Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

LONDON (RNS) New research indicates that Christianity is rapidly losing followers in Great Britain at such a pace that unbelievers will become a majority in 20 years. By Al Webb.

3 Comments

  1. No problem at all. We just have to continue making it clear that those theists who preach that a strong structure of morals or ethics, call it good behavior, whatever you wish, can only be achieved in theism are totally wrong.

    When we make a close, historical study of religion and churches, theists do not have much in the way of superior morals or ethics to crow about. When we make an equally thorough study of well-known non-theists, grand examples, superb proofs of morals or ethics, call them what you wish, will be found practiced by those people who never believed in any gods. And those who have moved from theism into agnosticism, or even into non-theism, did not throw out the baby of ethics/morals along with the bath water of previous religious beliefs.

    Agnostics, non-theists, let’s call them all humanists, are developing ways to gather, to study, to publish, and to celebrate life. A great motto for that pursuit would, oddly enough, be the motto of the retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, NJ, John Shelby Spong, who remains a Christian in spite of the many challenges against him by presumptuous believers who claim there is only one way to believe, one way to be good, their way.

    Spong’s motto: “Live fully! Love wastefully! And become all that you can be!”

    Who could do better than to live by those goals. It’s all about life. And life is the common ground of believers of all shades and non-believers alike.

  2. Gil,
    Nicely said.

    The Pew survey of 2008 showed similar shifts in the US away from Christianity and toward non-blief/non-religiosity; a 10% decline in the former and a double digit increase in the latter vs the prior study in 1990. Simple extrapolation of the data implies that the US will be a majority of non-believers/non-religious in 60 years.

    While religionists insist this is a temporary shift; that “rewakenings” have happened in the past and will happen again, they are as ususal ignoring reality preferring the comfort of fantasy. Observation of trends in Europe over the past twenty years, and the realization that the scientific age, only 300 yrs old, is not about to lapse into a Dark Age state (assuming the avoidance of theocratic rule) clearly shows the growth in realism over supernaturalism is irreversable.

  3. @gilhow

    Ironically, it’s an atheist philosopher that’s blatantly and proudly arguing that under atheism there really is no basis for any morality: http://www.philosophynow.org/issues/80/An_Amoral_Manifesto_Part_I

    @Bart

    “The Pew survey of 2008 showed…”
    Other surveys show something else: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/defectors-to-faith-mark-a-growing-trend/story-e6frg7ko-1225710667095
    http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/28/thriving-christianity

    “…and the realization that the scientific age, only 300 yrs old, is not about to lapse into a Dark Age state (assuming the avoidance of theocratic rule) clearly shows the growth in realism over supernaturalism is irreversable.”
    Ironically, it seems that so-called scientific and rational people aren’t exactly “non-supernaturalists”. A prize example was the noted skeptic, rationalist and science promoter Carl Sagan, who turned out to be something of an advocate of ancient alien visitors. Others include Stephen Hawking and his fears of an alien invasion and DNA-shape co-discoverer Francis Crick and his suggestion that aliens started life on earth. See also this:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html