What Do Americans Believe In? (Spoiler Alert: "Evolution" And "Ghosts" Are Neck And Neck)

Tyler Durden's picture

Perhaps it is because the prevalent theme of the past five years has been the ascent of central planning in the name of the Bernanke wealth effect, headed by Saint Ben himself, that has forced Americans to reassess, and moderate, their belief in "conventional" topics such as god, miracles and heaven. According to a new Harris Poll while a strong majority (74%) of U.S. adults do believe in God, this belief is in decline when compared to previous years as just over four in five (82%) expressed a belief in God in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

Also, while majorities also believe in miracles (72%, down from 79% in 2005), heaven (68%, down from 75%), that Jesus is God or the Son of God (68%, down from 72%), the resurrection of Jesus Christ (65%, down from 70%), the survival of the soul after death (64%, down from 69%), the devil, hell (both at 58%, down from 62%) and the Virgin birth (57%, down from 60%), these are all down from previous Harris Polls. Belief in Darwin's theory of evolution, however, while well below levels recorded for belief in God, miracles and heaven, is up in comparison to 2005 findings (47%, up from 42%).

There is good news: the ascent of the mandarin of Marriner Eccles to the pinnacle of Keynesian socio-economic "religion" has also to increased the number of people who believe in Darwin's theory of evolution.... to just under half of all Americans. While well below levels recorded for belief in God, miracles and heaven, is up in comparison to 2005 findings (47%, up from 42%). The bad news is that nearly the same amount of Americans who believe in evolution also believe in ghosts: according to the Harris poll 42% of Americans believe in ghosts, 36% each believe in creationism and UFOs, 29% believe in astrology, 26% believe in witches and 24% believe in reincarnation - that they were once another person.

In summary, this is what Americans believe in:


The list above broken down by generation and political affiliation:


How certain are Americans in the existence of god:


What is the gender of god:


The Bible, the Torah, or the Koran: which book captures the word of god.


Finally, how religious do Americans see themselves as:


Some additional color from Harris:

Generational & political divides

Echo Boomers are less likely than their counterparts in all older generations to express belief in God (64% Echo Boomers, 75% Gen Xers, 81% Baby Boomers, 83% Matures), miracles (65%, 74%, 76% and 78%, respectively), that Jesus is God or the Son of God (58%, 67%, 74% and 75%, respectively) and angels (59%, 71%, 73% and 68%, respectively.

On the other end of the generational spectrum, Matures are far less likely than any other generation to express belief in ghosts (44% Echo Boomers, 46% Gen Xers, 46% Baby Boomers, 24% Matures), witches (27%, 29%, 28% and 18%, respectively) and reincarnation (27%, 25%, 23% and 13%, respectively).

Turning to the political spectrum, Democrats and Independents show similar levels of belief in most of the tested concepts, with Republicans consistently more likely than either group to express belief in those concepts aligned with the Judeo-Christian belief system; Republicans are less likely than either group to express belief in Darwin's theory of evolution (36% Republicans, 52% Democrats, 51% Independents).

Absolute certainty that there is a God down vs. 10 years ago

In a separate line of questioning, focused on Americans' degree of certainty that there is or is not a God, two-thirds of Americans (68%) indicate being either absolutely or somewhat certain that there is a God, while 54% specify being absolutely certain; these figures represent drops of 11 and 12 percentage points, respectively, from 2003 testing, where combined certainty was at 79% and absolute certainty was at 66%.

Meanwhile, combined belief that there is no God (16%) and uncertainty as to whether or not there is a God (also 16%) are both up from 2003 findings (when these levels were 9% and 12%, respectively).

Outside of specific religious samples, the groups most likely to be absolutely certain there is a God include blacks (70%), Republicans (65%), Matures (62%) and Baby Boomers (60%), Southerners (61%) and Midwesterners (58%), and those with a high school education or less (60%).

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flacon's picture

Americans believe it will never happen to them:

(57 seconds)

Fortunate Fool's picture

They also believes their guns keep them safe... Morons.

