Will religion in the U.S. die out from....

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Seattle, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Will religion in the U.S. die out from increasing non-belief due to higher education or from a reduction in what it means to be religious? In other words will it recline/die from people just not believing anymore or from believing in name but behaving in such a progressive and non-literal manner that they effectively are not religious in any way other than name or self-identification?

    Many people just stop believing once they go to college and take science classes and also when they take comparative religion courses and actually learn more about various religions.

    Others, generally through education as well, just stop identifying with the religious establishment (which is generally not progressive) and act in the same progressive manner they would even if they weren't religious.

    They may vaguely believe in God and they may hope there is an afterlife but live as if there is not so in effect they are religious in name only.

    How do you see this playing out?

    Of course, the answer could be "both" regarding the two possibilities outlined above. They could begin as religious in name only and with passing generations drop even the religious in name only part.
     
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  3. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    There are strong signs it is progressing that way. For the reasons you mention & others. Gays will soon have the right to marry & many other legal rights they should have had all along. More & more people marry 2 or more times. More people cohabitate & more have sex before marriage or cohabitation. Not that there ever was a time when only a tiny number had sex before marriage. The more moral society becomes the more people will not be satisfied with the illusion of morals in religion & the more hypocrites will be discovered & lose followers. I suspect there will be some phases of slow progress & some phases of fast progress. I think we are at a point, in some countries, of each generation having more young people who are not brainwashed or who are able to resist it or who manage to break out of it in their late teens or early adulthood. Thru most of history, religion has had 98% of the influence on society & atheists were mostly not allowed free speech & that is 1 of the main reasons religion grew & grew. Now that it is so much safer for atheists to have their say, they are having much more influence. I think the last phase will be people barely clinging to belief in gods yet not in the veracity of collections of scripture & not in the condemning of people who do not believe the same. And a slow realization that whatever actual good is done with religion can be done without it. I think it will yet take a long while tho & many things could happen to cause it to go the other way again.
     
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  5. river

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    Americans are to self absorbed in themselves and religion for religion to die out
     
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It's true that atheism is weakly correlated with amount of higher education received. That leads to common atheist arguments that increasing higher education will lead to increased atheism. Maybe that's so. What's pointed out less often is that some forms of religious adherence are even more highly correlated with higher education than atheism is.

    I think that your second alternative is more likely the way that things are headed. I wouldn't call it a 'reduction' in what it means to be religious, so much as a 'broadening'.

    In the past, people tended to live in homogeneous communities where everyone around them adhered to the same broad religious tradition (Christian, Muslim or whatever) and typically the same denomination of that religion. People were born into their traditions, believed similar things and generally took it all for granted, like the air they breathed. In many places it's still like that.

    But in other places, like here in California, globalization and international migration has resulted in very mixed religious communities. There are probably adherents and even congregations of every religion on Earth (and 16 alien planets) within 20 miles of my house.

    So we are seeing more flexibility as people increasingly jump from one to another. Converts are common, immigrants converting to Christianity and Americans taking an interest in the immigrants' religions.

    And we find that more and more people are kind of constructing their own individual beliefs, a little of this, a little of that, from whatever they encounter that appeals to them. My own view is that this kind of religious eclecticism and individualism is probably the wave of the future and we will be seeing more and more of it as time goes on, in more and more places.

    The internet is facilitating that a lot. No matter where somebody is located, as long as they have an internet connection, all of the religious ideas on Earth are just a click away. So expect to see people drifting and deviating a lot more than they have in the past.
     
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    The Internet and social media are enabling young people to transcend their provincial and cultural roots. It is not uncommon to have friends and chatbuddies in countries on the other side of the globe, sharing ideas and perspectives that were once not available or even taboo. The sectarian and exclusive nature of one's inherited religion no long dominates the modern outlook, which now embraces tolerance and multicultural diversity as values for itself. Openness about sexuality is now so accepted that the religious prudery of old only elicits giggles and eyerolls. The place of the church or the synagogue, traditionally the nexus for socializing and gossip, has been usurped by an invisible global cybercommunity where "live and let live" is the sacred credo and God has about as much relevance and interest to the new generations as an old John Wayne movie does. Religion is simply becoming irrelevant in this age of instantaneous information retrieval and Wikipedia summaries. Information is the new deity, and one whose secularizing influence can be seen in cultures all over the world.

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/04/09/is-the-internet-killing-religion/
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  9. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    I've known & known of intelligent educated atheists & undereducated not so intelligent atheists. There is more than 1 factor, of course but it just makes good logical sense that the better educated someone is the less likely they will be or continue to be theist. The more truth someone learns the less lies they will believe & the less inspired they will be to try to spread lies.
     
  10. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

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    Correct.
     
