Good news from the Barna Group, a Christian polling organization:
Atheism on the Rise
For Gen Z, “atheist” is no longer a dirty word: The percentage of teens who identify as such is double that of the general population (13% vs. 6% of all adults). The proportion that identifies as Christian likewise drops from generation to generation. Three out of four Boomers are Protestant or Catholic Christians (75%), while just three in five 13- to 18-year-olds say they are some kind of Christian (59%).
This was particularly interesting…
Teens, along with young adults, are more likely than older Americans to say the problem of evil and suffering is a deal breaker for them.
…as was this:
Nearly half of teens, on par with Millennials, say “I need factual evidence to support my beliefs” (46%)—which helps to explain their uneasiness with the relationship between science and the Bible. Significantly fewer teens and young adults (28% and 25%) than Gen X and Boomers (36% and 45%) see the two as complementary.
It all depends on which God we are talking about.
I agree that faith is consistent with reason but I would not call it a leap more of a lean.
I don’t agree with that. It’s not a ‘leap of faith’ not to believe in something.
That’s even worse.
Then what’s not a leap of faith?
Is it a leap of faith not to believe that we have a soul?
Is it a leap of faith not to believe that the accused is guilty?
You keep saying it’s a leap of faith not to believe in God, and I’ve never seen any reason for that whatsoever.
LOL! Speaking of pulling things out of one’s ass…
You’re a hoot when you’re wrong.
The total number of calculable humans who are or have ever been on Earth is right around 110 billion. The total number of Christians who are or have ever been on this planet is around 2.7 billion. So, I exaggerated. The “Christian God” concept has been held by over 2% of the total population. My bad.
In any event, your particular flavor of religion is still a rather insignificant influence.
Irrelevant to my overall point, but if it makes you feel more significant that nearly 3% or even 4% (which would be ridiculously erroneous) of the entire world population had some “Christian bled” influence, have at it. Hardly the eye-popping ultra-influential “God-Movement” most Christians claim.
You’ll get no argument from me on that point Mr. “Christianity-is-Going-to-be-the-Most-Popular-Religion”
I’m not moving anything. I answered what you asked. Did you read anything above what you quoted? Because, even though I agree with walto that the burden of proof is all yours, I still made the case. You asked me what convinced me that gods are fantasies, specifically the Christian god. That’s a fair question even though I really don’t have the burden of proof. It’s fair because I was a Christian once, and something showed me the error. I answered. Check that again, please.
No more of a burden but to tell you how I came to the realization, which I explained, even if too briefly. If it looks like fantasy reads like fantasy, has all the styles and problems of any fantasy, it’s fantasy. I realized that I had to make so many excuses for all the absurdities that it became obvious that there was nothing divine about those beliefs. You do that yourself, and you never realize. Anyway, read again what I wrote, then ask better questions, please.
Why would I have taken such a burden? Besides I explained to you already several times the problem with this “question,” and that it’s not about knowing everything but the fact that your god is a fantasy, why would I need to do such a thing? Don’t you understand that if you make such an absurd claim, that the universe is possible because of an “intelligent cause,” then it’s you who has to prove such a thing? Don’t you understand that whether I know how the universe came to be, or not, doesn’t change the fact that your god is a fantasy? Is this really that hard to understand?
What? I never said such a thing. I said that it doesn’t make sense. very different.
It’s not my opinion that the bible is not believable. It’s obvious. You have to be very clear on these: What circular reasoning exactly? What inductive evidence of creation?
No, but it is to believe we don’t have a soul.
It is a legal presumption.
Not to lack any belief about the existence of God , but to believe that He does not exist requires one.
There are approximately 2.2 billion people who claim to be Christian right now. A Generation is roughly 25 years. World population is expected to peak at 8.7 billion people in 2055. and then decline. By that time the number of Christians who ever existed will have more than doubled.
Fertility rates are already well below replacement level in many developed countries.
Most non-missionary religions are in decline and many more have already disappeared. Christianity already dwarfs most all other religions that have ever existed.
The rate of Christian expansion exceeds the overall rate of population growth in almost every country on earth. Christian growth is coming from conversion as well as replacement births. The number Christians should increase even as overall population declines.
So unless something changes Christianity will be the majority religion of all humans who ever lived at some point in the future. It’s only a question of time.
wait a minute.
Faith is not a lean forward into the unknown.
It’s a lean back to trust in the knowledge that you already have.
That sort of lean is necessary to do anything at all the only alternative is paralyzing indecision.
I think that is exactly what it is, without risk no faith is required.
No trust is required if you have the knowledge already.
That doesn’t make sense. Have you thought this through?
You had your ass handed to you by an atheist pretending to be a follower of the fake religion of Rumraketism. That’s right. You couldn’t even defend Christianity against a fake religion. That’s gotta sting.
