Difference between revisions of "Essay: A Second Open Letter to a New Zealand atheist"

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*[[Essay: A fourth open letter to a New Zealand atheist]]
 
*[[Essay: A fourth open letter to a New Zealand atheist]]
 
*[[Essay: Ace McWicked, read this essay and start uncontrollably weeping]]
 
*[[Essay: Ace McWicked, read this essay and start uncontrollably weeping]]
 +
*[[Essay: A seventh open letter to a New Zealand atheist]]
  
 
== Notes ==
 
== Notes ==

Revision as of 08:44, 19 May 2019

I previously wrote the essay An Open Letter to a New Zealand atheist.

I previously wrote the essay An Open Letter to a New Zealand atheist.

In response, the New Zealand atheist wrote:

In world of globalization, NZ will become desecularized. My open letter to.. [User: Conservative].

No.. [ User: Conservative ] , it wont. NZ is further to the left than Bernie Sanders. We have a euthanasia bill on the cards. We recently, under the current govt. removed references to Jesus in our parliamentary address. All NZ leaders over the last 20 years have been openly agnostic or atheist. There isn't a single religious orientated party in NZ with any seats in parliament. The most recent census results put Christianity as a mere 51% with non-belief at 36.6% which is expected to grow. You lose heavily.[1]

Mr. New Zealand Atheist, if you look at THIS MAP of Europe in the year 2016 from Pew Forum, some of the highest levels of Muslim immigration to Europe have been to Sweden and France which are two countries that are among the few remaining countries of Europe that are still center left in their political ideology. Right-wing populism has been quickly gaining in Europe and that is largely in response to Muslim/non-Muslim immigration and challenging economic conditions in Europe post 2007/2008 (see: Decline of the secular left).

Why do France and Sweden have high levels of immigration? Part of the reason is that both tolerant Sweden and France embraced the liberal/leftist ideology of multiculturalism to a higher degree than some other European countries (Please see: What France thinks of multiculturalism and Islam).

In 2012, the University of Wellington reported: "New Zealanders value a strong multicultural society, with 89% agreeing that it is a good thing for society to be made up of people from different races, religions and cultures."[2]

In addition, like New Zealand (NZ), the countries of Sweden and France have sub-replacement levels of fertility. But to be fair, both Sweden/France are now seeing a growth of right-wing populism so that could affect future levels of immigration to some degree. Nevertheless, it is a hard thing to increase fertility rates solely through government pro-natal policies although France has had a limited amount of success with some of its pro-natal policies (Natalism is "the policy or practice of encouraging the bearing of children, especially government support of a higher birthrate."[3]).

21st century desecularization of New Zealand

See also: Atheism vs. Islam

In the Europe of tomorrow, immigration and religious fertility will increase the proportion of committed Christians in Europe, many from the developing world.[4]

Eric Kaufmann in an academic paper entitled Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century wrote:

Ethnicity and race may succumb to liberal modernity, but committed religious populations cannot be assimilated to liberal secularism fast enough to compensate for their demographic advantage in a world of plunging fertility and growing migration. In the end, it is a battle between religious fertility on the one hand, and, on the other, religious decline through the 'assimilation' of religious offspring into secularism. This paper argues that the weakness of secularism and a widening secular-religious fertility gap points toward a religious victory...

The principle of tolerating and 'celebrating' diversity is a corollary of postmodern relativism which opens up space for antimodern religious 'diversities' to take root. If they are demographically-powerful religious movements like Islamism or evangelical Christianity, they will exploit this weakness to progressively erode the hegemony of western secular humanism....

In the Europe of tomorrow, immigration and religious fertility will increase the proportion of committed Muslims and Christians, many from the developing world. It may seem fanciful to imagine a moral conservatism uniting white and nonwhite Christians as well as Muslims against 'secular humanists'. However, a version of this process has occurred in the United States, and it can be argued that the cocktail of cultural relativism, secular exhaustion and demographic change is even more potent in Europe than America. The division between native ethnic groups and immigrant groups is currently more important in Europe, but as the Muslim and religious Christian minorities grow, they will become as important for conservative politicians as the religious Hispanics of America whom the Republicans have so assiduously courted. At some point, it will make more electoral sense for European conservatives to appeal to a trans-ethnic coalition of moral conservatives than it will to stress anti-immigrant themes and ethno-nationalism. The liberal-left will find it extremely difficult to craft a defense of secularism given its investment in cultural relativism, the exhaustion of its secular religions, and its laissez-faire attitude to demographic change.

