Chaves says there's another dimension to the unbelief trend worth watching.

"Americans famously say they believe in some variation of God. Over 90% do," Chaves says. "But it used to be 99% decades ago. The change is slow, but we can see it coming."

The real content of the article is, practicality nill. If we want to draw a lesson from it it would be that young people are loath to identify with commitments and institutions. I'm not sure when bleief in God was ever 99%.Maybe more than 50 years ago. I'm not sure we can say that belief as actually declined, it's just changed shape. It seems this is all a combination of media hype and atheist propaganda. One must doubt sensationalistic claims and follow the figures very carefully.

Apologetics, belief in America, rise in atheism. Barry Kosmin, Pew Research, USA today, 19% rise atheism