Irreligious Britain and low social mobility

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The Guardian reported in 2012, "Britain has some of the lowest social mobility in the developed world - the OECD figures show our earnings in the UK are more likely to reflect our fathers' than any other country."[1]

A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".[2] See also: British atheism

In recent years, various members of Britain's atheists/agnostics, most notably Richard Dawkins (In addition, the late Christopher Hitchens was born in Britain and emigrated to the United States in 1981), have engaged in aggressive atheism evangelism efforts. See: New Atheism

The Daily Mail reported about Britain's influential broadcaster the BBC:

The BBC employs more atheists and non-believers than Christians, an internal ‘diversity’ survey has found.

The new research has been seized on by critics who accuse the Corporation of bias against Christianity and marginalising the faith in its output.

The survey found that just 22.5 per cent of all staff professed to be Christians.[3]

The Guardian reported in 2012, "Britain has some of the lowest social mobility in the developed world - the OECD figures show our earnings in the UK are more likely to reflect our fathers' than any other country."[4]

Richard Dawkins' family fortune and the slave trade

See also: Richard Dawkins' family fortune and the slave trade

On February 20, 2012, the British newspaper the Daily Mail reported that Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade".[5]

Richard Dawkins is one of the principle founders of the New Atheism movement. He is also a British citizen.

On February 20, 2012, the British newspaper the Daily Mail reported that Richard Dawkins' "family fortune came from the slave trade".[6] On February 19, 2012, The Daily Telegraph reported that Dawkins is being called to make reparations for his family's past.[7]

The atheist philosopher John Gray says of Dawkins' time spent in Kenya: "Unlike the best of the colonial administrators, some of whom were deeply versed in the languages and histories of the peoples they ruled, Dawkins displays no interest in the cultures of the African countries where he lived as a boy. It is the obedient devotion of those who served his family that has remained in his memory."[8]

Two atheist nonprofit scandals which recently received some publicity were the organizations Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and the We Are Atheism organization.[9][10][11][12] See: Atheist nonprofit scandals

The African-American author and political columnist Thomas Sowell wrote:

While slavery was common to all civilizations, as well as to peoples considered uncivilized, only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in hits history…not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all…. Moreover, within Western civilization, the principle impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists – people who would today be called ‘the religious right.’…this story is not ‘politically correct’ in today’s terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened.”[13]

See also: Atheism and forced labor and William Wilberforce

Atheism, leftism, social justice/progressive values and hypocrisy

See also: Atheism and social justice and Atheist hypocrisy

Historically, the secular left has been dominant within the atheist community (see: Atheism and politics).

Progressive values according to leading progressive websites

According to leading progressive/leftists websites, progressive values include: freedom; opportunity; responsibility; cooperation/community; caring and responsibility, carried out with strength; protection/fairness; honesty and open communication.[14][15] These practices are often seen as being conducive to social justice.

Atheism and lack of cooperation/community

The atheist population lacks cooperation/community, is known for engaging in bitter quarrels and is deeply divided (see: Atheist factions and Atheist movement). It also has significant racial/gender issues (see: Western atheism and race and Atheism and women).

Furthermore, atheistic countries often have significant problems with loneliness (See: Atheism and loneliness).

Atheism and lack of empathy

African children who received Manna Packs of rice from the Christian relief organization Feed My Starving Children. The Barna Group found that even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics.[16]

As far as the progressive values of caring/protection and atheists, a comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[17][18]

In 2007 the Baptist Press reported:

...a pollster at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found that adults who profess a belief in God are significantly more likely than atheists to say that forgiveness, patience, generosity and a concern for others are "very important." In fact, the poll found that on 11 of 12 values, there was a double-digit gap between theists and atheists, with theists more likely to label each value "very important."

The survey by sociologist and pollster Reginald Bibby examined the beliefs of 1,600 Canadians, 82 percent who said they believed in "God or a higher power" and 18 percent who said they did not.[19]

See also: Atheism and uncharitableness

From a metaphysical, moral and spiritual perspective, atheists have an inability to satisfactorily explain the existence of love.[20][21] See also: Atheism and love and Atheism and social justice

Britain and the history of social Darwinism

See also: Britain and the history of social Darwinism

Social Darwinism is a belief, popular in the late Victorian era in England, America, and elsewhere, which states that the strongest or fittest should survive and flourish in society, while the weak and unfit should be allowed to die.