NoDebt's picture

A gun is a device.  A tool.  Built for a specific purpose.  No different than a hammer, a car or a computer.  When used for the proper purpose by someone skilled in it's application, it can be very effective.  When wielded by stupidity or ignorance to do a task for which it was not designed..... well.... if you give a monkey a computer and he might just write Shakespeare..... but probably not.

There are a small handfull of times in my life a gun has kept me safe.  Right tool for the right job at the right time.  Without that tool at that time... who knows?

BKbroiler's picture

Jesus this is depressing. You all deserve what's coming.

Fukushima Sam's picture

We live in a simulation, probably just one simulation nested in an infinite chain of simulations.

SafelyGraze's picture

I believe in the purchasing power of a debt instrument

a swap vehicle

a tranche of a pool of obligations

a resolution mechanism

forward guidance

full faith and credit

WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

I believe our universe is a group of molecules in a beer cooler in some random persons garage.

WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

They should have asked is the earth 6000 yrs old as per bible.

Stackers's picture

Living in a haunted apartment for a year will put you in the 46% that believe in ghost

Demonoid's picture

Seeing is believing.

I've seen six times. Count me in the 46%.

Tall Tom's picture

My next door neighbors were very young renters. And I was helping to raise some youngsters at the time. Well the gal next door also had young siblings whom would visit frequently. Thus "my kids" and the gal's young sisters got to know one another and played.


Then my next door neighbor had a young cousin who had died from cancer...at the age of thirteen. That was pretty sad. Her younger sisters were over visiting, commiserating the loss of their cousin, which is very understandable. My kids were over next door also. So I knocked on their door and was invited to enter. When I opened their front door the children screamed. (I am not that scary...but...some may disagree...)


So I asked, "What is going on?" The children said, "Emily's ghost is here". I replied, "Yes? And what makes you think that?" They responded, "She just opened Kevin's Bedroom door...and the Clothes Hangers in the closet moved."


I replied, "No. I am really sorry about Emily, but, her ghost is not here darlings, Let me show you what you saw."


I closed Kevin's Bedroom Door without having it completely close and latch. I said, "Now I want you to watch Kevin's door when I come back inside." I walked out and closed the front door. Then I reentered the premises. The Air Pressure from the front door opening was enough to jar open Kevin's Bedroom Door and move those Coat Hangers.


Seeing is believing? Sometimes you need to be able to see more than meets the eye.

Angus McHugepenis's picture

Tom: Good story. Nothing is as it appears to be. Enjoy your holidays if you have them.

Best - Angus

Occident Mortal's picture

US religious zeal is by design of the administration.

Back in the 1930's the US Ambasidor to Germany was horrified by how the Nazi's had warped Darwinism in order to promote a divisive society.

The Nazi's believed that the Arian race was more evolved than other ethnic groups and were eager to prove this via a global conflict. They embraced Darwinism so much that they were happy to lose the conflict if it meant another race emerged as "the fittest" although they firmly believed that they would emerge under the rules of "survival of the fittest".

They practiced these theories in Botswana prior to bringing them back to Europe.

The US was horrified of the way the Nazi's had hijacked Darwinism and I order to prevent it coming to America, vast resources and tax breaks were diverted the the Christian church.

TheGunKnows's picture

That doesn't make any sense. At all.

giggler321's picture

Ghosts are *real*, more so than their printed money and you're gonna here a lot more from them soon enough

Deo vindice's picture

Occidental - the Nazis didn't "warp" Darwinism at all. There are many statements as to how they were putting it into a practical application.

Many people don't even know the full title of Darwin's famous book. For those who don't, it is:

"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"

It is historical revisionism to claim the Nazis were merely "warping" Darwinianism. By the way, more than a few famous Americans were in favour of the Nazi experiment.

Crash Overide's picture

Ghosts are an artifact of the construct, it's a part of the computer program we call reality.

Footprints in the hologram...

SilverFish's picture

That was after the fifth of grape Mad Dog 20/20, correct?

Clark Bent's picture

That happened just like a Scooby Doo episode. Maybe those kids would have been comforted if not for you meddling kids. 

Demonoid's picture

Cool story, and it describes the kind of phenomenon that lies behind most "sightings", IMO.

