Desecularization and aging populations

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.[1] See also: Atheism and its retention rate in individuals

A 2012 study by the General Social Survey of the social science research organization NORC at the University of Chicago found that belief in God rises with age, even in atheistic nations.[2] Currently, the atheist population as a whole is facing significant issues in relation to aging atheist populations in various countries (see: Global atheism and aging populations).

In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.[3] See also: Atheism and its retention rate in individuals

Theodore Beale declared: "...the age at which most people become atheists indicates that it is almost never an intellectual decision, but an emotional one."[4] See also: Atheism and immaturity

The Christian apologist Ken Ammi concurs in his essay The Argument for Atheism from Immaturity and writes: "It is widely known that some atheists rejected God in their childhood, based on child like reasons, have not matured beyond these childish notions and thus, maintain childish-emotional reactions toward the idea of God."[5]

The article Developed countries may become more religious in 20 years indicates about the journal article Religiosity and Aging: Age and Cohort Effects and Their Implications for the Future of Religious Values in High‐Income OECD Countries which was published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion:

Researchers from HSE University and RANEPA found that in high-income countries, age, rather than the cohort effect, has more impact on religiosity. They predict that this may have an impact on societal structure in the future. The study was published in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

It has long been observed that older people tend to be more religious than younger people. However, it is still disputable whether this fact should be attributed to people generally becoming more religious with age per se (age effect), or to the process of secularization, wherein earlier cohorts (to which the now older people belong) used to be more religious than those that appeared later, i.e. younger cohorts (cohort effect). HSE University scholars decided to analyze this issue using data from six waves of the World Values Survey (2016) in high-income OECD countries. A total of 16 countries were studied, including Australia, the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, as well as other European countries.

The researchers used logistic models and multiple linear regression to determine that the age effect has a higher impact on religiosity than the cohort effect. Older people are more inclined to believe in God, attend church, and believe it is important to instill religion in children.. The cohort effect impacts other factors analyzed by the scholars, such as church attendance and a belief in religion's importance in life, but the age effect still strongly prevails over the cohort effect...

The transition from religious to secular values may slow by 2040 in high-income OECD countries and, probably, there will be a resurgence of religiosity, the symptoms of which can be observed in Japan. On the other hand, widely divergent socio-cultural settings in different countries have an impact on religious behavior and attitude, and this must be taken into account in further research.[6]

Theodore Beale declared: "...the age at which most people become atheists indicates that it is almost never an intellectual decision, but an emotional one."[7] See: Atheism and children

The Christian Century wrote about the journal article Religiosity and Aging: Age and Cohort Effects and Their Implications for the Future of Religious Values in High‐Income OECD Countries:

In what they say is the first systematic attempt to analyze this issue, three Russian researchers found that in all cases, individuals were more likely to be significantly more religious as they age. The findings may have critical implications for rapidly aging societies in more affluent nations.

“It is mainly in the developed countries that global aging may have the most pronounced effect on slowing down the transition from religious to secular values or, possibly, even on some increase in religiosity,” the researchers said in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Among the reasons religion is so important to older people, researchers note, is that religious beliefs and practices allow many to cope with later-life stresses such as the loss of a spouse or debilitating illness and facing death. As they lose a sense of control over their own lives, some also find religion offers reassurance that a compassionate divinity is looking out for them in their time of need.

Religious institutions also offer a source of social support, providing a network of friends to meet social needs, scholars have pointed out...

But the researchers found the aging effect was much stronger in all nine measurements compared with the secularization effect.

Thus, as they aged, older individuals were even more likely show interest in attendance at worship, confidence in the church, and the importance of religion and God in their lives.

But the aging effect was also strongly tied to other factors such as belief in God, being active members in religious organizations, a perceived lack of freedom of choice and control in their own lives, and considering themselves a religious person.[8]

The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) said about the journal articleReligiosity and Aging: Age and Cohort Effects and Their Implications for the Future of Religious Values in High‐Income OECD Countries:

The findings raise important questions about the future of religion in developed countries, which are on the leading edge of an expected explosion over the next 30 years in the percentage of the population ages 60 and older.

