Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
The Rise Of The "Nones"  
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19568 posts, RR: 58
Posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3941 times:

http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/03/12/non-believers/

Quote:
Religious affiliation in the United States is at its lowest point since it began to be tracked in the 1930s, according to analysis of newly released survey data by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University. Last year, one in five Americans claimed they had no religious preference, more than double the number reported in 1990.

As a nonbeliever, it's something that I find heartening. The interesting bit is that the "nones" are larger than every other religious group, including Southern Baptists and Methodists except for Catholics in the USA.

More worrying for churches is that about 33% of 18-24yo's identified themselves as "nones." Thus, the trend is likely to continue.

Why is this? I have a number of theories, mostly having to do with the fact that the things that churches have been preaching have gotten so absurd that it turns people off (especially educated people). Whether it's creationism, an obsession with sex, or gay-bashing, a lot of young people are sick of hearing it and walking out.

This article has some more commentary:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-...losing-its-religion_b_1951650.html

The above article makes the point that not only is gay-bashing partially to blame, but that the actual number of unaffiliated is actually higher than 20%. A lot of people will check off "Catholic" on a form even when they haven't been to Church in 20 years.

As a nonbeliever (I've stopped calling myself an "atheist" ever since "atheists" co-opted it into a quasi-religion), I find this heartening and I'm quite happy to see everyone stop believing. But I also know that won't happen.

The churches, especially the Protestant ones, are going to have to have a little "Come to Jesus" moment as it were. If they are going to win back the hearts of the young and keep the hearts of the old, they need to switch their tune from one of condemnation to one of welcome and acceptance. "You are loved by God and by this church, no matter who or what you are." And they are going to have to show it in deed, not just in words. They are going to have to back out of social issues like contraception and abortion that matter to young people. They are going to have to re-model themselves not as indoctrination centers that control culture and education, but as community organizations that unite people.

Otherwise, they are going to run into a problem as the donation plate runs dry.

What do you think the future holds? I think many churches will not change and that such ultra-conservative institutions as the Southern Baptist Church is doomed to obscurity.

[Edited 2013-07-01 20:54:19]

91 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3746 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3882 times:

This is a sign that the church has failed to adapt to modern times. Its values and ethics seem to be stuck in the dark ages.

I may be a 'none' as well, but I understand the need for faith and its usefulness in society.
People are getting more educated and the idiosyncrasies and hypocrisies of the values preached are starting to become way too obvious. Their stance on gays for instance, sexual behaviors generally speaking, ultra-conservative family policies, the increased division of churches and religions which all refuse to accept each other while preaching 'tolerance'...

There is a place for religion, but I fear none of the offered options live up to the newer generations.
Not to mention that as religion is (unfortunately) something that is often passed on to next generations by parents imposing their views on impressionable children, the trend will likely amplify itself.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3856 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Why is this? I have a number of theories, mostly having to do with the fact that the things that churches have been preaching have gotten so absurd that it turns people off (especially educated people). Whether it's creationism, an obsession with sex, or gay-bashing, a lot of young people are sick of hearing it and walking out.

I think the gay marriage debate with the younger generation plays a big factor. I attended Catholic school. I think in my class of 100 students, maybe 5 didn't support gay marriage. The sex thing doesn't help either, but I don't think sex is as much of an "epidemic" today as it was even 50 years ago. People are just more open about it.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
I find this heartening and I'm quite happy to see everyone stop believing. But I also know that won't happen.

Honest question Doc. Why do you find happiness in people not believing in a God or gods? Just trying to pick your brain. I don't think belief in a God makes you a good or bad person. It's how you live your life. But I also do believe in a higher power.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
What do you think the future holds? I think many churches will not change and that such ultra-conservative institutions as the Southern Baptist Church is doomed to obscurity.

I don't think religion itself as an institution is doomed. The Southern Baptist Churches pull an incredible amount of people. But I do agree if they don't become a little more liberal they are going to have some issues. Churches do need to move forward, but they are never with the times.

I think the problem with the 18-24 generation isn't that their eyes are opening or anything of that nature. It's how our minds are wired. Look at someone in that age group. They are always plugged into the world. Whether it be their smartphone, tablet, or PC. Church you have to devote an hour of your life to unplugging from that world. Yes some of the policies are off putting. It isn't "cool" like attending a football game or some sporting event. Church needs energy to attract young people. You can't do that when a 68 year old priest who typed his sermon on a typewriter is telling you that you are wrong in how you live your life. We had a young priest at my old Parish join the ranks. His masses were always filled with young people because he could connect with us and understand life in current day. The old geezers can't do that. Maybe I'm just blind to the future. But I don't think we are going to see churches disappear left and right.
Pat



You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3829 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
More worrying for churches is that about 33% of 18-24yo's identified themselves as "nones." Thus, the trend is likely to continue.

