Thursday, March 24, 2011

organized religion dying in 9 countries

CNN | Organized religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies, a team of mathematicians predict in a new paper based on census data stretching back 100 years.

It won't die out completely, but "religion will be driven toward extinction" in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, they say.

It will also wither away in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland, they anticipate.

They can't make a prediction about the United States because the U.S. census doesn't ask about religion, lead author Daniel Abrams told CNN.

But nine other countries provide enough data for detailed mathematical modeling, he said.

"If you look at the data, 'unaffiliated' is the fastest-growing group" in those countries, he said.

"We start with two big assumptions based on sociology," he explained.

The first is that it's more attractive to be part of the majority than the minority, so as religious affiliation declines, it becomes more popular not to be a churchgoer than to be one, he said - what Abrams calls the majority effect.

"People are more likely to switch to groups with more members," he said.

Social networks can have a powerful influence, he said.

"Just a few connections to people who are (religiously) unaffiliated is enough to drive the effect," he said.

The other assumption underlying the prediction is that there are social, economic and political advantages to being unaffiliated with a religion in the countries where it's in decline - what Abrams calls the utility effect.

"The utility of being unaffiliated seems to be higher than affiliated in Western democracies," he said. Fist tap Arnach.


Big Don said...

__Famous poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was big on the West Coast anyway, late 50's, probably a little before y'all's time...

nanakwame said...

The Beat Generation, Big Don, created its own religion and g_ds as we should know that and we see the effects now, especially with the increase call for personal liberties and g_ds. I am with PKD that we will recreate religions over and over again as long as there are humans - Dr. Diop stated (an African physicist who wrote on the early history of Africa) that quantum mechanics has to be brought into our logical thinking. There is a core element in the gnosis thoughts, that the mind is everywhere, and g_d is not in what we consider Nature, just the power and grace, and this is a core of many early religious beliefs. Why the words Avatar, Fetish and Mojo!
As I and my favorite Doc had some differences, we are back to the idea imho that if we must have a trope on g_d, and religions then we have to look at early conscious man unbiased, for it is cultures that produced the semantics and the rituals for reasons of understanding and faith in chaotic world. I don’t see that will every change; conscious folks are changing their meme about our personal fetishes and rituals. Spirituality will live as long as we do.

Ibiti enia ko si, ko si imale
Where there is no man, there is no divinity (Yoruba)

Stanislaw Lem, "Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among the Charlatans", March 1975

nanakwame said...

Well said by a Priest of Science - leave poetry, music, art and just being whimsical out. I believe some fascist said that too and covered up their own magical thinking. Any organized thoughts have there problems - PKD

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.
Rod Serling

Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings.
Soren Kierkegaard

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
Albert Einstein, "Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium", 1941
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. [Carl Sagan]

arnach said...

Here is the original paper:

I look forward to finding the time to work through all of the math, but I doubt that'll ever happen. A very interesting piece of work nonetheless.

nanakwame said...

So are we saying this is not an absolute condition and event, that something will take its place?

Just remember the story of the ruler who demanded to know one timeless truth and received the answer: This too shall pass.

I admire my friend I dislike any Utopian view that is set in stone, it has killed many since the 1800's.

Religious, Political, and Technocratic have similarities and those who do not see this have 21st illiteracy imho. One thing my friend denies in his statement of mere conversation, is that everything in essence for humans is conversation, not merely. That was the point of Cervantes play, not the spinning wheel – Remember he was one of the first to sit and speak to the Muslim Kings. And I like him feel – the essence of being human is conversations, and relationships, everything else is a play between subjective and objective, which can change within nanoseconds.

Crescent said...

Science is superstition. The media (via technology) is our new, global folklore, superstitions, false beliefs, etc., etc. Scientific scrutiny is so erroneous, subjective and lacking in subtlety that it is a leap of faith to believe anything beyond the obvious, material and measurable. Common sense, if you will. The highest achievement of human civilisation (if there is such a thing) is culture. Science and culture were the same things, or parts of the same whole and in this form science was reasonable. It is now farcicle and jejune, hence Postmodernity. Today science attempts to "explain" areas of human experience and perception that it cannot an therefore, labours towards a difficult, over-complex and mechanical (probable) nothingness. Intuitively this is evident as well as theoretically and actually.

Crescent said...

Indeed, science has become an end in its self; dogma that reinforces its own raison d'etre. Therefore, once this is realised, you can then comprehend todays source of scientific inquiry - Capitalism. Of course, Capitalism erodes science...... Sisyphian, one could say.

CNu said...

Simon, you madcap..., surely you jest.

Science is the purest distillate of culture, the quintessence, nothing less than the interrogation of reality itself, and in its most rarified and difficult removes, it embraces the "ineffable".

quoth Basilides, "very few men may possess this knowledge, one in a thousand, two in ten thousand."

or Simon the Magus, "This is the writing about the revelation of the voice and the name which came from the thought and the great power. That is why it is sealed, hidden, enclosed in the place where the root of the All grows."

everything else is merely conversation....,

CNu said...


The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will be."

Jesus said, "Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death."

Simon Harris said...

C'mon CNU, haven't you read "the End of Science"?! Anyway I'm off to join an arts/philosophy discussion group. It's worth remembering that science came from the "bowel movements" you describe!

CNu said...

The god Gomawe met two men who could not answer his questions; indeed, they could not speak at all. The god assumed that this was because their bodies were empty, so he took two rats and tore out their entrails. Then he cut open the stomachs of the two men and transplanted the heart, liver, and entrails of the rats into them. At once, the men began to speak.

"What is in your stomach?" asked one of them. And that means; "What is your language?"

Melanesian "myth" of how men came to speak and have culture. The connection between the origin of language and the intestines is established in this legend, as well as the scientific origins of human uplift from animal to mental creature.

Farmers in the field of stars Simon. everything else is merely conversation...,

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