Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
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20-03-2017, 04:18 AM
Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
Forget believing in Santa – the tumultuous events of 2016 appear to have left Britons unable to believe in God.

http://www.theweek.co.uk/80065/belief-in...orrid-year

A YouGov poll for the Times has shown a four-point decline in the percentage of people who believe in a higher power, from 32 per cent in February last year to 28 per cent now.

The drop suggests a far sharper decrease than in previous years, the Times says. Britons' belief in God has long been in decline, but at a rate of about one per cent a year, the newspaper reports, citing a different question used by the British Attitudes Survey in 1991, which found half the population thought there was a god.

By 2008 the number of believers had fallen to about 35 per cent, suggesting a roughly one per cent decline per annum.

Meanwhile the proportion of atheists – people who say they do not actively believe in any kind of god – has risen from 33 per cent to 38 per cent.

The Times says a year of "election surprises, conflict, a refugee crisis and terrorism" appear to have "significantly… dented the public's faith in a god".

Although the newspaper conceded there was no direct line between Brexit and the rising proportion of atheists, it did find 45 per cent of respondents who were "remainers" were atheists, against 35 per cent of those who voted to leave the EU.

Neither did the poll of 1,595 adults make any causal link between falling numbers of the faithful and 2016 events including the election of Donald Trump, the EU referendum and the ongoing troubles in the Middle East.

For those seeking fuller churches, believers are most strongly concentrated in the Midlands and Wales – while the godless are most numerous in London and northern England. Last Christmas, 2.5 million people went to Anglican church services.

Worryingly for religious leaders seeking a future faithful, the young are most likely to be atheists: 46 per cent of the 18-24 age group said there is no god, against 43 per cent of 25 to 49-year-olds, 38 per cent of 50 to 64-year-olds and 25 per cent of the 65 and over demographic.

A similar YouGov poll last year found that while half of people said they considered themselves Christian, Jewish or Muslim, only 32 per cent actually believed in a god, "suggesting a sense of belonging was cultural rather than religious" says The Times.

Still, as beer brewers have found, there might be hope in a more "craft" approach. Although the number of big-denomination churches – Catholic, Anglican and Methodist – has fallen over the last six years, independent churches are surging. Pentecostal denominations have been particularly successful, as have mosques, the survey found.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
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20-03-2017, 04:46 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
Fucking awesome.

I'm actually a little proud to be English over this, and I don't say that often.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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20-03-2017, 04:55 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
I can only dream of the day when we have such low numbers of believers in USA (although maybe the failure of the American empire will have similar effects on us at some point).

This would be an extremely heartening article, if not for the last paragraph. The exact kinds of religions you don't want--fanatic, antirational, evangelical, and paranoid--are the ones adding adherents. It reminds me of the end of a horror movie when the monster's vanquished, but then you see the hand claw out of the grave...
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20-03-2017, 05:07 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
(20-03-2017 04:18 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  Still, as beer brewers have found, there might be hope in a more "craft" approach. Although the number of big-denomination churches – Catholic, Anglican and Methodist – has fallen over the last six years, independent churches are surging. Pentecostal denominations have been particularly successful, as have mosques, the survey found.

This is the part of this that isn't so great, as the religious affiliated shrink in numbers it will probably grow more cultish, obnoxious and dangerous.

Overall a good direction, but fundamentalism can breed in such an environment.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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20-03-2017, 05:42 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
(20-03-2017 04:18 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  Forget believing in Santa – the tumultuous events of 2016 appear to have left Britons unable to believe in God.

http://www.theweek.co.uk/80065/belief-in...orrid-year

A YouGov poll for the Times has shown a four-point decline in the percentage of people who believe in a higher power, from 32 per cent in February last year to 28 per cent now.

The drop suggests a far sharper decrease than in previous years, the Times says. Britons' belief in God has long been in decline, but at a rate of about one per cent a year, the newspaper reports, citing a different question used by the British Attitudes Survey in 1991, which found half the population thought there was a god.

By 2008 the number of believers had fallen to about 35 per cent, suggesting a roughly one per cent decline per annum.

Meanwhile the proportion of atheists – people who say they do not actively believe in any kind of god – has risen from 33 per cent to 38 per cent.

The Times says a year of "election surprises, conflict, a refugee crisis and terrorism" appear to have "significantly… dented the public's faith in a god".

Although the newspaper conceded there was no direct line between Brexit and the rising proportion of atheists, it did find 45 per cent of respondents who were "remainers" were atheists, against 35 per cent of those who voted to leave the EU.

Neither did the poll of 1,595 adults make any causal link between falling numbers of the faithful and 2016 events including the election of Donald Trump, the EU referendum and the ongoing troubles in the Middle East.

For those seeking fuller churches, believers are most strongly concentrated in the Midlands and Wales – while the godless are most numerous in London and northern England. Last Christmas, 2.5 million people went to Anglican church services.

Worryingly for religious leaders seeking a future faithful, the young are most likely to be atheists: 46 per cent of the 18-24 age group said there is no god, against 43 per cent of 25 to 49-year-olds, 38 per cent of 50 to 64-year-olds and 25 per cent of the 65 and over demographic.

