A Poll of Philosophers’ Positions, Including On Theism

A pair of philosophers recently conducted a poll of the philosophy departments in the top western universities, asking for the staff’s positions on various prominent questions, belief in god among them.


The results are fascinating but not particularly surprising. The “believe in god” question is really a theist/non-theist/other question.

It would be interesting to break down the less than 15% who are theistic further because I’d like to see how many actually posit a personal god of the western monotheistic tradition, a Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans. I bet the number with that belief is less than 5% of the total polled. It should be 0% given the study required to gain a PhD in Philosophy, but theism tends to be part of one’s fundamental worldview and it’s certainly possible to make it through a PhD program  with that worldview intact, not as a proper philosopher mind you, but as an academic who takes an external view of philosophy.

I’d also like to see the “other” responses broken down further, since I bet there are some fascinating beliefs hiding in that bucket. I would place myself squarely in the non-theist camp, but I can’t help being fascinated by the mystery of the “other” camp. What do they see that I don’t?

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