  11. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

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    Well, since Jesus said He is with us always even to the end of the age, I see the continued presence of Christians among you (unbelievers)...at the end of this present age, I see the unbelievers of every generation absolutely terrified of what is coming upon them.

    I also see the US dying out as a nation due to what I term an 'intervention' if you will...
     
  12. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Well, since you cannot know what jesus said, IF he existed & there is no evidence he could possibly be with us now, you have not learned enough truth. 1 truth you should learn is that most atheists are not so easily terrified as most theists are. I will never be terrified of anything.
    Unfortunately, in Europe, Australia & North, Central & South America, it is yet a presence of atheists among christians. That is changing tho.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2014
  13. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Or an atheist. Education brings knowledge. Not sure how to believe/lack belief and know at the same time.
     
  14. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Is there anyone there with you who can translate that?
     
  15. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Just what you said.
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It's easy to believe in something based on evidence and to lack belief in something for which there is insufficient evidence.

    Knowledge and education includes understanding what not to believe.
     
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    One thing I find interesting/humorous and that is all the effort and mental gymnastics some theists are applying to science (evolution) to try to reconcile it with the Bible (creation) so that the Bible makes sense.

    As if the only thing in a reading of the Bible that doesn't make sense is the creation story as it applies to humans.

    I saw a link to an online Childrens Bible the other day and clicked on it just for a refresher of what the Bible actually says.

    Every other page in Genesis is inconsistent and makes no sense with the prior page (s). God makes light and then 3 days later makes the Sun and Moon.

    References to the heavens being made of water, God as a spirit and yet Cain hears his (God's) footsteps behind him in the Garden of Eden.

    Actually, just about every story in the entire Bible is this inconsistent. It's humorous that all that effort is being made with the concept of "Intelligent Design" to keep evolution from making the Bible look inaccurate

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    It's all internally inconsistent and inaccurate

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    Ultimately, as others have mentioned, the internet will play a large part in the ultimate decline and fall of religion. I'm sure there is a critical mass beyond while it's inevitable much like the fall of the Soviet Union and communism.
     
  18. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Tear down that wall!
     
  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    This may be so, but my query is more pertaining to omniscience. When all is known what is left to believe in? Time I guess.
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    That's one problem for theists when God is thought of only as the answer to things that we don't yet know. I think some people refer to that as "the God of the gaps".

    My view is that we don't need to "believe" in things in the sense that I think you mean to use here. What you are really saying is "what is left to have faith in" after all is known?

    "Faith" isn't some noble concept even though some try to to hold it out that way. Faith is pretending to know what you don't know so that's not really some noble concept that we need to hold on to.

    When all is known (if that ever happens) we will still be "believing". It's just that we will have sufficient evidence for everything that we believe. That's a good thing.

    There's nothing uplifting about having misplaced faith in something. There's nothing noble about continuing to believe in Santa Claus as an adult for example.
     
  21. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

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    You have a choice to make. Believe your own mind's apprehension/perceptions or believe what He tells you in His Word. It's as SIMPLE as that! If you choose to TRUST human limitation over God's infinite ability you will only have yourself to blame, no? I do agree with you that trying to reconcile the Bible with science is, in the case of creation in particular, humorous. The Bible is the only definitive account...everything else is speculation.
     
  22. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Cannot believe, choose or trust anything we do not know exists. Just cannot be done. There is no HisWord until "he" comes out of hiding & shows itself. That is how simple it is. "He" has not told me 1 damn thing. No gods have ever told me anything & I have no reason to think any might have told you anything.
    You have a choice if you can realize & admit it. You can waste your life in childish yet cruel fantasy trying to fool other fools into wasting theirs & being disturbed by those who cannot believe your bullshit or you can wake up, take off your godglasses, look into a mirror & start to grow up to face reality, try to be constructive & enjoy the only life you know for certain that you have.
    The bible is the definitive bullshit. It does not even qualify up to the level of speculation.
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I think you are right regarding Christianity being about taking it all on faith (without reason) or not believing.

    I chose to believe my own imperfect mind. This reminds me of a story (joke) told by Richard Pryor. He was at home, in the bedroom having sex with someone who wasn't his wife. His wife comes home and catches him red-handed.

    His response is "Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?"

    To me that is the Christian response in a nutshell

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    To put a finer point on it. Since we have an imperfect mind that mind is the same mind that "hears" God, writes Bibles, etc. So when you are reading what you know is non-sense rather than believe it because you think it comes from God...it doesn't. Because no matter what you belief is you know it didn't come directly from God (if such a thing existed) into your ear and even if that happened your "ear" is also imperfect.

    Unless you are God you, as a human, have no way of achieving perfect understanding.
     

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