Religion to disappear by 2041

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Tweefo (July 30, 2013, 13:40:06 PM):
http://guardianlv.com/2013/07/religion-to-disappear-by-2041-claims-new-study/
Now why am I sceptical about this claim? People need to believe in something it seems, and you can reason with them till you are blue in the face, you will not convince them. Maybe better education and a higher standard of living will work, but the majority of a population? Then you also have the effect of something big, like a major earthquake or a war that will change the borderline mindset. Logic tells you that something big like that would help (to end religion) but in situations like that logic is in short supply. And why 2041 exactly?
Mefiante (July 30, 2013, 14:22:58 PM):
Religion will disappear from the majority of our planet within 28 years!? Like Kaufmann, I seriously doubt Barber’s contention, even ignoring the sticky problem of properly defining what religion is and what it isn’t. In much of Europe formal religion is definitely declining at an accelerating pace but it is being replaced in many cases by assorted New Age and/or mystical beliefs that are not far removed, if at all, from more traditional religious ones. However, unlike Kaufman, I don’t think it’s mainly because the religious will outbreed unbelievers; rather, there’s simply still too much cultural momentum behind religious beliefs for them to go away in little more than a generation.

Barber’s hypothesis wrongly assumes that religious indoctrination from infancy can fairly readily be undone. It can be for some people but most carry that baggage to their graves with them after having burdened their own offspring with it, a situation that will persist until the mainstream is gradually whittled down to a subcritical mass. Barring a sudden major shift of some sort, I can’t see the latter happening in Barber’s proposed timeframe.

Would be nice if he were right, though…

'Luthon64
brianvds (July 30, 2013, 14:49:09 PM):
In developed countries, at least the traditional religions have far fewer adherents than they used to, and they tend to be vastly more tolerant and open-minded too. I think that if the world continues to develop economically we may well see the eventual disappearance of traditional religion (but by 2041? On 24 October, at 3 am Eastern Standard Time? Where DO they get these curiously specific predictions from?).

Anyway, the problem isn't religion as such, but authoritarianism combined with a fundamentalist sort of mindset. Stalin's Soviet Union was ostensibly atheist, but far from a tolerant, broad-minded paradise. Instead of God, they simply had Stalin himself as the new deity, and he and his party were treated pretty much as such. That didn't exactly help.

In western Europe, utterly irrational thought is still rife. I lived there for two years, and the people did not strike me as all that much less given to irrational thought than anyone else. In short, traditional religions have simply been replaced with new systems of irrational thought, and what makes it even worse is that now, the people do not even realize that the things they believe are in effect religions. Hence we have "natural" healing (it is all but frickin' impossible to get hold of effective over-the-counter medicines in the Netherlands), "green" movements that need little more than a swastika to be clones of the Nazi party, paranoia over vaccination and nuclear power, absurd nanny state laws that "protect" you against everything, especially yourself, and so on and so forth. I sometimes despair for the species.

Still, I do not want to sound too pessimistic either. I think there really has been at least some progress. I just don't see that everything will suddenly be different in 2041. :-)
cr1t (July 30, 2013, 14:55:19 PM):
Yea right, you not going to undo 100 million years of evolution in 20 years.
But on the good side if you went back 500 years to Europe everybody would have looked like
a religious extremist, so things are getting better.
BoogieMonster (July 30, 2013, 15:04:31 PM):
Religion will disappear from the majority of our planet within 28 years!?

I could maybe buy that if by majority they mean 51%. Then maybe. Unlikely, but possible. Isn't most of China technically atheistic anyway? Does Buddhism/Taoism count?

... paranoia over vaccination and nuclear power, absurd nanny state laws that "protect" you against everything, especially yourself, and so on and so forth. I sometimes despair for the species.

Atheism unfortunately does not cure stupidity, It simply means people no longer believe in a supreme being. Thus I must point out, IMHO the matter is stated a bit backwards. We need more critical, rational thought. Given more of that, the atheism thing should take care of itself sooner or later. Also, it's a lot more marketable to sell "rational thought" than "atheism".

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