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Canadians losing faith in religion - Comments

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 1 by Marc Country

Congratulations on printing this article about reason v. religion, which is very appropriate for this site. Thank you.

Strangely, this article doesn't touch on the most likely reason for Canadians to abandon religion. Simply put, religion isn't true, and many Canadians recognize this fact, and act accordingly.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 14:31:24 UTC | #872629

Metamag's Avatar Comment 2 by Metamag

"In the past few years, there have been several high-profile international situations involving perceived religious conflicts, as well as the anniversary of 9/11, and I think when people see those, it causes them to fear religion and to see it as a source of conflict,"

This is very worrying. Basically it states that people are lazy, barely rational monkeys who can only have opinions on something if it hits them straight on the head.

Religion is remarkably absurd and nonsensical on its own, no need for any external events to make a point of it, at least for thinking people...

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 14:33:50 UTC | #872630

Yabba-Dabba-Doo's Avatar Comment 3 by Yabba-Dabba-Doo

As a Canadian, I am glad to see this information being published. All too often, percentages concerning religion lump us in with the U.S. or with North America. But the rate is simply not the same as our neighbours to the South. Lately, there are always real estate ads for churches around the country. There was a recent report that in Quebec, they are having problems offloading church buildings because they are closing too fast.

Religion is taking a hit here. We all need to keep up the good work of not letting them think they have a special privilege and by reminding them that they have the answers to nothing. They are a business with only BS to sell and should be treated as such. Don't buy it and even the government subsidies (tax status) won't be enough for them to keep going.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:00:15 UTC | #872641

quarecuss's Avatar Comment 4 by quarecuss

It is less difficult for those polled 89% of Canadians to be around people of religious faith because Canada is an increasingly secular society where few of the traditionally bigoted opinions of religious groups are tolerated anymore. The real "unsung heroes" of an increasingly secular society are secularists who, unlike their religious fellow-citizens do not trumpet their altruism as arising from religion but from a common sense of humanity and a deep mistrust of traditional political parties (many with religious, tribal roots) which preach(ed) the gospel of capitalism, ignoring the poor and uneducated whose seemingly intractable plight was siezed upon by the good religious people as a means of saving their own souls.
Religious people were indeed, historically, in the forefront of Canadian health care, education and socialist political movements like the CCF/NDP but the "foundations" of enlightening education, and enlightened health care came from scientific knowledge not religious hocus pocus which more often than not acted as a brake on progress in these fields.
In the early history of Canadian education, Catholic and Anglican residential schools for the "heathen" aboriginal peoples have little to be proud of. We are still dealing with the fall-out.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:13:48 UTC | #872646

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 5 by alaskansee

"... and the perception that Christians are constantly campaigning against gay marriage and abortion."

Just love it, perhaps we can have someone, one of our local trolls, refute it? I don't think so! But then again they still think they're on the high moral ground.

Strange though in a country with gay marriage and abortion and where we don't see any campaigning against it, religious whining still comes up. Perhaps it's the effect of all the hot air from down south.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:44:19 UTC | #872655

jel's Avatar Comment 6 by jel

By TERESA SMITH - TIMES COLONIST

Is she a settler, or perhaps she wants more people to use colons, perhaps she's obsessed with the inner workings of the digestive system?

I'll get my coat.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 16:06:31 UTC | #872666

ShesTheBeth's Avatar Comment 7 by ShesTheBeth

Comment 4 by quarecuss ... In the early history of Canadian education, Catholic and Anglican residential schools for the "heathen" aboriginal peoples have little to be proud of. We are still dealing with the fall-out.

No kidding! The horror stories that come out of the aboriginal communities are mind-boggling. UNREPENTANT is a great documentary, if you can make it through without wanting to kill yourself: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6637396204037343133.

On another topic, it boggles my mind that the Separate Catholic School board in Ontario is still allowed to be supported by tax payers. http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2011/01/20/its-time-for-catholic-schools-to-get-off-the-public-dollar/

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 16:08:22 UTC | #872668

jsweet's Avatar Comment 8 by jsweet

Explanations from experts vary - from fear of extremists and anger toward individuals who abuse positions of power, to a national "forgetting" of Canadian history.

Or, you know, it could just be that religion does do more harm than good, and many Canadians are recognizing this fact... The "experts" didn't consider that hypothesis? heh....