But not all.

I am an objectivist and empiricist, and I had no truck with ghost stories, until the first time an apparition appeared to me. It happened in the Emergency Room, where I was working during grad school. I was part of the code blue team, and I did the CPR on this 40ish woman for a long time during our attempt to resuscitate her. I was able to pump her heart enough that she regained consciousness during compressions, which is extremely rare. She looked terrified, so I soothed and reassured her as best I could in that nightmarish situation. She had no ability to speak, as she was intubated. I will never forget that look in her eyes.

I thought we had a chance, but then she slipped away. Ultimately we had to discontinue the effort. People left the room until it was empty. The family was in the waiting room, and as is customary, I went to clean the instruments and mess up a little, and put a fresh sheet over her, before they came back.

I carried a tray out, returned, and then when I stepped into the room, I suddenly saw her - I don't know, her spirit? - standing next to the body, looking down. As I entered, she (the spirit) turned her head and looked at me, then a soft smile appeared. She nodded. I felt instantly that she was at peace, and was trying to put me there as well. Her figure was...majestic, stoic, and at ease. Then she looked away, and I did too, to see what she was looking at - and when I turned back, she was gone.

That was the first time.

I have since had, for example, a visitor come into my bedroom, wearing a 19th century nightshirt and carrying a candle, and peacefully try to get into my bed. (I live in a building built in the 1890s). Four other equally visual, distinct, and mysterious encounters as well. This has happened over the past twentyfive years. In every case, there has been no fright or evil, only good or mysterious feelings.

As Lord Dunsany said, "A man is a very small thing, and the night is large and full of wonders."

Harbanger's picture

Maybe you have mice or friendly neighbors.

snodgrass's picture

It's probably just bad plumbing.

AGuy's picture

"Living in a haunted apartment for a year will put you in the 46% that believe in ghost"

yeah. I am sure the neighbors have nothing to do with the voices or noises that you think are ghosts. The Only ghost that exists is the ones you created for yourself!



Raging Debate's picture

Fukushima Sam - Your a deep thinker aren't you? I agree, I call them deviations. Science is confident on the big bang and the initial energy for our universe being stored in a size of an orange but where did that come from? The stronger theories of source in physics point to a 4th dimension no bigger than a planck length in diameter of far, far denser matter than the big bang orange but it isnt time itself as once thought just a couple decades ago.

The book The Black Hole Wars between Leonard Susskind and Stephen Hawking (great read and written for laymen's also) was really about if information was retained in energy (Im generalizing) and Susskind proved it did. Hawking admitted defeat to Susskind which believes our universe is a holograph shaped/projected simulation like you and I Fukishima Sam. I just add the term deviation or distortion and a tad more theory based on my own study of physics and some interesting experiements with quantum tunneling through ionization.

Past lives may indeed be possible when considered in this context of energy retaining information or like Carl Sagan said we are part of a universe experiencing itself.

I do believe in evolution, the evidence is empirical and observable in a lab and the natural world. Einstein was a Pandeist like Sagan, I suppose I am also.

But I do believe in a relationship with the creator which can show you the bigger picture if one wishes and asks. In my belief " death" is transformation and a near irrelevant concept in the bigger picture.

I still go to church on occasion with my girlfriend, but the religion deviates some from what is actually written by biblical authors who asked similar questions of existence to the creator and documented the result.

I did see someone comment about christians, the wrong 6000 year belief of creation, etc. The bible itself never states this at ALL. Moses in Genesis receives a revelation of the exact general appearance of species as they appeared in evolution from fish to mammals. The debate between origins between followers of Darwin (who himself believed in a creator) and Christians seems relatively new. That belief of 6000 years comes more from the prophet Daniel that calculated Israel would rise again as a nation in 1947. Yes, you can take a calculator from the scripture and do the math. Daniel said a day for God is as a thousand years for man of simply, Daniel perceived time can be distorted or accelerated. Science has used hard experiments, thought experiements, mathematics and observations of fast moving objects in space and proved time is distorted based on motion. Daniel to me is probably the most fascinating biblical writer to me outside of Christ. Moses stated creation happened in six time periods which in Jewish religion also can reffered to as dimensions.