In Japan, one of the countries most affected by aging, there are a number of indicators revealing a slowdown of secularization trends and even a resurgence of religiosity, the Russian researchers noted.[9]

(See also: European desecularization in the 21st century and United States, irreligion vs. religion and demographics and American atheism and British atheism and Irreligion in Australia and Postsecularism and New Zealand in the 21st century and Canada and irreligion)

Abstract for the journal article Religiosity and Aging: Age and Cohort Effects and Their Implications for the Future of Religious Values in High‐Income OECD Countries

The abstract for the journal article Religiosity and Aging: Age and Cohort Effects and Their Implications for the Future of Religious Values in High‐Income OECD Countries published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion indicates:

It has long been noticed that older people tend to be more religious than younger people. However, it is still disputable whether this fact should be attributed to people generally becoming more religious with age per se (age effect), or to the process of secularization, wherein earlier cohorts (to which the now older people belong) used to be more religious than those that appeared later, younger cohorts (cohort effect). We try to distinguish between these two effects using a multifactor model applied to World Values Survey data (1981–2014) and find that at least in the developed countries the age effect strongly prevails over the cohort effect. This finding has important implications, e.g., that population aging in OECD countries can possibly slow down the transition from religious to secular values. This effect is already visible in some countries, such as Japan.[10]

Eric Kaufmann on aging atheist populations in the Western World

See also: Atheism and fertility rates and Religion and migration and Growth of religious fundamentalism

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, using a wealth of demographic studies, argues that there will be a significant decline of global atheism in the 21st century which will impact the Western World.[11][12][13][14]

Professor Eric Kaufmann, who teaches at Birkbeck College, University of London, specializes in the academic area of how demographic changes affect religion/irreligion and politics. Kaufmann is an agnostic.

On December 23, 2012, Kaufmann wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British.[15] [16]

At a conference Kaufmann said of religious demographic projections concerning the 21st century:

Part of the reason I think demography is very important, at least if we are going to speak about the future, is that it is the most predictable of the social sciences.

...if you look at a population and its age structure now. You can tell a lot about the future. ...So by looking at the relative age structure of different populations you can already say a lot about the future...

...Religious fundamentalism is going to be on the increase in the future and not just out there in the developing world..., but in the developed world as well.[17]

See also: Atheism and fertility rates and Religion and migration and Growth of religious fundamentalism

Currently, the atheist population is shrinking as a percentage of the world's population (see: Global atheism statistics). Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[18]

Kaufmann maintains that: the religious will grow as a percentage of the world's population in the 21st century; the more religious people are, the more children they have; those who are most fervent in their religion - namely fundamentalists - have the largest families; most people inherit their faith from their parents, who often inoculate their children against the arguments of secularists; the cumulative effect of immigration from religious countries, and religious fertility will be to reverse the secularisation process in the Western World (sometime between 2021 and 2050), religious conservatism will triumph over liberal secularism in the 21st century.[19][20][21][22][23] See also: Desecularization and Acceleration of 21st century desecularization and Religion and its projected increase in the 22nd century

Kaufmann and other scholars have noted that religious immigrants and their offspring are often very resistant to secularization and there is some social science research indicating that the children of immigrants tend to become more religious than their parents.[24][25][26] In 2010, Kaufmann reported that the rate of secularisation flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France.[27]

Specifically, concerning the future of secularism in Europe, in a paper entitled Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century, Kaufmann wrote:

We have performed these unprecedented analyses on several cases. Austria offers us a window into what the future holds. Its census question on religious affiliation permits us to perform cohort component projections, which show the secular population plateauing by 2050, or as early as 2021 if secularism fails to attract lapsed Christians and new Muslim immigrants at the same rate as it has in the past. (Goujon, Skirbekk et al. 2006).

This task will arguably become far more difficult as the supply of nominal Christians dries up while more secularisation-resistant Muslims and committed rump Christians comprise an increasing share of the population.[28]

See also

Notes

  1. Study: Atheists Have Lowest 'Retention Rate' Compared to Religious Groups
  2. Belief in God rises with age, even in atheist nations
  3. Study: Atheists Have Lowest 'Retention Rate' Compared to Religious Groups
  4. Answering an atheist's question
  5. [1]
  6. Developed countries may become more religious in 20 years, Eureka Alert
  7. Answering an atheist's question
  8. New study finds aging populations might counteract secularization by David Briggs, Christian Century
  9. Does Aging Foreshadow a More Religious Future?, Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) website
  10. Religiosity and Aging: Age and Cohort Effects and Their Implications for the Future of Religious Values in High‐Income OECD Countries by Sergey Shulgin, Julia Zinkina and Andrey Korotayev, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, First published: 02 July 2019 https://doi.org/10.1111/jssr.12613
  11. 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
  12. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  13. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  14. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  15. London: A Rising Island of Religion in a Secular Sea by Eric Kaufmann, Huffington Post, 2012
  16. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  17. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  18. Shall the religious inherit the earth - Festival of Dangerous Ideas - Erik Kaufmann
  19. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century - Amazon
  20. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  21. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  22. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  23. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  24. The End of Secularization in Europe?:A Socio-Demographic Perspective, Academic journal: Sociology of Religion (2011) doi: 10.1093/socrel/srr033. The authors of the paper were: Eric Kaufmann - Birkbeck College, University of London; Anne Goujon - World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Vegard Skirbekk, World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  25. Religious immigrants will alter the religious landscape of Europe
  26. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  27. Shall the religious inherit the earth
  28. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann