1 in 5 Americans Going to Hell, According to 4 in 5 Americans

Illustration for article titled 1 in 5 Americans Going to Hell, According to 4 in 5 Americans

Rents in the trendy postlife neighborhood of Hell are likely to increase dramatically in the next decades as more and more Americans check the "none" box on surveys about religion. In fact the proportion of the American population that consists of atheists, agnostics, and otherwise totally unaffiliated freelance souls has tripled since 1990.

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According to the Pew Research Center's Center for People and the Press, in 1990, only 6% of Americans identified as atheist, agnostic, or None. But now, 19% of the country isn't all that concerned with adhering to any faith whatsoever. This trend is especially strong among young people, the highly educated, and people old and cranky enough to be fed up with organized religion and all of its tropes. Meanwhile, membership in Catholic and Protestant faiths is either stagnating or decreasing.

That being godless or god doubting is so cool right now is a feat; None-ists tend to have fewer children than their churchgoing counterparts, which means that most people who grow up to be atheist or agnostic aren't necessarily born into a proud tradition of religiously not going to church every Sunday — although when I have kids, I will raise them to be as devoted to brunch as I am, so help me God. No, it seems that most None-ists are coming to be None-ists by growing up with a defined faith and then leaving it when they realized that it actually sounds kinda silly, when you sit down and think about it.

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Demographers speculate that while the number of None-ists is exploding like the souls of the damned when the come in contact with Satan, their rise could be nipped by growing immigrant populations, which tend to be more religious, and their own low birth rates. Because what's the point?

Meanwhile, deep below the deepest point of the known ocean, Cthulhu continues to slowly creep toward land, completely indifferent to humanity.

[USAT]

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DISCUSSION

yethistle
Thistle, the Lady Nerevarine

Semi-related question from a newbie atheist for other atheists: did you find that loss of belief lead you to greater anxiety and/or occasional depression? While I accept my lack of belief and honestly don't think I could convince myself to believe no matter how much I would want to, I find that it feels like life has lost some of its magic, silly as that sounds. Anyone else experience this and, if so, how do you get over it?