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LogicalFallacy

Religion is Dying in the USA

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Hi peeps

 

I follow a British guy called Noel Plum on youtube who has some excellent (IMO) videos on a range of subjects.

 

In this one he covers the declien of religiosity in the USA. Thought this might particularity interest our members in the USA.

 

For a reference point, latest figures show that NZ is no longer a Christian majority country with only 38.6% being Christian. 48.6% declare no religion (Though some of those might believe in God. So total religious people are 51.4% but I expect total religiosity to drop below 50% by the next census. I think according to Noel the UK is even further down the track of lack of religiosity.

 

 

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I am glad the societies are advancing beyond stage blue of the spiral (reference: Spiral Dynamics).

 

Organized religion, although, is gaining ground in the third world countries. I have read about missionaries coming in to Europe/US from the third world countries now :)

But my theory is that this won't last long. The third world countries have always looked up to Europe/US and once they realize that religion is dying/died in the first world, it won't be too long before they come to a realization that organized religion is what keeps people's progress stunted.

 

Question - What is the deal with burying a body after death? This is an Abrahamic religion practice...I read somewhere that the bodies are buried so that they can be 'resurrected' during the 'second coming'. Is this the basic reason? If so, another nail in the 'coffin' is the fact that Americans are progressively moving towards cremation given the fact that burying is way more expensive; both environmentally and pocket-wise.

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I think the main reason bodies are buried is that they rot, and may be contagious.  The same goes for animals.  But the early church seemed to have some sort of belief in the resurrection of the body.  Jesus in John 5:


“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”


Several passages in the epistles refer to our bodies being transformed at the resurrection.  Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 comes right out and says we will have spiritual bodies:


“The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.  It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.  It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”


I think most evangelical types today would interpret all this figuratively, that it is our spirits that are resurrected, not the physical body.  But the catholic church still believes in bodily resurrection; it forbade cremation for centuries, and even now teaches that the ashes must be treated like a body, in a cemetery.


Just fyi, if you are talking to a christian who believes that we will be spirits in the afterlife, point out that the bible says we will still have bodies, and quote the spiritual body passage to them.  Even back in the christian days, when I would do this, educated believers would sometimes look at me like I was some sort of kook.

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In the US, church affiliation is declining, but that doesn't necessarily mean belief in a God is declining. A growing number of people in the US describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious".

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28 minutes ago, Orbit said:

In the US, church affiliation is declining, but that doesn't necessarily mean belief in a God is declining. A growing number of people in the US describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious".

'I found out that I wasn't. I was reclaiming my humanity. With the help of Antlerman in the spirituality forum, I sorted through these fears and came out the other side with a healthy spirituality that involves meditation. I learned that religion doesn't own the very real spiritual feelings humans have, which are just as natural as any other emotion. I learned to separate religion from spirituality, and that has made all the difference. I'm past railing at Christianity now, and have found my way forward. I hope that my story helps others, especially lurkers, who think there is something wrong with them because their story isn't typical. There is no one way to peace'

 

This is from your extimony. If being 'spiritual but not religious' leads people to align with the above thinking, I think it is a good thing.

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10 hours ago, Orbit said:

In the US, church affiliation is declining, but that doesn't necessarily mean belief in a God is declining. A growing number of people in the US describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious".

   

An interesting development. If religion is declining in the US, we still have a long way to go. It is estimated that the US that 78 percent of the population is Christian. So to get to even 50 percent Christian, if my math is right, we'd have to see about 87 million people drop out of Christianity to get to that level.* I don't see that happening.

 

 

_________________

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religions_by_country#North_America . (I think the math is wrong for the actual number. The percentage looks correct.)

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So where he's talking about how there are age tendencies where people tend towards the right in politics, but not necessarily religion, I see support for the idea that we may face a more and more non-religious right in the future.

 

There will be a right. Aging in of itself lends credit to it's existence as he pointed out. But it will likely be a much more non-religious version of the right. Certainly an increasingly less christian religious right, as christianity consistently declines in polls. And none's, agnostics and atheist's continue to rise. The result would logically be a less religious version of the right over time. 

