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Christianity 'could die out within a century' - Comments

Bruno's Avatar Comment 2 by Bruno

I would like to see the results of the same poll done in the U.S.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 17:45:00 UTC | #187379

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

Well good luck with this, I won't hold my breath.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 17:45:00 UTC | #187378

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 3 by prettygoodformonkeys

The Telegraph:

Buddhism however, proved more attractive than both Islam and Judaism, and was chosen by nine per cent of those questioned.

Aish ...said the results of the YouGov poll of 2,000 people were alarming.

"It clearly demonstrates that religion, including Judaism, is becoming unattractive to the British public.
Widely accepted that the fundamentals of Buddhism are not 'religious'. Interesting.

Telegraph again:
In contrast, the number of actively religious Muslims is predicted to increase from about one million today to 1.96 million in 2035.
Let's hope there is a firm stance on the non-religious side by this time, to counter the growing craziness.....

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 17:52:00 UTC | #187381

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 4 by mordacious1

It's one of those "If the mountain won't come to mohammad..." things.

If islamic nations can't get nuclear weapons, then they will get a nuclear nation and turn it islamic".

Crap, I sound like Fanusi

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 17:56:00 UTC | #187383

bachfiend's Avatar Comment 5 by bachfiend

We really couldn't be that lucky.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 18:23:00 UTC | #187387

TeraBrat's Avatar Comment 7 by TeraBrat

We could all be dead in 100 years (the human race).

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 18:37:00 UTC | #187391

8teist's Avatar Comment 6 by 8teist

Irrational beliefs will never die,once this current batch of religobabbles have done their dash something else will have sprung forth to separate the gullible from their cash and offer them life eternal.
I think we should get in first and start the Church of the Blue Suede shoes ,Elvis as our saviour, hounddog our gospel, you all know Elvis aint dead.
Alternatively Mick and Keef ,I quite enjoy grovelling at the altar of THE ROLLING STONES.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 18:37:00 UTC | #187390

AoClay's Avatar Comment 8 by AoClay

It strengthens a lot of Christians beliefs for sure (if only the Muslims were Christians, tsk tsk), and it's sad how bad they are at realizing the common ground they share with those idiots.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 18:53:00 UTC | #187392

Shuggy's Avatar Comment 9 by Shuggy

It'll be a worry if Christianity and Judaism die out leaving Islam as the only monotheism. Islam's quite triumphalist enough already. They need each other to show their adherants that there are other ways of being monotheists (since we're never going to be fast enough at weaning them of that one god too many). It'll be like the Magisterium of Lyra's world in the His Dark Materials series. In a way, a world-wide California of crazy cults, but all safely small, would be better.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 19:05:00 UTC | #187394

tacitus's Avatar Comment 10 by tacitus

Bruno, the dynamics are very different in the US -- and I believe that, despite the whining of the fundies about the separation of church and state, it's that very aspect of their society that's helped keep Christianity strong in America where it's been failing in Western Europe.

However, there are signs that of the trend away from religion in beginning in the US too, just not as pronounced. I think the latest surveys show that 20% to 25% of young adults don't identify with any religion. A generation ago it was only 10% - 15%. That's quite a shift from a low baseline, and I suspect the trend will continue.

So the US may be 25-35 years behind where the UK is in regard to religious observance, but the same trend towards the secular is under way. It just might take longer to complete the process.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 19:05:00 UTC | #187395

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 11 by Frankus1122

I was just thinking that the current wave of creationist/ID nonsense is the death rattle of the particular brand of religion from which it comes.
Creationism and ID is nonsense. Neither proposes anything worthwhile in terms of the advancement of science or knowledge. I believe truth will win out.
What happens to all those who so vehemently believe that the Bible is the literal word of God when it is proven not to be? I mean if we survive for another hundred years we will have progressed so much further scientifically (hopefully). Those that claim the Earth is 6000 years old and that God created all life as it is now will be seen as flat-earthers even more than they are now. Won't that crumble their faith even further? How could you believe any of what the Bible says if it is demonstrably so false?

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 19:22:00 UTC | #187397

LochRaven's Avatar Comment 12 by LochRaven

In light of this, I suppose someone needs to break the news to God that he only has 100 years left to get off his ass, come out of hiding and start showing himself.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 19:23:00 UTC | #187398

Lil_Xunzian's Avatar Comment 13 by Lil_Xunzian

"At Aish we know that Judaism provides real meaning and enrichment to one's life. Whilst we have attracted many disinterested Jews back to Jewish identity it is clear there is much work to be done."

I've always been bothered by the way religious people try to recruit. Reminds me of junkies who actively recruit.

"At Wasted we know that heroin provides real meaning and enrichment to one's life. Whilst we have attracted many disinterested junkies back to heroin it is clear there is much work to be done."

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 19:43:00 UTC | #187401

Abyst's Avatar Comment 14 by Abyst

Personally, I would read "die out" as "no longer have the considerable political & social influence it currently has". Certainly some errant branches of Christianity will no doubt survive, but I think we'll begin to see less political involvement by organized Chrisitian groups (or at least, their involvement won't be so dominating, as it currently is in the U.S.).

