Pew or Puke? The 2008 US Religious Landscape survey makes me sigh

The UU blogger over at #mce_temp_url#TransientandPermanent parsed some of the Pew survey findings and pointed to some major shortcomings, to put it mildly, of its methodology. For instance that it ‘finds’ that over 22% of atheists believe in God as well as a majority 55% of agnostics. Oops – but no, it’s no typo.

Most likely it’s due to having left the god concept undefined and nebulous. The concept of god as an active agent is light years apart from that of a since departed prime mover. People are killing each other over the difference.

I’m sure people will talk about it at the current General Assembly. It reminds of an old thread on the UU coffee hour blog where people reported having done a local survey about beliefs in their own parish, with surprising results. It’s easy to fool oneself about the distribution of beliefs until you actually ask and count.

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3 Responses to Pew or Puke? The 2008 US Religious Landscape survey makes me sigh

  1. Robin Edgar says:

    “Most likely it’s due to having left the god concept undefined and nebulous.”

    Come to think of it. . .

    Isn’t that something that Unitarian*Universalists aka U*Us are famous for?

  2. juuggernaut says:

    Very cute! But you are right. A certain vagueness in doctrinal matters is probably the key element that allows opinionated people to live in relative harmony with their neighbors. Either that or ignorance. Back in Boston a few years ago I accidentally found out that the owner of my favorite Indian restaurant is a right wing Hindu racist whose party openly admires Hitler. Wish I hadn’t known, his Chicken Jalfrezi was out of this world…

  3. Robin Edgar says:

    Bet he made a mean Chicken Bangalore too. . . 😉

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