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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11-09-2017, 07:11 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(11-09-2017 04:12 PM)SYZ Wrote:  According to a Sperling's BestPlaces 2017 report, 49.46% of the people in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are religious, meaning they affiliate with a religion. Does this not imply that 50.54% have no religion, and that a large proportion of them may be atheists? [....]

I'm not sure from where you got this 1% figure for the US (citation?) but according to a 2017 Pew Report - Religion Landscape Study, the non-religious breakdown for the US is as follows:

Sample size —35,000 across 50 states,

Atheist 3.1%
• Agnostic 4.0%

• Nothing in particular 15.8%
• Don't know 0.6%

These figures could possibly imply that up to 19.5% of the US population may in fact be atheist (excluding agnostics).

Non-religious does not equal atheism.I used the 2009 Pew report for the 1%, but let's go with that 3% number. Even among those 3% of atheist, about 8% of these self identifying atheists believe in God, with varying degrees of certainty according to your own pew survey. There's a decent portion of self-identiying atheists, who are admittingly confused theists, who actually confess to believing in God.

My argument is if you actually go out there, with an understanding of historical forms of theism, and ask this 20% questions as to what it is they believe, what you find is abundance of confused theists. Studies revealing teleological tendencies in people, the believe that things happen for a reason, etc,, moral views, etc.. often reveal the long shadow of theism, which is often concealed in surveys which ask a series of very superficial questions.

Is quite easy to say you don't believe in God, if your idea of God is some sort of bearded white man in the sky that grants wishes. Just as it's quite easy for some christians to believe that Christianity is not a religion, by believing that legalism and religion are one and the same. In survey of european countries, the half that claim to not believe in God, say they believe in a higher power, or life force, or on other words some form of pantheism, thereby being theists as well.

Quote:I really think you're splitting hairs here Tom: If you don't "believe in God" or gods, then by common definition you are an atheist.

Saying you don't believe in God doesn't equate to you not believing in God. Just like those christians saying that they don't subscribe to religion, doesn't equate to them not having a religion. If you subscribe to beliefs that fall under the wide variety of historically theistic perspectives, you're not an atheist, no matter how much you want to believe otherwise. You're just confused.

Quote:Please define a "good amount". This phrase is what's known as weasel words used when one can't cite actual figures, or an accredited citation. So... 300 or 30 people?

The popular means of surveying religious beliefs is a simple survey, that's ask a few surface level questions, but lack any in depth interview of their subjects, which is what would be needed here. A man of my means, who has lived all across the country, and many friends from variety of demographics, all I can do is rely on those who I get to speak with at this level, I'd say maybe 30-40 people, who I think as whole are better representatives of the non-religious, than folks here, many of them family members, close friends, people I've been in a relationship with, etc.... products of that particular zeitgeist. I can find ancillary support in studies of teleological beliefs, belief in life forces, etc.....

The only way at this point, that you're really going to gain some understanding of what most non-religious people believe, is by speaking in depth with them. And the reality, which you're more than welcome to go out and survey yourself, is that they're more confused than anything else, even more confused than those God believing atheists.


Quote:And there is no such thing as a "confused" theist; you either believe in the existence of gods or you don't. It's a simple choice, and doesn't or can't lead to any confusion.

Even plenty of people here indicate that they themselves have trouble understanding what the term God means, and these are people that identify as atheists. If you don't understand what it is your suppose to lack a belief in, you can't really say whether you believe in it or not. A confused theist is someone who doesn't understand the historical forms of theism, that have been around for thousands of years, in a multitude of shapes, and as a result can't identify himself as such, even though in reality he subscribes to those beliefs.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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11-09-2017, 07:58 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(11-09-2017 07:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  There's a decent portion of self-identiying atheists, who are admittingly confused theists, who actually confess to believing in God.

That's a pretty good post TommieSan, but you gonna have to substantiate the bolded part. I didn't see that as part of the questionnaire.

#sigh
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11-09-2017, 07:59 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(11-09-2017 07:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(11-09-2017 04:12 PM)SYZ Wrote:  I really think you're splitting hairs here Tom: If you don't "believe in God" or gods, then by common definition you are an atheist.

Saying you don't believe in God doesn't equate to you not believing in God.

