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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Will religion soon be a thing of the past?

January 21st, 2010
02:44 PM ET

The number of people who consider themselves to be religious, continues to drop around the world, especially in places like the United States.

Over the course of the past ten years, the number of Christians in the U.S. dropped by a staggering 11 percent.

Even the Buddhist religion is struggling to keep followers.

A group of Japanese monks are finding it so hard to attract young people that they have adapted their teaching methods to include rap music and serving alcohol.

It's a similar situation in a number of religions around the world.

It begs the question - will organized religion soon be a thing of the past?

How do you think different faiths will attract followers? Will they need to resort to things like rap music?

We'd like to know what you think.

Please leave your comments below.


Filed under:  General
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Jeffsg

    Yes, of course. It's all a bunch of mumble-jumble, hocus-pocus anyway. All of that mystical crap has no place in the Information Age.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  2. Nicolaas

    Rap music thats terrible those organized religon folks will have to resort to metal if they want me anywhere near their.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  3. k angle

    No, Look at the people who ARE christians, the quality of their lives and the depth of their commitment.

    We've only lost the people who were taught poor religion instead of being shown the rationality of following the mesiah

    Christians and Muslims both recognize the mesiah as the one God sent to show that simply following the straight path (10 commandments, LOVE your neighbor ACTIVELY so it shows) brings you into God's kingdom now and forever.

    All other theology such as the attonement concept... the idea that God requires a blood sacrifice for all sin were developed by religions which took the idea over from the Jerwish tradition since Jesus's death SEEMD so much like that to the first jewish christians like Paul.

    But if you look to what the Christ actually said himself you have to read some things into it to come to this conclusion.

    His death was necessary for God to show that he could and would overcome mortal death through his ressurection

    To take the mesiah and turn him into a God himself is directly contrary to his clear teaching when he stopped his followers from venerating him saying "only God is good" (or Holy in some translations). The Catholic church did this for many centuries but there is no basis for it in Jesus's teaching.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  4. Will Robinson

    What makes people wary of religion are all the hocus-pocus stories (see above) and a general move away from the core of all religions: the golden rule. I am one of many who have moved away from religion as I've advance in age (and wisdom), but I am heartened by movements to bring the golden rule back to the forefront. One such movement is from TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong: the Charter for Compassion.

    http://www.charterforcompassion.org

    January 21, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  5. Jongi

    Religion is the drug of the masses. Humans use drugs to take the edge off of life, and use religion to take the edge off of death. Spirituality is in each individual. People suffer while churches of all religions grow fat with our money, feeding us fear that if we do not donate our earnings, our souls will not go to the promised land. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    January 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  6. ninjanaut13

    this isn't anything new. Christianity has been using every genre of music available for the past decade, yet it still declines. Music is a way to vent which is what the new followers of Buddhism are doing, venting, music should not be used as a teaching source. What have you learned from music?

    January 21, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  7. DONNA NGUETCHANG

    Are you people all nuts are something? We need to stay with the old way christians are. The truth of the bible is for real. What you people are saying is nuts. Most of this music is crazy and this is what is killing our children today. As far as the churches getting richer, That is true. But let GOD deal with these people. They have it coming to them if they use church money the wrong way. They know what they are doing and the LORD will punish them. But we are suppose to give GOD our 10% the bible says so. Here are some verses for all of you people to remember.

    1 Thessalonians 5
    1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

    2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

    4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

    5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

    6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

    7For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

    8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

    9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

    10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

    11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

    12And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

    13And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

    14Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

    15See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

    16Rejoice evermore.

    17Pray without ceasing.

    18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

    19Quench not the Spirit.

    20Despise not prophesyings.

    21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

    22Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    23And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    24Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

    25Brethren, pray for us.

    26Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

    27I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

    28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen

    Genesis 28:22 (King James Version)

    22And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  8. Scaleof1to2

    In order to determine the future of religion in general we must examine how world religions arose in the first place. Almost uniformly they teach "good" ways to live, and though many have been altered to fit the times, they remain a guiding light in the toughest times of human history. During the nazi occupation many jews found hope in religion and spirituality, despite being persecuted for it. Christianity made a huge comeback during the middle ages because it is designed to give hope to those that have none. The promise of life after death is a theme in many popular belief systems all over the world.

    however all of these widely accepted beliefs are riddled with fallacy. Too often do people take parables literally. So what if jesus didn't feed 5k with some fish and some wonder bread. it's a parable about sharing. religion is ruined in all fields by extremists and nut jobs (if you'll pardon the phrase). Islam has Al Qaeda, Christianity has the KKK.

    all in all many religions suit the time they arose in. most being in an agricultural or warring community. so it is not so surprising that all religions are wavering in these modern times. After all, we know the world is round, and they thought the world was flat. we know the earth revolves around the sun, and they thought the opposite. is it really so ludicrous a suggestion that they got some other things wrong as well? such as the existence of god in general? There is nothing wrong with faith, but i can't stand people with obnoxious and ignorant belief systems that do not even allow for the possibilities science has presented to them.

    January 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  9. Ray

    Religion itself does not need to change in order to gain more followers. It's the faithful that must change. If people want others to convert to their religion, they must be able to present a genuine lifestyle that is both beneficial and desirable.

    True religion should be all about compassion, humility, and gratitude. If your religion has those elements, and portrays them effectively, then gaining converts shouldn't be a problem. My religion (Christianity) has those elements, but often fails to communicate them due to the faithful and their lack of sincerity.

    My $ .02

    January 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  10. John

    When taking an educated guess about the future,
    one should use the information provided to him from the past.
    Is there any reason to assume somthing which has been around for 1,000 years, or 2,000 years, should disappear in the near or distant future? (atleast the ammount of time it has existed untill now!)
    There will always been people continuing the tradditions handed down to them, as long as the source of the tradations are rooted in truth. The question and answer is always rooted in looking to the source of the matter, and investigating it without bias, only on hte merits in which it stands, and based on this one will be able to make an educated guess on which relegions, if any, will continue and which will not.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  11. Adam

    A world without intolerance and terrorism? One can only hope. The sooner religion is extinguished the better off we'll all be.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  12. Ed Leaders

    LMFAO

    You'll meet the person who convinces you all there is no God shortly after death.

    So stupid you are.

    Think about it.

    If there IS a God and you choose not to believe it you have condemned yourself.

    We will NEVER see an end to religion / spirituality. Religion / spirituality is the the thread of the fabric that protects society.

    We will ALWAYS see the numbers of those who actively participate go up and down...but there is always a tragedy around the corner that brings it back.

    Haitie is a great example.

