A few days ago, YouGov.com released results of a survey in which they had recently asked 1000 US adults:
Do you personally believe in the existence of the Devil or not?
57% of people answered yes.
28% answered no.
15% don’t know
Aside form the fact that the question was not well crafted (read it carefully … technically, the question is asking if you believe in both choices they pose), we get the idea of what they are really asking.
Here is a question they ask which is less ambiguous:
How often do you think people are possessed by the devil?
only 11% said never
Strange that this number isn’t closer to the 28% of people who answered ‘negative’ to the existence of a devil. But the wording of poll questions matter. Perhaps the discrepancy lies in the subtle (yet distinct) differences in how each question was constructed.
The takeaway here (besides the sad fact that so many people within my American culture accept fantasy as reality) is that when it comes to polls, a good skeptic will always remember …
… wait for it …
… the devil is in the details.