Power in Numbers
Nontheists are the fastest growing ”religious“ demographic in the United States. Approximately 10% of Americans are nontheistic. Thats 1 in every 10 of your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers & elected officials who do not believe in a god (s). This is a demographic larger than most others combined:
- 25% of those under age 30 describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or nonreligious.
- 18% of those ages 30-49 describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or nonreligious.
- 13% of those ages 50-64 describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or nonreligious.
- 7% of those 65 & older describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or nonreligious.
What's in a name?
Nontheistic individuals choose to self-identify in many different ways. This is a personal choice; no one term has a definite or required set of beliefs, and many terms overlap.
Below are some common nontheistic labels of personal choosing:
Someone who disbelieves in, denies, or lacks a belief in the existence of god or gods. When we are unaware of, or choose not to believe in any or all of the known claimed gods, we are all atheists.
Someone who neither accepts nor rejects the existence of god(s) based on the claim that it is impossible to know whether god(s) exists or not.
Someone who subscribes to the philosophy of Humanism. Humanism is a rational philosophy that affirms the dignity of each human being, advocates the extension of participatory democracy and the expansion of the open society, and stands for human rights and social justice. Free of supernaturalism, it recognizes human beings as a part of nature, derives the goals of life from human need and interest rather than from theological or ideological abstractions, and asserts that humanity must take responsibility for its own destiny.
Someone who does not accept claims on the basis of dogma or religious authority, but applies critical thinking, logic, and empirical reasoning as the basis for acceptance and rejection of claims.
Someone who promotes the value of doubt and critical thinking along with rational inquiry and scientific methodologies. Skeptics don't deny the possibility of knowledge; rather, they argue that many knowledge claims are unfounded, and we should always be prepared to doubt and apply rational and empirical methods to collect data and test claims.