Monday, October 23, 2017

You've been flanked! (Alternate title: I'll turn you into a newt!)

The cess-pool atheist blogs I visit (there is also a cess-pool of Christian blogs--I do hope my head is above water) have long bragged about America's move from religiosity, such as is documented in this Pew survey:

But of course they have nothing much to boast about--the growth in the category "atheist" is quite modest--it's the so-called "nones" that are growing.

Well, the first comment I'd make is one I've made before--the decline in the number of self-identified Christians in the US is a good thing. As the stigma associated with being an atheist or other non-Christian wanes, perhaps more non-Christians will come out of the unbelieving closet and out of the pews, were they don't belong. Now I am of course not talking about "seekers" (whatever that means) or just the plain curious--I'm talking about those who have been self-identifying as Christians, inflating the numbers of Christians in the US (which makes us susceptible to be blamed for, well, everything) and going to church for years out of peer and/or familial pressure. They should just stop. It's a win-win if they do not feel pressure to lie about their beliefs--or lack of beliefs.

My second comment is that the previously mentioned atheist blogs like to imply that the "new atheists" are winning, and science is somehow winning (presumably in its make-believe war against faith) and rationalism and modernism are fueling this unprecedented abandonment of religion.

Um, no. Sorry, at least according to a recent USA Today article, millennials are not scampering from the superstitions of religion into the out-stretched welcoming arms of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. They are embracing witchcraft and astrology:
Meanwhile, more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. compared to less than 8% of the Chinese public. The psychic services industry — which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services — grew 2% between 2011 and 2016. It is now worth $2 billion annually, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.
Sorry self-proclaimed uber-rational atheists. You are not winning. You are now fighting a war on two fronts. Sucks to be you.

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