Census data reveal there are 4million fewer Christians and one in four is now an atheist

Dec 11, 2012 Full story: Mail on Sunday 400

Data from last year's census today revealed the stunning decline of religion in the UK - with the number of Christians dropping by more than 4million.

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Since: Apr 08

Nottingham, UK

#41 Dec 12, 2012
CrimeaRiver wrote:
<quoted text>
But if you look back even further, it is the Islamic world that gave the Christian west a foundation on which to build advanced technologies.
Medical advancements, mathematical advancements and scientific study were all part and parcel of the Islamic world while we in the west were still blood letting and burning witches.
At some point in their history, the leaders of the islamic worl saw science as an afront to God and that was that.
We have benefitted greatly from the scientific advances Islam made in the Middle ages.
That's why the Ottoman Empire was so successful - they had the science.

Unfortunately for them, religion took over and they became extremely pious which meant that for the Ottomans, the only way was down.
CrimeaRiver

South Ockendon, UK

#42 Dec 12, 2012
Khatru wrote:
<quoted text>
That's why the Ottoman Empire was so successful - they had the science.
Unfortunately for them, religion took over and they became extremely pious which meant that for the Ottomans, the only way was down.
And continues to spiral downwards in some parts of the Muslim world. But places like Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Dubai are technological marvels in terms of architecture and mod cons for the super rich. But the technology is not home grown, they look to China and Japan for development.

I fear America might have started down that road. If the religious right managed to get Creationism on the syllabus, then its not long before Science in schools will start to be dumbed down. They couldn't ban stem cell and 'in vitro' research but managed to put a stop to govt funding.

We could be seeing another cycle of the most developed nations failing because of religious dogma
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#43 Dec 12, 2012
John wrote:
<quoted text>
Atheism is just another religion.
The statement "there is no god" is just as arrogant and conceited as any other religious dogma.
Quite, but atheism isn't a religion or dogma...
Atheism..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transubstantiati...
While there may be an occasional atheist who is adament that there is no god that isn't generally harmful. I often say there is no god, but such beliefs are simply held for lack of any evidence to the contrary. I also say there are no pixies.

One cannot simply dismiss atheism or atheists as 'just another religion'. Atheist is what religionists call me. I am not interested in religion, only in stopping the harmful consequences of it such as attacks on science,(ID/Creationism); attacks on education (e.g. segregation of children according to their parents religious delusions); attacks on our political system (no time to discuss Lords reform or disestablishment of the CofE, but time to make gay marriage illegal and debate women bishops); and child mutilation (religiously motivated circumcision - and making me feel complicit by using public money to do it.)
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#44 Dec 12, 2012
John wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeh great!
Now sick new age cults like veganism and sick foreign cults like islam will try to fill the vacuum.
Do you loony left culture destroyers have any sense at all?
One cannot rid a country of Islam and keep Christianity. One cannot get rid of one superstition while trying to maintain another.

I think your comment might be motivated by the idea that 'losing one's faith' is somehow bad or a pity, perhaps? One doesn't lose anything by relinquishing superstitious beliefs like Jesus or Mohammed were sent by God or Allah. Religionists aren't 'better' than atheists.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#45 Dec 12, 2012
And modern cultures are so much more than the religions in their midst who have adherents. We can lose Christianity entirely without losing much of the culture attached to it. I am all in favour of keeping the communities, the Church hall and charity work. It is just the superstitious beliefs, where those seem dangerous or held inviolable that I challenge.
John

