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Are religions set for extinction? Options · View
nicola
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:15:53 PM

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I was reading this article just now. Do you believe it?

I can see the human race driving itself to extinction first before all forms of religion become extinct.

Quote:
A US study using census data shows that religion here and in eight other Western world countries is set for extinction.

Census data was taken from as far back as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries.

In New Zealand, it's thought around half of all Kiwis claim no religious affiliation.

Massey University Associate Professor of History Peter Lineham says in the 1950s, around 10% of New Zealanders had no religious affiliation. He says that increased to 45% in the 2006 census.

"Hopefully the 2011 Census will take place at some point next year and we'll know the latest figures, but it surely will have gone up to over 50%," he told Newstalk ZB.

Professor Lineham says the study would have very different results if the study looked at other countries.
"If they took any countries beyond the western countries they've named, they would actually have the opposite phenomenon of religion getting larger."
Jacknife
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 4:43:31 AM

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One can only live in hope. I saw this on the bbc and thought it was rather over stating of the survey and the results. I think you might get pockets of places where people simply aren't religious, Sweden Norway, possibly the UK. but in america, middle east, Europe where it is totally ingrained in the culture, I think you will always have religous people.

You might have a situation where religious people are the minority and are ignored or irrelevant in the public sphere, but I would agree that human society is more likely to die than religion is completly.

I was watching quite a poor sci-fi series here in the UK called "Outcasts" where in the future a limited human population had to leave earth for another planet and religion was still a problem.
Rembacher
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 5:54:24 AM

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I think it has become culturally acceptable for people to admit they are not religious. That's about the only difference I see. In Canada I know we have had surveys where 80% of people said they were religious, yet only something like 50% actually were a member or regular attender of a religious group. As Jacknife said, it's far too ingrained into the culture of many people to ever disappear completely.
stephanie
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 8:22:10 PM

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I think it's interesting that religion is falling out of favour in more "permissive" (I use the word in its broadest sense) societies while gaining adherents in more unenlightened groups or enclaves...

While I believe the basic tenets of many religions (Love they neighbour as thyself) offer real moral guidelines I think the rise of religious fundamentalism in both East and West poses serious problems...

Although raised a Catholic I'm a confirmed atheist.... (There's a Catholic joke in there somewhere....)

I have no problem with what someone else chooses to believe, but I reject spiritual dogma on every level.

Believe what you believe in the privacy of your own home and head. What's right for you is right for you. Perhaps not for me, though....

Just because you think you're right doesn't make me wrong....

xx SF

"Stirring Up The Smooth Sands Of Monotony Since 1967." xx SF
Guest
Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:48:46 AM

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As the gap between economical classes increases, and the gap between 3rd world countries and everyone else increases, religion will continue to be potent in those societies. History tells us that as society gets more informed, and information starts to take a precedent, things that aren't based in fact (in this case, religion) will reduce in popularity.
Magical_felix
Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 3:18:27 PM

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I was raised catholic as well... I know, I didn't listen so well back then.

I used to have to go to church every once in a while and I remember that if we didn't get there early we'd have to stand. This was a huge ass church too. Opulent, fits over 1,000 people at least. I was dragged by a family member having some damn crisis or some crap a few months ago and this same 9:00 am mass was about half full. Never was it like that when I was a kid. Will it dwindle as people get more educated? Yes. Will it ever disappear? No chance in hell...



Guest
Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 5:30:00 PM

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I'm sorry but when I see these talks about religion here it seems like everyone really just means christian, jewish, and muslim. Those are the ones that make you choose to believe all the stuff about creation and the one dude god that wants you to confess your sins or get sent to his hell. Lots of religions are compatible with the ways of the world. They are ways to make sense of who we are in this crazy place, and give us calm and purpose if we want to search for it. I don't think all religions are enemies of knowledge, but the ones that are I think are in big trouble as information spreads out to every body.
stephanie
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 11:09:32 AM

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To Shi-Squared, A good point, well made.....

Beyond very basic tenets I'm rather ignorant of religions like Bhuddism, Shintoism, Christian Science, Taoism etc....

xx SF

"Stirring Up The Smooth Sands Of Monotony Since 1967." xx SF
FicklePickleTickle
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 12:03:07 PM

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I'm pretty sure this is the same article that my friend posted on his Facebook the other day. One of the most interesting things about it was that the people with the least amount of religious beliefs reported being the most satisfied with their lives. They are, in fact, happier than others compared to countries with high religious beliefs (Judeo-Christian beliefs).

I cannot speak for other countries, but in the US, where I live, churches more and more are trying to encourage younger people to join and have the church be a major part of their lives. It's pretty scary since a lot of what these particular Christian churches teach is hateful. They teach these kids to hate homosexuals, fear those who don't go to church regularly, have them question science, but that it's very wrong to question things about their own religion.