I think Frankus1122 is right, in that organized Christianity is starting to have a desperate sound in their cry, as more anti-science and youth-group style attempts are made to stay relevant.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 19:44:00 UTC | #187403

catskill's Avatar Comment 15 by catskill

Maybe threats of violence after you are dead is not as effective as it used to be in getting new followers, but threats of chopping your head off right now still has the ability to persuade.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 20:05:00 UTC | #187405

huzonfurst's Avatar Comment 16 by huzonfurst

I'd love to believe this, but everyone thought religion would die out at the end of the 19th century too. That ghost meme is a tough mother!

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 21:40:00 UTC | #187417

Stacey's Avatar Comment 17 by Stacey

@ Frankus1122

I was just thinking that the current wave of creationist/ID nonsense is the death rattle of the particular brand of religion from which it comes. Creationism and ID is nonsense. Neither proposes anything worthwhile in terms of the advancement of science or knowledge. I believe truth will win out. What happens to all those who so vehemently believe that the Bible is the literal word of God when it is proven not to be? I mean if we survive for another hundred years we will have progressed so much further scientifically (hopefully). Those that claim the Earth is 6000 years old and that God created all life as it is now will be seen as flat-earthers even more than they are now. Won't that crumble their faith even further? How could you believe any of what the Bible says if it is demonstrably so false?


Um...please don't shoot the messenger with an opinion but, I kinda think it's worse than that... I don't think it's dying. I think it's gearing up for the new wave.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_EKHK1C2IE

This is how they're doing it.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 21:46:00 UTC | #187418

King of NH's Avatar Comment 18 by King of NH

Of course Christianity will die out in a few decades, if not significantly less time. It's simple logic, and I'm surprised people are still confused here. You must understand one simple basic fact: following the rapture all True Christians(TM) will be bodily lifted from the earth and they will know the truth, no longer needing the faith of Christianity. I believe that the rapture is currently due in 2012. O geez, that's soon. Wow, gonna go get packed and figure out how to smuggle weed onto a rapture flight.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 22:04:00 UTC | #187420

Raiko's Avatar Comment 19 by Raiko

According to Religious Trends, an analysis of religious practice in Britain, the huge drop off in attendance means that the Church of England, Catholicism and other denominations will become financially unviable.


They already are logically unviable, anyway - but the Catholic church probably owns by far enough money to keep up for a long, long, long while even if nobody goes to church.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 22:31:00 UTC | #187424

Pete H's Avatar Comment 20 by Pete H

Death rattle is probably a good explanation for ID.

Opinion research is misleading and probably irrelevant, it's what people actually do that counts.

It is obvious that religious zeal, externally directed at non-believers, is resurging not declining.

What might be more relevant are psychologists' observations on the intensity of religious proselytising in various cults. As with viruses, cults have a dormant, internally-focussed, consolidation phase, followed by an environmentally-triggered, external propagation phase. The external intensity is proportional to their adherents' sense of uncertainty that heavily over-invested beliefs face impending disconfirmation. As with coke-snorting stock brokers and central bankers following an inflationary bubble, their first instinct is to attempt to perpetuate the illusion by manipulating a security's market price, rather than take a bath or get found out.

The harder they work to try and convince people of the 'truth', the more they reveal their sense of panic.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 23:03:00 UTC | #187428

Szkeptik's Avatar Comment 21 by Szkeptik

As a matter of fact I think that the degrading numbers are pushing adherents towards the extreme. Although almost every form of religion is dying in Britain, the most fundamentalist type of christianity is on the rise.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 23:39:00 UTC | #187437

Stacey's Avatar Comment 22 by Stacey

It's too bad we can't round up a former glamrock hair band member somewhere, dress him in a robe and get him to go around saying he has risen, gather up the flock and lead them to the mount...for the rapture is at hand...then make them all drink the koolaid...speed it up some.

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 23:45:00 UTC | #187440

philiproulx's Avatar Comment 23 by philiproulx

This guys math is seriously wrong...which makes it very difficult to take this article seriously...and gives rise to some ulterior motives.

...just over a third of people thought religions like Christianity and Judaism would still be practiced in Britain in 100 years' time


A third? I thought the article said that 4 in 10 for Christianity? The article doesn't mention how many are swayed by Judaism, but is has to be less than 9%, since that's Buddhism, and Buddhism surpasses Judaism...but even if Judaism is 3 or 4%, that still makes the combined more like 43 or 44%, which is nowhere close to "a third".

Buddhism however, proved more attractive than both Islam and Judaism, and was chosen by nine per cent of those questioned.


So, Buddhism gets 9% and beats out Judaism and Islam. Not sure how that sentence required a "however" though, since it followed comments about a 40% popularity of Christianity.

In contrast, the number of actively religious Muslims is predicted to increase from about one million today to 1.96 million in 2035.