Why is this? I have a number of theories, mostly having to do with the fact that the things that churches have been preaching have gotten so absurd that it turns people off (especially educated people). Whether it's creationism, an obsession with sex, or gay-bashing, a lot of young people are sick of hearing it and walking out.

As one of said young people, I'll say you hit the nail on the head, Doc.

My own personal experience is pretty in line with this. I made the decision in high school (probably around the age 16) to live my life as a non-believer. The timing was not a coincidence though, as this was also around the time I became fascinated with religion. I know that sounds odd, but it was my fascination that lead me to do my research and I came to the following conclusions: 1) I don't need the Bible (or any other holy book) to tell me how to be a good person, 2) religion creates so much harm in the name of what they see as good, and 3) the notion of an all-powerful God (or whichever other supernatural being) is just silly.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
A lot of people will check off "Catholic" on a form even when they haven't been to Church in 20 years.

I know dozens of these people. I find it amusing.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
I've stopped calling myself an "atheist" ever since "atheists" co-opted it into a quasi-religion

I still drop the A-word from time to time, but I've started using it much less for that exact reason (we all read about that "Secular Church" out in Calgary...). I prefer to just use the term "non-religious", as "non-believer" sounds rather brash to me, but at the end of the day it's all the same.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
What do you think the future holds? I think many churches will not change and that such ultra-conservative institutions as the Southern Baptist Church is doomed to obscurity.

I hate to say it, but I think you're right. The reason I don't like it is because of the tendency for groups to become more extreme when they are threatened. We really don't need any more Westboro Baptist Churches.

My own prediction is that believers will be in the minority (at least in North America) in my lifetime. Just as obsolete technology will always get dumped for newer, better models, it's inevitable that more and more people will disassociate from religions that are archaic and slow to adapt (if they adapt at all).

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 2):
They are always plugged into the world.

I think that's the point. People our age in 2013 are far more in tune with the world around us than our parents when they were our age. As we "plug in", we see things that never would have been available for our parents to see. Before, we only knew of the good that religion did because that's all we heard in sermon...but with infinite real-time information available at our fingertips, we now get to see the bad that religion can do. I highly doubt that when you unplug for a couple hours on a Sunday morning that the priest is going to tell you about religiously-motivated issues going on in Uganda, Russia, or the Middle East. It's bad for business.



Flying refined.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17443 posts, RR: 46
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3800 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
A lot of people will check off "Catholic" on a form even when they haven't been to Church in 20 years.

I was baptized catholic but obviously no one asked me at the time if I wanted to sign up for a criminal outfit with a predeliction for young boys and three card monte for those that abuse them.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
What do you think the future holds?

The slow disappearance of religion and relegation to the bin of quackery where it belongs.... I think there was a recent study in the last year or two predicting that based on changing tastes and social patterns, religion will largely disappear from the Western world in a couple generations. I'll have to find it...

I think people are also starting to question the unwavering respect religion has commanded forever. If any corporation acted even remotely similar to any of the world's major religions, it would make Enron look like Martha Stewart's whoopsie-daisie. The effect of religion over the centuries, and still today, is so net negative, that the respect and tax free status they receive is an outright insult.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8133 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3783 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Why is this? I have a number of theories, mostly having to do with the fact that the things that churches have been preaching have gotten so absurd that it turns people off (especially educated people). Whether it's creationism, an obsession with sex, or gay-bashing, a lot of young people are sick of hearing it and walking out.

I would say another strong influence is the prevalence of households where both parents work. Important rituals like praying together before eating and such fall by the wayside when kids grow up with a do-it-yourself approach to dinner.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
What do you think the future holds?

This trend definitely intensifies and continues indefinitely, and has a lot of generational effect.

My grandmother did her best to raise three serious Jews, but my grandfather was working all the time and would sleep on Saturdays when she and the kids went to synagogue. Now only one of my dad's siblings treats his faith seriously, but probably only because he married a woman who later became the director of their JCC!

Similarly, my mom's family was raised by two serious Catholics, as I don't think those grandparents have missed a single Sunday in their 58 years of marriage. Much to their dismay, all five of their kids never attend church regularly now.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 4):
The slow disappearance of religion and relegation to the bin of quackery where it belongs.... I think there was a recent study in the last year or two predicting that based on changing tastes and social patterns, religion will largely disappear from the Western world in a couple generations. I'll have to find it...