I think I put that too broadly. It would be a leap of faith not to believe in the cars, hats and desires–say by pushing phenomenalism or some Matrix-type view. But it is no leap of faith to fail to believe in some theoretical explainer like God. Otoh, it is at least close to such a leap to substitute one’s judgment for accepted science. Too much successful tech.
Well, I do. I even (don’t be shocked) question the details of the alleged rôle model, Bishop Nikolaos of Myra or Nicholas of Bari, certainly claims of intercession. The early and Medieval Church had a vested interest in miracles.
Santa Claus, to me, means Disney cartoon portrayal, rosy cheeks, fat, insincerity. Yours?
Yet that was a somewhat arbitrary collection of texts assembled around the Third Century AD, I think. Were any of those texts written as history as we might claim for Herodotus?
In what way? In attempting to see them other than story telling?
Or is it cherrypicking?
Not even persuasive enough for you to bone up on? Not likely to convince skeptics, is it?
Lumping together “Jesus and his divinity” is where you lose me. Evidence that supports a historical figure may exist, arguably, but there is no evidence for his divinity
Again, I have no problem considering the lives of possibly historical figures. But this says nothing about God and divinity. It is evidence only that people believed these things.
The Universe, its nature, purpose and origins is a huge mystery. Huge! Saying God done it adds nothing to understanding the Universe.
You don’t explain the huge mystery by adding little mysteries.
I completely agree and feel the same.
What I’ve read seems consistent with an assemblage of texts written by various different people at different times and for different reasons. It’s not a coherent whole. Certainly doesn’t persuade me about Gods and divinity, only about the breadth of human imagination.
Which is still insignificant compared to the total 110 billion people who have existed. What part of that is too complex for you?
Totally irrelevant to my point.
Fine. So Christianity is the least insignificant insignificant blip of a religion. Whoopie…
The issue you seem to be missing is that unless Christians start populating the world at a rate of 10s of billions a year, it will still be but a thimble of water in an entire ocean as far as it’s significance is concerned. There will ALWAYS be ridiculously more non-Christians who have ever lived.
LOL! You’re not very good at math.
But you would have the burden of proof if you claimed that Bishop Nikolaos was a fantasy. Would you not?
It would be a little presumptuous to assume that all other people shared your particular idea of Santa Clause. Don’t you agree?
If when you say God is a fantasy you are only talking about the cartoon character that looks like Jerry Garcia then you would not have the burden of proof.
If your statement is stronger than that you might need to provide some evidence.
I really haven’t given it much thought. Santa Claus is pretty irrelevant to my life. At my house we never acted as if he existed there were no presents that were purportedly from him. His existence and description just are not a subject I spend a lot of time on.
I would certainly not be motivated to go around claiming that Santa was a fantasy to strangers on the internet. To do so would be rude and presumptuous and Ive got better things to do with my time.
Do you have any evidence of what these 110 people believed? You are acting as if it’s a binary choice Christianity against the beliefs of everyone else. I would doubt that most of the people who have ever existed had any sort of organized religion. From my perspective many of the religions of the the world can be seen as proto-christian.
A quote from Paul as he shared Christianity with pagans might be useful.
For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
You need to look at the bigger picture
Most folks think Humans have existed for something like 50,000 to 100,000 years give or take .
At the rate of expansion it will only take a tiny fraction of that time for Christianity to be the majority religion of everyone who ever existed. It will happen in a blink of an eye from the viewpoint of evolutionary or cosmological time.
Once again, completely missing the point. See my comment about Plantinga’s “Properly Basic Belief” and my note above about the Christian tendency to egocentrically and arrogantly hold their dogma as the basis of everyone else’s god/spirituality. It isn’t. That’s the point. Of the 110 billion people who have roamed this planet, only a handful ever embraced the “Christian God” concept. Thus, folks like you and Plantinga present an invalid and untrustworthy assessment of your religion’s influence. If you can’t be honest about your religion and the basis of what you claim is the foundation of everything you do, why in the world would I or anyone trust anything else you have to say?
No…it isn’t. Paul was as untrustworthy as you.
‘fraid this isn’t on me. I would suggest you might try some actual examination of just how important your particular blip of a religious perspective really is (or isn’t).
LOL! You’re still demonstrating that you don’t get math. Assuming the current Christian growth rate continues, it will take some 1200 years, plus or minus about 50 years, for Christianity to even reach HALF the total number of people who have ever existed. And there’s a lot of ifs in even that optimistic projection (like no increase of any other religion during that time and no increase in atheism or any other secularization.) Most projections I’ve seen show a trend that places Christianity as a total domination in about 6000 years. Let me know how that goes.
To simply lack a belief either way, to be genuinely agnostic, is one thing. But to endorse the proposition that God doesn’t exist involves a leap of faith.
