Religion to Disappear By 2041 Claims New Study

Religion to Disappear By 2038 Claims New Study

Author and noted biopsychologist Nigel Barber has completed a new study that shows Atheism is most prevalent in developed countries, and, according to his projections, religion will completely disappear by 2041. His findings are discussed in his new book “Why Atheism Will Replace Religion.” A new study that clarifies his earlier research will be published in August. His findings focus on studying trends within countries around the world and the fact that “Atheists are heavily concentrated in economically developed countries”-

In my new study of 137 countries (1), I also found that atheism increases for countries with a well-developed welfare state (as indexed by high taxation rates). Moreover, countries with a more equal distribution of income had more atheists. My study improved on earlier research by taking account of whether a country is mostly Moslem (where atheism is criminalized) or formerly Communist (where religion was suppressed) and accounted for three-quarters of country differences in atheism.

His main thesis stems from the phenomenon of religion declining as personal wealth increases. He cites the reason as people having less of a need for supernatural beliefs when the tangible, natural world is providing for their needs. He says the majority of the world will come to view religion as completely irrelevant by 2041.

Political Scientist Eric Kaufmann holds the opposite view, citing the fact that Atheists have fewer children than religious people. He thinks this could indicate the religious mindset will proliferate due to religious folks simply breeding more than Atheists. But what is the significance of the prolific breeding of religious people?

Biotechnologist Thomas Rees poses this question in his essay “Will the Religious Inherit the Earth?” In this piece, he discusses Kaufmann’s research and comes to the conclusion that the breeding aspect could tip the odds in favor of the religious purely due to fertility and childbearing rates among them.

Barber, however, dismisses the breeding-related evidence, saying “…Yet, noisy as they can be, such groups are tiny minorities of the global population and they will become even more marginalized as global prosperity increases and standards of living improve.”

He also says that as women become more integrated into the workforce, they will have fewer children, even if they are members of a religious fundamentalist group: “Moreover, as religious fundamentalists become economically integrated, young women go to work and produce smaller families, as is currently happening for Utah’s Mormons,” he says.

If a recent PEW study is any indication of a solid answer to the question, Kaufman may be correct. The study, performed by PEW in 2012, indicates a huge upswing in Atheism, with 20% of Americans now identifying as Agnostic, Atheist or “Unaffiliated” with a religion. This number represents the largest percentage of people in PEW’s history of polling who identify as non-religious.

It is clear that the growth of Atheism or “unaffiliated” people is growing at an incredibly rapid rate in the United States, but it seems that being non-religious is also exploding globally. The UK’s Daily Mail reported an extensive 2010 study that showed unaffiliated individuals as the “third largest global group” behind Christians and Muslims, placing the unaffiliated ahead of Hindus, Buddists, Jews and all other religious affliations.

Related Articles: Roman Catholic Church Being Deconstructed – Declared Criminal; Pope Francis Admits a Top Secret Vatican ‘Gay Lobby’

By: Rebecca Savastio

Source: Huffington Post

Source: Sci Blog

Source: Epiphenom

Source: The Blaze

Source: Daily Mail

152 Responses to "Religion to Disappear By 2041 Claims New Study"

  1. Charles B.   December 5, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Eventually, humans will come to the end of their childhood, and all the fantasy creatures of that period will come to be known as products of our imagination. It happens with Santa, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, and all the other characters of myth and legend- all of the gods in history have eventually come to nothing. Mankind will evolve past the need.

    Reply
    • KC   December 5, 2013 at 8:08 am

      Well stated. Let me go on to say… Christianity and other religions wouldn’t even exist had our EARLY ancestors understood meteorology and astrophysics.

      Reply
  2. River   November 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Eric Kaufmann hypothesis does not make any sense, most of our predecessors did come from a religious background and CAN give birth to children who turn out to be atheists. I for one was raised in a religious family, taught Sunday school, sang in church choir all of that stuff, yet when I became an adult I realized that was not my belief, I only did what my parents asked of me. I gave my kids a choice I had 3, I married a religious man, had my kids went to church and I let them formulate their own belief system. They are all atheist. So my friend. I just multiplied myself by 3 what do you think of that. He is full of BS.

    Reply
  3. qilin   November 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Jolly good news, isn’t it? We’ve only to manage that all people in the world are provided for their needs naturally by 2041, then they don’t need supernatural consolation any more.
    And if they still should do so, it doesn’t matter that much. Having their needs fulfilled, they can wait for the great, noble goal a trifle longer…

    Reply
  4. Jack   November 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    While I do see religion eventually disappearing, I think 2041 is way too soon. Especially in places like the U.S. and much of the Middle East.

    Reply
  5. Eoin   August 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I think forcing children into specific religious belief is inhumane and barbaric. I’m constantly amazed that religious people strip their children of informed decision making and free choice, just to justify their own fantastical beliefs! Are you so scared that your intelligent children will realise religion is myth that you deem it necessary to brainwash them when they are unable to defend themselves? Shocking self justification and narrowmindedness.

    Reply
    • Mejece   October 1, 2013 at 12:29 am

      You know, when you point one finger, there’s three pointing back at you. 🙂

      Reply
      • Eoin   October 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm

        Sigh, if the best you can do in this discussion is quote cliches, it’s obvious you don’t have any valid points to add. Perhaps I should lay down some overused cliches, oh wait I actually have a point to make…. Honestly it’s a discussion not some 2 bit sermon where cliches and vagueness are proffered rather than intelligent conversation. Nice job being brainwashed there lady…..

        Reply
        • Russ   December 4, 2013 at 8:10 am

          Being brainwashed from childhood can be a hard thing to overcome for some people like Mejece

          Reply
      • MM   November 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm

        I’m glad syllogisms are your choice of logic

        Reply
  6. Appolus GMT   August 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    There is God. I believe sorely in His supremacy and the evidence is seen everywhere even in this article! By the special grace of God almighty I will live beyond 2041 and I’ll remain be a Christian. My off-spring shall bear the light of the gospel – so, the disappearance of Christianity is mere speculation probably informed by the level of moral decadence in our day but there remains a remnant. I and my family will not only believe, work for but also worship God whose name is Jehovah.

    Reply
    • Dan Arboscelli   September 2, 2013 at 12:02 am

      Maybe your offspring will receive a better education and will not necessarily feel the need to believe in magic to answer some questions. Just like the majority of people no longer believes that sacrifices or other rituals are needed for the Sun to give more heat or make the days last longer, or for the rain to come, because they know that the seasons and weather are not influenced by it. Picking a random set of instructions and ignoring a random set of others ( for example, I believe the Leviticus says “Neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.”, do you stick to that? ) from books written thousands of years ago by people with a much smaller understanding of how things work can’t go on forever, as educated people spot contradictions and lack of sense. That doesn’t necessarily mean that spirituality will decrease, it is just that fewer and fewer people ( hopefully ) will stop believing that they are being constantly judged by magic entities created with all the human flaws and beliefs of the time they were conceived in.

