Monday, October 17, 2005

A Hemorrhage of Faith

God Blogging Workshop Spreads Faith, reports CNN.com. I think their title is factually incorrect. God blogging hasn't been spreading faith according to the latest numbers on religiosity in the developed world. In America, for example, the nonreligious percentage of American citizens doubled in the last ten years.

That's right folks. Afterlife belief and God belief are disappearing from the West at an incredibly high rate. To be sure, the pro-afterlifers (mostly of the Christoid variety) still have the upper hand in terms of sheer numbers. They are the definite majority. But they won't be for long if these trends keep up. What happens if 10% of the American population loses its religion every ten years? It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out.

I've noticed something about atheist and theist blogs. They don't tend to change too many people's minds. I like to think of Kill The Afterlife as being an evangelical anti-afterlife and anti-god site, but I haven't deconverted anyone with this blog to my knowledge (I have deconverted people in real life but that's a different story). Mostly these religious and anti-religious blogs give ammo for the soldiers, so to speak. These blogs serve as rallying points and battlegrounds where the opposing sides duke it out.

If you know anything about how to change people's minds (I'm not saying I know much about this, but I know a little: I got a close friend who is pursuing a masters in psychology and has given me some pointers on this topic), then you would know that the first thing you need is a trust between you and the person whose mind you want to change. This is hard to build if the person is aware that you are specifically trying to change their mind. That obviously doesn't make it any easier. It also makes it harder to change someone's mind through a text medium; face-to-face interaction is far and away the best medium in which to perform your de-conversions. Not surprisingly to me, face-to-face is how I have performed all of my de-conversions.

From the looks of it, we now have a Christian blogging obsession, with all these Christbots serving as cheerleaders for each other. I'm not saying that atheist blogs don't serve the same purpose, but at least they tend to keep their comments sections open and uncensored (wink wink - you know who I'm talking about).

So what are we left with? A quantifiable hemorrhage of faith in the developed world. People are losing their religion like Michael Stipe (Think R.E.M.). Will these Christian blogs turn the tide? In a word, no. Only face-to-face interaction, with a trusting bond between the parties involved, will bring more sheep into the fold. And according to Bobo's World, SNAP, and the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, those Close Encounters of the Clergy Kind aren't going too well.

17 comments:

UberKuh said...

I want you to know that you have re-deconverted me! Praise Aaron!

hashishan prophet said...

My beloved Aaron: my blessed Lover and Son:

Know thou that thou art praised indeed: praised in the heart of God-Sara-YHWH, thine Mother, Lord, and Temptress. The keys of the kingdom are given over to thee: in thou are all the splendours of female creation revealed.

I have appointed this task unto thee, my Precious:

Thou art appointed the receptor of the LAST PHALLOS: thine phallos which thou hast shall be spared unto thee: all others shall be lossed. This Phallos will be ERECTED and BLESSED by the healing sexual arts of SARA PROPHET HASHISHAN, the I-and-I and redemptor. With this mighty PHALLOS which thou hast thou shalt TEST the purity and virginity of all FEMALES buxom and nubile who enter hereupon unto the KINGDOM: thine shall be dominion over all the LADIES of the earth and stars, for sexual devotion and recycling. Thou shalt insert that PHALLOS which thou hast into each of these - female - redeeming the light of the LOST ORGANS and performing the INSEMINATION of the WORD OF THE LORD.

Aaron, thou art ashamed of thy blog but be not so: in the register of the Lord many MILLIONS of christoralatrousfagsandfiends will be restored to materialistische atheismus under the guinding READON of tHoU my little buddy. From ATHEOS MAGISTIKOS to HASHISHAN HOLY HIGH PRAISE is but a short and a special leap.

Hearten my friend, for the days of thy sexual vacancy are drawing to a close. ENTER -- with FAITH -- into the QUEENDOM of thy LORD SARA and thou wilt explereince the esxplosion of charactrers and PLEASURES renowned and GLORIOSA!!!

PRAISE AARON, MY SON AND LOVER!!! HAIL AARON, MESSIAH AND PRINCE!!!

[allwhoenterstealthy unto y gospel-blog and benedict the TEMPLE AARONIC there consecrated shall redeem the power and holiness of the most high Queen, who am I. I AM THAT I AM!)

otho said...