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 16:22:33 UTC | #872675

Randy Ping's Avatar Comment 9 by Randy Ping

Another reason for why I like Canadians better than most of my own countrymen.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 16:48:05 UTC | #872692

Sjoerd Westenborg's Avatar Comment 10 by Sjoerd Westenborg

But these days, he said, the trend is toward social work and counselling, suggesting that clergy "want to listen to people and help them through their troubles."

This, said Merkur, could be a reaction to fewer people in the pews, or it could be the natural course of religious philosophy.

No, this is a desperate attempt to regain some respect and repair a damaged reputation. I believe some believers, if not many, do good works, (just don't get me started on their motivations) but I don't think the same is true for religion.

The natural course of religious philosophy is that more and more followers realize they are too old for fairy tales, the clergy apologises and accomodates a little and after centuries every doctrine, every value is hollowed out and one after another their constructions collapse on themselves.

Please let some of that happen in my lifetime!

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 17:33:36 UTC | #872723

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 11 by Hendrix is my gOD

I really should consider moving to Canada. I would be among like-minded people not only in regards to lack of belief but in my obsession for the only real sport: hockey!

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 17:45:26 UTC | #872731

btheist's Avatar Comment 12 by btheist

The tone of this article is such that the so called experts are trying to find rationalizations as to why a lot of Canadians feel this way about religion, as if to say there must be some aberration, they couldn't possibly feel that way without the negative media coverage. You don't need a study to tell you it's because people have seen first hand that religion does more harm than good and what good they do do, comes with a price tag of total submission of your mental faculties. Note, I say religion and not the religious as I believe it is the religious doctrine that makes the religious do harm and that if they were freed from their mental prisons, the harm would cease.

There is no doubt that if organized religions were to cease to be, tomorrow, that there would be a vaccum in humanitarian aid and a loss of many homeless shelters, etc... However, they are not going to cease tomorrow and I believe we are starting to see a significant shift to secular driven aid rather than religious based aid. The key will be to take the good works and aid infrastructure that the religious groups do and have, and remove the faith rhetoric that goes along with it.

If someone is currently providing humanitarian aid as part of a religious group and they suddenly recognize the religious part for what it is and turn Atheist, they aren't going to just as suddenly not start providing that aid. I would like to think they may in fact redouble their efforts to help people in this life time rather than helping to prepare them for the next.

At any rate, as a Canadian, it is heartening to see these numbers as I believe even our own Prime Minister is sympathetic to the creationist and ID crowd.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 17:55:55 UTC | #872739

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 13 by Mr DArcy

"I think we take for granted all the positive things that religious institutions are doing in our society, because they're working in the background and they're working with marginalized people," said Epp Buckingham.

"They're the first on the ground when there's a humanitarian disaster or a tornado or a hurricane, and they're often the unsung heroes."

OH aren't they wonderful! They worship an Almighty God who allows a world with "marginalised people", "humanitarian disaster", and tornados and hurricanes. From their POV they're just the lickspittles who clean up when God has a temper tantrum, and punishes part of humanity.

Heck, the author forgot earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, disease, wars, poverty .........

No wonder the Canadians are turning their backs!

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 18:25:23 UTC | #872754

Rikitiki13's Avatar Comment 14 by Rikitiki13

When these religious humanitarian aid things, homeless centers, etc, finally become secular they will be able to do MORE good in fact than they're able to do now. The percentage of donations to religious charities that actually go to help folks is only about 7% at most:

http://www.ssireview.org/pdf/2005WI_Feature_Reich.pdf

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 18:49:27 UTC | #872760

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 15 by nancynancy

Canadians who don't participate in religion themselves experience it in the news, which can sensationalize the negatives aspects of religion, said Dr. Pamela Dickey Young, the principal of the School of Religion at Queen's University, in Kingston, Ont. Dickey Young said that had the survey asked if religious people did more harm than good, the answer would have been very different. "To me, that means people think religion is harmful, but people who are religious aren't particularly harmful," she said.

You've got to hand it to religious spinmasters -- when faced with bad news of any kind, they will grasp at the flimsiest of straws, anything and everything to avoid facing the truth. I have news for Dr. Dickey Young. If people think religion is hamful, they are likely to think religious people are harmful, too.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 19:03:21 UTC | #872765

BigNoboDaddy's Avatar Comment 16 by BigNoboDaddy

In Africa missionaries arrived with the bible and taught the natives to pray with their eyes closed. When they opened their eyes they had the bibles and the invaders now owned all the land.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 19:31:30 UTC | #872776

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 17 by Red Dog

Comment 9 by Randy Ping :

Another reason for why I like Canadians better than most of my own countrymen.

