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The Religion/Spirituality Thread

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'Christianity as default is gone': the rise of a non-Christian Europe

Figures show a majority of young adults in 12 countries have no faith, with Czechs least religious.

Europe’s march towards a post-Christian society has been starkly illustrated by research showing a majority of young people in a dozen countries do not follow a religion.

The survey of 16- to 29-year-olds found the Czech Republic is the least religious country in Europe, with 91% of that age group saying they have no religious affiliation. Between 70% and 80% of young adults in Estonia, Sweden and the Netherlands also categorise themselves as non-religious.

The most religious country is Poland, where 17% of young adults define themselves as non-religious, followed by Lithuania with 25%.

In the UK, only 7% of young adults identify as Anglican, fewer than the 10% who categorise themselves as Catholic. Young Muslims, at 6%, are on the brink of overtaking those who consider themselves part of the country’s established church.

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The figures are published in a report, Europe’s Young Adults and Religion, by Stephen Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary’s University in London. They are based on data from the European social survey 2014-16.

Religion was “moribund”, he said. “With some notable exceptions, young adults increasingly are not identifying with or practising religion.”

The trajectory was likely to become more marked. “Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good – or at least for the next 100 years,” Bullivant said.

But there were significant variations, he said. “Countries that are next door to one another, with similar cultural backgrounds and histories, have wildly different religious profiles.”

The two most religious countries, Poland and Lithuania, and the two least religious, the Czech Republic and Estonia, are post-communist states.

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The trend of religious affiliation was repeated when young people were asked about religious practice. Only in Poland, Portugal and Ireland did more than 10% of young people say they attend services at least once a week.

In the Czech Republic, 70% said they never went to church or any other place of worship, and 80% said they never pray. In the UK, France, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, between 56% and 60% said they never go to church, and between 63% and 66% said they never pray.

Among those identifying as Catholic, there was wide variation in levels of commitment. More than 80% of young Poles say they are Catholic, with about half going to mass at least once a week. In Lithuania, where 70% of young adults say they are Catholic, only 5% go to mass weekly.

According to Bullivant, many young Europeans “will have been baptised and then never darken the door of a church again. Cultural religious identities just aren’t being passed on from parents to children. It just washes straight off them.”

The figures for the UK were partly explained by high immigration, he added. “One in five Catholics in the UK were not born in the UK.

“And we know the Muslim birthrate is higher than the general population, and they have much higher [religious] retention rates.”

In Ireland, there has been a significant decline in religiosity over the past 30 years, “but compared to anywhere else in western Europe, it still looks pretty religious”, Bullivant said.

“The new default setting is ‘no religion’, and the few who are religious see themselves as swimming against the tide,” he said.

“In 20 or 30 years’ time, mainstream churches will be smaller, but the few people left will be highly committed.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/21/christianity-non-christian-europe-young-people-survey-religion?mc_cid=78e2abfee3&mc_eid=b5f1c39cdf

This is great news :)

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A mere 2000 years ago there were no Christians at all. I wonder how these experts would calculate the probability of our Saviours appearance to begin with. Humans are cute that way.

Edited by soon

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9 minutes ago, soon said:

A mere 2000 years ago there were no Christians at all. I wonder how these experts would calculate the probability of our Saviours appearance to begin with. Humans are cute that way.

The probability of some Jewish religious reformer being crucified for causing disturbances? Quite high. He wasn't exactly the only one the Romans would kill off to try to secure peace in a volatile province.

Or the probability of a new religion emerging based on a charismatic person? Again, this seem to happen again and again, over and over. Religions come and go. With high probability we can expect new religions to be formed around individuals in the future, too.

Orr the probability of a God sending his Son to earth? That probability remains at zero.

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3 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

The probability of some Jewish religious reformer being crucified for causing disturbances? Quite high. He wasn't exactly the only one the Romans would kill off to try to secure peace in a volatile province.

Or the probability of a new religion emerging based on a charismatic person? Again, this seem to happen again and again, over and over. Religions come and go. With high probability we can expect new religions to be formed around individuals in the future, too.

Orr the probability of a God sending his Son to earth? That probability remains at zero.

