Why there is no way back for religion in the West | David Voas | TEDxUniversityofEssex


Translator: Leonardo Silva
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven Hello. My name is David Voas, and I’m going to be
talking about religion. Now, I know some of you are really tempted
to dash for the exit at this stage, but I should explain
that I’m a quantitative social scientist, and I’m going to be talking about the
decline of religion in the Western World. Now, whether measured by belonging,
believing, participation in services, or how important it’s felt to be in life, religion is losing ground
across the Western world. Society is being transformed,
and the momentum seems to be unstoppable. Well, at this point, you might be
asking yourself a couple of questions. First, is it actually true? And even if religion is losing ground,
could things change in the future? I’m going to argue
that, yes, it really is true, and, no, things won’t change. Modernization has predictable
and permanent effects, one of which I call
the secular transition. Well, it’s not the case
that the pattern of decline is that people reach
the age of 30 or 40 or 50 and suddenly decide
that they’re not religious anymore. What happens is they enter adulthood being
less religious than their parents were. So there’s a process
of generational replacement, where older people
who are more religious die out, and they’re replaced in the population
by younger people coming up behind. And that’s a process that’s been happening
for decades now across the Western world – in some cases, for a century or more. Let me take as the example
whether people say they have a religion. And I’ll use the example
particularly of New Zealand, which has a question
on the census about this. If you look at this graph, the horizontal axis at the bottom
shows year of birth. So we go from the beginning
of the 20th century, on the left, to late 20th century, on the right. And you can see
that for the oldest generations, those on the left-hand side, virtually everybody says
that they have a religion. And you come down to the right-hand side, and roughly two-thirds say they don’t. So that’s a remarkable shift to have happened in the course
of less than a century. Well, this sort of story is found
throughout the Western world, even in the United States,
which is often thought to be an exception. Things have started more recently there, the process is still
only just starting to be noticed, but it is happening. I’ll come back to the US in a moment. And it’s similar whatever measure we take. So it’s the same for attendance
at services, for example. Well, you might be thinking, “Okay, the old Christian
denominations are struggling, people don’t identify with them so much,
they may not be going to services, but surely, they still believe in God, or at any rates, they’re
spiritual in some sense even if they’re not religious.” Well, here is the United States, and this shows
the proportion of the people who say they know God really exists
and they have no doubts about it, again by year of birth – older people on the left,
younger people on the right. And you can see that in the older
section of the population, something of the order of three-quarters, say they know God really exists, and that falls to not
much better than 2 in 5 for people born later in the 20th century. Or Canada, for example, where we have data
on the importance in life of religious or indeed spiritual beliefs. And here again, we see
a sharp generational gradient, from something like two-thirds
of the oldest generation saying that these beliefs
are very important to them, and that drops down
to something like 1 in 5 for the youngest adult generations. Well, as you look at those,
you may be well wondering whether I’m simply comparing
the effect of being old with the effect of being young. Is it the case that people become
more religious as they get older? Well, we have census and survey data
going back quite a number of years – decades, in fact – across the Western World now, and we can answer that question. And the answer is no. On average, people within
a given generation don’t change across the adult-life course. So what we’re seeing
is not the effect of age, but permanent generation gaps. Lack of religion isn’t just a stage
that young people are going through. So this idea that there’s something
about modernization that erodes religious commitments, that reduces the respect
accorded to religion, is known as the secularization thesis. And there are a couple of objections
that are commonly raised nowadays to the secularization thesis. One is the example of the United States, which is modern,
and yet religion seems to thrive. And if it’s an exception, then surely
no generalizations are possible. The other objection
that’s commonly raised is that we’re looking
at change, not decline, and that while those old, conventional
churches may well be struggling, there are new churches,
new religious movements – Mormons and Pentecostals, for example – there’s alternative spirituality
and indeed non-Christian faiths, like Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, that are gaining ground across the West. Well, as I mentioned a moment ago, even in the United States, in fact, it seems that decline has set in. We only just have the data now to notice, but it seems that it started
a few decades ago. And it’s following the same pattern
of generational replacement that we’ve observed elsewhere in the West. And while it is the case
that there have been developments, particularly immigration, that have brought people
from more religious countries into the Western world, those effects aren’t big enough
to reverse the main trend. So – so far so good, or so bad, depending
on your view of religion. Secularization is happening. But there’s still a big question. You may be asking, “Isn’t it possible that the popularity
of religion could be restored, even in the Western world?” After all, faith promises benefits that are difficult or impossible
to obtain any other way. It offers meaning, purpose, solace, ultimate justice, life after death, the prospect of being
reunited with loved ones, and so on. Isn’t it the case, you might be wondering, that nothing is irreversible? There’s a reluctance nowadays, I think, to believe that we’re converging
towards some determined future. This is a notion that was popular
in the mid 20th century, but that’s fallen out of favor. It reminds us now a bit
of the Victorian idea of progress, where the highest form of civilization is represented by people
who are remarkably just like us. And yet, modernization does have effects. We can look at, for example,
the Human Development Index, which is calculated each year
by a United Nations agency. It’s based on life expectancy, years of education, national income per capita. And on that score, Norway is currently at the top; Niger, in Africa, is at the bottom. And as you look down this list of all
the different countries in the world, it’s very apparent that the most highly developed countries
are the least religious and the least developed countries
are the most religious. Now, there are some exceptions. There are the countries
on the Arabian Peninsula, for example, that produce oil, are off the trend line. They’re rich, but religious. But in the mid 20th century, they were underdeveloped
and very traditional. So it’s certainly the case that religious decline comes very late
in the process of modernization, but it does come,
at least if societies modernize. If we think about the very question about whether
religion can decline in society, it’s often objected
that most of the world is religious. And that’s very true, but then, most of the world
isn’t very highly developed. So I’m talking specifically
about the 40 or 50 countries that have gone furthest
down the path of modernization, places in Europe, North America,
Australia, New Zealand, a few in East Asia,
a few in Latin America. The 140, 150 countries elsewhere
are very different. It’s not easy to specify
the causal mechanisms, and indeed, it would take
another few talks to even try to sketch some of the factors that might connect modernizaton
with problems for religion. But to name just a few: prosperity brings choice and an unwillingness to defer
to traditional authority; secular and scientific worldviews
start to displace religious worldviews; communications and geographical mobility bring people into contact
with different cultures and beliefs; and physical and material security seem to reduce the need
for the solace provided by spirituality. Now, whether any or perhaps
all of these factors operate, it’s clear that there’s something
about the process of modernization that does cause problems for religion. Moreover, it’s very difficult
for religion to bounce back. We do know of some places where religious involvement
has increased in recent decades, but those are typically places where
national elites had suppressed religion or imposed a degree
of secularity that was lower than the development
of the country would find natural. So one thinks, for example,
of Iran, the former Soviet Union, China, even Turkey perhaps – but when those regimes fell
or restrictions were relaxed, religion rebounded to something
that was more like an appropriate level, given the degree of modernization. So the secular transition is underway, but why should it be irreversible? I think the key reason is
that people with no religion have great difficulty in acquiring one. And if you’re wondering
why that’s the case, it might help in understanding this to think about a religion
that’s not your own. Now, I’m going to guess
that most of you watching aren’t Hindu. Apologies to those of you who are. You can think of a different religion. But here, as an example,
are some of the Hindu deities. And here are some scenes of Hindu worship. Now, some of you may decide that Hinduism
is the faith that you’ve been looking for, but I suspect that for most of you,
it seems a bit exotic, strange, maybe even slightly scary. And I suggest that that’s the position that a large proportion
of young adults in the West are in with respect to any religion. They weren’t brought up going to church,
and they don’t feel comfortable attending. They didn’t grow up
with Christian doctrine. That’s not to say
they won’t become Christian. Some of them will. Many will. Some will become Hare Krishna
or Muslim or Buddhist. But most won’t, and for most, in fact,
it’s nearly impossible. You have to be raised with a religion
to find it natural. Now, I’m not suggesting that religious
belief is inherently implausible or religious practice is inherently odd. On the contrary. What I want to argue is that it’s a matter
of custom and culture. So in the past, in the West, most people had a religion,
at least nominally. Most people had some sort
of religious knowledge. Religious involvement was the norm, and it was supported by culture
and popular sentiment. These days, the default
is quite the reverse. Many people grow up with
very little acquaintance with religion or religious identity. Religion has become
almost countercultural, indeed to the extent that people
who have any contact with religion, it’s often in news stories about extremism
or abuse or intolerance. And that’s simply not conducive
for religious revival. I’m not arguing that Westerners
are all rationalist, with a naturalistic worldview. On the contrary. A large proportion, at least half,
believe in God or something out there, a higher power perhaps. Another large, perhaps
non-overlapping proportion believe in some form of life after death. But for most people, it’s not something
they’re really interested in, it’s not something that’s very
important in their lives; they have little interest
in becoming religiously active. So the secular transition is underway. Because it proceeds
by generational replacements, it works very slowly
and will be going on for years to come. When it comes to human beings,
nothing is certain, but I hope that I’ve shown you
that there’s a good argument there’s no way back
for religion in the West. Thank you. (Applause)




