Poll: What year do you think atheism will become the global majority
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What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
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09-09-2017, 04:10 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(09-09-2017 02:17 PM)Coveny Wrote:  Could you explain how these two are different:
1) a belief that god(s) doesn't exist
2) An absence in a believe that god(s) exists

To me it's a mutually exclusive dichotomy but maybe I'm missing the other options. You believe god(s) exist or you don't, the semantics of how you define the latter doesn't change the label.

Whether a god actually exists or not is a true dichotomy. Either one exists or one doesn't. What you believe about it is not a dichotomy. There are two claims:
1. at least one god exists
2. no god exists
If you don't accept that either claim has been sufficiently demonstrated then you have no belief regarding the existence of a god.

Quote:Or to put another way if you don't believe that something exists, then you must therefore believe that it doesn't exist...

Take a different example: Do you believe that there is intelligent life on another planet within 1000 light years of earth? From all we know it is possible but we have no actual evidence that there is. We also have no good evidence that there isn't. There may be none and there may be many. Which claim do you believe:
1. There is intelligent life on another planet relatively close to us
2. There are no other planets with intelligent life close to us
You might think one option is more likely to be true than the other but that doesn't mean you have to believe it to be true and it's reasonable to withhold belief because both claims are unproven.

Back to god, t also depends on the specific god in question... I believe that the xian god does not exist since the evidence of how and when the story was made up is fairly well documented and there are too many things that simply do not match reality. If somebody asks about some vague deistic god I have to say that, while I don't particularly see any need to postulate such a thing, I can't say it's been proven impossible. Of course, by the time you get to a definition of a god that might exist it has gotten so vague and disconnected as to be pointless to speculate about it.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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09-09-2017, 05:44 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(09-09-2017 02:17 PM)Coveny Wrote:  Could you explain how these two are different:
1) a belief that god(s) doesn't exist
2) An absence in a belief that god(s) exists

You're right; it's just playing with semantics. The intent of both statements is identical.

To answer the OP question: I'd guess that theism will never disappear totally from the planet. Witness the (alarming) growth of Islam, largely in underdeveloped and overpopulated countries, for example. It has to be measured on a country-by-country basis I think.

I selected 2040 as the most logical year for atheism to have "overtaken" religion here in Australia, as according to our 2016 federal census, atheism has now outnumbered each of the Roman Catholic and Anglican religions, and with Christianity v. atheism at roughly 52% v. 32% of our population. (The other 5 minor religions are each insignificant in numbers.)

So I'd be guessing—hoping—that the children of my current grandchildren (if I had any that is) would grow up as atheists.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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09-09-2017, 06:18 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(09-09-2017 04:10 PM)unfogged Wrote:  Do you believe that there is intelligent life on another planet within 1000 light years of earth? From all we know it is possible but we have no actual evidence that there is. We also have no good evidence that there isn't. There may be none and there may be many. Which claim do you believe:
1. There is intelligent life on another planet relatively close to us
2. There are no other planets with intelligent life close to us...

I'd have to disagree with this analogous choice. With regard to the possible existence of extraterrestrial physical entities, or sentient life, we're not talking about an imaginary, supernatural entity created solely in the minds of men and totally lacking in evidential support—such as God, or gods. Judging by our own scientific research that supports the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life, it's safe to presume that it is so.

NASA - Finding Life Beyond Earth is Within Reach — 4 August 2017

Men too created the notion of leprechauns, and we don't waste any time talking about their existence, or lack thereof. Tongue

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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09-09-2017, 06:25 PM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2017 07:39 PM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(09-09-2017 03:09 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  If there's a true testament of the death of atheism, is the retraction of atheism as the opposite of theism, stripping it of belief.

"Theism is broadly defined as the belief in the existence of a deity or multiple deities."

"Atheism is commonly understood as rejection of theism in the broadest sense of theism, i.e. the rejection of belief in a god or gods."

Both definitions are from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism

In other words, your variety of theism (Christianity) comes with all sorts of other beliefs too. However, atheism as opposed to theism of the broader definition does not, just as theism by that definition does not. So atheism is not a worldview or belief system, as religious people keep assuming.

