Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Why Atheism will replace Religion.

Posted by   + Show Post
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 (161-170):
glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 10:47 PM
2 moms liked this

It is a grunge rock band from Seatle that's lead singer killed himself many years ago.  Great band CLASSIC!!! RIP Kurt Cobain

Quoting 12hellokitty:


Quoting cueballsmom:

Quoting 12hellokitty:

The physical impact is the cause of the emotion, not the emotion itself. My point is you acknowledge emotions as being real even though you can not see or prove they exist. I think that's interesting and goes along quite well with you being able to believe in luck and random chance, other things which can not bee seen or proven...


Here's a thought for you, my brother believes that emotions do not exist. He has a certain "issue" that causes him to not feel emotion. He literally had to be taught the proper responses to others emotions. Growing up with three women, he had plenty of practice.

How would you explain a god to him?

Perhaps he could explain Nirvana to me...


DropZoneMom
by Bronze Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 11:22 PM
1 mom liked this

I DISAGREE.    Christianity has been around for 2000 years; Judaism for longer than that (not sure about Islam, etc., but know it's been a LONG time, too).

SOME people might be moving away from religion (but most of them aren't becoming atheists; they're moving toward trendy "religions" like scientology & kabbalah -- at least until they become educated about what those cults actually mean).   But if you visit any college campus, there is a huge surge TOWARDS religion, even among kids who weren't brought up in a church.

And, when it comes right down to it, this article talks about 'SCIENTIFIC' reasons religion won't continue -- and that's it's downfall.   Religion isn't about science -- it's about FAITH.    Something the poor writer obviously doesn't have!!!



glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 11:26 PM

the religions near colleges are doing everything they can to keep above water. They offer free meals to college students several days a week. The kids go eat and leave. After having teachers drone on for hours you can ignore anything for a free meal

Quoting DropZoneMom:

I DISAGREE.    Christianity has been around for 2000 years; Judaism for longer than that (not sure about Islam, etc., but know it's been a LONG time, too).

SOME people might be moving away from religion (but most of them aren't becoming atheists; they're moving toward trendy "religions" like scientology & kabbalah -- at least until they become educated about what those cults actually mean).   But if you visit any college campus, there is a huge surge TOWARDS religion, even among kids who weren't brought up in a church.

And, when it comes right down to it, this article talks about 'SCIENTIFIC' reasons religion won't continue -- and that's it's downfall.   Religion isn't about science -- it's about FAITH.    Something the poor writer obviously doesn't have!!!




cueballsmom
by Silver Member on Jan. 4, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Quoting DropZoneMom:

I DISAGREE.    Christianity has been around for 2000 years; Judaism for longer than that (not sure about Islam, etc., but know it's been a LONG time, too).

SOME people might be moving away from religion (but most of them aren't becoming atheists; they're moving toward trendy "religions" like scientology & kabbalah -- at least until they become educated about what those cults actually mean).   But if you visit any college campus, there is a huge surge TOWARDS religion, even among kids who weren't brought up in a church.

And, when it comes right down to it, this article talks about 'SCIENTIFIC' reasons religion won't continue -- and that's it's downfall.   Religion isn't about science -- it's about FAITH.    Something the poor writer obviously doesn't have!!!


Yes, I know religion is old.

I like how you put quotes around that word, does it make it less of a religion?

I don't know ad out colleges everywhere, but most around where I'm at have adults as the majority.

The writer doesn't need faith to study numbers. She isn't quantifying the faith it self, that would be on par with trying to graph out how many americans are in love. What she mapping is people who label themselves. So that leaves out the church goer that is like "meh" on polls. But it includes non church going Christians.

But it is simply statistics.
LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:36 AM

That's my point: there is no activity associated with a lack of belief... so the idea that it can 'replace' an activity-based set of beliefs is silly.

100% of the atheists I know have no college education, and neither did any of their atheist parents.

I actually think a huge cause of atheism is international travel. There is nothing like running across huge populations of people who have never believed what you 'have to believe to thrive, in this life and beyond' to shake the foundations.

I think it's reading, too. It's much easier to believe the stuff your told when you can't read thousands of pages of contradictions, alternatives, parallel stories from thousands of years before, or far more enlightened and evolved ethics and morals that make the one you were taught 'is the only real one' look like the preschool version...

Quoting brookiecookie87:

Religion requires beliefs and certain activities that go along with that religion. Different religions have different beliefs and different activities. Some rely more on belief than activities and some rely more on activities than belief.

Atheism is just the lack of belief in a God. Atheism is not the absence of actions, activity, or anything of that nature.

Quoting LindaClement:

It's hard to see how... 'religion' is an activity (or bunch of activities). Atheism is the absence of any.



cueballsmom
by Silver Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 3:52 AM
Quoting LindaClement:


I thought I saw where you were going with that, but then you spun it in a weird direction.

What activities are you talking about exactly that can not be replaced?
LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Jan. 5, 2013 at 4:09 AM

The 'activities' of religion --the attendance, chanting or singing, gestures and motions (from 'crossing' to hands overhead, etc), moving around objects/setting altar 'stages', wearing specific garments or accessories in specific times or places, reverence of icons and artifacts, praying...

Atheists do what religious people do when they're not being religious --normal, everyday secular life-- they just leave out all the activities of religion.

It's like moving from London to Phoenix, and considering the difference in umbrella usage. It might look like 'not carrying an umbrella all the time' is replacing 'carrying an umbrella'... but the perceived (and in this case, obviously, real) need for the item has fallen away. It might feel weird for a while, but soon it will be hard to remember what it was like to always have carried something extra around.

One other example, in the real world for most people who've adopted cell technology, is making plans completely ahead of time. When you could either plan to meet up, including contingency plans (for late buses or closed coffee shops, or whatever might come up), before you both left where the phone lived ... or you could wing it and hope for the best.

My kids make plans --and change them-- while they're on their way, sometimes after they get there. No one says that 'making plans on the fly is replacing making plans ahead' because when you have the ability to deal with things as they arise, you do --without ever thinking how you would have to deal with it if you didn't have the ability. It's as weird as trying to figure out how you'd function in modern life if you had absolutely no language at all ...

It's fallen away, seamlessly, leaving the rest of life normal. Like the umbrella we never think to carry anymore because we don't have any need of it.

Quoting cueballsmom:

Quoting LindaClement:


I thought I saw where you were going with that, but then you spun it in a weird direction.

What activities are you talking about exactly that can not be replaced?


cueballsmom
by Silver Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 4:19 AM
Quoting LindaClement:


:-) Gotcha! And thank you for taking the time to explain. That's the way I think the author meant, but this was her title, so it's what I used.

Although she may just be meaning that atheism is replacing religion as the majority, like it's a race. Honestly, I like your explanation better.
12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 1:28 PM

 

I didn't say they could.  cueballsmom said Atheism operates on facts, so my question is what facts is atheism based on? 

Quoting pixie92:

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? 



12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Jan. 5, 2013 at 1:45 PM


Quoting LilyofPhilly:

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!


Do you have an example? 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)