Nah, Jesus is real. People can leave him, but he doesnt leave us.

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4 minutes ago, soon said:

Nah, Jesus is real. People can leave him, but he doesnt leave us.

A belief in a supernatural entity that is based on nothing but religious revelation is indistinguishable from having a delusion.

Edited by SoulMonster
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14 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

The probability of some Jewish religious reformer being crucified for causing disturbances? Quite high. He wasn't exactly the only one the Romans would kill off to try to secure peace in a volatile province.

Or the probability of a new religion emerging based on a charismatic person? Again, this seem to happen again and again, over and over. Religions come and go. With high probability we can expect new religions to be formed around individuals in the future, too.

 

6 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

A belief in a supernatural entity that is based on nothing but religious revelation is indistinguishable from having a delusion.

Its delusional to pretend that Christ doesn't hold a singularly unique position in History.

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The myth of Jesus Christ is a cobbled together ripoff. He would have been just a human guy, maybe a good guy but that's all.

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13 minutes ago, Oldest Goat said:

The myth of Jesus Christ is a cobbled together ripoff. He would have been just a human guy, maybe a good guy but that's all.

Hmmm, I Would love to hear more of your thoughts on the subject?

But Im still waiting for you to explain where in Christian Scripture its written that Christians are superior to others. I'll take that answer first :)

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On 03/12/2018 at 5:17 PM, Len Cnut said:

Who do people say 'do you identify' these days instead of 'are you a...'?

Because trannys innit? :lol: 

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51 minutes ago, soon said:

Its delusional to pretend that Christ doesn't hold a singularly unique position in History.

Has anyone said he doesn't? Gandhi holds a singularly unique position in history, too. So does Hitler. Doesn't mean any of them had superpowers.

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1 hour ago, soon said:

Its delusional to pretend that Christ doesn't hold a singularly unique position in History.

So does The Black Death. What's your point? 

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23 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

Has anyone said he doesn't? Gandhi holds a singularly unique position in history, too. So does Hitler. Doesn't mean any of them had superpowers.

 

5 minutes ago, Dazey said:

So does The Black Death. What's your point? 

I trust it comes as no surprise that my point is related to what I quoted and was responding to. When Soul suggested that the probability of a Jesus was "quite high" and then went on to say "with high probability we can expect new religions to be formed around individuals in the future" Again in the context of Jesus. So you can see that Jesus was and is a unique figure in history. A bunch of Palestinians had a chance to be Jesus but there's only one Jesus. And the rest is a guess about probably another Jesus figure in the future (which is precisely what Christianity says btw :lol:)

 

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2 minutes ago, soon said:

I trust it comes as no surprise that my point is related to what I quoted and was responding to. When Soul suggested that the probability of a Jesus was "quite high" and then went on to say "with high probability we can expect new religions to be formed around individuals in the future" Again in the context of Jesus. So you can see that Jesus was and is a unique figure in history. A bunch of Palestinians had a chance to be Jesus but there's only one Jesus. And the rest is a guess about probably another Jesus figure in the future (which is precisely what Christianity says btw :lol:)

Of course there is only one Jesus. Just like there is only one Hitler. Doesn't mean new charismatic religious reformers won't arise, nor new mass murdering dictators.

Jesus was unique. Hitler was unique. You are unique. So am I. Being unique in itself is nothing to be proud of, because we all are. But Jesus isn't like you and I, simply because he ended up being a massively known person due to  his life inspiring what would become a huge religion. But that in itself is of course also not unique.

In your eyes Jesus is special because he is the Son of God or whatever, and that brings me back to my point: Your religious belief in Jesus is indistinguishable from mental delusions.  I am sure he existed, you know he existed, but you also go to the ridiculous place of believing he was part of a deity, or whatever.

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47 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

Has anyone said he doesn't? Gandhi holds a singularly unique position in history, too. So does Hitler. Doesn't mean any of them had superpowers.

There were dozens, maybe even hundreds of others during Christ's time (2000 years ago)  that claimed to be the "chosen one", tried to gain followers, etc yet not one (or very few) are remembered today....and obviously none of them ever came remotely close to producing the largest following in the history of humankind - currently 2.4 billion+ people.