Brisbane, Australia

#46 Dec 12, 2012
Adam wrote:
<quoted text>
The dark ages were 1000 years in Europe 5th to 15th centuries. Surely not a coincidence that this was the same time Christianity took off.
Rubbish.
The "dark ages" referred to the 6th to 8th centuries in northern and western Europe and were so named because little historical record remains from the time.
The reason so little material remains from these centuries is because they were the centuries of pagan barbarian invasion and destruction.
There were no "dark ages" in the unconquered Christian Byzantine empire.
There were no "dark ages" in northern and western Europe after Charlemagne restored order by founding the Carolingian Empire in the 8th century.
Pagan Vikings destroyed much of Charlemagne's work but after their defeat civilisation flourished again in Christendom during the high middle ages, which began after AD 1000, and the population of Europe increased greatly as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and crop yields to increase.
The renaissance began in Christian Italy in the 15th century and the enlightenment began in Christian France in the 17th century - both deeply religious Catholic countries and during that time up until the 60s "counter culture" Christianity was never more popular due to better literacy.
A few religious fanatics started to react against secular learning after it was discovered that the sun didn't really go around the earth. Most Christians however were right behind science because the spirit of honest inquiry is built into the Christian religion and because nothing science can discover can overthrow Christianity.
Christ never said that the sun goes around the earth, or made any scientific observations.
The Old Testament is allegory and myth anyway and was not even assembled until after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans long after Christ and Christianity is a moral truth anyway.
Except for a few comic fanatics modern Christian live quite comfortably with science.
The jerks causing the trouble are some non Christians. The muz are the worst - book burning terrorist fanatics who's religion is hostile to freedom and tolerance. The new age culture destroying socialist wankers are the next most destructive - these bastards have restricted freedom of speech, brought hostile foreigners into our midst, and seriously assaulted the quality and impartiality of western education.
John

Brisbane, Australia

#47 Dec 12, 2012
EdSed wrote:
<quoted text>One cannot rid a country of Islam and keep Christianity. One cannot get rid of one superstition while trying to maintain another.
I think your comment might be motivated by the idea that 'losing one's faith' is somehow bad or a pity, perhaps? One doesn't lose anything by relinquishing superstitious beliefs like Jesus or Mohammed were sent by God or Allah. Religionists aren't 'better' than atheists.
It is the conceited Atheists who proclaim their superiority to everybody else.
And the conceited vegans.
And the conceited environmentalists.
And the conceited hippies.
And the conceited socialists.

All of them with a swag of dogma and a rabid anti-intellectualism to go along with it. The "counter culture" IS a new religion and they will get in gangs and try to shout down and intimidate anybody who contradicts them.
Not that I approve of corporate capitalism and the bribery and corruption such powerful institutions have done.
But the loony left is much more dangerous.
Adam

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#48 Dec 12, 2012
John wrote:
<quoted text>
The Old Testament is allegory and myth anyway
So you are not a Christian.
CrimeaRiver

South Ockendon, UK

#49 Dec 12, 2012
John wrote:
<quoted text>
Rubbish.
The "dark ages" referred to the 6th to 8th centuries in northern and western Europe and were so named because little historical record remains from the time.
The reason so little material remains from these centuries is because they were the centuries of pagan barbarian invasion and destruction.
There were no "dark ages" in the unconquered Christian Byzantine empire.
There were no "dark ages" in northern and western Europe after Charlemagne restored order by founding the Carolingian Empire in the 8th century.
Pagan Vikings destroyed much of Charlemagne's work but after their defeat civilisation flourished again in Christendom during the high middle ages, which began after AD 1000, and the population of Europe increased greatly as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and crop yields to increase.
The renaissance began in Christian Italy in the 15th century and the enlightenment began in Christian France in the 17th century - both deeply religious Catholic countries and during that time up until the 60s "counter culture" Christianity was never more popular due to better literacy.
A few religious fanatics started to react against secular learning after it was discovered that the sun didn't really go around the earth. Most Christians however were right behind science because the spirit of honest inquiry is built into the Christian religion and because nothing science can discover can overthrow Christianity.
Christ never said that the sun goes around the earth, or made any scientific observations.
The Old Testament is allegory and myth anyway and was not even assembled until after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans long after Christ and Christianity is a moral truth anyway.
Except for a few comic fanatics modern Christian live quite comfortably with science.
The jerks causing the trouble are some non Christians. The muz are the worst - book burning terrorist fanatics who's religion is hostile to freedom and tolerance. The new age culture destroying socialist wankers are the next most destructive - these bastards have restricted freedom of speech, brought hostile foreigners into our midst, and seriously assaulted the quality and impartiality of western education.
Actually the dark ages in Britain would've ended around the 11th Century which then led to the middle ages after the Norman Conquest.

The term Dark Ages refers not to pagan influences but the relative lack of progress made after the Romans left in the 5th Century. It took nearly 900years before we resurrected sewerage systems and sanitary toilets with running water flushing systems. In fact Britain experienced a period of regress rather than progress.

You also have to remember that many Scientists of the time had to profess their love of God to avoid being burned at the stake. Those who didn't were perseuted for their beliefs.

Galileo was put under house arrest for believing in Jupiters moons

Charles Darwin had to profess his love of the Church in order to publish the anti-Christian theories of Evolution

Isaac Newton renounced his faith privately but not publicly to avoid persecution.

And while the Pagans may not be known for their scientific feats, we still marvel at Stone Henge and ask ourselves how they did it and why?
rio

Beckenham, UK

#50 Dec 12, 2012
John wrote:
<quoted text>
Atheism is just another religion.
The statement "there is no god" is just as arrogant and conceited as any other religious dogma.
I also found many atheists being very aggressive about their "belief" and trying to impose their views on others.
This kind of proselytism as almost disappeared from other religions.
rio

Beckenham, UK

#51 Dec 12, 2012
EdSed wrote:
<quoted text>One cannot rid a country of Islam and keep Christianity. One cannot get rid of one superstition while trying to maintain another.
I think your comment might be motivated by the idea that 'losing one's faith' is somehow bad or a pity, perhaps? One doesn't lose anything by relinquishing superstitious beliefs like Jesus or Mohammed were sent by God or Allah. Religionists aren't 'better' than atheists.
But it's not up to you to rid the country of anything; it's up to people to chose!

Atheists aren't better than religionists either.

There is room for everybody, unless, of course atheists intend to dominate society..
John

Brisbane, Australia

#52 Dec 12, 2012
EdSed wrote:
And modern cultures are so much more than the religions in their midst who have adherents. We can lose Christianity entirely without losing much of the culture attached to it. I am all in favour of keeping the communities, the Church hall and charity work. It is just the superstitious beliefs, where those seem dangerous or held inviolable that I challenge.
The morals and ethics of Christianity are a foundation of our civilisation.
Without it, we are in trouble.
Christianity proper has no harmful superstitions.
Christ gave us a model of behaviour I think very few sane people can argue against. It is certainly better than the rape and murder and military conquest of mad Mo.
As for the superstition.
Christ proclaimed the virtues of forgiveness and tolerance and perseverance etc as the will of God.
Christ proclaimed that God loves us and even bad people are forgiven if they repent and ask for forgiveness and try to follow the will of god (see above).
Christ talks about the resurrection of the faithful to live with God and the destruction of evil doers along with the master of evil Satan.
What's bad about any of that?
You either believe it or you don't.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#53 Dec 12, 2012
rio wrote:
<quoted text>
I also found many atheists being very aggressive about their "belief" and trying to impose their views on others.
This kind of proselytism as almost disappeared from other religions.
Got an example?
Do you consider my comments or manner aggressive?
I haven't met an atheist with any beliefs in the religious sense of the word.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_belief
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#54 Dec 12, 2012
rio wrote:
<quoted text>
But it's not up to you to rid the country of anything; it's up to people to chose!
Atheists aren't better than religionists either.
There is room for everybody, unless, of course atheists intend to dominate society..
I fully agree. Now can we stop male child mutilation for non-clinical reasons? At least won't you compromise and admit that religionists shouldn't make the tax-payer complicit in the abuse by using public funds? I think it is morally wrong.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#55 Dec 12, 2012
John wrote:
<quoted text>
.. morals and ethics of Christianity are a foundation of our civilisation.
Without it, we are in trouble.....
Leave out the word Christianity and I agree. People aren't more or less moral according to their religion, or lack of any.
CrimeaRiver