    As third world societies embrace the culture of the US those societies will also see a decline in active participation. They know that and it is the reason they fight so dedicatedly to prevent it.

    But as the US has shown... a depletion of the moral fabric of a society will NEVER eliminate religious beliefs.

    When religion is removed from our governing bodies....well we see what is happening here in the US.

    Need I say more?

    January 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  13. Mike

    Religions will ebb and flow with the times, and to view all religions based on what American Christians believe or do is short-sighted. All religious organizations will need to evolve or their numbers will dwindle. Does anyone reading this belong to the same religion as the Neaderthals, Mayans, Egyptions, etc. My point is that the need for a religion will not go away, but without a practice or set of beliefs that resonates with the individual that need goes unfulfilled. Humans need to believe in something more than themselves, even if that religion is one called "Technology".

    January 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  14. Dildo Gaggins

    One can only hope

    January 21, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  15. Sadiq

    I am not entirely sure about drinks and rap to attract followers for a religion. Religion in its purest form should be sufficient enough to do so. Else, it does not have a place in time.

    As a muslim who watches everyday on the TV how extremist have ruined the image of my beautiful religion by taking many things out of context and completely going against its teachings, I find it harder by the day to engage a non muslim (or even a non religious person for that matter) who does not have a preconceived notion about the religion.

    Looking around me every day at a micro and macro level, I get more convinced that we cannot be out here by coincidence. Where did the single cell come from and why did it have to "evolve" in the first place for example?

    January 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  16. Riz

    If the religion is really from god it, what is the point of resorting to ways to make it attractive to the masses. True way of life does is not tied to time and place and if it is true, people will embrace it without additions or subtractions.

    I was surprised to see that CNN failed to mention the most populous and fastest growing of all religions, Islam in its article. Perhaps, this is the only religion (way of life rather) that answers most of your questions. Yes, most religions will become past since they were tampered with and the only one from god in its entirety will remain.

    Some comments were commendable in nature (like the one from 'Scaleof1to2') but the writer has not done his homework well enough. One is qualified to comment only on what he/she has researched and reached to a conclusion. For example "After all, we know the world is round, and they thought the world was flat. we know the earth revolves around the sun, and they thought the opposite" but the "Quran" conforms completely with modern science. A single contradiction and it cannot be the word of god has been the claim of "Islam".

    So use logic, reason and a little bit of research before dwelling into discussions. My comments were not intended at hurting someones sentiments but if it had that effect please forgive me.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  17. ramiro

    religion should been on the past for thousands years ago
    religion don't takes you no where. seek for the truth, Jesus didn't like religious people. he always said seeks for the truth. Jesus said he came to speak the truth not religion. human makes religion

    January 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  18. Andrew

    Anyone who thinks "religion" is dying is either blind, stupid, in denial or totally clueless. Anyone who has a basic education and studied world history knows religion has been around since the beginning of humanity and will continue to be till the end of the human race. Even the atheists have their own religion of "believing" in no God. Humanists believe in humanity's supremacy; academics believe in scholastics; etc. Everyone will place their faith and core belief in something or someone. So religion will always exist as it has since the beginning of the human race. To believe otherwise is to brand yourself an idiot.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  19. free_thinker

    "Will religion soon be a thing of the past?"

    One lives in hope that this will eventually come to pass...

    Rid the world of religious nut-cases (and there are LOTS of them) and we'd all be a lot safer – in flight and on the ground...

    Let's get Sam Harris' book "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason" on the required reading list for all high-school senior English classes – that would be a great start...

    January 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  20. LovingJesus

    My prayer is that "religion" will be, in fact, a thing of the past....Relationship is what Christ is after. He desires our hearts and our lifestyles should be a reflection of the relationship that we have with Him (Chist). He will never be a "thing" of the past. He's everlasting. Try him out, He's the BEST thing ever :-)

    January 21, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  21. mercedes

    good riddance.

    January 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  22. KATIE

    To all the bible thumpers in the world it is time you realized that yours is not the only religion, and that it may in fact be the wrong religion. As for the buddhist monks, I am saddened to hear that they have resorted to such low tactics to draw followers. Alcohol and rap music is not what buhddism is about. I do hope they stop that practice very soon. No matter what anyone says I do not believe it is the end of organized religion. There will always be people looking for answers and enlightenment, although as time goes on, they may find them in the strangest of places.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  23. Vince

    Contrary to the image portrayed by this article, Buddhism is actually growing in the West. Zen Buddhism and Tibettan Buddhism are among the fastest growing religions in Western countries, especially among the well educated, who are attracted by the philosophical and atheistic nature of Buddhism.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  24. TW

    Perhaps the 11% drop is less a decrease in the number of actual Christians, but rather folks who previously claimed to be a Christian out of family tradition, etc, and are now answer polls with a "no" or "don't know".

    January 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  25. Vince

    CNN and the writer of this article are WAY off the mark. If Religion is dying, why does the "Christian Right" dominate US politics? Why is the Islamic world being radicalized? If anything, I find most religons are becoming more extreme, not the other way around.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  26. Tomas

    Spirituality, soulfulness, love to one another: by all means, YES!

    Religion: just say NO!

    January 21, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  27. Josh

    Most religions appear to have a main theme, which is "Utopian" ideas to continue a functional society. In religious scripture, certain people may find meaning, answers, and hopefully a positive message. From Hammurabi's code to the New Testament, I see a general connection. I find that more people seek spirituality in this "New Age" rather than to be confined to one sect. Over the years and centuries past, many religions formed different splinter groups to tweak them to their advantage. I am curious to see what religion will be like in the next century. Will people still believe in stories like Noah's Arc? The Earth is 4,000 years old? Or will we see a universal understanding of spiritually and unite the world instead of fighting over things we never really comprehend in the first place?

    January 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  28. Jeremy

    We can only hope that religion continues to fade, as all it does is delay mass acceptance of scientific truth and cause people to kill one another. Hopefully one day soon the absurd tenets presented by ALL religions will be removed as an obstacle to human progress.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  29. Will

    For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those being saved it is the power of God.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  30. Shane

    Historically religious followers have increased in times of turmoil such as major wars, famine, disease and poverty, and decreased in times of prosperity. Relatively speaking we are in prosperous times. The next major global event will spurn a new religious awakening. The recent Iraq Afganistan wars, swine flu, and recession are small potatoes at a historical scale. Lets just hope something big doesn't happen in our lifetime.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:25 am | Reply
  31. infosurgent

    It is interesting to see all of the apparently Christian individuals deride everyone who doesn't agree with them as stupid and misinformed, when in fact I think some of them may be. For example, every story in The Bible is a rehash of stories that were ancient when Jesus was born. Jesus himself is just an archetype for another messianic figure known as Mithras. With the advent of always connected communication people have now become more informed about the true nature of religions like Christianity and maybe finally feel a need to free themselves from the

    @Ed Leaders: As far as religion protecting society? The Crusades did very little to protect society, you know with all of the "holy warriors" raping and pillaging the Middle East unprovoked. Let's look at other examples of how religion has protected society so well. The wars between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants in the 16th century (Christians fighting each other no less); The Thirty Years War; The Taiping Rebellion.