 

@Bhim has discussed this before in terms of himself as an example. 

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For me the most significant point he makes (around 26:30 to 27:30) in the video is the one about people who identify as Christian but are not deeply committed, who are likely to leave their religion behind altogether as the stigma of being a non-believer declines.  The devout will always be with us, but when lukewarm believers give themselves permission to abandon faith, the results can be huge, because there are a lot of them, and their doing so will result in ever large numbers of their children being raised without religious indoctrination.  That’s the best part about this.  

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This is a rather good discussion on the topic. It's a lengthy vid but well worth it if you're interested in the often discussed topic of atheists still going to church and how the number of church membership rolls does not reflect how much America believes in God. 

 

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On 2/2/2020 at 7:17 PM, Joshpantera said:

So where he's talking about how there are age tendencies where people tend towards the right in politics, but not necessarily religion, I see support for the idea that we may face a more and more non-religious right in the future.

 

There will be a right. Aging in of itself lends credit to it's existence as he pointed out. But it will likely be a much more non-religious version of the right. Certainly an increasingly less christian religious right, as christianity consistently declines in polls. And none's, agnostics and atheist's continue to rise. The result would logically be a less religious version of the right over time. 

 

@Bhim has discussed this before in terms of himself as an example. 

 

Thanks for the tag Josh. I think we are in fact seeing what you are observing. Back when I was a fundamentalist Christian (and ironically, politically left-wing), I would have found the idea of a non-religious right to be absurd. I have now found that with a small number of exceptions (not even including abortion and gay rights) the political right in the West has very little basis in Christianity. Indeed, it was the election of the very un-Christian Donald Trump who made me realize that one can be politically conservative without being remotely Christian. I have noticed the emergence of a non-religious right in the West, and I look forward to its evolution.

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I think saying you are spiritual but not religious usually means non affiliated religion. :)

     It is a lot of semantics. Atheists believe in higher powers. I think most atheists believe that jupiter, the planet, not the god, has a whole lot more power than the entire earth. I mean it has moons similar to earth, no ? :) By the way jupiter the planet seems way more powerful than jupiter the god. 

     Religion means many things so non religious also means many things. Note to self , more study of linguistics and philospphy of language.

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On 2/1/2020 at 1:26 PM, Orbit said:

In the US, church affiliation is declining, but that doesn't necessarily mean belief in a God is declining. A growing number of people in the US describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious".

 

Church affiliation in decline doesn't necessarily mean belief in god is in decline, but belief in god is in decline regardless. Atheism is on the rise along side of church decline. So the two have been running parallel, even though atheist do not make up the majority of "none's." 

 

On 2/3/2020 at 12:18 PM, florduh said:

It's a lengthy vid but well worth it if you're interested in the often discussed topic of atheists still going to church and how the number of church membership rolls does not reflect how much America believes in God. 

 

Good watch. Relevant points to the discussion. Mainly how many people who are still in churches, or like Julia at UU, will answer as church attendee's on a survey. But they don't believe in god or at least consider themselves agnostic. Taking that in account is part of the reason why I have thought that the polls are extremely conservative when it comes to how many non-believers and agnostics are really out there. Atheists and agnostics are among both the "none's" and the religious affiliated, in reality. So we have no firm way of putting real numbers to atheist's and agnostics at this point in time. We'd have to have the survey's set up differently and people would have to answer honestly, even from the church attendee side. 

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The comments above lead me to thinking about how Christianity seems to be the default position here in the US. It seems to me that when people talk to each other about philosophical topics, they are more likely to ask, "Which church do you go to?" than to even suggest that the other person might not be a church goer. And, as someone suggested in another thread here, what happens to an atheist who lives in a community that is very heavily Christian, such as some of the southern states, if that person comes out? It has been noted on this forum that there are groups out there who would do violence to such a person. 

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23 hours ago, older said:

what happens to an atheist who lives in a community that is very heavily Christian, such as some of the southern states, if that person comes out? It has been noted on this forum that there are groups out there who would do violence to such a person.

