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Author Topic:   Religion Decline in US
RAZD
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.9


Message 1 of 50 (849626)
03-16-2019 11:53 AM


quote:
Study Shows Religion In The U.S. Is In Decline

A new study finds a slow decline in American religiosity over time, demonstrating that religion in the United States is declining and mirroring patterns found across the western world.

The new research shows that contrary to anecdotal evidence, the United States is no different than other modern societies in the inevitable move towards secularization.

According to the new research from UCL and Duke University published in the March 2016 edition of the American Journal of Sociology, there is a slow, steady drop in the number of Americans who claim religious affiliations, attend church regularly and believe in God.

The study, titled “Is the United States a Counterexample to the Secularization Thesis?”, also finds that these drops are driven by generational differences. For example:

  • 94 percent of Americans born before 1935 claim a religious affiliation. For the generation born after 1975, that number drops to 71 percent.

  • 68 percent of Americans 65 and older said they had no doubt God exists, according to the study. But just 45 percent of young adults, ages 18-30, had the same belief.

  • 41 percent of people 70 and older said they attend church services at least once a month, compared to just 18 percent of people 60 and younger.

Younger cohorts are less religious than older cohorts and religiosity declines in each cohort over time.

Enjoy

Edited by AdminPhat, : No reason given.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
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... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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AdminPhat
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From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 50 (849628)
03-16-2019 1:53 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Religion Decline in US thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Thugpreacha
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Posts: 12297
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 3 of 50 (849629)
03-16-2019 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
03-16-2019 11:53 AM


But It Will Never Go Away
But we knew this. Tangle brings it up gleefully all the time.

I think that belief will always be with us. Perhaps not as dogmatic and organized.

Are you still a Zen Deist? What do you believe?

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
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Posts: 3454
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 4 of 50 (849657)
03-17-2019 3:12 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Thugpreacha
03-16-2019 1:55 PM


Belief and Religion are Not the Same Things (close, but no cheroot)
I think that belief will always be with us. Perhaps not as dogmatic and organized.

The study is about the decline of religion, not of belief (though it seems to also touch on changes in beliefs).

The Wikipedia article on religiosity starts out:

quote:
Religiosity is difficult to define, but different scholars have seen this concept as broadly about religious orientations and involvement. It includes experiential, ritualistic, ideological, intellectual, consequential, creedal, communal, doctrinal, moral, and cultural dimensions. Sociologists of religion have observed that the people's beliefs, sense of belonging, and behavior often are not congruent with an individual's actual religious beliefs since there is much diversity in how one can be religious or not. Multiple problems exist in measuring religiosity. For instance, variables such as church attendance produce different results when different methods are used such as traditional surveys vs time use surveys.

"Religion" carries with it the organizing and codifying of beliefs into social structures. Dogma is inherent in most religion where doctrine has been established and you need to conform to that doctrine (and dogma) in order to belong to that religion.

While individuals in a religion may hold beliefs that differ from the standard doctrine, peer and social pressure often drives those individuals to hide those beliefs -- eg, a New Yorker cartoon at a conservative mainstream church social where a man is admitting to a couple others, "Actually, my beliefs are the same as the Unitarians'. I'm just not as brave as they are." Finding others of like mind within such a church would be akin to gays' need to develop "gay-dar" to be able to sense to whom they can start to open up. The same thing applies in the workplace where arguments over politics and/or religion would be disruptive and could quite rightfully lead to you losing your job. Orange County used to be the ugly red spot in the blue state of California (that was fixed in the 2018 elections) with far too many Republicans and fundamentalist/conservative Christian megachurches. My friend, who is liberal and generally repulsed by religion, observed that it seemed that every guy she met was either a Republican or a fundamentalist, so she was so happy to meet me (I am far from either). She had a good friend at work who was also liberal, but for the first week or so after they first met they were both doing a cautious dance around each other trying to figure out where the other stood and whether it was safe to speak freely -- they sorely needed some form of political "gay-dar".

The fundamental purposes of religion and churches have very little to do with actual beliefs. A church is a community which offers members much more than worshipping with God. Rather, it provides social and economic support as well as helping to unite the community (truthfully when one church dominates, hopefully when multiple churches are present unless there's a much stronger over-arcing secular social order in place).