Moses also described what looks like genetic tampering or engineering in Genesis of our species. In any event I suppose I remain a Christian as the beliefs of how to live and treat others make a better planet (when actually read and followed). But as for origin, the bible does have pertinant detail that closely matches science, I just do not approve of the "end all be all" sentiment of religions and condemnation of one another.

Here's a deep thought: Our entire existence here or more advanced dimensions may be one giant learning process to enter an entirely new paradigm of existence and if that is true we may or may not retain information in energy in that paradigm meaning perhaps no rememberence.

Maybe not remembering so we collectively dont go mad of boredom is the goal? Perhaps that already happened or perhaps it was just one small or one giant deviation and it is all relative. Does it all matter?

"Meaning" of existence may be irrelevant and it just "IS".

That after all is the answer the question "To be or not to be". You think so therefore you ARE. So I prefer the word deviation to simulation in any event as I believe we repeat existence in a near endless circle of time but each passing forward has slight deviation caused by the effects of radiation (and other things).

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

So much wasted brain power debating that silly book and all the silly god myths. We could have a cure for all disease and a replacement for fossil fuels if you all would stop worshipping this bullshit!

SWRichmond's picture

Religion is the opiate of the masses.

Tall Tom's picture

Quoting Karl Marx on Zerohedge? That takes balls YOU FUCKING SOCIALIST FROM HELL.



bunzbunzbunz's picture

Yeah, I hate it when people I generally disagree with say things that make sense. Because then I have to ignore their logic and blindly disagree with it. You certainly cannot go around using thought and rationality; ideologies need to be embraced for all they're worth!

Keyser's picture

These myths and legends have been perpetuated over several millennium as a form of control over the populace and to produce wealth and power for those controlling the message. The drop in the numbers of believers is indicative of the growth in globalization and instant access to information. TPTB are losing their power as the people awaken to the fact that they have been lied to for centuries for the sake of power, both religious and political. 


mofreedom's picture

God gave us the free will to cure all disease, et all.

Man took it all away.

Clark Bent's picture

None are so blind as those who will not see. 

FreedomGuy's picture

And rejecting it all takes more brain power or less brain power?

Exponere Mendaces's picture

Religion is just another endless chain-letter-esque system of control. Each iteration is refined and changed by those who have certain agendas, edited and shaped to fit the society of the day (or the one particularly desired).

Take the Christian ideal of "turning the other cheek", where you forgive someone doing harm to you. Its custom-made for psychopaths to take advantage of. In the USA, they do this all the time, knowing that after every transgression you'll be the "better person" and let them get away with it. And that goes for corporate and political misdeeds.

That's why there won't be an uprising, because of all these people who think they have to align themselves to this ideal - which is really a protection clause for all the greedy bastards who have zero conscience and the psychopathic tendencies to do whatever they'd like.

Now, if there was a Christian ideal of revenge, you'd have plenty of scared bastards not willing to try the shit that they do now - fearing the wrath of those being wronged.

And that's the crux of it. You have an entire nation that believes a story that has been handed down and altered in a multi-kilo-century game of "telephone", riddled with personal agendas and the like, which has done nothing but cause those being persecuted to sit there and just "take it".

Sounds like the perfect tool to make someone willing to be abused, and granting the intangible "wealth" of being religious.


XitSam's picture

Are you saying that Muslims (only?) get respect because they are willing to cut people's heads off?

FreedomGuy's picture

What I enjoy about most (not all) atheists is the first intellectual move is to assume the superior. There is no real inguiry or reasoning. You start with a complete prima facia rejection of all religion. Then you work backwards to make it what you want and what you want is never good as an atheist. So, religion of any sort is an opiate, a control mechanism, superstitions superceded by science, etc. You also don't need to debate or even consider arguments from your opponents. They are automatically stupid or brainwashed before word one is uttered, so you may use the dismissive form in any argument. Anyone who peddles relgion of any sort is a drug dealer, brainwasher, primitive.

This allows what we have seen too often in the real world. It allow the transfer of ultimate power to the atheistic state and the persecution of not only all religions except the religion of State. You need not debate. You need only force.

