Our Labels versus Our Beliefs

The post below represents results from my Religious Labels survey. If you have not yet taken it, please do (first, because these results will not make sense to you otherwise, and second, because I need more data)…

I have broken down the responses to Question #1 (which was — When someone asks, “What religion are you?” How do you reply?) into three groups (“Believer,” “Unbeliever,” “Between Believer”). I’m sure everyone will not agree with how I sorted the responses, but I did so to be able to compare answers from various “types” of responses (if anyone has suggestions for improvements, please let me know). The groups are as follows: Continue reading


I Reply that I Do Not Have a Religion

Commenter Roger Norling was curious to know among those who answered #7. Do you think it is important to understand the tenets represented by a label before using it? — with “Very Important“, how many were in the “I reply that I do not have a religion” category from question #1. The answer 19.7%

The problem is that doesn’t really say much because the number of respondents to the survey is rather small. So, what I’ve done is broken all the answers out for that “Do not have a religion” group (of which there are currently 92 members). Here is how their answers broke out. I hope you find it interesting Roger! (and please take the survey if you haven’t yet…)

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Religious Labels Survey Results: Week 1

First, thanks to all who have taken the time to complete the Religious Labels survey! Here are results from the first week of 428 respondents.

If you find these results interesting or informative please forward a link to your family and friends. My goal is to have at least 1000 respondents, but I would love to double or triple that.

Here is the URL… https://truthisawoman.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/religious-labels-an-online-poll-please-help/

Below you will find two results for each question asked. The first I am calling “Those who affirm belief in something they call ‘God’” or “God” Group, and the second I am calling “Those who do not affirm belief in something they call ‘God’” or No ”God” Group.

I find the results of questions #2 and #9 particular interesting… enjoy!

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Survey Results — A Delay

I had hoped to post some results from my Religious Labels survey over the weekend, but I’m running into some formatting problems… sooo… there’s a delay…

As of 10:00 pm Sunday night, 428 folks have completed the survey — a pretty good number I think, but I’d certainly like to see more — so please continue to spread the word, and stay tuned…

Disarming the Quarrel between the Advocates of Hard and Soft Images of God

Many of you who have taken a look at and/or completed my Religious Labels Survey have asked, “What the deuce is this thing for?!”

Well, as you may or may not know, I am in the final stages of writing my Masters Thesis, the title of which is “Disarming the Quarrel between the Advocates of Hard and Soft Images of God.” I focus primarily on the various images and conceptions people have for whatever they mean by the word “God” and the quarrels that erupt between those with starkly different conceptions. A significant topic in this “deconstruction” is an examination of the religious labels people adopt and what they mean (or don’t mean) when using them. The survey is a mechanism to both gather data and to test some of my theories.  

It is also my hope that the survey will itself inspire discussion and thoughtful reflection. Please forward it along to family/friends as appropriate!

Religious Labels: An Online Poll… PLEASE HELP!

I am deep in the throes of research for a project about religious labels, how people use them, and what those labels represent. Please follow the link below to take a 5 minute survey on your use/non-use of religious labels… and thanks!

Click this link to take a survey on RELIGIOUS LABELS 


Recently I’ve run-up against the argument that atheism is “just another faith” — as if that somehow raised the merit of a believer’s position, which of course, even if atheism were, it does not.

I’d like to begin by quoting my buddy Sam Harris:

I think that ‘atheist’ is a term that we do not need, in the same way that we don’t need a word for someone who rejects astrology. We simply do not call people ‘non-astrologers’. All we need are words like ‘reason’ and ‘evidence’ and ‘common sense’ and ‘bullshit’ to put astrologers in their place, and so it could be with religion.

And I agree… a lot. The label “atheist” makes me bristle in the same way I bristle when someone calls me “Catholic” because a white-collared guy dripped water on my head before I was young enough to object or say “I do”…

Now if by “atheist” one means I am not a “theist,” well then yes, ok — for I am definitely not a theist. I do not believe in a personal God that listens to my thoughts and has a plan for me, who occasionally usurps the laws of physics to do his bidding but cannot seem to figure out a way to give me both free-will and also alleviate “the problem of evil” (I really think I could design this, btw).

Why is the label “atheist” at all necessary? We do not need a term for those who do not believe in bigfoot or vampires, no one is compelled to call me an abigfootist or avampirist…

Furthermore, the idea that atheism is a faith (where this post started) reveals just how caught up in the idea of faith the faithful are — it is as if they cannot imagine approaching the world in any other way. Now, to be fair, extreme atheism can become a bit faithlike, there may be some folks who “blindly” rattle on about “knowing” that God does not exist, and I would say that is a faith-based position… but even Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, writes, “Reason alone could not propel one to total conviction that anything definitely does not exist.

In other words, as the scientific method dictates, new evidence can always come in, no fact is unrevisable… and we can never prove the non-existence of something. In an infinite universe, there is always someplace one has not looked, and a healthy scientific worldview requires that questions are answered by probabilities, not by absolutes…