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

 

Why do you think that is?

 

 

Edited by Kasanova King
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1 minute ago, Kasanova King said:

There were dozens, maybe even hundreds of others during Christ's time (2000 years ago)  that claimed to be the "chosen one", tried to gain followers, etc yet not one (or very few) are remembered today....and obviously none of them ever came remotely close in producing the largest following in the history of humankind - currently 2.4 billion+ people.

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

Why do you think that is?

Probably a bunch of reasons, most of them lost in history. The simplest is really that his message was particularly powerful for the time. It resonated with people. Right person at the right time, really. And likely his immediate followers were adept at spreading the word and converting more people. Then the early christians were subjected to massive persecution by the Romans, which also ironically often help. And when the Roman emperor was converted, too, they got a lot of help (but of course, by then fledgling christianity had become sizeable). Then they were clever in subjugating orthodox ideas, the gnostics etc, to construct a unified religion.

Of course, christians are likely to argue that it must have been because Jesus was supernatural (although they won't use that word). That because he was the Son of God, his ideas flourished. That it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for his holiness. But again, that is flawed thinking, unless they think Buddha was the Son of God, too. Or Mohammed. Etc. Jesus simply wasn't the first human being to inspire a religion, and he likely, sadly, won't be the last.

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4 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

Of course there is only one Jesus. Just like there is only one Hitler. Doesn't mean new charismatic religious reformers won't arise, nor new mass murdering dictators.

Jesus was unique. Hitler was unique. You are unique. So am I. Being unique in itself is nothing to be proud of, because we all are. But Jesus isn't like you and I, simply because he ended up being a massively known person due to  his life inspiring what would become a huge religion. But that in itself is of course also not unique.

In your eyes Jesus is special because he is the Son of God or whatever, and that brings me back to my point: Your religious belief in Jesus is indistinguishable from mental delusions.  I am sure he existed, you know he existed, but you also go to the ridiculous place of believing he was part of a deity, or whatever.

No, that is correct, I am not unique in history. For starters because I am not part of history as such. Maybe you are or will be a historical figure or player in an historical happening, I dont know.

Theres still a big hole between your claim of the provability of Christ and the singular position of Christ in history. Ghandi and Hitler (not even said to be divine in the first place :lol:) have not held the same centrality in the lives of so many for this period of time.

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9 minutes ago, Kasanova King said:

There were dozens, maybe even hundreds of others during Christ's time (2000 years ago)  that claimed to be the "chosen one", tried to gain followers, etc yet not one (or very few) are remembered today....and obviously none of them ever came remotely close in producing the largest following in the history of humankind - currently 2.4 billion+ people.

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

Why do you think that is?

Another way of looking at it is that someone must win the race to people's minds. You could have thousands of "holy men" preaching from soap boxes in Judea, yet only won would win out. Like millions of sperm rushing for the egg, yet only one getting there first. Doesn't mean anything else that Jesus was a better salesman, or had more luck, just like a sperm avoiding getting tangled and managing to swim ever-so-slightly quicker.

Doesn't mean that either Jesus nor the winning sperm has supernatural powers.

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Just now, soon said:

No, that is correct, I am not unique in history. For starters because I am not part of history as such. Maybe you are or will be a historical figure or player in an historical happening, I dont know.

Theres still a big hole between your claim of the provability of Christ and the singular position of Christ in history. Ghandi and Hitler (not even said to be divine in the first place :lol:) have not held the same centrality in the lives of so many for this period of time.

The probability of Christ? I haven't said anything about the probability of Christ, have I? I said, "The probability of some Jewish religious reformer being crucified for causing disturbances? Quite high. He wasn't exactly the only one the Romans would kill off to try to secure peace in a volatile province." That is just the probability of someone like Jesus emerging. We know from history there were many similar guys in the region around his time. Then I followed with, "Or the probability of a new religion emerging based on a charismatic person? Again, this seem to happen again and again, over and over. Religions come and go. With high probability we can expect new religions to be formed around individuals in the future, too." Which is just the probability of new person-centered religions springing to life. We know this has happened many times before. It would be naive to think the stupidity has ended now. Again, nothing about Christ in any of this. Just read it carefully.

