16 1

27% of American agnostics believe with certainty there is a God compared with 23% of European Christians. What is wrong with this?

By Surchin5
Actions Follow Post Like

Post a comment Add Source Add Photo

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


Another reason I'm pleased to be able to say: Me, atheist. Belief in God/s - none. Why? No evidence. Have evidence? Make an appointment. Bronze Age heresay not acceptable.

David1955 Level 8 June 1, 2018

Statistics don’t lie but liars can figure.


I don't see how it is possible to be an agnostic and believe with certainty that there is a god. The very definition of agnostic is NOT having certainty. If such a person says that they are an agnostic then they are either lying or have no idea what agnostic is.

piphirho Level 6 May 31, 2018

yeah, I knew someone would make my reply for me, thanks.


Well yeah, remember how all the religious prunes got on the mayflower to start their religious colonies here in the states? Probably their descendants.

mek7730 Level 7 May 31, 2018

Well there's a contradiction for ya!

KKGator Level 9 May 31, 2018

If someone believes with certainty that there is a god the by definition they are not agnostic.

Donto101 Level 7 May 31, 2018

Probably the article, which is misleading as hell.

The article is talking about the Nones, which includes agnostics, atheists, and also its largest component, religiously unaffiliated theists. The religiosity of the group is mostly a function of the believers, by definition. Sure, a few atheists for example belong to atheistic religions like Buddhism (or more often, practice secularized meditation or some other subset), or go to a UU church which is non-creedal / post-Christian and welcomes atheists and various theists. But those are outliers looking mostly for community in a particular way.

mordant Level 8 May 31, 2018

@iamjc I haven't read the report the article is talking about but would be unsurprised to find the study is not saying what the article is saying. In fact if you read between the lines, the article seems to be deliberately misinterpreting what the study is saying. Or maybe they are amplifying sloppy thinking in the study, who knows. These days I don't pay much attention to such articles. They usually manage to lose me when they confuse association with cause.


the use of English


The contorted logic that some people use.

gsiamne Level 7 May 31, 2018

The ‘Agnostic thing’ continues to confuse me … so they can believe in a god..? ..and in my stupid nation, 27% of them actually do smile005.gif

Agnostic: “a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of [g]od or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in [g]od.” … I’m not seeing an option in that description for a ‘god.’

Varn Level 8 May 31, 2018

That does not make sense. By definition, an agnostic is not sure that any god exists. By the way I lived in Salina for 10 years. My daughters (and ex-wife) still live there.

wordywalt Level 8 May 31, 2018

By definition, agnostics do not "know" whether there is a god or not; at most, agnostics believe that it is possible that there is a god. Any other belief would not be agnostic.


What's wrong are polls using muddle definitions, nebulous questions, and imprecise binning.

In terms of muddled definitions, there is a huge difference between the atheist and the agnostic and those who claim nothing in particular. The later two could be reasonably considered to entertain some religious belief while the former clearly could not.

In terms of nebulous questions, they will often ask "How certain are you that god exists?" Well, as an agnostic I don't know how to answer that question since it's not a 50%/50% chance nor 0% nor 100%. For an atheist, the same... if you are 99%, does that mean you are certain 99 days and then 1 day you are a believer or uncertain? Does that mean that every day there is a 99% chance you will not believe but somedays that 1% comes up and you do? Unclear to try to put these complex beliefs on a single number scale.

Finally, in terms of imprecise binning, when you put atheists and agnostics in the same bin, you are bound to get interference. Some atheists call themselves agnostic and for them that is no problem. But some atheists do not consider themselves agnostic and vice versa and thus putting them in the same bin muddles the result.

In short, while some of the results from these surveys can be trusted, such as what percentage believes vs. doesn't believe, others are two muddled to draw any conclusions from... this article is just one example of said confusion and why we should be very careful about conclusions from surveys, even ones as reputable as Pew.


Someone is confused about the definition of Agnostic...

Donna_I Level 7 May 31, 2018

does someone need a dictionary?

btroje Level 9 May 31, 2018

What is wrong with this is that Agnostics, by definition do not belive God necessarily exists, or necessarily does not exist. So 27% of American Agnostics cannot actually believe with a certainty that there is a God.

Christians, also by definition are not non-theistic, so the part where it mentions that 23% percent of European Christians is also incorrect.

The Atlantic is not a real news source. They are a bunch of left-wing nose pickers. Just read their dossier on this site:


DZhukovin Level 7 May 31, 2018

Because rightwingers don't pick their nose?

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text 'q:95843'.
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content read full disclaimer.
  • is a non-profit community for atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics and others!