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Analysis: Atheism worldwide in decline!

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posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 01:08 PM
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I personally think this is a good thing, humans are starting to realize they have been duped into believing science is the answer to all....the journey continues...


Analysis: Atheism worldwide in decline

By Uwe Siemon-Netto
UPI Religious Affairs Editor

Gurat, France, Mar. 1 (UPI) -- There seems to be a growing consensus around the globe that godlessness is in trouble. "Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide," Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg told United Press International Tuesday.

His Oxford colleague Alister McGrath agrees. Atheism's "future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat," he wrote in the U.S. magazine, Christianity Today.

Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings. The other is the historical experience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide that atheists are in no position to claim the moral high ground.

Writes Turkish philosopher Harun Yahya, "Atheism, which people have tried to for hundreds of years as 'the ways of reason and science,' is proving to be mere irrationality and ignorance."

Decline is sometimes a good thing




posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 01:27 PM
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Humm......That will be nice if people find a common believe and come to the understanding that the religious myth is all man made and only breeds violence.

But you sources is from a paper that is own by the moonies.




Uwe Siemon–Netto is a foreign correspondent based in New York City. He is the author of The Acquittal of God: A Theology for Vietnam Veterans, and The Fabricated Luther: The Rise and Fall of the Shirer Myth.


Nice article if it was not so bias.



Moon owns the Washington Times which reportedly has lost more than $400 million and his corporations include U.S. Property Development, a real estate company, and Atlantic Video, a production company --both based in Alexandria, Virginia. He owns dozens of other small businesses in more than 20 U.S. cities.
www.rickross.com...



The article will be even inspiring if it was from another source.
Ed you are not a Moony follower are you?



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 01:38 PM
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I find this part quite interesting:


Zulehner cautions, however, that in the rest of Europe re-Christianization is by no means occurring. "What we are observing instead is a re-paganization," he went on, and this worries Christian theologians such as Munich's Pannenberg and the Rev. Gerald McDermott, an Episcopal priest and professor of religion and philosophy at Roanoke College in Salem, Va.

For although in every major European city except Paris spirituality is booming, according to Zulehner, this only proves the emergence of a diffuse belief system, Pannenberg said, but not the revitalization of traditional Christian religious faith.


I have talked recently with a few friends about this. They are all christians by name, but they don't go to church. They do believe in God, but their belief is spiritual, not practical, to put it that way. They seemed disapointed with organized religion, rules, things that make no sense to them anymore, church hierarchy, the fact that you have to give money to church to be saved, various scandals in church, etc, etc all that has contributed to their decision to leave church.
A lot of them now follow the philosophy that ALL world religions are basicaly the same and all are right, that all contain a part of the Truth, but they have all been more or less corrupted by men, and cannot be practiced in their current form.

One could say that we are finding spirituality within, in ourselves, and in religious books, but not in religious institutions.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 01:53 PM
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Yeah, because we all know how "helpful" religion has been to the human psyche...



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by Thorfinn Skullsplitter
Yeah, because we all know how "helpful" religion has been to the human psyche...


In reaction to this thread, I have decided to be an athiest.


But seriously the worse the world becomes, the more people are going to cling to any hope that things will get better. Either in this life or what lays afterwards.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 02:23 PM
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Wow, that was biased...






Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings. The other is the historical experience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide that atheists are in no position to claim the moral high ground.


How is atheism losing it's scientific underpinnings? I was never aware that atheism had an scientific "pinning." The second sentence seems absolutely subjective and dogmatic: Historical expeirence has taught us that religious zeal can lead to social disruption and indoctrination; it teaches us that religious institutions have been organized to manipulate and control the masses, than bring them closer to god; It teaches us that distinct religious ethos, once face to face, can lead to violent clashes between both parties.




Writes Turkish philosopher Harun Yahya, "Atheism, which people have tried to for hundreds of years as 'the ways of reason and science,' is proving to be mere irrationality and ignorance."


Oh, and how so? Reason and science allowed this man to live in a democraticly free country, and science allowed him to send his dogmatic message out to millions via internet. The only irationality and ignorance is found in the pages of apocrypha scripture, not discoures by Locke, Hume, or Kant.