    Everyone has a right to believe what they will. However, none of us can stand on a high ground and say their religion or belief is paramount and the rest of us are idiots for not believing that as well. Maybe that could also be part of the reason that some people have left the church, mosque or synagogue.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:28 am | Reply
  32. jim

    I think everyone should study Bible prophecy. That is one are atheists will not touch. The Bible says in the last days there will be apostasy.
    People will fall away and turn from Christ. Just look at all the natural disasters. The Bible says the creation is groaning for the return of its Creator.

    Jesus Christ is God!

    January 22, 2010 at 1:13 am | Reply
  33. adamz

    People! No-one knows what this is all about. Jesus might very well have been the son of God, or he may have been a nice guy who happened to be around at the right time to have his life and death written about. Has anyone actually talked to God recently? Might it be that God is in your head only, just like the rest of the universe – to you – is in your head only (assuming that we receive the outside world from our senses)?

    Who are you as a Christian to tell everyone else what the truth is? What right do you as a Muslim, Jew or Hindu have to do it? Would a potential God create such a world where we fight each other? Are we too stupid to learn the lessons of Jesus and other similar martyrs or religion-spawning people? Or are they not lessons at all but merely a testament to what we do to people like them? Is God testing us or is no-one at all testing us?

    Is it not time to follow yourself and your own beliefs (whatever they are) instead of labelling yourself, others and everything? What are words anyway?

    What would Jesus do? What would Buddha do? What would God do? What do you do, and are you willing to die for it to meet your God (or gods)? What does God-fearing mean?

    All religions share one thing: the golden rule.

    January 22, 2010 at 2:09 am | Reply
  34. Jake

    As a 24 year old American, I can tell you that my peers and I have learned that we have no need for the supernatural religions of our parents and grandparents. By the time of our childrens generation, religious Americans will be the minority. Science has for hundreds of years continued to marginalize religion, and will do so in the future as well.

    Religion was a way to explain things that normal people couldn't comprehend at the time, such as earthquakes, lightning, and death. Fortunately, we know know the causes of all these things. What we don't know yet, we will soon. I look forward to the day that America is run by educated, intelligent, and always-questioning people, and bid good riddance to the days of superstition, fear mongering, and the trampling of social rights that religion has given us for so many years.

    January 22, 2010 at 2:13 am | Reply
  35. Nonni

    The world would be so much better off is religion disappeared all together.

    January 22, 2010 at 3:05 am | Reply
  36. Shaaf S.

    i think that religion will soon be eliminated as the people of today are too smart to be following something as petty as religion. in my opinion religion is nothing but a way of controlling people who have no self control, and as we can see from the world around us, clearly people could use some sort of control. although i do blame religion has something to do with why people are blowing them self up for this "allah" dude. anyways i say lets all become atheists so we can live a free and happy life.

    January 22, 2010 at 3:12 am | Reply
  37. Kevin C.

    I think religions as we know them will become a thing of the past. After all, Christianity today is considerably different than it was even 100 years ago, and radically different than it was 1,000 years ago. However, religion will always persist. People will always fear the unknown. They will always need comfort and hope. Many peoples' lives are too dreary to not believe in some sort of supernatural being who has a destiny for them and who loves them.

    January 22, 2010 at 3:21 am | Reply
  38. Leslie

    I'm only 29 years old, earned my Masters of Divinity, and am an ordained Christian minister. (So much for the younger generation abandoning religion!) But seriously, I don't think we need to worry about losing what's at the heart of most major religions: 1.) belief in an all-encompassing force for goodness and love in the world 2.) belief in the innate worth of all of people and creation and 3.) hope. I think what the younger generation is rejecting more and more is the narrow, exclusive, nature of world religions... Being told that questioning or believing differently is wrong, being told that only certain people are worthy of God's love, or being told that we (humans) absolutely know what's in the mind of God. When kids grow up seeing women running corporations and even governments, but have few female religious leaders, it creates a disconnect. When youth are told that "God is love" but that God hates (insert group here), the contradiction forever turns them off to religion. When intelligent people are told to ignore scientific evidence and natural phenomena, and instead swallow ancient mythology, religion loses its authority. We (religious leaders) need to focus more on the great mysteries of faith rather than on our own political agendas.

    January 22, 2010 at 3:42 am | Reply
  39. Phil

    OK. You're in a dark alley with two beings: God and the Devil. One of them wants you to believe that both of them exist. The other wants you to believe that neither of them exists. You figure it out. And when you do, you'll also know who wants you to believe that religion will one day cease to exist.

    January 22, 2010 at 4:31 am | Reply
  40. Phil

    Regarding the question, "How will different faiths attract followers?"...the answer is by helping them find the truth. There really is such a thing, and honest people will admit to having a longing for it. The thing about the truth, though, is that it might be hard to accept, especially if it goes against what a person wishes were true or, harder yet, against how they behave or how they see themselves. Another spin on my question posted earlier... Think of two beings: God and the Devil. One wants you to believe that there is a difference between right and wrong. The other one wants you to believe there is no difference. Who's who? Alternately, one wants you to believe that there is absolute truth. The other wants you to believe that it's all relative, so *you* can define right and wrong. Who's who. (Sigh.) Henry Ford once said, "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few people engage in it." Think. For your sake, and for the sake of your fellow human beings and the world we all live in, please, think.

    January 22, 2010 at 4:45 am | Reply
  41. robotbob

    man is a communal beast. mother nature made us that way. religion is nothing more than a cultural affectation of the basic drive to be communal. god is merely glandular.

    January 22, 2010 at 4:53 am | Reply
  42. Dr RatstaR

    Tax all property the same. End tax breaks for religion. Elsewhere in CNN tonight they are talking about all the money that Mega-churches are bringing in. Mega-taxes for Mega-churches.

    The Christians stole all their Holidays from us Pagans. Thiefs.

    Paganism is the one true spirituality, religion is a cheap imitations.

    I will gladly pay you in the afterlife, for a hamburger today.

    @ Ed Leaders – Suppose you meet Buddha or the Flying Spaghetti Monster after you die. So stupid you are.