This is just playing with semantics mate. And this kind of pseudo-philosophy doesn't impress me at all anyway.

Quote:Even plenty of people here indicate that they themselves have trouble understanding what the term God means, and these are people that identify as atheists.

Nope. No atheist here has any trouble understanding what the term "god" means (with a small 'g' BTW.) We all know that it's just term that signifies a mythical, fantasy figure drawn from the fertile imaginations of ancient men who had no real comprehension of the mechanics of the world around them.

Quote:If you don't understand what it is your suppose to lack a belief in, you can't really say whether you believe in it or not.

Uh....? This is absolutely illogical. Leprechauns? Fairies? Unicorns? Or do you seriously not understand them too.

It's become more than obvious that you have no real answers in order to explain the currently increasing rate of atheism on a global basis Tom. Or the dramatic decline in Christianity over the last century. You've been trying to muddy the waters with arguments over definitions of atheism and believers and gods, splitting hairs, and playing with semantics. Religion is dying a slow and painful death—get over it matey.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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11-09-2017, 08:00 PM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2017 08:03 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(11-09-2017 07:58 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(11-09-2017 07:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  There's a decent portion of self-identiying atheists, who are admittingly confused theists, who actually confess to believing in God.

That's a pretty good post TommieSan, but you gonna have to substantiate the bolded part. I didn't see that as part of the questionnaire.

And tell me TommyLad, do you consider yourself an example of an unconfused theist?

#sigh
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11-09-2017, 08:00 PM
What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(11-09-2017 07:58 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(11-09-2017 07:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  There's a decent portion of self-identiying atheists, who are admittingly confused theists, who actually confess to believing in God.

That's a pretty good post TommieSan, but you gonna have to substantiate the bolded part. I didn't see that as part of the questionnaire.


It’s on the chart titled “Belief in God Among Atheist”.


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"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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11-09-2017, 08:04 PM (This post was last modified: 11-09-2017 08:15 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(11-09-2017 08:00 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(11-09-2017 07:58 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  That's a pretty good post TommieSan, but you gonna have to substantiate the bolded part. I didn't see that as part of the questionnaire.


It’s on the chart titled “Belief in God Among Atheist”.

Thanks. Checking. ... I did like a ctrl-F on "confused" and it wasn't found. ... Trying again to double-check. ... Double-checked. Can't find it. Give me a more specific link, please. Where did you find the word "confused" in there? .. Like post withdrawn until you substantiate your shit.

#sigh
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11-09-2017, 08:18 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(08-09-2017 09:46 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  Never. The religious are pretty good at fucking without contraception and spreadin' the stupid.

The bulk of them -globally speaking- couldn't afford contraception:poverty + inequality = religion.

Inequality will do it on its own.
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11-09-2017, 08:29 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
Theist and atheist deal with a belief in god, and this is a line in the sand. To say that you are agnostic is just a copout in my opinion. If you "don't know" then you don't "believe", so you're an athiest, but that's a bad word baby eater people don't want to be associated with.

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11-09-2017, 08:31 PM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
(11-09-2017 08:29 PM)Coveny Wrote:  Theist and atheist deal with a belief in god, and this is a line in the sand. To say that you are agnostic is just a copout in my opinion. If you "don't know" then you don't "believe", so you're an athiest, but that's a bad word baby eater people don't want to be associated with.

[Image: atheist-agnostic-quadrant.jpg]

nihilism - I don't believe in shit. ... wait, I only believe in shit. .... something like that. Smile

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12-09-2017, 01:44 AM
RE: What date do you estimate atheism will overtake theism in the world population
This is largely in reply to Tomasia’s question about why religion is declining in the West and what we can infer about the reasons for the rise of Christianity in China. It’s a long post. You can skip to the next and last paragraph if it’s TL: DR.

Religion needs three things to live long and prosper: socialisation, inequality and poverty. The first two beat the third by a country mile in terms of religion’s need.

Religion relies on socialisation, and every society usually has a dominant religion in the mix. It’s a highly visible, ever present cultural backdrop you’re born into. Sometimes it’s in the foreground, sometimes a little further back, but it’s always there. You drive through neighbourhoods and there are places of worship. The paraphernalia that goes with the major religions and their holidays is seen everywhere on the streets and in the shops. It’s the same all over the world. The religion’s stripe varies from place to place, but it’s the same animal, or at best same genus, different species.

