Hey, let's vote on whether astrology is true, or whether the sun goes around the earth while we're at it.
Good point: those polls asking people if they are atheists and concluding that atheism is on the rise in the USA are malarkey.aDios,Mariano
Ummm, Mariano…. we scientists are not claiming that a majority of Americans are atheists!We are only claiming that the number of atheists has grown, and that the fraction of Christians has substantially declined.And, if you think the ARIS surveys are “malarkey,” well, perhaps you did not do too well in statistics class, eh?Did you pass?Frankly, the fact that the anti-science crowd can only gather a bare majority is good news: that means that quite a few Americans who are (nominally) Christians are actually our our side.I’m looking forward to a transvaluation of values over the next few decades when a number of those nominal "Christians" come out of the closet to admit that they do not truly believe in Christianity.Don’t you think it will be a good thing if only those people who actually believe in a literal Virgin Birth, an actual physical Resurrection, etc. continue to call themselves Christians and the other “Christians” admit their true colors and openly join us atheists?All the best,Dave
By the way, Mariano. I think you are once again misreading the goals of many of us atheists.Personally, I really do not care all that much if we convert most of our fellow citizens to atheism. I’m not really all that “pro-atheist.” Indeed, I am “anti” some atheists, such as Nick Humphrey, whom you roasted at such great length.What I am, though, is “anti-Christianity.” If most Americans turn into nice quiet deists or unitarians or whatever, as long as they reject traditional Christianity, this is okay.And, considering that only about three-quarters of Americans now claim to be Christians, don’t you think the fraction of real Christians may be down around fifty percent already?After all, some decent fraction of nominal Christians just call themselves Christians to appease family, friends, neighbors, etc., or, indeed, simply out of inertia or family tradition.Do you think you guys may already be in the minority in the USA?Just curious.Dave
PhysicistDave,You "scientists are not claiming that a majority of Americans are atheists!"On that much we agree since I never made that claim but merely stated, "...atheism is on the rise in the USA..."aDios,Mariano
There have been documented issues with the ARIS, namely that some of the evidence is misleading. See http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/religion/2009/05/06/many-americans-are-saying-goodbye-to-religion-but-not-faith.html for more.
Mariano:Good point: those polls asking people if they are atheists and concluding that atheism is on the rise in the USA are malarkey. The point that Brian Westley was trying to make in regards to polls when he said: Hey, let's vote on whether astrology is true, or whether the sun goes around the earth while we're at it Mariano, was that popularity of an idea has no bearing on whether it's true or not.I'll just point out that one of Mariano's "points" here is a lie: that the state is "indoctrinating" kids into atheism: No. What the schools are supposed to do, and generally do, is be neutral when it comes to religion. Teachers aren't supposed to say one way or the other whether any gods exist.