Essay: Militant atheists cannot stop this runaway train

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"It will be a century or more before the world completes its demographic transition. There is still too much smoke in the air for us to pick out the peaks and valleys of the emerging social order. This much seems certain: without a new [secular liberal] ideology to inspire social cohesion, fundamentalism cannot be stopped. The religious shall inherit the earth." - Professor Eric Kaufmann[1] See also: Growth of religious fundamentalism

Religious fundamentalism is a runaway train that cannot be stopped! Full steam ahead Bible believers and creationists! See: Acceleration of 21st century desecularization

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."[2]

Religious fundamentalism has risen to worldwide prominence ever since the 1970s well.[3] See: Growth of religious fundamentalism

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann an agnostic professor whose academic research specialty is how demographic changes affect religion/irreligion and politics, 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. [4]

Eric Kaufmann declared in 2010: "Worldwide, the march of religion can probably only be reversed by a renewed, self-aware secularism. Today, it appears exhausted and lacking in confidence... Secularism's greatest triumphs owe less to science than to popular social movements like nationalism, socialism and 1960s anarchist-liberalism. Ironically, secularism's demographic deficit means that it will probably only succeed in the twenty-first century if it can create a secular form of 'religious' enthusiasm.[5]

In recent years, a number of notable atheists have expressed pessimism about the future of the atheist movement (see: Decline of the atheist movement).

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.[6]

Religious immigrants to Europe resistant to secularization

See: Religious immigrants to Europe resistant to secularization

Religion and its projected increase in the 22nd century

See also: Religion and its projected increase in the 22nd century and Future of Christianity

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.[7][8][9][10]

In 2012, the W. Edwards Deming Institute published a report by the World Future Society which indicated:

In 2100, however, the world will likely be only 9% unaffiliated — more religious than in 2012. The peak of the unaffiliated was in 1970 at around 20%, largely due to the influence of European communism. Since communism’s collapse, religion has been experiencing resurgence that will likely continue beyond 2100. All the world’s religions are poised to have enormous numeric growth (with the exceptions of tribal religions and Chinese folk religion), as well as geographic spread with the continuation of migration trends. Adherents of the world’s religions—perhaps particularly Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists—will continue to settle in the formerly Christian and ever-expanding cities of Europe and North America, causing increases of religious pluralism in these areas. Christians and Muslims together will encompass two-thirds of the global population—more than 7 billion individuals. In 2100, the majority of the world’s 11.6 billion residents will be adherents of religious traditions.[11]

Pew Research indicates: "By 2055 to 2060, just 9% of all babies will be born to religiously unaffiliated women, while more than seven-in-ten will be born to either Muslims (36%) or Christians (35%)."[12]

In 2011, Eric Kaufmann wrote in his academic paper Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century

Today, values play a more important role in fertility behaviour, throwing the contrast between religious pronatalism and secular low-fertility individualism into relief. Over several generations, this process can lead to significant social and political changes. Early Christianity’s exponential rise during its gestation period from 30 to 300 A.D. has been traced to its superior demography (fertility, mortality and female sex ratio), which maintained a rate of growth similar to contemporary Mormonism: 40 percent per decade. For Christians, this led to a jump from 40 converts to 6 million inside three centuries. (Stark 1996) Christianity became the religion of an empire and a continent. In the United States, conservative sects increased their share of white Protestantism from roughly a third to two-thirds during the twentieth century – largely on the back of higher fertility. On the other hand, sects like the Shakers and Cathars, which permitted entry only through conversion, rapidly faded from the scene. Demographic religious revival is a medium and long-term phenomenon, but awareness of shifting population composition can lead to political soul-searching and instability well before the full impact of demographic change takes place. This is clear in ethnically-tense societies like Israel, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Lebanon, Cote D’Ivoire or Assam.[13]

See also: Atheism and fertility rates and Acceleration of 21st century desecularization

Future of Christianity

See also: Future of Christianity

The prominent historian Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University, indicates that he believes Christianity faces a "bright future" worldwide (See also: Global Christianity).

According to MacCulloch, "Christianity, the world's largest religion, is rapidly expanding – by all indications, its future is very bright."[14]

The prominent historian Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University, indicates that he believes Christianity faces a "bright future" worldwide (See also: Global Christianity).

According to MacCulloch, "Christianity, the world's largest religion, is rapidly expanding – by all indications, its future is very bright."[15]

In 2012, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) reported that every day there are 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day, 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day.[16][17]

Phillip Jenkins published the book The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.

Chuck Colson, citing the work of Jenkins, writes:

As Penn State professor Philip Jenkins writes in The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, predictions like Huntingtons betray an ignorance of the explosive growth of Christianity outside of the West.

For instance, in 1900, there were approximately 10 million Christians in Africa. By 2000, there were 360 million. By 2025, conservative estimates see that number rising to 633 million. Those same estimates put the number of Christians in Latin America in 2025 at 640 million and in Asia at 460 million.

According to Jenkins, the percentage of the worlds population that is, at least by name, Christian will be roughly the same in 2050 as it was in 1900. By the middle of this century, there will be three billion Christians in the world -- one and a half times the number of Muslims. In fact, by 2050 there will be nearly as many Pentecostal Christians in the world as there are Muslims today.[18]

The American sociologist and author Peter L. Berger introduced the concept of desecularization in 1999.[19][20] According to Berger, "One can say with some confidence that modern Pentecostalism must be the fastest growing religion in human history."[21] See also: Growth of pentecostalism and Growth of religious fundamentalism

See also

Essays:


Humor:

Notes

  1. The Stork Theory By Allan C. Carlson, February 28, 2018
  2. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  3. The Rise of Religious Fundamentalism, Annual Review of Sociology, 2006, Vol. 32:127-144
  4. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  5. Shall the religious inherit the earth? - Eric Kaufmann
  6. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  7. 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
  8. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  9. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  10. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  11. The 22nd Century at First Light: Envisioning Life in the Year 2100: A special report by members and friends of the World Future Society, Religious Belief in 2100 by Gina A. Bellofatto
  12. The Changing Global Religious Landscape, Pew Research 2017
  13. 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 (PDF)
  14. Historian predicts 'bright future' for Christianity
  15. Historian predicts 'bright future' for Christianity
  16. Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  17. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Status of Global Missions
  18. How Christianity is Growing Around the World by Chuck Colson
  19. Journal of Church and State, Desecularization: A Conceptual Framework by Vyacheslav Karpov, 2010
  20. Peter L. Berger, “The Desecularization of the World: A Global Overview,” in The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, ed. Peter L. Berger (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999)
  21. Pentecostalism – Protestant Ethic or Cargo Cult?, Peter Berger, July 29, 2010