Why are There So Many Atheists?

The vast majority of Americans still believe in God and believe that He created us. However, a growing number of Americans are atheists. According to a new Gallup Poll released this week, 81% of Americans currently believe in God, the lowest percentage ever reported in a Gallup Poll.1

Young adults are the most likely Americans to deny that God exists. In fact, 40% of young adults today don’t know, care, or believe that God exists.2 Moreover, only 33% of millennials (i.e., people born from 1984 to 2002) believe in God as the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect, and just Creator of the universe.3

The title of chapter 4 of my book The Life Changer is “Did God Create Us, or Did We Create God?” This intriguing question is becoming more important each year because the number of atheists is growing. The captivating question can be stated in another way: Does God really exist, or is He just the product of our imagination? In order for us to adequately answer this question, we need to understand why atheism is increasingly becoming a more popular worldview in America today.

One significant reason why atheism is growing in the U.S. is that the amount of suffering that people have been experiencing seems to have increased during the last few years. Millions of us have contracted COVID-19 in the past two years or so, and many people have died from complications related to it. The number of mass school shootings and other violent acts also seems to be on the rise.

Why is there so much suffering if God is good and all-powerful? Many people say that God may not exist or must not exist because there is too much suffering in the world. We have all suffered in some way. However, the existence of evil doesn’t prove that God doesn’t exist. The existence of evil shows that God’s ways are different than our ways (see Genesis 50:20; Job 1-2; 42:1-17; Isaiah 55:8-9). In addition, the existence of evil demonstrates that we as human beings have evil thoughts and evil desires, and we freely choose to act upon them (see Genesis 6:5-13). Unlike puppets or robots, we have free will, and we often choose to do what is wrong.

Please see chapter 4 of my book The Life Changer for much more about why we should believe in God despite the existence of evil and suffering.

Jeffrey M. Jones, “Belief in God in U.S. Dips to 81%, a New Low,” Gallup, June 17, 2022, https://news.gallup.com/poll/393737/belief-god-dips-new-low.aspx.

George Barna, “New Insights into the Generation of Growing Influence: Millennials in America,” Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, October 2021, p. 12, https://www.foundationsoffreedom.com/voice-of-reason/file/millennials-in-america-new-insights-into-the-generation-of-growing-influence.

3 Ibid.

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