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03:15 AM on 05/26/2010
The rise of atheism is due to many factors. Americans before 9/11 percieved organized faith as a force of good but after it and having our consciousness saturated with reports of religiously motivated mass murders in the Middle East, Americans now see more grey when it comes to religious faith. Also the recent sex abuse scandals involving the Catholic Church have changed the way we view religious leaders. Also the Religious Right or Evangelical Christians have infected organized faith like a virus and their frequent forays into the political realm have all but ensured chaos in American Foreign Policy towards Muslim Nations. Also in Europe there are far more atheists than here in the states. Atheists hold political offices and the nation of Denmark 80% of the country claims no belief in God. Catholicism in Europe is rapidly collapsing, the Churches power or what little it has left is being erroded away due to their own arrogance and corruption. In 50 or more years there will be no Catholic Church. The younger generation of America has seen both sides when it comes to organized faith but it seems for every good deed there are far more done in the opposite. Atheism in America may not diminish Christianity but it will certainly become a new political powerhouse in the future and a more accepted norm.
06:07 AM on 05/26/2010
Dear Atheos1776.

Proud to be your first fan.
04:47 PM on 05/26/2010
thanks
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adrianrf
Another job-creating immigrant
04:49 PM on 05/27/2010
me third.
06:09 AM on 05/26/2010
My “Post-Judeo-Christian series”

“IGNORANCE IS THE SOIL IN WHICH BELIEF IN MIRACLES GROWS”

Robert Ingersoll

http://books.google.com/books?q=ignorance+is+the+soil+in+which+belief+in+miracles+grow&btnG=Search+Books

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899), American lawyer and orator, known as the Great Agnostic because of his antireligious views.

He was born in Dresden, New York, on August 11, 1833. Even though his father was an enthusiastic Congregationalist preacher, Ingersoll early developed a distaste for strict religion. In 1858 he settled in Peoria, Illinois, to practice law and served as attorney general of Illinois from 1867 to 1869. His own efforts to enter politics were thwarted because of his antireligious views, but he gained fame as a spokesman for such politicians as James G. Blaine and Rutherford B. Hayes (who later became president).

Ingersoll became a celebrity as a lecturer. His talks scandalized orthodox clergy. Yet he had his own humanistic creed: the belief that happiness is the only good and that the way to be happy is to make others so. Ingersoll wrote over 20 antiorthodox lectures, including “Why I Am an Agnostic” (1896). He died in Dobbs Ferry, New York, on July 21, 1899.

MY BLASPHEMOUS BLOGS
In the East God Won - The high cost of organized ignorance.
http://whengodwins.blogspot.com/

Holy Cows and Calves - Sacred superstitions, aka religions.
http://holycowsandcalves.blogspot.com/

ניפוץ אלילים - ביעור הבערות
Holy Heretics - Jesus, Maimonides, Spinoza, the Founding Fathers, Herzl and Einstein.
http://holyheretics.com/
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dsws
No owning ideas. Limit only commercial use.
09:44 PM on 05/25/2010
Will Atheism Replace Religion in America?

No.

Have you witnessed a growth in unbelief in your lifetime?

No.

Does the possibility that non-belief could become normative scare you, sadden you, or excite you?

Mu. There is no such possibility.
06:04 AM on 05/26/2010
The honest, intelligent shepherds realize we are entering a Post-Christian world. There is nothing they can do to stop this.

BEING A CHRISTIAN IN A POST-CHRISTIAN CULTURE
Type:
Meetings - Convention
Start Time:
Friday, September 17, 2010 at 1:30pm
End Time:
Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 4:30pm

Description
Today, we are living in a post-Christian and even anti-Christian society where the holiness of God is mocked, Christians are silenced, and the gospel is largely seen as irrelevant, even in many professedly “Christian” churches. Those of us who are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ often find it difficult to find our bearings in this ever-changing world, let alone shine the light of Christ into the darkest recesses of the culture.

