Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Drunken Deist: General Social Survey respondents were asked if they sometimes drink too much. I looked to see if this varies with belief in God and church attendance:

Percent that drink too much

1. I don't believe in God. (34.0)
2. I don't know whether there is a God and I don't believe there is any way to find out. (40.9)
3. I don't believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a Higher Power of some kind. (46.8)
4. I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others. (43.6)
5. While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God. (40.9)
6. I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it. (27.3)

1. Never attends religious services. (47.3)
2. Less than once a year. (44.1)
3. Once a year. (46.4)
4. Several times a year (38.1)
5. Once a month (39.0)
6. 2-3 times a month (32.8)
7. Nearly every week (28.1)
8. Every week (24.4)
8. More than once a week (12.8)

In terms of beliefs, the confident folks seem to have the least problem with drinking. The atheists and especially the non-doubters have the lowest numbers. The people who are not sure, as well as the group who don't believe in a personal God, are most likely to be drunks. This suggests that having conflicted or vague beliefs, or perhaps a wavering personality, may not be healthy.

The pattern is even clearer with church attendance. The more often you go, the less likely to drink too much.


  1. That's surely skewed by the words "Higher Power," which is straight out of Alcoholics Anonymous's 12 steps! People who drink too much would obviously be more likely to have more familiarity with and acceptance of that phrase.

  2. Jewish Atheist: Hehe, good point.

  3. But let me add that the AA folks believe in a personal Higher Power who you have to turn your problem over to. You can't fix it alone.


New study: High rate of underweight black newborns due to genes, not racism

A new study finds that several gene variants in African-Americans help explains why they have underweight newborns twice as often as whites...