Evolutionarily speaking, our "wetware" (how our brains and minds and social behavior are wired) evolved within tribal groups normally consisting of 30 to 60 individuals. As a result, we tend to form social networks and social bonds with about 30 to 60 individuals, beyond which we get lost in the crowd like in The Lonely Guy (really great early Steve Martin movie). Even megachurches with thousands of members know this, so they get new members involved in much smaller groups or "cells" which more closely match their "wetware's" social capacity. For example, Rick Warren's Saddleback Church has at least tens of thousands of members (Wikipedia under-reports with weekly attendance which is 22,000). In Lindy class I was recruited to try to balance the singles' ministry dance classes (usually 100 women to 50 men, so the women tended to lose interest) and being early in my separation and divorce it provided a social outlet (I had already been an atheist for four decades at that point). At the time, the Singles Ministry numbered 15,000, but they were further divided and segregated by age into even smaller groups, each with their own separate social activities.

You may not disagree with what I am saying here.

I'm not seeing any speculation about the causes of the trends being reported. We see the phenomenal growth of the "Nones" (as in "None of the Above" being their choice of religious options), which includes the hemorrhaging of about 80% of the youth raised on Christian Fundamentalism (many different names, all boiling down to the same basic theology) all running away from their particular religious upbringings as fast as they can. A visit to the testimonial sections of ex-Christian sites and fora (eg, https://www.ex-christian.net/...imonies-of-former-christians) will recount their horror stories. One particularly chilling one on a blog, not a forum, was from a man whose parents firmly believed in the Rapture, so he grew up in constant fear that every time his parents went out they would never return. As an adult, he suffers from substance abuse and inability to socialize which he also sees in others raised as he had been. For others, seeing that they never received the "Fruits of the Spirit", most especially as teenagers, caused them to live in constant fear that they were not saved. Those kinds of life experiences lead to so many of them seeking escape from the Living Hell which has become Christianity.

On a much more benign level, what else has happened? People are finding non-religious communities to become a part of. Especially through social media, people are able to find other people of like mind, unlike feeling all alone in a church community.

Are you familiar with Dan Barker, co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, AKA "America's Leading Atheist"? In the mid-1980's, I heard his speech at Atheists United in Los Angeles (at the time, they had a 15-minute weekly radio program on KPFK -- compare that to countless hours of religious programming constantly on the airwaves over multiple channels). That was shortly after he had de-converted. I do not doubt that he has published many accounts of his deconversion; my own sources are that Atheists United presentation and the first few chapters of his book, Godless. He had been raised a fundamentalist (his mother used to sing in tongues while doing her housework) and God Personally called him to the ministry when he was 11 years old. He studied and became a minister, plus his father was a former swing musician who gave all that up for Jesus, so he used his musical training growing up to create a musical ministry (he still receives royalties for the Christian music he had created). As a travelling minister, he encountered many churches in which the stark and sharp black-and-white line between right and wrong was always there, but it also followed different tracks -- that "sharp" line between right and wrong kept shifting and blurring. Not only did he keep thinking about that (a sign of intelligence), but he also read a lot and he discussed what he was reading and thinking with others. It got to a point where his religious leaders forced him out (and forced his wife to leave him ... according to his AU presentation, though he is much gentler with her in the book).

The point is that he was a new atheist in Southern California in the early 1980's. As far as he knew, there was nobody else like him in the entire state, let alone in the entire country. He was completely isolated and completely on his own going through deconversion from fundamentalist Christianity, which can be a very painful experience, with absolutely no support. His mother (the one who sang in tongues) talked with him, he asked her a few direct questions, and she ended up also deconverting as a result. The same with his father, in whose case it allowed him to return to the swing music that he really loved. But the first time he ever met anyone who thought how he did was on a TV show interview which included Annie Laurie Gaylor from Michigan, who had co-founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation less than a decade before and whom he later married.

The point is that he had to travel more than half-way across the country to find anybody who thought as he did. At that point of his Atheists United presentation, he cried out, "Where were you guys when I needed you?" There they were, right next door to him, and he had no way to be aware of their existence.

Well, now the Internet and social media has changed all that. Now you can readily connect with any special interest group in your area or even outside your area.

I see that as factors in the exodus from organized religion (which largely is what the study was tracking) and from the dogma of those organized religions. The Nones are not necessarily more atheistic, but rather they are wanting to follow their own individual paths.

So then Nones still belief in something, but outside of the dogmatic and organized. That can and often does include entirely different ways of thinking of "God".

One of my personal chuckles about creationist and ID arguments is that they work so hard to try to get you to a point of accepting that some kind of supernatural explanation might be plausible, and then they suddenly jump to their extremely specific bible-literalist theology as the only explanation. Sheer idiocy!

------------------

I have a favor to ask you and anyone else on this forum. I gave you a URL to the Amazon page for Dan Barker's book. Did that also place you into my account? -- (does it say "Hello, David" over "Accounts & Lists"?)

