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Sunday, January 14, 2018

DO YOU BELIEVE IN A SUPREME BEING?


If you believe in a Supreme Being, you are in the majority of people living on Planet Earth.  What amazes me is that ONLY 51% do, and the exact same percentage also in an Afterlife.  However, only 23 countries were polled by Ipsos/Reuters in 2011, including China, which you will later learn, is one reason why these numbers seem so low.  In quick summary:


  • Definitive belief in a God or Supreme Being is highest in Indonesia (93%) and Turkey (91%) followed by Brazil (84%), South Africa (83%) and Mexico (78%). Those most likely to believe in "many Gods or Supreme Beings" live in India (24%), China (14%) and Russia (10%).
  • Those who say they do not believe in God or Supreme Being(s) are most likely to live in France (39%) followed by Sweden (37%), Belgium (36%), Great Britain (34%), Japan (33%) and Germany (31%).

  • If you look closely at these various surveys, you should understand that the actual belief averages vary quite a bit, depending on exactly what question is asked.  In any case, Muslim countries have high belief rates:


    Here are specific countries, including the former Soviet allies:


    However, the younger generation is quickly losing faith:


    Europeans have less belief in God:


    For those who'd rather look at graphs:


    USA beliefs are Muslim-like, from Gallup:


    Americans' Belief in God Using Different Question Wording

    YesNoNo opinion
    %%%
    Do you believe in God?89101
    Do you believe in God or a universal spirit?8992
    GALLUP, JUNE 14-23, 2016

    But the trend shows a decline:


    Americans also believe in angels, heaven, etc:


    For each of the following items I am going to read you, please tell me whether it is something you believe in, something you're not sure about or something you don't believe in.

    Believe inNot sure aboutDon't believe in
    %%%
    God791011
    Angels721216
    Heaven711415
    Hell641322
    The devil611227
    GALLUP, MAY 4-8, 2016

    World belief in a Supreme Being is skewed by China, for 90% don't believe (that graph below should show this figure).  However, this is because Communist rule has essentially banned religion.  I once gave a talk in that country and asked how many of them believed in God.  A few tentative hands went up.  However, I was later told I shouldn't have queried them on this matter because those who believed could well have been reported.

    Also:


    So what's the point to the above?  Well, this is Sunday, and what I learned surprised me.  Oh, one more thing:  the World's Happiest Countries are also Least Religious.  There is something called the World Happiness Index, with following rankings in 2017:
    • #    1  Norway
    • #    2  Denmark
    • #    3  Iceland
    • #  14  USA
    • #  26  Singapore
    • #  49  Russia
    • #  51  Japan
    • #  56  South Korea
    • #  71  Hong Kong
    • #  79  China
    • #  94  Vietnam
    • #108  Iran
    • #145  Haiti
    • #155  Central African Republic

    Method of Happiness/Religious determination:

    The rankings are based on answers to the main life evaluation question asked in the poll. This is called the Cantril ladder: it asks respondents to think of a ladder, with the best possible life for them being a 10, and the worst possible life being a 0. They are then asked to rate their own current lives on that 0 to 10 scale.



    I guess the USA is somewhat anomalous, for we are very religious, but happy enough to be colored BLUE:

    Yet:

    Anecdotal evidence would suggest that unhappy people are driven to religion, given the fact that when one is unhappy in this life they can embrace the idea that there is something better waiting for them after death.
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