The theory was chiefly expounded by the English philosopher Herbert Spencer, whose ethical philosophies always held an elitist view and received a boost from the application of Darwinian ideas such as adaptation and natural selection.[22] Its leading proponents have opined atheism/agnosticism.[23][24][25]

Beginning in 1887, social scientists were using the term "social Darwinism" to apply the survival of the fittest theory to social situations. Under this theory, the wealthiest or most powerful in society must be biologically superior, and less "fit" persons should die.

Proponents of a particular form of social Darwinism, such as Herbert Spencer, taught that the powerful and wealthy were this way because they were genetically, biologically and evolutionally superior to the struggling inferior masses. They believed that society should do nothing to help improve the lot of working and living conditions of the lesser evolved masses. In the view of these social darwinists, charity is evil because it helps sustain the lives of those who otherwise would and should die via the natural selection process. In short, the weak were to do their duty and die while the fittest survived, which would one day lead to an evolutionarily super society and race.[26]

Soon many began to view racial struggles, and war itself, as a perfectly natural example of survival-of-the-fittest in the human race. The horrific wars of the 20th century, employing shockingly brutal tactics, were encouraged by a belief in survival-of-the-fittest among humans. While social Darwinism itself was applied to social and economic situations rather than military ones, it is easy how extreme versions of social Darwinism could justify physical struggles among races.

Social Darwinism has been linked with racism, nationalism and imperialism.

See also

Notes

  1. Social mobility: the charts that shame Britain
  2. Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, p. 204". Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
  3. Christians a minority at 'biased' BBC where staff are more likely to be atheists or non-believers
  4. Social mobility: the charts that shame Britain
  5. Revealed: How atheist Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade, Daily Mail, February 20, 2012
  6. Revealed: How atheist Richard Dawkins' family fortune came from the slave trade, Daily Mail, February 20, 2012
  7. Slaves at the root of the fortune that created Richard Dawkins' family estate, The Daily Telegragh, February 19, 2012
  8. The Closed Mind of Richard Dawkins, New Republic by John Gray
  9. Richard Dawkins Drops His Lawsuit Against Former Employee
  10. Richard Dawkins sues Josh Timonen, Posted by David Gorski on October 24, 2010
  11. Richard Dawkins Drops His Lawsuit Against Former Employee
  12. An Update on We Are Atheism by Hemant Mehta, September 15, 2015
  13. Sowell, Thomas (2005) The real history of slavery. In Black Rednecks and White Liberals. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books
  14. What It Means To Be A Progressive: A Manifesto, Thinkprogress.org
  15. What are Progressive Values, Dailykos.com
  16. Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians The Barna Update, 2007.
  17. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  18. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  19. Foust, Michael (October 23, 2007). "Poll: Atheists less likely to 'do good'" Baptist Press. Retrieved on July 20, 2014.
  20. How do atheists define love? by Dr. Taylor Marshall
  21. What is love? how materialist atheism fails to have a satisfactory answer, July 9, 2014
  22. Social Darwinism at Thinkquest, retrieved on 08/04/2008
  23. Manfred Berg, Geoffrey Cocks. Medicine and Modernity: Public Health and Medical Care in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2007–03–25. “The Christian-conservative Ritter went on to argue that social Darwnism was an aspect of the materialist worldview of the Weimar Republic, which encompassed Marxism and atheism as well and displaced the religious values that he thought had dominated in the imperial period and that alone could guarantee political stablility in the age of the masses.” 
  24. Mohammed Talib. Universal Peace. Lulu. Retrieved on 2007–03–25. “At this point, we must recall another atheist ideology-Social Darwinism-which was among the causes for the outbreak of both the First and Second World Wars.” 
  25. Jonas E. Alexis. Christianity's Dangerous Idea. AuthorHouse. Retrieved on 2007–03–25. “What is even more interesting to point out is that the leading social Darwinists were not Protestants at all-they were mostly atheists who were trying to force their own ideologies upon society at large.” 
  26. creationinthecrossfire.com Former creationist website