      Reply
      • Nicholas Sgherzi   September 6, 2013 at 1:01 am

        “as educated people spot contradictions and lack of sense”

        Educated…Are these so called “educated” folks the same types who continue to believe the lies the’re Government tells them and continues to participate in useless dog and pony show elections while continuing to elect every idiot politician?

        Yeah, they look educated to me…and they surely can spot lack of sense considering they don’t have any sense themselves.

        Sorry, I needed a good laugh.

        Reply
        • Larry   September 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

          AAARGH! It’s a basic rule: if you’re engaged in a written argument about intelligence, DO NOT make errors in either spelling or grammar!!!

          Reply
          • Nicholas Sgherzi   September 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm

            Again, completely avoiding the points made. This is typical when you have no other point to argue.

          • Dan Arboscelli   September 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm

            Is “having no other point to argue” the reason why you talked about politics in the reply to my post, when I solely mentioned that knowledge of how the environment around us work reduces the need to believe without questioning the existence of entities nobody ever saw or heard?

          • Dan Arboscelli   September 9, 2013 at 10:24 pm

            “… environment around us workS reduces …” 🙂

    • Barry   October 29, 2013 at 9:38 am

      She said Jahovah! Stone her!!

      Reply
  7. Yousif Namat Behnam Abu Al Soof   August 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Athiesm is wrong, God Bless all believers.

    Reply
    • KC Green   August 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      zzzzzzzzz…

      Reply
    • Larry   September 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Can’t argue with that logic.

      Reply
      • Russ   December 4, 2013 at 8:12 am

        If I can’t understand it, it must be god logic is hard to argue with….lol.

        Reply
  8. captorsfree   July 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Charles Taylor, author of “A Secular Age,” writes that “bad arguments . . . leave out so many viable possibilities between fundamentalism and atheism” (2007, p.4). It is interesting that most of the comments offered in response to Barber’s book fall into that category, i.e. “bad.” Whether religious or non-religious, theistic or atheistic, in matters related to God and the public sphere, perspectives tend toward the binary (either this OR that) with an unwillingness to entertain the possibility that a perspective beyond one’s own limited experience could have some, even if minimal, value. The vast majority of the comments I’ve come across seem to me neither informed nor constructive.

    Reply
  9. Rusty Hutchins   July 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    All religion is manmade. Do you think your dog prays to a god or your god? Well hell no! He lives, dies, thats it. No great heaven for him to go up to. IDIOTS. All religion is FAKE!

    Reply
    • sifirdokuzkalemucu   July 31, 2013 at 4:13 am

      Unless a dog does not have the capability to make a comment on religion, there is no heaven or hell for it.

      Reply
      • Arquimedes Rodriguez   July 31, 2013 at 9:39 pm

        Although, there are some false statements in a more less quantity in any religion, it is reckless to compare the rational human being with the more instinctive intelligent dogs…

        Reply
  10. sifirdokuzkalemucu   July 30, 2013 at 1:45 am

    This atheism-biased study interestingly justifys Islam. According to Islamic belief, when the doomsday comes, only the non-believers will be living on the earth.

    Reply
  11. Dom   July 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Eric Kaufmann may forgets one thing: Science is evolving really fast and it is proposed that human will be able to cure “natural” death within the next 4 decades (at least have a youth that is longer than a few hundred years). The more wealthy, educated and possibly atheistic people will be able to afford this medicine. Religious people will most likely refuse this kind of medicine as it contradicts with their religious believes of an endless afterlife. Why should one need an afterlife, if he could practically have an endless this-life?
    We can be sure that religion will die out in favor of atheism in the next 100 years 😉

    Reply
    • Arquimedes Rodriguez   July 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Please, be careful to affirm things that could occur about in the future, in science you cannot affirm or deny nothing, you specially find the truth, there is nothing realistic to support the idea of endless life of our material body, it is a matter of energy, the internal process of energy transformation inside our body are irreversible not conservative itself, so our body wear inexorable to his waste of their biological vital principles, it is a nature law and science is a tool from Nature not to ignore it, our body changes all his cells and systems in about 7 times during his life (average 74 years), after that the regeneration process it evolves very slow to nothing and our body cells die, the science is not evolving fast, technology is evolving fast, the science is evolving very slowly, was about 500 years ago that we were believing the earth was flat, our knowledge is 8 million years old behind the hominids start to grow in this planet, life without a body is a matter that science should explore not deny, you have a cell in your pocket and we have a spaceship in Saturn, these were impossible in the last century.

      Reply
  12. Cathryn Paradise   July 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    It is presumptuous to say such a thing since Roman Catholicism and Islam comprise over three billion followers. Christian-like religions comprise at least another billion.Pagans, Hidus and Buddhists at least another billion. We are supposed to believe that five billion people out of seven billion are going to change their minds in less than 30 years.

    Reply
    • Arquimedes Rodriguez   July 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      The last UN information total Christians sects sum 2,000 MM and Islam is about 1,300 MM of muslims, so they are about 3,300 MM of souls in earth, and the Christians are reducing about 3 % per year and some of them go to Islam, something to think about it

      Reply
    • jim   November 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Christians and Muslims don’t take into account those who leave the fllock…for example, if baptized Catholic, you remain Catholic unless you petition the Vatican. And who dooes that?

      Reply
  13. Natasha   July 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Never! Man will always look for a sense in life and won’t resort to the status of a clever monkey!

    I owe my living to God and only breath thanks to His grace. I come from an atheist ex-communist country in which we all return to God. No matter how hard the atheists try to impose they doctrine on free people, they will never succeed in controlling our hearts and minds.

    In the end, freedom wins over indoctrination. Even if you deny all their rights to the believers, as it is done today in many Western countries, we won’t fear anything because God is with us. Even in prison, or outcast from the rest of the society, we’ll remain faithful to our Creator.

    Reply
    • knpoducH   July 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      You are a nut job. Your attitude will help to make more atheists than anything I could say or do.

      Reply
    • T.J.   August 3, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      “Freedom wins over indoctrination.”

      Funny, seeing as how the majority of religious people are the product of childhood religious indoctrination. You crack me up, madam.

      Reply
  14. saberamusavi   July 29, 2013 at 9:35 am

    May be those man made religions will disapper,but Islam is here to stay.

