September 8th, 2015

Quaero togam pacem.
  • mahnmut

Whither religion?

We've often heard of the Evangelical segment of the electorate. Or the Mormon segment. Or the Jewish segment. But little is being told of the second-largest segment in America, and arguably the fastest-growing: atheists, or more broadly, non-believers. And they're rising worldwide. And surprisingly or not, being an open atheist may no longer be a hindrance to getting elected to top office.

In fact, there's a process of polarization in the religious respect as well as in the political one: while religiosity might be growing overall worldwide, so is atheism. Of course, many religious people are worried by the latter trend. Some believe it poses a danger. As if the lack of belief in an imaginary celestial boss equals lack of moral and ethics. We've heard that argument so many times.

My point here is about the reasons for the rise of non-belief. One explanation could be that the world is gradually turning away from religion because for a long time people have been witnessing how religion is "lacking" in some important departments. Like this discrepancy that religions generally like to preach about peace and good will, while at the same time they have been used to justify and even encourage the wholesale slaughter of people who question them or refuse to adhere to them. Contrary to its purported purpose of helping man, religion has ended up generally being a factor for oppression (social and intellectual), and censorship of knowledge and intellectual independence.

And of course, many religions tend to have some ideas that are outright appalling, concerning how people should live their lives and what they can or cannot do with their own bodies.

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