South Ockendon, UK

#56 Dec 12, 2012
John wrote:
<quoted text>
The morals and ethics of Christianity are a foundation of our civilisation.
Without it, we are in trouble.
Christianity proper has no harmful superstitions.
Christ gave us a model of behaviour I think very few sane people can argue against. It is certainly better than the rape and murder and military conquest of mad Mo.
As for the superstition.
Christ proclaimed the virtues of forgiveness and tolerance and perseverance etc as the will of God.
Christ proclaimed that God loves us and even bad people are forgiven if they repent and ask for forgiveness and try to follow the will of god (see above).
Christ talks about the resurrection of the faithful to live with God and the destruction of evil doers along with the master of evil Satan.
What's bad about any of that?
You either believe it or you don't.
Christ was beautiful in mind and spirit. But he didn't preach anything that Buddhism hadn't preached 500 years earlier. In fact there is a growing legion of religious historians who claim that Christ travelled, most notably to India and studied Buddhism and Jainism. We can never explain His 30 year absence so many such theories gain ground.

But more importantly you will do well to remember that Chirst was not a Christian, he was a practising, well versed, well read Jew. Christ himself would be confused by the very concept of Christianity.
rio

Beckenham, UK

#57 Dec 12, 2012
EdSed wrote:
<quoted text>Got an example?
Do you consider my comments or manner aggressive?
I haven't met an atheist with any beliefs in the religious sense of the word.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_belief
Yes I do. You try to demonstrate the correctness of your views.
Have you convinced anyone yet?

Live and let live, is my motto.
Very few atheists would agree with that.
Most think they are superior because they don't believe and tend to ridicule believers.

True, atheists don't have beliefs in the religious sense, of course, but they have philosophical beliefs, or views.
Thinking

Andover, UK

#58 Dec 12, 2012
You're being snippy.
rio wrote:
<quoted text>
I also found many atheists being very aggressive about their "belief" and trying to impose their views on others.
This kind of proselytism as almost disappeared from other religions.
John

Brisbane, Australia

#59 Dec 12, 2012
Adam wrote:
<quoted text>
So you are not a Christian.
Yes, I'm an educated modern Christian like 99% of Christians have been for centuries.
The Old Testament was assembled out of the ruins of Jewish civilisation and a lot is missing. Some of the myths in it go back to the bronze age and I don't take them to be literally true.
The New Testament is largely a history book written by men whose names appear at the beginning of the texts.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the histories of Christ written by men who had spoken to Jesus himself and who had access to records that no longer exist.
Most of the rest is a history of the early church.
Revelation is a prophecy of things to come written by a man who had a vision.
I don't take a real lot of notice of Paul's commentaries as anything other than one man's fancy. I take his interpretations of Christianity as seriously flawed even though he was one of the founders of the organised church. His texts however are preserved as a history of what he did and thought.
The essence of Christianity is in the four gospels.
If you respect what Christ said and believe in the salvation of mankind, literally or metaphorically, through Christ you are a Christian.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#60 Dec 12, 2012
John wrote:
<quoted text>
..Christianity proper has no harmful superstitions.
Christ gave us a model of behaviour I think very few sane people can argue against. It is certainly better than the rape and murder and military conquest of mad Mo.
As for the superstition.
Christ proclaimed the virtues of forgiveness and tolerance and perseverance etc as the will of God.
Christ proclaimed that God loves us and even bad people are forgiven if they repent and ask for forgiveness and try to follow the will of god (see above).
Christ talks about the resurrection of the faithful to live with God and the destruction of evil doers along with the master of evil Satan.
What's bad about any of that?
You either believe it or you don't.
All superstition is harmful as it, by definition, involves believing something that is unsupported by reason and evidence...
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/superstition
I don't care what anyone believes when it is harmless. I don't care about religion as long as it is kept out of poltics, the law, education, science and morality. I think we need to disestablish the CofE; stop segregating our children and putting ID/Creationism in place of evolution in schools; etc, it is these infringements of morality and the harm religions cause to which I object. My only objection to religion per se is that I think superstition is generally a bad thing and a negative influence on society. At the least it is divisive and unnecessary.

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