What you really need to argue is that scientific materialism will someday disappear instead of becoming more widespread. But good luck with that one.
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09-09-2017, 06:56 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(09-09-2017 03:09 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Well unlike you, I do have conversations about religion with my acquaintances, plenty of them are non-religious. None of them are atheists. None of them believe that God does not exist. They're more or less confused, lost and bewildered, lacking a clear center, or any real sense meaning, all of which have evaded them.
I am not pushing the notion that "nones" (the religiously unaffiliated) are necessarily or even mostly atheists, as you suggest. I am mostly pointing out that atheism is still a label most can't face, but is a logical conclusion that isn't far behind when you realize that organized religion (1) has failed you and (2) does not speak to your needs or concerns. I mentioned one of my brothers; you can ask him questions in certain ways, in private, and he will admit he doesn't really literally believe in god. But at 71 he's not going to piss off his nominally Catholic wife, and challenge himself, by officially admitting to himself or anyone else that he doesn't. He admits it, provisionally, to me, because he trusts me.

In the US we are socialized to avoid discussing religion and often even politics, so the topic doesn't come up organically in polite conversation.
(09-09-2017 03:09 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The fact is that just because someone has trouble identifying with an organized religion, that they identify as non-religious doesn't make them atheists. Confused theists, and closeted are not atheists.
That was never remotely my contention.

My contention was that some people in churches don't believe. Whether they experience that as a "dark night of the soul" or are embracing it or somewhere in between, or whether they are just going through the motions for various reasons, doesn't change them into "confused theists" either. Yes, there are lots of confused theists, but atheists are not the outliers you'd like to think they are, either.

My wife and I attended an Episcopalian church a couple of Sundays ago. Neither of us believe. We didn't go for that reason. It was to socialize and seek out common cause, and likely to volunteer in their "feed the homeless" program. Proves my point.

Another fallacy is that all atheists react to church like a demon to a cross. I don't really care enough about liturgical extravaganzas to want to sit through them very often, but they have a certain beauty to them. I enjoy pipe organ music and the general atmosphere, for example.
(09-09-2017 03:09 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  In fact in my experience atheists have a hard time believe atheism, hence they reason that quite recently the stripped the label of belief, and sell it as a lack of belief. If there's a true testament of the death of atheism, is the retraction of atheism as the opposite of theism, stripping it of belief. They're only marginally better than theists who attempt sell christianity as not a religion, but a relationship, yada yada.
Interesting point of view, but this is not recent as near as I can tell. It's always been my position. I think atheists may just be getting more nuanced points across, and are less reactionary as they become more common.

Why must one declare a belief in order to be credible? If you want to know what I think by far most likely, it's that there are not invisible / supernatural beings and realms. That is functionally the same as unbelief. But ... it is not philosophically the same by any stretch. I'd believe if there were good reason to; I see no good reason, so I don't. I'm not anti-belief; I'm anti-belief-for-no-sound-reason.
(09-09-2017 03:09 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The thing that an atheists supposedly lacks a belief in (God) is not very narrow, it's actually quite encompassing and wide, and cast a long shadow. It requires a reimagining of the dominating religious worldview that pervades human life, to truly be an atheists, as opposed to some confused, or lost version of a theist.
I'm not suggesting it's not a profound sea change for a deconvert like myself, but that's mostly a group belonging, cultural factor than what I'm actually talking about, which is the philosophical perspective. It is lack of belief in one thing. Far broader than that, is that I am a person who does not belief the unsubstantiated, aka a skeptic, which closes me off to the failed epistemology of religious faith, sure, but also to a lot of other specious deepities.
(09-09-2017 03:09 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  For me to be an atheist, would require a quite expansive change in beliefs, and not just a believe in a single narrow thing as you put it.
It would require an expansive rethinking of the house of sand you've built your view of reality on, and what you've invested your ego in. But it all comes from a single realization: that there's no evidence for your beliefs. Small thing, big effects.
(09-09-2017 03:09 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Putting all the phony rationalizations provided by anonymous atheists on the internet, atheists hardly even exist. 8% of self-identifying atheists claim to also believe that God exists. And many of them, in my experience are just confused as to what it is they believe.
We are a small minority in terms of those who self-identify, and yes, as you point out, a small minority of those who self-identify don't understand what they're "embracing". As anyone who understands human nature might expect. I've never said anything else. All I'm saying is that there's a far stronger undercurrent of doubt and a huge lack of enthusiasm within theism and the only reason it isn't undermining religion far more than it is, is social inertia, installed taboos, the threat of one's social support system abandoning them. It isn't logic or compelling value propositions.
(09-09-2017 03:09 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  And I think you're out of touch if this is your belief. You should perhaps venture out and get acquainted with those friends of yours who don't talk with you about their beliefs. You project what you see here as representative of the larger shifts in the population. The reality outside these walls is vastly different.
It is quite possible that my introversion doesn't expose me to (1) more people with whom I (2) don't probe more assertively about their beliefs. On the other hand, the reason I don't probe is mostly because I'm indifferent about it. I don't care what subjective personal experiences or unsubstantiated beliefs they have, I care that they are kind, have integrity, and are worth knowing and trusting. In my experience, their religious beliefs have only a mild negative correlation with those factors, and between this and the fact that it's far easier to elicit opinions from people in a forum like this where they come here for the expressed purpose of discussing such matters ... well, I just don't ask. And they just don't ask me. Funny that.
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09-09-2017, 07:03 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(09-09-2017 01:49 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 01:41 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  In the real world the sort of atheists, that litter places like this forum, don't exist. I can go a good portion of my life in a popular US city, and never personally meet the type.