 

That would be me, for one. It's more of a business issue down here than violence, though. I don't know anyone off hand foolish enough to try and go there in terms of violence, whether about atheism or anything else. But it could lead to people not doing business and that could be a worse case scenario. 

 

That's another reason why religious decline is something I pay attention to. Not long ago it seemed way off and a pipe dream (pun intended) that Florida would vote in medical marijuana. But then it happened. Regardless of the religious conservatives. Big changes in religious views are probably not too far off, either. Just a guess. Some think yes some think no. Same as speculating about marijuana just 5-10 years ago. But here we are.....

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On 2/10/2020 at 8:56 PM, Joshpantera said:

 

Church affiliation in decline doesn't necessarily mean belief in god is in decline, but belief in god is in decline regardless. Atheism is on the rise along side of church decline. So the two have been running parallel, even though atheist do not make up the majority of "none's." 

 

@Joshpantera, we've discussed in the past how religion may be an evolutionary adaptation, and thus is something that can't be entirely eschewed by most people in the short term. Since I'm the guy who makes everything about Trump, I'll venture into forbidden territory: do you think that far-left ideologies like Climate Justice (note that I did not say climate science) are replacing religion among Western atheists?

 

About a decade ago when I was in grad school, noted climate skeptic and physicist Dr. William Happer gave a colloquium at my physics department. As you know I did my doctoral work at a mainstream public university, staffed almost entirely by atheists. So obviously he was severely heckled, and I think the department invited him in the interest of encouraging debate, rather than due to any endorsement of his alternative theories. I should also state that I don't personally agree with his projections regarding climate change (mostly because I am not sufficiently familiar with the literature to criticize the projections of climate scientists). But in his talk, he had a slide entitled "why do the nations so furiously rage?" Being a Christian at the time, this of course caught my attention. He pointed out that climate change was becoming a sort of secular religion among many non-religious people. Even one of my staunchly atheist friends expressed sympathy for this point of view.

 

I didn't give it much thought at the time. But now in 2020, in the age of Trump and of Trump Derangement, I'm giving the notion of secular religion a second thought. I am surprised at the number of scientifically-illiterate people who not only express vociferous support for political agendas based on climate change, but who dedicate much of their life to the Climate Justice movement. As an astrophysicist I recognize that one must have a strong familiarity with mathematics, statistics, and the relevant literature in order to be conversant in my own field, and I know that the same is true of climate science. That's why I hesitate to form opinions on climate science, and generally accept that the published, peer-reviewed science is correct. Yet there is a large number of people who espouse support for Climate Justice and who make claims that are not supported by climate scientists, including the belief that the world is ending in ten years and that it is necessary to abstain from beef. The latter is interesting because I abstain from beef (indeed all meat) out of a religious adherence to Hinduism. The Climate Justice adherents have replicated my practice via an entirely different belief system. The former is interesting because it is reminiscent of evangelical belief in the rapture. I used to challenge believers in the rapture to sell me their houses at a fraction of the cost of purchase. I could just as well offer the same challenge to Climate Justice believers. If you believe that President Trump is ending the world in ten years via climate change, you should sell me your house for whatever reasonable price I am willing to offer you, since you won't be needing it for very long.

 

It seems to me that the human need to believe in gods has resulted in the pseudoscientific Climate Justice movement. I don't see how those of us who are committed to secularism can treat it differently than we do evangelical Christianity. The latter has caused us more personal harm and loss. But the former harbors the same potential for political and social persecution. It even has its own indulgences in the form of "carbon credits" (note: I realized this analogy independently before I heard it stated by conservative commentators). Let me be clear in that I don't see Climate Justice advocates torturing men in dungeons as the original inquisitors did. But they do often seek to economically harm dissenters by terminating the employment of anyone who doesn't believe in an imminent apocalypse or substantive lifestyle changes. It seems to me that for Western atheists, Climate Justice offers a reasonable alternative to Jesus Christ for those who crave a religious paradigm.