I think people are also starting to question the unwavering respect religion has commanded forever. If any corporation acted even remotely similar to any of the world's major religions, it would make Enron look like Martha Stewart's whoopsie-daisie.

LOL, precisely this.   



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20542 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3781 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 1):
This is a sign that the church has failed to adapt to modern times. Its values and ethics seem to be stuck in the dark ages.

That's why I'm heartened by the signals coming from the Vatican these days. It's a very small step in the right direction.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 2):
Why do you find happiness in people not believing in a God or gods?

Having been brought up with a set of beliefs without them encompassing a deity or formal religion, I'm always fascinated by the love/hate relationship people have with the structures of belief systems. I've always felt that if someone wants to go to a church, synagogue, mosque, or where ever, peace be with them, the choice is theirs, as the country I was born and live in was founded on the principles of both freedom of religion and the freedom from religion.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3746 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3765 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 6):
It's a very small step in the right direction.

Yes, Pope Francis is definitely a breath of fresh air. As a non catholic and atheist, I must say I really like him.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently onlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6703 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3729 times:

I think that within the hearts and minds of most people there is the common sense side to religion, i.e. be nice to other people, don't steal, don't kill, so they don't really need the fantasy world that's been tagged onto it that then constrains them in what they want to do and leads to all sorts of oddball interpretations of the sacred texts.

I don't even want to be a "None". Everything seems to have a label these days and once you have a label you have the baggage of imagined stereotypes that go with the label and then it becomes a binary situation of you're with us or against us, pride of identity or insult. "Atheist! blah, blah, blah..." "Christian! yak yak yak..."

Lots of the problems these days seem to stem from the polar opposites of a highly technical, instant gratification world of gizmos, social media and communication and the very "backward" slow moving, more contemplative, inward looking, be good and in 80 years you'll get your reward, world of religion and the kids don't go for it. The thrills are online and now, not in the miracles and wonders of 2000 years ago that may or may not have happened anyway. But, beware false prophets leading you astray!

An other issue is the fragmentation of society. In our commercial world people are a lot more likely to move away from their family and community for work and this breaks the psychological ties that had families doing things together, like going to church. That's what you did and you didn't want the social stigma of not going to church. Once you're away from that, the grip isn't so strong.


Does the survey have a state-by-state breakdown of religious affiliation? Is the bible belt still the bible belt? Is it stronger or weaker?



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7288 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3715 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 4):
The slow disappearance of religion and relegation to the bin of quackery where it belongs

It's not the slow disappearance of religion it's the slow disappearance of christianity, islam is growing.


User currently offlineJJJ From Spain, joined May 2006, 1817 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3697 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 9):
It's not the slow disappearance of religion it's the slow disappearance of christianity, islam is growing.

Give them time to get some education and nice salaries and they'll start going the none route, too.

My kid has a 2nd generation Moroccan on his class whose older siblings booze every bit as much as any local. I don't think they feel any different from the Catholic born, and they will very likely intermarry with a local.

There's the issue of Ghetto-isation on bigger agglomerations (French famous banlieues, Netherlands... to a lesser extent here in Madrid and Barcelona, too) that seem to perpetuate their beliefs and customs for a bit longer, but in the end the easy western middle-class life wins.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7288 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3656 times:

Quoting JJJ (Reply 10):
My kid has a 2nd generation Moroccan on his class whose older siblings booze every bit as much as any local. I don't think they feel any different from the Catholic born, and they will very likely intermarry with a local.

Pakistanis here in Norway are onto the third generation, they don't intermarry, they drag a cousin out from Pakistan to marry or something similar. To you and I they might not appear much different from a local but it's whats going on inside their heads that different, take the London bombers as an example, born in the UK, grown up in the UK but still crazy as muslim religious nutters underneath.

Quoting JJJ (Reply 10):
Give them time to get some education and nice salaries and they'll start going the none route, too.

By the time that happens you and I will most likely be dead.


User currently offlineus330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 3871 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3629 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
As a nonbeliever (I've stopped calling myself an "atheist" ever since "atheists" co-opted it into a quasi-religion), I find this heartening and I'm quite happy to see everyone stop believing. But I also know that won't happen.

I wonder if American religious institutions might evolve toward a different model: instead of being based on faith, being based on shared community ties or a shared heritage (which is not necessarily a bad thing). Non-Orthodox Jewish synagogues and temples essentially already operate this way.