    Reply
    • Arquimedes Rodriguez   July 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      You may want to hear only what you want to hear and not to understand the Universe, all religions were human made and the idea of God also, you are in your free right to think about God as you really want, but is a big fake to say that Islam was not made by humans!
      And the more important thing many Muslims call to the people that is not agree with their ideas: Infidel and they have a saint war against them, that is a God idea? or Whom?

      Reply
  15. Gradivus   July 29, 2013 at 8:19 am

    It’s more likely that that the “developed world” (where Atheism is most prevalent) will completely disappear by 2041. Fundamentalist Islam is spreading far, far faster than Atheism is.

    Reply
  16. Bill   July 29, 2013 at 7:44 am

    It is rather optimistic to believe that after thousands of years, Sharia will simply give way to “enlightenment” in the next 3 decades.

    Reply
  17. Manjusri   July 29, 2013 at 4:27 am

    To anyone who believes that belief in God is the problem, and not the other memes that surround said belief- and who thinks that they’re rational because they’re an atheist- I heartily recommend this (very long, seven part) essay- it will realign your perceptions:

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-dawkins-got-pwned-part-1.html

    (Disclaimer: the author of the essay is an atheist and non-believer in the supernatural. The author of this comment is a non-religious deist who is agnostic on supernatural concerns.)

    Reply
  18. David Ashton   July 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    So religion is to blame for all the bad things? if it’s an invention, man invented it and will have his mark on it. Man will always find a way to express his nature….

    Reply
    • Arquimedes Rodriguez   July 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Do not stay at defensive, Religions of course were made by humans, the humans have freewill, they can construct or destroy… if religions are focused in construct a moral way to progress the mankind to a higher level of Love, progress and understanding sure they will prevail, but with ideas that are static in 4,000 years ago, how humans can find in them a solution to the mankind?

      Reply
      • Olaf   August 2, 2013 at 7:02 am

        “the humans have freewill” well .. this is something we can finaly start to discuss when religions do not matter any furter more. Can you have free will as an animal like humans are? Anyhthing the brain does/encouters is somehow limited to cause/effect even your thougts are as the brain doing the thinking is matter … so does this allow for a free will or not? Could the person have made another decision if everything in the universe (the tiniest parts making up matter and also energy inside an animals brain and the whole universe) would be exactly the same as in the situation the decision was made before?

        Enjoy the thougt experiment and consequences (for e.g. laws regarding violence) once people clinging to religion will not interfere and the scientific method might provide a most likely answer.

        Reply
  19. Stan Baker (@angrystan)   July 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    From your mouth to God’s ears … or something

    Reply
  20. Kerensa ˚͜˚ B   July 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    A wonderful thought for future generations. To be free of the stupid, over breeding sheeple and have a clean, free and enlightened planet.

    Reply
  21. My Heathen Heart   July 28, 2013 at 9:13 am

    It’s wonderful to know that I’m not alone in thinking the end of all religion approaches, although I’m not too sure how relevant breeding is in the greater scheme of things – kids grow up, think for themselves, rebel, and head in the opposite direction – that’s just the joy of life.

    Whatever the cause, I think the world will breathe an enormous sigh of sheer relief with the final death knell of religion. One can only imagine what global celebrations that will spark.

    Reply
  22. David Ashton   July 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    “Religion is a dead concept. God is worshiped by weak minded people looking for something to put faith in. People are raised from birth to believe in the bearded man in the sky. Step back and realize what religion really is. To me it’s a way to control lazy ppeople who desperately want to find Devine in the ordinary”

    This is such an arrogant and ignorant statement. Why don’t you ask the christians in China who get thrown in jail for believing in Christ? Do you think it’s weak minded to stand up to a dictatorship? Or the christians in India and other countries who die for what they believe?

    Christianity flourished under the the persecution of the Roman empire. Do you really think it’s simply going to disappear?

    Reply
    • Kerensa ˚͜˚ B   July 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Personally, as a militant anti theist, I really don’t care about stupid people being removed from society. The sooner the better.

      Reply
    • Atheist   July 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      People diying for their believes is not a proof of strength, it’s just plain fanaticism, if that’s the argument we should think the world will become Muslim cause they have the biggest will to die for their religion, how many American Christians are willing to do so? Do you know how intense were the “roman persecution?”, wasn’t really Christians who expand their believes trough the world using the sword?, crusades, inquisition, “evangelization” in the American continent? History is written by the victors always putting them in the “finally wining martyr” position, people always remember the thousands dead in Pearl Harbor but forget easily the hundreds of thousands killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, same with Christianity, “we were persucuted in Rome, Bo, ho , ho…” (For less than 300 years, if so…) “and now we are put in jails in places we are not majority and can’t do that to others…” And forget that since Constantine became Christian your people has been after every single people who is different trough the western world… You think Christianity will last forever? So did the Romans, Egyptians, Vikings with their gods, try not to indoctrinate children and religion will perish in less than 2 generations…

      Reply
  23. Jim Mira   July 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Religion is a dead concept. God is worshiped by weak minded people looking for something to put faith in. People are raised from birth to believe in the bearded man in the sky. Step back and realize what religion really is. To me it’s a way to control lazy ppeople who desperately want to find Devine in the ordinary

    Reply
  24. Peter Appleby   July 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Religion will dissapear because we will all be dead! The Grand Democide, has already begun!

    Reply
  25. Charles   July 27, 2013 at 11:49 am

    So what I see here is a blind society that believes their money will keep them safe. I recently started studying the Bibles words and meanings understanding textually with comprehension and it somewhat surprises me that all the debaters and people against the Biblical word are oblivious to the fact that it simply keeps your mentality on 100. Corporations thriving is built on “belief” that people will “believe” in their products and deceptive advertising. With enough mental pattern research(spending habits,trending,market research) you can sell anything to anybody. Ask a top sales person..”I could sell ice to an Eskimo!”. This world should realize the purpose for money is to equate the trade value of someone else hard work in exchange for the goods they could not produce themselves.or best said barter system. and the battle for religion should be squashed and people should just have a deeper understanding of the True Laws of Nature.

    Reply
  26. Clint (@ikillunicorns)   July 27, 2013 at 10:02 am

    She has really beautiful eyes

    Reply
  27. KC Green   July 27, 2013 at 8:04 am

    If you were confronted with thunder & lightning, earthquakes, floods, forest fires and all the visible objects in the solar system… without the knowledge we have today… you would make things up to explain them… just like you did when you were a clueless child. Well, we have the knowledge today… and it continues to advance… so why are there still people who worship imaginary things?