Comments
  1. Religion has found a way back to the west, though most adherents would deny their faith is a religion. It's called intersectionality and if you are a white male about to challenge me on this you can check your privilege and shut the f*@k up!

  2. If facts sway you from religion than perhaps the religion doesn't have all the facts (something religion isn't really about anyway). Or perhaps your interpretation/understanding of the religions teachings is incomplete. Truth is more than fact. It requires understanding.

  3. The answers to metaphysical questions, which are unfalsifiable by the scientific method, and therefore totally outside the scope of the rational, empirical, positivist answers that science poses, have secured the position of religion forevermore. Science may arbitrarily project a materialist metaphysics on the world, but this is only one unprovable intuition among many. The only way you can make religion go way is to make humanity's inclination to imagine various possible metaphysical speculations go way, but doing that you would have to throw your human baby out with with the most sublime and beautiful bathwater available to the human mind. Not very inspiring.
    🙁

  4. This Ted talk reminds me of signing up for a Philosophy 101 class in college. You start the course thinking it'll be a nice change of pace from classes in your major, that you'll be enlightened by ancient sages and score an easy 'A'. Fast forward a few weeks and you're not simply bored outta your mind with the pedantic topic, but the monotonic professor is in control of not only your GPA but your entire future…

  5. Of course this is just an old fart's opinion. He is definitely atheist and thus dreams of a world without God. The thing is that he will die and Yaweh will still live on..

  6. We're now in a lull between the storms, that's all. Wait for the next world war or similar calamity and it will wake people up out of their drugged state and get them on their knees again.

  7. Only from some social science definitions of religion, but not in the classical sense. It simply has been replaced by some other religions. If people took those into accounts, it would still be quite high and stable.

    For example, one religion that appeared in the enlightenment was the belief in freedom and individualism as the highest good, and this turned into the worship of money in general, and then the belief in free markets. In the end, money even replaced freedom as the highest good. It gives meaning and habits just the same, just different types. Its the basis of capitalism in general, and individual rights, and overall is the "liberal" stance on things. It turns into superstition with corporations who's only goal is profits, or even more so in the libertarian philosophy, which considers the free market as magical and the creator of all that is good. That is probably what the speaker thinks of when talking about "secularism". And yes, it has to do with "prosperity" if we mean by that wealth, so it is not surprise there would be a correlation.

    The other main one is science, which is a kind of materialist form of Christianity. It started as naturalism, then morphed a little into materialism, but has not completed that transformation. The overall organization is the same as scholasticism, except the basis is physical observations instead of sacred texts. But eventually, quite quickly, it created its own sacred texts, which are the peer reviewed research, not any different than what Christianity called Tradition, and the research itself is the divine inspiration, or at least the experiment with the world is. Now, this is morphing in different ways, there was first the social Darwinism that took hold for awhile, along with racial theories. This was destroyed for the most part, through a war, and now it is the environmentalist movement that became its superstitious side.