I've written something similar in the Tank here before, but I think it bears repeating:

Some of these churches are calling their parishioners, "Soldiers", focusing teaching on the apocalypse, and claiming that Jesus will come after the world is destroyed and transform it into a paradise.

As we've seen, religious nuts who believe they are on the side of good will do anything to get in the good graces of "god". These churches are no better than the terrorists organizations around the world. Actually, I see them as being no better, and in fact equal to them in my eyes. They are actively drilling hate and fear into these kids and are either knowingly or unknowingly encouraging them believe that this is a war, and it's their moral duty to bring about the destruction of the world, so that Jesus will come and save them; all based upon a book that no one really knows who wrote in the first place. There are Muslims being taught that Christians are evil and Christians being taught that Muslims are evil, and they think it's a war.

Can you really think of anything scarier than that? Someone who believes it is their moral duty to blow things up, kill others, etc., because they've been taught that "god" wants them to do this is a terrifying thought to me. You can't talk reason into someone who has had their mind twisted to that extent. You are the devil to them for suggesting any alternative thoughts/beliefs.

I would like to see these beliefs go the way of the Dodo, but it's not likely to happen within my lifetime, if at all.

On a side note: Shi is very right. Religions such as Buddhism and Taoism are actually healthy for the world. I can't speak for other religions, but these two are about living in harmony and balance with the world and with other people. I wish more people would actually embrace some of the philosophies of them. There would be much less hate in the world. Just my opinion. My 2 cents


P.S. Stephanie, the Catholic church has created more non-theists (I prefer this term to atheist) than any other organization in the world. :)

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Guest
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 5:29:46 PM

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Sit back, no fondling yourselves, and listen. If your debate credentials surpass those speaking then state so and offer a cohesive argument.



Okay, so here's another atheist's view.

I do not like the trending fashion. People are gullible, and others are misconstrued/misinterpreted. Just because it's cool, don't make it right.

You, yourself, have to make you're own learned conviction.

Dancing_Doll
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 5:41:21 PM

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I don't think religion will ever die out, however the desire to be part of a formal religion is certainly diminishing with each generation going forward. If we skip ahead a few generations, I'm sure the numbers will be very different.

One interesting thing that's always amused me though is that a lot of non-believers or those who don't allow religion to really impact their lives on a regular basis, always seem to turn to God and prayers during times of death, illness, stress and disaster. It's kind of like a default response that's ingrained in people.

LadyX
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 5:42:44 PM

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I haven't seen this 2 hour debate, but based on the subject (and the other 90 religion/atheism threads in this forum), I'm pretty sure I know the plot of that movie. There's no way a person of faith is going to give two damns about logic, and no Atheist is going to drop their fact-based worldview and suddenly believe in a fairy tale.

I am intrigued by what you posted after the video, though. Does that imply that atheism is a trending fashion that you don't like?
Guest
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 6:11:09 PM

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Not consuming the debate would probably go against your current stated drive. With either argument, there are points. Worth a listen.

As for my point, I don't know. It's my own trend, after 30 years. If that is worth no merit, then so be it. All I am saying is listen to the arguments (plenty abound), just don't go by laziness, lack of time, "oh yeah", or superficial anecdote. It should be a meaningful, well thought out approach, that does not mean the current trend, in trending. It goes against all thinking.
tubby1961
Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011 2:08:07 AM

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I'm a Catholic and although I don't attend the church services every week like I used to I still try to get there as often as possible. I have noticed a large drop in numbers of those that attend but as I live in a small town most of the young ones have to leave town to get work so maybe this is the reason. I don't think we will ever see the end of religions as Christianity seems to be growing in Asian and African parts and Islam seems to be spreading into the old Christian parts. Recently I saw a series of programes on the tv where they were sending out priests from Africa due to the decline in local numbers. Where I go we have had an Indian priest for over 10 years. To my untrained eye I think Buddhism is about the most peace loving religion going around and if I every left the Catholic faith I'd say that would be the one I'd like to try out.


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WellMadeMale
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2:40:10 PM

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nicola wrote:
I was reading this article just now. Do you believe it?

I can see the human race driving itself to extinction first before all forms of religion become extinct.

[quote]A US study using census data shows that religion here and in eight other Western world countries is set for extinction.



I agree with you, Nicola. I just don't see belief systems evolving into extinction prior to mankind as a species, calling it...a day.