    Look at what has happened to our country since the beginning of this century, when Dubya took office, thanks to the political influence of the tax-exempt Christians. Christianity in government is the reason we are in the mess we are today.

    In God We Trust? I would like to see the Golden Rule printed on our money instead. In the Golden Rule We Trust.

    Haiti is a prime example. Thousands of children born into poverty and slavery. Those people are in prime need of Planned Parenthood. Every human life is precious. Christians with their power and money hungry policies and their refusal to preach birth control contribute to human misery many times over in this world.

    One of these days the human race will cast off the superstition and ignorance of religions and enter the enlightened era. Maybe.

    Dr RatstaR -Viet Nam Era Vet -

    January 22, 2010 at 5:30 am | Reply
  43. Randy

    I was once a strong Roman Catholic but realized exactly how contradictory my religion was.
    I became an atheist despite my families shock and I'm glad I did.
    Because I personally don't think the enormous universe we are so lucky to find ourselves in, was created specifically for us by a deity. Which should make us all the more lucky and glad to be alive than if someone purposely created us.

    January 22, 2010 at 5:37 am | Reply
  44. Jed

    Religion is on the way out, the only hope for it is some type of global disaster, almost certainly as a result of the war between Christians and Moslems. If humanity continues to progess thru the 21st century religion will be increasingly viewed as dangerous nonsense. Faith and force require one another. When you cannot convince someone your argument is correct thru reason, the only method left to you is violence. This is particularly the cases with montheistic, evangelical religon, but all religions are on the way out.

    January 22, 2010 at 5:58 am | Reply
  45. discclaimer

    it is arrogant to assume that people in the past did not operate by reason, and that the future will be viable only for people who operate by empiricism and science. i believe that humans are all people with some belief system that they live by and some ideology or central fact that they worship. for me, that is God – the fact that He is and has always been existent. for "people of reason" they will worship the god of science... the only problem is that "science" offers no clean reason for loving or caring for others – thus, atheists should have no desire to have compassion on suffering individuals, like those in haiti right now. but as it stands, non-religious humanitarian aid is being given in that country – thus, humans are not cut-and-dry "reasoning" people – i believe that we were all given a yearning to care for other people because God has put it in our hearts, as he has also put it in our hearts to seek truth and to long for meaningful existence and eternity...

    in response to "free_thinker" perhaps we should also put "reason for God" by Tim Keller or "mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis or "Confessions" by St. Augustine on the required reading list, the first and the second for their philosophical content and the third because it is a classic piece of writing. for an educational system that is so largely focused on studying the past, it seems to forget how huge a part faith has played in the creation of all things cultural and scientific... so, again, let's not be arrogant about ourselves and fool ourselves into thinking that we are smarter or more logical than those who have gone before us.

    January 22, 2010 at 6:39 am | Reply
  46. Thomas Mathew

    Though organized religion may on a downward curve in some of the developed countries, it is not correct to conclude that organized religion is going to be a thing of the past, because:
    1. In countries like India, places for worship are sprouting up and worshippers are on the increase, irrespective of faith
    2.1 In Europe , the trend is not uniform. In Britain , 90% of Christians are reported to be non/ irregular church goers.
    2.2 Apparently, Catholics (Bavaria in Germany, Poland ) are more religious than other Christians . But Irish are turning less devout.
    2.3 Around 50% of Czechs are non- believers

    3.As per a Rasmussen 2009 survey, more than 70% of Americans prefer ‘Happy Christmas’ to ‘Happy Holidays’, which is a significant increase over last years.

    4.The religious fervor is less in countries where Buddhist/ Confucian cultures are prevalent (Japan, China)
    5. Across the world, Muslims are becoming more religious. To quote an example, in Kerala (India ), Muslim women wearing purdah were not common about twenty years ago, which is not the case now.

    January 22, 2010 at 6:41 am | Reply
  47. Dr RatstaR

    In my Rock-and-Roll Mega-Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster –

    --- May His Noodly Appendage Reach Out and Touch You! --–

    our religious sacrament shall be the noble weed.

    "Don't Bogart that Holy Sacrament, my friend, pass it over to meeee...."

    We'll be tax-exempt, and fully qualified to get ourselves a heapin' helpin' of that good old fashioned Faith-Based Initiative, so I can administer to the needs of the Buxom Blond Bimbettes.

    Be the first one on your block to hire our Bua-hua-hua choir for your funeral, with old-time gothic choirgirls belting out death rock loud enough to wake the dead!

    Hell yes, I feel True Religion coming on now..... dig deep into your pockets brothers and sisters for the dear old FSM....

    January 22, 2010 at 7:13 am | Reply
  48. Dr RatstaR

    Can I get a witness?

    Brothers and Sisters, can i get an Amen?

    January 22, 2010 at 7:17 am | Reply
  49. JB

    Religions always die off. But as they die, new ones take their place. The religions that everybody follows today were not always around. Before these religions there were others. As time passes, so do religions. The fact that attendance at churches and etc is dropping is no real surprise. Religions start and end, just like everything else.

    January 22, 2010 at 7:17 am | Reply
  50. Dr RatstaR

    WHAT WOULD THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER DO?

    January 22, 2010 at 7:18 am | Reply
  51. Dr RatstaR

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster is watching you masturbate.

    January 22, 2010 at 7:18 am | Reply
  52. Raoul

    Rap will not save religion. Religion need contents. His force is his soul not his form. Maybe the World need a new religion. Waiting for the next prophet?

    January 22, 2010 at 7:24 am | Reply
  53. wendy

    Religion will never be a thing of the past, religion has existed for thousands of years. and no that "Buddha Bar" should be shameful of themselves, ridiculous.

    January 22, 2010 at 7:34 am | Reply
  54. Patrick

    Let people believe what they will. The most intolerant people are the often the most poorly educated. Most people who have posted things here about religion being a drug, and spewing forth hateful things about those who believe in a higher power have had some bad experience with religion because of another person who likely ruined the experience for them. Let them suffer for they are lost. We who believe are saved, those who do not are lost. I pity the angry and lost people

    January 22, 2010 at 7:47 am | Reply
  55. DarkDragen

    I just recently began studying and attempting to live in the Dao / Tao. Not the religious Dao but the philosophical Dao. I believe that religion is a high source of evil produced from good intentions in this world. I believe that the fight between Muslim and Christianity is nothing but a family fight spawn from stories of their own religious stories.

    The sooner religion dies world wide the sooner people can work on being kind to one another without the barrier of religion stopping them.

    If you prick them do they not bleed, if I am pricked do I not bleed. We are all the same, but barriers of self interests divide us.

    January 22, 2010 at 8:06 am | Reply
  56. Teddy Alshaer

    I think that the human race has learned over the years that the only thing religion has brought us is more fighting and disagreement. We need not to afflict ourselves with fear and react towards others without justified reason other than what is socially and humanely fair. Obviously, we are slowly finding out that we are hurting and killing our brothers. God has no color, nationality, or preference. God can chose who he rewards. We are not to judge, for we are not God. If we are to abandon these pretenses it will more or less change our ways of becoming more socially acceptable, tolerant, and appreciative of other races and cultures. Religion is the devil. God is love, Devil is hate.

    January 22, 2010 at 8:43 am | Reply
  57. Ven. Rinchen Gyatso

    Several people commenting here seem to think that the end of religion would be a good thing, as does Bill Mahr in his documentary "Religulous." It seems people connect religion with violence in many cases, but I must point out that secular ideologies, such as communism, facism and naziism all took more lives than have been lost through religious violence in modern times. Under Stalin alone some 20 million are said to have been murdered.

    The problem, therefore, isn't religion. It's people. So the end of religion would not rid the world of intolerance and violence. In fact, it could be argued that things would get worse.

    As for Japanese Buddhist clergy serving alcohol and using rap music to reach people, as a monk myself I don't have a problem with using music. In the Tibetan tradition, prayers and mantras are often sung. As for alcohol, though, the Buddha would certainly not have approved. The Japanese orders have for centuries been moving away from the Buddha's teachings–giving up celibacy for the ordained, for example. The Buddha makes it clear that alcohol leads to other forms of suffering. In addition, one must ask how using a substance that clouds the mind could lead anyone to pure perception or enlightenment? Indulging people's attachments only leads to further attachment and negative karma. I can't imagine how that's a good thing.

    Western Buddhists, too, seem to have gotten the idea that Buddhism is an anything-goes religion. There is no understanding of the ethical teachings of the Buddha. I hope more will investigate the law of karma and the Buddha's teachings on how to prevent suffering for oneself and others.

    January 22, 2010 at 10:07 am | Reply
  58. VoiceOfReason

    I can appreciate someone's faith in the existence in a power greater than themselves, but the manifestation of that faith through organized religion is, and has been, the cause of a great deal of the world's suffering throughout history. The Crusades, the Holocaust, the Inquisition, the Olympic games in Munich, 9/11, 7/7.....all spurred on by the perversion of faith by man.

    How can people be so narrow-minded as to believe that what other men wrote down thousands of years ago MUST be true, simply because it has survived? It has only survived through violence and coercion. Open your minds, people, and recognize that faith, not religion, is what we need more of.

    January 22, 2010 at 11:37 am | Reply
  59. Hugh

    The world's only experiment with an officially "religion-less" society resulted in untold anguish, enslavement of the masses, and the slaughter of literally tens of millions of the affected nations' own citizens. I am speaking of the failed Communist experiment in the Soviet Union and many other nations of the world. Those who wish to lay the world's woes at the feet of religion should pause to ponder what happened in the one society that tried hardest to eliminate its influence.

    Name any human problem you wish, they all start in the heart of man, and the only answer to them is transformation from the inside out. While Christianity has seen its share of abuses through the ages from insincere practitioners, there are countless millions who can attest to its transforming power in their lives. I, for one, was as selfish a man as I've ever known, before Christ came into my life and empowered me to love others. I couldn't imagine my life today without his continuing influence, and my family, friends, and workplace have all been the beneficiaries of this transformation in my life.

    January 22, 2010 at 11:50 am | Reply
  60. VoiceOfReason

    DrRastaR, thank you for extolling the virtues of the world's only true religion.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  61. veggiedude

    Charles Darwin graduated from theology school, and look at him. He was just years ahead of us all. Yes, we need to drop the pretentiousness of religion. If we are to evolve from the self destructive nature inherit in us all, then we need to turn away from it – or face the possibility of becoming an extinct species.

    January 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  62. LAURA

    It doesn't matter if the numbers are dropping – I have my faith and that is what counts.

    I believe while the more "traditional" routes of religion will drop in numbers, the pagan branch will continue to grow... And when I say pagan, I don't mean those new-age Wiccan folks who don't know what they're talking about.

    All you need to know is that there are many gods, inherent in everything, and that nature is sacred. Forget the feminist and left-wing preaching, though, because the pagan world-view has been polluted by that.

    January 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  63. Rob

    We can only hope religion is dying.

    I was a devout Evangelical Christian for most of my life. Now I am an Atheist and I consider that change to be one of the best decisions of my life.

    I no longer search in vain for some sort of message squired away in everyday life's events. I no longer feel guilt for trying to listen so hard for some supposed 'voice of God' that is not there. I've rejected all those rules of behavior (abstinence, etc.) that make so little sense in reality and I am liberated.

    Until giving up God, I lived in constant fear of offending or rejecting the plans of some deity who never said what it was He wanted. Now I am able to act and do as reason dictates and life has improved tremendously.

    I feel confident in my conclusions simply because life since I've become an Atheist is much better than life as a Christian. In spite of what's spoken from countless pulpits, rejecting Christianity did not leave some sort of void in my life. I was told for most of my life that living without faith in the Christian God would lead to depression, sorrow, and misery. In reality I was depressed, sorrowful, and miserable as a Christian. Now I am happy.

    If Christianity really worked as advertised my life now would be impossible. The truth is Christianity, or any religion, simply does not work in reality. Religion simply does not pass a reality check. Follow all the rules, do as you're told and you'll still see no improvement in life.

    Do good things because it fulfills you, not to please some make believe deity. Stop trying to find the meaning in all of life's little bumps. Give up religion and you'll never want to go back to it.

    People can go on living their lives for the sake of some god or other. Believing will not make Christ, Allah, Vishnu, Zeus or any other god more real. That realization intimidated me at first. There's no afterlife to look forward to, only this life. Still, I will enjoy this one life so much more now. Had I stayed a Christian I would have given up so much life has to offer for a heaven that would not come.

    I can only hope in the future more people will be as liberated as I am now.