In an effort to help believers learn how to live out the implications of the gospel in this culture, Ligonier Ministries is hosting a conference September 17–18, 2010, in Washington, D.C., featuring two of our four teaching fellows, Robert Godfrey and R.C. Sproul Jr., as well as, Thabiti Anyabwile, Albert Mohler, and Burk Parsons. Dr. Spoul will also join us via live video feed for a live one on one with attendees. This conference will provide sound teaching as to how Christians can recover a biblical understanding of the world around us and, consequently, how we can reform out lives and our spheres of influence.

http://www.ligonier.org/events/2010-regional/
http://pt-pt.facebook.com/event.php?eid=110804488955398&ref=mf
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dsws
No owning ideas. Limit only commercial use.
07:09 AM on 05/26/2010
"even in many professedly “Christian” churches"

There have been believers denouncing each other as not really being members of the True Religion, since approximately forever. This is not a change.
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SonOfUgh
Your micro-bio is empty
04:39 PM on 05/26/2010
Wow. Aren't you the informed seer of the future. It's hard to take seriously any person whose opinion is such that they do not perceive the possibility that they are wrong.
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dsws
No owning ideas. Limit only commercial use.
07:32 PM on 05/26/2010
"Aren't you the informed seer of the future."

No. It's just that it's extremely obvious. Religious fervor has been fluctuating approximately forever, just like the current fluctuations, and it's always bounced right back.

"It's hard to take seriously any person whose opinion is such that they do not perceive the possibility that they are wrong."

I believe it's impossible. Of course I may be wrong -- just like you may be wrong if you predict that an object you drop will fall until something such as the floor stops it. Just because it happens all the time, that's not a logical/mathematical proof that it will happen the same way the next time. It may turn out that I'm wrong about how the world works, and in particular that grass is grue and the sky is bleen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grue_and_bleen I just don't think so.
09:11 PM on 05/25/2010
It's interesting that theists seem to assume that the only possible views on the matter of the deity are belief or "atheism", i.e. positive disbelief. A much more likely development, looking at Western Europe, seems to be that educated people simply stop to give a damn.

Given the fact that we simply don't have any evidence either way, the obvious attitude of choice is simply "wait and see", as an increasing number of folks seem to be realizing. Life's too short to get worked up about something that we not only seem to know nothing whatsoever about, but that seems positively unknowable to us at least at this point in time. It is also pretty obvious to a growing number of people that those who proclaim special knowledge of transcendental and metaphysical matters, or special connections to this deity or another are summarily frauds, and that time spent sifting through the thicket of presumption, lies, and deception for each and every single one of them is much better spent elsewhere, on a job, with the family, or the dog. In the Google age it takes but seconds to find an endless barrage of the most sincerely presented and absurd BS, from traditional Christ/Allah/Jahwe stuff to New Age nonsense.

The conclusion for many isn't simply "unbelief", it is to not get involved with it, to not spend precious time on it, to not care. To worry about something that merits worrying about.
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JoeMentia
They hate us for our Free Dumb!
11:06 PM on 05/25/2010
Can't recall from whom or where I heard this, but the operative term that you are describing in your first paragraph is "Apatheism."
12:33 PM on 05/26/2010
It's not a bad term, although I am not sure about the connotation of "apathy". For instance, someone might still think the question whether a deity exists is important, crucial even, but still not care to get involved in what offers itself as the social discourse on that matter because it is devoid of any factual basis. In that case, the "apathy" would apply to the discourse rather than the issue of the deity itself.

