A new poll published by Pew on Wednesday provides many revelations about views on God in the United States.
The poll says that previous surveys have shown the number of people who absolutely believe in God has declined in recent years, while the number of those who have doubts of God’s existence or don’t believe in it at all is rising. But despite the trends of the numbers, the results of the latest poll show that there is still ample reason to believe that God is still a major force in American life.
When U.S. adults were asked whether or not they believe in God, four-in-five (80 percent) said that they do. More specifically, 56 percent of adults surveyed said that they believe in God “as described in the Bible.”
Interestingly enough, belief in a deity or higher power is common among people without religious affiliation, as close to three quarters (72 percent) of them still believe in God or some other higher power.
Focusing on the other side, less than one-in-five (19 percent) adults surveyed said that they do not believe in God. However, some adults (9 percent) say that while they don’t believe in God, they do believe in some spiritual being or higher power. Only one-in-ten adults (10 percent) surveyed do not believe in any God or higher power.
The adults surveyed also answered questions regarding their thoughts on predestination.
About half of Americans (48 percent) believe that God plays a significant role in determining the course of events in their life. Respectively, a little over a quarter (27 percent) of Americans believe that God is in control of what happens all the time while about one-in-five (21 percent) think that God is in control most of the time.
Another 18 percent believe that God at least sometimes determines what happens to them, while less than a quarter (23 percent) think God hardly ever determines outcomes or never does at all.
Close to eight-in-ten (77 percent) of American adults believe that God or some other higher power has protected them and two-thirds (67 percent) say that their deity has rewarded them.
A majority of U.S. adults believe that God is judgmental, as 61 percent believe that God will judge all that they have done. However, far fewer Americans—well less than half (40 percent)—believe that God or another spiritual being has punished them for bad deeds.
When it comes to communicating with a higher power, people have very different views of how it happens.
The predominant opinion, held by a little less than half of U.S. adults (47 percent), is that they talk to God or another spiritual force, but their higher power does not talk back to them. However, more than a quarter of Americans (28 percent) believe that communication with God is a two-way street.
Additionally, an extremely small number of adults—less than one percent to be exact—believe that they don’t talk to God, but that God talks to them. There are also quite a few adults (15 percent) that believe that they don’t communicate with God in any way.