The basic idea I have in mind is the argument that William James runs in “The Will To Believe” (PDF) (commentary here and here). James argues that there are contexts where we don’t have time to wait for all possible evidence to come in before making a decision. After all rational argument is over and done, our “passional nature” also gets a vote in what we believe. And James thinks that it would be an unreasonable or excessive intellectualism — an irrational theory of human nature — to imagine that our passional nature does not or should not get a vote as to what we believe.
With that background, my point was only that atheism involves our passional nature — our affects, drives, moods, emotions, attitudes — just as much as theism does. I think that’s true, and I don’t think that’s an objection to either.
Whether we are drawn to a worldview of immanence (naturalism) or transcendence (theism) is much more about the structure of our affective investments, degree of sexual and/or aggressive repression, and emotion-tuned valuing than it is selecting a scientific theory on the basis of available evidence.
KN, to walto:
Your original statement was much stronger:
Have you backed away from that stronger claim?
No it doesn’t. You’d have to start by explaining what you mean by “God.” But let’s say we’re talking about fmm’s version of the Christian god. It’s obviously a fantasy. Cannot possibly exist. Why? So absurd that it’s existence is just not possible. For example: supposedly to be known to exist by everybody: nope. I don’t know that such a god exists, this single instance falsifies this god. Then it’s supposed to be The Reason for Logic [TM]. But a reason for logic is an incoherent concept, from the implied equivocations, to the circular incoherence, thus this magical being cannot possibly exist. Then it’s supposed to know everything, yet be conscious and intelligent, but consciousness and intelligence are necessarily attributes of limited beings, since consciousness is about interacting with our surroundings, and intelligence about deciding what to do with what we have learned. So it’s incoherent for a being who knows everything, and has no needs whatsoever, to be conscious and intelligent. This being is supposed to be all powerful, but, when we start pointing to problems with this concept (like the paradox of the rock too heavy to be lift by this imaginary being), we get Christians to say that the magical being is limited by “his” nature (which would make me all-powerful too, but let’s leave that aside). Well, if it’s limited, then it’s not all-powerful, so there yet another incoherence.
This can go on and on and on. If you examine the stories, there, more incoherences, if you examine this and that claim, more incoherence.
This is not about the probability of something being hidden behind a billion trillion rocks across the galaxy. The problem with gods is coherence and the well known tendency of people to make up stories involving super-magical beings. That thing about agnosticism is poor philosophy.
Who needs to endorse that proposition? We’re just waiting for the first good reason to think that God does exist, if not with much hope.
I think most of us tell theists that it’s fine if they want to believe. Which really does have a kind of dig to it, since few want to admit to believe just because they want to, but nevertheless, who is particularly concerned if FMM never thinks better than we’ve seen thus far? It’s the attempts to control the discussion that are appalling.
But of course the reason theists generally end up being very annoying is that they’re doing anything but admitting that they’re basing their belief on their passional nature. They want to act like the existence of atoms somehow is evidence of design, or some such nebulous nonsense. I’m none too sure that theology is where we lack much time to consider the issues, even if many have really not before deciding the matter (both ways, too).
I actually think that’s about as far away from my experience as I can imagine. I’m hardly passional or passionate about it, and would rather not call myself “atheist” except that it’s the simple label to use. To be sure, I’m also not interested in converting anyone to atheism, but I am interested in combating frequent bad arguments based on the desire for theism.
You used to occassionally call yourself an apatheist, as I recall, so I have no idea why you’re taking nearly the opposite stance now.
Maybe that’s often true, but I actually went back to a sort of “theism” at one point because I thought I just liked the idea of a god or gods existing, and possibly a kind of spiritual dimension to the world. But I knew it was fake, and eventually just had to admit to myself that it wasn’t something I could really believe. So I gave that up.
The truth is that I just can’t see any basis for religious claims. I think I’d be pleased if at least some existed. To see a real miracle would be great, I think.
I basically agree with the ‘it’s just too wack’ stance.
Great, we have common ground.
This is a similar objection of Bart Erhman.
The book that got me to take it more seriously was “A case for Christ by Lee Strobel.”
See, that’s the point. One has to actually make a case.
I just read your explanation and it does not explain anything other then your opinion that the stories inside the bibles are fantasies. If you feel you don’t have the burden of proof that is fine, however a belief based on no burden of proof seems weak.
I think that the case for the resurrection is sound based on historical evidence. I have heard many debates on the subject and think the resurrection being real has the strongest case. I assume you disagree.
This is not solid logically.
Four legged animals eat meat.
Eating meat is a necessary attribute of 4 legged animals
Therefore two legged animals don’t eat meat or two legged animals that eat meat is an incoherent concept.
Bill, your example does not reflect what Entropy is noting.