As British philosopher Anthony Flew, once as hard-nosed a humanist as any, mused when turning his back on his former belief: It is, for example, impossible for evolution to account for the fact than one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together.


What does a philosopher know about evolutionary biology? Not to sound rude, but I've been studying philosophy in school and nary has it overlapped into the bilogical sciences.

Christians have adhered an ontological basis on evolution and called it creationism. By no standards was Genesis meant to be taken literaly, it was simply an allegorical dictation of how life, Earth, and the Universe was created. I hardly doubt most creationism understand the so-called science behind thier dogma, then have the audacity to chide that of evolution. The only debate that occurs between the two is between rationality and empiricism, and blind dogmatic faith heavily misguided.

There is no science behind creationism, they have just taken the evidental flaws of evolution and somehow ascertained that it must be wrong, ergo creationism is quite obviously correct.

I'm not even going to waste my time with the rest of this highly biased and dogmatic article.

Two thumbs down from the critics here:


Deep



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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The treatise in the submitted article is hogwash. "Theoretical/scientific underpinnings" and "moral high ground" are irrelevant to the concept of "decline".

There are only two measures by which atheism could be said to be "in decline":

1. If atheism as an actual belief has less believers than at some previously measured time (raw number of atheists)

OR

2. If atheism as an actual belief has less believers as a proportion of all believers (atheist share of belief spectrum).

It's unlikely that many people with a "finger on the pulse" will believe either of those to be actual trends.

Also as an entirely unmeasured phenomenon I submit this observation: the raw number and the proportion of all atheists and agnostics is increasing, and in many regions it is masked by social norms that make professing a belief attractive enough that these people practise hypocrisy as their form of "worship" every day.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by Thorfinn Skullsplitter
Yeah, because we all know how "helpful" religion has been to the human psyche...


Exactly. Thats just what we need around here, religious nuts. The world is in turmoil so people need some hope to make them feel better. No surprise really.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 04:09 PM
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When people are insecure, they turn to religion. Nowadays, with the global events like 9/11 or the Asian tsunami, people are almost freightened. The Internet does not really help in this direction, with so much 'literature' on the end times...



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 04:42 PM
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Here's a few quotes I've had hanging around for a while. Guess it's as good a time as any to pull them out. Stir things up some.

"One of the strangest phenomena of our supposedly scientific age is the insistent faith held by many scientists that somewhere, somehow life has arisen from non-life by naturalistic evolutionary processes. Science is supposed to be based on facts and knowledge, not speculation and wishful thinking. The law of biogenesis, based on all the observed data and biology and chemistry, states that life comes only from life. The doctrine from abiogenesis, on the other hand, teaches that certain unknown conditions in the primitive atmosphere and ocean acted upon certain mysterious chemicals existing at that time to synthesize still more complex chemicals, whatever they were, constituted the original living systems from which all living organisms later evolved. Thus primitive unknown life forms which no longer exist were derived from unknown chemicals by unknown processes which no longer operate, in an atmosphere of unknown composition in contact with the primitive oceanic soup of unknown structure! This remarkable construct is today taught as sober science in our public schools, in spite of the fact that there is not one single scientific observation to demonstrate that such things ever happened or even could happen." (Henry Morris, The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth).

Astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, the inventor of the Steady State Theory of the origin of the universe, was an atheist most of his life. In his later years he changed his mind because of the impossibility of life developing by chance. He said the probability that life could have developed by chance is the same as, "a tornado sweeping through a junkyard would assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein" (Sir Fred Hoyle, "Hoyle on Evolution," Nature, Vol. 294).

"The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40,000 noughts after it . . . It is big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence." (Sir Fred Hoyle, "Hoyle on Evolution")

In my view, the idea of "Inteligent Design" sure seems the most plausible. Neither absolute creationism nor absolute evolution (spontaneous biogenesis) covers all bases. Hell, who knows?!



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 05:02 PM
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``

i agree, any decline would just be stastical slight-of-hand

theres a lot of us hedonist, goddess, animist, shaman type
spiritual energies which no longer 'X' the box Atheist or Agnostic

theres too many other niches available today to describe oneself!

and instead of scrunching into a dusky prayer room because of
worldwide misfortunes or malfeasence...as some would have you think
is 'the answer'...
i will go out and Celebrate,
perhaps, by attending the next ?? 'Burning Man Festival'- fer instance

good-day



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 05:13 PM
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"The time is fast approaching when many people who are living in ignorance with no knowledge of their Creator will be graced by faith in the impending post-atheist world."


