Why Atheism Will Decline

2015-02-23 09:30

Atheism might be on the rise in getting attention and recognition. Yet as a percentage of the world population it is actually seems to face certain decline. The reason why may surprise you...

From a post by Douglas Todd in the Vancouver Sun [3]:  

"...a Pew Research poll in the U.S., the world’s most-religious industrialized nation, revealed that three out of four Americans also agree religion appears to be in retreat. 

But is it? While secularists are making some inroads in North America and Europe, the new atheists and others are missing a crucial demographic shift as the world’s population has swelled to seven billion. 

The World Values Survey results reveal that a woman’s religiosity is almost as important as her education in predicting how many children she has,” he says. “In some countries it is more important. Young, well-educated urban women who are religious have significantly higher birthrates than young, well-educated urban women who are not religious.”

Kaufmann also emphasizes the coupling of conservative religiosity and fertility is rapidly becoming a First World issue.

Because of increasingly high immigration rates to the West, Kaufmann projects regions such as Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia will grow more religious. “Religion is coming to the West on the backs of immigrants.”

To illustrate, one of Kaufmann’s maps reveals the metropolis of London recently turned into one of the most “religious” parts of Britain — almost entirely because of in-migration.

As for the U.S., Kaufmann says, waves of new Latino immigrants are more religious (particularly Catholic) than the host population. And the birthrate among them is 2.75 children per woman, compared to just 1.66 among non-religious Americans." [3]

This is only half of the story.  The real question is why do atheists and the "None" religious have such a low fertility rate?

Some speculate that maybe atheists are too selfish to have children? In his article "Stay away from my kids, Richard Dawkins" [6] posted in The Telegraph, Ed West explains:

"As non-belief becomes the norm across Europe, so the birth rate plunges, and the continent is forced to import third world workers to make up the shortfall, workers who have no such qualms about labelling their children. As the Chief Rabbi recently said, without religious belief Europeans have become too selfish to have children" [5]

Personally I believe it is atheism's ugly old problem: Nihilism.  From "The Cause of America’s Declining Birthrate" posted in Crisis Magazine by Austin Ruse [6] on the correlation between low birth rates and those who indicate "None" as their religious affiliation in recent surveys: 

"Why such a correlation? It could be that Nones look at this world and see nothing beyond it. This is it. There is no more. In Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, Alvy Singer is scolded for not doing his homework. “The universe is everything,” he says, “and if it’s expanding, someday it will break apart and that would be the end of everything! So what’s the point?” Such nihilism must do something to the psyche and to the desire to multiply. Woody Allen had only one biological child. 

For religious people the universe is not everything, far from it. And even if the universe ended, it’s still not everything. And we would still live on. That must do something to the psyche, too, and it results in many good things including children."[6]

For atheism the only hope against current oppressive ideologies that reminds of the dark ages seem to be supporting Christianity!  This is thoroughly recognized by at least one methodological atheist philosopher (again from Crisis Magazine):

"…that atheist nihilism is killing Europe. As the atheist philosopher Jurgen Habermas says: "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilisation. To this day, we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter." [4] 

The true hope given by the Christian faith is eternal life: 

"...having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust." Acts 24:14 

"...hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages..." Tit 1:2 

Also read the confessions of another atheist philosopher about his nihilism in the News24 post The Fall of Atheism at http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-Fall-of-Atheism-20150211

[1] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism

[2] Zuckerman, Phil (2007). Martin, Michael, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge Univ. Press. p. 59. ISBN 0521603676.

[3] http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2014/10/12/think-religion-is-declining-look-at-who-is-going-forth-and-multiplying/

[4] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jürgen_Habermas

[5] http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100017332/stay-away-from-my-kids-richard-dawkins/

[6] http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/the-cause-of-americas-declining-birthrate


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