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Old 03-03-2005, 10:40 AM   #1
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Analysis: Atheism worldwide in decline

Analysis: Atheism worldwide in decline

By Uwe Siemon-Netto
UPI Religious Affairs Editor

Gurat, France, Mar. 1 (UPI) -- There seems to be a growing consensus around the globe that godlessness is in trouble. "Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide," Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg told United Press International Tuesday.

His Oxford colleague Alister McGrath agrees. Atheism's "future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat," he wrote in the U.S. magazine, Christianity Today.

Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings. The other is the historical experience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide that atheists are in no position to claim the moral high ground.

Writes Turkish philosopher Harun Yahya, "Atheism, which people have tried to for hundreds of years as 'the ways of reason and science,' is proving to be mere irrationality and ignorance."

As British philosopher Anthony Flew, once as hard-nosed a humanist as any, mused when turning his back on his former belief: It is, for example, impossible for evolution to account for the fact than one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together.

For the full article: http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breakin...3015-2069r.htm
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Old 03-03-2005, 11:01 AM   #2
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I can't tell whether this is an actual news article or a propaganda campaign by the Moonies (they own UPI and the Washington Times).

Either way, an awful lot of opinions here are being presented as "fact."

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Old 03-03-2005, 11:54 AM   #3
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absolutists that claim to "know the truth" and exclude other possibilities
should be on the decline at both extremes,
if we can only rise above our arrogance and ignorance.
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Old 03-03-2005, 12:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I can't tell whether this is an actual news article or a propaganda campaign by the Moonies (they own UPI and the Washington Times).

Either way, an awful lot of opinions here are being presented as "fact."
Possibly, it seems to have a conservative Christian bias.
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Old 03-03-2005, 02:03 PM   #5
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I'm an athiest.

The only reason that athiests are in decline is because God is killing them.
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Old 03-03-2005, 03:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Judah
I'm an athiest.

The only reason that athiests are in decline is because God is killing them.
If you believe God doesn't exist, how is he responsible for killing anyone?
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Old 03-03-2005, 03:41 PM   #7
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i sensed some irony there
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:23 PM   #8
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"Analysis" - what analysis?

If you read the detailed article, the "analysis" consists of the opinions of two theologians, that's it.

As Melon said opinion is being put forward as fact and no numbers or stats to speak of are cited to support the unsubstantiated claim that "atheism world-wide is in decline."
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
"Analysis" - what analysis?

If you read the detailed article, the "analysis" consists of the opinions of two theologians, that's it.

As Melon said opinion is being put forward as fact and no numbers or stats to speak of are cited to support the unsubstantiated claim that "atheism world-wide is in decline."
Okay, it is set forth as theory, not a measurable fact.

But is the theory correct, wrong, or just inconclusive?
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:32 PM   #10
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Melon's right, UPI sucks and is owned by a cult leader.

Deep — if truth is absolute, how can one who believes in this truth be arrogant or ignorant? I think it's ignorant to treat "truth" like it's in fashion and arrogant to create your own truth based on nothing, which a lot of people do. (I'm not saying you do any of this)
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:36 PM   #11
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If atheism is defined by a complete lack of belief in anything, then yes, I would say that atheism is in decline, partly because there's a lot more "nuance" in religious belief now. Liberal to mainline Christians nowadays have no problem believing in full scientific theory while also believing in God, while, in the past, they may have felt that they had to choose between knowledge and religious belief. In addition, a lot of those who would be atheist in the past have now just turned to "alternative religious" beliefs like New Age / Wiccan religions. There's even a contingent of "neo-Druids" now.

My beef with the article is that it gets a bit preachy and starts assuming that it's "Christianity" or nothing at all. And sure, while we're probably on the tail end of Christian fundamentalist growth in the U.S., other nations don't often find fundamentalism particularly attractive.

I don't know. I think the article was a bit sloppy, and the theologians they used were quite fanatical at that. I believe in God and secular humanism.

Melon
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:41 PM   #12
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So that's why the world is so fucked up!!
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:48 PM   #13
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The article basically seemed to suggest that 'godlessness' worldwide is on the decline, because, well, just because professor X said it is. It just is, don't ask questions!

Goddamnit!!

Incidentally the 'Moonie Times' are a very sinister outfit from what I can tell, definitely not to be taken at face value.
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:49 PM   #14
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Melon, I don't know what your definitions of Christian fundamentalism and Biblical Christianity would be, if they're even different or if you have definitions for both. I consider Christian fundamentalism to almost have a right wing connotation, which I would say isn't Biblical. If this is kind of how you see it I would agree that we're on the tail end of it, but I think we're seeing a huge growth in people actually getting back to what the Bible ACTUALLY says (all of it, not just their favorite part). I guess this could be called Christian fundamentalism too though. Old-school.

And yes, science and faith can co-exist. Why did it take people so long to figure that out? I see science as the study of God's handiwork and as evidence of God.
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen
And yes, science and faith can co-exist. Why did it take people so long to figure that out? I see science as the study of God's handiwork and as evidence of God.

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