Standing back from the fray, we can think of demography as the achilles heel of liberalism.[5]

So Kaufmann posits that multiculturism actually increases desecularization and given the Muslim levels of immigration to both France/Sweden, this notion has some merit. In fact, the rate of secularization in France/Sweden has reached zero (see: European desecularization in the 21st century). So your argument that New Zealand is left of center politically is a poor argument given that multiculturism (which is liberal/leftist ideology) increases religious immigration and it does not decrease it. In addition, secular leftist countries have sub-replacement levels of births which causes them to have immigration

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

What of European Christianity? The conventional wisdom holds it to be in free fall, especially in Western Europe. (Bruce 2002) This is undoubtedly correct for Catholic Europe, while Protestant Europe already has low levels of religious practice. Yet closer scrutiny reveals an increasingly lively and demographically growing Christian remnant. Several studies have examined the connection between religiosity - whether defined as attendance, belief or affiliation - and fertility in Europe. Most find a statistically significant effect even when controlling for age, education, income, marital status and other factors...

Moving to the wider spectrum of European Christianity, we find that fertility is indeed much higher among European women who are religious...

Today, most of those who remain religious in Europe wear their beliefs lightly, but conservative Christianity is hardly a spent force. Data on conservative Christians is difficult to come by since many new churches keep few official records. Reports from the World Christian Database, which meticulously tracks reports from church bodies, indicates that 4.1 percent of Europeans (including Russians) were evangelical Christians in 2005. This figure rises to 4.9 percent in northern, western and southern Europe. Most religious conservatives are charismatics, working within mainstream denominations like Catholicism or Lutheranism to ‘renew’ the faith along more conservative lines. There is also an important minority of Pentecostals, who account for .5% of Europe’s population. Together, charismatics and Pentecostals account for close to 5 % of Europe’s population. The proportion of conservative Christians has been rising, however: some estimate that the trajectory of conservative Christian growth has outpaced that of Islam in Europe. (Jenkins 2007: 75).

In many European countries, the proportion of conservative Christians is close to the number who are recorded as attending church weekly. This would suggest an increasingly devout Christian remnant is emerging in western Europe which is more resistant to secularization. This shows up in France, Britain and Scandinavia (less Finland), the most secular countries where we have 1981, 1990 and 2000 EVS and 2004 ESS data on religiosity...

Currently there are more evangelical Christians than Muslims in Europe. (Jenkins 2007: 75) In Eastern Europe, as outside the western world, Pentecostalism is a sociological and not a demographic phenomenon. In Western Europe, by contrast, demography is central to evangelicalism’s growth, especially in urban areas. Alas, immigration brings two foreign imports, Islam and Christianity, to secular Europe.[6]

In 2008, the International Social Survey Programme was conducted in New Zealand by Massey University.[7] The results of this survey indicated that 72% of the population believed in the existence of God or a higher power, 15% are agnostic, and 13% are atheist (the survey had a 3% margin of error).[8] See: Irreligion in New Zealand

Jens Köhrsen), a professor for religion and economics at the Centre for Religion, Economy and Politics (ZRWP)[9], wrote:

[ Jürgen Habermas ] ...argues that a new age, the age of post-secularity, has begun. Previously vastly secularized societies, like the highly developed countries of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, would experience a new awareness of religion and attribute a new public role to religion. From now on, religion would constitute a relevant dialogue partner in the public debates of these societies (Habermas, 2008). Moreover, Habermas presents a normative argument about public religion: he recommends that post-secular societies should facilitate religious contributions to the public sphere. Religious reasoning could contribute to public debates about the ethical values of contemporaneous and future societies. Habermas believes that modern societies might find some answers to the moral questions of our time by listening to religion in public debates (Habermas, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008). A similar position to that of Habermas is proposed by Leclerc (2001) and French sociologist Willaime (2004a, 2004b, 2005[1995]: 76-78, 2008). Willaime observes that even the highly secularized public and political sphere of France is exhibiting a new, more open attitude towards religion. The hypersecularity of France would stimulate a restructuration process of religion. According to Willaime, religion can form an important resource for public debates and be engaged in the identity construction process of individuals and collectives.[10]
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]

Eric Kaufmann is a professor of politics at Birkbeck, University of London and author. His academic research specialty is how demographic changes affect religion/irreligion and politics.

In April 2010, Kaufmann, who is an agnostic, declared "the rate of secularisation has flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France."[15] Kaufmann also declared that secularism "appears exhausted and lacking in confidence".[16]

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.[17] [18]

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.[19]

So Kaufmann argues that countries increase immigration out of necessity. I would agree - especially since a country with sub-replacement levels of births cannot exist forever. Populations have to find a way to replenish themselves.

See also: Growth of religious fundamentalism

For additional information, please see: 21st century New Zealand: Irreligion, religion and religious immigrants

Now you may argue that New Zealand does not have the levels of Muslim immigration that some European nations do and that may be partly due to geography. Nevertheless, the Muslim population of New Zealand is increasing (see: Islam in New Zealand). More importantly, the world is becoming more religious (see: Global atheism statistics) and New Zealand does have an increase in the amount of highly religious people (Evangelical Christians, Filipino immigrants, See: Irreligion in New Zealand). And highly religious people have significantly higher birth rates than atheists/agnostics (see: Atheism and fertility rates).

Furthermore, what Kaufmann says about West European Christendom as far as its more fervent varieties (not liberal Christianity) could easily apply to NZ in the present and future. Namely, Kaufmann said about European Christianity, "This would suggest an increasingly devout Christian remnant is emerging in western Europe which is more resistant to secularization."[20] As I indicated in Irreligion in New Zealand, evangelical Christianity is growing in NZ.

In addition, in relation to NZ euthanasia policy, if it changes, that doesn't help your argument, it hurts it. It would often be the irreligious, nonreligious and nominally religious that will choose to exercise the option of euthanasia which will further cause a decline in the secular population and the nominally religious population.

So how much immigration does NZ have? Is it high compared to historical standards? Yes, it is high compared to historical standards. Please read this article: Annual net migration eases in NZ but rate still historically high.

In short, in world of globalization, NZ will become desecularized in the 21st century. It may not happen as fast as France/Sweden, nevertheless it will happen. And a great portion of the scholars in the field of religious vs. irreligious demography largely support my position and I would argue it is because of the empirical data (see: Desecularization and Secularization thesis and Acceleration of 21st century desecularization).

Now you may be like some Soviet/Chinese atheist ideologues and stubbornly cling to your atheistic notion of ever expanding atheism in the world for the foreseeable future, but it is certainly not due to the evidence. By the way, the Soviet/Chinese militant atheists didn't have a lot of success when it came to their predictions (see: Collapse of atheism in the former Soviet Union and Growth of Christianity in China).

The HMS NZ Atheism ship is going down mate!

Religion and its projected global increase in the 22nd century

See: Religion and its projected increase in the 22nd century

In 2100, 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.[21]

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.[22] See: Global atheism statistics

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.[23]

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%)."[24]

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.[25]

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

See also

Notes

  1. Atheism wiki created in response to Conservapedia
  2. New Zealanders value a strong multicultural society
  3. Natalism
  4. Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  5. Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  6. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  7. "Religion In New Zealand: International Social Survey Programme" (PDF). Massey University.
  8. "Religion In New Zealand: International Social Survey Programme" (PDF). Massey University.
  9. Prof. Dr. Jens Köhrsen, University website faculty page
  10. How religious is the public sphere? – A critical stance on the debate about public religion and post-secularity, Draft Version, Jens Koehrsen (Köhrsen). Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology, Germany. École des hautes études en sciences socials, France. Published in: Acta Sociologica 55 (3), S. 273-288.
  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. Shall the religious inherit the earth? by Eric Kaufmann
  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. London: A Rising Island of Religion in a Secular Sea by Eric Kaufmann, Huffington Post, 2012
  18. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  19. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  20. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  21. 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
  22. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  23. 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
  24. The Changing Global Religious Landscape, Pew Research 2017
  25. 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)