Atheists and Agnostics: Statistics in the US


I will be drawing my numbers from the pew research center: Religion in America

Many atheists are happy to here that “nones” make up 22% of the religious landscape of the United States. When compared to other mainstream religions out side of Christianity (5.9%), the religious “nones” seem to be looking pretty decent. Although when compared to 70.6% for various Christians, they do not seem to be doing as well as they would like.

Are atheists and agnostics really doing as well as we hope? One has to look at the “nones” group at little closer. Atheism and agnostics make up 7.1% when added together. The rest of the group are classified either as “Nothing in particular (religion important)” or “Nothing in particular (religion not important.)”

This may seem like I’m making a big deal out of nothing, but it might turn out I’m not. Nothing in particular can take on different meanings. While atheism and agnosticism has become more popular, so have other views. Views like being “spiritual but not religious” and “against organized religion” are also enjoying popularity. Even though these may include atheists and agnostics who like to meditate or believe in the afterlife, they often, also, include those who firmly believe in a deity. People with these kinds of belief may very well survey as “Nothing in particular.”

I hope atheism and agnosticism continue to gain popularity in the US. Of course, this is due to thinking that we atheists have views closer to the truth than do theists and the problem of the religious not tolerating atheists. Still, I think atheists are not as likely to be oppressed by anyone in the “nones” group, but I have little to back this up except personal experiences with the “spiritual but not religious” types.

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