Why Are More College Students Becoming Atheists?

The number of atheist student groups on college campuses has doubled in the past two years. The question is: Why? There are currently more than 250 non-theistic student groups at U.S. colleges and universities, according to AlterNet.org.

Just last year, there were only 159 such organizations, reports DailyOrange.com.

So are a growing number of students turning away from religion and toward atheism – or have they just become more vocal about it?

“There are just genuinely more and more non-religious Americans, and that’s something that’s even stronger among younger generations,” Jesse Galef, communications director of the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), tells the Daily Orange.

The focus of the SSA is to “promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human-based ethics,” according to its website.

Galef says each college group has about 25 to 30 members, and such groups have formed in all but six states.

He points to the popularity of the New York Times bestseller “The God Delusion” by Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins as playing a role in influencing college students.

Or could it be tied to a growing anger at God among young people?

When college students were studied, atheists and agnostics felt angrier at God than students who were believers, says Julie Exline, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University.

Exline suggests generational factors may be coming into play. Today’s college students have no problem questioning God, while older generations were taught the opposite.

What do you think the reason is for the growing number of secular organizations on campus? Let us know in the comments section below.

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