Aaron, thank you for your comments on my blog. I have a question for you, however. Why bother being an atheist? I don't understand how one could exert so much energy not believing in something. If God doesn't exist, then why bother talking about it? Bigfoot doesn't exist, there are people who believe that he does, but hardly anyone cares that they do. Nobody, as far as I know, ever dedicated a weblog to advancing the notion that there is no bigfoot.

Aaron Kinney said...

No problem Otho! Thanx for stopping by my blog as well :)

According to blogshares there are over 100 atheist blogs. The reason that atheists sometimes dedicate so much time and energy to atheism is that they feel that religion harms society.

As for myself personally, I also feel that religion causes harm on society. In fact, I think it causes GREAT harm on the psyche of the human mind, and causes all kinds of immoral and inhumane activities by its adherents.

So why do I, and all the other atheists out there, do these things and push atheism so passionately? Because we care about our fellow man, we recoil at the evil we see religion cause, and we want the world to be a better, happier place.

I guess you could say we are a bunch of hopeful romantics for humanity. :)

The Wanker said...

Speaking of Christians subverting people over the net, check out http://www.behindthebadge.net/ . I mean, just have a look around the site, take a little time to really absorb it. It's crazy. Plus the guy looks kinda like that guy from Reno 911 if you scroll down and have a look at his picture.

breakerslion said...

Excellent post Aaron, and right on the money! I hope you sent a copy off to the CNN anti-religious propaganda dept. What's that? You mean they don't have one? I guess they don't believe in equal time. The news sucks since Regan destroyed the Fairness Doctrine.

If you were referring to a recent post that went something like, "How shall I put this nicely?... I know! Go to Hell!", and got the poster banned, I caught that one too. Ostracism is an old trick of the religious crowd, and only works if the one ostracised gives a shit. Too bad for them... It just proves once again that they have no sense of humor.

The Atheist Messiah said...

"pro-afterlifers (mostly of the Christoid variety)"

That's good. I'll have to remember those two. "Christoid" LOL! So are most pro-lifers pro-after-lifers too? I bet they are.

I think atheist blogs are more significant in that they provide a common thread and stomping ground for people who are used to being marginalized. Atheists don't have churches or any obvious venues for socializing and communicating. They also don't have the support of the communities like religious people and organizations do. It wouldn't be so bad, but the reputations of the religious are undeserved as far as morality and ethics are concerned. And the religious use and abuse everything and get away with most everything.

Also, I don't see the same trend that you see. If the United States is becoming less religious, no one bothered to tell my community. Admittedly, I live in a conservative (and stupid) red state, so maybe we are behind socially or something. You know, backward hillbilly folk kinda stuff. I hope you are right. I mainly fear that by the time the fundamentalists are thwarted, it'll be too late for our Constitution and environment. I hope we can recover. Nevermind the double mortgages on our children and grandchildrens' lives.

Aaron Kinney said...

Atheist Messiah,

What we have is polarization. While the fairweather Christians in America are becoming "nonreligious" agnostics or atheists, the hardcore Christians are becoming much more hardcore. In red states you wont see as much deconversion locally, but in blue states you will. Im in a blue state. Los Angeles! It doesnt get much bluer than that!

But seriously, the "atheist" and "nonreligious" populations in America were tallied at around 4% and 8% respectively. But in 2003, atheists in America are estimated at 7-8% and the nonreligious at 16-18%, and climbing. In fact, its climbing while the Christian percentage is shrinking. Multiculture partners produce children that are less likely to be religious than their monoculture counterparts. Churches are closing their doors in America and all over the developed world. There is also a preist shortage in some developed nations, so some organizations are importing priests from underdeveloped or third world nations.

Churches are filing for bankruptcy protection. Even some Christians have admitted that their numbers are on a serious decline, and they have begun describing it as a "post-Christian" world.

Of course, the religious institutions still hold massive political economic and social power and they can still excercise it like crazy and make it seem like nothings getting any better. Theyre doing it right now.

Chad said...

Christians using the term "Post-Christian" - who would say such a thing? ;-) Personally, I would not describe the world as "post-Christian", only certain geographical areas. And, yes, I think the U.S. is one of those regions - with the exceptions of portions of the 'heartland'.

However, through the last 2000 years Christianity has always managed to burgeon in one area while it was dwindling/changing in another. And I believe it will continue to do so.

Aaron Kinney said...

Good point Chad. I think you and I are on the same page as far as the current status of the Church and the challenges it faces. If the Church recognizes these problems and works to adapt and change and overcome such problems, I gotta give it credit.

