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Maciamo
27-02-04, 05:29
BBC News : What the Wolrd thinks of God (http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/wtwtgod/default.stm)

Have a look at the link above. It's very interesting. The surveys speaks for itself.

The UK is the only European country in the survey, and surely represents a good average, with more religious nations like Spain, and less religious ones like France. Anyway, the gap between UK and US is quite huge.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/04/world_what_the_world_thinks_of_god/img/1.jpg

Below, we can see that only 21% of Brits regularly attend religious service (that seems much higher than EU average, IMO), while about 55% of Americans do, which is more than Indians (!).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/04/world_what_the_world_thinks_of_god/img/3.jpg

Scarily enough, more than 90% of the mostly Muslim Nigerians would die for their faith. More than 70% of Americans also would while only 19% of Britons would be foolish enough.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/04/world_what_the_world_thinks_of_god/img/6.jpg

The last poll has come as a surprise for me. The UK of course topranks the list of those who believe that the world would be a safer place without religion with 29%. But that's a big gap to the next country (Mexico, 15%), and interestingly, the US are last but one, with a mere 5% of surveyed people thinking so. That surely explains why so many people supported President Bush's "crusade" against Afghanisthan and Iraq, as they believe they are fighting for peace in the world, because of course their religion is the right one.

jeisan
27-02-04, 05:54
i find it interesting that more americans than isrealis would die for their faith. where are the rest of the polls at? this comment pretty much sums it up for me:
The belief in god(s) is a hangover from primitive times. Through modern marketing strategies and negative psychology, religion once again rears its ugly head in politics and society, as it is used by conmen to steal good sense from the meek and weak-minded, and replace their senses with irrational fear and prejudice. Religion doesn't unite, it divides; and divided we fall - conquered by god-bothering power-brokers.
Petra, Hamilton, New Zealand

Mandylion
27-02-04, 06:13
Thanks for the post Maciamo, I'm going to play around with the other stuff on the site for a bit :)

Jeisan - I think that is a bit strong, though I see where it is coming from. The idea of religion/god in and of itself is not dangerous, the way it is practiced can be if taught in the wrong way. We don't need to fear religion, we need to fear the abuse of faith.

jeisan
27-02-04, 06:26
well i think it applies more to the fanatical religions; christianity, islam etc rather than something like taoism. and it sorta hits home when theres a certain ex-cokehead/conman pastor from my home town who managed to get the congregation to buy his kids motorcycles for christmas...

Mandylion
27-02-04, 07:15
Yes, that is more than a bit out of line.

Matthew C. Perry
27-02-04, 07:36
That surely explains why so many people supported President Bush's "crusade" against Afghanisthan and Iraq, as they believe they are fighting for peace in the world, because of course their religion is the right one.

I supported action against the Taliban because they harbored terrorists who had attacked my country. I did not support war on Iraq. Religion had nothing to do with my decision in either case.

Hachiko
28-02-04, 03:12
Interesting statistics, Maciamo. :note:

kirei_na_me
28-02-04, 03:25
It's the "I would die" statistics that scare me. I just can't understand dying for the sake of religion. Of course, I can't understand dying for your country either. It's all just incomprehensible to me...

Frank D. White
28-02-04, 03:31
as the Marines say, help others die for their religion, not die themselves.

Frank

Eternal Wind
28-02-04, 13:57
It is really a big bebate on religions lately due to some facts and I personally think that religion is just a belief in your own part of life which plays a role but to what we really need to believe in is ourselves and not to depend on religion that much...We should just believe in what our heart think is right,that's all...

No offence...and nice survey there,maciamo san:cool:

Keeni84
29-02-04, 21:26
I would die for my beliefs. Without a doubt.


Scarily enough, more than 90% of the mostly Muslim Nigerians would die for their faith. More than 70% of Americans also would while only 19% of Britons would be foolish enough.

Is it really that foolish? Remember in Columbine, when a young girl was asked if she believed in God? She had two choices---1.To say "no" and keep her life, or 2.To say "yes" and die. She chose to die. I think that was courageous, not foolish. When you believe in something so great, so powerful, death is no obstacle. She believed in God, and her faith was greater than death.

My only fear comes when people's beliefs coincide with the destruction of others and other people's beliefs.

Mandylion
01-03-04, 02:54
But does (a) God, whatever that maybe, really prefer someone to die?

It doesn't seem for some reason to be too difficult to make the leap from dying for your faith to killing for it. Often people disquise political conquest with religion. While true belief might overcome a fear of death I think this has been exploited for so long that such ideals become almost commonplace. The BBC poll seems to show that it might.

