Religion & Beliefs

How Many Atheists Does it Take to Believe in God?

A newly released survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life reveals all kinds of things we already knew—lots of American are religious, Pentecostalism is on the rise, faith and politics are closely linked—and a few fairly shocking … Read More

By / June 24, 2008

A newly released survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life reveals all kinds of things we already knew—lots of American are religious, Pentecostalism is on the rise, faith and politics are closely linked—and a few fairly shocking revelations.  For instance, 21% of people who identify themselves as atheists believe in God. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Moving on, 12% of atheists believe in heaven and 10% believe in hell, which leads me to wonder what exactly that even means? Why would you call yourself an atheist if you believe in God, heaven, and hell? Is this some bizarre way of covering bases? I don’t believe in God, but I kind of do? I only believe in God on Tuesdays, Fridays and alternate Mondays?  They're asking a lot of these same questions over at Hot Air, where they notice 10% of atheists pray once a week. If I’m doing my math correctly, that’s about 120 atheists who said they believe in God (35,556 respondents, 1.6% identified as atheists, 21% of those believe in God). There’s a word for people who opt out of religion but still feel connected to some kind of spirituality: agnostic. (More than 850 respondents identified as agnostic.)  This atheism confusion is almost as upsetting as the revelation that one in five Christians speaks or prays in tongues from time to time. Holy shit. Or should I say Baholloy Gutoirily Falswatahlisa?