User currently offlinena From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10708 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3618 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Why is this? I have a number of theories, mostly having to do with the fact that the things that churches have been preaching have gotten so absurd that it turns people off (especially educated people). Whether it's creationism, an obsession with sex, or gay-bashing, a lot of young people are sick of hearing it and walking out.

The most important reason is that the world has so much interesting things to see and do, religion is just falling below the attention line. Be sure, if a massive crisis comes, religions will rise again.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 1):
This is a sign that the church has failed to adapt to modern times. Its values and ethics seem to be stuck in the dark ages.

That is right. But the churches are in a dilemma: what they preach, IS oldfashioned as its from former times. How can you change rules written down by god himself, or Mohammad, or ...

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 2):
I think the gay marriage debate with the younger generation plays a big factor.

I dont think so, its before all a big media campaign, and it´ll die down once its legalised everywhere. Gays are a very small minority with an overproportionally big lobby nowadays.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 9):
It's not the slow disappearance of religion it's the slow disappearance of christianity, islam is growing.

Because Islam is were anti-westerners to group around and the percentage of uneducated people, or people with restricted information and under oppression is much higher. I find that worrying. But:

Quoting JJJ (Reply 10):
Give them time to get some education and nice salaries and they'll start going the none route, too.

Exactly. Look at muslims who immigrated to a free society and made some money. The second generation is not much different to westerners.

I do believe in god, someting almighty who is behind this world, whatever that is. I am still a member of the church and will remain so, as I think that the world needs orientation, and the Christian values are the best I can think of (the Christian values, which is not always the same as what the Churches preach). If you take away religion, what rules remain? State rules, laws, and how they can possibly be bent history has shown drastically enough. There is a huge danger in a society of "nones". People who have nothing to loose, nothing to fear but the police are potentially dangerous.


User currently offlineJJJ From Spain, joined May 2006, 1817 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3615 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 11):
Pakistanis here in Norway are onto the third generation, they don't intermarry, they drag a cousin out from Pakistan to marry or something similar.

Hence my mention of ghettoes, at least here that's confined to the bigger cities where they can make their communities, on small towns like the one I live in I don't recall seeing a single covered woman (much less a burka) even though there are Moroccan, Algerian, etc. citizens around.

It may be that Maghrebi might possibly more open-minded than rural Pakistani but as you can see in places with decent incomes like Turkey the more educated and affluent, the more atheist you get.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19568 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3536 times:

Quoting us330 (Reply 12):
being based on shared community ties or a shared heritage (which is not necessarily a bad thing)

This also makes me nervous. "We're together because we share our heritage" sounds fine until you add the necessary counter point: "And if you don't, then you can't be one of us."

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 2):
Why do you find happiness in people not believing in a God or gods? Just trying to pick your brain. I don't think belief in a God makes you a good or bad person. It's how you live your life. But I also do believe in a higher power.

Because belief in a higher power can lead to "charisma." Someone who claims to be plugged into that higher power. And that is a source of a lot of evil. In fact, it has been the root of most (not all) of the evil in Western history.

To have that rejected as simple delusion removes any authority that can be claimed.

As it happens right now, we have seen religious leaders (especially in the Catholic Church) respond to the rise of gay rights with some truly evil and nasty bullying tactics. Take this letter from a priest basically telling a mother to choose between her son and her Church. http://www.truthwinsout.org/wp-conte...loads/2012/10/nienstedt_letter.bmp

The other thing is that it doesn't take a huge leap to conclude that if the good people in your church are believers, then your beliefs must make you a good person. And that's exactly what so many religions have done, especially the Catholic Church, but also Islam. It doesn't matter that you're running brothels and dungeons and killing people in scores, as long as you're Catholic, you're righteous. Similarly, in Bin Laden's lair, we found his porn stash. It leads to horrible hypocrisy.

There are other ways, I submit, to organize communities to come together to do good works without having to invoke a higher power.


User currently offlinena From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10708 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 3526 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
It doesn't matter that you're running brothels and dungeons and killing people in scores, as long as you're Catholic, you're righteous.

Tell me, when has that ever been said by the Catholic Church, the long gone dark middle ages excluded? Its simply untrue what you are saying.


User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 3499 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 4):
net negative

   That's the word of the hour. Religion does plenty good, but in my opinion it doesn't do enough to cover its losses.

Quoting oly720man (Reply 8):
I don't even want to be a "None". Everything seems to have a label these days and once you have a label you have the baggage of imagined stereotypes that go with the label and then it becomes a binary situation of you're with us or against us, pride of identity or insult. "Atheist! blah, blah, blah..." "Christian! yak yak yak..."

What label do you attach to someone who is non-religious? The whole point is that there's nothing to associate to them since they don't prescribe to any belief system. Of course you'll get the odd hardcore Christian who will consider non-believers to be "heathens" or what have you, but that's really their problem since non-believers won't be particularly troubled by it.

Quoting JJJ (Reply 10):
Give them time to get some education and nice salaries and they'll start going the none route, too.

Agreed. Look at the extremists and their supporters. The well-educated ones are quite the minority.

Quoting na (Reply 13):
I dont think so, its before all a big media campaign, and it´ll die down once its legalised everywhere.

You've slightly contradicted yourself. How can something that's not a big factor "die down"? If there's something to die down, surely it must be considerable.

Anyway, I must disagree. As I mentioned in my first post, I am one of said young people, and many of my peers name the equality debate quite high in their reasons for distancing themselves from religion. A reasonable, in-touch youth doesn't want to be linked to a group that actively discriminates against another group that bases their beliefs on their interpretation of 2,000-year old texts.

Although I do agree that as more jurisdictions/countries legalize gay marriage, it won't be as hot a topic.

Quoting na (Reply 13):
There is a huge danger in a society of "nones". People who have nothing to loose, nothing to fear but the police are potentially dangerous.

So because they don't fear an unseen supernatural power, that somehow makes them dangerous? You're going to have to expound on that point a little more before any non-influenced individual is convinced.   



Flying refined.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 3496 times:

Quoting na (Reply 13):
If you take away religion, what rules remain? State rules, laws, and how they can possibly be bent history has shown drastically enough. There is a huge danger in a society of "nones". People who have nothing to loose, nothing to fear but the police are potentially dangerous.

That has always been the claim made by monopolistic religions: That exactly they "owned" ethical standards and that not having their specific religion would turn people into unconscientious monsters.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In actual fact, religious people have turned out to be not any more ethical in their actual behaviours than atheists, if not not actually less so.

Compassion and ethical behaviour are innate traits of human beings. Not always dominant, but that is clearly observable in religious people just as well.

Religions have just co-opted what humanity always had, and in many cases twisted it beyond recognition through dogma and orthodoxy.

When you're an atheist, you yourself have the responsibility to treat others with respect and dignity – and there is no cop-out á la "These people are not members of my own cult, so they deserve to be treated badly!"

Atheists can be horrible people as well, but they don't have the convenient excuses available which are provided by religious hypocrisy.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
Because belief in a higher power can lead to "charisma." Someone who claims to be plugged into that higher power. And that is a source of a lot of evil. In fact, it has been the root of most (not all) of the evil in Western history.

That is not really dependent on religion, nor is it automatically evil. Lenin and Hitler were highly charismatic, but also Gandhi or Martin Luther King.

When you have the power to inspire people, your personal responsibility grows proportionally. And you may or may not be capable and willing to meet that responsibility.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 3491 times:

Quoting us330 (Reply 12):

I wonder if American religious institutions might evolve toward a different model: instead of being based on faith, being based on shared community ties or a shared heritage (which is not necessarily a bad thing).

If that ever happens then churches in America should just shut their doors and give up. Local churches are not meant to be social clubs.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 3473 times:

Just to add: The development in Germany is similar. We now have about a third each of (nominal!) catholics, protestants and unaffiliated people (with a few percent of other denominations).

The unaffiliated part has been growing here as well, and even many if not most of the officially registered religious people actually aren't – most just haven't declared their exit from their parents' and grandparents' church yet (which determines whether church tax is deduced from your income).

Religion plays a much smaller role in Germany than in the USA, however – intensely religious people are mostly regarded as weirdos here (if not as outright lunatics) and are not taken seriously in the public discourse.

"Normal" religion-affiiliated people and clerics are recognized and heard, however, as long as their arguments are generally reasonable. Even our current widely respected president is a former protestant pastor. But his religious background is not a significant factor.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8838 posts, RR: 24
Reply 21, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3460 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
What do you think the future holds? I think many churches will not change and that such ultra-conservative institutions as the Southern Baptist Church is doomed to obscurity.

A church's hands are tied - at least if the leaders themselves are true believers, and not just in it as a business. The whole idea of a Church is that the rules that govern right vs wrong are unchanging and immutable. If adultery was wrong a thousand years ago, how can it be OK now, unless there is some sort of divine intervention to that effect?