Perhaps I am selfish, but I would like to think a god would be much happier with me alive, no matter what I had to say to remain so, than dead. I am not putting down that poor young woman from Columbine. I hope she found what she believed in. I just don't understand where all this zealotry about the nobility of martyrdom comes from.

michi
01-03-04, 04:09
Did you know that the most populous Christian church is in South Korea?

------

As for myself, I am atheist. I'd like to say I'm openminded. I attend my friend's Christian church every so often, out of curiosity. I read up on Hinduism and Buddhism.

Maciamo
01-03-04, 04:31
I think that was courageous, not foolish. When you believe in something so great, so powerful, death is no obstacle. She believed in God, and her faith was greater than death.


Don't know about that Columbine story, but I agree with Mandylion. If God was so great or powerful, would it/he/she (?) allow such things to happen to fervant believers. Who wants to believe in such a hypocritical and uncaring god ?

Hachiko
01-03-04, 05:35
Don't know about that Columbine story, but I agree with Mandylion. If God was so great or powerful, would it/he/she (?) allow such things to happen to fervant believers. Who wants to believe in such a hypocritical and uncaring god ?

That why in spite of being baptized into Catholicism...I've chosen to become an atheist. Even though we all have a purpose in life, religion and spirituality are not necessary, IMHO, the main reason behind our purpose as human beings. It comes from within. :bow:

Keeni84
06-03-04, 00:34
Don't know about that Columbine story, but I agree with Mandylion. If God was so great or powerful, would it/he/she (?) allow such things to happen to fervant believers. Who wants to believe in such a hypocritical and uncaring god ?


But does (a) God, whatever that maybe, really prefer someone to die?

It doesn't seem for some reason to be too difficult to make the leap from dying for your faith to killing for it. Often people disquise political conquest with religion. While true belief might overcome a fear of death I think this has been exploited for so long that such ideals become almost commonplace. The BBC poll seems to show that it might.

Perhaps I am selfish, but I would like to think a god would be much happier with me alive, no matter what I had to say to remain so, than dead. I am not putting down that poor young woman from Columbine. I hope she found what she believed in. I just don't understand where all this zealotry about the nobility of martyrdom comes from.

This doesn't have to do with anything. The point of the matter is, people feel a personal connection/responsibility to their God. That young woman would rather have died than to have denied the fact that she believed in God--something essential to her. She wasn't an intentional martyr. She didn't wake up that day and decide to die for God. That's not what happened. You think she wanted to die? You think she was zealous to die? No. Perhaps you guys just don't understand that...I don't know.

And how is God hypocritical? Whose God? Mine? The Christian God? Not all Gods are the same, but of course, you know that. It's just much easier to lump them all together for the sake of an arguement.

The power of God is not about who gets killed where, who gets what disease, what suffering her believers go through...it's not about that. Unfortunately, some folks will never understand that. The way I see it...God is there as a guide to help us through life. Whether you want that guide or not, she's there.

Maciamo
07-01-06, 12:30
Here are more interesting stuff about religiousness around the world from Religioustolerance.org (http://www.religioustolerance.org/uk_rel.htm)

Importance of Religion worldwide

Let's first have a look at the statistics of Survey by Pew Research Center in 2002 (http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_impo.htm)

We see that 59% of Americans believe that religion is important, as opposed to 95% in Indonesia, 92% in India or Nigeria, 88% in the Philippines, 77% in Brazil or 65% in Turkey... Seeing this, the US appear as a not-so-religious country.

However, let's have a look at other developed countries. The UK and Canada leads with respectively 33% and 30% (half of the US !). But once we get to the European mainland, figures drop even further, with only 27% in Italy (don't trust stereotypes !), 21% in Germany, 14% in Russia, and only 11% in France. Japan and South Korea are comparable to continental Europe, with respectively 12% and 25%.


The University of Michigan did a similar survey between 1995 and 1997, and found the following percentage of adult population who consider religion to be very important in their lives :

53% in the U.S.
16% in the UK
14% in France
13% in Germany

We see much lower figures for Britain and Germany here, although similar ones for the US and France. I guess it depends how you ask the question. Stats about the British tend to be fickle, as we'll see next.


About the UK



The Office of National Statistics found in the 2001 census that: "...half of all adults aged 18 and over who belonged to a religion have never attended a religious service."
Uk.news.yahoo.com reported in 2000 that "[Church attendance in 1999 was] 7.5% on an average Sunday, [down] from 10% in 1989 and 12% in 1979."
A New Scientist Poll in 2002-Autumn showed that "55% of British public do not believe in a higher being."

