Atheism Why Atheism will Replace Religion!

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Admin Singh, May 29, 2010.


  1. Admin Singh

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    Atheists are heavily concentrated in economically developed countries, particularly the social democracies of Europe. In underdeveloped countries, there are virtually no atheists. Atheism is thus a peculiarly modern phenomenon. Why do modern conditions produce atheism?

    First, as to the distribution of atheism in the world, a clear pattern can be discerned. In sub-Saharan Africa there is almost no atheism (Zuckerman, 2007). Belief in God declines in more developed countries and is concentrated in Europe in countries such as Sweden (64% nonbelievers), Denmark (48%), France (44%) and Germany (42%). In contrast, the incidence of atheism in most sub-Saharan countries is below 1%.

    The question of why economically developed countries turn to atheism has been batted around by anthropologists for about eighty years. Anthropologist James Fraser proposed that scientific prediction and control of nature supplants religion as a means of controlling uncertainty in our lives. This hunch is supported by data showing that the more educated countries have higher levels of non belief and there are strong correlations between atheism and intelligence (see my earlier post on this).

    Atheists are more likely to be college-educated people who live in cities and they are highly concentrated in the social democracies of Europe. Atheism thus blossoms amid affluence where most people feel economically secure. But why?

    It seems that people turn to religion as a salve for the difficulties and uncertainties of their lives. In social democracies, there is less fear and uncertainty about the future because social welfare programs provide a safety net and better health care means that fewer people can expect to die young. People who are less vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature feel more in control of their lives and less in need of religion.

    In addition to being the opium of the people (as Karl Marx contemptuously phrased it), religion may also promote fertility, particularly by promoting marriage, according to copious data reviewed by Sanderson (2008). Large families are preferred in agricultural countries as a source of free labor. In developed "atheist" countries, women have exceptionally small families and do not need religion helping them to raise large families.

    Even the psychological functions of religion face stiff competition today. In modern societies, when people experience psychological difficulties they turn to their doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They want a scientific fix and prefer the real psychotropic medicines dished out by physicians to the metaphorical opiates offered by religion.

    Moreover, sport psychologists find that sports spectatorship provides much the same kind of social, and spiritual, benefits as people obtain from church membership. In a previous post, I made the case that sports is replacing religion. Precisely the same argument can be made for other forms of entertainment with which spectators become deeply involved. Indeed, religion is striking back by trying to compete in popular media, such as televangelism and Christian rock and by hosting live secular entertainment in church.

    The reasons that churches lose ground in developed countries can be summarized in market terms. First, with better science, and with government safety nets, and smaller families, there is less fear and uncertainty in people's daily lives and hence less of a market for religion. At the same time many alternative products are being offered, such as psychotropic medicines and electronic entertainment that have fewer strings attached and that do not require slavish conformity to unscientific beliefs.

    References
    Sanderson, S. K. (2008). Adaptation, evolution, and religion. Religion, 38, 141-156.
    Zuckerman, P. (2007). Atheism: Contemporary numbers and patterns. In M. Martin (ed.), The Cambridge companion to atheism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This book is not held by any U.S. Library.

    References: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201005/why-atheism-will-replace-religion
     
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  2. kds1980

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    This study is not complete unless researchers will start studying each religion independently.No doubt Religion has declined in europe but the religion that declined is christianity .They should also study whether islam is growing in Europe or declining.If the faith of muslims is not declining despite prosperity level then it is case of Christianity declining not religion.Also If I am not wrong USA still have better or equal prosperity level but still they have much more faith in christianity
     
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  3. kds1980

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    I also wonder is their any study that explain why britain is now a hub of fanatic muslims. Somewhere I read that muslims that immigrated to UK in 60s or 70s were quite seculer with good relations with sikhs. but from 90s everything changed when new generation arrived many people now believe that islam is the future of Britain.
     