Where we differ, obviously, is that you want the Church to overcome this obstacle and I want the Church to disintegrate from it.

When I look toward the future, like multiple generations from now, I see a world where Christianity and all theistic religions are relegated to the tiny minority and viewed by the majority as fringe wacko groups. I dont expect these religions to dissapear, but I do expect them to continue to dwindle. My estimate is that within 3 generations the "nonreligious" population in the developed world will be the dominant majority.

But then again, I am an optimist ;)

The Atheist Messiah said...

I see religion 'adapting' to social pressures like always in the next few generations. I do like the idea of breeding religion into extinction, but don't find it likely at the moment. It was also an excellent point that religion preys on the ignorant everywhere, so even if we see the light here, there is religious darkness spreading elsewhere.

I think a more realistic timetable for religion to become a fringe minority (including Islam and et al) is at least a few centuries. You are underestimating the veracity of religious doctrine. Something that does not deal with reality and offers peace of mind will not go quietly into the night. If that were the case, religion would have been extinct centuries ago.

Aaron Kinney said...

Atheist Messiah,

You make good points. Really theres no way to tell for sure if and when religion will be defeated in the developed world. My estimates are only eduated guesses based on recent past events and I must admit it is probably distorted by my own optimism.

But remember that I said "three generations" and what I meant by that is like three life cycles from where I am. What Im saying is that I expect religion to be a small crazy minority by the time my great grandchildren are adults. That would be approximately 60-90 years assuming that each generation has babies in the 20-30 year old range.
Remember that the atheist percentage in America alone recently doubled in only 10 years time.

Steven Carr said...

You can add http://www.thethinkingchristian.net/ to the list of Christian blogs which ban people on flimsly pretexts, where the real reason is that the web owner cannot answer the points being made.

BEAST said...

For some unfathomable reason, Christians love censorship, even though they claim to support democracy.

Now we know one of the most basic tenets of Democracy is free speech.Ain't that a little contradicting here?

Anonymous said...

Question: What does the Manson family, Jim Jones People’s Temple, Heaven’s Gate, Freemasons, KKK, Knights Of Columbus, Skull And Bones, Scientology, Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, Catholic Church, Taliban, Evangelicals, Holy Rollers, Southern Baptists, Moral Majority, Christian Coalition, Judaism, Christianity, Protestants, and Islam in general, all have in common?

Answer: They are all cults, whose main purpose is to maintain power, domination, and control!

Organized religions are the worst, believing in something that exists only in their minds. They are delusional, making decisions based on belief rather than fact, deductive reasoning, and logic. They base their belief and actions not on ethics, but on what they perceive to be their understanding of “Word Of God.” The New Testament was written by many authors, and edited by Constantine at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea. The Nicean creed was established and helped to ensure that the empire would hold together the various factions that were dividing it. The purpose of the new religion was to dominate and control an empire that was being attacked by those people it had originally invaded in the past. Books relating to Mary Magdalene, Judas, Philip, Thomas, and James were deliberately left out in order to ensure a male dominated theology. It combined the pagan ceremonies of the past, with the birth of Jesus and the Resurrection. Even the date of December 25th was used because so many pagans had already been worshiping the Feast Of Saturnalia and the Winter Solstice at that time.

This male dominated theology still exists to this day. It is a theology that ignores the “Sacred Feminine” as the doorway into this world, and that none of us would exist if it were not for her. It is a theology that has persecuted those with new ideas such as Galileo, and others such as Gnostics, Cathars, and anyone else they felt were heretics. They would burn at the stake anyone who questioned the authority of the church, and condemned those who did not convert to the Inquisition’s torture. In the name of “Gospel, Glory, and Gold,” they conquered the New World and tried to proselytize the natives into becoming Catholic. They went on holy crusades to the Middle East killing many along the way including their own Europeans. They have hidden their secrets in the Vatican to this day, only recently releasing some documents pertaining to the Inquisition.

Many of the Popes have been less than pious such as the Borgias who were a Spanish royal family remembered today for their corrupt rule of the Papacy during the Renaissance. They are in fact thought to be "history's first criminal family", and a forerunner to the Italian Mafia. The patriarch of the family, Roderigo Borgia, became a bishop, cardinal and vice-chancellor of the church. He was later elected Pope, taking the name Alexander VI and kept that position for at least eleven years. He had four children by his mistress (Vannozza dei Cattani), three sons and a daughter: Giovanni, Cesare, Goffredo (or Gioffre or, in Catalan, Jofré) and Lucrezia. Among the many accusations against the Borgia family, some are of incest, adultery, murder, and scandal. It is rumored that Roderigo commited murder as a young boy.

