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Charles W Noble
Reason with eachother
05:51 PM on 07/05/2013
American religion is become more like speghitti sauce. There used to be one big brand, then maybe three brands at most. Now we have thousands of different brands - spicy spheghitti sauce, chunky, more sweet, more savory, more garlic, less garlic, etc, etc. Religion is becoming sliced and diced too. Larger religious institutions are deteriorating while smaller ones are gaining. Instead of focusing on the big macro market, looking at the micro market might tell a different story. Christianity is not the same in every country...in America, it is not the same going from state to state...soon, it won't be the same going from county to county. But the desire for creating a community bond will not dissipate. People still want a space to feel like they belong to something bigger than just themselves and religion provides that for many people.
Charles W Noble
Reason with eachother
05:46 PM on 07/05/2013
Religion teaches about community, gathering, and at least discusses some very complex issues relating to ethics. Some people not going to these places realize that there is a void here. Where do we go to discuss good moral character? virtue? Honor? Being a good friend? Or just being a decent neighbor? At the moment, there is no agnostic or atheist counter movement to fill in this big void.
06:35 PM on 07/05/2013
Actually, UUism could be that agnostic/atheist counter movement.
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imperator prime
liberal INTJ agnostic militant guy-on-guy's guy.
07:29 PM on 07/05/2013
There's the United Universalists, there's the Shambhala community (which I associate with, and is based on Buddhism but not explicitly Buddhist), there's the Centers for Inquiry, and there are various Humanist associations that aim to discuss and promote ethics and community without depending on theistic nonsense. But those same groups are vilified by Big Religion, who claim that we're just godless, amoral nihilists; and because Big Religion is so entrenched, they have a more powerful platform for misinforming people to discourage exploration of alternatives. All out of a mix of their desperation to keep their 'flocks' from shrinking, and their sincere (if delusional) belief that their way is the only way to "Heaven."
Linda from Deerfield
Paying attention
05:39 PM on 07/05/2013
It's looking like the Hispanic Catholics may have retained the best of Catholicism compared to the "white" Catholics.
05:23 PM on 07/05/2013
Good. More and more people becoming educated and relying on reason and common sense rather that groundless, idiotic nonsense...
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alieninthecaribbean
Trini to the bone. Global heart and soul
04:22 PM on 07/05/2013
Christian salvation theology no longer inspires people, even if living in a Christ-like manner does.

More people are finding the premise of Original Sin ridiculous or so reprehensible they can never worship such a Deity that let THOUSANDS of years of senseless suffering happen just because of some test to see if his first two underlings would obey him. And when they failed dreamt up the most convoluted and ineffective means of saving mankind that STILL would result in BILLIONS of souls just created for nothing but fuel for hell's fire. ALL known IN ADVANCE by this omniscient being.

And the response Christians give, "Well, he is GOD, he can do WHATEVER," speaks to our brainwashing in "Might is Right" in order to be perfect slaves to a ruling class. It may be unjust. It may make your skin crawl but the one with all the power gets to do WHATEVER they want and you better FALL IN LINE!

No human court in the world would EVER convict and extend default punishment to a child because of something their parent did years and years ago. We do not even do that to the children and grandchildren of Nazis, who ACTUALLY did something far more atrocious than eating a magical fruit. When we deliver justice, we ensure to our best ability it fits the crime.

The idea of original sin and eternal torment is repugnant to every decent person who truly THINKS it through.
05:10 PM on 07/05/2013
Atheists cannot take all the blame for their doubting Thomas response to God. I BELIEVE doubt and division were baked into the cake before there were space or time. God was an immaterial cognitive force outside of space and time, but he was not alone. I call the other cognitive force "nature" because I don't know what else to call it, and it seems natural to me that the immaterial status quo would naturally be incapable of, and naturally resistant, to anything else. God didn't like the status quo of eternity past and used the mysterious and awesome power he had to create a universe large enough to beat the odds against grateful cognition. The odds were great because He was opposed by the anti-creative force. The oppositional anti-creative force in the creative process accounts for negatives (disease, malice, poison ivy) experienced since the beginning.

