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← The slow, whiny death of British Christianity

The slow, whiny death of British Christianity - Comments

arizona_d's Avatar Comment 1 by arizona_d

If the US could convert stupidity into a usable resource, we would rule the energy market.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:41:05 UTC | #498547

Andrew B.'s Avatar Comment 2 by Andrew B.

But once there was a free marketplace of ideas, once people could finally hear both the religious arguments and the rationalist criticisms of them, the religious lost the British people.

Amen to that! What does it say about religion that it can only survive by fighting dirty like a boxer throwing sand in his opponents eyes? Bad ideas (and ONLY bad ideas) deserved to be euthanized by a lethal injection of honest criticism.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:41:15 UTC | #498548

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 3 by Richard Dawkins

Brilliant, Johann. Congratulations. Richard

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:42:06 UTC | #498550

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 4 by Rich Wiltshir

I doubt that these words are a true reflection of our little island, but my own experience suggests christianity is on the wane. However, the other cults, with stable communities are, I fear, less diluted by reasoned thought.

That so many individuals are still tied to institutions that spout religoon drivel is hugely saddening; they're bound (psychologically and financially) to support the beast to which they've established careers over significant time spans.

Churches are, I hope, a great bank of brown field sites on which useful buildings can be constructed... soon.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:48:26 UTC | #498555

EvN's Avatar Comment 5 by EvN

LOL!

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:48:38 UTC | #498556

Cosmicshore's Avatar Comment 6 by Cosmicshore

Aren't unused churches becoming new mosques? Are we shedding one religion for another?

Updated: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:54:50 UTC | #498559

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 7 by Quetzalcoatl

Cosmicshore-

Aren't unused churches becoming new mosques? Are we shedding one religion for another?

While I'm sure the occasional church is being converted for use as a mosque, there's no evidence (to my knowledge) to suggest that this is a widespread thing. So no, not really.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:58:58 UTC | #498564

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 8 by God fearing Atheist

Some 63 percent of us are non-believers, according to an ICM study, while 82 percent say religion is a cause of harmful division.

Does anyone have the reference? I've just googled and all I have come up with is links to Johann's article. While I hope it is going viral, it doesn't help tracking down the source.

Is the UK really less religious now than Sweden?

What is the trend? Has it accelerated in recent years? Have RD's "nonlinear effects" kicked in?

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:06:59 UTC | #498568

JumpinJackFlash's Avatar Comment 9 by JumpinJackFlash

Yahoo! Let it be torn town not by state atheism or angry mobs but by the education and choice of the individual! You aren't being persecuted, simply abandoned by your own persecuted masses.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:08:14 UTC | #498571

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 10 by TIKI AL

God, don't bless us, everyone.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:11:18 UTC | #498572

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 11 by SomersetJohn

Much as I enjoyed the article I suspect Hari might be a tad premature. Admittedly the old style tea and crumpets religion which seems to have grown in the Victorian era and onwards may be slowly decaying away, and not before time; but there seems to be a new batch of evangelical holy rollers trying to whip up some of the holy spiritual hysteria. Add to that the rising power of the mahommed mob, the yank god botherers jumping over the puddle every so often, our spineless politicos licking the arse of ratzo and whatever small effect the east european visitors have on congregations, I can't see a sudden outbreak of reality anywhere near this side of the horizon.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:12:04 UTC | #498573

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 12 by Richard Dawkins

Comment 6 by Cosmicshore :

Aren't unused churches becoming new mosques? Are we shedding one religion for another?

That's what worries me. it would not be a change for the better.

Richard

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:30:54 UTC | #498583

Liln's Avatar Comment 13 by Liln

Comment 8 by God fearing Atheist :

Some 63 percent of us are non-believers, according to an ICM study, while 82 percent say religion is a cause of harmful division.

Does anyone have the reference?

I think it might be this one: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/survey_on_bishops_icm.pdf?

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:34:56 UTC | #498585

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 14 by Quetzalcoatl

Richard Dawkins-

Comment 6 by Cosmicshore : Aren't unused churches becoming new mosques? Are we shedding one religion for another?
That's what worries me. it would not be a change for the better. Richard

Are there any hard numbers on how many have been converted? While I agree that it would not be a change for the better; I would like to know what evidence there is that this is taking place on any sizeable scale.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:49:27 UTC | #498593

ajs261's Avatar Comment 15 by ajs261

In terms of religious adherence in the UK, numbers are all over the place. The 2001 census suggested 72% of the country were Christians, whilst a mere 6% actually worship (and I bet that's a once a month figure... perhaps God has become a little more flexible these days).

This leaves a 66% gap. The 63% non-believer figure mentioned above is probably much closer to the mark, taking into account a large number of people who are basically agnostic yet declare themselves as partly religious and a lot of other people who perhaps thought Christianity was the "default" religion when filling in the census. New evidence suggesting the irreligious proportion is a significant majority may suggest a change to irreligion as the "default" - or a more accepted norm. I welcome it.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:50:43 UTC | #498594

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 16 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 13 by Liln :

I think it might be this one: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/survey_on_bishops_icm.pdf?

Thanks, but I don't think it is the one. It implies 25-28% have no religious affiliation.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:52:25 UTC | #498595

Stephen Tapply's Avatar Comment 17 by Stephen Tapply

The figures in the first paragraph are from The Guardian

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:53:37 UTC | #498596

ajs261's Avatar Comment 18 by ajs261

@ Quetzalcoatl

Immigration is likely to be a significant factor too.

