Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by John J. Bannan, Jul 19, 2007.
I thought there was a decreasing trend of theists, at least in the western world.
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There is.... 16% of the world's population are nonbelievers, compared to 33% Christianity and 21% Islam. I don't know what the statistics were a couple of hundred years ago but I'm almost positive there were alot more theists back than although I'm not exactly positive about that. I doubt they had many non-profit organizations doing religious statistical studies back then so I'm basing my post purely on assumption herePlease Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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By sheer numbers alone, Islam and Christianity must be in the lead, at least to keep up with their birth rates. Something to do with going forth and multiplying.
Atheism is increasing at a higher rate as it surpasses it's birth rate. Something to do with responsible family planning.
Converts to atheism as opposed to other religions are higher on a per capita basis in overall world population demographics.
imo. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Conversions are a shallow measure. People remain people, regardless of the religion they claim to follow.
Islam, the world's fastest growing religion.
Islam has the highest growth rate (1.84%), followed by the Bahai faith.
Interesting article. Also interesting to note is the source of birth rate statistics:
*Growth rates over the period from 2000 to 2005; all figures from the nondenominational World Christian Database, a project of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Also interesting to note is that they claim that "birthrates have stagnated" in the Christian population of Europe, yet "High birthrates and conversions in the global South" keep the growth rate relatively high.
"Islam also happens to be the fastest growing religion in Europe, where an influx of Muslim immigrants from North Africa, Turkey, and South Asia has sent shock waves into a mostly Christian and secular population whose birthrates have stagnated."
All in all, it would appear growth rates are driven primarily by birth rates. And if there were a sudden shift in birth rates amongst the Christian populations of Europe, Christianity might be running a close second behind Islam.
Islam seems to be driven by high birth rates and immigration with subsequent high birth rates.
Perhaps they should incorporate Family Planning into the Shariah? Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Those are two different things.
As for the most followers:
It's more or less a tie between Christianity and Islam in terms of sheer numbers- Christianity with some 2 billion, and Islam with 1.3 billion.
But, in actual "true believers", Islam, I suppose, takes the cake. A lot of Christians are lapsed somewhat.
But, "fastest growing" is an entirely different matter.
Hypothetically, if you have a religion that has, say, 200 members, and increases to 2000 the next year, it'd be growing at a 1000% rate, which is phenomenally fast, but insignificant in terms of sheer numbers,. If a religion that has 1,000,000 members in one year, and grows to 1,001,800 members by the next year, it will be shown as growing slowly, even though it is gaining the same number as the smaller one.
So, going by various sources, I'd say in terms of a theistic path which is fastest growing, Wicca and neopaganism are expanding at a rapid pace, with at least 780,000 followers in the US and Canada alone, and another few million worldwide- according to a 2005 poll, which can be viewed on adherents.com. These numbers are greatly expanded from the numbers shown in previous polls in 2000 and others in the 1990s.
In terms of non-theistic religions/philosophies, Humanism and secularism are increasing rapidly, and count some 1.2 billion people who identify as such. This is about 20% of the world population, which is increased from earlier poll results.
I find that people have a loyalty to ancestral religion that outlives faith. When I lived in the west of Scotland, I saw Protestants and Catholics come to blows even when they were both atheists. My background and professional life has brought me in contact with many Jews. For the majority, their loyalty to their tribe is not matched by religious belief.
Right now, Islam is the soar-away winner among religions, both in terms of population growth and conversions (chiefly from animism in Africa, Indonesia, etc). However, many bright young students, raised in Islam, now at western universities, retain a loyalty to Islam that is no longer matched by belief -- though they will rarely give this away. They cannot escape what their intelligence tells them: that people's faith is usually dictated by that of their parents. And once you have made that realisation, you begin to wonder! Their education gives them a scientific perspective that prises them away from naive credulousness.
On the other hand, let me say at once that many young muslims find many aspects of present western culture extremely disagreeable: shallow, selfish, hedonistic, and without cohesion or dignity. This strengthens the value they find in the teachings of Islam.
Islam is in the lead as the gradual disintegration of Christianity continues. But as to the winner: the next few decades will show whether credulous aspirational Islam can triumph over the moral desert of atheistic consumer secularism.
daoism is in the lead with being the most logical. all the other religions are wacky. but ofcourse daoism wont take the lead in numbers,
because it doesent sell you a false heaven or punish with a false hellfire.
Religion shouldnt be competitive to begin with. This is really a bad question if you ask me..
you have to compete to earn that money. the sales marketing reps from each religion have to offer the best deals.
islam is offering free virgins in the hereafter,
christianity has to up its game because they just offer the straigh heaven package, they need to throw in a few bitches.
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buddhism offers eternal suffering in a cycle of bullshit, that only ends if you are a highly advanced, ascended godlike being. (yeah that sounds great)
daoism offers you nothing, and tells you basicaly that you aint shit, and to deal with it, going with the flow of life. and that the mystery of the universe is so complex that your little mind wont ever grasp it.
hinduism offers you an amazing orgy of gods, but also a sneaky bastard called brahma that you cant see and is most likely watching you shower. it bears a resemblance to daoism witht he concept of the unseen formless brahma, but also has alot of funky gods for you to worship.
mormans are basicaly just stupid and offer you brain damage.
I like daoism the most Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
me too, but unlike other religions daoism cannot be settled on. you have to seek other knowledge after you understand dao. every other religion people stick with and think that is the limit to understanding and knowledge.
thats why i dont respect hardcore religious folk much, they dont look beyong thier own system and book, wich i pitty them for and feel sorry for them.
The reason for this is that both secular humanism and the monotheisms are limiting. The former tends to hypervalue what it calls reason and undervalue intuitive means of getting knowledge. The latter tend to limit unnecessarily behavior, women and children. Both tend to be wary of passion unless it is channeled in very specific, limited areas. With Wicca and neopaganism you find vastly less judgements about the body and body functions, the expression of emotion, and the possible ways to gain knowledge about the world.
The vast trend towards secular humanism was a good one. It helped reduce the damaging effects of the self-hate/hatred of The Other religions. Now, having had time to question and feel our distaste for these strange, mean-spirited and nature-hating religions, many people are finding that they want to step out again and explore the full range of themselves and the world without the mental shackles of secular humanism. (mind forged manicles, a la Blake.)
or capitalism. (and/or)
Even though it's not technically a religion, I'd have to say atheism. (Taoism is not a religion either).
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