Religious people could be the minority by the year 2041 according to Biopsychologist Nigel Barber, who says this is the case in well-developed countries as personal wealth increases. In a recent article in Psychology Today," Barber said: "Research has shown that religion declines not just with rising national wealth but also with all plausible measures of the quality of life, including length of life, decline of infectious diseases, education, the rise of the welfare state, and more equal distribution of income.
A survey by the PEW Research Center last year backs up Barber's assertions, and saw record numbers indicating a huge upswing in Atheism, with 20 percent of Americans now identifying as Agnostic, Atheist or "Unaffiliated" with a religion. This was the highest percentages ever of "Nones" or those who are unaffiliated in Pew Research Center polling.
According to a 2011 Gallup Poll, 92 percent of Americans believe in a God they've never seen and cannot prove. Christianity is forced on us in childhood, and we are threatened to choose between conformity and damnation. We are warned to worship Jesus or burn in hell. Organized religion has controlled the masses in America for over 200 years. The decision to accept Jesus as lord and savior is not usually made through logic, but from the emotional bullying of a puritanical society.
Most Americans don't reach their religious conclusions through research. In fact, very few Americans possess much knowledge on Christianity beyond what their pastor tells them on Sunday. In an article by the Religion News Service, author Caleb Bell concluded Americans claim to love the bible, but very few actually read it. He also said that younger people seem to be moving away from the Bible, with a majority (57 percent) of those ages 18-28 reading their Bibles less than three times a year, if at all.
Only a tiny percentage of the faithful have made a conscious decision to be Christians based on in-depth study of it. They believe because they are brainwashed to believe. And God help anyone who doesn't, because Christians can be vicious when their beliefs are even lightly challenged. This malice is rooted in fear, personal insecurities, and lack of proof in their beliefs. The most frightening part of organized religion in America is that so many people refuse to discuss it intelligently and unemotionally. When it comes to religion, many people operate with the emotional maturity of a child. Americans are so terrified of their mortality that they willingly suspend their critical thinking and believe almost anything that eases their fear and offers them comfort.
Science is seen as a threat and is often not welcome in the religious debate. Scientists, agnostics, and atheists are savagely attacked for having the audacity to question the beliefs of people living their lives through blind faith.
On the other side of the spectrum you have staunch atheists who are usually more educated on religion than most religious people. Estimates of the size of this group range from 5-15 percent of the population, but is likely much larger because so many are afraid to speak out.
The delusion of religion is not whether or not God exists, but in the absolute certainty of knowing the unknowable. The staunch atheist who claims to know God does not exist is as guilty as the far right fundamentalist. Both claim to possess information they don't have. Does God exist? No one knows, yet billions of otherwise intelligent people claim to know something they cannot prove.
Back to Nigel Barber's point: Is it possible that religion will disappear, or will the religious become far and few between us? The world is experiencing nonlinear expansion in consciousness which I believe makes the abandonment of the supernatural a real possibility in 25 years.
Also to Barber's point on increased wealth and decreased religious belief: The Bible has hundreds of references to money, warning the faithful of the dangers of riches and the downside of wealth. Proverbs 23:4 says; "Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it." Not only does God discourage gaining wealth, he doesn't want us to even consider it.
Religion will continue to be popular in a world that's addicted to the emotion of hope. Critical thinking says people don't believe in the Bible because it's believable; they believe it because they want to believe it. They need to believe it. Instead of searching for the truth, they cling to this book like a drowning man to a life preserver.
Don't take my word for it or your pastor's word or even Nigel Barber's word; do your own research. Reach the bible and use your own critical thinking and see what kind of conclusions you come up with.