Acorrding to the 2001 government census (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_UK#Statistics), 15.5% of the British population were Atheist or religion-less and 7.3% didn't state any particular religion. People with "No Religion or Religion not Stated" are most numerous in Scotland (33%), then Wales (26.6%), then England (22.3%), then Northern Ireland (13.8%).

71.6% call themselves Christians. However :


A 2004 YouGov poll found that 44 per cent of UK citizens believe in God, while 35 per cent do not. The disparity between the census data and the YouGov data has been put down to a phenomenon described as "cultural Christianity", whereby many who do not believe in God still identify with the religion they were bought up as, or the religion of their parents.

Tsuyoiko
07-01-06, 16:29
I know from experience about the 'cultural Christianity' phenomenon. If you are baptised then in one sense you are a Christian, so I think a lot of people put 'Christian' because of that. My sister-in-law has no religious convictions whatsoever, she has never gone to church, and conducts her life in a very 'un-Christian' manner, but she has had both her children Christened, as it is 'the done thing'.

Maciamo
07-01-06, 17:34
I know from experience about the 'cultural Christianity' phenomenon. If you are baptised then in one sense you are a Christian, so I think a lot of people put 'Christian' because of that. My sister-in-law has no religious convictions whatsoever, she has never gone to church, and conducts her life in a very 'un-Christian' manner, but she has had both her children Christened, as it is 'the done thing'.

I know many people in Belgium who also say they are Christian, but never go to church, never read the bible, hardly believe in god, disagree with many points of the "dogma", etc. I was also baptised, I have been to church many times (mostly around the age of 6, or at family baptisms, weddings or funerals until I was about 15), received the eurcarist, etc. I may know the bible better than quite a few people who call themselvs Christians. But you won't find a more convinced Atheist than me, probably because I learned, analysed and reflected upon the concepts of Christianity, compared it with other religions, and especially developed a philosophical mind quite early.

Many non practising Christians or occasional "cultural Christians" are Agnostics , Deists or even Pantheists. I had to question my mother about what she believed in ("do you agree or diagree about this, or this, or this ?"), for her to find out that she was a Pantheist, although she had always herself a (cultural) Christian until then.

I think that the church attendance rate gives a better impression of "how Christian" a country is, even if even church-goers may just be cultural Christians (esp. old people, who go there as a habit or just to socialise). Some will say that the stats of "people believing in god" are a better indicator, but I strongly disagree. There are obviously other religions, but also non-religious god-believers (i.e. Deists and Pantheists). Unitarian Universalists (http://www.religioustolerance.org/u-u.htm) are an interesting group of fairly non-religious god-believers, some of whom call themselves Christians.


I have found another very interesting page : Beliefs in the U.S. compared to other "Christian nations" (http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_comp.htm).

We can see again the huge gaps between the US and other Western countries in matters of belief in god, the afterlife, heaven, hell, the devil, religious miracles, the truth of the bible, and creationsim. Northern Ireland and Poland are the only regions of Europe with similar percentages as the US. I didn't know that people in Northern Ireland were considerebly more religious than those in the Republic of Ireland.

There are no figures for Belgium, France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal, but we can otherwise roughly see that only between 10 and 30% of Europeans, apart from the Irish, the Polish and the Italians, believe in god - against 61 to 66% in the USA, Ireland and Poland. Likewise, only 35% of Americans and Poles believe in the theory of evolution, against 58% to 82% in the rest of Europe (Ireland included).

nurizeko
15-01-06, 06:26
Well, i cant really speak for the world, but in regards to me, its sad, i put more fith into my shinto charms and my daruma doll then i do in praying to the european god.

I dunno, the intense natural bond shinnto and animism or whats it called speaks more to me then the cold distant christian faith.

Ive always had a fondness for natural things and and the world around me then the cold empty space of a church.

Suffice to say i feel more moved by the deep lasting gong of a shinto prayer bell at a shrine surrounded by trees and stuff then by the large cathedrals of christianity.

Saying all that im not a religious person but, yeah, i feel more spiritually touched by a shinto shrine grounds then a church.

The funny thing is that im not interested in most western paganism which is ussually nature based to.

Though i have an interest in norse and ancient mythologies.


Its an interesting observation to note that if western european animistic pagan religions had survived as the dominant religions of europe, european faith would look similar to shinto, i guess in that sense its good for a western european to visit a japanese shrine, because it probably isnt too so completely alien to what our and how our ancestors worshipped, or at least how our ancestors holy-grounds looked and felt.