I second that.

Also, I think one possible reason for the Canadian change is they see the lunacy that the Christian right is unleashing in the US.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 19:45:18 UTC | #872779

David-in-Toronto's Avatar Comment 18 by David-in-Toronto

Comment 6 by jel :

By TERESA SMITH - TIMES COLONIST

Is she a settler, or perhaps she wants more people to use colons, perhaps she's obsessed with the inner workings of the digestive system? I'll get my coat.

I’m unfamiliar with the publication (apparently, it's been serving Victoria and Vancouver Island since 1858). But “Times Colonist” seems to be its proper name. So your first speculation is closest to being correct.

;-)

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 20:07:56 UTC | #872784

Beethoven's Avatar Comment 19 by Beethoven

As a person living in Quebec I am not especially delighted by this statistics for the following reason:

Most people living in Quebec are atheists not because they value science, truth, progress, or because they have have read philosophical articles on the subject and have though carefully about humanity's place in the Cosmos.

No, Quebec people are atheists because religion interferes with their promiscuous sexual lifestyle and a lot of their vulgar corporeal pleasures. They have simply abandoned religion, because it does not serve their vacuous lives and selfish interests.

I hope the rest of Canada has better reasons for disliking religion. The religious gap in Quebec is very easily filled with new age nonsense and quackery of all sorts.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 20:20:29 UTC | #872797

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 20 by Neodarwinian

Another good reason to annex Canada!

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 20:33:34 UTC | #872803

mysticjbyrd's Avatar Comment 21 by mysticjbyrd

Comment 20 by Neodarwinian :

Another good reason to annex Canada!

As if they would downgrade themselves and join the US...

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 21:01:37 UTC | #872809

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 22 by Functional Atheist

@2 I respectfully disagree. I'm in the camp that would prefer a world where 'atheist' is no more necessary a concept than 'afairyist' or 'aelfist' or 'acelestialteapotist.'

If not for actively negative expressions of religion as cited in the article, most non-religious Canadians would likely shrug their shoulders in boredom at religious beliefs. That would be my preference--I only concern myself with the silly business because of the active malevolence of religion in public life.

If religion were merely a private eccentricity I'd give it no more concern than any other private eccentricity, and I suspect I am far from alone.

@20 A more preferable outcome might be a dissolution of the Union and a handful of the former United States petitioning to join Canada. New England, Washington, Oregon and Minnesota would make fine provinces in an enlarged Canada, and Idaho, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Montana are other plausible candidates.

Yeah, I get it that you were probably joking, but speculating about the future and redrawing maps are enjoyable exercises.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 21:48:37 UTC | #872822

G*O*D's Avatar Comment 23 by G*O*D

Comment 22 by Functional Atheist

New England, Washington, Oregon and Minnesota would make fine provinces in an enlarged Canada, and Idaho, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Montana are other plausible candidates.

As a Canadian I have to disagree. What's wrong with Florida, Hawaii or even Texas? Wait..., maybe not Texas.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 22:19:55 UTC | #872836

ShesTheBeth's Avatar Comment 24 by ShesTheBeth

Comment 19 by Beethoven ...No, Quebec people are atheists because religion interferes with their promiscuous sexual lifestyle and a lot of their vulgar corporeal pleasures. They have simply abandoned religion, because it does not serve their vacuous lives and selfish interests.

Er, sounding like a Catholic there, pal. (Or maybe a Muslim?) Abandoning religion even for 'vacuous lives and selfish interests' is just part and parcel of citizenship in a free country. Perhaps your morality meter is influenced by what has been handed down from church doctrine. Question it THOROUGHLY. Ask yourself why your vulgarity alarm goes off where it does. So who says that's vulgar? Is it just meaningless piety that sets the level for your acceptance of behaviour, or is there REALLY a problem? Is someone breaking a law or are they just not living up to what YOU consider moral?

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 01:43:17 UTC | #872908

Random Jerk's Avatar Comment 25 by Random Jerk

I would love to move to Canada, this being one more reason :)

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 04:56:54 UTC | #872943

Explorer's Avatar Comment 26 by Explorer

Comment19 by Beethoven ...

