June 25, 2008

More Fun with the Pew Report

More fun religious factoids from the new Pew Report via Beliefnet: 21% of atheists believe in God (What was th exact phrasing of this question?) and 74% of Americans believe in heaven while only 59% believe in Hell. Call it American optimism.

Tolerance -- 70% of Americans say "many religions can lead to eternal life" and 68% that there "is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion." Most amazing, 57% of evangelicals say many religions can lead to eternal life. Given that one of the most important teachings of evangelical Christianity is that salvation comes ONLY through Christ, this finding ought to rattle Christian leaders.

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Dr. Matthew's picture

One's tempted to summarize that as "21% of self-identified atheists unfamiliar with definition of 'atheism.'" It would be interesting if they explored belief or non-belief in a deity among those that self-identify as adherents of a particular faith (which would yield atheists not only among some Buddhists, but also some members of Reform Judaism, etc.).