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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Amorphous. Offline
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Is Religion Dying? - May 23rd 2014, 11:24 AM

OK, I have written about this topic before but I want to come back to it one more time and particularly go to the main meat of the sandwich, and an issue I have been fairly concerned about recently.

I think religion is dying and I think the world is very quickly losing it's faith. But then again, I am just going by what I am seeing from the comments on Youtube and Facebook and my peers here, everyone seems not to have a religion and believe God is a magical character and the Bible is a whole bunch of fairlytale stories.

The amount of content I see on Facebook from people just pushing back heavily against religion and basically making religious people look like bigots and weaklings, it was originally angering for me but now it is just concerning, is this really the viewpoint of the majority of the world these days?

I am religious, I am a proud Muslim, and I don't know, I just feel like I am a minority, at least in my age group.

I understand the people saying the majority of the world is religious but that's not what I am seeing at this stage. I can imagine a strongly believing atheist going into Parliament and banning the education of religions. There are people that think that is a good idea.

Can you put me at ease on this one LOL, I just get surrounded by people who see religion as an evil concept. It's had to keep your faith when so many don't have any. Is it the viewpoint of the majority these days?

“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place,
But believe that there is much more good in it than bad.
All you have to do is look hard enough,
And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”

~My Childhood Friend.
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Re: Is Religion Dying? - May 23rd 2014, 11:49 AM

Hi Hamed.
I guess science have made people blind.They have got too much into it that they have lost faith completely.And I dont think it is viewpoint of majority these days.I am a proud Muslim too like you.I am not too sure why people are getting away from there religions.You are not in minority.Its just that people tend to forget that there is creator behind everything.Killing each other on the name of religion too may be a factor due to which people have lost faith.Religion spreads love and peace but often people take it in a wrong way.
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Re: Is Religion Dying? - May 23rd 2014, 12:12 PM

Well, in the last census for the UK (2011) I've seen some statistics saying that 47% of the population are non-religious so that's still less than half if that makes you feel better.

I'm not religious myself. Mostly for the reason Ibrahim said above I don't have faith. I don't have faith that there's some deity who made us all from nothing and I find it hard to believe any deities even exist. With science I have evidence, facts, statistics and that's all I need. What evidence do I have that God is real? The bible/holy text? Those were written by humans. I could write a great story about a magical deity creating everything but it doesn't mean it's true.

In the past people invented Gods and deities to explain things they otherwise couldn't but now we can explain those things mostly so we don't need to rely on the excuse "God did it".

I feel quite strongly about my beliefs so I do get frustrated and annoyed if people try to convert me to their beliefs but I have no issues with people believing in whatever they want. If you two above me have enough faith that there is a God then that's your prerogative.

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Re: Is Religion Dying? - May 23rd 2014, 01:53 PM

I think because the world is developing more and more quickly in the areas of science and psychology, people are no longer turning to religion as an explanation for natural phenomena. Because we are learning more every day about the world around us people are becoming sceptical of the things that cannot be proven.

Personally I am not religious per se, although I have some belief that there is a higher power. However, a couple of months ago I was going through a really hard time and I found myself in a church several times over the course of a fortnight. It's a habit that I think is hard for humanity to give up.

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I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door
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Re: Is Religion Dying? - May 23rd 2014, 02:30 PM

Originally Posted by Amorphous. View Post
I understand the people saying the majority of the world is religious but that's not what I am seeing at this stage.

Bare in mind that the majority of the world also doesn't have access to the internet.

Originally Posted by Amorphous. View Post
Can you put me at ease on this one LOL, I just get surrounded by people who see religion as an evil concept. It's had to keep your faith when so many don't have any. Is it the viewpoint of the majority these days?

Tell those people to get lost.

The majority of religious people have been shouting down and condemning atheists for centuries. Go to some less developed countries/communities and this still happens frequently enough. So now atheists think this gives them a right to shout back at religious people of today, most of whom aren't responsible for crimes of the past like the crusades. In fact, it's impossible for them to be responsible for it, unless there is someone walking among us who is several thousand years old.

Sure, there are religious assholes just as much. There are also just as many atheist assholes.

This attitude or take on politics of "blame the present generation" of whatever group of people, for things they messed up on in the past has got to stop. It applies in so many contexts. I'm atheist. If I were religious, I'd refuse to take responsibility for crimes committed against humanity 500 years ago during the Spanish inquisition. It's bullshit. I'm white. I refuse to take responsibility and be penalized for crimes committed against minority groups in the past which I personally haven't committed. I refuse to take responsibility for anything I haven't done. And forcing people to do so... can backfire. Some people submit to the pressure. In fact, most do. And some people get truly pissed off.

I'm of the opinion that in the past, religion was largely a means of control & authority over the population in most cultures and countries. That doesn't mean that it's the original reason why it was created. Personally, I think religion came to existence for good reasons. Then the corruption set in. Religion almost always had heavy impacts on the law. As always, if you have control & authority, you'll have people who abuse it. This is similar across many ideologies. Socialism was created with good intentions, then abused by the likes of Stalin. Democracy has been created with good intentions, and is gradually becoming increasingly corrupted (in my opinion) by the financial sector... there are reputable studies which have concluded the USA to be an oligarchy, not a "democracy". Arguably, even fascism itself could be a positive thing in the "right hands". My point is... the ideology or religion which governs a society, is not mostly to blame for it's shortfalls. It's the people in control.

Today the power has shifted away from religion, but people haven't changed. There are still wars. No massive world wars, because the asswipes know that it'd cause mass extinction with today's weapons.

