[lit-ideas] Re: Disbelief

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 15:08:32 -0800

The Habermas interview with Flew at HYPERLINK
"http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/"http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/ -- very

In the December issue of The Christian Century is an article entitled,
?Americans? belief in God is high but nuanced, study says.?  In it is poll
by Darren Sherkat, Southern Illinois University; General Social Surveys,
National Opinion Research Center:


U.S. Belief in God:


True Believer           64.4%

Doubt Sometimes         16.6%

Higher Power            8.4%

Ambivalent              4.1%

Agnostic                4.0%

Atheist                 2.5%


The article goes on to give some detailed information:  ?While only 53
percent of Liberal Protestants (including Presbyterians and United Church of
Christ members) and 56 percent of Episcopalians have unwavering faith that
God exists, fully 81 percent of Baptists and 85 percent of Mormons have no
doubt about God.


?Some 65 percent of the ?moderate? Protestants (Methodists, Disciples of
Christ, Brethren and Reformed) as well as Lutherans and Catholics are
certain in their belief.  Those church groupings ? plus the liberal
Protestants and Episcopalians ? all had between 19 and 23 percent who agreed
with the statement, ?While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God.?


?Only 27 percent of Jews believe firmly that God exists, while 21 percent
picked belief-with-doubt and 22 percent agnostic.  Sixteen percent
identified with the ?higher power? concept.?




I?d be interested in seeing a correlation between this poll and political
inclination.  Are Republicans and Conservatives mostly ?True Believers??
Are Leftists mostly ?Atheists??  Where do Liberals fall?   


A question I?ve puzzled over is whether there is a correlation between lack
of faith in God and a need to come up with a solution that depends upon a
particular social solution for mankind?s physical welfare.  Marx is the
classic example of this.  Religion is the opiate of the masses; so man must
go ahead and figure things out and produce a paradise here on earth because
there is no afterlife.  On the other hand, the Christian Postmillennial
position anticipates that God will eventually cause Christianity to
predominate throughout the entire world.  Postmillennialism and Francis
Fukuyama?s Hegelianism are not, it seems to me, in conflict.  Thus, a
certain aspect of Christianity would wonder if the spread of
Liberal-Democracy were God?s work ? comparable to the Roman Empire and Koine
Greek being the right situation for the spread of first-century


On the other hand, Marcel Gauchet in his The Disenchantment of the World, A
Political History of Religion, can see Liberal-Democracy growing out of and
replacing Christianity.  Perhaps Fukuyama would agree with Gauchet.
American Christian Postmillennialists would see the spread of
Liberal-Democracy as compatible with the spread of Christianity.  Perhaps
the European model would look more like Gauchet?s conception.


Lawrence Helm

San Jacinto




-----Original Message-----
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Paul Stone
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2004 7:27 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Disbelief


At 11:36 AM 12/12/2004, you wrote:

>A timely essay especially for the various levels of non-believers among

>us. It raises a number of important issues, not the least of which is

>"organized"  religion itself...




>/Steve Cameron, NJ


On the other hand, the first sign of the apocalypse has come in the 

[apparent] turning of Antony Flew into a 'theist'. UGH!!!





losing all hope,





Paul Stone


Leamington, ON





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