    If you take those two into accounts, the "West" is probably just as religious as it ever was. Most people will believe one of those two, sometimes both if they stay in the religious just middle, but the superstitious sides are contradictory and at war with each others. A case for Marxism could be made as well, but I won't do it here, since it is more Asian, or at least not really Western, even if Marx was. In the end every way people relate to reality, is religious in nature, either religious proper, or superstitious, or irreligious. Religion is in the middle of those two extremes, but still the subject matter is and will be addressed by everybody.

    But if it is about Christianity declining, then yes, it is declining irreversibly, but like I said above, it survives in science in some of its parts. How long it will keep alive in it is hard to tell, but will most likely disappear once naturalism is replaced by a purer materialism. That trend seems inevitable, and will be more in sync with Asian countries that are on the rise economically and politically. Environmentalism is probably its last attempt to rule the world so to speak, or its apex. Its narrow minded to see religion as some traditional groups with some sets of particular beliefs or long held customs, it denies religion as a psychological phenomena that all human beings share and in the end fails to understand it.

  8. Without religion the west is doomed
    Or rather I would say without Christ the west is doomed
    Christ teaching of Love your God and Love your neighbour are eternal
    And will remain so as long as mankind exists
    The west doesnt know how they reached ie how they became affluent and prosperous in the first place
    For that one has to go back to the teachings of Christ
    And how it shaped the Christian world
    Now that they have become rich they think it is fashionable to deny Christ
    Rather shameful to say the least
    Religion may not be important ; but to conduct your life or strive to conduct your life according to the teachings of Christ is paramount
    No alternative
    Otherwise mankind will go back to its barbarian ways

  9. Religion has been a destructive pariah of intellectual evolution and a damaging psychological psychosis. People’s inability to cope and believe in themselves with understanding and compassion has nurtured the superstition and exploitative characters of religion thus regressing unity and unconditional loving, caring abilities in the human race.

  10. Islam is not dying but rather, like the metastasizing like that cancer it is, inside Europe and US where it has been admitted, seeks to kill its host. And unless the cancer is cut out, it will continue to kill. There is no other cure.

  11. Yep, even religion evolves though it does so while kicking and screaming. All humans should be raised to question. Religion doesn't allow that unless it's very shallow. People won't go hang out in church unless they're kinda dead in the head or just have been made to feel afraid.

  12. He’s right, the “Falling away“ and the “delusion” is well underway, giving people exactly what they want… or is it?

    “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day (the Day Jesus comes back to rescue those who remained faithful to Him, and destroy those who didn’t) will not come unless the FALLING AWAY comes first…

    …they refused to love the truth that would have saved them. For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, in order that judgment will come upon all who have not believed the truth, but delighted in wickedness.”

    “This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord.”

    (Excerpts from 2 Thessalonians 2 and 1 in the Bible.)

    WARNING: This IS the future, and as the TED talker pointed out, the falling away IS happening and may not be able to be reversed!

    We have been warned by God of this very thing, and also instructed by Him on how to escape it. Why? Because He loves us, and doesn’t want us to choose this path.

    But the decision is up to us.

    How to be rescued by God?
    Do the OPPOSITE of what the people in the verses above, who were destined to everlasting destruction, are doing:

    1.) Believe and love God’s Truth that can save you; not the lies!

    2.) Don’t delight in the things God says are wicked.

    3.) Get to know God. (It’s a great adventure!)

    4.) Start obeying the gospel (good news) that Jesus taught (It may be difficult at times, but not impossible; Jesus helps us! It’s an exciting journey!)

    The “falling away”, if not reversed, by people turning back to, and obeying God, will lead very soon to the end of the world as we know it; to judgment, punishment, and everlasting destruction—the tormenting process of being destroyed FOREVER, and never finishing the job…

    …So don’t get too excited about the statistics of this guy’s speech!

  13. And you call this progress. All we will have is people with no heart or remorse. This is just a sign of a societies sickness rather than progress. You want to disagree but you know this to be true. Our society is decaying not getting better

  14. That's to left party ideology who always try to decrease values of religion…. Religion is not dieing…. Human culture is changing… 😏

  15. The INVISIBLE "God" is just the leading character in Hebrew MYTHOLOGY which means religions are nothing but money making scams.