When I was growing up, every Christmas and Easter meant religious movies. You couldn’t escape them. You couldn’t escape belief in god/Jesus/the Resurrection/Heaven if you tried. You still can’t. Your culture immerses you in it from the moment you’re born. The holidays movies aren’t so heavy on overt religion nowadays, thankfully, but they still reinforce the significance of those holidays, the idea that they are special, more important and meaningful than other holidays: any child who asks about those chocolate eggs will be told the Christian myth, any child who watches any family movie made for the season who hears the line about "the true meaning of Christmas " and asks about it will be told the Christian myth. It doesn’t matter if the myth is prefaced with the words " some people believe". All the signs - the churches, the tinsel, the Easter eggs, the crucifixes in the jewellers, the Christmas cards and "the true meaning of Christmas" line in the movie - make it seem to the child that it’s not "some people", it’s "all people": god is a given. No reflection goes into it, no critical thinking or questioning. It just IS. Religion endures.

Take all the symbols away - all the buildings and all the cultural props- and it wouldn’t. It would disappear. Killed stone dead by sheer lack of interest. We can conclude this by the fact that the Christian religion doesn’t thrive in Muslim majority countries and vice versa. No cultural props, you see. No ringing endorsement of ( insert god of choice here). There’s your evidence. In the West, we’re observing what happens when you tone down those cultural props just a little. Religion fades away. Throw multiculturalism in to the mix where you get a veritable smorgasbord of religions to try before you buy and it fades away PDQ. There’s some more evidence.


Why is Christianity growing so quickly in mainland China?

Well let’s look at this excerpt from a report on the phenomenon from the Catholic News Agency:

“According to Stark, religious conversion occurs primarily through social networks, and so is “invisible” to government officials. He holds that Chinese living in rural areas are more likely than city dwellers to be Christian, because their social ties are stronger, and thus Christianity can be transmitted there more easily.”

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/w...ina-57545/
So there you go: it’s socialisation.

What else do we know? Well, we know China’s One Child policy produced an overwhelmingly male population:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-china-o...V720150121
and we know Christianity - particularly Catholicism- is patriarchal, so we can see the appeal. There might not be a wife in your future, but perhaps there can be a bishopric one day?

We know China’s Economic Miracle was a largely urban phenomenon that skipped the rural areas. The place is just so big and the population so large. There’s a lot of inequality in China. Rich, highly educated urban dwellers, not-highly educated, poor rural labourers.

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&sourc...zD7QqoUAiA

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-13945072

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/china-is...ally-poor/

Where you find inequality you’ll find religion – I’ve posted links about it elsewhere in this thread. And when there’s poverty as well, when this life is one of suffering where you struggle while the rich get richer, you’ll cling to the notion of divine justice and plenty in the next, wont you? It makes you feel better. The meek shall inherit the earth, easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, and all that. Comforting words. Reinforces the status quo beautifully, but still comforting if you're copping the sharp end of the stick.


And what do we know about the Chinese education system? Well, we know it was completely authoritarian. We know the best and brightest were placed on study paths according to state needs, not personal interest or inclination, and we know it was still happening in 1988. We know this because one of the world’s best palaeontologists, Xu Xing, told us about it:

https://www.nature.com/news/china-s-dino...er-1.11352

And we know it’s test results driven, there’s a lot of inequality and the pressure on students is enormous:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/c-m-rubin/...84162.html

https://www.chinasource.org/resource-lib...-education

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/2015061...arent-army


I’m not disparaging China’s achievements – they are astounding and China continues working to lift its people out of poverty ( while simultaneously permitting extremes of wealth and income inequality, unfortunately, in the name of “ entrepreneurship”) – but it’s not exactly the poster child for free thinking, liberal education, is it? And it wouldn’t be my trump card if I were a Christian/person of faith, either.

I’d look elsewhere in strongly egalitarian social democracies with a comprehensive social wage and extensive public services for citizens welfare, like Denmark, Finland or the Netherlands if I was a Christian/person of faith looking for a trump card to evidence the benefits of religion. Oops! They have the largest atheist populations, don’t they? How remarkable! There’s your most compelling piece of evidence of all.
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