But I'd be happy to talk about the probability of Jesus Christ. The probability of him happening again is zero. Just like the probability of you happening again. Or me. We are all snowflakes (no, not in that sense!), unique. And we will remain so. There won't be anyone completely identical to us ever again (if we define ourselves at a molecular level). The fact that Jesus inspired a huge religion doesn't make him more unique. It just makes his uniqueness stand more out. Don't confuse these things. I happen to be the only one in the world with my particular BMI, hair color, age and hobbies, so I am just as unique as Jesus in the sense that there is only one of me, I am just not as fascinating to people and Jesus was. It is analogous to the probability of getting 66666 on five dice throws is identical to the probability of getting 16533. The former has the illusion of being more rare, but really it isn't. We find it more rare because it has symbolic meaning to us. 

So Jesus wasn't more unique than anyone else. Just that his particular uniqueness, in terms of how he lived his life and what he said, seemed to affect people more than what was usual. And because of this he got a small following. And also angered the Romans and got crucified for it. And that's when the magic happened, right. That's when the new sect started to take off. Again, nothing supernatural about any of this. We have seen it all before and it won't be the last time.

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Soul is bored.

Didn't get his Japanese articles deciphered I take it?

(I love the way he sifts back-and-forth between Guns N' Roses arguments and religious arguments haha. ''Enough defending of Del James, time to attack Jesus of Nazareth''.) 

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14 minutes ago, soon said:

Theres still a big hole between your claim of the provability of Christ and the singular position of Christ in history. Ghandi and Hitler (not even said to be divine in the first place :lol:) have not held the same centrality in the lives of so many for this period of time.

"Holding a centrality in people's lives" isn't evidence for Jesu divinity. Many people hold a central place in people's lives. John Lennon does. So does Pele. Or Buddha. Maybe Jesus has a more dominant position than anyone else, but we are just talking small differences here, not many orders of magnitude and hence it doesn't work to imply any divinity. It just tells us that the mythology around Jesus has been slightly more efficient at this. And someone has to be the biggest influencer, that is just logic. Someone always win at the end, because that is an integral part of a game. 

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Just now, DieselDaisy said:

Soul is bored.

Didn't get his Japanese articles deciphered I take it?

(I love the way he sifts back-and-forth between Guns N' Roses arguments and religious arguments haha. ''Enough defending of Del James, time to attack Jesus of Nazareth''.) 

Arguing that Jesus isn't divine is hardly attacking him. I think I have been kind to Jesus in what I have said today. I don't really have anything against him. I don't particularly like agitating hippies with mystical messages, but I suppose he was alright.

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1 minute ago, SoulMonster said:

Arguing that Jesus isn't divine is hardly attacking him. I think I have been kind to Jesus in what I have said today. I don't really have anything against him. I don't particularly like agitating hippies with mystical messages, but I suppose he was alright.

Fernando Lebeis will require your defence in two weeks. Hold on Souley boy. 

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8 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

The probability of Christ? I haven't said anything about the probability of Christ, have I?

yeah ya did

4 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

"Holding a centrality in people's lives" isn't evidence for Jesu divinity. Many people hold a central place in people's lives. John Lennon does. So does Pele. Or Buddha. Maybe Jesus has a more dominant position than anyone else, but we are just talking small differences here, not many orders of magnitude and hence it doesn't work to imply any divinity. It just tells us that the mythology around Jesus has been slightly more efficient at this. And someone has to be the biggest influencer, that is just logic. Someone always win at the end, because that is an integral part of a game. 

Haha, I presented it as facts that spoke against your claim that Jesus isnt unique in history.

Its like puling teeth with with you

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1 minute ago, DieselDaisy said:

Fernando Lebeis will require your defence in two weeks. Hold on Souley boy. 

What will happen?

1 minute ago, soon said:

yeah ya did

Where?

2 minutes ago, soon said:

Haha, I presented it as facts that spoke against your claim that Jesus isnt unique in history.

You presented what?

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2 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

What will happen?

He'll probably release some GN'R themed condoms.

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