In America, where you can start your own church very easily, you could easily start a "Church of Sex Drugs and Rock & Roll" which might be very popular, but would be obviously seen as a sellout.

I would argue that part of the decline in church membership is not due to their refusal to change the rule, but just the opposite. I know that the Episcopal church, for instance, lost a lot of members when they officially recognized gay marriage. Members saw the church selling out their values.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently onlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6703 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3452 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 17):
What label do you attach to someone who is non-religious?

Atheist, usually, though now atheist seems to have been claimed by the "fundamentalists" another one may be needed.

What I was trying to say is that people aren't seen as people, but judged by whatever label gets ascribed to them as if that's their only defining identity.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3425 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
you could easily start a "Church of Sex [...]" which might be very popular

Au contraire!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsnXQdkqChg (NSFW)

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
I would argue that part of the decline in church membership is not due to their refusal to change the rule, but just the opposite. I know that the Episcopal church, for instance, lost a lot of members when they officially recognized gay marriage. Members saw the church selling out their values.

That's a completely different conversation though. The members who left the Episcopal Church left and joined other churches that aligned more with their "traditional" beliefs...they didn't suddenly fall into this category of "none". They remained to identify themselves as Christians. As far as the OP's study goes, that movement wouldn't be statistically relevant.

Quoting oly720man (Reply 22):
Atheist, usually, though now atheist seems to have been claimed by the "fundamentalists" another one may be needed.

Not the answer I was expecting, but I see your point. I don't see that as necessarily being a negative label in a reasonable society. I only have one friend/acqaintance in my age bracket that uses the word "atheism" as if it were some terrible taboo...but he works for The Dream Center, so nothing particularly shocking about that.



Flying refined.
User currently offlinena From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10708 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3387 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 17):
You've slightly contradicted yourself. How can something that's not a big factor "die down"? If there's something to die down, surely it must be considerable.

Why? I said, gays are a small minority, one percent, maybe two. And I said that the media attention is big. That is two different things. I think once the media becomes quiet, an it will after it has been achieved what is being claimed for, the discussion around it will die down.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 17):
Anyway, I must disagree. As I mentioned in my first post, I am one of said young people, and many of my peers name the equality debate quite high in their reasons for distancing themselves from religion.

Why do they name the equality debate quite high? Not the least because there´s such a huge media campaign going on. If it would be treated like other things concerning small minorities no one would talk about it.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
That has always been the claim made by monopolistic religions: That exactly they "owned" ethical standards and that not having their specific religion would turn people into unconscientious monsters.

Thats grossly exaggerated, buth true at the core.

Nothing could be further from the truth.[/quote]
Oh really? Any proof? It might no have extreme effects on rich societies as long as they are rich, but I am afraid about what would happen to the huge rest of the world.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
When you're an atheist, you yourself have the responsibility to treat others with respect and dignity

Sadly there are far too many irresponsible people living on this planet. Its all fine in theory.