"No, Quebec people are atheists because religion interferes with their promiscuous sexual lifestyle and a lot of their vulgar corporeal pleasures. ...."

Religion didn't stop a multitude of Catholic priests from indulging in something far worse, so why single out atheism?

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 07:14:32 UTC | #872962

deesklo's Avatar Comment 27 by deesklo

While most people have not abandoned their religion, many seem to have abandoned the habit of practicing it.

Nonsense.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:19:55 UTC | #873017

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 28 by strangebrew

Comment Removed by Author

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:40:33 UTC | #873021

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 29 by irate_atheist

Comment 19 by Beethoven -

No, Quebec people are atheists because religion interferes with their promiscuous sexual lifestyle and a lot of their vulgar corporeal pleasures. They have simply abandoned religion, because it does not serve their vacuous lives and selfish interests.

Really? All of them? Go on, name a hundred of them, with supporting evidence. Just a measly hundred, out of a population of nearly 8 million. I'm waiting.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 11:14:26 UTC | #873031

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 30 by strangebrew

Comment 26 by Explorer

Religion didn't stop a multitude of Catholic priests from indulging in something far worse, so why single out atheism?

Because it suits their purpose!

Comment 19 by Beethoven

No, Quebec people are atheists because religion interferes with their promiscuous sexual lifestyle

and a lot of their vulgar corporeal pleasures. They have simply abandoned religion, because it does not serve their vacuous lives and selfish interests.

Load of apologist pompous twaddle simple like so. . A city populace cannot be atheist per se...that is typical religio nonsensical hysterics. People are atheists, or agnostics or spiritual or other because that is the way they are and is primarily a result of environmental nurture...i.e either at the behest or under the eye of the control trolls that inflict their morbid if not unnatural vision of life onto them....or indeed not, it is certainly not as the theist like to boast a holy celestial nature...but a wholly human inflicted trait.

The ones that escape that living death are the lucky ones, and traditionally all to rare. If it remained rare the theists would be happy bunnies, unfortunately it seems that rarity is rapidly becoming a common occurrence, theist is not a happy bunny not no more and scream 'wolf' , tis what they do!!

People have the right to live to their life style preference, that is a matter for them and not for theists to question, just as it is a right for the prudes the pompous and the sexually dysfunctional to live their sorry lives in their own way. And as long as neither way harms damages or impinges on another's rights then the score is all square and life can trundle on! Seems that theists have yet to get that memo, or more likely got it but choose to ignore it!

Some folks actually defy the odds and grow up, and the questions become not why but how the world works. Science has kicked the traditional crutch of wonder away from the delusional, and for the very first time in 2000 years the question has morphed in to not how but why worship a redundant 'explanation'!

Occam's razor predicts that religion is a busted flush cos it is a load of bollox! Pity the explanations from experts were not more succinct into cause of a faith plunge and not felt beholden to pretend it is a seasonal thing like the snows of winter and the droughts of summer.

This is not cyclical, it is a gradual and continuous unraveling of the theist ball of woolly thinking.

They are begrudgingly re-knitting the tangled and broken spaghetti of that woolly thinking faster and more furious these days with 'fisticated 'feological whimperings.

The result is a laughing stock. Religion is losing the plot in greater more public ways then it ever has before. All of them are drowning in their own vomit, only some employ rather more draconian tactics to deal with the hemorrhaging of belief, a tactic which encourages a certain green and dripping envy of their major competitor in scam. Fatwa envy is a weird but palpable effect creeping ever more insidiously into xian meme.

It would be funny to see 'em scatter like cockroaches under the spotlight of rationality, but some of their number seem to have no choice but to drag their tatty goalposts to the other end of the playing field in their desperation.

Call it ego or bigotry or even ignorance or even up bringing, they cannot abandon ship because their ark is well and truly holed below the water line, and you see they aint' to confident of swimming cos simply they have been told they will definitely sink to the icy depths...or the fiery pit... by their own leaders.

Bit like the band playing on the quarter deck while the Titanic slipped below the waves...very sad and poignant, but unlike the victims of the titanic, they do have a way out. Although few seem capable of grasping even that straw, and in fact thoroughly reject education even when offered.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 11:36:34 UTC | #873044