Global atheism

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Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, using a a wealth of demographic studies argues the decline of atheism in terms of its global adherents is an established trend that will persist for the foreseeable future and the rate of decline will accelerate.[1][2][3][4]

A survey published in the 2005 Encyclopedia Britannica stated that 2.3% of the world's population consists of individuals who profess "atheism, skepticism, disbelief, or irreligion, including the militantly antireligious."[5] In respect to the 2.3% figure just mentioned, the 2005 survey cited by Encyclopedia Britannica survey did not include Buddhist in regards to the 2.3% figure and Buddhism can be theistic or atheistic.[6][7] Ipsos, a major global market research company, published a report on report on religious belief/skepticism from a worlwide perspective and the report provides various statistics gained from survey results. See also: Atheist Population.

Atheists as a percentage of the world's population have declined since 1970 and global atheism is expected to face long term decline.[8]

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported:

Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass."[9]

In 2011, the American Spectator declared concerning research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research:

The report estimates about 80,000 new Christians every day, 79,000 new Muslims every day, and 300 fewer atheists every day. These atheists are presumably disproportionately represented in the West, while religion is thriving in the Global South, where charismatic Christianity is exploding."[10]

In 2009, the book A sceptics guide to atheism indicated: "A worldwide poll taken in 1991 put the global figure for atheists at just 4.4% of the population. By 2006 it was estimated that only 2% of the world population were atheists."[11]

In 2012 an article entitled Atheism in decline by Nigel Tomes declared:

The IBMR publishes yearly figures for religions (and non religions) around the globe. Their latest numbers, hot off the press (Jan. 2012) show some interesting trends.

Atheism is in Decline

In 1970 atheists (those avowing there is no God) numbered 166 million worldwide; that was almost one-in-twenty—4.5% of the globe’s population. By 2012 atheists’ number is estimated at 137 million. That’s a decline of almost 30 million. Since world population is growing, atheists’ share declined to less than one-in-fifty—under 2% in 2012. Put differently, every 24 hours there are 800 fewer atheists in the world! Atheism is in decline.

Agnosticism is in Decline

In 2000 agnostics (those who “don’t know” if there is a God) numbered 666 million, 10.9% of the world’s people. By 2012 agnostic’s number is estimated at 661 million--a decline of 5 million. In relative terms by 2012 agnostics represent less than one tenth (9.4%) of world population. Every 24 hours there are 1,100 less agnostics in the world. Agnostics are also in decline.

Added together these two groups make up a declining share of global population. In 1970 atheists and agnostics accounted for one-in-five (19.2%) of the world’s people. Based on current trends by 2025 they will represent less than one-in-ten (9.7%). Their population share will fall by half in 50+ years.[12]

Michael Blume, a researcher at the University of Jena in Germany, wrote "Most societies or communities that have espoused atheistic beliefs have not survived more than a century."[13] Blume also indicated concerning concerning his research on this matter: "What I found was the complete lack of a single case of a secular population, community or movement that would just manage to retain replacement level."[14]

Contents

Decline of atheism in terms of global adherents is expected to accelerate

See also: Atheist Population and Growth of evangelical Protestantism in Europe

The decline of global atheism is accelerating and it is expected to affect Western World atheism.[15][16]

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck, University of London, using a a wealth of demographic studies argues the decline of atheism in terms of itd global adherents is an established trend that will persist for the foreseeable future and the rate of decline will accelerate.[17][18][19][20] In addition, Kaufmann argues that religious conservatism has a long term trend of rising and that their influence in the world will significantly increase.[21] Kaufmann is author of the book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?.[22][23] In the Western World due to immigration and the higher birth rates of religious people, Kaufman writes: "Committed religious populations are growing in the West, and will reverse the march of secularism before 2050."[24]

Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[25] Furthermore, Kaufmann also argues that secularization may reverse itself significantly earlier than 2050 in the West due to religious immigration and a religious population which is increasingly resistant to secularization in Europe.[26][27] In 2010 it was reported that the rate of secularisation flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France.[28] In terms of the English speaking world, Google trend data as of August 2013 indicates that the world's interest in atheism and evolutionism has declined since 2004 while interest in God has increased.[29]

One of the steepest declines of atheism that is expected to occur is in China which currently has the largest atheist population in the world. China is experiencing a rapid growth of theologically conservative Christianity which will have a significant effect on the global atheist population.[30] It will also have an effect on the United Kingdom (UK) in the 21st century as Chinese immigrants are currently the largest group of immigrants arriving in the UK.[31]

In addition, currently the Western World population is aging in terms of its demographic makeup, particularly in secular Europe, and it has been found that belief in God grows as a person's death nears.[32][33]