I only have anecdotal evidence for this, but it seems to me that this is the prevailing attitude among the folks I was describing --- they would be interested to hear about any good insights supporting the existence or non-existence of a deity, but just got tired with all the BS and the fact-free posing and shouting on that issue that they effectively logged out of the debate. They simply don't expect anyone to come up with anything ground breaking on that issue, and certainly nobody wearing funny dresses or hats as part of their job of peddling bronze age delusions.
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UnderTheHedgeWeGo
Show me some evidence.
08:20 PM on 05/25/2010
While this article enumerates several of the reasons for religious belief, to my mind it omits the two most obvious reasons people cling to religion;

1) Fear of death. People are drawn to any belief that tells them a lifetime of trying to determine "what it all means" does not simply terminate. There is great comfort in believing that an afterlife not only exists, but that it will be superior to your present circumstances. Good people will be rewarded and the bad will be punished. (It does leave this whole "culture of life" thing fundamentalists adore as a bit of a contradiction).

2) Answers, the need to feel you understand the world. We continually hear from "spiritual" people that there is more than one way of "knowing". There isn't. There is one way to "know" things, to truly understand them, and that is through science and the scientific method. There may be many ways of "feeling" but there is only one way of "knowing". If you are scientifically illiterate what alternate path to "knowing" is there aside from religion?
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emmanuel goldstein
NSA = Needlessly Surveilling Americans
07:52 PM on 05/25/2010
Atheism is something that will get your kids kicked out of the Scouts, get you kept from good jobs, or shunned and harassed by the local citizens, so of course most people have been reluctant to admit such things. But, much like with being gay, or smoking pot, people are much more open about such things now. That doesn't mean that eventually everyone will be gay, or smoke pot, it just means that people are allowed to be more open about who they are, so it looks like there are many more of these types of people, because they are being counted, where as before they were not.

Religion is here to stay, thank the god/dess/s. We will see the fundamentalist approach to religion fall, just as we saw the alchemist's approach to science fall with the advent of modern scientific process, and something as equally beautiful will emerge from it's chrysalis.

Buddhism saw a 170%, in America, increase in adherents between 1990 & 2000. Buddhists are atheists, and religious. How does the headline, "Will Atheism Replace Religion in America?", apply to that?
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adrianrf
Another job-creating immigrant
05:10 AM on 05/26/2010
1st para: with you all the way.

the rest: sorry, doubt that very much.
the advance of science and education (in most countries; we're sadly slipping in the US, thanks in part to the xtians) is crushing ignorance.
and ignorance is the soil in which religion flourishes.
06:11 AM on 05/26/2010
“IGNORANCE IS THE SOIL IN WHICH BELIEF IN MIRACLES GROWS”

Robert Ingersoll

http://books.google.com/books?q=ignorance+is+the+soil+in+which+belief+in+miracles+grow&btnG=Search+Books

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899), American lawyer and orator, known as the Great Agnostic because of his antireligious views.
08:45 AM on 05/26/2010
I like that, "ignorance is the soil in which religion flourishes." i don't think that the idea of religion could have been more eloquently stated. I am a new unbeliever. I have been flouristhing in the soils of ignorance for almost 40 years of my life. Although I am now relieved of the burdon of christianity and the hebrew god, I do regret spending the majority of my life living and believing a lie. Ther are so many things that I would have done differently if I would have know the truth or rather the lie concerning the bible.
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07:21 AM on 05/26/2010
Do you try hard to be this annoying? Of course not everyone will be gay because the majority of people are not gay. Of course not everyone will smoke pot because it is a drug with significant side effects and is illegal to possess.

Atheism is not like smoking pot at all. It is an intellectual position about the nature of reality, not a mind altering drug. Atheism is like being gay only in how gay people and atheists are treated in America which has kept and continues to keep gays and atheists quiet, but theism and atheism, unlike sexual orientation, are quite amenable to change.

Not all Buddhists are atheists just because they don't believe in the Christian god, either. We see the same from you all the time here in the Religion section with your use of the word "God" for -God knows- what, and you are not an atheist.
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emmanuel goldstein
NSA = Needlessly Surveilling Americans
04:13 PM on 05/26/2010
Do you intentionally misunderstand me because you have difficulty debating me?

