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Study: atheism in US has a low retention rate

Posted on Friday, 13 July, 2012 | Comment icon 68 comments | News tip by: markdohle

Image credit: sxc.hu

New research suggests that those who grow up in an atheist household are less likely to stay atheists.

Conducted by researchers at Georgetown University, the study found that only 30% of those who grow up in an atheist household in the United States are likely to remain atheists as adults. "What these findings reflect is that in the U.S. atheists are for the most part 'made' as adults after being raised in another faith," said Dr. Mark Gray. "It appears to be much more challenging to raise one's child as an atheist and have them maintain this identity in their life."

Out of those studied in the research, 30% of those raised in an atheist household later became Protestants and 10% became Catholics.

"Jehovah's Witness, congregationalist and holiness churches had the next lowest retention rates at 37 percent, 37 percent and 32 percent, respectively."

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 Source: Christian Post

  Discuss: View comments (68)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #59 Posted by seishin on 2 August, 2012, 1:22
Rubbish... Look, the door swings both ways. I am certain that this type of coming and going from one belief to the next or to the "lack-there-of" is influenced by many factors.
Comment icon #60 Posted by Lava_Lady on 2 August, 2012, 4:44
Being raised as an atheist has its own shortcoming. Basically you are raised without a really powerful stimulant and analgesic, which is religion. It can help when the child becomes a part of the intellectual sector of the society, but when he/she faces a great ordeal, then it can be a make it or break it situation. Why does religion have to be the stimulant or the analgesic? I was raised Christian, taught to literally fear God. As an adult I've since learned that religion is a business and a very lucrative one at that. Ones personal stimulant should be the God inside each person. That's faith... [More]
Comment icon #61 Posted by Sherapy on 2 August, 2012, 17:41
If I may ask...what does that entail exactly? I mean, if a child is raised to be religious the parents are accused of indoctrinating their children. Isn't that a different form of indoctrination? IMO, you bring in a good point Michelle, as a parent myself I have put much thought and great care in how I present ideas, because any idea can become dogmatic. The reality is as a parent I think there is always a way to present something in a neutral manner. 'For me' the goal is to encourage my kids to think for themselves and impart the tools that best motivate this, not tell them what they should t... [More]
Comment icon #62 Posted by Mikami on 3 October, 2012, 15:14
I think ALIENS showed us religion to help us become more civilized and that religion is just pretty much guidelines to good morals and to keep us away from barbaric killing and mindless destruction! ANCIENT ALIENS THEORY!, my hair is a bird by the way...
Comment icon #63 Posted by Hasina on 3 October, 2012, 17:03
IMO, you bring in a good point Michelle, as a parent myself I have put much thought and great care in how I present ideas, because any idea can become dogmatic. The reality is as a parent I think there is always a way to present something in a neutral manner. 'For me' the goal is to encourage my kids to think for themselves and impart the tools that best motivate this, not tell them what they should think. I have 3 sons- 2 are exploring religious paths, one is not. In our home, we embrace diversity and on going discussions so we all can grow in openness and fairness.
Comment icon #64 Posted by Yamato on 4 October, 2012, 11:28
Where can I find real information on what "most but not all atheists" think? I mean...besides here, of course. It's interesting to think that because atheist parents don't believe in God, they don't push their beliefs on their kids. I never thought that only the belief in God carries that dynamic in raising one's children. Oops, I still don't! Because I wouldn't want to get the idea that most atheists don't have any beliefs worth teaching their kids. Yes I know that cute kitty cats and atheism are both so freaking popular, I should never ever rub two words together in opposition to either one.... [More]
Comment icon #65 Posted by markdohle on 5 October, 2012, 12:17
In an atheist household, nobody is indoctrinated. They are free to think what they want. Atheism is simply not believing. People who go from Atheism to a relegion as usually more informed and know what they're getting in to, rather than indoctrinated children just doing what they only know. Good point. Though many atheist who leave their faith actually don't get it as well. Again, there are exceptions I know. I have stayed in my faith because at a very young age I studied it, the good, the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful and transcendent. peace mark
Comment icon #66 Posted by markdohle on 5 October, 2012, 12:23
but wat about dinosaurs?!!?!? do u believe in dinosaurs!?!?!? evolution?!?! i bet yur gonna say no You don't read much do you, or least not outside what backs up you narrow understanding of a very complex and important aspect of human life. Science has nothing to say about God, and many believers from the days of Darwin have no trouble with evolution or science for that matter. peace mark
Comment icon #67 Posted by Tiggs on 5 October, 2012, 12:49
Yes I know that cute kitty cats and atheism are both so freaking popular The Pew Forum, who's research this is, says that 1.6% of the US are atheist. You have an interesting definition of freaking popular. But if we do negatively generalize religion as indoctrination and positively generalize atheism as logic, then logic is losing the battle for hearts and minds according to this study and that's interesting enough to me. Alternately - perhaps what it's illustrating is that it's much harder to get out of an organised religion than it is to get out of atheism.
Comment icon #68 Posted by Sean93 on 27 December, 2012, 19:29
Y'see, when people get older they start to believe and read their holy books because as George Carlin said "They're cramming for their final exam"

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