  16. Religion are not dying. They are just substituted with fanatism that do not revolt around a "God". But the same cultism is displayes, for example, among progressive peoole.

  17. Learning to bond without a supernatural component seems to be consistent with evolution. A more efficient and effective adaptation for humanity as a whole. Arguably less to fight about since that supernatural – superiority – component is eliminated. Im okay with Tribalism for a sense of belonging but that doesn't necessarily warrant hate between tribes or peoples.Or does it. Organized religion helped shape Civilization from the start,and tribalism, territorialism, all the isms tended to accompany it as the source of aggression, isolationism, and war. Maybe the instinct to support our naturally aggressive tendencies or rather primal drives, to competitively procreate ,defend the territory, is the essential life and death drive of survival of the fittest. If that's the case then our religious inclination is a necessary defense mechanism to assure us in moments not only of doubts and weakness but also actual threats to our existence.

  18. It will probably not be complete until science and secularism offer all the same advantages, for example when we no longer have to die from old age. Especially if we also manage to achieve mind-uploading, so potentially being also able to survive irreparable damage to the body. Then the claim of our spirit floating off to another reality (or of Jesus resurrecting us, or of being reincarnated as someone/thing else, or becoming "one with God", or whatever) will seem less inviting and believable.

  19. Modernization is not truly a factor in why Christianity has declined in the West. This is true because there many people who ascribe to the God of the Bible who are blanketed with modernity. It’s the introduction of a new worldview, in particular humanism, that has superseded the Christian base which once made up most of Western society and thought. And while Christianity has lost much of its influence, it will continue on until it is removed from society by force, much in the same way the Romans tried with the early church. In the end, the biblical worldview won out. Why? Because it contained the Truth.

  20. Interestingly Prof Paul Robertson disputes what Daviv Voas is claiming here completely claiming milenial are still as religious as older generations but practice religion in a different way . They both use the same data yet come up with oposite opinions.

  21. Well where I live half the students go to private schools and the majority of those schools are church owned

    The reasons are obvious

  22. Although the speaker presents his view as a presentation of facts and statistics his disdain for religion and pompous belief in his own view comes through clearly. I am not saying that his data is wrong, I would point out that over time many religions have come and gone. Humans however have always had religion. Though the current crop of religions is fading they will be replaced with political identities, environmentalism, veganism, etc. Remember one of the primary purposes of religion is to control the behavior of large groups of people, and that will still need to be done.

  23. When there is less stress, and less threat to a person, combined with more money, there seems like there is less need for a God. That is part of it, and part of it is that mass media has walked away from God and is doing Satan's work. What's really kind of funny is, God existed in the beginning, now and forever. God has told us what we need to do, but we seem to ignore Him…its your decision, and your responsibility. God has told you how to be Saved, if you refuse it, you in fact answer why there is so much pain in this world…if there is a God.

  24. People have written off Christianity many times in the past. It always makes a comeback.

    One big natural disaster, massive economic crash, outbreak of disease, comet/asteroid approaching the earth and people will be beating a path to the confessionals and rosaries will be the top seller on eBay and Amazon. Secularism does not hold in the long term.

  25. Countries that modernized while keeping up with their religions and traditions have win the lottery because the west is declining their birth rate is alarming because they are teaching their women feminism bs and the traditionnal structure disappeared leaving people lost.

  26. On my YouTube channel I prove that I see God's omnipresent bearded face . Jesus promised those who obey him would see him while the world would not. John 14. We do!

  27. I think our societies are starting to see what religion represents not only in the Western world but also in Middle eastern and Far East. As we see the likes of Catholic and Protestant or Sunni and Shia or Hindus and Muslim are fighting each other with no end in sight, I see more hate than ever. Science, math, literature, and other basic education is seen as a threat( especially women). How far would we be if we had no religion?

  28. Yes there is no future for the dead big churches. But there is always a future for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. No one can stop Him to pour out his love into the hearts. Also not the pride of the west.

