There is a new Pew Survey about religion of people coming of age around the year 2000 (called the Millenials) out. It's quite interesting. I've included some of the charts and tables for you.
What is interesting is how the Millenials are less affiliated, but they still believe in the afterlife, miracles, angels and demons to a high degree. I think that's where atheism is lacking for a lot of people; that comfort that there's more to life than just the natural, that life doesn't just end when we take our last breath. Personally I find that it makes life much more precious.
Let's see some charts and tables!
Note that in the Unaffiliated group are the Religious Unaffiliated, people who describe their faith as "nothing in particular" but say that religion is somewhat or very important in their lives. Whatever that means.
If you take out the religious unaffiliated, you still get a much higher group of unaffiliated than the general population. :) Note how few people are still willing to label themselves as atheists. :(
Lots of people find religion to be very important to them. Note how religion seems to become more important as the different groups get older. Could that be fear of death?
53% of Millenials are certain god exists. Note the other groups as well.
Interesting how different groups view the bible or other "holy" book.
Here's a chart for the last table. Note how the different groups change over time in regards to believing the bible is the literal word of god.
Notice how the unaffiliated still believe in the afterlife, miracles, angels and demons. I think this is significant.
How to obtain eternal life table, only the affiliated were asked, of course.
Views of homosexuality as always wrong.
Views on abortion. I'd love to see this as a chart over time.
Is evolution the best explanation for human life? Does Hollywood threaten values? Do you like bigger government with more services? Interesting numbers.
Are there absolute standards of right and wrong? Should government protect morality? Should churches talk politics? The unaffiliated stand out a bit here.
Opposition to prayer and bible reading in public schools. The Millenials stand out again.
So what do you think? Are you an Unaffiliated? Have you ever heard of Religious Unaffiliated? Do you think the Unafilliated results are too muddied by combining those numbers for the rest of the questions? I do. Does this poll seem hopeful to you, or not? And if you're nonreligious, do you believe in miracles, angels and demons, and life after death?
Thanks to my friend Daniel, for letting me know this had been released.