Obviously, that will have a huge impact on how I share Amazon links in the future.


This message is a reply to:
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6131
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 5 of 50 (849665)
03-17-2019 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by dwise1
03-17-2019 3:12 AM


Re: Belief and Religion are Not the Same Things (close, but no cheroot)
No. Amazon is asking for a login.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19842
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.9


(1)
Message 6 of 50 (849667)
03-17-2019 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Thugpreacha
03-16-2019 1:55 PM


Re: But It Will Never Go Away
I think that belief will always be with us. Perhaps not as dogmatic and organized.

Indeed, the dogma doesn't survive well against reality facts without a lot of mental gymnastics, and the organized religions rely on dogma.

Are you still a Zen Deist? What do you believe?

Yes.
That god/s created the universe and said "surprise me/us"
That exists, in memes passed down ('Santa Clause' for example, where the spirit lives on through the generations). Lately I've been thinking that perhaps ancestor worship is the most honest religion in that regard.

Can of worms now open ...

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12297
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 7 of 50 (849668)
03-17-2019 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by RAZD
03-17-2019 12:55 PM


Re: But It Will Never Go Away
One of my favorite topics is addictions and brain science. One of the "programs" that addicts of all shapes and sizes us for a solution is Rational Recovery, also known as common sense. Basically, they preach that the human brain has a rational mind and an animal brain, known in their parlance as "The Beast".

Let's discuss religion in the context of addiction and see where the can of worms takes us.

I'm not scared.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by RAZD, posted 03-17-2019 12:55 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16464
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 8 of 50 (849673)
03-17-2019 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Thugpreacha
03-17-2019 1:52 PM


Re: But It Will Never Go Away
Phat writes:

Basically, they preach that the human brain has a rational mind and an animal brain, known in their parlance as "The Beast".


I'd divide Rational into Good Rational and Bad Rational. Bad Rational says there "must" be something beyond the natural and it stretches the rational beyond its limits to try to prove it. Good Rational is skeptical of Bad Rational.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3949
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 9 of 50 (849677)
03-17-2019 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by RAZD
03-17-2019 12:55 PM


Re: But It Will Never Go Away
Can of worms now open ...

*looks in can*

Yuck.

Well, whatever keeps your ninja proteins strong.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3454
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 10 of 50 (849679)
03-17-2019 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Theodoric
03-17-2019 12:35 PM


Re: Belief and Religion are Not the Same Things (close, but no cheroot)
Thanks. Now I can breathe more easily when posting an amazon link.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1421
Joined: 12-22-2015


Message 11 of 50 (849680)
03-17-2019 5:05 PM


More reasons why conservatives should have Open Borders.
95% of immigrants tend to be religious, and overwhelmingly Christian.

And the critical mass of religious folks would create a peer pressure situation which will force folks already here to be religious.

Open Borders is the only solution.

However, younger people are less religious than older folks. Even in Egypt, "only" 71% of young people say religion is important in their lives (older folks are at 78%).

I keep hearing that there is a religion crisis, among increasingly unreligious young folks, in places like Iran.

I even heard that is happening in Palestine.

Arab citizens of Israel have seen births rates drop by miles, and Jewish females now have a higher birth rate. Religious observance might play a major role in the birth decline.

Religion is tied to higher birth rates.

Lower birth rates indicate way less crime, as I just can't see "only child" families being incubators for crime, even in poorer neighborhoods.

The United States now has an all-time low of births per year per female.

The lifetime birth projections per female are about to break the 1976 record (1.74 in 1976, 1.76 now).

I tie religion and birth rates together as a major component of societal health.

(And yes, lower birth rates do help make hard borders a little softer)


    
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 12 of 50 (849685)
03-17-2019 11:02 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by dwise1
03-17-2019 3:42 PM


Re: Belief and Religion are Not the Same Things (close, but no cheroot)
Now I can breathe more easily when posting an amazon link.

That link shows my name (which is not "David").

I normally follow links in a private browsing session, and there it asks for a login. But this time, I repeated the attempt in an ordinary (non-private) session and it recognized me.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3454
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 13 of 50 (849686)
03-17-2019 11:24 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by nwr
03-17-2019 11:02 PM


Re: Belief and Religion are Not the Same Things (close, but no cheroot)
OK, so what that tells me is that the link contains no login/account information. Rather, I guess that the login/account information is in a cookie, so it will be specific to the user's computer, not to mine.

Thanks.