See, Exponere equates all religions. He differentiates none. They are all the same even though he actually does not understand any of them. He works backwards to make religion...all religions regardless of difference to be what he wants them to be. This is kind of fun and it is actually a form of self flattery. It actually feeds the darker side of ego which most advanced religions actually teach against. This is where much of the nonviolence EM doesn't understand comes from.

If relgion sets us up for control why is it the functional atheists of the last centuries were the worst mass enslaver and murders of all time? Freed from the vices and brainwashing of religion would they not do one of two things? A. Free others and set whole countries free or B. Keep religion going even stronger to cement their control?  They do neither. In fact, every one of them makes themselves a living god demanding complete obedience and virtual worship. Who builds more statues of themselves, the Pope, the Dali Lama or Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Saddam, etc.? Yup, the freed atheist minds. What goes wrong?

Rejecting all relgions is as shallow as rejecting all economic theories whether Smith, Hayek, Friedman, Keynes or your favorite mercantilist and then saying you are above economics.

AGuy's picture

"Scence is confident on the big bang and the initial energy for our universe being stored in a size of an orange but where did that come from? The stronger theories of source in physics point to a 4th dimension no bigger than a planck length in diameter of far, far denser matter than the big bang orange but it isnt time itself as once thought just a couple decades ago...But I do believe in a relationship with the creator which can show you the bigger picture "

1. Don't You see the circular  reasoning? If A creater created the universe, who or how did this creator get created? Its illogical to believe a a omnipotent god/creator since that entity had to originate from something. At some instance the creator had be created from something and and had to evolve into a very complex structure capable of creation. In the case of our universe which has as more galaxies as all the grains of sand on the entire earth, and each of these galaxies has billions of stars, Its inconceivable that any entity could create all this matter and energy. It too vast and complex for a single entity to create it. Why create such a vast space and so much stuff? Why would a creator create us? do we serve some exotic purpose in the unverse? Where we created for entertainment? If they are omnipontent, why wait billions of years for humans to evolve. Why so long for to let multicell life to form (about 2.4 Billion years). Why not just skip 3+ billion years. Why put dangerous items on the planet, like uranium that could be exploited by humans to destroy the environment and destroy perhaps tha past 100+ Million years of evolution? Why allow a 6+ mile diameter meter to crash and wipe out every surface dwelling species on the planet. Such a dramatic and abrupt change! Was the death of a tens of billions of creatures living on the planet  65 million years ago, apart of the grand plan?

2. The Big Bang Theory is probably wrong. There is the gravity paradox that makes the theory of the Big Bang impossible. At the monent that gravity became a force, the universe would have collapse on itself to form a singularity (black hole). If the entire mass of the universe was the size on an orange, or even the size of our solar system, gravity would have forced it to collapse on itself. As the entire early universe would have been inside of the schwarzschild radius. Theorists use essentially magic to overcome this paradox. The only evidence for a big bang that the observable universe is expanding and the cosmic background radiation, and therefore must have been caused by a Big Bang! Humanity has been mis-understanding physics for thousands of years, and its very probable that that we still got it very wrong.

"but the religion deviates some from what is actually written by biblical authors"

Of course, because its fiction. Christanity is a mere 2000 years old. There have been many religions of the past that were abandoned in favor or other religious that grew popular. Many of the texts in the Bible have stories that orignated from these earlier religious (Eygptian, and Mesopotamia). The stories about the Great Flood, Moses, etc all originated from these early religions. Moses story is nearly identical to the story of Horus which originate fro even early religions. The issue with religous texts is that they have been revised thousands of times. Some texts are completely lost or dropped because they either didn't make any sense or fit the political or philosophical views of the editors or scribers. The Dead sea scrolls are an example as Jewish scholars have been able to identify lost texts that are not present in any other religions copies of the old testament.