    January 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  64. Gary

    Religion has run its course. Without doubt, it is on a decline. It does not eliminate the fact that people are still trying to find something to fill the emptiness in their souls. Obviously, religion hasn’t done that nor can religion do it. But instead of turning back to the totally degenerate fallacies and rudiments of this world, booze, drugs, immoral sex, all the works of the flesh, there is still a plane of spirituality that one can find that so far exceeds religion it is an insult to salvation to even compare it to religion. Religion itself is nothing more than a bandage placed over the volcano of the degenerate state of humanity that Adam plunged us all into. The first death of Adam was the separation from God, but he lived for nearly 1,000 years before his second death, death as we know it, the death of his flesh! Nevertheless, though religion has run its course, the truth of salvation, regeneration through reconciliation, can still be found. My friend, you will not find salvation in religion. The so called ‘Christian’ churches of today, rooted in the heresy of Roman Catholicism, the trinity doctrine, have left the human race in at best, a bunch of self righteous, try to be do gooders, that can’t even live up to what they preach themselves, yet they excuse themselves but point their fingers at the wrong in everyone else’s life. This in essence has made ‘Christianity’ appear to be total hypocrisy. But the truth of what is taking place in the name of religion right under our nose is the rebuilding of the ancient Roman empire under the disguise of religion. I want you to take notice of the three main and most powerful institutions that affect humanity, religion, the Roman Catholic Church, education, the Roman Catholic Schools and Universities, and health care, the Roman Catholic Hospitals. These are the three most powerful and influential institutions concerning the control of humanity! These are all being done right under our nose, all in the disguise of religion, on a tax free basis, at the expense of the entire American public and even world wide!! This reprobate form of so called ‘Christianity’ has left the world in the bondage of iniquity including their so called ‘clergy’, a bunch of child molesting, drunken degenerates! Talk about the blind leading the blind! Oh, but they think they are forgiven of their ungodly lifestyle because they are faithful to their church, take the sacraments, make their confessions, say their ‘hail Mary’s’ and go on living like hell thinking they are going to heaven! Let me tell you my friend, the people that do inherit eternal life and get to Heaven will not do so because of their religion but rather in spite of it and then only by the overwhelming mercy of the Almighty God. When those that do inherit eternal life stand before God on the great day of judgment, they will see these so called religious leaders shoveled into Hell by the millions! God has zero tolerance for reprobates that theoretically represent him but rather are representing nothing more than their own welfare, greed, and ungodly empire that they are so proud to be a part of. This ‘Unholy Roman Empire’ extends far beyond the walls of its own ‘foreign embassies’ more commonly known as ‘churches’, every last one of the so called ‘Protestants’ are just as drunk on the wine of the wrath of the fornication of Catholicism as they can be, that being, the ‘Trinity’ doctrine’, the root and identifier of Catholicism. An intoxicated person cannot think straight or reason properly. When this is brought to their attention, you ought to hear the feathers hit the fan, that is why it is called the wine of the WRATH …! Spiritual fornication is any false doctrine that is accepted as truth in representing God!
    The world is not in the condition it is because of degenerate lying politicians that are padding their own nest at the expense of the public, nor greedy extortionists better known as ‘lawyers’ that are out for every dime they can extort at the expense of every human alive and make a mockery of our so called ‘justice’ system, nor is it in the shape it is in because of the drunkards, druggies, prostitutes, whore mongers, or any other form of unrighteous degeneracy. It is in the shape it is in because of lying, degenerate, so called preachers that are not representing God and thereby are depriving the human race of the most powerful and wonderful relationship that is available to humanity and replacing it with just that; religion. The institution of religion has been used to manipulate, divert, subvert, undermine, and fulfill their own power hungry, tyrannical ways and desires again at the expense of the people! All this proves just who they are servants of; Satan, who is a thief that came to kill, steal, and destroy mens lives…. The audacity of that damnable thief is that he has learned how to come in the name of the Lord to kill, steal, and destroy…! That’s when it not only became extremely effective, but profitable… religion!

    If I just cut the branch off that you were sitting on in life, don’t fall out of the tree, reach up and grab the next higher branch. I guarantee you, like Zacheus, the higher up you climb in the tree of life, the better you will see Jesus but you do have to get loose of these hell bound so called religions that are giving you their interpretation of God before you will ever see him clearly for yourself! Jesus Christ is the truth, but very few people know the truth about the truth! Jesus said, he that believeth on me as the scripture hath said… not as the Catholics or the Protestants have said! Indeed, very few people come to know Jesus Christ in such a manner that they have that joy of a well of water springing up within their heart unto eternal life!
    I experienced being anti God, religion, and anything to do with it until I was 19 years of age. That’s when I met God, who IS a spirit, and in him we live, move and have our being, he’s in the very air we breath and knows every thought and intent of the heart. Unfortunately, after we met, I thought church was his representative and I started attending faithfully and trusting the clergy to guide me in His paths. WHAT A MISTAKE!!! Thank God he was able to override the reprobate religious fanaticism that persists and develop a relationship on a very personal basis with me that has defied my greatest imagination!!! OH YES, He is real and you will meet him, now or later! Sad you have been diverted from him by ‘religion’!

    January 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  65. Montgomery

    There is no GOD and religion is a fable for fools.
    Is it so difficult to understand?

    January 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  66. Zenuni

    Differences between us, culture, religion, language, that is what makes this world interesting (worth to live). We cannot let religious extremists scare us away from our own beliefs. It is part our pride and confidence, and we should take it back.

    January 22, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  67. natasha918

    Since when is God's Truth supposed to be modified, changed, dressed up altered or molded to fit the needs of this or any generation for that matter?? who are WE to change the Word of God to fit our idea of what faith is supposed to be and what truth is? Are we that self-righteous and proud? who are we?? we need to stop asking what can god do for me and start asking, Lord what can I do for you??

    2Timothy 4
    " 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

    Jeremiah 6

    10 To whom can I speak and give warning?
    Who will listen to me?
    Their ears are closed
    so they cannot hear.
    The word of the LORD is offensive to them;
    they find no pleasure in it...

    16 This is what the LORD says:
    "Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
    ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls.
    But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'

    Religion is one thing, The Word of God the Creator, Faith in Jesus as Savior, as Son of God is another. Truth is Truth. It is what it is, accept it or not.

    6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

    January 22, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  68. Sunesis

    As a practise christians,religion is wat we belong to even b4 we wer born,lets nt 4get dat watevr we are seein 2day strtd rm d early days.Also xtians & differnt religion as a whole shld realised we all blng an serve 1. Dicriminatn,persecution wont help rathr dan leavn & lossin dear lives & luvd ones too.I'll stp here,bt i'll advice dat wat we need do is simple which is nothing bt PRAYERS cz as soon as we realise & focus on d rite way in life 4our upcoming generatns benefit wisely & grow in GREATER LIGHT.Tnx & pls u alone cn change ur country(by prayers.

    January 23, 2010 at 10:47 am | Reply
  69. A. Smith, Oregon

    People with young children simply do not TRUST Christian priests. There are to many serial pedophiles among their ranks. And how many of those serial pedophiles that raped young boys and girls were allowed to simply move to another church in a distant state by and under the Christian leaders directives to continue their horrific practices on a unsuspecting group of new boys and girls?

