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Identities And Beliefs Of U.S. Adults Who Identify As Religious "Nones"

Identities and beliefs of U.S. adults who identify as religious "nones." A recent report from the Pew Research Center reveals that over 25% of American adults identify as "religious nones," indicating that they consider themselves either atheists, agnostics, or having no specific religious affiliation.

Bernard Horne
Jan 26, 20241100 Shares14672 Views
Identities and beliefs of U.S. adults who identify as religious "nones."A recent report from the Pew Research Center reveals that over 25% of American adults identify as "religious nones," indicating that they consider themselves either atheists, agnostics, or having no specific religious affiliation.
The data, drawn from a survey of 11,201 respondents conducted last summer, shows that 28% of Americans fall into this category. Among them, 17% identify as atheists, 20% as agnostics, and 63% as "nothing in particular." Notably, a majority of "nones" reported being raised in religious households, with Christianitybeing the predominant background.
The report indicates that when asked about their reasons for not identifying with any religion, two-thirds of "nones" cited either skepticism towards religious teachings or a lack of belief in God.
The majority of individuals identifying as "nones" expressed a belief in God, albeit not necessarily the God described in the Bible, or some form of higher power. Additionally, around half of these individuals described themselves as "spiritual." A notable 29% of "nones" outright rejected the idea of any higher power or spiritual force, and a mere 10% reported regular attendance at religious services.
Among this demographic, diverse opinions surfaced regarding the impact of religion. While some viewed religion as causing harm, a significant portion acknowledged its potential for good. According to Pew, 41% of respondents believed that religion contributes both positive and negative aspects to society.
The report highlighted that individuals identifying as "nones" are not universally opposed to religion. While most "nones" do not embrace the notion that science can provide comprehensive explanations for everything, they maintain a more favorable stance towards science compared to their religiously affiliated counterparts among American adults.
Data from a 2022 Pew surveyrevealed that a majority of American adults perceived the declining religiosity in the country as a negative development. Additionally, 45% of respondents expressed the belief that the United States should be characterized as a "Christian nation."
"'Nones' tend to vote less often, do less volunteer work in their communities and follow public affairs at lower rates than religiously affiliated people do," the Pew report said, adding that the latest data shows that, "on a variety of measures, lower rates of civic engagement are concentrated among 'nones' whose religion is 'nothing in particular.' Atheists and agnostics tend to participate in civic lifeat rates matching or exceeding religiously affiliated people."
While some people among the "nones" exhibit a notably negative perspective on religion, the overall sentiment within this group tends to be characterized by mixed views rather than outright hostility.
Among "nones," there is a recognition that religion can contribute to societal problems, such as fostering intolerance or superstition. However, a significant portion also acknowledges the positive aspects of religion.

Conclusion

In summary, 43% of "nones" assert that religion has a more harmful impact on society, while 14% believe it does more good than harm. The remaining 41% perceive religion as having both positive and negative influences in equal measure.
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