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Religion Becoming Extinct in Some Industrialized Countries


zerinus

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Seems like some quirky wording. "Non-affiliated" could mean a number of things. A lot of Christians in the U.S. are non-affiliated.

I'd be more interested in a poll with direct questions rather than somewhat interpretable ones.

"Do you believe in a God?"

"Do you believe in an Afterlife?"

Some people have been programmed by the "Cool" factor of society that being "Religious" focuses on organized religion and has been demonized by many.

JMS

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Seems like some quirky wording. "Non-affiliated" could mean a number of things. A lot of Christians in the U.S. are non-affiliated

I believe many in Europe avoid being associated with religion on paper in order to also avoid a tax. So privately, they may still consider themselves to be of this or that denomination.

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I believe many in Europe avoid being associated with religion on paper in order to also avoid a tax. So privately, they may still consider themselves to be of this or that denomination.

This tactic does not work in a lot of countries in Europe. Laws pertaining to Church Tax or "Kirchensteuer" vary widely. In some countries, such as Denmark, the State Church is supported, to some extent, through tax dollars collected from all taxpayers, including corporations. In many countries, local jurisdictions at the state level decide how to collect and distribute Church Tax revenues.

When we lived in Germany, I had a Church Tax deducted from my paycheck each month. The Mormon Church was not really recognized (or if it was recognized, it was only as a "sect", or cult, which didn't really count). So if you weren't Catholic, you were considered Protestant (Lutheran), and that is where your Kirchensteuer went.

Unlike here in the US, the subjects of politics and religion were always open for discussion in Europe, in pretty much any venue, especially northern Europe. So as Mormons, my wife and I got an earful from our German neighbors and friends - not so much in the UK.

Our experience, even 20 years ago, was that northern Europeans are proud of being secular and really have outgrown religion. Denying religion is not simply a tactic to avoid taxes. Most Europeans genuinely do not like religion. They can see it for what it is and are especially alarmed at the way in which it apparently influences politics in the US.

Of course, here in the US the Federal Government also supports religion by making religious contributions tax exempt.

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I think this was a long time coming. I don't doubt that eventually religion will take a back seat to atheistic thinking. Whether that will be good or bad, well only time will tell but I for one think religion is fine so long as it doesn't get intertwined into government like it has in the U.S. where a candidate's chances of being elected if he/she declares any faith but Christian become nil.

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I t depends upon what section of society was surveyed.While many of the younger generation are walking away from organised religion many are turning to eastern spiritaulism of to the more charsimatic churches. We live in a comodified world and they want to be able to pick and choose what they believe. They will take what they like for many different religions and synthisise it to fit in with thier own life.

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Ah yes. Let's go back to those Christian Utopias like that under Ferdinand and Isabella.

I am no enthusiast for state religion; I am generally opposed to it.

It just so happens that of all state religions, the one that has proved to be the most oppressive, repressive and murderous was state atheism.

And there is simply no contest about that. Ferdinand and Isabella were strictly amateur hour compared to Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Atheism has done alot. Look at the hospitals put together by atheists, the universities that allow so many to learn, the charities....

Oh wait. There really aren't that many. Apparently they talk a good game (I suppose) but it must be that their faith based belief system does not allow much in the way of charitable contributions. I know some have started up, and gone nowhere.

As to churches going extinct. Religion waxes and wanes over the centuries. When people realize the state cannot fulfill their beliefs, we shall see a change. How many of the so called, new age children of the 60's have in effect returned to religion. Atheism hasn't really gone anywhere. Kind of at the same place it was decades ago.

Only a little nastier now.

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It is a matter of value added. If there is no perceived value to religion then of course it will die out. I think it is hard in todays world to convince people that unseen things or beings are going to have an impact on them for eternity. With all the information we have today the value of religion must be evident for for it to survive. If religion began to live up to its claims then maybe there would be more interest..

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Because life in an atheist utopia, such as the former Soviet Union, was so much better.

Regards,

Pahoran

The social and political systems in place in Russia and the Soviet Union for most of the 20th century were based on a set of (now failed) unfounded beliefs known as communism. In case you have forgotten, this utopian ideal had the Mormon United Order as a clear predecessor.

The analogy continues when one considers that early governance in the Soviet Union depended heavily on a series of personality cults centered around "true believers" such as Lenin, Stalin, and my personal favorite, Nakita Khrushchev.

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The social and political systems in place in Russia and the Soviet Union for most of the 20th century were based on a set of (now failed) unfounded beliefs known as communism.

Part of communism is state atheism. It makes no difference.

In case you have forgotten, this utopian ideal had the Mormon United Order as clear a predecessor.

Incorrect. Actually communism was thought of well before the United Order was. In addition, the United Order has several distinguishing factors in comparison to communism, such as that people get according to their needs, rather than just an even divide.

The analogy continues when one considers that early governance in the Soviet Union depended heavily on a series of personality cults centered around "true believers" such as Lenin, Stalin, and my personal favorite, Nakita Khrushchev.

But the analogy breaks when you realize that the people who made the United Order work were people like Edward Partridge, a very great guy. Read some stuff about him.

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The social and political systems in Russia and the Soviet Union for most of the 20th century were based on a set of (now failed) unfounded beliefs known as communism. In case you have forgotten, this utopian ideal had the Mormon United Order as clear a predecessor.

Meaning what? That the United Order came first? And so?

Surely you're not arguing the Post hoc fallacy here are you, Foxtrot?

If you're trying to say that Marx modelled anything on the United Order, then CFR, please. Produce your sources.

In any event, there weren't any Mormon United Gulags, so you'll have to find some other way to try to smear us by association.

