Do People Get Less Religious When Societies Grow More Egalitarian?

Aug 29, 2012 Full story: www.alternet.org 6

When countries embrace progressive social policy, that tends to create a decline in religious belief. Why?

Slowly but surely, religion's historical monopoly on the human mind is breaking apart.A On its surface, the reason seems straightforward: the rise of secular democracy and especially of scientific understanding should encourage more people to give up on religion.

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EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#2 Aug 30, 2012
Quote artile: And if atheists want to minimize the power religion plays in society, should they start by demanding a more secure and egalitarian society?" Unquote

Atheists are mostly uninterested in religion. It's the problems religion causes that most of us object to,(e.g. sectarian divisions, fundamentalist dogma, segregation of children in schools according to their parents' religion, child mutilation, etc, etc.)

"A more secure and egalitarian society" is a laudable aim in any society. Religion is irrelevant, as are any other superstitions.
Amused

Lowell, MA

#3 Aug 30, 2012
BURNT OFFERINGS wrote:
American "society" "died abornin'." What can you expect? Even Castro emptied out his prisons and shipped them here. It has always existed as a holding tank for societal rejects. It has only taken about 200 years to so degrade the environment that there is likely no turning back.
"We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts!" Bill Murray in Stripes

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#5 Sep 1, 2012
Amused wrote:
<quoted text>
"We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts!" Bill Murray in Stripes
Yeah, it means we're USian, Canadian, or Mexican.

Viva La Mexico!
Amused

Lowell, MA

#7 Sep 8, 2012
On a more serious note, I don't think it is a case of egalitarianism leading to less religion so much as it is a general rise in knowledge giving rise to both egalitarianism and decrease in religion. The more one knows about humanity, the less sustainable notions about some people being inherently superior becomes. The more we know about the physical world, the less sustainable "goddidit" becomes as an explanation for things we don't yet understand.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#9 Sep 8, 2012
BURNT OFFERINGS wrote:
<quoted text>
Excellent post, and I concur. What is disturbing, though, is the general rise in world-wide knowledge and its dissemination over the web, with the apparent and concurrent dumbing down, resurgence of fundamentalism of every stripe, and overbreeding in third world hellholes (including the hornets next of the middle east)-- the status of which the US is approaching at warp speed.
What say you? Which will happen first, a generalized "enlightment," or the continued destruction, then death of, our ecosystem, through the spread of the disease of fundamentalism combined with the technology to enforce it, the plundering of the seas and rainforests to feed exponential population growth (with its potential for unleashing new and more virulent viruses)? This is a toughie, I know, but I'd like your take -- in addition to your fairly optimistic opinion above.
A general enlightenment. I think the world is getting better and better. Despite the horrors on our TV screens, it seems that loss of life due to human conflict is less than in previous centuries and declining. The Arab spring and interventions from Sierra Leone to the much more controversial Iraq suggest that authoritarian regimes will not be tolerated indefinitely. Most of them haven't lasted more than decades,(Gadaffi did well at 42 years).

There have been economic crises before and worse ones than today's.

There could well be an ecological disaster if people don't pay attention to the warnings of probable man-made global warming and the extremely long-term consequences of nuclear waste. By the time science can prove such consequences to the satisfaction of most people, it may be 'too late'.

We need humanity to focus on science, not superstitions.

The communication revolution and 24/7 news means we know of almost every horror in the world at every moment. That makes the world look like a disaster area - until one reads the history books.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#12 Sep 8, 2012
BURNT OFFERINGS wrote:
...And they walk among us ....
I hear you, BO.(You didn't think about those initials when you chose your moniker, did you?:-)

Nutters are everywhere. When they're in power in the USA nobody in the world is safe.

There's much dross on such an open and lightly moderated forum, but the sensible and informative comments on the Atheist Forum are a credit to USAmericans and give everyone hope.

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