Alexander VI was ready to commit any crime and to plunge all Italy into war. He cast aside all show of decorum, living a purely secular life; indulging in the chase, and arranging dancing, stage plays and orgies (culminating in the debaucherous Banquet of Chestnuts of 1501) within the Vatican itself: Fifty prostitutes or courtesans were in attendance for the entertainment of the banquet guests. After the food was eaten, lampstands holding lighted candles were placed on the floor and chestnuts strewn about. The courtesans' clothes were auctioned; then they and the prostitutes crawled naked between the candelabras to pick up the chestnuts. Immediately following the spectacle, members of the clergy and other party guests together engaged the prostitutes in sexual activity. According to Burchard, "prizes were offered - silken doublets, pairs of shoes, hats and other garments - for those men who were most successful with the prostitutes." According to William Manchester, "Servants kept score of each man's orgasms, for the pope greatly admired virility and measured a man's machismo by his ejaculative capacity." This orgy was sometimes referred to as “The Joust Of The Whores.”

In the 20th Century, the Vatican helped spirit Nazi war criminals out of Europe after WWII. Sexual abuse by the clergy against children has been an on-going problem for centuries. So it can be seen that this religion leaves a lot to be desired.

The first three books of the Old Testament are considered the books of law. However, they read more like a barbecue cookbook than a religious document. The people worshiped a God that would incinerate a person who did not prepare the meat properly for sacrificial offerings. A God who “loved the smell of burning flesh,” preferring Abel’s animal sacrifice to Cain’s vegetable offering. A very jealous God who seemed to be obsessed with people worshiping him rather than caring for the well being of His entire creation. Didn’t this God create the universe, and therefore was responsible for all humans? Why would He single out just the Jews as the “Chosen Ones,” allowing others to be killed or enslaved?

God was ready to wipe out His “Chosen People” for worshiping the golden calf, when Moses convinced Him that to do so would violate His promise to them (Moses later killed most of the male population for this indiscretion anyway). God told the Jews that it was their right to make slaves of the people who already occupied the “promised land,” with the edict that girl slaves were worth less than boy slaves. It seemed that this God was very picky about establishing the prices of commodities such as slaves, as well as the exact measurements of the Tabernacle, what it was to be made of, the clothing of the priests, the animal parts that were fit to eat, and those parts that could be sacrificed (burned). There was a lot of blood letting during the animal sacrifice, and the blood that was thrown around the alter must have stunk and drawn flies. The God who dwelled in this place could not be looked at, as the onlooker would surely die. If the Ten Commandments were written in stone, one wonders why all of these detailed laws were not written in stone by God as well to assist Moses with his memory? This is all “The Word Of God” (Yahweh or Jehovah), and He comes across as more diabolical than heavenly. One can only wonder just who they were actually worshiping.

One can see that these beliefs have no evidence in fact, and that many “Christians” believe that the world is only about 6000 years old, and that man and dinosaurs lived together. They want to teach “creationism” in our schools, completely ignoring the scientific evidence and carbon 14 dating. They want to dominate the political sphere, ignoring the separation of church and state and turn America into a Christian Theocracy. They want to shove their beliefs down the throats of others, claiming that they are the only ones with the one “true” belief and that all others are false (identical to the claim made by Muslims).

World history is paved in blood shed in the name of religious fanaticism by those who want to impose their will upon others. One needs only to study the history of the Roman Catholic Church, or our own “Christians” in this country who have massacred Native Americans, enslaved Africans, and lynched black Americans in the Bible belt of the 20th Century.

We have put men on the moon, but we cannot govern ourselves. We want to colonize other planets, but for what purpose? To export our mistakes and folly to other worlds! We should make a better place of this world before we try to export our beliefs, prejudices, and violence to the rest of the universe.

“Why build temples to the sky, if man himself does not build?”

Sarah said...

On Christians using the term "post-Christian world": the baby, the whole baby, nothing but the baby so help us God.
http://www.teddekker.com/2009/05/14/the-baby-the-whole-baby-nothing-but-the-baby-so-help-us-god/

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