By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – The percentage of Americans 30 and younger who harbor some doubts about God’s existence appears to be growing quickly, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. While most young Americans, 68%, told Pew they never doubt God’s existence, that’s a 15-point drop in just five years.
In 2007, 83% of American millennials said they never doubted God’s existence.
More young people are expressing doubts about God now than at any time since Pew started asking the question a decade ago. Thirty-one percent disagreed with the statement “I never doubt the existence of God,” double the number who disagreed with it in 2007.
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When asked about doubts of God, no other generation showed a change of more than 2% in the past five years.
The survey found that the percentage of millennials who identify with a religion is remaining constant, while most other generations have seen religious identification increase in the past 10 years.
The findings about millennials and religion were part of a 168-page report that Pew released June 4 but were largely overlooked.
“Notably, people younger than 30 are substantially less likely than older people to say prayer is an important part of their lives,” the report said.
“Research on generational patterns shows that this is not merely a lifecycle effect,” it continued. “The Millennial generation is far less religious than were other preceding generations when they were the same age years ago.”
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The findings are part of Pew’s 2012 American Values Survey, which touches on issues including political partisanship, gay marriage and abortion.
Despite the findings on millennials, the survey shows that the United States continues to be a highly religious nation, with most Americans identifying with a particular faith.
Seventy-six percent of all respondents said prayer is an important part of their lives and agreed that “we all will be called before god at the Judgment Day to answer for our sins.” About 80% said they have never doubted the existence of God.
The report points to a growing divide between the youngest and oldest Americans on belief, religion and social issues.
According to Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance, the growth in “doubting” youths has led to a surge in secular student groups.
“For a lot of millennial atheists, they are expecting to find a group, they are coming to campus, and if they don’t find one, they are starting one,” Galef said. “This is completely different than what other generations grew up with.”
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The Secular Student Alliance has affiliates on 357 American campuses, Galef said, up from 81 such affiliates in 2007.
Galef says the Internet has created a place for young people to discuss religious doubts.
“It enables anybody to have open discussions without fearing if their parents would find out or what their communities would say,” he said. "The more safe places we create for young people to discuss their doubts, the more they can inspire questions in others."
Everyone is born agnostic
(which is de facto Atheism)
Agnostic defines knowledge, so no no-one is born agnostic. Everyone is born Atheist though...no-one is born with a belief in a god, that is instilled as one grows and learns.
TruthPrevails :-), I think you have that backwards.
We (Christians) can't help it you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. He's already written "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."
All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless garble only you that spew this babble believe.
Babble, babble, babble. Did I mention babble is as babble does (LOL) aka are the LOOSERS on the loosing team of satan's ...
I've never quite understood why people keep trying to impart labels that refer to stance consciously taken in a debate to those who are unaware of the debate at all. A default assumption need not be unaffected by the discussion itself.
That sure is a funny question for the poll to ask: "Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: 'I never doubt the existence of God.'" Neither atheists nor fundamentalists doubt that God exists. Fundamentalists are sure that he does, and atheists are certain that he doesn't.
Then atheists have no reason to comment/read the post to begin with.
It isn't that atheists know god doesn't exist it is they don't even consider the notion as it is baseless nonsense.
No honest Atheist with say with any degree of certainty that god does not exist, that is Gnosticism. An honest Atheist or honest Theist will be Agnostic. I don't know for sure that a god does not exist but I do not believe one does due to lack of evidence.
I see you carry your god delusion well.
It's always interesting when Atheists bash God and comment on religious things. If they were really true to their "beliefs" they wouldn't care because what would it matter? There would be no reason to evangelize people to the absence of God.
All the dummy handles posting and none of the oldie but goodies, oh my ...
To the new handled same ole, same ole atheists on this blog ...Christians can't help it you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. He's already written "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."
Catholic religious sisters as a group are rightly revered for their faith and good works. If the Vatican were bullying them, or criticizing their organizations without cause, such moves would and should backfire.
But that’s not what’s going on. Contrary to the prevailing news media narrative about do-gooder nuns persecuted by mean old grumps in Rome, the Vatican’s recent moves to discipline dissident religious sisters are not groundless reprimands or patriarchal power grabs. Nor are they intended to paint all American religious sisters with the same broad brush.
you should tell the vatican they need to work more on their communication then.
because that's exactly what it sounds like.
Wrong article, go away.
Which also explains why there is a big increase every year of people that can't be controlled in society. That's what religion is for. I believe in God but I don't believe in organizing around someone who claims to be more spiritual and enlightened than me about my OWN faith. If believing in God is truly based on faith there is no reason why anyone can be more or less knowledgeable about your own faith than you. Organizing people for the sake of organizing is called crowd control, not faith.