A multiverse-sized God who loved the inheritors of a cosmic speck of dust entered into it as vulnerable flesh knowing and accepting the excruciating pain commensurate with our needs for forgiving grace.

Regarding adversity: In our frame, many of us perceive the duration of this "evidence" challenging God's omnipotence as endless fore and aft. But in God's frame--from His creation of time until His ultimate defeat of the anti-creative force and to eternity beyond--the moment of challenge to His omnipotence may be likened to the twinkling of an eye, to page 1 of an encyclopedia
Charles W Noble
Reason with eachother
05:48 PM on 07/05/2013
big words does not make your story more believable. I mean in the end, there is nothing rational about it.
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lokitheviking
Sportin'Life sez It Ain't Necessarily So
07:32 PM on 07/06/2013
That's using religion to try and describe science. Energy, matter and anti-matter. Metaphysics as a part of cosmology. Our ancestors anthropomorphized the energies of the known and unknown. They gave names to constellations in the night sky. God favored their tribe in battle. We don't need to do that anymore, but you still can if you want to.
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Debra Martinez
Who is your God...
03:56 PM on 07/05/2013
Its so funny how people view things, like GOD Almighty is feeling bad. Jesus' said only few will find that narrow road. LIFE
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TheOverlord
Convictions are more dangerous than lies
03:07 PM on 07/05/2013
Religion is dying as a result of its' own fatal flaws (primarily being that it is all pretend) and this is a good thing for our country. The last thing America needs is more religion and I think acceptance of non-religious people will start to increase just as people have learned to accept homosexuality.
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Scotland Dave
Stop lying to kids,break the cycle of religion.
02:49 PM on 07/05/2013
I heard that Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses is on the rise: it seems that the republican strategy of dumbing down America is working to some degree!
05:43 PM on 07/05/2013
I think in general the smaller groups have gained. The large groups have lost (or at best stayed the same with immigration). Those losses have spread around the various smaller groups, nones, Islam, Mormons, etc.
12:06 AM on 07/06/2013
It could be Scientology. That is the thing about religions, there is always something way more ridiculous waiting in the wings.
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tunghaichuan
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
10:00 AM on 07/06/2013
Are the claims of Scientology that much more ridiculous than any of the other religious, supernatual claims?
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chicgogo
One Nation under Mad,,,ness
02:24 PM on 07/05/2013
"Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man -- living in the sky -- who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do.. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! ..But He loves you." - George Carlin

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours" -Stephen Roberts
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SterlingArcher
Something something Daaaannggeerr Zooonneee
05:02 PM on 07/08/2013
"And he needs...MONEY!!! He's all powerful, all wise and all knowing, just for some reason can't get a handle on money" We miss you George
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UCBAlum
half-baked noodle
02:22 PM on 07/05/2013
If organized religion did a better job of serving the interests of the planet and its inhabitants, fewer people would feel the need to reject it.

I think we've outgrown our religions, and since none have the capacity to change in a meaningful enough way to meet our current and future needs, we will find replacements.
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kitstealey
06:56 PM on 07/05/2013
Thank you. I tried to say the same thing, in about 10,000 more words. Thank you.
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UCBAlum
half-baked noodle
02:12 PM on 07/05/2013
So this is a spin zone? From the headline and the article, one might be tempted to believe atheists and other non-believers thought their increasing numbers was "a bad thing".

But the data shows that the more "fundamental" or active a religious person is, the less likely they are to see the growth of affiliation as a good thing. This holds true with the non-believers too...with the fewest numbers (19% of respondents) thinking it was a bad thing and the highest numbers of people thinking it didn't matter or was a good thing.

