The Very Obvious Decline of Religion

Question from Adam:
Hi again,

What is up man? I am writing today to bring up something that I am very interested in. I know you are not in the U.S….but I am so I will be talking from that perspective.

I have this theory that with the global phenomena of the internet, religion will start to fade away. I think that kids growing up with access to whatever knowledge they want will have major perspective compared to people in the past who only knew what their family/church/or community told them. I understand that indoctrination to children will not stop, but I think at some point soon, the kids of today will become the adults of tomorrow, and even if they still hold onto some beliefs from their indoctrination, they will be less likely to force those beliefs onto their kids (because of their gained perspective).

I think kids these days are gathering random knowledge from the internet more than ever before. This gives them more tools to form their own informed belief, rather than just taking what they are told.

I think the first thing we will see is a large increase in the number of “spiritual” people who believe in some magics, but think major organized religion is ritualistic bull for the most part. I think once these spiritual folk have kids, we will have a real coming of atheists (or at least non-spiritual agnostics).

Since monotheism largely destroyed polytheism, it has held a strong grasp onto the people of the world. Nothing has been able to touch monotheism since! I think the internet might be the first real threat to it. I really believe that being able to see different religions, different cultures, and more openly know what your friends are can break a child from the cycle. I think people are slowly breaking away from “I’m Christian because I was raised Christian”. And I think it is exciting!

In the U.S. there have been polls or whatnot of atheism growing. The whole “nones” thing. I even saw a prediction that in 40 or 50 years most of the U.S. might be in this group. I am going to try to be optimistic about this!

I hope this mind trap will largely die out with the 40+ population in 40 or 50 years. I want to see progress. I would love to know the majority of this world isn’t latching onto hopes of magic, and beliefs of incredible stories from poorly written books.

What do you think about the future of the U.S.? Or of the world? Will we make it out? Gosh I’d love to make a series or movie about this. “The end of religion”.

Answer by SmartLX:
Well, you’re “predicting” some things that have already happened. The “nones” directly represent an increase in the number of “spiritual” people as opposed to “religious” people as much as they represent a rise in the number of atheists. The United States are an outlier when it comes to adherence to religion in developed countries; there are some countries in Europe where they’re already asking whether religion is effectively dead. The internet stops any religion from completely suppressing information contrary to its dogma, even savvy religions like Scientology which installs a filter on its members’ computers. In places where particular religions are increasing, for instance Africa and China, they are doing so by cannibalising the followers of either archaic tribal religions or pseudo-religions such as the communist worldview. Proselytisers can’t make a statistically significant dent in the free atheist demographic, and many of them know it.

I wouldn’t hazard a guess when or even whether religion will die out completely, but I see no reason why the trend of deconversion and secularisation won’t continue for the time being. It’s not just atheists who have this outlook, as an unknown youth pastor’s Facebook status recently revealed:

“Information and time are on the side of nonbelievers. Every single day that the idea of a god persists, more will disbelieve in His existence. There is simply nothing we can do about it but accept the inevitable and hope they do not treat Christians the way Christians have treated them.”