25 Post contains images WestJet747 : The relative importance of the factor is not tied to the size of the population it concerns. Just because gays make up 2% of the population, it doesn
26 Tango-Bravo : There actually are such churches in the U.S., even if relatively few in number... and they are not only 'maintaining' their congregations but growing
27 DocLightning : But history has shown that churches bend. Sometimes slowly. I believe it was Pope JPII who finally admitted that the Catholic Church's handling of th
28 zippyjet : There are many reasons, such as religious institutions becoming like our government, bloated out of control, judgemental with several nasty scandals.
29 MaverickM11 : Sounds like a personal problem... Which is a problem because there's, you know, history, and millenia of religions behaving badly.
30 DocLightning : And yet oddly, some don't. Like the Bhuddists and Taoists. And then there are the Jain, who are infuriatingly harmless. They wear cloths over their m
31 Doona : So it's only thanks to religion that those "irresponsible people" stay on the straight and narrow? Cheers Mats
32 MaverickM11 : I don't know much about Taoists or Jains but I like that Buddhism requires a lot of work to improve oneself, and not a lot of things, whereas the maj
33 na : No one said "only". But you have to see that in many societies there isnt much orientation left. Where does THE Catholic Church run child prostitutio
34 MaverickM11 : I find the church far more despicable in this case, since I don't believe the criminal (read: pedophile) priests are mentally sound. The higher ups h
35 EA CO AS : While I'm not the most religious person, I do believe in God. I'm absolutely not offended in any way by those who believe otherwise, however can you
36 us330 : The counter point is far from "necessary," but I do understand concerns that such groups could promote self-segregation and prevent intermixing among
37 777way : Dare not even mention scary Islam in there alongside the other two but add in Hinduism, funny and no whatever does not count, its not like the other
38 na : Without a doubt the treatment has been far from ideal in the past. But you are generalising, how these cases were treated was rather different in dif
39 Post contains images OA412 : I was baptised Greek Orthodox. We weren't particularly religious, but my mom would take us to church here and there. However, most Greek-Americans I k
40 na : Hitler, Stalin and Mao together likely killed more people than all other political or so-called religious criminals in the whole human history. All t
41 cgnnrw : I experienced a similar incident, except I wasn't threatened with eternal damnation, I was in the 7th grade and attending a public school. I was accu
42 Post contains links and images DocLightning : They were, except they weren't. Their behavior was very similar to that of a religion. There was a focus on absolute dogma and infallability. Rather
43 WestJet747 : Buddhists have quite a long history of engaging in conflict. It even happens still today in Thailand and Myanmar. Buddhists being completely non-viol
44 777way : I just found it funny the poster acted as if the religion did not even exist keeping in mind events of the last decade and passed it onto the "whatev
45 DocLightning : Not all. Some, yes. Some more than others. Religion is not necessary to cause evil. It certainly is one major cause, but the communists have demonstr
46 Aesma : They all made their own religion of which they were the gods. Mao has still a huge flock, Hitler a small one, even Stalin is still highly appreciated
47 Dreadnought : Estimate for Crusades: between 1 and 3 million (from the first through 3rd crusades - i.e. the big ones), Estimates for Stalin: between 8 and 61 mill
48 SFBdude : I'm only 30 years old but, I'm more religious now than ever before. I don't know why exactly. Maybe I'm getting more religious with age or maybe I'm g
49 HOmSaR : Wouldn't someone who is convinced that their mission is ordained by god itself, and they will be rewarded in the afterlife for carrying out god's wis
50 SFBdude : People can label themselves whatever they want and violence will always be around. Since when has laws, whether man made or not, stopped violence? *tu
51 Post contains images WestJet747 : No, I still say that it's all. There's two levels to this argument: 1) Religion oppressing/discriminating against certain groups based on their belie
52 DocLightning : Not all religions worship a supreme being. Some do not actually have gods. For example, the aboriginal religion in Australia is a series of stories,
53 ltbewr : Some other thoughts on the decline of involvement in active faiths and the rise of the 'nones'. As more people become more educated, including college
54 DocLightning : Let's get away from this attitude that facts and education are "liberal." They are simply truth. If conservatives want to call such ideas that rape c
55 WestJet747 : Perhaps I was too specific. I would group religions that give unrealistic powers to humans/animals as being silly as well. Of course they seemed comp
56 MD-90 : Now this statement is utter nonsense. The Catholic Church did not invade Iraq and kill innocents. The Southern Baptist Convention did not pass a reso
57 777way : Hindus and Church, connected how?
58 Aesma : If you look at the mafia or latino gangs, it seems that religion and killing don't clash that much.
59 JJJ : My experience with middle-class muslims is rather the opposite. I am yet to meet a practising, educated, middle-class muslim born in Spain. And a lot
60 Post contains images SFBdude : Um.... What?! I was merely pointing out that people are under the impression that without religion, the world will be filled with peace and happiness
61 NorthStarDC4M : For my part, I am part of the "nones" I guess... I consider myself an Agnostic Christian, I can't follow any of the organized churches, but I tend to