A similar YouGov poll last year found that while half of people said they considered themselves Christian, Jewish or Muslim, only 32 per cent actually believed in a god, "suggesting a sense of belonging was cultural rather than religious" says The Times.

Still, as beer brewers have found, there might be hope in a more "craft" approach. Although the number of big-denomination churches – Catholic, Anglican and Methodist – has fallen over the last six years, independent churches are surging. Pentecostal denominations have been particularly successful, as have mosques, the survey found.

This is encouraging, but a more important lesson from 2016 is that polls are not to be trusted. I'd like to think that a greater proportion of the population do not believe in gods but are loth to admit it. However, what I would prefer to be the case has no effect on reality and it could be that there are more believers who are ashamed of themselves.
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20-03-2017, 06:16 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
Meanwhile...
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/un-world-...untry-list

The United Nations annual World Happiness Report has named Norway as the world's happiest nation – jumping up from fourth place last year.

This year, Norway pipped fellow Scandinavians in Denmark to the title and, while doing so, leapfrogged Iceland and Switzerland. The four countries in the Nordic region consistently perform well within the UN's report, which was first produced in 2012.
...
The 10 happiest countries in the world

1. Norway
2. Denmark
3. Iceland
4. Switzerland
5. Finland
6. Netherlands
7. Canada
8. New Zealand
9. Australia
10. Sweden

---
Despite a tempered political climate in the UK, fuelled by Brexit and talks of the Union breaking up, the country also moved up the report's ranking. It now places the UK in 19th place, up from 23rd last year.
--------

All right you silly atheistic Scandinavians! Stop being so happy!

Yog Sothoth! Yog Sothoth! Come back old ones! Yog Sothoth!

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20-03-2017, 07:05 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
Is "happy" a euphemism ? Angel

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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20-03-2017, 09:18 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
(20-03-2017 04:55 AM)julep Wrote:  The exact kinds of religions you don't want--fanatic, antirational, evangelical, and paranoid--are the ones adding adherents.
That makes perfect sense, though. People whose thinking is the most rigid, and who consider their beliefs the most indispensable, are going to either be traumatized out of their faith or driven into the deepest recesses of it. These folks see the world turning to shit and anyone telling them, "come over here, and circle the wagons with us" are going to pick them up as adherents. They will assert things like, "this is happening because we haven't been sinless / pure / faithful enough, here's how you've been doing it wrong".

In a future world where religion is entirely on the margins, I would expect those margins to be a LOT wackier than is average right now.

The same phenomenon is happening politically, too. It explains the rise of far-right nationalism, isolationism, and bigotry.

The great danger in all this is that liberalism (religious, political, and otherwise) has maybe over-played its hand a little too early in the game, and now we have an abreaction because there were too many people waiting in the shadows to reassert their core beliefs and make a power grab. The world isn't ready for that level of inclusiveness and compassion in our public conduct. It is still too tribal, to unaware and deliberately blinkered, too subjectively driven by negative emotion and threat avoidance and largely impervious to objectively positive indicators. Such people see threats everywhere, and upsides nowhere. Indeed, the only upsides they CAN see on their horizon of awareness is increasing conformity to dogma, and they have seen precious little of that of late.
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20-03-2017, 09:23 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
(20-03-2017 09:18 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(20-03-2017 04:55 AM)julep Wrote:  The exact kinds of religions you don't want--fanatic, antirational, evangelical, and paranoid--are the ones adding adherents.
That makes perfect sense, though. People whose thinking is the most rigid, and who consider their beliefs the most indispensable, are going to either be traumatized out of their faith or driven into the deepest recesses of it. These folks see the world turning to shit and anyone telling them, "come over here, and circle the wagons with us" are going to pick them up as adherents. They will assert things like, "this is happening because we haven't been sinless / pure / faithful enough, here's how you've been doing it wrong".

In a future world where religion is entirely on the margins, I would expect those margins to be a LOT wackier than is average right now.

The same phenomenon is happening politically, too. It explains the rise of far-right nationalism, isolationism, and bigotry.

The great danger in all this is that liberalism (religious, political, and otherwise) has maybe over-played its hand a little too early in the game, and now we have an abreaction because there were too many people waiting in the shadows to reassert their core beliefs and make a power grab. The world isn't ready for that level of inclusiveness and compassion in our public conduct. It is still too tribal, to unaware and deliberately blinkered, too subjectively driven by negative emotion and threat avoidance and largely impervious to objectively positive indicators. Such people see threats everywhere, and upsides nowhere. Indeed, the only upsides they CAN see on their horizon of awareness is increasing conformity to dogma, and they have seen precious little of that of late.

I agree that it makes sense. I think it's actually quite likely that anti-liberal, pro-tribal forces are going to increase their power markedly over the next few years. When things get even shittier, they'll double down and say it's because there are still too many heretics and outsiders. Take their country back will morph into take their planet back, and we'll all be fucked.

Liberalism, tolerance, and attempts to expand "tribe" to include all humans, IMO, flourish and expand mostly in times of relative peace and prosperity. I don't see much of that in the near future.
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20-03-2017, 09:33 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
Thank God this is finally happening.
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