God and Mom and apple pie are images widely associated with the U.S. armed forces. Few rationalists would expect the military to harbor an enclave of atheists and freethinkers. But those who think "You won't find any atheists in a foxhole" had better check the facts before they open their mouths. Sergeant First Class Kathleen Johnson works for the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID). In February 1998, she founded the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF). Since then, MAAF has become an active Internet community. Running the rapidly developing organization entirely from her home, with no funding from membership dues and consequently no Internal Revenue Service entanglements, Johnson now lists more than 110 names on the MAAF roster. The group holds lively e-mail discussions on a daily basis, as well as monthly Internet chat sessions. "The Internet," Johnson says, "is what makes this group possible." MAAF is not active solely online. The group is affiliated with a few key organizations, such as American Atheists
Source

Introduction
It is hard to believe that even intelligent and educated people could hold such an opinion, but they do! It seems never to have occurred to them that the Greeks and Romans, whose gods and goddesses were something less than paragons of virtue, nevertheless led lives not obviously worse than those of the Baptists of Alabama! Moreover, pagans such as Aristotle and Marcus Aurelius - although their systems are not suitable for us today - managed to produce ethical treatises of great sophistication, a sophistication rarely if ever equaled by Christian moralists.

The answer to the questions posed above is, of course, "Absolutely not!" The behavior of Atheists is subject to the same rules of sociology, psychology, and neurophysiology that govern the behavior of all members of our species, religionists included. Moreover, despite protestations to the contrary, we may assert as a general rule that when religionists practice ethical behavior, it isn't really due to their fear of hell-fire and damnation, nor is it due to their hopes of heaven. Ethical behavior - regardless of who the practitioner may be - results always from the same causes and is regulated by the same forces, and has nothing to do with the presence or absence of religious belief. The nature of these causes and forces is the subject of this essay.
source

Our history has been marked by a ceaseless struggle against ignorance and superstition. In ancient Greece the works of the materialist philosopher Democritus, who first taught the atomic theory of matter, were destroyed. Anaxagoras was banished from Athens for being an Atheist. The materialist philosopher Epicurus, revered by the ancients for having liberated man from fear of gods and for asserting the validity of science, was for 2000 years anathematized and falsely depicted as an enemy of morality and a disseminator of vice. The Alexandria library, housing 700,000 scientific and literary works, was burned by Christian monks in 391 AD. Pope Gregory I (590-604) destroyed many valuable works by ancient authors. In every society there have been forces that have stood to lose by the dissemination of progressive scientific views. In the past these forces either directly persecuted progressive scientists and philosophers or sought to distort scientific discoveries so as to deprive them of their progressive, materialistic implications.

The Inquisition, a papal invention for suppressing all opposition to the Catholic Church, savagely persecuted all progressive thinkers; Giordano Bruno, Ludilio Vanini, and Galileo come readily to mind.
source

Why the human species has invented so many words which refer to nothing in reality is a most interesting question for scientific investigation, and probably would require a complete book to elucidate properly. In this article I shall only attempt to deal with a few such words, specifically, the words spirit, soul, and mind.

It is a striking fact that nearly all languages of the world, extinct as well as extant, have — or have had — words which could be rendered as 'spirit' or 'soul' in English, At first glance, it would seem that this is a good argument in favor of the real existence of souls and spirits. For, would it not be improbable that so many different peoples and languages could be mistaken? If many different unrelated languages have independently invented words for soul, is that not a good reason to believe they did so because there really is such a thing?

I think not. The first clue to the solution of this puzzle comes from etymology, the study of word origins.

While the origin of the English word soul is obscure, the word almost certainly had its origin in a word which meant 'breath' or 'wind' or 'air', or something like that. The word spirit — generally a synonym for soul — comes from the Latin spiritus, and clearly meant 'breath' originally. Spiritual and respiratory both derive from the same root!
source

People look to reglion to explain the unexplainable that is why people still think god exsits. I dont think there as ever been any real effort to find out the number of athiests world wide. In effect reglion can be debunked . You cant really say anyone sources are biased on this thread because you either belive in god or you dont. Its a yes or no question.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 05:34 PM
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wow with atheism on the decline I guess we will see more divorce cases and broken famillies now.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 06:25 PM
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Interesting that this comes from the most godless country in western civilization, with only 2% of people attending a church...