You obviously have a problem with analogies. If pot were legal, everyone that smoked would be open about, and it would not make everyone smoke. That should cover your first two paragraphs, other than to say that, "Atheism is like being gay only in how gay people and atheists are treated in America which has kept and continues to keep gays and atheists quiet," was the point of those analogies.

Buddhists are atheists because Buddhists do not be live in any kind of deity whatsoever. That makes them atheist.

You, as usual, have not actually rebutted any of my points, but thanks for playing.
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emmanuel goldstein
NSA = Needlessly Surveilling Americans
07:31 PM on 05/26/2010
"and you are not an atheist."
Never claimed to be one...so as usual, WTF you talkin' 'bout squid-o?
07:35 PM on 05/25/2010
I have to view any trend towards a lack of belief with some skepticism. After all, it takes just one well-known firebrand evangelical preaching to an uneducated mob to set atheism in America back twenty years. If we really want to see a lasting place for atheism, agnosticism, and skepticism in America, we should look to our education of successive generations.
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UnderTheHedgeWeGo
Show me some evidence.
07:46 PM on 05/25/2010
Oh, I think it is extremely likely that the society will reach a "caring capacity" or "saturation limit" of atheists and remain at that level for some time to come. I can't imagine what the phenomenon would be in American culture that would cause a significant increase intellectual materialism beyond what we are experiencing. I also can't believe there is one more super-evangelical out there that could change the equation. I think we have passed the saturation point with that, but I could be wrong.
GHarry
Kitty wrangler
07:22 PM on 05/25/2010
It occurs to me that merely by replying to these pro-superstition articles we rational people are being manipulated. It's irresistible, though: It's as if someone wrote a passionate article about how he stayed up all night playing chess with the Tooth Fairy, and HuffPo invited us to comment on it. If religion as a whole were not such a powerful and tyrannical institution, these articles would not even merit a reply.
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UnderTheHedgeWeGo
Show me some evidence.
07:37 PM on 05/25/2010
Ya, you can tell there is always one thread dedicate to letting us vent our pent up frustration and "intellecst, vast and cool" to all that will listen. Ha! :-)
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kadene
wordsmith
05:23 PM on 05/25/2010
One day, a few centuries from now, our species will understand in hindsight that our need for religion was a phase we had to pass through, like an infant needs the reassuring touch of a parent, but later leaves fear of the dark and bed-wetting behind by growing out of it. This major wave of atheism will see several more, until homo sapiens moves to the next level of maturity. And we shouldn't get angry with those who for some reason still need to cling to religion. It will keep receding through their progeny until the need dies out completely.
05:56 PM on 05/25/2010
Maybe people will think in a few hundred years time, that the secularising trend of the end of the 20th and start 21st century throughout Europe and North America was destructive, we lost sight of our values and ourselves, which were ultimately grounded in Christianity. We became disillusioned with life rather than giving it the true value it deserves.

This could be the reality we are facing.
06:44 PM on 05/25/2010
I disagree Gareth... Right now, in the present, I am disillusioned with all of the "values" that the so-called Christian right are spouting and then, ultimately, get caught doing the exact opposite of the values they are speaking of. The values which you speak of I would consider morality. You don't need religion to have morals. Let's take a look at Native Americans. They were not grounded in Christianity yet they had a strong set of morals to respect nature, each other and the rest of the world around them and prospered for a millenia before Europeans came along with their Christianity and all but wiped them off the map... I can insert any other major religion in any other area of the world and it would be the same premise. Unfortunately for North and South America, the Christian world came in and destroyed their morals/values in a few generations. I think their "true value" is lost to all of us and the only thing a modern society can do is look at its past mistakes and realize that to evolve, we must find new ways of thinking other than the dogma that has ruled civilization for two thousand plus years...
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UnderTheHedgeWeGo
Show me some evidence.
07:50 PM on 05/25/2010
So, garethppls, your looking froward to "dark-ages II, the sequel". I hope you are mistaken.
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emmanuel goldstein
NSA = Needlessly Surveilling Americans
07:09 PM on 05/25/2010
That's some faith you've got there....
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05:17 PM on 05/25/2010
G0D is Imagination and Religion is the tool that keeps the masses in check,....