You would never know it if you did.
Because despite what many theists claim, we don't go around constantly discussing atheism. Many of them think that we can't go one day in our daily (IRL) lives without discussing it.
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09-09-2017, 07:39 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(09-09-2017 07:03 PM)Clockwork Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 01:49 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  You would never know it if you did.
Because despite what many theists claim, we don't go around constantly discussing atheism. Many of them think that we can't go one day in our daily (IRL) lives without discussing it.

People in general behave differently on the internet than off of it. Not just atheists.

This forum was made specifically for atheists to discuss their atheism and other concerns. It shouldn't be surprising that the people who come here do just that.
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09-09-2017, 07:54 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(07-09-2017 08:28 PM)Coveny Wrote:  For many years now I've felt like the world is losing its religion quite literally. Polls around the world show a trend of fewer and fewer theists. So much so that in some countries atheism is the majority. However on the global scale theism still dominates atheism. We do see the young are far less likely to be theists, and the numbers of atheists there lend support to my idea that theism is dying. So the question is this at what year do you think atheism will become the majority on the global stage?

> I agree with Bryan S. Humanity seems to have a genetic disposition toward religion or other irrational beliefs. Call me a cynic, but I also think that the majority of humans will never gain the intellectual honesty, integrity or courage to think for themselves. Dodgy
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09-09-2017, 10:19 PM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2017 11:05 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(09-09-2017 01:41 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  In the real world the sort of atheists, that litter places like this forum, don't exist. I can go a good portion of my life in a popular US city, and never personally meet the type.

You have no clue what sort of atheists exist in the real world.
You don't actually know even one. You admitted it here.
You sure do love to insult them. Jebus no likey that shit.

"Litter this forum" ? Really ? You really can't help your ugly self, can you ? Did they teach you that at your fake university, that insulting people is the way to bring them to Jebus ?

What are you doing here, with the litter, Tomato ?
.... Mr. I Don't Need No Jesus To Be A Christian. Facepalm
Your self-righteous hatred is quite amusing. It's like a tick you have.
I wish I could get me some religion and be all Jebus-like, like you.

Here we have someone SO UTTERLY confused, he says he can be a Christian with no Jesus. There IS NOT one of the 33,000 Christian cults that teach that. He's a lone nut-case, whistling in the wind, with his own private Jesus cult he made up himself, then self-righteously goes on and on about how superior that makes him.

The fact is, even 50 years ago, no one would even discuss publicly their unbelief. Atheists were considered "the enemy". Today the main character of one of THE most watched TV programs can declare her atheism on national TV, and no one bats an eye lash. Religions have been around for thousands of years as explanation and control myths. Science has been around a few hundred years. I'd say it's far too early to say anything about the subject ... but we know for sure, the god concept evolves with culture, and is far different now than it was even 100 years ago. If humans keep religion, they'll turn their gods into whatever their cultures value, just like they always have.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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09-09-2017, 11:43 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(07-09-2017 08:28 PM)Coveny Wrote:  For many years now I've felt like the world is losing its religion quite literally. Polls around the world show a trend of fewer and fewer theists. So much so that in some countries atheism is the majority. However on the global scale theism still dominates atheism. We do see the young are far less likely to be theists, and the numbers of atheists there lend support to my idea that theism is dying. So the question is this at what year do you think atheism will become the majority on the global stage?

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NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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