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  4. spnadmin

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    You made me laugh today, Kanwardeep Singh ji. What you say is so true. When I read the article something seemed wrong. I did not know what to say. You are bringing all that critical thinking to the foreground here. Thanks. cheerleader
     
  5. roopsidhu

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    SSA,
    Aman ji's post "Why atheism will replace religion". I think the matter is not the decline in religion but the atheism replacing the religion. Superficially it may not be visible but atheism is replacing religion. This is happeningin in all the religions. What we practice on the name of religion is very close to atheism. For the sake of counts or for the name sake the religins do not seems declining but are blindly pushed towards atheism. The number of the true followers of all the religions are on decrease.
    Roopsidhu
     
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  6. kds1980

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    I don't think we can say that in all religions Atheism is replacing religion.There is no sign of Atheism replacing islam .Also I want to mention that people are becoming more agnostic not atheists .Majority of people are in double mind whether to practice religion and what to do
     
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  7. roopsidhu

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    SSA,
    We can term the situation as " agnostic atheis"
    Roopsidhu
     
  8. Astroboy

    Astroboy ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    I don't think Atheism will replace religion. See this video to understand why "Wilson" was self created to keep Tom Hanks company when he was Cast Away.

    YouTube - Cast Away: What Wilson Said
     
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  9. gursikhi.jeevan

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    I do not think Atheism will ever replace religion. The purpose of the live is to be one with God. In Atheism there simply is no God. All religions guide is through a path to be one with God. God is the only Truth in this World. I don't believe that this truth will ever go away.
     
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  10. Caspian

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    Atheism is growing in developed countries (Thats the main point of the article). Even in America as someone has suggested before, Atheists (as a minority group) out number African Americans now.

    Islam is also growing, it is the fastest growing mainstream religion (But this has alot to do with the large families of Muslims, as the article mentioned, Atheists tend to limit the number of their childern, their main [and almost only] mode of growth is by "conversion" ie; religious people becoming atheist. Where as muslims are simpy out-sexing everyone and imigrating into european countries [although i wont deny there are alot of muslim converts as well]).

    Wicca is the fastest growing belief system (mainstream or not) (I heard this somewhere, and I'm not sure as to its legitimacy, but one could only assume if u begin with 1 member and had 2 members the next year, uve achieved a doubling of ur religion in the span of a year :p thats very good progress).

    Buddhism, as far as i know, is also growing

    All forms of Christianity are in decline except evangelicalism in the states. There is a tendancy to head towards the extremes of religion.
     
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  11. findingmyway

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    Why can't religious people and atheists live alongside each other? Atheists are as bad as Christian missionaries at trying to convert people and ridiculing others who don't share their lack of faith!
     
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  12. Caspian

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    Actually, you would find that "MOST" atheists did not become atheists as a result of "direct" conversion (ie. from reading the works of atheists). Instead, most Atheists turned toward atheism through education or introspection into the religions they were born into and by examining all religions in general. That was the case with me, I didn't even hear about richard dawkins, or christopher hitchens and the like until I went to university. But I was already firmly an atheist by that time, an atheist of my own accord.

    Having said that, are richard dawkins, christopher hitchens and sam harris as bad as religious missionaries? I would say not... in some cases they can be worse (there are alot of good religious missionaries out their :p for what its worth the Dalai Llama has done a great job promoting buddhism without resorting to ridiculing other faiths). But in most ways, especially historically, these atheists are far better then religious missionaries (after-all, they certainly didnt spread small pox to the first nations—they defintly didnt scalp the sikhs—and they certainly never gassed the jews).

    But frankly, if you religious people can barely (and i would say rarely) learn to live with one another, why would u even suggest that atheists come join ur "party." Lol, no, where perfectly content watching from the sidelines and occasionally commenting on the ridiculous nature of it all.

    Why cant religious people live together? Even people of the same faith cant live together due to sub-sections within the faith. Atheism, in my opinion, present the only solution to gettin different people to live together peacefully—if you happen to be religious in a predominately atheist community, u get laughed at (worst case scenerio). If you happen to be atheist in a predominately religious society, you get killed (worst case scenerio) or atleast thrown in jail or sometin of the like.
     
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  13. spnadmin

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    Caspian ji - When is the last time this happened in the US or Canada?
     
