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Guess Who Doesn't Believe in God?
Eleven percent of U.S. adults admit they don't believe in God. Surprisingly, while 73 percent profess a belief in God, they are riddled with doubt, not certain God actually exists.
Specifically, 42 percent admit they are not "absolutely certain" there is a God, while 15 percent are only "somewhat certain." Eleven percent think there is probably no God and 16 percent aren't sure, according to this Harris Poll of 2,010 U.S. adults conducted in 2006. There is no consensus on God's gender, form or degree of control over events on earth.
Not all who describe themselves as Christian or Jewish believe in God. Indeed, only 76 percent of Protestants, 64 percent of Catholics and 30 percent of Jews say they are "absolutely certain" there is a God. However, 93 percent of Christians who describe themselves as "born again" are absolutely certain there is a God.
Who is absolutely certain there is a God?
People in all age groups 40 and over (63 percent of those ages 40 to 49, 65 percent of those ages 50 to 64 and 65 percent of those ages 65 and over) compared to people in age groups under 40 (45 percent of those ages 18 to 24, 43 percent of those ages 25 to 29 and 54 percent of those ages 30 to 39);
Women (62 percent) slightly more than men (54 percent);
African Americans (71 percent) compared to Hispanics (61 percent) and Whites (57 percent);
Republicans (73 percent) more than Democrats (54 percent) or Independents (51 percent);
People with no college education (62 percent) or who have some college education (57 percent), compared to college graduates (50 percent) and those with post-graduate degrees (53 percent).
How often do we attend religious services?
35 percent attend once a month or more, including 26 percent of these who attend once a week or more.
46 percent say they attend services just a few times a year or less.
18 percent never attend.
Is God male or female?
The public is almost equally divided between those who think of God as male (36 percent) and "neither male nor female" (37 percent), with 10 percent saying "both male and female." Only one percent thinks of God as female.
Does God have a human form?
A substantial plurality of the public (41 percent) thinks of God as "a spirit or power that can take on human form but is not inherently human."
27 percent think of God as a "spirit or power that does not take on human form."
Only 9 percent of adults think of God as being "like a human being with a face, body, arms, legs, eyes, etc."
How much control does God have over events on earth?
Less than one-third of all adults (29 percent) believe that God "controls what happens on Earth, including 57 percent of born-again Christians.
A plurality (44 percent) believes that God "observes but does not control what happens on Earth."
Do Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same God?
About half (51 percent) of all adults, including a majority of Catholics (63 percent), believe that Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God.
32 percent believe they do not.
16 percent are not sure.
Among born-again Christians, 54 percent say they do not worship the same God, while 34 percent say they do.
Are believers declining?
Three years ago, in an identical survey, 79 percent of adults said they believed in God and 66 percent said they were absolutely certain that there is a God. In this new survey, those numbers have declined to 73 percent and 58 percent respectively.
--From the Editors at Netscape