    It seems the devoutly religious are more interested in being defiant, than looking at scientific evidence.

    Reply
  28. Linda Lee   July 27, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Well, he has a surprise coming then, because when economic collapse comes…and it will…many of those atheists will no longer have their wealth to depend upon. They will be forced to turn to “something” or “Someone”. He makes another grievous error as well, it’s not about “religion”….it’s about “relationship”…Relationship with God.

    Reply
    • ej   July 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      if god paid dividends we’d all be investors

      Reply
  29. David Martin   July 27, 2013 at 6:37 am

    This is not good news no matter how you cut it. It seems developed nations are descending into materialism- money & other symbols of wealth have become their new God. On the other hand, the “sheeple” are procreating like rabbits, ignorant of the effects that overpopulation is having on the balance of Nature, and unable or unwilling to examine their behavior. The Middle Path has apparently become the razor’s edge.

    Reply
  30. Max Loh (@max_loh)   July 27, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Religion will not disappear.

    Rather, it will evolve to become rational and full of good rather than pretension. Gone will be the claims of sin, prayer, afterlife duality, and divine intervention. Remaining will be the good parts of religion — the love for everyone, the oneness of the universe, the meditative feelings — the parts that everyone of all faiths (even atheism) can agree with

    Reply
  31. Peter Jones   July 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Christianity was indeed largely created by the Romans, and the RC church formed a natural and very convenient successor to the military Roman Empire. I can’t help feeling this isn’t a coincidence.

    That said, Religion has been the inspiration for marvelous buildings, music, art. I do hope we don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

    Reply
  32. joseozorio   July 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    It’s not impossible. Look at the huge leaps the human race has made in the fields of science, living standards and globalisation. If atheism can take off in Africa, India and South America; then his thesis could be proved valid.

    Reply
  33. Yahoodi Khan   July 26, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Ahhh….If only…In my opinion it is only wishful thinking…The virus of religions will most probably still be there in 2041

    Reply
  34. John F. Michalski   July 26, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Yes. And we’ll also all have flying cars by 1975.

    Reply
  35. matt   July 26, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Religion isnt going to die….your all in dream land…..go study and solve world hunger

    Reply
  36. Marvin   July 26, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Religion will die, because religion isnt worth more than a hill of beans. However Faith (belieth, hope, trust) in JESUS (The True and Living GOD) will never die: 1) HE’s not dead and never will die 2) HE still interacts with people (by touch, sight, sound, sub-conscious); even though it might not make it to for points. It is extremely difficult to convince someone that they did not have an supernatural encounter. For points [3, infinity] pls tune in to your local Bible believing church.

    Reply
    • Luc   July 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

      Jesus will die just like Zeus and Anubis.

      Reply
      • Tom Savage   July 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

        Didn’t you mean like Hercules and Horus? As they were the Greek and Egyptian incarnations of Jesus, all three of they’re stories have similar aspects to them, it could actually be as if they were copied from a previous but then the one after the previous and then they added a newer story line onto it.

        Reply
  37. ken   July 25, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Religion disappear?…it would rake an act if God.

    Reply
    • Luc   July 26, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Or lack thereof.

      Reply
    • Albert   July 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      That would take an act of congress.

      Reply
  38. Bonnie   July 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I feel that this is perhaps a bit too optimistic, but it is promising nevertheless.

    Reply
  39. Joshua   July 25, 2013 at 11:02 am

    It’s important to differentiate between religion as spirituality. Spirituality – the self behind the ego, which is connected to all things (as in string theory and quantum mechanics) is not religion – and is also not necessarily atheism.

    Sometimes called ‘Pantheism’, it’s more a style of thinking than a religion. Modern day religions have largely become political factions, whereas spirituality – and a sense of plot in one’s own life, are only growing stronger in our modern society.

    Reply
  40. Stephen Scott   July 25, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Wildly optimistic, I fear. But being 73 years of age now, I’m unlikely to be around to see whether it happens.

    Reply
    • Tom Savage   July 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      You only have to live until your 101, which should be easy even the queen’s mother made it to 101.

      Reply
  41. Nakula   July 25, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I wish this day will come soon

    Reply
  42. kathy   July 25, 2013 at 9:33 am

    1. The number of people born into religious or nonreligious families is irrelevant. Most atheists were born into religious families and ‘converted’.
    2. The number of atheists is exploding. I’ve been an atheist for over 45 years. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve felt comfortable admitting it in public.

    Reply
  43. Tim   July 25, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Good. Glad to see it off.
    I think God as a science fiction should live on though.
    Christianity hopefully will die out.
    Christianity was invented by the Roman Imperial Rulers to implement the world with what became feudalism.
    It will be nice to see the end of it; along with all its conservative aficionados.

    Reply
  44. Bill Hendricks   July 25, 2013 at 8:22 am

    G.K. Chesterton: “At least five times. . .the Faith has to all appearance gone to the dogs. In each of these five cases it was the dog that died.”

    Reply
  45. cxviii   July 25, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Giving a date for the end of anything is a mistake. There will ALWAYS be those drawn to supernatural beliefs. And I’m surprised that he makes no mention of education: I would think the correlation between education and atheism would be stronger than that between wealth and atheism…

    Reply
  46. Eric Ogden   July 25, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Then why are the rich and powerful, usually God-fearing men? Economics and religion, quite the combo. XD

    Reply
  47. Shane Shaw   July 25, 2013 at 5:54 am

    this guys has no real comprehension of human nature……

    Reply
  48. Tomé de Jesus (@Tome_de_Jesus)   July 25, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Scientific journalism is an oxymoron. Why even write about this dribble? Nigel Barber might be a great “biopsycologist” but he is clearly a terrible mathematician, what did he do? Linearly regress the growth GDP per capita (and therefore according to him the growth of atheism) over time? How did he account for increasing levels of inequality, lack of education and infrastructure?

    I really wish this had some evidence behind it but more than that I wish I had the time it took to read this article back.

    Reply
  49. Duck Manson   July 25, 2013 at 2:48 am

    There will always be idiots among us so religion will never disappear.

    Reply
  50. jun   July 25, 2013 at 2:10 am

    I’ll remain until our species became extinct. It will never go away..

    Reply
  51. MRadclyffe   July 25, 2013 at 12:22 am

    a. Hasn’t worked since they invented it two thousand or so years ago [sic, depending on which one you follow] so doubt it’ll work I the next X years and b. why the pic of the Muslim female? Why not a composite? Pfft. Whole thing is a load of cobblers.