  29. I think the problem with what this guy is talking about is the use of the word "religion". I think this word is very archaic and outdated. His studies show less about a change in how people see God, and more about a change in how the word "religion" is being used less.

  30. This man makes exceptions the entire time. I'm sorry but I wanted to hear a strong speech but this demonstration is nothing like other TED talks. Jesus Loves EVERYONE. Including this man, including the Hindus, Muslims etc. and Ultimate Judgement is coming to this broken world.

  31. Being a believer in the Bible, is not equal to having a “religion”. I myself would rather be the only one on the globe, conscious there is a God, than following 7 billion unbelievers. Remember Abraham.

  32. You could blow up every religious institution and eliminate all the priests and you would still have rumors of Genesis and Apocalypse and the gods who invented civilization after the periodic destruction of the world.

  33. Yet Globally this not the case with all this mythical nonsense. in the west a great deal of protectivism is afforded other growing religions. mostly Islam where we are in a situation of Islam being allowed a degree of Legal protection to expand. It is true these beliefs are medieval in culture not compatible with western cultural values. We are repeatedly told it is religion of Peace.

    But though true of a great many Muslims. if it becomes the Majority religion or the populaces it will adopt a majority desire for it to be the same as it is in parts of the globe where it is also the political & Legal system. strangely enough it is being given this space to expand by an outdated establishment that stems from Religious rule of the past
    Just watch it like a Maga dog "Turn around & bite You"

  34. The only way for religion to become mainstream again in the west is for the current civilization to collapse followed by the onset of a new dark age.

  35. Easy, just repeal the 19th amendment, female voting rights. That will reverse Feminism, (socialism) loss of male authority, ant the destructions of the traditional family. Traditional family's go to church. And love God.

  36. 1 second ago
    anyone who has beliefs belong to a cult even atheists have beliefs therefore everyone belongs to a cult. the question is which cult? many people disagree about what is true.

  37. The reality is- People without religion have the very lowest birth rates. So low infact, no society made up only of them could last more than a few generations. Such a declining country. would soon, if not eventually be replaced by a more religious people. Half the households in Sweeden are single people. He is taking data of countries where family structures have been in serious decline, and he marvels that levels of faith have dropped as well. The two are proven to be connected.

  38. He needed to explain why Atheism was the norm everywhere in the Soviet Union, for generations, why would people who were purged of a religious norm, Suddenly begin to go to church for the first time, as we see happening all across E Europe. Its not like people who were religious got suppresses and then returned to church when the suppression lifted. No, for 75 yrs atheism was the settled norm for generation after generation and according to him, each generation loses interest in religion more than the prior one. Why is China having a Christian explosion>? There are more Christian in China than in the USA now.

  39. If a religion is created from thought/dreams/imagination then it will be second hand.
    There is a religious mind but thought plays little or no part in it.
    Thought in the Material world of work and play is needed to function , to keep the books, go to the moon.
    With thought comes time and control.
    The mistake man makes is taking time to the Spiritual world and saying in time ''i will'' to get a result.
    God is there when you are not.
    Thought created the self you have and the image you have of yourself , your total past and SO
    you have the old trying to see the new. Ya get my drift.
    An afterlife is thought's last escape from reality.
    The religious mind is a Free mind, the only freedom that matters and its not what '' you think it is''. its way better.
    The western mind is totally dominated by thought and so we get lost in it.

  40. Religion is losing ground because people in the West are realizing that religion is BS, lol. Religion belongs back in the Dark Ages, especially Islam.

  41. Funny how the religious populations are the increasing populations in western countries, whether that be Latinos in USA from Catholic countries, or Muslims from Islamic countries in Europe. Worldwide (according to pew), atheists are in decline and this is set to continue.

  42. European civilisation, 'Christendom', was built up on the gospel ethic of the golden rule, that is treating others as decently as you can (even if it wasn't always done well). When the last glow of Christianity has faded away, what values will the new generations have then? Also, what will happen when Islam and secularism clash, which looks inevitable?

  43. Interesting that a prostelitzing religion like Christianity is declining in the west…. and a non prostelatizing religion like Buddhism, which essentially is centered around a man sitting under a tree, is growing in the west. Maybe westerners prefer the image of a man serenely seated in the lotus position to one of a man being beaten and tortured.