 If you read some of the early texts genesis for instances there are names that are mentions once or twice but provide no context about these persons or characters in the story. They texts about them have been deleted because they scribers didn't want them included, but didn't edit out their references in other texts. You can't believe anything in the Bible as all of the texts were written by scribes. All of the texts have been translated across multiple languages and periods. Its inconceivable that humans would be able to transcript all of the texts verbatium. So even if their was an original set of text handed down from God, they are not exact copies. Humans always have been injecting their own politican and philosophical since the beginning of writting. Just pick up any two history books written by different authors covering the same topic and you'll see what I mean. Each book will describe an event that is slanted to the authors political view.

"Our entire existence here or more advanced dimensions may be one giant learning process to enter an entirely new paradigm of existence"

Well everyone knows the world was created as a giant supercomputer to answer the age old question: What is the answer to life the universe and everything? The answer is simple: 42! (Reference to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)

Einstein once said "Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler" I think most of the theories proposed are unrealistic as the attempt to inject complex solutions to explain paradoxes between the theories and the observable data. At this point we lack enough data to really explain how the universe works and how it was created. Its quite possible the answers about the origins of the universe are obscured because the mass of the milky way galaxy prevents us from observing key information. Exotic theories about Brane cosmology, are probably hogwash, because they try to use very complex theories in a poor attempt to fix bad theories with the observable data, and its impossible to create any tests to prove or disprove these complex threories.

FWIW: its highly improbable that there is an afterlife, except for the microbes that feed on our decaying bodies after we die. Even if there was an afterlife, do you really want to exist forever? Perhaps, just as an entity with no physical access to the rest of the universe. To me that would be hell. I would be stuck forever existing as a mind unable to interact with the real world for eternity. Best to make of use our lives as best we can without causing any long lasting harm to our world. If given the option: Life for eternity or seek oblivion, I would choose oblivion since I have no need to live forever.

Heaven was created as a means to get people to do things that they ordinarily would do. Few people would be willing to die for a cause if they knew there was no afterlife. Heaven was created by religous and political powers to get people to sacific themselves, by convincing them, that when the die they will be rewarded in the afterlive. How convenient! Notice that you never see religous leaders or kings sacific themselves for the people, but are always willing to sacific their subjects for thier own benefit. For some reason, People need to cling on to the believe of continuinity, which makes them subjectable to manipulation. Virtally all religions are based around an after-life, or a hell, which is used as a basis for control and manipulation.


 "I believe we repeat existence in a near endless circle of time but each passing forward has slight deviation caused by the effects of radiation"

Unlikely and pointless to speculation. I think you're watching too much Futurama! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Late_Philip_J._Fry)




gwar5's picture

I'm kinda with you and the commenter below. This is not the real reality, the real reality is still in the singularity which contains all the information and which never went away. We are bilocated and co-exist simultaneously in this reality and the singularity. When our physical bodies expire our conscious awareness returns to the hyper-reality in the singularity, which NDEs say feels like coming home and they didn't want to come back to this reality. 


But in the singularity I do think there must be a omnipotent consciousness that created everything and which can control and filter the information. It would be a frightening and overwhelming nightmare without said guidance, because you would not be alone.

Thousands of NDE's accounts consistenlty describe a space-time independent environment that is teaming with life, intelligence, organization, benign hierachy of beings, communication and information transferred at the speed of thought with complete understanding, a hyper-reality and hyper-awareness beyond human physiological senses with, for example, beautiful music beyond human range that can also be seen and felt throughout everything present. Emotion of Love permeates and flows through everything, too, and it always felt, sometimes like a wind, coming from a divine source.

As neurosurgeon Eben Alexander aptly explained his NDE's: "Human description doesn't come close. It's like trying to describe what it was like with only half the letters of the alphabet. We simply don't have the physical senses and experiences to compare it too."



FreedomGuy's picture

For those who care to reason together here are some interesting basics that drive my thinking:

1 We tend to assume the animate comes from the inanimate. Most religions assert the opposite. That which is seen comes from the unseen or mind of God/s.

2. The laws of probability and statistics will not let me rest on the idea that inanimate matter self organizes into greater complexity, function and even purpose with no intelligence. Kidneys are not a random collection of cells. They are an amazing and precise purposeful machine that we cannot duplicate. All parts of a kidney must evolve simultaneously and perfectly to work. There are not ten million failed versions in the fossil record. Every species shows up with everything working quite well. No trial and error. Stonehenge is not a fortunate and unusual pile of rocks. It is an indicator of intelligence. The cardiovascular system is the same.