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  14. kds1980

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    You Atheists Live in your Imaginery world.My brothers best friend is from Brahmin family and an Atheist.He eats lot of meat including beef if he gets chance.His family know about it
    They are not comfortable with it and keep some material in his room so the negative energy goes out of it.This is the only suffering he is getting of being in Religious hindu family O/W He is not even facing a single problem and you are talking about Death or Jail LOL
     
  15. Caspian

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    I wouldnt say Canada is a predominately religious society even though ~80% of canadians claim to be religious (77 christian and 2 percent islam). There is an inherent difference between Canada and say Iran. Or even Canada and America.

    "With Christianity having once been central and integral to Canadian culture and daily life, it has been recently suggested that Canada has come to enter a post-Christian or secular state, where practice of the religion has "moved to the margins of public life",[2][3] and irreligion is on the rise." - Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Canada

    As for America.

    Certain regions of America that are "notoriosly religious" *cough*Texas*cough* actively practice intolerance against Atheists that is pretty much illeagal—and they do it through "legal" means. For example, in texas, it is illeagal for an atheist to hold public office (in my opinion that can be catogorized under "something of the like"). Atheists can be denied basic freedoms, rights, etc—there is a case of an entire community and highschool who essentially forced an atheist basketball player to quit the team.

    George Bush Sr himself has said: "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

    And even then, I dont consider America to be religious in the same sense as Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, and other Sub-Sahharan countries that i was initially alluding to when i said "predominately religious" if you want i can rephrase and say.

    "if you happen to be religious in a Mostly ~100% atheist community, u get laughed at (worst case scenerio). If you happen to be atheist in a Mostly~100% religious society, you get killed (worst case scenerio) or atleast thrown in jail or sometin of the like."

    (But i still think the word "predominately" works well enough. The simple fact is, atheists are far more tolerant then religious people. and being killed was just the "worst case scenerio" the frequent "middle" cases that occur throughout america are still far more harsh then the "laughing" one would recieve in a atheist community. thats all i was trying to say. Im not saying an atheist will 100 percent of the time be put to death in a county like america. But an atheist undergoes far more intolerance in a country like america then a religious person would in a atheistic country)
     
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  16. spnadmin

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    Caspian ji

    So you are thinking and writing in metaphors perhaps. It just seems to me that atheists for the most part suffer less than members of religious minorities in religious states, or in communist states which btw are also atheist states. Most of the suffering of atheists in this day and age appears to be mental suffering more than anything else.
     
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  17. findingmyway

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    Re: Why Atheism will Replace Religion?

    Here we go again! Lets judge all religious people in one big lump along with fanatical states like Iran. Well in that case I will judge all non-religious people according to the very scary English defence league and Nazi movements. According to Mein Kampf Hitler was not into religion. So many attacks on Sikh taxi drivers and others around the world as they stand out as being religious are by people who do not believe in religion. The media, esp here in Britain has lost respect for people who want to follow religion and hound us constantly-it is no longer cool and acceptable to come across in public as religious! All religions are lumped together as if they are the same-THEY ARE NOT! What happened to judging people as individuals. Caspian, you talk about the leading writers of atheism. In that case, did Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Jesus, Muhammed or Buddha ever propose violence themselves? It is the followers that twist the ideologies just like the media does now.
     
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  18. Sinister

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    A Crtique:

    Irrelevant study,

    Atheism or religion or any deep personal belief/preferences regarding metaphysical questions cannot be reduced to expressions of numbers which is the backbone of demographic studies. Why? because studying demographic trends that are not tangible always leads to either inconclusive or untrue results or untrue validation of hypotheses (its also kinda dickish to be treating groups as if it were a unit independent of individuals and yourself as an objective observer of a 'trend'... denoting yourself an entity capable of grouping them to represent a collective consciousness that you yourself, 'the intellectual', have constructed), it leads to social engineering and it leads to unsound extrapolations of the information that is itself far-fetched. I wish I could provide you with examples of how poorly these surveys are actually conducted and then interpreted, but the above article is proof enough.

    What's being done in this article? You have a structuralist that represents undefined ideal types to some subject and then asks them to relate themselves to one. Creating culture/trend where there is none, were true choice is non existent or at best limited to empty words.
    Then he will try to pass it off as a cultural trend... at this point this persons intellectual laziness has peaked.