  44. Why we don't see this in the middle east? People would be less religious there, if state police wouldn't kill people for being an atheist?

  45. The latest data shows the trend beginning to reverse among gen Y.

    That's how you know this fellow is a true social scientist. His predictive capacity is less accurate than a coin toss

  46. I feel the vast majority of us non religious types don't see it as something we can believe in, not that it's scary or different, just that it's nonsensical. I view religions the same way I view the man in the moon and the tooth fairy. It's really not something I can take seriously, and there's just as much proof of their existence as any other so-called deity or omnipotent being.. none.
    People also believe the earth is flat, we've never been to space and that ghosts are real. The only difference I see with that and religion is numbers. Just because a lot of people believe that something is real does not make it so.

  47. Religion is declining because of the misuse of it for centuries. People have been killed and fought unjust wars in the name of religion.

  48. There’s no evidence that atheism/secularism is capable of enduring, long term, and plenty of reasons to suppose that it isn’t.

    Many religions contains, directly or indirectly, an imperative to “be fruitful and multiply” and its effects on fertility are measurable. Atheism doesn’t contain such an imperative, and in fact, almost seems to enjoin the opposite. Therefore, long term, atheism is doomed.

    Religion also serves other adaptive functions like encoding and transmitting rules, values, practices, traditions and strategies intergenerationally. Being able to do that confers competitive advantages. Not being able to do that is a competitive handicap.

    One thing that probably is true (I hope) is that universalist monotheism has run its course. There is no way for one religion to gain ascendency over all others, and even if it did, it would just splinter and schism into many all over again. Hopefully more people can realize that even the attempt is foolish, wasteful, and needlessly contentious.

    Maybe we can give up on trying to spread our religions to everyone else, by force, by fraud, by bribery, by bullying, by threats, by shrill moralizing, by all manner of manipulation, and by other, perhaps more legitimate, means, and invest that energy and effort in making our religions work for US.

    I’ll close with an old quote whose origin I can no longer recall.

    “Atheism and fundamentalism derive from the same error, taking religion too literally.”

  49. Interesting guy to listen to, I would like to see how life and faith in the west is impacted by a major economic shock occurs.? Also the Climate Extnction group would resemble religion.

  50. No surprise that this video has over a thousand dislikes. First of all I have to say that completely disagree with what David is trying to say in this video. there could had been a decline of religion throughout the last 3 decades but it's rising again especially in the west. In Europe for exemple there have been big rise of far right parties most of whom are extremely religious and they are gaining ground more than ever

  51. it's you jew's you and your propoganda geting whites to genoside them selfs with race mixing God will destory this nation.

  52. In taking the typically atheist view that religion is simply cultural, he ignores the inherent human need for G-d. If religion is so superfluous then why did it exist in the first place.

  53. How does religion offer ultimate justice?
    I mean if you take Christianity for example they believe a just God torments people in fire forever.

    So I guess it depends on what religion you are talking about.

  54. Of course there is a way back–secularism can and will face indictment for the worlds problems and religion will be fashionable again–looking at the climate movement, intersectionality these days its more and more clear new religions are trying to burst out of todays secular age.

    And Muslims, the most stalwart Christians of the world are not giving up any time soon.

  55. oh well, better off without it. RIP – though this seems premature at this point. There are still many true believers in a host of different gods – mostly good good people with honest belief based on childhood teachings

  56. I’m not sure what he was trying to say. The modern secular western culture has major problems. Truth is now subjective, there is no objective reality, we no longer know the difference between men and women, the culture is toxic to children with high levels of anxiety and depression. Whatever we are doing it’s not going well. That’s why the Joker (the film of 2019) is such a mirror to our culture. There is nothing to believe in anymore. The only response to a crazy culture is madness. The dreams of reason produce monsters………

  57. Corporations have been given the power to influence society to the extent that if corporations can buy the people, that is where the people will go. The corporation has no morals and have been given carte blance even to kill, which religion is, in fact accomplishing through the political side of each religion. There is no division between church and state.

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