Anyway i rant on and probably off-topic.

I think the problem is that what with scientific reasoning, and the apparent hostility of modern religion, less people feel drawn to any particular faith, shinto speaks to my love for nature, and i guess my primative need to have something to hold onto to communicate my spirituality with, I've always found, at least, the modern christian god a cold and distant being, who is near impossible to reach, kami seem more at my level, attainable if you will.

As a brit i can testify to the fac5t religion seems to be un-important to most modern youth, me included.
I guess religion relies on the community spirit, in the UK people seem to be becomming more and more isolated, religion is at its best when the entire community partakes ofit, and it becomes a valued social highlight for the local people.

The closest ive ever felt to the christian god was my grandfathers funeral, though to be fair i was obviously at a bit of a vulnerable time.

I think christianity needs to rebuild the communities it serves, make god a little less distant and beyond people, and recconect god with the natural world, after all he apparently created it, it seems a bit odd to hide him away within the cold large cavernous spaces of a church or cathedral.

Maciamo
05-02-06, 17:08
Here is detailed poll in 2003 on what French people believe in (http://a1692.g.akamai.net/f/1692/2042/1h/medias.lemonde.fr/medias/pdf_obj/sondage030416.pdf) (PDF file). It concerns as much religion as superstitions, miracles, witchcrafts, etc.

Let's keep in mind that about 10% of the French population is of non-European descent, most of whom are Muslim.

Here are a few selected results :

Q : At a certain moment of your life, have you had the impression to be in contact with something supernatural ?

Very often : 2%
Quite often : 5%
Rarely : 19%
Never : 73%

=> This means that only 7% of the French consider themselves "spiritual".

Q : Nowadays, each person should define its religion independently from a church.

Totally agree : 51%
Rather agree : 26%
Rather disagree : 14%
Totally disagree : 21%
---
No anwer : 2%

=> We can thus say that only 35% of the French agree with the concept of organised religions.

Q : According to you, what is there after death ?

Nothing : 39%
Something but I don't know why : 33%
The immortality of the soul : 16%
Reincarnation into another life being : 6%
Resurrection of the body : 4%
----
No anwer : 2%

=> Only 20% of the French have a conception of life after death that matches that of Judaism, Christianity or Islam.

Q : The existence of god seem to you :

Certain : 24%
Proabable : 34%
Improbable : 19%
Impossible : 22%
----
No answer : 1%

=> However, as much as 58% of the French can be considered to believe in a god. Based on previous answers, this means that a lot of the French who believe in god are Deist, Pantheist or Pagan.

According to their self-assessment (often mistaken, as many people don't know what Deism is), up to 51% of the French think of themselves as Christians, and 54% as believers. 33% consider themselves Atheist. 28% call themselves Spiritualists, while 26% agree to say that they are indifferent. 14% recognise themselves as Agnostics.

No-name
05-02-06, 18:12
I do think the methodology is important. Who you ask and what you ask is as important to how you ask. It seems like in modern times we have segregated our lives into little belief areas or modes- that we snap into or out of depending on situation and place. There seems to be a shift from the large organized faiths to the make it up as you go along, smorgasboard approach. I grew up in a Catholic area where 90% of the people went to mass. But many of those were gang bangers, drug addicts, and petty criminals. Some even had elaborate "Virgin of Guadalupe" tatoos.

One of my sisters has been an atheist for as long as I can remember. She has always had a good functional understanding of dialectic materialism, and science and it has served her well. Her husband is Jewish (but also an atheist), and she has made little inquiries into that faith for her son, and they keep little fragments around almost like cultural declarations. She has also studied Budhism and ocassionally asks about my faith. Although she is an atheist, I don't see her "spiritual" quest ending. She seems to be looking with interest- not necessarily to change her own belief system, but to determine if there is function and necessity to other systems.

PRIZMATIC
06-02-06, 02:27
:blush: It has reminded me a life during " Soviet time "...
What interrelation between the God and " Karma of people "?... The Belief in the God it not belief in " protection against problems ", is belief in the transformation to more "perfect" condition... The God it not "protection", the God is a basis of the life...
As always, mix of Lord God with God, for people stand of their in " a shadow of their conjectures "...:blush:

Reinaert
16-12-10, 22:14
as the Marines say, help others die for their religion, not die themselves.
Frank

I think that was from General Patton.

Dieing for your country is stupid, let your enemy die for his country.

Something like that ;)


But I can find myself in the lyrics that John Lennon wrote...

God is a concept, by which we measure our pain.