    The entire study is reliant on the fact that people are honest with themselves, are telling the truth to you, and that the ideal type actually exists the same in everyones consciousnes...but anyone who has spent half a day in a clinical setting with a psychiatrist or psychologist will tell you that never happens. When the majority of people do not know the vague definitions of what you are asking them...how can you get reliable results without meaningful conversations?

    The only way to effectively study personal beliefs should be rooted in something like the Hegelian dialectic...always giving precedence to the social interaction itself in explaining the outcome of belief or non-belief. Qualitative research above quantitative will not only allow people to study what people believe but more importantly why they believe what they believe. (percentages and numbers cannot express what in actuality is; emotion driven preferences on temporarily chosing philosophies to serve oneself insight on their surroundings)
     
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  19. Caspian

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    Well there's some things that are hard to deny. The link between atheism and education being one of those things. If the world becomes more and more educated, its safe to say that atheism will continue to rise and one could expect to see the decline of religion.

    You know, i agree and i disagree at the same time with ur last sentance. I think alittle bit of mental turmoil is a good thing (this is where me and buddha disagree, although i like buddhism alot). Im sure eternal bliss and happiness are better, but i think i'll opt for alil mental suffering from time to time. I say that from a creative/artistic point of view I guess. All my favourite movies come from the minds of people who you may consider "mentally suffering"; indeed, alot of great works of art are contributions from people with less then stellar mental health lol. And for what its worth, those individuals enrich our lives.

    BTW, if u wanna call communists an atheistic state. Im claim buddhists and jains as atheistic religions :) lol jus so u no if were going to be playin tha claim game. :p im pulling ur leg

    You started it :p. Its not like fanatical states compromise a tiny minority. So yes, u get bunched in too. Although i will say this now. I believe if the khalistan movement was succesful, khalistan would have become a theocracy on par with most theocracys around the world. Name me one good example of a theocracy.

    I unno who started this rumor. But hitler wasn't an atheist. He was more religious or spiritual if anything. He wasn't in favor of organised religion considering it a personal matter. But he definately wasnt atheist.

    Hitler often associated atheism with Germany's communist enemy.[53] Hitler stated in a speech to the Stuttgart February 15, 1933: "Today they say that Christianity is in danger, that the Catholic faith is threatened. My reply to them is: for the time being, Christians and not international atheists are now standing at Germany’s fore. I am not merely talking about Christianity; I confess that I will never ally myself with the parties which aim to destroy Christianity. Fourteen years they have gone arm in arm with atheism. At no time was greater damage ever done to Christianity than in those years when the Christian parties ruled side by side with those who denied the very existence of God. Germany's entire cultural life was shattered and contaminated in this period. It shall be our task to burn out these manifestations of degeneracy in literature, theater, schools, and the press—that is, in our entire culture—and to eliminate the poison which has been permeating every facet of our lives for these past fourteen years."[54]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler's_religious_views under hitlers public reaction to atheism

    Source?

    Well as the article suggested. The modern countries are all heading towards atheism.

    You lumped all religions together... and then atheists with them by saying were just as bad as christian missionaries? So i dont understand ur change of opinion now. Im going to assume u never really meant ur original statement.

    It went out the door when u suggested atheists are as bad as christian missionaries. lol and what happened to not judging people at all? last time i checked that was wat sikhs were all about.

    No, guru nanak and buddha did not propose violence—same goes for the leading writers of atheism. and like i stated above :p i claimed buddha and buddhists as an atheist and an atheistic religion :). Having said that, the course of sikhism during its passage from 1-10th guru became increasingly militeristic. I'm going to say jesus and mohammed did propose violence and that their followers arent misinterpreting them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/But_to_bring_a_sword heres one controversial example of jesus possibly advocating violence

    [​IMG][FONT=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Prov 13:24: "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently)."

    Sounds like its advocating abuse to childern doesnt it?

    and with mohammed do i really need to cite examples?
    [/FONT]
     
  20. kds1980

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