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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12297
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 14 of 50 (849689)
03-18-2019 6:54 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by dwise1
03-17-2019 11:24 PM


Re: Belief and Religion are Not the Same Things (close, but no cheroot)
TOPIC SYNOPSIS:

Lets examine RAZD's

First, the Link. Study Shows Religion In The U.S. Is In Decline

quote:
A new study finds a slow decline in American religiosity over time, demonstrating that religion in the United States is declining and mirroring patterns found across the western world.
The new research shows that contrary to anecdotal evidence, the United States is no different than other modern societies in the inevitable move towards secularization.

To clarify terminology, allow me:
Google Dictionary writes:


re·li·gi·os·i·ty --strong religious feeling or belief.


Websters writes:

especially : excessively, obtrusively, or sentimentally religious

Thus, religiosity = strong feeling or belief, especially excessively,obtrusively, or sentimentally. Now...as this move towards secularization is inevitable, according to the article and our very own tangle, what does that mean?

Google Dictionary writes:

sec·u·lar·i·za·tion --

  • the action or process of converting something from religious to secular possession or use.
  • disassociation or separation from religious or spiritual concerns.

  • Websters writes:

    Definition of secularize
    1 : to make secular
    2 : to transfer from ecclesiastical to civil or lay use, possession, or control
    3 : to convert to or imbue with secularism

    The club is not as popular and "cool" as it once was. dwise1 did bring up a good point, however:

    dwise1 writes:

    The study is about the decline of religion, not of belief (though it seems to also touch on changes in beliefs).

    jar taught me the value of critical thinking. Specifically logic, reason, and reality. The experiences that I had in my past, however, shaped my belief.
    dwise1 writes:

    The fundamental purposes of religion and churches have very little to do with actual beliefs. A church is a community which offers members much more than worshipping with God. Rather, it provides social and economic support as well as helping to unite the community (truthfully when one church dominates, hopefully when multiple churches are present unless there's a much stronger over-arcing secular social order in place).

    OK, so lets examine belief.
    Google Dictionary writes:

    be·lief

  • an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
  • something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
    opinion view viewpoint point of view attitude stance stand standpoint position perspective contention conviction judgment thinking way of thinking thought idea theory hypothesis thesis interpretation assumption presumption supposition surmise postulation conclusion deduction inference notion impression sense feeling fancy hunch
  • trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
  • Do I have confidance in what I have experienced? Would i feel as confidant if i admitted that there is no objective proof? How does this fact influence my belief?

    dwise1 writes:

    For others, seeing that they never received the "Fruits of the Spirit", most especially as teenagers, caused them to live in constant fear that they were not saved. Those kinds of life experiences lead to so many of them seeking escape from the Living Hell which has become Christianity.

    I never received anything tangible, apart from an enormous sense of optimism and dare i say arrogance and power once I became saved. Critics would say that atheists can be smug and arrogant as well...in different ways.

    AZPaul3 writes:

    *looks in can*

    Yuck.

    Well, whatever keeps your ninja proteins strong.

    One mans comic book is another mans Bible.

    Edited by Phat, : added jabberwocky


    Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

    You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

    Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
    In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
    ~Stile


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 13 by dwise1, posted 03-17-2019 11:24 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

      
    Stile
    Member
    Posts: 3465
    From: Ontario, Canada
    Joined: 12-02-2004
    Member Rating: 4.3


    (2)
    Message 15 of 50 (849693)
    03-18-2019 8:55 AM
    Reply to: Message 3 by Thugpreacha
    03-16-2019 1:55 PM


    Re: But It Will Never Go Away
    Phat writes:

    I think that belief will always be with us. Perhaps not as dogmatic and organized.

    I think you're right... but I think it will go a lot further than just "perhaps not as dogmatic and organized."

    I think religious beliefs will go the way of conspiracy theories like crop circles.
    Everyone knows they are man-made, and how they are man-made... but many still believe!

    It's just the nature of people.

    When people have a problem:

    1. Those who turn to rational, fact-based approaches will highly likely make headway and progress.
    -not everyone, a few here and there will hit a wall, or otherwise get confused, "fight the system" and go rogue.

    2. Those who turn to religious belief approaches will highly likely go nowhere - as per usual.
    -not everyone, a few here and there will serendipitously succeed and give all the credit to "their God" as opposed to the actual pure luck it should be associated with.

    One day it will get to a point where "being religious" will be seen as "being anti-vaccine."
    -An idea that may help the individual (if they're the only one who does it,) but will be known to hurt society as a whole if it grows beyond a few minuscule, isolated cases.
    -Society will tolerate those who actually require such an idea, but will see-through-the-bullshit and openly mock those who attempt to push the "believer's agenda" on the populous at large. Because it doesn't work. And rational, fact-based decision making does.


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