Religion no longer has the "power" it used to... and yet shit continues to happen. Surely then, "religion" isn't the problem, is it? It's like I said already. Certain people are the problem. Human nature.

This is supposed to be a factual statement, so please don't take offense. Religion has lost it's grip on the world as it has become better educated and more developed. Religion is generally, more prevalent in less developed communities and countries. Less developed communities and countries tend to have less $$$, less education, more bigotry, less tolerance, more extremism, more racism, etc. That sort of environment gives rise to a larger number of fanatics, unfortunately, often religious ones due to a larger proportion of the population being religious.

But it's a cruel generalization to say that all religious believers are like that. It's just a trend. The majority are not nutcases. Not from my experience. Personally, for me to hold a conversation with some of them can be frustrating because we find it hard to see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but that doesn't make them "crazy" the same way it doesn't make me "crazy". Most of it is a difference of opinions.

"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.

Last edited by BDF; May 23rd 2014 at 04:04 PM.
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Re: Is Religion Dying? - May 23rd 2014, 03:14 PM

People still have faith, just not in ancient books. They have faith in their government, their education, sciences, professors, teachers, etc.

I think people are facing religion with a closed mind because religious people are seen as ignorant. While many religious people are just as dogmatic and irrational in their beliefs as most people who do not hold a belief in god (most atheists do not have a justified reason for their unbelief, so it is in essence, a belief), the difference is an atheist typically has better reasoning for their unbelief than a religious person has for their belief.

That is, the atheist can typically point to, with sound reason, why they don't believe, where as the theists typically has a fundamental misunderstanding of elementary scientific theories. I.E. Many apologists argue against evolution by saying it defies the second law of thermodynamics, or that we don't see apes giving birth to humans, etc. This logic doesn't make any sense because no scientist has ever claimed the latter, and there can be laws that supersede other laws. For example, aerodynamics supersedes gravity, etc., though it could be argued that isn't a law, I suppose.

I will say, however, there are MANY atheists with just as illogical reasoning. "I don't believe in god because there's so much suffering." This also is irrational because you are supposing that if there is this thing you don't believe in that this thing must be loving. There could be a god that is indifferent, and few consider it. Many, also, blindly believe scientists and teachers and professors much like the religious believe their priests and pastors and deacons etc.

To be honest, coming from someone who's been on both sides of the coin, I've found the most logical stance is somewhere in the middle. I can see why people believe in god, and I can see why people don't. I don't really know if there is. Sometimes I feel like there is, sometimes I feel like there isn't. But a belief isn't, and shouldn't, be justified by feelings.

I feel like society is just swapping a faith in religion for faith in unbelief. I know people hate when you say atheists have faith, but when you take a moment, step back, and examine it as a whole and as objective as possible, many atheists have faith. Just not in religion. They have faith in something that, to me, appears more rational. And typically the simplest and most rational explanation is the truth.

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."
- Carl Sagan
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Re: Is Religion Dying? - May 24th 2014, 09:48 AM

I don't think religion is dying as much as it's evolving. Until about a hundred years ago, religion was so steeped in absolution that doubting it wasn't just considered heresy; it was lunacy. But as science has steadily progressed to answer more and more questions that religion either failed to answer, or answered incorrectly, views have changed.

I'm a primordialist. As such, I don't believe in divine creation, Biblical floods, great horrors to behold from a man loving another man or anything of that type. I do believe, however, that things such as murder, rape and stealing are inherently wrong. And therein lies the root of religion's change. Faith can be divided roughly into two sections: What we understand and don't understand, and what we know is right and what we know is wrong. The difference between creating, justifying and upholding morals and trying to explain the origins of all life isn't day and night. It's day and apples.

Maybe religious influence in developed nations is fading, but I don't think religion is; at least not significantly. Even amongst the demographic that describes themselves as "nonreligious", there are plenty who believe in some kind of deity, even if they aren't particularly observant of it or even certain of who/what it is.


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Re: Is Religion Dying? - May 24th 2014, 10:55 AM

personally i believe jesus said it all when he gave the two great commandments. what ties em together? love. love is the path religion a signpost.

"Truth is God." -Ghandi
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Re: Is Religion Dying? - May 25th 2014, 05:14 AM

Here's my two cents. America is usually considered to be the most religious country. I'm not positive if that is true or not. I do think that religion is dying, however I don't think it has lessened so much that people who are religious should worry. I think over the course of history (and I'm only speaking about America) we have been growing more tolerant. Woman gained rights, blacks gained rights, and now we are working on getting gays their rights. Back in the old days, religion was very important to everyone who immigrated to America, and they tried hard to keep that in the colony's hearts. In fact there were two Enlightenments in which some men traveled around and gave sermons in hopes to get the people interested in religion again. Because even back then those who were very religious were worried that religion was dying out.
I think that America becoming more tolerant has also led Americans to feel more comfortable with themselves. So as time has gone by, being Atheist has become more common and accepted and in turn, more people feel comfortable with expressing their lack of religion.
All in all, it's personal choice. I don't think anyone needs to worry about the world as a whole becoming less religious or more religious. If you are religious and are happy with having faith, then that's great. Other's have a hard time believing a lot of things that are taught in religions, and that's okay too. If you aren't brought up religious, it's less likely that you will be religious when you are older. Additionally, I don't think religion is ever going to completely die out or becoming super uncommon because there are enough cultures and families who make an effort to share their beliefs with their children that I think the statistics will always stay somewhere near half and half in regards to people being religious.

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