It would be a scary trend if it were true. Christianity is bad enough, without having to worry about mass honour killings or forced marriages - among other things.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:53:40 UTC | #498597

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 19 by Dr. Strangegod

Nailed it again, Johann, just as ever.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 18:56:25 UTC | #498598

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 20 by Neodarwinian

Not with a bang, but a whimper.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:14:33 UTC | #498608

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 21 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 17 by Stephen Tapply :

The figures in the first paragraph are from

The Guardian

Thanks. I think you are right. The 63% 82% figures match. But it is dated Saturday 23 December 2006!

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:21:56 UTC | #498612

ajs261's Avatar Comment 22 by ajs261

Having a look around, the statistics are all over the place. A British Social Attitudes survey was taken in 2007, suggesting around 46% of the country are irreligious.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:27:39 UTC | #498614

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 23 by God fearing Atheist

It has been noted that CofE services are filled with those "swotting for finals", and this was 3.5 years ago, so a noticable proportion of the congregation will have "graduated".

Still, a new survey would be nice. Any chance the 2011 census will be unbiased?

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:37:26 UTC | #498620

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 24 by alaskansee

Just for the record

I have no memory of "Every school in Britain is required by law to make its pupils engage every day in "an act of collective worship of a wholly or mainly Christian nature"

I hope we can rephrase to "Every school in the area of Britain below the Hadriatic divide is......." although maybe the Welsh are similarly enlightened?

I know it's hard for the English to remember "British" is a collective noun, just like the union flag.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:41:45 UTC | #498622

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 25 by Quetzalcoatl

ajs261-

It would be a scary trend if it were true. Christianity is bad enough, without having to worry about mass honour killings or forced marriages - among other things.

I very much doubt that mass honour killings or mass forced marriages are going to happen here.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:47:37 UTC | #498625

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 26 by chawinwords

Richard Dawkings said: Aren't unused churches becoming new mosques? Are we shedding one religion for another?

That's what worries me. it would not be a change for the better.

Richard

Richard, you have every reason to be worried, big time. After 70 plus years I have come to understand that there must be something in the majority of humans'genetic code that is attached to being conned.

It does not seem to make one whit of difference whether it is Moses that hears voices and hallucinates or Mohammad sitting in a dark cave doing the same. Both showed signs of insanity, but remained functional enough to con the masses (is the stories are true). For some oddball reason, Gods and demons seem to infect the mentally with ease (Martin Luther sure loved the demons).

It is sorta like the Big Foot phenomenon; people see and believe, yet do not find a single lost hair from a hairy beast as evidence; nothing to take to a microscope or geneticist, just to a shaman, a con man leading the conned into group insanity. Plus, the limited insane can still function to some degree in the natural world and have done so for eons.

You are right to worry, but not about the cons, but about the historical and human willingness, and even desire, to be conned!

Like one lady interviewed about the recent judge's decision concerning same sex marriage in California. When asked about the many rationales the judge used in his decision, she answered she had not read themm, but the rationales would/did not matter anyway, because they did not agree with what she believed.

Yep, Richard, you have justification for your worries! Oh yeah, the most effective con learns to passionately believe in the con -- hence, insanity -- (think Oral Roberts, etc.)!

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 20:01:40 UTC | #498630

beanson's Avatar Comment 27 by beanson

When I saw Carey make these threats on television, red-faced and rageful, it made me think of a nasty child in the playground who had been beating up the gay kids and spitting at the girls for years and is finally told to stop - only to start bawling that he's the one who is being picked on.

I lolled

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 20:18:40 UTC | #498641

Mrkimbo's Avatar Comment 28 by Mrkimbo

A lovely bliss-bomb of an article, just the thing to cheer me up before going to work. Now we just need to keep Islam under control. And we should look after the churches - (the physical buildings, I mean) - they are beautiful, and function far better as adornments of the living earth than places to kow-tow to non-existent sky-gods.

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 21:01:23 UTC | #498659

NickNakorn's Avatar Comment 29 by NickNakorn

As Christianity declines in the UK it is, I believe, New-Age-cultism that is taking its place. Here in South West England one can hardly move for Steiner Schools, Anthroposophical Christian Communities, Camphill Communities and Biodynamic farmers. Add to that the multitude of 'alternative' health gurus, crystal gazers, Goethean 'scientists', pseudo-buddhists and other irrational sects and one has a complete encyclopedia of alternative religious codes from which a huge number of people reference their lives. Sadly, like the church-goers that preceeded them, they are often also our community leaders, town councilors, bankers, landowners and teachers. To be a pro-science liberal here in Devon is to be almost unemployable and socially unacceptable.

So while I'm delighted that Chritianity is on the wain, I'm not convinced that religion is fading with it.

best wishes

Nick

http://nicknakorn.wordpress.com

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 21:16:23 UTC | #498664

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 30 by Mr DArcy

I do hope Johann is right and creeping Jesus creeps into the crypt, craps and creeps away from sight. It'll take a while yet, but reality always wins. As for the Islamic hordes breeding "from within", they too will have to deal with reality. Yes the priests and imans would have us think that their followers are all of one mind and that their religion is the true one. Let's just think of them as 2nd-hand car salesmen putting a nice gloss on the product:

"Only 3000/2000/1400, years (pick religion), on the clock, has an invincible engine, get you from one end of the universe to the other in a twinkling, inspiring drive, keeps the family safe, great for making friends and networking, and not least, makes you feel superior to fellow humans!"

Anecdotal, but near where I live in North London, ex CoE churches have been turned into flats, not mosques. Some very des res!

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 21:19:41 UTC | #498665