"An overwhelming 69% of Irish people declared themselves to be "a religious person" in the last survey conducted in 2005, but this has now plummeted to 47%."
that's a huge drop in just 7 years. i wonder what the numbers will look like in 2020?
Thanks for your articulate framing, Ted. Well put!
Kudos to Ireland!!!
I'm amazed that the "troubles", though mainly over the border in N.Ireland didn't result in this happening sooner.
Unfortunately the "troubles" merely further entrenched already pre-existing religious animosity between the protestant (loyalist) and the catholic (nationalist/ republican) communities.Thus elevating the importance of religion and religious difference in both communities.
I have a strong feelinng that if a survey was conducted right now, we would find that atheism has increased in the US too.
Just as the invention of the printing press and the explosion of liberal thinking during the Renaissance period help brought about scientific and rational thinking, the invention of internet, with its easy access to just about any information, and the proliferation of social media, are helping to enlighten a lot of people. Religion thrives on ignorance, fear and gullibility of the masses. I think the actual figure could be lower than 47% - many people are still unwilling to declare their skepticism of religion, for fear of being alienated by friends and families.
I wish I shared you optimism Oscar. But doesn't the internet also exploit gullibility while spreading ignorance and fear? While it's easier to look a bit of history now, or scout out obscure facts, the replacement of books by internet use also means that appeals to emotion have an edge over reason. Truthiness replaces verifiable truth. Astroturf professionals pretend to be crowds of concerned citizens making online comments. Attention spans no longer accommodate policy dialogues. Search engines narrow results to accommodate user preferences. Twitter is abused to spread lies about political opponents. Ways to distort reality on the internet keep multiplying so fast my head spins.
This bit of music came to mind immediately...