    Reply
  52. Mic   July 25, 2013 at 12:18 am

    According to this article, Barber believes that people have “less of a need for supernatural beliefs when the tangible, natural world is providing for their needs,” and that, “the majority of the world will come to view religion as completely irrelevant by 2041.” Well, has anyone ever noticed that even the rich and those with many tangible resources still have problems?

    Sure, there are options like therapy and counseling, but sometimes (such as when these options don’t seem to be helping), people turn to religion for help. I myself am not religious, but I can appreciate why some people choose to remain religious or take on religion in order to help them cope with life and feel like a good person with purpose. Just because something is supernatural or unproven does not mean that it cannot have real value. Although this may be a terrible analogy, I’m going to say it anyway: a placebo drug is often capable of producing very real effects, despite the fact that the actual drug said to be within it is not present at all. Religions may claim that our world or universe contains things that it really doesn’t, but many of these belief systems are still capable of helping people in very real ways. To say that religion will be completely irrelevant, ever, is likely very incorrect; to say that it will be gone by 2041 is to say something seriously stupid. It just isn’t going to happen, regardless of whatever breeding rates and growing numbers of women in the workforce happen to occur by that time.

    Reply
    • Missy   July 25, 2013 at 6:04 am

      They should find some other way to soothe themselves. Bedtime stories are for children

      Reply
  53. madhatter   July 25, 2013 at 12:05 am

    wha do you call “religion” exactly ? Shintoïsm, Buddhism, Shamanism, Animism, Pantheism ? or are you one of those belly-button-centered westerner considering the only existing religion is Monotheism ?

    Reply
  54. Sebastian S   July 24, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Yeah 21 years might not be enough, maybe if we had 28 years, say if it were still 2013 or something…

    Reply
  55. Sebastian S   July 24, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I guess in the same sense as abstinence is a sexual position.

    Reply
  56. Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    People are tired of dying for religion, they are exposed to more and more knowledge everyday. It wouldn’t surprise me if it happened sooner. It would be amazing to get on with the business of living life and let go of the childhood comfort if our species.

    Reply
    • Anil   July 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Nicely said Nate.

      Reply
  57. c.c.   July 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    …add another 100 years and it becomes PLAUSIBLE.

    Reply
  58. r.s.   July 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I find this extremely unlikely

    Reply
  59. Anita R Xrysafi   July 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    athiesm is another form of religion

    Reply
    • Sfealtman   July 24, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Hmm, depends on who you ask.
      I guess religion in that regard is more of a category than a faith

      Reply
    • William Hunter Gaddy   July 24, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Your entire statement is self-contradicting. Atheism means “non-theism”. It simply means you are NOT a theist.

      Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      No.

      Reply
  60. chris   July 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Not soon enough. -_-

    Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Agreed.

      Reply
  61. silence wall   July 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Hi
    i think that the word affliation at the end of the article is having a missed letter,pls. check with the original one.

    Reply
  62. Austin R   July 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    We all know that atheism comes from the hipster agenda, and has nothing to do with income. Hipsters hate God and love their abortions!

    Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Ridiculous.

      Reply
  63. Joe   July 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    1.6 Billion Muslims in the world, 1.2 Billion Catholics and a little over 10,000 days(21 years) to convince them to not be religious. Heh! someone has not done the math to see that it is unlikely that there will be no religion in 41 years.

    Reply
  64. obito   July 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Christianity is rising so does Islam , Atheism is increasing because Catholics and sex-Scandal , Some Christians even Claims Islam is Rising , and Islam is fastest Growing Religion ever !

    Reply
  65. Ezme Green   July 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I have watched atheism grow during the last 5 years on the internet. The immediate and prolific spread of information and the opportunity to debate anyone across the globe directly and in real time given by this technology, cannot be underestimated.

    Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Agreed

      Reply
  66. Kymea   July 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    When this does happen, I think there will be a new “religion” and the cycle will happen again

    Reply
  67. Steve   July 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Please, please, please stop equating, or even trying to compare science and religion. It’s like comparing apples and boomerangs. Without any value judgement: science tries to explain the universe in ways that are testable, and therefore falsifiable. Religion tries to explain the universe in ways that are not testable, like philosophy.
    There are scientists who also accept tenants of various religions, and those who do not, those who see no contradiction, and those who can not combine them. Either way, the treatment of science as another religious belief to be argued is ridiculous. No one should “believe” in evolution by natural selection or, for that matter, gravity. Or of course, any other natural phenomena. They should be convinced of the correctness of these theories by the overwhelming evidence whether or not they believe in a god or gods.

    Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Thank you.

      Reply
  68. Evan Dawson-Baglien   July 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Wait, the first sentence of the second-to-last paragraph says :”If a recent PEW study is any indication of a solid answer to the question, Kaufman may be correct.”

    However, this statement is followed by data that indicates atheism is growing. Doesn’t that support Barber’s thesis, not Kaufman’s? Is this a typo?

    Reply
  69. Cameron Garcia   July 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I’m not too entirely sure if Religion among the mainstream ones such as Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, Judism, or Hinduism will ever disappear; but the numbers of believers will probably be less than wht is estimated. There will always be people who will need to have a religious core, and to believe in something when the chips a re down.

    Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      They can believe in themselves. It works.

      Reply
  70. NDT4Prez   July 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Not sure if I believe the estimate, but I do believe that the world as a whole will become more educated and more aware of the stupidity and hypocrisy of religion as time goes on. Will we see an end to religion? I think it’s doubtful at best. But we will see religion fall into the minority and be shunned and laughed at as it already is by people who are rational and educated.

    Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      Once the tipping point is reached only the most isolated regions that lack direct communication will hold out. You will probably see those in power there attempt to cutoff all contact with the rest of the world like North Korea’s dictator’s have done. Eventually that will fall too.

      Reply
  71. Mirko   July 24, 2013 at 11:33 am

    @Jonah,. And I’d like to use your post to demonstrate unscientific thinking. You’re comparing completely different researchers and are using a syllogism- “this study (blond study) did not come true. Studies that do not come true are rubbish. Therefore all studies are rubbish.” Can you see that flaw? 😉

    Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Thank you

      Reply
  72. Mirko   July 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Don’t let anyone tell you that science is like any other religion. It is not. Science does not involve rigid thought, emotive opinion or belief. It does not profess to be ‘right’ and the others wrong- anyone who says that has not studied it. Science tries to show the flaws and strengths in any idea. It tries to look for its own weaknesses at all times. That’s what makes it so strong- it’s a ‘lens’, not a belief. And many people, usually those trying to take thoses ‘lenses’ off their religion, misrepresent science all the time. That ignorance makes it stronger. You can use scientific thought in any context, even religion.

