Author Topic: Religion is declining in the US  (Read 722 times)

Online Hydra009 (OP)

Religion is declining in the US
« on: October 23, 2017, 05:39:44 PM »


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Since 1990, the fraction of Americans with no religious affiliation has nearly tripled, from about 8 percent to 22 percent. Over the next 20 years, this trend will accelerate: by 2020, there will be more of these "Nones" than Catholics, and by 2035, they will outnumber Protestants.
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Religious beliefs are primarily determined by the environment people grow up in, including their family life and wider social influences. Although some people change religious affiliation later in life, most do not, so changes in the population are largely due to generational replacement.
The bolded part isn't all that surprising, but it's frequently contested by religious people who insist that their heartfelt beliefs are due to soul-searching and rational inquiry rather than indoctrination.  By pure coincidence, the ultimate truth of the universe just happens to be their parents' religion and/or their society's predominant religion.

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Religious belief is in decline, as well as confidence in religious institutions:

The fraction of people who say they “know God really exists and I have no doubts about it” has decreased from 64% in the 1990s to 58% now, and will approach 50% in the next 20 years.

At the same time the share of atheists and agnostics, based on self-reports, has increased from 6% to 10%, and will reach 14% around 2030.

Confidence in the people running organized religions is dropping rapidly: the fraction who report a “great deal” of confidence has dropped from 36% in the 1970s to 19% now, while the fraction with “hardly any” has increased from 17% to 26%.  At 3-4 percentage points per decade, these are among the fastest changes we expect to see in this kind of data.

Interpretation of the Christian Bible has changed more slowly: the fraction of people who believe the Bible is “the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word” has declined from 36% in the 1980s to 32% now, little more than 1 percentage point per decade.

At the same time, the number of people who think the Bible is “an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man” has nearly doubled, from 13% to 22%.  This skepticism will approach 30%, and probably overtake the literal interpretation within 20 years.
Sources:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-u-s-is-retreating-from-religion/

https://allendowney.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-retreat-from-religion-is.html

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 05:59:22 PM »
Let's pray for an acceleration of this trend.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Online Hydra009 (OP)

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 06:18:19 PM »
Let's pray for an acceleration of this trend.
But that's the opposite of what we should be doing!   :razz:

Offline Munch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 07:55:46 PM »
what does 'other groups' count as, is this just about Christianity? if so what about other religious groups?

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 08:01:04 PM »
But that's the opposite of what we should be doing!   :razz:
That's why I posted that way. :)
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 11:20:57 PM »
what does 'other groups' count as, is this just about Christianity? if so what about other religious groups?

Mormons (not Christian), Muslims, Buddhists ... they are hot, as a high growth percentage, not just big in the total, yet.

Unaffiliated doesn't equal secular .. America is very different from Europe.  It is more like India.

Unfortunately this is another incompetent poll.  If you look at each generation, as it ages, their views change.  Compare each generation, from 0-20, 20-40, 40-60, 60-80 (the higher ages can't be polled yet for younger generations).  Many people get into religion around 30 because of marriage and parenting.  I did.

It is possible that the new generation will be more into personal spirituality, than organized religion, but I don't consider that a win for atheism, but for New Age.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 11:24:56 PM by Baruch »
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Online Hydra009 (OP)

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 12:00:08 AM »
what does 'other groups' count as, is this just about Christianity? if so what about other religious groups?
Other groups are non-Christian religious groups.  As you can see, they're not a large segment of the population collectively, and definitely not individually.

If the US were shrunk down to 101 people: 71 would be Christians, 23 would be unaffiliated, 2 would be Jewish, 1 would be Muslim, 1 would be Hindu, 1 would be Buddhist, and 2 would be from other non-Christian religions.

The above obviously isn't a super precise figure (there are slightly more Muslims than either Buddhists or Hindus), but it shows the ratios of these groups - a massive but waning Christian population, a smaller but waxing Unaffiliated, and a much smaller but stable everything else.

Sourece:  http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/14/if-the-u-s-had-100-people-charting-americans-religious-affiliations/

Also, here's a handy chart with lots of interesting factoids.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 11:47:03 AM by Hydra009 »

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2017, 12:27:20 AM »
How much is based on belief and how much is based on the fact that a Catholic mass can be boring? Or should I say going to mass will never be as exciting as staying home and watching youtube videos?

Going to church loses to going to Disneyland any day of the week.
another quote from an antagonist agnostic: not expecting god to show up, but if he does we’re going to have to beat the prick up.

Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 10:19:50 AM »
By pure coincidence, the ultimate truth of the universe just happens to be their parents' religion and/or their society's predominant religion.
That should be a red flag to any serious soul searching rational person on a quest... But it's probably not.

I can understand a lessening of religious fervor to "unaffiliated" because of wickedness of priests, and all the creationist bullshit.  But that doesn't seem to directly translate into a hard line of logical thought.  Most people still want a god, and seem to be striking off on their own to find another unsupported belief they can be comfortable with, rather than actually addressing the lack of credible evidence for any god in the first place.  Still the data reporting the baby steps is heartening.  People need to untie themselves from the authority of priests, hate mongering protestant minsters, and Know-it-all Creationist preachers who want to translate the mysterious contradictions of the Bible for the wretched lot of the unenlightened.



Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 10:22:31 AM »
But that's the opposite of what we should be doing!   :razz:

That's why I posted that way. :)
I got it.  Prayer is a poor substitute for thought.  But then, most of the thinking believers do is a poor substitute for thought.

Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2017, 10:31:00 AM »
If you look at each generation, as it ages, their views change.  Compare each generation, from 0-20, 20-40, 40-60, 60-80 (the higher ages can't be polled yet for younger generations).
I think I am aware of this, but I'm not sure.  It does seem like a lot of my friends years ago, who didn't seem to give a damn about religion, eventually got into it, some going completely bonkers in the process.  You say, "Because of Marriage," which I haven't actually noticed, but then haven't given that possibility that much thought either.  My first guess was always that it had something to do with one's recognizing the actual reality of mortality as he gets older.

Offline Baruch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2017, 01:18:41 PM »
I think I am aware of this, but I'm not sure.  It does seem like a lot of my friends years ago, who didn't seem to give a damn about religion, eventually got into it, some going completely bonkers in the process.  You say, "Because of Marriage," which I haven't actually noticed, but then haven't given that possibility that much thought either.  My first guess was always that it had something to do with one's recognizing the actual reality of mortality as he gets older.

People also often fall out of organized religion once their children are grown.
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Online Hydra009 (OP)

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2017, 01:38:05 PM »
Unfortunately this is another incompetent poll.  If you look at each generation, as it ages, their views change.  Compare each generation, from 0-20, 20-40, 40-60, 60-80 (the higher ages can't be polled yet for younger generations).
The data does indicate that religiosity/observance does increase with age, but younger generations start off much less religious than previous generations.  Millennials are starting at 18% weekly religious attendance while the Greatest generation started out at 44%.

Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2017, 06:59:19 PM »
My sister just sent me this.  At first, I thought it was going to be religious, but it could be taken either way.  The comments on Utube show that it will be interpreted in opposite ways.  But it kind of speaks to the issue of people leaving organized religion and finding their own path.  Plus, it's relaxing to listen to.


Offline Baruch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2017, 07:32:45 PM »
American nostalgia.  But I like the title ... if "holy" isn't now, it doesn't matter.  You won't find it in a past golden age nor in a future utopia.
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