Only 1.6% in the U.S. identified themselves as atheists in Pew Poll

In a 2008 PEW Poll only 1.6% in the U.S. identified themselves as atheists. 16% identified themselves as unaffiliated. I wonder what the answer would be if the respondents were really honest and not afraid of disclosing their atheism. 39% attend church at least once a week. 58% pray at least once a day. 33% think the bible is the literal true word of god.

Scary.

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Comment by Chris G on December 14, 2009 at 7:12am
Positive thinking is good, but if you think prayer works you aren't an atheist.
Comment by Chris G on December 9, 2009 at 2:17pm
Pacifist religious people allow the 33% (who think the bible is the literal true word of god) to continue to promote the B/S. They may reply to requests through TV or mail for money that ends up supporting nut-bags such as The Discovery Institute who funded the Dover school Intelligent Design case and has a budget of over $4M/year
Comment by Howard S. Dunn on December 9, 2009 at 1:44pm
Looks like 42% don't go to church or pray. Assumimg that means the 40.4% who don't call themselves 'atheist' or 26% who claim to be 'affiliated' are, nevertheless, uncommitted about it. (Keep in mind that, if you think prayer works, considering the stresses in life, it would be 'called for' at least once a day for most of us.) I think this is encouraging news. Sounds to me like a significant chunk of the population isn't that wrapped up in the whole 'god' thing.

Dollars to donuts there are four main factors that keep the 'non-atheist' but uncommitred from saying they did not believe in god:

1. The 'imprinted since birth' problem.
2. The 'imagining not existing' conundrum.
3. The 'I want to live forever and have a chance to see people who died before and after me again' problem.
4. (As you suggest) The 'I would prefer not to be an outcast since claiming to believe in god is so easy even if I don't really' problem.

That last 33% (one-frikkin-third) scare the living crap out of me - yet tempt me to go into the 'swampland in Florida' real estate business.

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