I don't know exactly why a non-believer would think the rise in their numbers is "a bad thing", but I would resist the temptation to believe atheists and others are a self-loathing lot. That has not been my experience.
05:34 AM on 07/06/2013
You are confusing "non-believer" with "non-affiliated." Only one-third of the the non-affiliated are non-believers.
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VinZenTexaN
God welcomes his victims
12:48 PM on 07/05/2013
I see the concept of a god who interferes in human affairs as a sinister idea. If such a god existed it would be our duty to abolish him. But I am not an anti-deist. If there is or was a god who created the universe in a way which was especially favorable to the existence of life or a god who blew on the first embers to start off life and then just let it burn and then just sat back and abandoned magic or wished himself out of existence I have no antipathy to such a god. But such a god would probably not care very much either way about me, so I'm cool with that. I do not respect a god who creates people with
a will and then judges them on how they use it, maintaining them as un dead zombies in order to punish them or keep them as eternal pets to glorify him. That is despicable in the highest degree
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Jan Cummins
01:27 PM on 07/05/2013
I love your statement "I do not respect a god who creates people with a will and then judges them on how they ues it" - I never thought of it that way! I always found it funny that deeply religious people will say things like "it's the will of god" or "god is sending me a message" but then when things are bad they say things like "god gave man free will to make their own decisions". Yet again the hypocrysy of religion is shown. Thank you for that insight - I will use it in my next discussion with those that believe as an atheist I eat kittens and babies.
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VinZenTexaN
God welcomes his victims
02:01 PM on 07/05/2013
Thank you Jan :-) F &  F ! 
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VinZenTexaN
God welcomes his victims
02:02 PM on 07/05/2013
If there's a God it know exactly what it would take to convince me and it has refuse to provide it . . . In fact it has gone to great lengths to hide any evidence of it's existence. That doesn't seem like a deity that wants to be worship to me :-)
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alieninthecaribbean
Trini to the bone. Global heart and soul
04:05 PM on 07/05/2013
I am a deist and I am totally with you on the premise of Freewill.

Freewill can only truly be free if it is free and not coerced by threats or rewards. A parent who tells a child, "Love and obey me within this time limit, OR ELSE I will hold your hand over the kitchen stove and burn it, let it heal, then burn it again and keep repeating. You will not be able to change your mind then nor would it even matter. I will punish you for not loving me FOR AS LONG AS YOU LIVE!!!"

It is just as diabolical a premise as an Almighty Deity doing it. Perhaps even MORE diabolical because WHY would an Almighty Deity even need to do such a thing?
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VinZenTexaN
God welcomes his victims
04:26 PM on 07/05/2013
Thank you alien I wish I could fan YOU again :-) 

How much free will can you have when everything do is monitored by a judgmental ghost?
:-)
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VinZenTexaN
God welcomes his victims
12:46 PM on 07/05/2013
Thank god i . . .

The Christians are waiting for Jesus to take them into 'Heaven' and start a 'tribulation' against the rest of us while they watch us suffer.

The Muslims are waiting for their prophet to come down and kill all the infidels, leaving Islam as the only religion, taking over the world.

Neither of them are about relieving any suffering, which an all powerful god should be able to do right now, sans public appearance of his/it's representative.

Atheism, if it wants anything at all, wants to lift up individual humans through education, critical thinking, and skepticism. Of the three, this is the only group that can relieve any suffering using it's given precepts. It has no omnipotence. It has no omniscience. It has no dogma. What it does have is us, and science.

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth."- H. L. Mencken

". Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain." - Gene Roddenberry
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chicgogo
One Nation under Mad,,,ness
02:17 PM on 07/05/2013
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

-Epicururs
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VinZenTexaN
God welcomes his victims
03:51 PM on 07/05/2013
Indeed :-)
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Debra Martinez
Who is your God...
04:20 PM on 07/05/2013
THE evil comes from man doing.. Evil lovers,.. LIFE
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Debra Martinez
Who is your God...
04:20 PM on 07/05/2013
Who said that there is room for them and YOU in heaven... Who said that GOD was here for YOU. Little don't you know You are no part of his people... I am so glad at least what ever you have today will be gone tomorrow...
05:51 AM on 07/06/2013
I think you just made Jesus cry.
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kitlevey
American Lion
11:08 AM on 07/05/2013
Why would anyone need someone to forgive them for something they could never have done?
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LightShadow62
The answers are not found in the extremes
11:04 AM on 07/05/2013
If they actually broke down the "nones" properly we would find that the 19% that say the reduction in religion is bad are the agnostics and spirituals, those who refuse to completely let go of the god myths.