It also generally makes the Christian Churches wealthy.
WWJD--"It also generally makes the religeous organization wealthy." Do you not reallize just how stupid that comment sounds. Our Church group has survived for about 80 years in the same town, but we nor any of our members have ever been "wealthy."
@Son of the South
I think that means you aren't doing it right...
Catholic religious sisters enjoy renown not only because of who they are as individuals but because of what they represent as a group: a public witness to the truths of the faith and the unity of the church. When their individual actions contradict that witness, church officials have a duty to speak up – even when doing so makes for problematic public relations.
Colleen Carroll Campbell
I think the sister's point is they are following the bible, not some vatican dogma.
Speaking as one who was once agnostic, and then returned to his Catholic faith, I can see this happening very easily. It's easy to say God doesn't exist, so just live for today. It takes courage to say to oneself "Hey I'm an imperfect human being; so maybe I DON'T know everything" Age and wisdom gives us these gifts. I also realize that the plethora of Christian sects exists because who looks for God, looks for something that best fits their needs, the needs of a fallible mortal. One must look no further than the original Christians, the Catholics, and our leadership in Rome for the true way.
You are out of your mind with nothingness.
Not knowing everything is not a reason to believe in a mythical creature which conveniently is the answer to those unknowns.
you've only taken a step or two down the path, brother. Keep walking.
First of all I BELIEVE IN GOD... Like Thezel said it takes a MAN to say that they believe in God, Just saying you believe in God is not the same as when you believe in your heart. Now with the young people, If they believe in God they have to lead a moral life.. which in this country is just not possible... no harm intended this is a immoral country, there is a few that live a good life, with girls getting pregnant at 11... I can go on.
Do you have any evidence that atheists are less moral than theists?
You can just as easily take a trip to the farmers market and find equal amounts of reason to worship an assortment of fruits and vegetables. Why do people have such a desperate need to have someone else guide them into such nonsense...
To all the phony new handles of the same ole, same ole atheists that always hang out on this site and never have the guts to post under the original handle ... Christians can't help it you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth. He's already written "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."
All your attempts to discredit Jesus Christ is worthless garble only you that spew this babble believe. LOL.
Babble, babble, babble. Did I mention babble is as babble does (LOL) aka are the LOOSERS on the loosing team of satan's
Gonna fry ... blotted out and no one will remember you. Boo hoo, unless you repent, ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness, then sin no more...
An heroic narrative settles it, I guess.
Danny, wake up. You're replying to posts that were written six days ago.
Try to get a clue.
Heh, Tom, these posts are from JUNE!
OOPS! They are! I stand corrected.
If there really is a GOD ,I'd have to think that he can't be too happy with the HOLY FATHER in Rome that once wore the uniform of HITLER'S WAR MACHINE. Oh, that's right, he was forced into the German Wermacht.
Hitler was raised a Catholic; his father was Lutheran. But, the major issue was the Catholic Church turned a blind eye to the "final solution". Not only that, but major players at the Vatican were instrumental in transporting several German generals to S. America after the fall of the Reich. No German Catholic involved in the "final solution" was excommunicated.
How surprising that kids don't believe in something that doesn't really make much sense
Amen (no pun intended).
These are just the beginings of the great falling away, prophets in the bible have said over the millenia. Those who choose not to follow Christ will be doomed forever more. You won't believe what's coming upon the earth.
hahah that nonsense was all supposed to happen during the time of the Roman Empire. And BTW, Revelation is written in some of the most clumsy greek that scholars have ever seen; it's a fact, look it up
Doomed forever more? What a joke.
How much forever can you stand? How much forever can your god go? So laughable.
You are correct... I don't believe in what you say is coming over the earth...
I don't believe in Zeus or Apollo or Krishna or Xochiquetzal.
I also don't believe in Allah.
Do you? Do you believe in any of the above?
Wow! We agree!
Oh... yeah, I also don't believe in that other one... Jehovah...
Sorry... just another myth, IMHO.
Pilgrim: Could you provide some evidence to back your claim?
As long as you're leaving... could you take the muslims with you? I mean... you'll need someone to hate like you do now.
Christ is beautiful to me. When I read the scriptures and see who Christ is from the testimonies of Paul, John, Matthew, Mark and Luke, I trust them and rejoice in them.
I am 24. I got my degree in physics, and I'm working on a grad degree in aerospace engineering.
I'm also young, restless and Reformed. My screen name is my homeboy.
Get a life, really...
Two things Mr. (or Mrs.) voice of reason.