62 DocLightning : The Catholic Church has generally had a following of dovish voters these last 100 or so years. The Southern Baptist Convention may not invade Iraq, b
63 AeroWesty : What Jains believe in terms of reincarnation, karma, and liberation of the soul are shared by a significant number of fellow humans worldwide, and ha
64 Post contains images WestJet747 : They have a problem with pedophile priests. Not sure where the "gay" comes into play there. The Catholic church has its own history of war and tortur
65 cptkrell : Quoting WestJet (Rep 64): "They have a problem with pedophile priests. Not sure where the "gay" comes into play here." Hmmm. About everytime such an a
66 SFBdude : I believe your looking too much into that one sentence that you keep quoting. Read my post as a whole. A lack of religion will not solve the world's
67 WestJet747 : Pedophiles don't experience sexual attraction like normal people. These men (well, most often men) are attracted to children in a way where gender is
68 EA CO AS : The "whatever" was meant as an "et cetera", don't get your panties in a wad because I failed to mention your religion of preference. I can't imagine
69 777way : Oh please Christianity, Judism ______ Hinduism, if you had said Christinaity, Hinduism, Shinto one could understand, its not about my religion, which
70 AeroWesty : Anyone having grown up or lived on the west coast of the United States for any length of time would be well acquainted with Christianity, and dependi
71 DocLightning : Mine too, my friend. Mine too. But as long as you aren't trying to legislate your religion and use it to hurt others, then I am willing to live and l
72 AeroWesty : What grinds your gears about Jainism? Is it the reincarnation and karma part, the sweeping bugs out of their path after a rain (which someone I knew
73 DocLightning : The absolute absurdity of the idea that you don't even want to kill bacteria. I mean, c'mon, it's absurd. But they aren't hurting anyone and they are
74 AeroWesty : That's a very western way of looking at it. The way this guy I knew who was Jain explained it, in everyday life it was more of a practice of the prin
75 DocLightning : No, it is a rational way of looking it. All life, by virtue of its existence, exists at the expense of and to the benefit of other life. Both are tru
76 AeroWesty : That's still a very western view. Very roughly, an eastern view would be that each level of individual souls of the group soul (or infinite life, tha
77 DocLightning : No, that is a statement of scientific fact from a man with a graduate degree in molecular biology. Science is not Western or Eastern or Liberal or Co
78 AeroWesty : Men with graduate degrees also used to say that homosexuality was a mental illness. Viewing life as simply a scientific fact is a very western concep
79 dc9northwest : So, do the Jain not want to kill E. coli, Rickettsia, and other potentially deadly bacteria either? How about viruses? What's the deal with those? Ali
80 AeroWesty : Not being Jain, and not having studied this for 20-some years, this is what I understand: It is impossible to exist without killing or injuring thing
81 DocLightning : And they had no evidence on which to base that claim. It would not be the first baseless claim. The fact that people have used pseudoscience does not
82 Post contains links AeroWesty : Of course it doesn't, but it stands as an example to be careful of placing unquestioned belief and acceptance in diploma wavers. Even science itself
83 HOmSaR : This really gets into a philosophical debate over what constitutes a fact. The reality is that there is so much about the universe that we don't know
84 Post contains images einsteinboricua : As a person educated under the Catholic school system up to senior year of high school, I can say that the church is simply antiquated. It has failed
85 WestJet747 : It's gotten to a point where I think you're trying to be offended. Just because EA CO AS didn't put your religion as one of his three examples, it do
86 Post contains links and images DocLightning : It doesn't reject science, but it rejects a fundamental truth, which is that all life exists at the expense of other life. A more rational viewpoint
87 Post contains images AeroWesty : Valuable things to remember. Life can also be complementary and supportive. An example would be that cherry tree cannot bear fruit without pollinatio
88 Post contains links HOmSaR : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT0B4V_kowo It really hasn't been possible to prove memories until recently, because so much of history goes unrecorded
89 Post contains links HOmSaR : Again, how do you know, given that you've only ever studied life here on Earth? How do you know that in all of the hundreds of billions of galaxies t
90 Post contains links WestJet747 : Sorry, but I'm not convinced. A kid who has an excellent knowledge of planes and talks about plane crashes does not meet the burden of proof. Especia
91 Post contains images MaverickM11 : Maybe they should drop the holier than thou bit then I'm not so sure--for a long time the two were--in some cases still are--the same.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Fake Passports On The Rise... posted Mon Dec 31 2007 19:41:30 by BR715-A1-30
4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer posted Thu Jun 21 2007 19:04:39 by EK20
Theft/Shoplifting On The Rise At Wal-Mart posted Wed Jun 13 2007 23:00:30 by PSA53
Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer posted Tue Mar 20 2007 11:15:50 by EK20
Nixon's Rise From The Ashes Of Defeat? posted Wed May 11 2005 05:59:01 by Zippyjet
Rise Of The New Metal CD's/Metal Head Thread posted Thu Apr 7 2005 17:52:58 by AA61Hvy
Rise Of The Vulcans, Great Book! posted Fri Apr 30 2004 03:51:10 by Rjpieces
Rickets On The Rise In America posted Fri Aug 29 2003 22:55:32 by Superfly
Is Anti-Semitism Really On The Rise? posted Sat Jul 13 2002 09:59:47 by Ryanb741
The Fog Of Obamacare posted Sun May 26 2013 01:09:30 by Geezer