    The Bush-Cheney administration specifically blocked attorneys of those young boys and girls that were raped from filing suits against the Vatican.

    Although the directive by the Christian 'God' is very clear, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" Army Christian Chaplains routinely encourage their Army faithful Christian flock to murder and send Arabs to Hell.

    Muslims publicly tout their religion means 'peace' and is 'peaceful'. Much like their Christian counterparts told the Native peoples in North, South America, Caribbean Islands and the Polynesian Islands. Then killing those that followed and worshiped differently than themselves. Destroying their cultures, temples, shrines and enslaving those people.

    Madrassa's routinely tout trigger verses in the Koran which specifically promote hate, violence, sexism and intolerance to all other religious beliefs, worship, and faiths.

    It all boils down to the majority religions in the world teaching and telling their faithful that their God encourages the murder, violence and slaughter of other people. I strongly disagree with that allegation, teaching and encouragement. Apparently more and more people in the world are leaving religions that teach and encourage their faithful to murder other people.

    Two Christian priests were found guilty of the Rwandan Genocide by the Crimes against Humanity tribunal at the Haugh. Many millions of people have been murdered by Christians and Muslims under the guise of their 'God' approves, encourages and aids them in murdering other people.

    Little wonder why intelligent people around the world are leaving Christianity and the Muslim religions in droves!

    January 23, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  70. bob schoos

    Yes, the sooner religion, especially organized religion dies, the better off the world will be and lasting peace in the world, including within some countries like in the US where bigotry accounts for much of our political conflicts, can then be contemplated. Humans invented gods, They can also get rid of it.

    January 24, 2010 at 4:23 am | Reply
  71. Thomas Mathew

    The waxing and waning of religion's influence over humankind is cyclical. Despite all its anomalies,contradictions , abuses and all other negatives, I find my Roman Catholic faith providing me with some sort of compass,though I am not very devout. .
    I doubt the correctness of A. Smith's observation that intelligent people are leaving Christianity and Islam .At present Christianity may be on a wane phase, but Islam is strengthening with the influence of the radicals deepening which may also pass.

    January 24, 2010 at 5:49 am | Reply
  72. bill

    Vigorous science and a deeply held faith aren't necessarily oxymoronic. Both faith and reason have been the source of good and bad beliefs, events, etc. in human history.
    A little less hubris & a little more compassion on everyone's part would be helpful. May we all be delivered from the convinced!

    January 24, 2010 at 11:03 am | Reply
  73. Javier

    People will always be asking questions. People will always have a need to know. Science can't answer everything- it has a particular scope, methodology and thinking that limits what it can investigate and learn. It can tell you HOW someone got cancer, but it won't tell you WHY. Whether or not religion is a valid and reasonable way to answer these questions is HIGHLY debatable. But until we get all the answers, there will always be people looking outside of science and empirical thought to learn more about their lives.

    January 24, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  74. Loggie

    Will religion soon be a thing of the past? Jesus, I hope so.

    January 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  75. Anton

    What we don't need: more religious people.
    What we do need: more people experiencing God in a personal relationship with Him!!

    January 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  76. Thomas Mathew

    See the comments of Haiti people about Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot who was killed in the earthquake as reported by Time magazine:
    Many said that the Archbishop, regarded as a humble priest who sought to bridge the divide between the nation's Catholic clergy and Voodo priesthood, was exactly the kind of unifying figure Haiti needs in this crisis. "He could have brought us together," says Carrel Raphael, a bus driver. "He could have inspired us to work together. He had everybody's respect, and you need a leader like that." "He would have been able to guide the government in its response to the earthquake, and they would not have been suspicious of his intentions because they knew he was not interested in politics," "Why did God give us this disaster and at the same time take away the people who could have helped us to survive it?"

    These comments of ordinary people testify the faith they have in good religious persons. Richard Dawkins ,the ultra-atheist may be the poster boy of many intellectuals , but in times of calamities and tragedies people look to the truly religious for guidance and inspiration.

    January 24, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  77. Sands

    Just take a look around the world, throughout history all the way to today. Religion teaches one that their religion is the right one and all others are inferior. This leads to conflict on a local and international scale. Adults that believe in mythological ideas is dangerous.
    Atheists & Agnostics disengage with religion as there is no factual evidence that supports religious claims. Instead of basing their lives on belief, the non-religious use logic and reason. No wonder there is a continuous move towards non-religious thinking, religion has done it to itself.

    January 24, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  78. David

    I do not think that religion will die, rather, that it will decline in numbers as people begin to ask more questions about it. Then, religion (or some religions) will enjoy a resurgance as theologians reason increasingly convincing apologetics. In the UK, we are quite far advanced down this route, and there are already theologians like Niki Gumbel and Tom Wright producing solid apologies for the modern context, with the principles of modern scholarship.

    In the meantime, those who have genuine religious convictions will be challenged to think about their faith more. For Christians, this will mean increasing engagement by the church with the social issues of the day, which has not always been the strength of the UK church. Those who believed not out of conviction but for societal reasons – such as upbringing – will leave and likely become agnostics, leaving those who continue to believe to pursue their teachings to a much deeper and sounder level. We can already see a different breed of Christianity in the UK; one that is much more centred around close study of the biblical text – especially the gospels – with the aid of increasing understanding of ancient literature, coupled with a strong agenda for societal change.

    Eventually, people will realise that materialism as has arisen in UK and US is just faith in something else – material goods – which is a faith witnessed from the earliest times. I think religion will have a lean time, but will arise more convincing from it.

    January 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  79. Thomas Mathew

    I think David is correct

    January 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  80. Chris from Budapest

    I can imagine questions in a future classroom (say the year 2090):

    Pupil: "But why were people's opinions about wars international relations informed by their own personal religion? Even if evidence and experience of the past contradicted it"
    Teacher: "Well sometimes people (or leaders) already had opinions about world situations and used their religion to justify their opinion. Perhaps they really believed it, but as we've earlier seen in the lesson, many people used religion, especially in the 'modern era' (19th, 20th, early 21st centuries), as an emotional comfort".

    Pupil: "But was it not obvious to people that if they were born in a certain country then they would inherit a certain religion? And then when they grew up did they not realize that this was the case?"
    Teacher: "Well, its part of what we call mental conditioning. If you are taught about a religion everyday of your life, especially as a child, then it becomes effectively part of you and then your society. People also learned about why their particular religion was the correct one, and sometimes they had very sophisticated answers for this. Then you had the case where people chose different religions later in life that maybe fit better with their opinions, or perhaps the religious group gave them some sense of belonging."