The analogy continues when one considers that early governance in the Soviet Union depended heavily on a series of personality cults centered around true believers such as Lenin, Stalin, and my personal favorite, Nakita Khrushchev.

That doesn't actually continue any analogy at all, of course.

OTOH, modern atheism seems to foster similar personality cults. The reverence accorded such sub-luminaries as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins comes to mind.

Regards,

Pahoran

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I served my mission in France 14 years ago. I talked to thousands of people and almost everyone there defined themselves as either atheist or agnostic. However, there was an extraordinary about of media attention to religion and the dangers of "cults". The government has a long list of cults over there. Mormons are not on that list but we fit the description of a cult so people were scared of us.

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I served my mission in France 14 years ago. I talked to thousands of people and almost everyone there defined themselves as either atheist or agnostic. However, there was an extraordinary about of media attention to religion and the dangers of "cults". The government has a long list of cults over there. Mormons are not on that list but we fit the description of a cult so people were scared of us.

Interesting observation. Could it be we are living in times so chillingly described by Moroni:

Moroni 7
:

37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased, wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.

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Meaning what? That the United Order came first? And so?

Surely you're not arguing the Post hoc fallacy here are you, Foxtrot?

If you're trying to say that Marx modeled anything on the United Order, then CFR, please. Produce your sources.

I am not saying that Marx modeled the Russian Communist State after the United Order. What I will say is that these kinds of wrongheaded utopian ideas are often manifest in religious cults. And make no mistake about it, State Communism as practiced in places like Russia and still today in Cuba, North Korea and elsewhere has many features of a religious cult, including the cult of personality that must be built up around the leaders in order to keep the rank and file in line.

That doesn't actually continue any analogy at all, of course.

OTOH, modern atheism seems to foster similar personality cults. The reverence accorded such sub-luminaries as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins comes to mind.

Pahoran, let me help you out with some examples of cults of personality.

A cult of personality is when every citizen in is expected to have an image of the Dear Leader prominently displayed on the walls of their home. The fact that members are encouraged by their leaders to have Mormon icons prominently displayed in the home is noteworthy in this regard.

A cult of personality is when ordinary members of the organization are not allowed to discuss any shortcomings of present or past leadership in public.

Dallin Oaks' pronouncement that Mormons are not to criticize Church leaders, even if they are wrong, would seem to fit in well here. Denial of a temple recommend of even excommunication for not supporting the leaders of the Church or speaking out against their policies are levers used by the Church to establish and maintain control.

Communism is maintained in Cuba and North Korea by authoritarian, top down, do as I say or go to prison, governance requiring unquestioned loyalty to the leadership. Now consider Dallin Oaks' statement cited above and other similar pronouncements by Church leaders with which all members are familiar such as "follow the Brethren" or, " the Brethren can lever lead the Church astray", etc. These clearly unsupportable statements of blind faith make me a bit uncomfortable. What about you?

Atheists or agnostics are certainly not 'kicked out" for disagreeing with Dawkins or Harris or Hitchens or Sagan. In fact it is difficult to imagine that any kind of a cult could even exist it comes to atheism or agnosticism. This is because these worldviews, unlike religion, are not based on unfounded belief requiring that members set aside rational thinking and skepticism and band together in order to sustain a particular narrative of faith within the group even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. (There is a reason atheists and agnostics are often referred to as "Free Thinkers"). Trying to organize atheists into a cult would be like trying to herd cats.

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Interesting observation. Could it be we are living in times so chillingly described by Moroni:

Moroni 7
:

37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased, wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.

Yes. I also think that we are getting very close to the end of the "times of the gentiles"

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Haven't we had predictions for the last three to four hundred years that religion would go away? Ain't gonna happen. In some of those countries in that study, if Christianity becomes extinct, it just means the muslims will take over.

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Haven't we had predictions for the last three to four hundred years that religion would go away? Ain't gonna happen. In some of those countries in that study, if Christianity becomes extinct, it just means the muslims will take over.

Thats a good point. We have probably had predictions for thousands of years that religion would go away. The Book of Mormon cultures had their bouts with atheism. Atheist cultures don't flourish, they wither and die and blow away with the winds of time. I was reading the NOM forum and they were wondering why atheism has never caught on and flourished. I laughed but didn't comment.

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The social and political systems in Russia and the Soviet Union for most of the 20th century were based on a set of (now failed) unfounded beliefs known as communism. In case you have forgotten, this utopian ideal had the Mormon United Order as clear a predecessor.
Meaning what? That the United Order came first? And so?

We know that the UO is nothing at all like socialism/communism so neither one could have been the predecessor of the other. A fundamental principle of the LoC is private property. There are also no price controls, no command economies etc. There is free will to educate and produce as one desires, profit taking, investment, and wealth accumulation that does not necessarily come into the direct control of the Church. Once one sees and understands the doctrines and principles behind the LoC, which itself is not an economic system, one understands that it can only thrive in situations of free market-capitalism.

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I think the matter is bigger than "religion (Christianity) vs. atheism". Instead of focusing on one specific set of views and a specific label ("religion" or "Christianity"), we should probably look at the common ideas and viewpoints shared by religious people of all stripes which are rejected by self-proclaimed "atheists".

For example, as 44Foxtrot pointed out, some supposedly "atheistic" societies were largely dependent on personality cults that tried to replace a worship and adoration of God or Jesus with the worship and adoration of their leader. That being the case, can we say that the people in these societies were truly "atheist" just because they didn't formally worship a "God" in a commonly recognized organized religion? Or should they still be considered "religious" because their thinking (and actions) were similar to some people who are unarguably religious?

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