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Why Atheism will replace Religion.

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Atheists are heavily concentrated in economically developed countries, particularly the social democracies of Europe (Barber, 2012). In underdeveloped countries, there are virtually no atheists

Atheism is thus a peculiarly modern phenomenon. Why do modern conditions produce atheism?

First, as to the distribution of atheism in the world, a clear pattern can be discerned. In sub-Saharan Africa there is almost no atheism (Zuckerman, 2007). Belief in God declines in more developed countries and is concentrated in Europe in countries such as Sweden (64% nonbelievers), Denmark (48%), France (44%) and Germany (42%). In contrast, the incidence of atheism in most sub-Saharan countries is below 1%.

The question of why economically developed countries turn to atheism has been batted around by anthropologists for about eighty years. Anthropologist James Fraser proposed that scientific prediction and control of nature supplants religion as a means of controlling uncertainty in our lives. This hunch is supported by data showing that the more educated countries have higher levels of non belief and there are strong correlations between atheism and intelligence (see my earlier post on this).

Atheists are more likely to be college-educated people who live in citiesand they are highly concentrated in the social democracies of Europe. Atheism thus blossoms amid affluence where most people feel economically secure. But why?

It seems that people turn to religion as a salve for the difficulties and uncertainties of their lives. In social democracies, there is less fear and uncertainty about the future because social welfare programs provide a safety net and better health care means that fewer people can expect to die young. People who are less vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature feel more in control of their lives and less in need of religion.



In addition to being the opium of the people (as Karl Marx contemptuously phrased it), religion may also promote fertility, particularly by promoting marriage, according to copious data reviewed by Sanderson (2008). Large families are preferred in agricultural countries as a source of free labor. In developed "atheist" countries, women have exceptionally small families and do not need religion helping them to raise large families.

Even the psychological functions of religion face stiff competition today. In modern societies, when people experience psychological difficulties they turn to their doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They want a scientific fix and prefer the real psychotropic medicines dished out by physicians to the metaphorical opiates offered by religion.



Moreover, sport psychologists find that sports spectatorship provides much the same kind of social, and spiritual, benefits as people obtain from church membership. In a previous post, I made the case that sports is replacing religion. Precisely the same argument can be made for other forms of entertainment with which spectators become deeply involved.


Indeed, religion is striking back by trying to compete in popular media, such as televangelism and Christian rock and by hosting live secular entertainment in church.

The reasons that churches lose ground in developed countries can be summarized in market terms. First, with better science, and with government safety nets, and smaller families, there is less fear and uncertainty in people's daily lives and hence less of a market for religion. At the same time many alternative products are being offered, such as psychotropic medicines and electronic entertainment that have fewer strings attached and that do not require slavish conformity to unscientific beliefs.

References

Barber, N. (2012). Why atheism will replace religion: The triumph of earthly pleasures over pie in the sky. E-book, available at: http://www.amazon.com/Atheism-Will-Replace-Religion-ebook/dp/B00886ZSJ6/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201005/why-atheism-will-replace-religion
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM
Replies (151-160):
cueballsmom
by Silver Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 7:12 PM
Quoting Clairwil:

On top of the normal things like a 4 year residence requirement, you also have to be fluent in Finnish.

I love saying Finnish. IDK why, it's fun!
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 7:13 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting darlingdaisy:

 Atheism is not conductive to making this country better.

The more years of science education a person has, the more likely they are to be an Atheist.

Do you really think that getting rid of lots of scientists (not to mention geeks like Bill Gates) would be an improvement?

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 7:15 PM
We don't need to prove there is no god. I can't find any proud to say that there is a god. So god is as likely as unicorns but I have yet to see proof of either. If any proof comes along that is worth believing, I'll be the first to change my mind.

Quoting 12hellokitty:



Quoting cueballsmom:


Quoting 12hellokitty:

Not sure what your comment has to do with my quote you reference. Where did I say anything about a belief being a fact?

you don't see it?

Atheism operates on facts. Things you can prove.

Religion operates on faith, which is belief without facts.

You confused belief with faith many times. So I explained it for you.

So Atheist can prove there is no God? 

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lga1965
by on Jan. 4, 2013 at 7:16 PM

 

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting darlingdaisy:

 Atheism is not conductive to making this country better.

The more years of science education a person has, the more likely they are to be an Atheist.

Do you really think that getting rid of lots of scientists (not to mention geeks like Bill Gates) would be an improvement?

 After reading all her comments ,I have a feeling she doesn't trust science. So, she'll get rid of them.LOL. I might be wrong....but I don't think so.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Dr. Seuss

pixie92
by Platinum Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 7:34 PM
so Christians can prove there is a God?


Quoting 12hellokitty:



Quoting cueballsmom:


Quoting 12hellokitty:

Not sure what your comment has to do with my quote you reference. Where did I say anything about a belief being a fact?

you don't see it?

Atheism operates on facts. Things you can prove.

Religion operates on faith, which is belief without facts.

You confused belief with faith many times. So I explained it for you.

So Atheist can prove there is no God? 


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cueballsmom
by Silver Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM
Quoting 12hellokitty:

So Atheist can prove there is no God?

Again you confuse faith with belief.

Atheist can find no proof to support the idea of a god or gods, much less the Christian god. Since the proof remains unfound, they then "believe" their is no god or gods.

It's like saying you believe in fairies. When I have some proof it exists, then I will believe in fairies too. But until I have proof, fairies aren't real.
LilyofPhilly
by Gold Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:40 PM
2 moms liked this
It seems that people turn to religion as a salve for the difficulties and uncertainties of their lives. In social democracies, there is less fear and uncertainty about the future because social welfare programs provide a safety net and better health care means that fewer people can expect to die young. People who are less vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature feel more in control of their lives and less in need of religion.


No wonder the religious right is so anti-welfare!
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glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:42 PM
1 mom liked this

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“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.”— Richard David Bach (born 1936) Writer
Yesterday at 8:19 PM
by Bronze Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:44 PM

 underdeveolped countries have nuns & religious folks go in there and 'convert' people all the time.

LilyofPhilly
by Gold Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Gee, funny, because I just saw *people* reaching out.

Quoting 12hellokitty:

Atheism will never replace religion, because it has nothing to offer.  With the recent school shooting it was not the Atheist community that responded in mass, but the multi-faith community reaching all across the globe.   

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