3. There is a fossil record over a period of some time. Dinosaur bones are not tricks of the devil. We need to account for these.

4. Should we assume all things in the past have worked exactly as they do now, including time itself? I am not sure but I tend to think not or at least hold out alternate theories.

Anyway, this is not a specifically theological site but our theology (including atheist) drives our observation of events much like our ideolgoy, i.e., left versus right. It definitely drives our views of history, governance and society.

Wahooo's picture

Where's "Hope & Change"?

Richard Chesler's picture

Lloyd said Goldman was doing god's work. What more proof do these morons need really???

LetThemEatRand's picture

“There is nothing more important than appearing to be religious.” 

Niccolò Machiavelli

Harbanger's picture

Yes Lola.  Appearing to be religious is very very important.  Because there is no God, right?  Learn from Machiavelli.e

Wolfbay's picture

Americans are exceptional and God is on our side. What's the proof? Piling on more debt and money printing is leading to prosperity.

gwar5's picture

Good one. I'm always reminded that God and religion are two different things.


Religion is a man-made interpretive construct doomed to be flawed and exploited by flawed humans for power, control, war, and material gain. Inside every human is a little atheist urging them to do what they know to be wrong using God as an excuse. The Old Testament is poetically and necessarily an epoch long slog drilling home the utter futility and warning of falsely putting one's faith in men who would stand between the people and the creator.  

Machiavelli was Saul Alinsky to the Medici family. Being deceitful and exploiting such things as religion is as old as the pharaohs. Little know fact, Machiavelli was considered Europe's finest playwright, but then William Shakespeare showed up and little Nicky became an instant has been.







FreedomGuy's picture

I will differ. God is essentially an absolute external truth regardless of what you like to believe. Religion is simply and organized common set of beliefs about that God, including atheism. Change your beliefs and your relgion changes. Churches or organized religions, if you will are what you and other refer to. They establish hierarchies, power, authority and the use of force or at least sanctions within those religions. They can sort of become states within themselves as we witnessed in medieval Europe where a Pope was perhaps as powerful as any head of State. When they do this then the are vulnerable to all the human frailties that states are. On that, perhaps we agree.

I submit that when religons are posited as assertions of a certain reality without force it is at its best. You can argue that Allah or Jesus or Buddha or nothing is the path of truth, but when you introduce force you actually corrupt the whole process, even though it seems faster and more efficient. It actually loses validity.

I also submit that governments are at their best when we do similarly, when we remove coercion from the equation.

Burnbright's picture

I don't know what to say anymore.  I used to be an atheist,  I suppose I still am depending on your definitions but after spending 20 + years of my short life being consumed with "spiritual" or "religious" questions I realized that in all the arguments around God no one actually bothers to define what they mean by it even though it carries with it much in its meaning and invested emotions. 

Sad really. Cause only in how you define something can you prove it's existence. 


FreedomGuy's picture

Good point Burnbright. People do seem more clear on what they are against or the antithesis.

If I had to do it shorthand I would say God is the source, the first animate from which all others derive. It/He is the consciousness from which all things derive and sort of the ultimate truth. It makes more sense and balances all the improbabilities if the the inanimate and what we see derives from intelligence. At that point all things are imbued with purpose and significance.

On the more local level I believe God, as I understand Him has two key characteristics. He is rational so we can understand, at least up to a point and He is compassionate without which we have no hope. I would add that these two characteristics would become a godly gift to mankind, as well if the creator puts some of himself in the created. Mercurial, evil, morally conflicted gods are not much worth serving. You might fear them but to what end?

There is an external absolute reality including the possibility that there is no god/s whatsoever. In that case, we are just a gargantuan statistical improbability without significance. Then Man is the measure of all things as the most highly evolved improbability.

If you are an atheist Burnbright you are an uncommon type these days. I would have an adult beverage and some open discussions that might advance the thinking of both of us.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Am I the only one who doesn't give a damn what a pollster says?