ADVERTISING
 
Tuesday, August 20   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Study
 

Core values bring unbelievers and general population closer, study says

Several universities has launched the study ‘Understanding Unbelief’.“Atheists and agnostics endorse the realities of objective moral values at similar rates to the general populations”.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus LONDON 04 JUNE 2019 16:55 h GMT+1
Photo: Toa Heftiba. Unsplash (CC0).

The universities of Kent, St Mary's Twickenham London, Belfast and Coventry have published the study ‘Understanding Unbelief: Atheists and agnostics around the world’.



The report “seeks to map the nature and diversity of the varied phenomena traditionally labelled as ‘unbelief’, across different national settings”.



It combines “in-depth, face-to-face interviews and conceptually linked, nationally representative surveys, across six geographically, culturally, linguistically, politically and religious diverse settings: Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States”.



“This allows us to ask more detailed questions than large, general social surveys not designed for probing the nuances of these specific topics”, authors said.



 



“UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT WORLDVIEWS OF THE ATHEISTS”



Dr Lois Lee, one of the authors of the study, argued that “these findings show once and for all that the public image of the atheist is a simplification at best, and a gross caricature at worst”.



“Instead of relying on assumptions about what it means to be an atheist, we can now work with a real understanding of the many different worldviews that the atheist population includes”, she added.



The research was presented at a conference held at the Vatican on May 28 –30, which was Co-hosted by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Non religion and Secularity Research Network.



 



“AGREEMENT REGARDING IMPORTANT VALUES”



According to the study “atheists and agnostics endorse the realities of objective moral values, human dignity and attendant rights, and the ‘deep value’ of nature, at similar rates to the general populations in their countries”.



“There is remarkably high agreement between unbelievers and general populations concerning the values most important for ‘finding meaning in the world and your own life’”, it added.



 



Current religious affiliation of atheists/agnostics. / University of Kent.



 



RELIGIOUS IDENTITY



Although the majority of people who identify themselves as atheists or agnostics in these countries claim not to be affiliated with any religion, with ratios ranging from 63% (Denmark) to 85% (China), there is still, a significant minority opted for a religious identity in all countries.



Among all the possible options, Christian is the most popular in Denmark (28%), Brazil (18%), the United Kingdom (15%), the United States (12%), and China (7%), while Buddhist is the most popular in Japan (8%).



Data show that between less than a third and a third of atheists and agnostics are identified as such in the countries analyzed. In some, even the "non-religious" label is more common, although ‘humanist’, ‘free thinker’, ‘sceptic’, or ‘secular’ are also used.



“Popular assumptions about ‘convinced, dogmatic atheists’ do not stand up to scrutiny. Unbelief in God doesn’t necessarily entail unbelief in other supernatural phenomena”, the study pointed out.



 



LIMITED TRUST IN THEIR OWN BELIEFS



When asked if they feel confident that their beliefs about God’s existence are the right ones, “agnostics tend to have the least confidence in their views”, the report showed.



Meanwhile, “all six of our countries’ atheists express overall levels of confidence in their beliefs about God’s existence either notably lower than (Brazil, China), or broadly comparable to (Denmark, Japan, UK, US), the general population’s”.



For instance, the comparatively high level of confidence exhibited by America’s atheists matches more-or-less exactly the high ‘religious confidence’ of Americans in general.



 



HUMAN DIGNITY, NATURE AND PROGRESS



The research shows that atheists and agnostics and population in general have very similar opinions about human dignity, with the exception of Japan.



 



Unbelievers worldview./ University of Kent.



In relation to the value of the natural world, regardless of its usefulness to humans, “in most of the countries surveyed (Denmark, the UK, USA and Brazil) our unbelievers and general samples endorsed it at near-identical levels. But in China, and Japan, unbelievers were less likely to endorse the statement (77% vs. 93% in China, and 55% to 79% in Japan)”.



“Across all countries and across both samples, however, the majority of participants endorse the claim of the inherent value of the natural world”, the study explained.



Furthermore, “the belief that in the long-run, society becomes better over time, shows a cross-national variation”. While in Japan, just 13% of unbelievers and 21% of the population as a whole affirmed this statement, the Chinese figures are vastly different (69% and 83%).



 



FAMILY, THE MOST IMPORTANT VALUE



According to the study, “there is a remarkable level of similarity between unbelievers and the general population across our countries in what makes the world and life meaningful”.



Family was the most frequently chosen item in all general population samples, and in four of the six unbeliever samples. Further, where it was not the most frequently chosen item, it came either second (Brazil) or third (China)”.



Brazilian and Chinese unbelievers chose freedom as the first value, which “ranked second in half of our samples, and never fell out of the Top Five chosen items in any sample”.



“Other items frequently appearing in the Top Five across both samples are compassion, truth, nature, science, friendship and equality”, the report concluded.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Core values bring unbelievers and general population closer, study says
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one' Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one'

Christians from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and North America, from different ethnic backgronds, came together to pray for unity as the body of Christ.

 
How have global missions changed over the last century? How have global missions changed over the last century?

The centre of gravity of Christianity has shifted from Europe to Africa, says Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Director of the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation initiative.

 
Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister

Representatives of the National Day of Prayer, the Evangelical Alliance and CARE express the need for churches to pray for the new leadership of a country divided by Brexit and other issues.

 
Practical ways to direct our hearts toward spiritual growth Practical ways to direct our hearts toward spiritual growth

“It is not our initiative, it is not working for ourselves, it is gazing to Jesus and responding to Him. It is the language of inclining the heart that we see in Psalms”, said  Peter Mead, Director of Cor Deo.

 
Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa

A short video summary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly, July 3-10.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.