Intelligence and consciousness are temporal characteristics. They CAN’T not be. So there is a contradiction in the concept of an entity that is both intelligent/conscious and all knowing. You really can’t have both.
There are all sorts of such contradictions in the bible that just make the Christian God impossible. For example, there are passages in the bible that refer to God actively making decisions, but omniscience would negate that ability completely. There can be no such thing as choice, negotiation, assessment, etc, for an entity that already knows all things.
Of course it is. Pretty solid.
Not at all like what I explained. Four legs are not distinctly linked to eating meat, while intelligence and consciousness are distinctly about dealing with limitations. A being that has no limitations has no use for systems that are all about dealing with limitations. It is thus incoherent to propose the existence of a being that has attributes proper of limited beings.
Think about it carefully this time.
An omniscient being would be co-extensive with a static existence, assuming time is a dimension. Not entirely unlike what physicists posit as existence.
You don’t include a being that can have presence inside and outside our space-time. This is where Entropy’s argument fails.
You should read the whole thing carefully before responding. There’s no failure on my part. There’s serious failure in your understanding.
I still elaborated. I hope you find that insightful. I doubt I can convince you, but you should understand how easily the Bible, for example, looks like fantasy to an unbiased reader.
Yep. I disagree. For one, creationists start by making up pretty low standards for historical research. The they proceed on that basis. This is actually quite funny, because the creationists are first admitting that the evidence is shallow at best, but justify their “inference” based on proposing that history has very poor standards, therefore the resurrection is historically true! Translation: “We know this is crap, but crap is acceptable in some field, therefore the resurrection is in solid ground.” What!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Also, well, no amount of arguing for the resurrection can make up for the fantasy-nature of so much of the Bible (other parts are cultural accounts, laws, etc.). I’ve heard, of the reality of the existence of Egypt, as evidence that the Bible is historically true. What? England exists, London exists, that doesn’t make Harry Potter historically true! It’s still fantasy!
If God can exist in two different states (inside and outside space-time) then your arguments don’t hold up. The limitations exist when he enters our space-time. So he can have both limited and unlimited qualities depending on location.
This is precisely the issue that theists can’t seem to grasp. Intelligence allows us humans to make assessments about the world around us, and then make predictions and decisions based on those assessments. Entities that already know everything would never make any kind of assessment, let alone any sort of prediction or decision. Ever. It’s a non-starter.
Yet another example of why Christian claims about God or gods are just not trustworthy.
I don’t disagree here and I have trouble with stories like Noah’s arch, the age of Noah etc.
I do disagree about the resurrection but you have strong feelings here and I respect that and am not in a position to challenge your feelings.
Just the whole bundle of implications of the supposed characteristics of the Christian God make it an utterly absurd concept in my book.
No it doesn’t. In fact being inside AND outside space-time (whatever that could actually mean given quantum entanglement and relativity) only compounds the issue.
This assumes the existence of atoms outside space-time.
It’s quantum-woo for J-Mac, and outside-of-space-time woo for colewd.
Fortunately, neither has much relation to observable reality.
Perhaps there are meta-meta gods that torment gods.
Good, but Fwiw, that’s contrary to positions you’ve taken elsewhere on this thread.
No it doesn’t. It does assume that something that could “exist” outside space-time (whatever that could be conceived as meaning given what we do in fact know about space-time now) would have no meaning in terms of “existence” within space-time.
What is the current growth rate exactly?? How did you come by the data?
1200 years is just a fraction of the time humanity has existed If we assume you are correct Christianity would have went from zero to the majority faith of all humans that ever existed in less than 3,500 years. That is nothing sort of astounding.
Think about it, that is less than 7% of the time humans have been around.
That amount of time is a drop in the bucket of the million or so years Mammalian species typically last.
What exactly is the “Christian God” concept?
I will be the first to grant that the Christian God is not like lesser deities and if your point is that most folks choose to reject the Christian God you will get no argument from me.
However Christianity is a revealed religion and your knowledge of God will depend on the revelation you have received.
A small child will have a less developed understanding of God than an adult and a person born in a country with no history of Christianity will have a less developed understanding than a person raised in a Christian home with access to Scripture and a heart to understand it .
None of that changes the fact that Christianity is growing rapidly and will be the majority faith of all humans that ever existed if something does not change.
“Nearly half of teens, on par with Millennials, say “I need factual evidence to support my beliefs” (46%)—which helps to explain their uneasiness with the relationship between science and the Bible.”
Science = Observation + Assumptions, Facts Selection, Extrapolations, Interpretations…
Assumptions, Facts Selection, Extrapolations, Interpretations… = Sum of Axiomatic Beliefs
Sum of Axiomatic Beliefs = Religion …therefore,
Science = Observation + Religion
check it out
Did the Incarnation exist before the Universe existed?