This item somehow missed the post last night. A study of atheists and agnostics, funded by Templeton, came up with some illuminating facts:
2. In all six of our countries, majorities of unbelievers identify as having ‘no religion’. Nevertheless, in Denmark fully 28% of atheists and agnostics identify as Christians; in Brazil the figure is 18%. 8% of Japan’s unbelievers say they are Buddhists. Conversely, in Brazil (79%), the USA (63%), Denmark (60%), and the UK (52%), a majority of unbelievers were brought up as Christians. (1.1, 1.2)
3. Relatively few unbelievers select ‘Atheist’ or ‘Agnostic’ as their preferred (non)religious or secular identity. 38% of American atheists opt for ‘Atheist’, compared to just 19% of Danish atheists. Other well-known labels – ‘humanist’, ‘free thinker’, ‘sceptic’, ‘secular’ – are the go-to identity for only small proportions in each country. (1.3)
Unbelief in God doesn’t necessarily entail unbelief in other supernatural phenomena. Atheists and (less so) agnostics exhibit lower levels of supernatural belief than do the wider populations. However, only minorities of atheists or agnostics in each of our countries appear to be thoroughgoing naturalists. (2.2, 2.3 More. –
Stephen Sullivant, Miguel Farias, Jonathan Lanman, Lois Lee, Understanding Unbelief: Atheists and agnostics around the world – Interim findings from 2019 research in Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States
It would appear to explain a lot. Read the rest; it’s free.
See also: Why is the New York Times into witchcraft now? The good news is, we have far less to fear from hexes than from anti-free speech legislation and crackdowns on academic freedom at the universities. We really must encourage them all to spend more time, much more time, on hexes.
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