Daniel Dennett's Prediction - The Decline and Fall of Religion

Yet again, we have a case of a video which is too significant to just put up as one more snippet to watch.

There have been and are multiple conversations on Atheist Nexus regarding the rise of atheism and the fall of irrational belief.  Some of these discussions deal in anecdotal data; some with established studies and their results.  What Daniel Dennett has done here, for our benefit, is to pull a great deal of information together regarding both those parameters, what they are doing, and what is contributing to the movement of those numbers.

Some of this relates back to my post about The Great Evangelical Recession.  Indeed, I was rather surprised to see mention in this video about yet another evangelical pastor, one Michael Spencer, author of "The Coming Evangelical Collapse," who also sees the loss of potency of his school of thought's message.  Spencer's analysis of the woes of evangelism are much the same as Dickerson's was in the interview I referred to in my blog.  He waves his hands about a great resurgence following this fall, but this to me sounds too much like "whistling in the dark."  The one insuperable problem which neither Spencer nor Dickerson recognize (or want to) is the fallacy of their own belief, that people are recognizing that fallacy, and are simply refusing to fall for it any longer.

But enough of my yap.  Let's allow Dr. Dennett lay this out for us all.

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Comment by Michael Penn on June 21, 2013 at 6:44am

I agree that religion is on the decline and fewer people are believing today. To the gullible this is a necessary thing that must happen before "the end times." (The falling away makes some believe even harder.) To me this falling away from religion is a logical event of the computer age in which knowledge is ever so close at hand.

I wish that everyone could visit the new website that I have found called "godisimaginary.com." There is information here in 50 points made against the belief in any deity, and God and the Bible are refuted very well. I don't see how any person could read things on this site and still believe. There's a gem of knowledge here.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on June 20, 2013 at 7:20pm

I've run across non-religious people with several degrees of beliefs/non-beliefs.

Some don't believe in god but believe in karma or some kind of cosmic, natural life-force.

Some don't believe in god but believe in an afterlife or reincarnation.

Some don't believe in god but believe in prayer and miracles.

I think what this shows is that many people are running away from organized religion, but yet they don't quite feel comfortable with the idea that there may not be some type of spiritual entity or universal guiding force which gives purpose and meaning to our existence. 

I've personally come to terms with it, but for many people it is a scary and unthinkable prospect to believe that we are here by pure luck and chance and with no predetermined meaning.  

Comment by Loren Miller on June 20, 2013 at 6:17pm

I agree, TFA, though I'm constrained to point out that, as one of the YouTube commenters mentioned, that the "nones" are not exclusively atheists, but those who do not associate themselves with a formal religion, and that confirmed atheists such as ourselves constitute a subset of that group, whether majority, plurality or minority, I don't know.  Still, I suspect that the first step on the way to rationality if not to atheism is a disassociation from mainstream religion, and it may be that many nones, having done that, are well on their way to reason.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on June 20, 2013 at 5:14pm

That video gives me goosebumps of excitement.  I only lament the fact that I will only be around to witness the developing stages of this great movement and not see the full extent of its potential.  Oh, well.  Anyway, it's nice to be a part of something good to pass on to the coming generations.    



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