Especially if stuff like this - is routinely being unearthed. More fuel for a spiritual fire, so-to-speak.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Graham_X
Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 2:35:41 AM

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I teach religious education in the UK where it is a statutory subject, and one of the techniques I use to try and get kids to understand religious practise is to show them secular parallels. So, for example, if I am looking at pilgrimage I will show them pictures of Lenin's Tomb or Graceland, as these are good examples of non-'religious' pilgrimage.

So, while formal religion may be on the decline, I would suggest that people are inherently religious with a small 'r'. However, they are turning those impulses towards other things, whether it be a rock star, a national leader, a sports team or indeed a country.

Just put a new story up called Venus: My Mistress In Leather and Lace. It seems a long time since I have written any prose, been seduced by prosody. Anyway, please feel free to check it out - Thank you xxx
Catnip
Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 12:09:54 PM

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Quote:
I think you might get pockets of places where people simply aren't religious, Sweden Norway, possibly the UK.

So, the protestants get to be blamed non religious now?

No really, I do not believe that the world is going to become a non religious place. We're moving from the religion being a structure for the nation, the individual gets to pick and choose what religion fits them the best. Maybe in time the religions will change, from being whatever they are today to something more needed for the person of the society.

I believe people will become like Socrates, having their own god in their mind, letting him/her speak for them. They might call it their conscience (woot?! Con science? lovely word!) but who put it there? your mum? dad? Society? or is it just your inner god, you need to follow?



Guest
Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 12:28:19 PM

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Inner gods are sometimes looked at as "the devil", ego, or even unbalanced intuition where knowledge is only gained unbeknownst to the thinker through the higher power.

Who thought him up. You and I did. If we can believe such majestic beauty is possible, why can't we see that coming from ourselves or from our neighbor, without intervention?

We can do it. I hope, one day.

Guest
Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2011 2:28:57 PM

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Out of the mouth of babes. Definition, up to you.

Welcome to Hell.
Guest
Posted: Monday, April 04, 2011 9:50:47 AM

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Lots of people think that we people, we animals can take credit for all the beauty around us. I don't think I am one of those people because even though it is we who make much of it, it is also we who without guidance screw so much of it up and fill the world with trash and hate. Spiritual guidance is a must to me. We can do things on our own but they will suck because without a higher purpose so do people.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 5:23:38 PM

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....and sometimes the "guidance" given screws it up contrary to what we know and can think up of for ourselves.
Rembacher
Posted: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 5:45:35 PM

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I think shi's point before about religions is very important to remember. There are far more religions than just Islam and Christianity. To paint all religions with the same brush is an extremely unfair generalization. I wish I knew the eastern religions better than I do, so I could argue this better, but from my limited exposure to Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, they teach their followers to explore the world around them, and think about their place in it. They are less about rules, and more about existing in harmony with your surroundings.

Given the invention of gun powder, and the use of herbal remedies long before the rest of the world discovered them, I would even suggest that these religions encouraged science, and open minded thought. I don't think that type of religion will die out any time soon.
LadyX
Posted: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 11:26:42 PM

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Jebru wrote:
I think shi's point before about religions is very important to remember. There are far more religions than just Islam and Christianity. To paint all religions with the same brush is an extremely unfair generalization. .


True. I don't have many (any?) conversations about religion outside of this forum, but around here, it seems like 'religion' is really code for Christianity/Islam/Judaism. It's probably only natural; it's what most of us have experience with. But I do agree that there really is no brush broad enough to paint all faiths with. There is no 'religion' vs. 'no religion', in my opinion. There does seem to be 'atheism vs. anything and everything else', however.
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 6:08:08 AM

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Hmmm, for someone who hates stereotyping, that's interesting.
LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 8:54:57 AM

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eviotis wrote:
Hmmm, for someone who hates stereotyping, that's interesting.


Is it? There's a difference between making a personal observation (note the qualifiers 'seems to be' and 'seems like') and applying a stereotype. But if you say I'm being hypocritical here, that's fine, I'll play along. If I am, then it wouldn't be the first time. Lwinking

I'm faithless, I guess you could say. I don't prescribe to anything at this point, other than to try to keep an open mind. I don't think that characterizing people of faith as a generally mindless, nitwitted group of sheep is very open-minded, nor does it further the discussion. I'm not addressing anyone in particular with that, but I have noticed that it's a prevailing attitude among many outspoken atheists. And for them, and all of us I guess, the question remains: Which religions are we talking about? All of them? Or just our cultural observations based on what we see self-righteous Protestants and militant Muslims doing and saying?
myself
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 10:03:37 AM

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My religion is not defined by a God. For some like myself, religion is the process of beauty and harmony such as a flower coming to bloom literally or figuratively in regards to the universe. The result can be as simple as a smile on a child's face and or a feeling in a heart. These kinds of things are nurtured and believed in my world and will NEVER be forsaken. The flip side is really tough sometimes. This side of it contains the beauty of nature and growing pains and mistakes that can wound and bleed and that cause death, which are also counted as blessings. These also will NEVER be forsaken.