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 06:39 PM
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one or two things to say....

Had an idea that the bible is a biography (or auto biography...) of god.
In Genesis he's like a little kid, playing with toys, or else making castles in his sandpit, but like a child with no parental influence no-one is there to tell him right from wrong...
So after messing around with adam for a bit and making really child-like *hard* rules (if you've got kids you'll know how hard their game rules are) he grows up into the really messed up adolescent of the later part of the OT :hissy fits, plagues, rains of fire, killing every firstborn son of egypt for *christs* sake but by the NT he's settled down, had a kid, sent him out into the world. He can get on with reading the paper, going to the office a little later maybe thinking about retirement and before he knows it Nietzsche comes along and he's dead...


Party of 1

Fred hoyle bless him was a scientist not a priest and if some one had come along with a convincing peer reviewed arguement for big bang then he would have accepted it. He chose and quite rightly at the time not to accept big bang because there was no evidence of dark matter and there were and still are quasar anomalies....

c'est ca

but.... edsinger thinks that




been duped into believing science is the answer to all.


what exactly has religion discovered?

gene thereapy?
nuclear power?
CRT scanners?

didn't think so

[edit on 2-3-2005 by mark ten]



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 06:42 PM
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Originally posted by Netchicken
Interesting that this comes from the most godless country in western civilization, with only 2% of people attending a church...


I was wondering if anyone would even notice that, nice catch Chicken!



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 06:48 PM
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Think about it, God really cannot be proven, since of course his existence requires faith. Many have graduated from faith into a greater level of certainty, upon recognition of events in their own lives that are beyond the norm, shall we say miracles and even less than that.

Atheists cannot prove the non-existence of God, in fact they cannot even prove that simply the collective imperative and collective consciousness of a God concept is not something synergetic and not existent.

They cannot disprove the spirit within action constituting the faith alone of people in a God concept! Even after Atheists satisfy themselves the ability to "disprove the existence of God," they would still have the forward vision and action of those who have constructed a measurable physics of all their thoughts in faith about God! On the other end of that scaffolding is when this Supreme Being and more, does ever so simple a thing as answer the prayers of the least of us. Perhaps we see a vision of this in the Sistine Chapel.

What does all of this have to do with Diebold voting? Well it is faith based voting, since no one can either prove or disprove their tally in the last election.

[edit on 2-3-2005 by SkipShipman]



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 06:54 PM
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Party of 1

Fred hoyle bless him was a scientist not a priest and if some one had come along with a convincing peer reviewed arguement for big bang then he would have accepted it. He chose and quite rightly at the time not to accept big bang because there was no evidence of dark matter and there were and still are quasar anomalies....

c'est ca




I know what you're saying, and new evidence surely brings a better understanding of things. On the flip side however, "peer review" does not equal "fact". Historically, experts have been proven wrong time and time again. That's what we call "progress". The earth is not the center of the universe, nor is it flat.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 06:57 PM
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Hmmm



Atheists cannot prove the non-existence of God, in fact they cannot even prove that simply the collective imperative and collective consciousness of a God concept is something synergetic.


Why do atheists have to prove the non-existance of god?
Is it some sort of test or acceptance rite into atheism?

I know that the tooth fairy doesn't exist (apologies to anyone still under this illusion). Do you want me to offer proof?

OK i can't offer absolute proof, but it's enough for me that i'm the one who puts the money under my kids pillow and for now it's a fiction we're both happy to maintain...

Is god just a tooth fairy with good PR?

Of course, and that's why church attendance is declining



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:01 PM
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Party of 1


I know what you're saying, and new evidence surely brings a better understanding of things. On the flip side however, "peer review" does not equal "fact". Historically, experts have been proven wrong time and time again. That's what we call "progress". The earth is not the center of the universe, nor is it flat.

Absolutely: peer review does not equal fact and indeed experts have been proven wrong but you must admit that the level of understanding of the world and universe is steadily increasing.

A true scientist will always be questioning.

A true believer willl not.






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