    Reply
  73. guanipa   July 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

    An old friend of mine told me that I must believe in Humans because I am a normal Human…, this consideration lost his power when the humans forget this and give more importance to: Politics-War, economics and religion instead looking what unite us and how we should stand and not focused in what separate us, Religion is not the exception, you can have difference in regular topics criteria with your relatives, best or not that good friends even your wife in that regular topics, however when your conversation arrives to a difference in Religion your Honeymoon ends abruptly… and you should wake up fast because you could lost friends, sons or your boss in religion discussion matters, so do not worry although difficult to explain facts and Nature can help you to minimize this issue.
    I suggest you to keep away from fanatic beliefs and these exist in Science and Religion equally, the fanatic gives his belief and interpretation as real true without any possibility of wrongdoing or wrong ideas in his point of view, so there is not chance to demonstrate any mistake in his mind, be careful because you may be do not know that you could be a fanatic and you can only hear what you want to hear or view nothing else…
    It was 6 years ago when a study of United Nations (UN) showed a general religion distribution around the world people (approximate) and they showed some very interesting things: 1,200 M of persons were Catholics, 800 M were Evangelic or Protestants sects, a total 2,000 M persons are heirs of the primitive Christians (although sometimes not practitioners), 1,200 M were Muslims, 800 M were Hinduism, 300 M were Jews, although not considered religions 400 M were Buddhists, and some 100 M were Confucians and Taoists, there are small percentages of new syncretism religious, Esoterism, New Age, Scientology and other fundamentalism ideologies, but there is a very important amount of about 1,000 M of persons involved in no formal religion, but they have some kind of belief although they do not go to church or follow a specific religion they have some of his own way to live in it, this was named the Invisible Religion, because they do not have a visible church, branch or sect of any formerly religion and the persons practice his beliefs inside them making good things to his neighbors without any propaganda, many of them believe that they are Atheists, Gnostics or similar.
    Other important fact related by UN, showed about a little more than 3 % annually that the traditional religions loss of their normal believers and change to other religions, mainly many of them go to the Islam and some others go to the Invisible Religion… We should review these above figures in 2013, but the question always arise, so what do you call Atheist? You should recall yourself where are your beliefs? Some people believe that Atheist is a person who does believe in the Nothing and this thing named Nothing is a Random Cause of the Universe, others mean that Atheist is a person who does not believe in God, others that Atheist has not a religion at all, so is up to you to choose whomever explain the Cause-Effect in the Universe…
    Some people explain it by religion and God, but many times we forget that God is an idea and that idea must change as our knowledge of the Universe grow with the human science, logic and reason, the crucial point since Copernicus who start the divorce in between Religion and Science, because Religion does not accept the Universe facts and convert some religious mind in fanatic dogmas, because some people give more real importance to the literal interpretation of the Old bible than the Universe laws and facts, and is good to think that if the God idea make the Universe then cannot exist contradictions in both made: The Bible and the Universe by God.
    But, it seems impossible, the Universe is about 17,000 M of years, our Solar system is about 4,300 M of years and our regular Gods ideas and sacred scriptures are old around: 8,000 years in Hindu Vedas, 4,000 years the Jew Torah, 2,000 the gospels, 1,300 the Islam and less the others, so there is not any religious sacred scriptures that was born at the same time with the Universe and less are sacred authorities that was born in those days, even the scientists, so they are all interpretations of the Universe not the universe itself, all we are apprentices in the wonderful, amazing and awesome Universe so please stop the religious discrimination among them and the lay mankind.
    Some people believe that Atheist is a synonymous of scientist or skeptical, but please recall that Science does not deny or affirm anything, the Science find perfectly and always find the Truth, and the more important thing is to share the Truth and nothing more the Truth, and the Truth is not in fanatic God ideas, the Truth must be coherent and should has correspondence with the Universe facts. Science has nothing against the love and forgiveness message of the Carpenter’s son Jesus, Jesus spoke that God is love and all humans are brothers, Evolution showed the same principle that we are all connected, the DNA showed that our cousins the chimps differ from our DNA in only 1.57 %, so a question arise here, where and when we become humans? But, a very different thing is the idea of the Man-God that caused many deaths in the name of God in the past, so the Muslim idea that you are an infidel and should be killed because you do not believe in the Coram and Allah and so the Jews that they are the holy chosen people and they exclude the rest of their brothers, it is a strange condition like is strange that about 60 % of people believe in the Creationist theory of Adam and Eve and sure they can go to the end of his days in a burn at the stake jurying that it is an absolute Truth.
    I am pretty sure that more than those 60 % of people around the Planet had a near dead end phenomenon or a contact with some familiar or related person in the other side, but it is a some taboo there, Science clearly stated that we should understand a lot more of the visible and invisible Cosmos, we should find new physics principles, we should find new materials, we should discover new frontiers of our knowledge, that’s well, but it is very crucial at this time that we demolish our prejudice against changes and open minds to the new Universe that everyday stand in front of us, it is the same prejudice that mostly killed Copernicus and Galileo, but killed Giordano Bruno and many others, Gravity put all them together and move us in the same Planet although some people believe that it does not move and still believe that they are in the center of the Universe, and maybe is the same religious prejudice that says that they do not believe unless they can put in a tube essay or a microscope and has an autopsy, they are the same Atheists or believers that say that the Universe is only visible and nothing more than the Temple, but has a smart phone in their pocket that connect the visible Universe with the invisible.
    Best Regards
    Arquimedes Rodriguez

    Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      Two points. 1. Religion has been the most prejudicial entity in the entirety of human existence, claiming more lives and wasting more lives than all wars combined including religious wars. 2. That which is invisible to our eyes but we can show that it does exist (thanks to scientists and engineers) is only invisible because to date there has been no evolutionary pressure making the capability to see said invisible thing an advantage toward reproduction.

      Reply
  74. snark27   July 24, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Anyone who would claim that religious folks having more babies will sway the population in their favor is very, VERY ignorant of what it means to be non-religious. Where does Eric Kaufmann think atheists come from? The majority are children of religious parents (and their subsequent offspring). If Kaufmann’s line of reasoning had any value there would be no atheists now as every society on earth sprung from a religious/mystic cultural background. Atheists obviously arise even in religious communities, so the amount of babies a religious family has opposed to a non-religious family is utterly irrelevant. The babies from both families will grow up to either think for themselves or not. The segment that chooses to think for themselves is ever-increasing. Eventually (short of some worldwide catastrophe that destroys a sizable segment of our world population), the exposure to information WILL lead most to abandon religion. Not sure it will happen as soon as 2041, but the trend is definitely in that direction.