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27 minutes ago, Bhim said:

@Joshpantera, we've discussed in the past how religion may be an evolutionary adaptation, and thus is something that can't be entirely eschewed by most people in the short term. Since I'm the guy who makes everything about Trump, I'll venture into forbidden territory: do you think that far-left ideologies like Climate Justice (note that I did not say climate science) are replacing religion among Western atheists?

 

I think it's undeniable. 

 

36 minutes ago, Bhim said:

As an astrophysicist I recognize that one must have a strong familiarity with mathematics, statistics, and the relevant literature in order to be conversant in my own field, and I know that the same is true of climate science. That's why I hesitate to form opinions on climate science, and generally accept that the published, peer-reviewed science is correct. Yet there is a large number of people who espouse support for Climate Justice and who make claims that are not supported by climate scientists, including the belief that the world is ending in ten years and that it is necessary to abstain from beef.

 

It's religious-like because it's become a bandwagon. People pour the same type of attitudes into many bandwagons, including religion. It's just that most recognize these attitude more as "religious" than anything else. I think they run a lot deeper than religion. It has to do with the human psyche in my view, which is then applied to bandwagon appeals like religion and politics. 

 

@LogicalFallacy has spent considerable time trying to separate the differences between the actual science and what the masses have misrepresented about the actual science. Which is an admirable venture in my view. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 

@LogicalFallacy has spent considerable time trying to separate the differences between the actual science and what the masses have misrepresented about the actual science. Which is an admirable venture in my view. 

 

Also possibly a futile venture. AOC says the world will end in 10 years... My parents then say that's wrong therefore all climate science is wrong and its just about research grants to make scientists rich.

.

.

.

and I'm like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

 

Wall please

:banghead:

 

Thank you kindly.

 

Another one is "Al Gore said"

 

For the last time, I do not give two fucks about what Al Gore said.

 

Or "Stuff News reported"

 

Again... do they link their article to a peer reviewed paper? No? Then it's pointless opinion. I don't care what the media reports if they cannot link credible sources.

 

I tend to agree with Bhim that maybe instead of religious behaviours going away they are just morphing into the newest fancy thing: Climate, Veganism/Animal Welfare/ Social Justice. Listening to moderate voices on each of these topics is quite thought provoking. Listening to the extremes is just painfully head banging stuff.

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6 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Also possibly a futile venture. AOC says the world will end in 10 years... My parents then say that's wrong therefore all climate science is wrong and its just about research grants to make scientists rich.

.

.

.

and I'm like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

 

Wall please

:banghead:

 

Thank you kindly.

 

Another one is "Al Gore said"

 

For the last time, I do not give two fucks about what Al Gore said.

 

Or "Stuff News reported"

 

Again... do they link their article to a peer reviewed paper? No? Then it's pointless opinion. I don't care what the media reports if they cannot link credible sources.

 

I tend to agree with Bhim that maybe instead of religious behaviours going away they are just morphing into the newest fancy thing: Climate, Veganism/Animal Welfare/ Social Justice. Listening to moderate voices on each of these topics is quite thought provoking. Listening to the extremes is just painfully head banging stuff.

 

It's discrediting to valid issues, basically. 

 

I guess this is one of the dark sides of religious decline. It's sort of biting us all in the ass. Morons trying to speak on behalf of the secular and irreligious. The only way to combat this is to engage THEM in debate and make clear that they don't speak for us all. That's what I have to do all the time on many different conservation and environmental groups that I belong to. Constantly pull, cite and refer back to the relevant study or data that they have quote mined for some confirmation bias related purpose. Completely missing the point of the actual study a lot of the time. Just like quote mining the bible out of context......

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Douglas Murray madness of crowds. He also makes the argument that sjw type extreme thinking is the first new serious contender for a systematic replacement of religion. I mean safe space equals sacred space in a way. 

      PS. It has been the warmest ever summer in recorded memory for me, in Romania. Was getting worried. Aske my grandmother of 86 if this ever happened before expecting a sure no . Got a yes. Go figure. :)

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