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Unrated Critic Reviews for Why Atheism Will Replace Religion
Monday, 29 July Religion to Disappear By Nigel Barber: Atheism to Defeat Religion By In a recent book, "Why atheism will replace religion: The triumph of earthly pleasures over pie in the sky" , Nigel Barber makes a very strong case for thinking atheism will have replaced religion across the world as a whole by , in other words within the next generation.
Accepting the evidence showing a very strong correlation between the wealth of a country, measured by per capita Gross Domestic Product GDP - a measure of average wealth generation - he arrives at this by taking two measures of Atheism: The projected date by which the average country will reach the GDP of the nine most godless countries - Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom proud to see the UK up there!
Relative religiosity - that is, how important people think religion is in their lives.
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Projecting these two measures forward gives, on the first measure, a date of as the world transition point. The second measure gives Averaging these gives the most likely date at around Barber dismisses the minority view of political scientist, Eric Kaufmann, who has projected differential birth rates forward and has concluded that religious people will out-breed atheists, pointing out that as religious people become more prosperous, not only do they become less religious, but their birth-rate falls.
[PDF] The future size of religiously affiliated and unaffiliated populations - Semantic Scholar
Kaufmann's prediction also seems to me to have ignored the fact that most atheists either were formerly religious and have de-converted, or were born to religious parents. Kaufmann seems to be treating religion as an incurable congenital condition rather than a treatable memetic infection.
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I wish I could say I was completely convinced by Barber's prediction but there are of course a lot of assumptions underpinning it. Firstly, it assumes that per capita GDP will continue to rise at the previous 30 year's rate and that this will be more-or-less uniform throughout the world. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you - then you win.
Mohandas K Gandhi. Belief in God declines in more developed countries and atheism is concentrated in Europe in countries such as Sweden 64 percent nonbelievers , Denmark 48 percent , France 44 percent and Germany 42 percent. In contrast, the incidence of atheism in most sub-Saharan countries is below 1 percent.
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The poll found that 59 percent claim to be religious, compared to 23 percent who said they are not religious, and 13 percent who said they are atheist. Similar to Barber's findings, the WIN-Gallup poll shows that those who are "college educated are 16 percent less religious than those without secondary education.
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Barber further asserts, "The reasons that churches lose ground in developed countries can be summarized in market terms. First, with better science, and with government safety nets, and smaller families, there is less fear and uncertainty in people's daily lives and hence less of a market for religion.
At the same time many alternative products are being offered, such as psychotropic medicines and electronic entertainment that have fewer strings attached and that do not require slavish conformity to unscientific beliefs. The study notes that in , agnostic and atheist populations together claimed However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in , large numbers of the nonreligious returned to religion.
Christianity and Islam represented The study also reports that the fastest-growing religion over the next decade is likely to be the Baha'i faith, which is growing by 1. This to be followed by Islam at 1.