Number one, it appears that you're the one that's been commenting on this board so much, so I think you're the one that needs to "get a life".
Number two. You're not an atheist because you chose to be one. You're an atheist because God has blinded your heart to see who Jesus is. I'm just going to plead with you to ask God to show you who Christ is.
Before the foundations of the world, God determined who would come to him and who wouldn't. This is consistent with God's justice and is right.
Read some actual history and you will learn that the gospels were NOT written by the so called apostles. They were in fact written in some cases more than 200 years after "jesus" died. If jesus was such a major historical figure then why is there no and I mean NO actual historical evidence of his existence. The only other contemporary citation was by Josephus in about 90AD long after "jesus" died. Of course Josephus also wrote that hercules was a real person so we can pretty much discount his accounts as well. So again no other evidence besides the bible about a man that christians feel is the most important man in history.
Considering the fact that there are copies of the original gospels from about 100 AD, I don't believe that. People telling you that don't want to believe it is true because if it is, there are serious consequences. I have to go, good day and God bless. May God show all of you who Jesus is. Just give the scriptures a chance.
Now I've heard it all. VOR is an atheist because god made him that way! Do you realise how ridiculous that sounds?
God blinds us atheists to who he is and then punishes us for not knowing who he is? Seems like a real nice fellow, real fair and all that.
You're an IDIOT!! Are all Edwards that way? lol
An Atheists Perspective:
What gives you the right to Judge God who created all things? On what basis can you even judge God isn't nice? You wouldn't even know how to judge right and wrong, kindness and evil without God, for He provides the foundation for all knowledge and ethics.
You and me both on the YRR. Jonathan Edwards is one of the greatest intellectuals in america.
Like clockwork ... here comes the name calling aka Ad hominem:
An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin, literally "argument against the person") or attacking the messenger, involves replying to an argument or assertion by attacking the person presenting the argument or assertion rather than the argument itself. It is usually, though not always, a logical fallacy....
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ―
Did I mention I've never been bored in my entire life until after I start reading this blog of all the non-believers. I have to repent and ask Jesus for this sin of boredom to be removed ... then sin no more.
Belief in God has to be more than a mere religious belief. It involves a transforming relationship with Christ, reading his word and living by faith. These are troubled times...this should not shock anyone.
So your god has yet to touch you but you want it? So lonely – poor you.
In the world view of god and religion it is always troubled times, right? It only gets better when you die. not.
The only surprising thing is that there are still so many people who hold on to ancient fairy tales...
I think the poll is asking the wrong question. Maybe it would be better to ask what you perceive God to be. Some of us believe in a creator and prime force in existence but consider that being to be something outside and beyond the time/space pettiness of part of its creation. Why are people so arrogant that they assume that a force that can create all space and time would place their own human concerns as so important?
Everything has a creator correct?
Or do you make exceptions for your delusional god?
Most believers place a human attribute to their god, a persona that can relate to their existence. If they don't it gets too abstract and unbelievable.
@Voice of Reason
Like I want to know – what flavor of ice cream does god really love? LOL
Looking around me I don't see much evidence that reason exists. A person's imperfect reason tells him to go one way, his emotions tell him to go another. Emotion is the worst enemy of reason. A person thinks they want something. THis may be knowledge, the satisfaction of a passion, or an object. When he gets it, it doesn't satisfy or he becomes bored with it and chases after the next "must have". An atheist may come to a certain moral conclusion. An equally intelligent atheist comes to a different conclusion. THe atheist goes to bed at night and has dreams that his best mental effort can't decifer. Atheists say that the world will be better when religion is gone. But he'll insist we keep civil law because people can be bad actors. The atheist cannot use his own reason to understand himself. How can he use it to understand a sublime notion of God?
Sublime notion? It's supernatural nonsense, period. Morality is a social group phenomena brought about by natural selection, that's all.
You idiot. You are living in a techno-culture. If reason was not dependable, all of science would be useless, and we would all be dead. Maybe YOUR reason is undependable.
If you can find a skeptic that says reason exists, your parody might amount to something. ...or perhaps a believer who is content to suggest that God is a function of human language.
Now, danny, please look at the dates of the most recent posts here, and give this a bit of thought.
How many people do you really think are still following this discussion?
Of that number, how many do really think are sane?
Of THAT number, how many do you really think give a ripe fuck about the issue?
The mean and hateful Christians have fought their hate many hate campaigns for decades. They've finally poisoned a generation against them.
Your world of religious dogma is crumbling. It is a fact.
Get used to being ridiculed now for your inane rants about your delusions. Get used to being criticized for being ignorant and not having a brain.