    Reply
    • Nate   July 24, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Thank you.

      Reply
  75. Jonah Falcon   July 24, 2013 at 9:20 am

    This is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read. You know, scientists for the past 150 years thought blonds would vanish, too.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearing_blonde_gene

    Reply
    • Laura   July 24, 2013 at 9:37 am

      It says “by 2202” so you do the maths. Natural red-heads are soon-to-be extinct too.
      Religion is loosing it’s ínfluence slowly, but surely. All over the world atheists raise stronger in numbers than the previous years, as if it’s a revolution. There will be a few humble people left, but undoubtedly the human race is finally opening it’s eyes and refuse to accept to be corrupted.

      Reply
      • Larry Yelen   July 24, 2013 at 10:11 am

        Unfortunately, it seems that poor spelling won’t disappear anytime soon.

        Reply
        • x   July 24, 2013 at 10:54 am

          Ad hominem atacks when you dont have a decent answer, that’s weak.

          Reply
          • Larry Yelen   July 24, 2013 at 11:20 am

            Oh, but I do have an answer. And I do care enough to make sure my spelling is correct before I hit “post comment.”

          • Tim   July 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm

            grammar is irrelevant to the validity of a sentence.
            “five pluss two eqoals sewen”
            “Five plus two is equal to eight.”
            see?

            Ad hominem replies are just immature and pointless.

    • Martha Loven   July 24, 2013 at 11:14 am

      The first line from the wikipedia article you posted “The disappearing blonde gene refers to false reports that a scientific study had estimated that natural blonds would become extinct, …” Now I’m taking this article/study alone to say that religion will be gone by 2041. That’s not even 30 years & there’s plenty of fundamental (insert religion) out there.

      Reply
  76. Rob   July 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

    “A new study that clarifies his earlier research will be published in August.”. What is the title of the study, and where will people be able to find it?

    Reply
  77. Christopher Eide   July 24, 2013 at 8:10 am

    This also doesn’t address that people in either population can change position in the course of their lives. An additional question should be the conversion rates to and from religiosity. Is the rate of conversion from atheism to Christianity higher or vice versa?

    Reply
  78. Larry Yelen   July 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

    It’s amazing how a smart person like Nigel Barber can be so wrong, and obviously wrong. We don’t need to wait until 2041. The proliferation of religion (one in particular) will increase in developed nations with their social safety nets. Atheists will hold the jobs and pay for these people to reproduce. In so-called developing countries, religion will spread for a completely different reason: hopelessness.

    I wish it weren’t so and I’m glad I don’t have any children.

    Reply
  79. theblindfaith   July 24, 2013 at 8:03 am

    insallah

    Reply
  80. Bobbie Jo Justice   July 24, 2013 at 5:43 am

    We can only hope that religion completely disappears. If people want to believe in a magical sky pixie that is one thing, but too many of them use the bible to justify hatred against other people.

    Reply
  81. Nathan Sanford   July 24, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Who writes these stupid headlines?

    “Religion to Disappear By 2041 Claims New Study” as a headline, but then in the same article, “He says the majority of the world will come to view religion as completely irrelevant by 2041.”

    “Disappearing” and being a minority are not even close to the same thing. Does this mean EVERY current religion has already disappeared because none of them are the majority position in the world?

    Reply
  82. sole21   July 24, 2013 at 4:17 am

    The trend would predict that quality of life steadily increases in the intervening years, something which (though I think it will happen in the long term) seems somewhat unlikely for the immediate future.

    Reply
  83. Lee Georgeson   July 24, 2013 at 4:11 am

    2041 is way too early a projection, but the end of religion is inevitable.

    Reply
  84. Karamazov   July 24, 2013 at 3:33 am

    I strongly disagree with Eric Kaufmann, because he bases his theory on the thought that children systematically adopt the beliefs of their parents. However this is highly untrue, especially in developped countries with widespread education…

    Reply
  85. ana   July 24, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I don’t think thats true…in more developed countries, stress is higher because of compitition….the people will look for something to lessened the burden of stress and religion is one of it….im a young adult and in the peek of my career, i never really needed God in my life…but now the more i age the more i look for the meaning of all the things im doing…

    Reply
    • Christine   July 24, 2013 at 2:48 am

      I would argue that people are under under much, much more stress in undeveloped countries than in developed ones – when you have to struggle daily to acquire food, water, and shelter, stress is just another part of life, especially when everyone else around you is also competing for those necessary goods, and through them their very survival. While stress is unavoidable regardless of your location and quality of life, the vast majority of those living in developed countries only have to worry about relatively trivial things such as what their peers think of them, or if they’ll be able to get that promotion next month – survival is almost never a real issue, and competition is almost nonexistent in comparison to the role it plays in other parts of the world.

      This is part of the reason that undeveloped countries have always been found to be more religious than developed ones – areas such as Africa, the Middle East, South America, and much of South East Asia are all areas with extremely religious populations, and are also all areas of the world that tend to be the least developed. Poverty has been shown to have a clear link to religiousness, and conversely, developed countries have shown an unmistakable decrease in deference to religion and an increase in atheism and agnosticism.

      I’m not saying that I agree with Nigel Barber’s estimate though – I feel as though he’s quite significantly underestimating the amount of time it will take for religion to vanish, especially in areas such as Africa and the Middle East. While I agree that Atheism will likely take a larger and larger position of importance as time goes by – and likely even gain a majority in large parts of Europe and North America – I doubt religion will even come close to slowing down globally for another century at the least. We’ll likely see the end of poverty before we see the complete disappearance of organised religion.

      Reply
    • Catalin C Iftimie   July 24, 2013 at 2:54 am

      So in looking for meaning you turn to religion. The place where if something bad happens it’s god’s will, if a person is saved you praise the lord, where god answers all the prayers in developed countries but lets children starve in africa, because you know… he is merciful or he has a plan…. You seem to be a woman and I am amazed to see you supporting religion. Apparently you were not raised in yemen or a radical muslim country because i’m sure that you would have had a different opinion on this matter. There are intelligent people looking for meaning and for some meanings you don’t need a book or to go to church. You just need to be moral. Be kind, understand and help others whenever you can. Don’t build your way up the income ladder by being a jerk. Don’t physically, verbally and psychologically abuse others. What more do you need? If I were to follow the bible’s word you would not be allowed to talk over men. Luckily there were women that fought for your right to do so otherwise we would still live in those biblical times.