So will Religion disappear,? No, but religious people will, and I'm not talking about the ''Rapture/Abduction'',..

Humans must Evolve, and the first step would be to leave the myths and fairy tales behind, but don't worry, You'll still have your Iron Mans, Spider Mans and X-Men...
04:57 PM on 05/25/2010
"Free your mind and your ass will follow...the kingdom of heaven is within." - The great George Clinton
04:57 PM on 05/25/2010
This thrills me!!!!!!
05:04 PM on 05/25/2010
Umm...ok.
04:54 PM on 05/25/2010
Video games do not promote isolation, just the opposite. The main attraction of video games today for younger people is to compete, socialize, and make friends while playing video games. Millions of teenagers join online communities in their PS3s and Xboxs and they can talk to each other via headset & microphone while playing, even see each other through the TV. The play in teams, organize leagues, etc. Although, they are not physically playing against or with people, they are still connecting with people on a social level. The social process may be different from older generations, but it is still socializing; moreover, they are socializing in a worldwide platform as opposed to the small group in their neighorhood.

What about chartiable organizations helping to find cures for diseases? These organizations offer plenty of hope or so called "miracles" with only the belief that cures can be found. How can a religious organization defeat sickness and cancer if it rejects scientific thought? Sports organizations can produce hope or life changing experiences through their stars performing feats that are thought to be impossible. They inspire people to be great through their actions.

Like Barber has said, religion is the oldest type of social organization, and the more society comes together, the less need it will have for religion. Religion in the old times was important because it brought people together to create better societies. However, we now have great societies and these societies are branding religion as a old, useless social
05:38 AM on 05/26/2010
I agree, but let's be clear; video games are an expression of myth-making and worship, of assuming ideal characteristics with deist-like avatars, leading to forms of social interaction and personal reward - fulfilling the role and definition of a religion. Similarly with movies, TV, books, comics, sports and celebrities etc. It may not be an organized religion, but it's religious behavior.
01:25 PM on 05/26/2010
You may have a small point with the video games, but watching movies and reading books are religious behaviour. In what way exactly?
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04:54 PM on 05/25/2010
Let's remove references to god from tax paid buildings, currency, patriotic songs and pledges, etc., and allow our country's freedom to truly apply to "freedom of religion." That way all citizens can have "freedom of religion."
04:48 PM on 05/25/2010
One last thing: what does saying "I believe in god" even mean? There never has been nor ever will be a consensus description of god. Not only has every religion ever invented had differing depictions of god, but each individual who professes a belief in god has their own personal definition. How am I supposed to believe in an ever shifting target? In order to claim to believe in "god" I would have to ask every person who has ever lived what their definition of god is and then proceed to declare "ah, yes, I believe in all of those." Either that or simply admit that I am making up a being unique to my mind and therefore, likely non-existent outside my mind.
05:01 PM on 05/25/2010
"God is a concept by which we measure our pain." - John Lennon
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JoeMentia
They hate us for our Free Dumb!
11:02 PM on 05/25/2010
deep and meaningless
05:08 PM on 05/25/2010
What does I believe in Triguy85 even mean. Maybe Me and Lastrose have very different opinions. What about all the other commenters? How can we even believe that a Triguy85 exists unless we get some consensus on who he is.

On second thought maybe this wasn't a very well thought out argument.
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Joshua Maddox
04:46 PM on 05/25/2010
kids don't always play video games in isolation. Sometimes they play with their friends. Also, miracles happen everyday in science and in medicine, and, unlike the those which occur in religious social organizations, they are documented and can be repeated over and over again. I don't blame the author for these oversights, it is, indeed, a tough topic to discuss.

It's not that God doesn't exist friend, but more like He isn't the person you believe He is.