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

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

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    4,888
    I guess that most forms of education include some of that.

    But the criteria for what should be accepted and rejected that students are taught aren't always going to be in agreement or even relevant in many cases.

    There's all sorts of religious education after all. In Christian countries theological schools award countless doctorates each year. Analogous forms of religious education exist in other religious traditions.

    And most fields of secular study aren't going to be directly relevant to evaluating religious beliefs and practices one way or the other.

    I believe that I was the first one in this thread to mention the effects that the internet might be having on religion generally. But I most emphatically do not believe that the internet will bring about the ultimate decline and fall of religion. The internet is unlikely to have very much effect on the underlying prevalence of human religiosity at all.

    What it will do is greatly expand the variety of cultural influences that everyone is exposed to. People won't just be born into a single homogeneous religious community and accept that community's beliefs by default. What we are likely to see is a growing religious individualism and eclecticism as people choose from what's available in the world's spiritual supermarket. It's interesting to speculate about what forms that might take. I expect a great increase in the so-called 'new age' forms of spirituality that take fragments of different traditions according to taste, and fit them together like puzzle pieces into new combinations (perhaps packaged as the secrets of the ancients). That will only grow as the cultural mixing associated with globalization proceeds.

    The prevalence of atheism will probably grow as well, but I don't expect it to ever become the majority view. The underlying propensity towards religiosity is probably too deeply engrained in the human psyche for that to ever happen.
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    If religion, in any form, doesn't ultimately fade away I think it's only to the extent that ignorance/myth/superstition isn't completely eliminated by education. There will always be those in any society who are less educated.

    Once there is less cultural pressure to "believe" then the natural scepticism that most people initially have will greatly reduce those who find an appeal to "faith" based philosophies.

    If more people are left alone to freely think then the "New Age" forms of superstition won't ultimately do any better than traditional religion (and for the same reasons).
     
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