      Reply
  86. Taylor   July 24, 2013 at 12:39 am

    I consider myself agnostic. Not because I’m sitting on the fence but because, collectively speaking, I honestly don’t know one way or the other. I cannot know one way or the other. I do not practice any religion, though I am baptized Methodist-christian and for a time, considered myself atheist until I realized that I have no right to dismiss another’s belief as I have no proof that there is not a god, creator, what-have-you, same as they have no proof that there is. I do agree that religion is dying out, but will it die out in the next 30 years? I’m not so sure. Many of the less-traveled religions, probably – as has happened with those now designated as myth. But someone will always come up with something to believe in that counters scientific fact – usually because not everyone can handle science AS fact. Perhaps, if everyone could, people would seek to make more of their time on Earth, but until such a time… I don’t know. As a human being and as an Agnostic, my ultimate answer is simply, I do not know.

    Reply
    • olasonn   July 24, 2013 at 4:06 am

      You can be both an agnostic and an atheist, you know.
      Do you believe in a god? If the answer is anything but yes, you’re an atheist as well.

      Reply
    • James   July 24, 2013 at 4:20 am

      You can still call yourself (or simply be) an atheist while not knowing one way or the other whether one or more god/gods exist. Atheism merely means lacking a belief in god. From what I read in your post it seems like you don’t actively belief a god exists which would make you an atheist. Basically if you are asked “Does god exist?” and you answer anything but yes you are an atheist.

      I also think that ultimately I don’t know whether a god exists or not. For all I know he could be hiding behind Alpha centauri. I usually just compare it to any other claim that has no evidence one way or the other. Say that I claim “There is a large creature swimming around under the ice at the moon Europa that is orbiting Jupiter.” Would you immediately accept that there is such a creature? No of course not but you also wouldn’t claim that the creature absolutely doesn’t exist. There is simply no reason to think such a being exists so why would you think it does? The same goes for God or any other god/gods. I think that makes me an atheist and agnostic.

      Reply
  87. jk   July 23, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    From your mouth to god’s ear.

    Reply
  88. Frank   July 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Religion will never disappear until humanity stops fearing the unknown and fearing death. It will improve, because we will have less of it, but that pest is here to stay.

    Reply
  89. Charles Fischer   July 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Religion might disappear, but spirituality won’t. People might be “unaffiliated,” but that doesn’t mean they don’t believe in a “higher power.” I know I have a much smaller sample size, but I honestly don’t even know any atheists – unaffiliated, yes, a lot, but no atheists. I think the main conclusion is that organized, group-think religions are disappearing…which might mean the rise of personal religion.

    Reply
    • Catalin C Iftimie   July 24, 2013 at 3:02 am

      Some thousands of years ago people attributed lightning to a god because they did not understand it. After they did, they did not have any need to worship that god. And the examples are numerous in the same format. What I want to say is that we still did not learn anything from this and we are still making god’s and inventing religions over the things we don’t understand and can’t fully comprehend then we are not as smart as we give ourselves credit. Just look at how big the universe is. No one can comprehend it. But year before we knew what was outside our planet religion told us the world is flat and that god is in the clouds…Today you would be considered crazy if you say this kind of things. Before you were burned because of heresy.

      Reply
    • Ad Nausica (@adnausica)   July 24, 2013 at 5:00 am

      Yes and no. I do agree that the non-organized “higher power” spirituality will be a stepping stone, but it too will disappear as education increases. Most of the “spiritual” people I know generally just like the idea of a “higher power” in romanticized sense. As a species we generally don’t like “I don’t know” as an explanation and we have inherent biases towards attributing events to some sort of intelligent agent or intention. (This makes sense from the point of view of natural selection; attributing the rustling of trees to something that might attack you and being wrong does little harm but attributing it to the wind and being wrong would have been fatal. Our instincts were better off giving false positives in the past.)

      But this all goes away with education. There is a strong correlation away from even spirituality with more education, and I see this very much even in those I know. There is basically a progression from strongly religious, “religion lite” (e.g., Unitarians), to unorganized pseudo-religious, to spiritual, to pantheist, to atheist that lines up quite nicely with increasing understanding about how things work.

      That isn’t to say even atheists don’t have a “spiritual” side. One can find great awe, inspiration, and appreciate things larger than oneself in understanding the universe, physics, and natural selection, for instance. For example, thinking about common ancestors of humans and all life gives a sense of connectedness. Thinking about how most of the atoms that make us up came from the same exploding star billions of years ago (we are star dust) is a connection to all life and to the universe and its physics. Thinking about the fact that humans are essentially the universe becoming aware of itself is awe-inspiring. Understanding that none of this is driven by intelligence but is purely algorithmic and inevitable and will always tend to happen starting from true nothingness (no matter how you define it) is incredibly liberating. The same is true for understanding why people behave the ways they do based on evolution. (For example, why men and women think and act differently in many circumstances; why some people are greedy and some are altruistic; and why and how a progression of governing and democracy and better oversight and balance with freedoms leads to better life and prosperity for everyone over time.)

      All of this awe comes from education and understanding, and mystical “higher power” explanations become more and more meaningless and empty as they offer no means of actual understanding. (Where did it come from and why does it do things one way and not another.) So yes, I think “higher power” spirituality will disappear as well.

      Reply
      • Thompson_TX   July 24, 2013 at 8:29 am

        We will have a world war or a pandemic in the next 30 years and everybody will come running back to their religion, except the atheists. People are just too superstitious by nature (natural selection) to remain distant from or the need to propitiate, a deity.

        Reply
    • action60   July 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Religion and spiritualism having nothing in common. I know many atheists and I would consider them to be among the most spiritual people I have ever met. The entire reason for the failure of religion (christian, in particular) is that it ignores the teachings of Christ who taught a spiritual philosophy towards life. Whether you agree with him or not, Christ (and Buddha and Confucius …) taught a form of personal spirituality that the church has always ignored in order to serve its own purpose.

      I find it difficult to believe that religion will be relegated to the “whatever” pile by 2041 here in the U.S. I wish, but that is a LONG shot, at best. To defeat the group-think and move away from the easy religious answers people have to be willing to tackle complex problems honestly (religious hatred and divisiveness, climate change, social injustice) and we aren’t that sophisticated. We like easy answers. That takes generations to change.

      Reply
    • dorithegiant   July 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      I think both religion and spirituality often stem from the same feelings. The sense that we are some sort of soul living within a body, and the fear of the idea of that soul – the self – ceasing to exist forever. It’s interesting that you mention that you don’t know any atheists. I live in Ontario, Canada, and I don’t know many religious people! Haha. Most of my friends are atheists – and many of them are quite smart and logic thinkers in general. Although, I guess that could just mean that I choose my friends wisely. 😉

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