I have all this information to share with you, but I haven't had a chance to organize it properly. So I've decided to kind of throw it out to you with a few notes and let you process it at your leisure, instead of wait any longer. Last month the results of a survey were released. The survey was all about the godless and it was done by Professor Luke Galen.
Luke Galen does a podcast called Reasonable Doubts with two other awesome guys, Jeremy Beahan and David Fletcher. I love this podcast and have been listening to all the past episodes to try to catch up. Just recently I listened to episode 32, Profiles of the Godless where Dr. Galen addressed CFI Michigan with his results. This was recorded back in January of this year, before his paper was published. I highly recommend listening to the podcast as it makes the data come together to make sense.
Along with the podcast, you can look at Luke Galen's pdf presentation that he used for the talk. Note: He has zero sense of color or graphic design. The charts are pretty painful to look at. But if you follow along with them while you listen to the podcast it really helps. Use eyedrops to keep your eyes from bleeding. lol
Another take on the data is presented by the Center for Inquiry. They did a press release last month and summed it up briefly. And here is a 5 page pdf of the results that won't make your eyes bleed. It's mostly text as opposed to charts.
This study was really awesome. First, it looked at nonbelievers in all their different aspects and iterations. How many of us still claim to be spiritual, etc? And the chart I found most awesome was how atheists find themselves to be relatively happy (life satisfaction, page 16 of the pdf). The interesting bit there is that people who are comfortable and rather set in their belief or nonbelief are much happier than people who doubt, like agnostics. In other words, being certain in your belief or nonbelief of god(s) helps with emotional stability.
I did come to the conclusion that I'm a bit of a statistical anomoly, though. Most atheists tend to be white men who have higher education and make good money. The only thing I have in common with them is that they have fewer children (Oh, I'm white, too. LOL) So yeah, I'm a white woman with only a bit of college, mostly self-educated, I'm not spiritual in the least (whereas most female atheists also claim to be spiritual), I'm a housewife, and I have no kids. So I guess I'm not your typical atheist.
Dr. Galen also looks into the issue of labels, which I find interesting. We have friends that call themselves Brights and avoid the A word. And I would never call myself a Bright and am proud to be called Atheist. Some people like to be called Humanist or spiritual. So he looks into that. When forced to pick just one label, a lot of people chose atheist which was interesting.
I'd love to see this go further, to ask even more questions of atheists. Maybe then it wouldn't be so hard for us to come together, to unite for common causes.
What do you think? Your thoughts are welcome, as usual. :)