Torture the data long enough and they will confess to anything.
lafayettemister
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 10:27:07 AM

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Religion will never die. As long as there are people on Earth, some of those people will suffer. Of those that suffer they will seek a higher power to explain why they're suffering and to pray to to end they're suffering. It's easier than accepting they themselves are to blame. Having said that...







When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
latinfoxy
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 9:03:32 PM

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As many of you have said i dont think religious is going to ever die, i think a lot of the most "populars" religious are gonna evolve and change so they can continue attracting people in the society that we live in.

I am a "Catholic" i say it like that because i believe in god and i believe in a lot of the principles of life that the Catholic church teaches, i dont believe in the vindictive god or that i have to confess my sins to a priest for me to be able to go to heaven, mostly because i dont believe in heaven or hell; but i dont think is fair to condemn all the religious or all people that do believe in on a hire existance to the stigma of been blind or not educated enough or even been evil and hurtful to others.

You cant say all religious people are trying to brain wash the young minds or are making little soldiers to recruit people, yes that does happen in some ways but not in every church or every religious, it would be like saying that all Germans are evil because Hitler was German (Yes i do know he was born in Austria)

If someone likes to believe in God, Buddha, Ala or the name he/she wants to give it and is not harming anyone by doing so, whats the big deal? if it makes me happy to believe that someone is watching over me and that gives me peace of mind, why would that make me less educated than you?
Jacknife
Posted: Saturday, April 23, 2011 6:43:49 AM

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latinfoxy wrote:


I am a "Catholic" i say it like that because i believe in god and i believe in a lot of the principles of life that the Catholic church teaches, i dont believe in the vindictive god or that i have to confess my sins to a priest for me to be able to go to heaven, mostly because i dont believe in heaven or hell; but i dont think is fair to condemn all the religious or all people that do believe in on a hire existance to the stigma of been blind or not educated enough or even been evil and hurtful to others.



As a Catholic do you believe in Transubstantiation?

latinfoxy wrote:
If someone likes to believe in God, Buddha, Ala or the name he/she wants to give it and is not harming anyone by doing so, whats the big deal? if it makes me happy to believe that someone is watching over me and that gives me peace of mind, why would that make me less educated than you?


If everyone had that same attitude then religion wouldn't be the problem in the world that it is. Unfortunatly that is not the case and people not believing in their particular God seems to annoy many people. the results are obvious to everyone.

While a belief might make you happier in your own mind does that effect the nature of reality that we all inhabit? I don't deny that thinking there is a God makes you happier, but does that mean there is one there or there isn't one?

Does it even matter? but also would it matter if that God did more than simply make you happier with life?
latinfoxy
Posted: Saturday, April 23, 2011 12:38:56 PM

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Jacknife wrote:

As a Catholic do you believe in Transubstantiation?


As a Catholic i like to believe in the symbolisim that Transubstantiation brings, i dont believe that the wine actually became Jesus Blood but i believe is a nice metaphor of what that dinner represented.

Jacknife wrote:

If everyone had that same attitude then religion wouldn't be the problem in the world that it is. Unfortunatly that is not the case and people not believing in their particular God seems to annoy many people. the results are obvious to everyone.


I think religious people could say exactly the same about non religious people, i dont know if you have read this and other forum posts, but a lot of atheist have so much hatred and anger against people that do believe in something, like i said before because i believe in god it doesnt mean im brain wash or that im dumber that someone else, yes i do know all the inconsistencies that are on a lot of the things i believe and thats why im not a complete Catholic.

I do challenge my believes and try to come up with a truth on my own, not everything in the bible is true theres a lot of metaphors and you should take it like that ex: Adan y Eva yes cute story, do i believe that i came from a man ribs? no, do i believe in evolution? yes but to some degree because even though we do evolve from something who created that first thing that we evolve from?

Jacknife wrote:


While a belief might make you happier in your own mind does that effect the nature of reality that we all inhabit? I don't deny that thinking there is a God makes you happier, but does that mean there is one there or there isn't one?

Does it even matter? but also would it matter if that God did more than simply make you happier with life?


I guess we will never know, you can not be sure either that there isnt a God, theres a say in Spanish that goes something like "if i tell you that the donkey is brown is because i have the hair on my hand" im not saying that the donkey is brown im saying i BELIEVE that the donkey is brown, but the truth is you dont have the hairs on your hand either.

And no i dont believe God is there just to make me happy, i dont believe God is there to change my life or anyone's life i do think he guides us in our life.
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