Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A little food for thought this morning.

Courtesy of Matt Ridley: 

Fifty years ago, after the cracking of the genetic code, Francis Crick was so confident religion would fade that he offered a prize for the best future use for Cambridge’s college chapels. Swimming pools, said the winning entry. Today, when terrorists cry “God is great” in both Paris and Bamako as they murder, the joke seems sour. But here’s a thought: that jihadism may be a last spasm — albeit a painful one — of a snake that is being scotched. The humanists are winning, even against Islam. 

Quietly, non-belief is on the march. Those who use an extreme form of religion to poison the minds of disaffected young men are furious about the spread of materialist and secularist ideas, which they feel powerless to prevent. In 50 years’ time, we may look back on this period and wonder how we failed to notice that Islam was about to lose market share, not to other religions, but to humanism. 

The fastest growing belief system in the world is non-belief. No religion grew nearly as fast over the past century. Whereas virtually nobody identified as a non-believer in 1900, today roughly 15 per cent do, and that number does not include soft Anglicans in Britain, mild Taoists in China, lukewarm Hindus in India or token Buddhists in Japan. Even so, the non-religious category has overtaken paganism, will soon pass Hinduism, may one day equal Islam and is gaining on Christianity. (Of every ten people in the world, roughly three are Christian, two Muslim, two Hindu, 1.5 non-religious and 1.5 something else.) 

This is all the more remarkable when you think that, with a few notable exceptions, atheists or humanists don’t preach, let alone pour money into evangelism. Their growth has come almost entirely from voluntary conversion, whereas Islam’s slower growth in market share has largely come from demography: the high birth rates in Muslim countries compared with Christian ones.

And before the troll inevitably accuses me of proselytizing on this blog, remember that you can here voluntarily to read what I had to say. I did not buy advertising time during your favorite show, come to your door to leave pamphlets, or threaten your children with eternal damnation if they did not accept my lack of belief.

This Ridly guy is exactly right, the non-theists ARE winning.

We have all of the tools needed to educate and enlighten the world, even the children regardless of where they live, or what religion surrounds them. And once that happens there is simply no longer any room for primitive superstitions or ancient mythologies.

And it is the very fact that victory is coming, which is behind much of the turmoil that we see in the world today.

Rarely does a dominating demographic drop the reins of power voluntarily, nor come down from the top of hill peacefully.

So yes we are going to see more violence, and more political manipulations, but in the end the outcome is predetermined. The only question is how long will it take, and how many will die in the interim.


  1. Anonymous3:17 AM

    I hope that someday in the future, say maybe 2,174 years from now, those that inhabit this world will study history and be appalled how restrictive the belief in a myth and fairytale was on science and technology. Those alive will be 'thankful' not in a mythical being but that at some point, people had had enough of restriction and regression, and embraced science and progressed the world. Let us 'pray!'

    1. Balzafiar6:37 AM

      2,174 years from now this planet will be a vast wasteland, trashed to its demise by the human race. There will, of course, still be pockets of the human race here but by and large they will be the primitive people or social outcasts that have been deemed unfit to move to whatever planet(s) the rest of our descendants have moved to. Eventually those left behind will die off, leaving the planet to recover, if it ever can.

  2. A. J. Billings3:23 AM

    It's a great thing that non belief and athiesm is a growing trend.

    I still see fanatical religious Nazis like Kevin Swanson, Bryan Fischer, Ted Cruz, and Tony Perkins who all insist on trying to force their belief systems by law on the rest of us.

    This is also happening in Australia, England, and other countries.

    When it comes to Islam, I don't see that religion going away any time in the next 500 years.

    Human nature isn't changing, and there is too much power, greed, and money to be had by patriarchal men who love to control others.

    I applaud any progress in this direction, but I think it's going to be a long wait to achieve a mostly religion free planet.

    In the year 3015, I still think the planet will suffer from Christian Taliban proponents like Ted Cruz, and religion based killers like abortion clinic bombers, and the bastards that blew up the concert in France.

  3. SallyinMI4:44 AM

    The reason we are seeing the hatred of immigrants, the senseless killing of blacks by white policemen, and all, is because the white man knows he will soon BE the minority in the US, unless he does something to stop the trends. They really cannot stop it, but this fear and hatred is because the NRA tells them to despise Obama, liberals, and anyone else seeking a peaceful co-existence. Never in our history has the religious white man been inclined to co-exist with anyone but other white males. They can do it, and refuse to try. So there will always be conflict and war and killings, and they will still claim to follow Jesus, the brown pacifist socialist.

  4. Anonymous5:05 AM

    Ramen, Gryph. One of the only things that keeps me going is the evidence that belief will wane in the future. GLORY!

  5. Anonymous6:27 AM

    I believe the number of non-believers is much higher and rising at a fast pace. And all those who call themselves Christian or Jew, but haven't been involved with or connected to their "faith" since childhood are raising the next generation of free thinkers.

  6. Anonymous6:29 AM

    Radical fundamentalism is not a religion. It is a fanatical point of view. There will always be a need for religion. There will always be a need for "myths."

    “We need myths that will identify the individual not with his local group but with the planet.”
    ― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

  7. Anonymous6:29 AM

    Someday, modern religions will be discussed along with Roman and Greek mythology.

  8. Maple6:38 AM

    With the growth of scientific knowledge (at least in the western world) it's inevitable that belief in the supernatural (aka a god) would decline. The problem I foresee is that the uneducated peoples of the third world will cling to the safety they perceive to be in the form of an omnipotent being -- their great protector.

  9. Anonymous7:00 AM

    My two older sisters and I (age 55) were raised Catholic and attended Catholic elementary school. Only 2 of the next generation were baptized. I have no children myself, but none of my sisters' children or grandchildren attend any kid of church.

    Even as a very young child, I recognized the hypocrisy of the church and the disconnect between what we were taught and what was actually practiced. As soon as my mother allowed me to (sometime in late middle school), I stopped attending church.

    Although I consider myself to be somewhat spiritual, I don't believe in a specific 'god', but only in a greater energy that connects all living things with the earth.

    I've noticed that many of the people in my generation, who were raised in devout Catholic families, have drifted away from formal religion. It seems that many of the younger generation who DO still follow some formal spiritual doctrine, tend to lean towards the more service-oriented religions as opposed to the traditional religions of old.

    Perhaps there is hope that we ALL can someday belong to the human community together, without the artificial divides that religion creates.

    1. Anonymous7:15 AM

      I love the younger generation.

      "Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths."

      Joseph Campbell


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