People who are religious are always afraid and are constantly running away from reality. There is no magic and no gods.
You can really do yourself a favor by asking yourself questions. Do it today.
Like for example: if god is all powerful.. where does the source of this power reside? Go and follow it to a conclusion.
I bet 100% that your best will be "magic". If you are this person you definitely should be mocked.
Not to mention, playing with venomous snakes can thin the ranks of beleivers quite rapidly!
So true!! Mock them all!! Use your common sense!! Seriously!! All religion does is create hate and dumb you down!! Religion is the problem of the world!! Get rid of religion and the world WILL be a better place!!
Why the doubt grows IN ALL AGE GROUPS:
ONLY FOR THE NEW MEMBERS OF THIS BLOG:
The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)
Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??
I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
(references used are available upon request)
Doubt grows because fewer people can be convinced to believe in fairytales about beings fro which there is no evidence.
This is not shocking. This is what happens when you send your kids to government schools that make them dumb, turn them into servants of the state, and not teach them how to critically think. Why do Christians continue to send their children to schools filed with naturalistic materialism and paganism? They would never send them to a Muslim school.
Get your children out of the State schools!!!
I will only send them to a school where the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and Knowledge. That may mean homeschooling them. Secular culture has lost touch with Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Ethics. The Christian faith is the only thing that can give a proper understanding of these.
This is what happens when dogma collides with good questions.
YOU are part of the problem.
Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and Knowledge
You're a troll. Because, nothing begits healthy growth and maturation like some good old-fashioned fear, right?
Yes, send them someplace that will reinforced the brainwashed you inflict on them for the few hours a day they might have a chance to learn to think for themselves. Reality is not your happy place.
I feel sad for people who 'fear the lord'. Fearing of god the creator. That sounds like fear of a parent who whips his or her children. How about a loving, kind god who teaches compassion and care and love rather than a god that one has to 'fear'. How about helping others and being loving and charitable and kind out of the goodness of one's heart, not out of fear? Do you really have to have fear of god in order to behave properly? If you didn't have that fear would you really behave badly? I can't relate to that at all.
I wholeheartedly want your kind to do just that. Pull all your kids out of the system and let us atheists have a very rich laugh as your kind descends into the poverty barrel. Do it. Do it today.
Wow are you an idiot. Actually quite to the contrary, children are now NOT being as indoctrinated by religion as they used to be and now able to ask questions. If you are so sure about Your god and faith then open and honest questions about its existence should not sway people. But in fact there is doubt because none of the crap preached in the bible makes any sense and kids today are exposed to science and philosophy that points that out.
Sorry but this does not help. Only a focus on the love of God will effectively speak to this. The government is not responsible for my or my children's faith...I am...and so is the church. doc77, a fellow believer.
Then you admit that you are the problem. Glad to see that you have accepted your fault in contributing to this disease.
"Not teach them how to critically think?"
You've got to be kidding! If a person accepts something out of blind faith (i.e., religion), how does this encourage critical thinking?
Actually studies show that critical / analytical thinkers are far more likely to be atheist than religious.
That's a nice baseless assertion, I don't think you understand what critical thinking is, I assume that you think being skeptical is critical thinking. I can get most kids today and many adults to believe almost anything I saw because they don't know how to think critically about what is being said. They just accept what you say. It doesn't matter if it is rational or not. It's a product of how public schools educate children. There is a reason for that, socialist education wants you to be servants of the state. They don't want you to think individually or critically.
Just do a search for the study "Analytic Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief".
"Research on generational patterns shows that this is not merely a lifecycle effect,” it continued. “The Millennial generation is far less religious than were other preceding generations when they were the same age years ago.”
Since they have only been taking the servey for 10 years, they have no basis for this claim. Wonderful reporting CNN!
Change is inevitable and thank goodness we will finally do away with god and religion.
Just because they haven't been taking this particular survey that long doesn't mean people haven't been studying this. Geez, get a brain, if your religious beliefs allow that.
Is it any wonder? As a person that grew up in church and went to tons of church events, the religion became increasingly irrelevant to my daily life. My faith is still there, but only because I went seeking out answers to the questions I had that no one in church wanted to touch. The mainstream of Christianity wants to dig their heads deeper in the sand to ignore the world around them and call it evil and fallen and such. All while extolling the 1950's like they were the perfect era in history. The worst part for me is that after actually reading the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, I realized that most of what we hold so dear is not actually in that book! We focus on all this holier than thou nonsense and ignore the most basic of teachings, that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We can't even get along with the guy in the pew next to us, let alone the (gasp) muslim family down the street! I still believe in God, but not in the limited, bigoted way portrayed in the modern church.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.