Wow, I don't even know where to start here... because it's clear that the author is mixing the conclusions of two different studies. I mean, if according to this study, 40% are swayed by Christianity, 40% are swayed by Atheism, 9% are swayed by Buddhism ...that only leaves 11% for all the other world religions.

To say that Christianity is on the decline when it has 40% popularity and then to end his piece with a comment on Muslim growth doesn't follow. And yes, I personally know why the Muslim faith is on the rise, contrary to it's popularity amongst those who were questioned in this study.

The title of the article also seems pretty intentional. I mean to say that Christianity has a 40% popularity, Islam has a less than 9% popularity (by deduction) and then state:

Research published earlier this year suggested that church attendance is declining so fast that the number of regular churchgoers will be fewer than those attending mosques within a generation.


Seems like more scare tactics to embitter Christians and Atheists alike against Islam.

This is propaganda, and I'm surprised that no one has called the author on this.

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 00:09:00 UTC | #187444

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 24 by DamnDirtyApe

I look forward to the day when religious texts are shelved in the Mythology section with the other ancient gods.

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 00:59:00 UTC | #187450

FightingFalcon's Avatar Comment 25 by FightingFalcon



Buddhism however, proved more attractive than both Islam and Judaism, and was chosen by nine per cent of those questioned.


It seems like Buddhism and other New Age garbage is on the rise in the West. Let's replace one religion with another. Great.

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 01:24:00 UTC | #187457

Barry Pearson's Avatar Comment 26 by Barry Pearson

#197328 by mordacious1: Well good luck with this, I won't hold my breath.

#197338 by bachfiend: We really couldn't be that lucky.

#197341 by 8teist: Irrational beliefs will never die, once this current batch of religobabbles have done their dash something else will have sprung forth to separate the gullible from their cash and offer them life eternal.

#197371 by huzonfurst: I'd love to believe this, but everyone thought religion would die out at the end of the 19th century too. That ghost meme is a tough mother!

#197357 by Abyst: Personally, I would read "die out" as "no longer have the considerable political & social influence it currently has". Certainly some errant branches of Christianity will no doubt survive, but I think we'll begin to see less political involvement by organized Chrisitian groups (or at least, their involvement won't be so dominating, as it currently is in the U.S.).
There are various measures. What does "die out" actually mean? The people being surveyed probably wouldn't agree about the words they were using. Perhaps there will still be tiny "Christian cults" in 1000 years, but will that matter?

One measure I now use is "to what degree will religions be different from other hobbies?" (And the same goes for other irrational practices). Although we may despair about the way irrational beliefs don't entirely go away, and the way more beliefs arise to replace others, if they have no more social impact than other hobbies, would we care? I think this is the point made at #197357 by Abyst.

(It does matter that we have people around who have irrational beliefs, but it does appear that people can compartmentalise them. Belief in gods doesn't stop people doing good science, etc. We should measure the degree to which people can think critically when it matters, not just the amount of religion).

This is another promotion of "Religions are hobbies":
http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/articles/gods/hobby.htm

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 01:30:00 UTC | #187458

Muetze's Avatar Comment 27 by Muetze

I love statisticians.

If they added after every decades-long prediction the disclaimer "Everything we just determined depends on everything continuing linearly as it does right now, and the occurance of any little anomaly, which is extremely likely, will turn the whole process over; basically we don't have a clue what will happen", they would be out of their job in a heartbeat, but at least they would be honest.

Seriously, how can anybody be so conceited to claim that they have any knowledge good enough to predict how society will progess in the decades to come? I challenge any statistician in the 70s to extrapolate the current state of world politics from the 70s situation. It can't be done.

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 02:23:00 UTC | #187471

royceghost's Avatar Comment 28 by royceghost

The religious in the west may be dying out, but in general the more secular people in western countries are dying out as well, except for immigration (thus rise of muslims). The non-religious don't replace themselves birthrate wise; that battle of numbers can never be won by them.

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 02:28:00 UTC | #187474

Muetze's Avatar Comment 29 by Muetze

That would be beside the point, too. This is not going to become a more enlightened world by our "out-fucking" the fanatics (nice alliteration though). It has to be all about education and damage control. I like what Daniel Dennett said about the topic; that it's not about ridding the world of religious faith, which seems to be largely part of the human condition, but "disarm" the toxic elements in Cristianity (which is already quite benign) and Islam in order to make them compatible with a modern and free society. That seems to be a more attainable goal.

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 02:38:00 UTC | #187478

HitbLade's Avatar Comment 30 by HitbLade

The buddhism that is practiced today is very religious, I lived in Thailand for 2 years, my girlfriend is a Thai Buddhist-light (she is not very religious, just superstitious and hold some tradition), I know about Thai buddhism at least, and it's not something I would like to see in the west, from a safe distance it's a very sweet religion, but up close it's just a very very superstitious, but peaceful religion. Buddha kicks any mohammed or jesus' proverbial ass any day though. He was a philosopher, he did some cognitive science experiments, maybe Dan Dennett is a reincarnation of Buddha :P

Sun, 22 Jun 2008 03:05:00 UTC | #187486