Post-religion poll finds most 'have spiritual beliefs'

 
Worshippers at Westminster Cathedral The number of people going to church or following organised religion has fallen

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Despite the falling popularity of organised religion, most people in the UK still believe in the power of spiritual forces, research suggests.

A study for the Christian think tank Theos recorded 77% as believing some things could not be explained by science or any other means.

Among the other findings, 8% said they or someone they knew had experienced a miracle, while one in four expressed a belief in angels.

ComRes surveyed just over 2,000 people.

"The study appears to confirm that, despite a steady decline in congregations and in formal religious belief, a sense of the spiritual remains strong in Britain," said the BBC's religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott.

'Post-religious Britain'

Only a quarter of those questioned thought spiritual forces had no influence on Earth.

And almost two-thirds of those who identified themselves as Christians thought such spiritual forces could influence people's thoughts or the natural world.

More than a third of the non-religious shared that belief.

Between 2001 and 2011, the proportion of people in England and Wales identifying themselves as Christian fell from 72% to 59%.

In the last census a quarter of the population said they had no religion - up from 15% 10 years earlier.

"Some secularists have concluded from these trends that over recent decades Britain has become more secular, or more sceptical, or more rational," says Theos in its "belief in post-religious Britain" report.

"But the picture is actually very different - more complex and more interesting - than that."

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 664.

    Who do you believe, in Gods or people who think trees are mathematical equations. You could of course believe we are not half as smart as we think we are instead.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 663.

    It still surprises me how many people believe in the superstitious nonsense of "religion"...no wonder the world is in a mess

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 662.

    @ slithytove

    I hope it's a good one

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 661.

    659. webboffin
    4 MINUTES AGO
    Personally, I rather just sit back with popcorn and be entertained by the ignorant and flawed comments going back and forth on this topic.
    --
    Do you know that popcorn spoils advertising?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 660.

    balloon_knot@656

    I can't. Nor can I prove that I'm sitting at my computer writing on this blog. Neither can you.
    If you are happy to be nothing more than a cerebellum perched on top of a spinal column having chemical reactions that'a fine by me. But I think there's more to life than that. Excuse me while I go off and have a chemical reaction.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 659.

    Personally, I rather just sit back with popcorn and be entertained by the ignorant and flawed comments going back and forth on this topic.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 658.

    @625
    "At best science can only explain what happened AFTER the big bang. Science has no credible explanation for WHY".

    Yes they can, the most compelling evidence so is that at the sub atomic level a state of nothing cannot exist. i.e. when you try to create a vacuum an electron appears spontaneously. This suggests that the universe/universies always have been and will be.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 657.

    That does not mean that they are religious.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 656.

    @slithytove

    I didn't say I disbelieved you - merely asking how you know it is something other than - for instance - a brain tumour altering your perceptions ?

    I've had some "spiritual" moments when engaging in some aerobic activities with a bed partner - but I've never thought there was any other explanation than some chemicals running riot in my head ;-)

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 655.

    balloon_knot@654

    Like I said, if you haven't experienced it you won't believe in it. But to answer your question you experience it exactly the same way you experience everything else.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 654.

    @647 slithytove

    How do you experience "spirituality" ?

    There's a bloke who hangs around in our local precinct who obviously hears voices in his head - does he have some special insight or is he just barking mad ?

    How can you tell if your experiences are anything other than some aberrant brain chemistry ?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 653.

    Now happily recovered from decades of religious indoctrination, I have found that reliance on myth and prejudice had severely impaired my ability to think for myself, stand on my own feet and finally feel free from the guilt of having a long lie on Sundays. The ground has never opened up beneath my feet as a result. Just goes to show that it's just a means of thought control.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 652.

    You have a personal spiritual experience. Not through religion, which is a second hand one by any standard. Yes we need to look for our real selves inside us - the only way we as humans can show our spirituality is by stopping war, looking after people, animals and the planet.

    Anything else is pants.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 651.

    Why do people quote pages and extracts from the various fairy story books as evidence of a "truth"?
    1) Just think about universal education and how many have access to it to be able to read and write.
    2) Just think of the countries round the planet in relation to 1)
    3) Play Chinese whispers with 20 people and see what happens.
    4) "In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.
    Ignorance leads.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 650.

    bored23.
    Spirituality is not religion.
    You define it by experiencing it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 649.

    647.slithytove

    How do u define experiencing spirituality?

    I went to a christian centre once and they were praying for each other and people were shaking shouting etc saying the power of jesus was going through them.

    I had a go at this thinking lets see whats its about, nothing happend.

    These people that shake and shout etc, to me it just looks like put on nonsense!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 648.

    @637 Wouldn't an atheist survey be quite short?
    "Do you believe in God"
    "Er, no!"

    I refer to surveys to probe claims like - are people who claim to be 'Christian' just culturally Christian or do they actually believe in an invisible magic man ?
    Or probe the key myths.
    As a Christian why do you think your magic man didnt put a fence round the magic fruit tree and save a lot of bother ?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 647.

    If you have never experienced spirituality in your life then nobody can convince you that it's real. If you have then nobody can convince you that it's not. This is not a dispute between science and religion but between materialism and something more.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 646.

    642.bored23
    Because the Bible is not a science text book or even a historical text book. It is a Guide book to life everlasting.

    BTW - I am an atheist.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 645.

    Just to play devils advocate,as a non agressive atheist, unitl scientists can explain what causes the spark of life or where it goes when lifeforms die or what existed before the big bang then there will always be room for faith based explanations for these phenomena.

 

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