For more information please see: Atheist population

Growth of Christianity in secular geographic regions - Atheistic China and secular Europe

Lack of sound leadership in the global community

See: Atheism and leadership

Atheism and the internet

See also: Internet atheism and Atheistic bullying

During the period of 2007 to 2012, the atheist community made a concerted effort to spread atheism through means of the internet. However, leading atheist websites have seen plunges in web traffic during this same period and during the first half of 2012.[34]

In May of 2012, it was pointed out by supporters of Creation Ministries International's Question evolution! campaign that from a global internet perspective the public's interest in the views of the agnostic/weak atheist Richard Dawkins and the atheist PZ Myers and in atheism are on the decline while interest in Jesus and Christianity are on the upswing.[35]

For more information please see:

American secularism

See also: American atheism and Decline of American 1990s secularism

In 2008, the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) reported:

The 1990s was the decade when the “secular boom” occurred – each year 1.3 million more adult Americans joined the ranks of the Nones. Since 2001 the annual increase has halved to 660,000 a year...

Regarding belief in the divine, most Nones are neither atheists nor theists but rather agnostics and deists (59%) and perhaps best described as skeptics.[36]

The Birkbeck College, University of London professor Eric Kaufman wrote in his 2010 book Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? concerning America:

High evangelical fertility rates more than compensated for losses to liberal Protestant sects during the twentieth century. In recent decades, white secularism has surged, but Latino and Asian religious immigration has taken up the slack, keeping secularism at bay. Across denominations, the fertility advantage of religious fundamentalists of all colours is significant and growing. After 2020, their demographic weight will begin to tip the balance in the culture wars towards the conservative side, ramping up pressure on hot-button issues such as abortion. By the end of the century, three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the 'Redeemer Nation' to evangelize the world. Already, the rise of the World Congress of Families has launched a global religious right, its arms stretching across the bloody lines of the War on Terror to embrace the entire Abrahamic family.[37]

2010 Global Atheist Convention

See also: Atheism and cowardice

In 2010, the prominent atheists who attended the 2010 global atheist conference, which included Richard Dawkins, were challenged to a debate by Creation Ministries International.[38] Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and other prominent atheists refused to debate the creation scientists at Creation Ministries International.[39] Generally speaking, creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates.

PZ Myers also refuses to debate Vox Day on the existence of God or concerning evolution [40]

Global atheism and male and female demographic imbalance

Surveys by country

In November of 2010, Discover Magazine published survey results published by the World Values Survey which showed significant differences between the percentage of men and women who are atheists for various countries.[41]

United States surveys

A 2008 study by Trinity College found that women are significantly more religious than men in America.[42] In 2007, the Pew Research Center found that American women were more religious than American men.[43]

Global obesity epidemic and irreligiosity

Since the world is becoming more religious at an increasing rate and there is data pointing to irreligiousity being a causal factor for obesity, this may help reduce the rate of increase of the global obesity epidemic (see: Atheism and obesity and Decline of atheism).

See also

Essays:

External links

Notes

  1. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  2. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  3. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  4. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  5. http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9432620
  6. http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/beliefs/atheism.htm
  7. http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9432620
  8. http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/global-study-atheists-decline-only-18-world-population-2020 Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020]
  9. Thriving Christianity
  10. A sceptics guide to atheism, page 4
  11. Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  12. Atheist: A dying breed as nature favours faithful
  13. Atheist: A dying breed as nature favours faithful
  14. Why are the years 2012 and 2020 key years for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
  15. Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  16. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  17. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  18. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  19. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  20. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  21. Shall the religious inherit the earth by David Kaufmann
  22. Early paper - Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  23. Early paper - Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  24. Shall the religious inherit the earth
  25. European immigration will pour Christian creationists into Europe
  26. The future of European Darwinism and atheism is bleak
  27. Shall the religious inherit the earth
  28. Google trends: Interest in atheism and evolution down. Google searches for God are up. Atheism beaches will be softened up before major attacks on atheism
  29. 10 reasons why biblical Christianity will flood the UK in the 21st century
  30. 10 reasons why biblical Christianity will flood the UK in the 21st century
  31. Belief in God grows as mortality nears, survey says
  32. [http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2008/03/the-demographic-winter-and-the The Demographic Winter and the Barren Left
  33. Internet atheism: The thrill is gone!
  34. Press: Americans Who Don’t Identify with a Religion No Longer a Fringe Group
  35. Why are 2012 and 2020 key years for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
  36. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/richard-dawkins-cowardly-clown
  37. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/richard-dawkins-cowardly-clown
  38. Speaking of Assiduous Absconders
  39. Sex differences in global atheism, part N
  40. http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/reports/NONES_08.pdf
  41. http://www.livescience.com/culture/090227-religion-men-women.html
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