    Pupil: "What I don't understand was why they didn't believe in certain sciences when there was lots of evidence. Like why in the year 2000 were people still saying that the world was 6000 years old?"
    Teacher: "People accepted science up to the point where it conflicted with their religion. For example the Catholic Church stated that the Earth was the center of the universe, and the sun revolved around it. Galieo of course proved that wrong, but it was only 500 years later in the 20th century when the church accepted that evidence. Regarding the creation of the Earth, again things like evolution conflicted with the religion, so it was frowned upon. Religion was really developed by ancient peoples as a way to understand the world. Of course over time it became more sophisticated with books and institutions. So by the time of the Renaissance and science the churches and religions were so ingrained in the world that it was impossible to leave millennia of religion behind in favor of this new science phenomena.

    Pupil: "When did people finally leave it behind?"
    Teacher: "People just really got tired of all the wars in the 21st century, and the centuries before that. They realized that most of the suffering was as a result of religious and cultural differences. And that they had to start making important world decisions based on reason and experience. They were already doing it in business and in day-to-day problem solving, but when it came to political issues they listened in large part to their emotion, which was fueled by religion. Plus the world was getting smaller, science was getting more and more irrefutable. But in the end people just got tired of the intolerance, the old arguments etc.The unfortunate thing was that more wars had to happen before things changed. Many philosophers over the centuries were hoping that society would just mature naturally. But as we all know that was not the case.

    January 25, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  81. Anne Brown

    I agree with banning the burka or niqua in our western cultures, for these reasons: 1: the practice of making women cover their face in public flies in the face of our cherished beliefs of equality and freedom for all who live here. The men of that culture do not have to cover up their faces ! 2: we are expected to follow their practices [a.k.a. manner of dress, behavior and customs] while visiting or staying in their country. and lastly, we westerner feel that to cover the face is shameful, I as a women am offended when I can't fully look someone face to face when meeting them in passing or conversing with them . Is there room in this discussions for the rights and needs and sensibilities of host countries citizens?

    January 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  82. Jason A

    "More people have been killed in the name of God, than for any other reason in history" – George Carlin

    If you believe in God, gods, spirits, or other ideologies, that is fine. Just remember three things:

    1) From the moment the pen hit the paper, God's words were edited by men. Keep an open mind and interpret for yourself.

    2) No religion is right or wrong – stop trying to convert the world and just have faith for yourself. Whatever the truth is, its far more than we were ever meant to understand.

    3) We'll find out when we get there! No need to hurry to find out the answers. Live your life and enjoy it!

    January 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  83. Soren michaelsen

    I'm glad that fewer people see them self as religious. Religion has for many years been the cause of global trouble/problems.
    I don't believe in God or Allah, Budda or Odin but I respect those who does – it's their choice.

    Religion or belief seem to help many people in strange ways, and that is good for those whom it helps but it makes it a personal thing and should therefore be kept within your own personal space (your house or church, moske, synagogue ).

    The world today should be more secular then it is today. as mentioned before I respect my friends (Christians aswell as muslins) religious views, though I dont always understand them, but why isn't it the other way around? Why do I have to be exposed / forced to be subject to religious views/beliefs. Even here in this forum people are using references to the bibel to justify religion and try to "convert" us non-believers to believe with the threat of being burned in hell or where ever.

    January 25, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  84. Dodie

    More people have died for the cause of ‘god’ and religion than for any other reason.

    Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is another religious based practice.

    People lose their independent thought and become “Sheepal” and “victims”

    Personally, the world would be a much better place if we could banish religion all together.

    January 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  85. armando malaya

    although religion does not saves us, it is very important to have one. it serves as our guidance for without it surely there would be anarchy. who would serve as the conscience?

    January 26, 2010 at 1:53 am | Reply
  86. Thomas Mathew

    "Whatever the truth is, its far more than we were ever meant to understand"
    Jason A seems to be absolutely correct

    January 26, 2010 at 4:47 am | Reply
  87. dave

    of course religion will become a thing of the past. its a sign of the end times according to islamic religion.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:48 am | Reply
  88. Rich

    Will religion soon be a thing of the past? I hope so. If I weren't an atheist I'd pray for it.

    The problem with religion isn't what the faithful feel inside. If they truly gain benefit from their faith I'm fine with that...conditionally. The things that are unacceptable are the proselytizing and imposition of their oppressive beliefs on others, sometimes with violence.

    Religion is diminishing because it cannot withstand the light of open scrutiny, which the internet has provided.

    People are beginning to realize that God is a combination of Santa Claus and Big Brother for adults. Also, people are beginning to realize the original purpose behind this invented industry called "religion" is control of the masses and political power. It has long outlived its evil purpose. I say good riddance; it can't happen soon enough.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  89. Amanda Mackay

    To attract me, the religion would have to preech that all other religions are possible and justify their beliefs with something other then "oh just have faith" PS I know air is there because I can feel it, not because of faith. Stop focusing on division of religion, come together and help people, that would attract me.

    January 26, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  90. Liberated !

    People, people, people! You have thrown the baby out with the bath water!

    Of all the atrocities that religion is guilty of, don’t blame “God” for it and throw him away with religion. God is a spirit and they that worship him must do so in spirit and in truth, NOT IN CHURCH! God is not a religion nor is he a ‘person’ sitting on a throne, hiding behind a star in another galaxy somewhere. He is a spirit, in your very mouth, in the very air that you breath as someone said earlier.

    When you call upon the name of Jesus Christ in sincerity with reverence, all the host of heaven stands at attention and the hosts of hell tremble for all power in heaven and earth is in the name of Jesus Christ and through that name, we have total and free access to this great and omnipresent spirit, the father of the only BEGOTTEN son.

    No wonder the prince of the power of the air, that worketh in the children of disobedience doesn’t want you to know him. You would be liberated not only from the bondage of iniquity which is the fallen state of man, but also the bondage of religion.

    Thank God for liberty and the truth that brings it!

    January 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  91. victor eleogu

    This trend away from orthodox religion is inevitable as people get educated, more prosperous, live in a world surrounded by gadgets and technology and demand rational explanation for hitherto unexplained phinomena. However religion as we know it will be with us for a few hundreds of years. It will endure developing environment because of light penetrattion of rudimentary scientic process and rational thought. In some of these places not being a christian or a muslim marks you out as an evil man. I think that this mind-set is largely fear and poverty driven in the sense that poorer masses hope a god of sort must deliver them from the pangs of poverty even when they are working hard in their own right to succeed in life.

    January 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  92. Thomas Mathew

    The trend away from orthodox religion is more of a Western kind. In India, prosperity and advancement have not at all dented people's dependence on religion. On the other hand, religious fervor is on the increase ,but people's outlook is becoming more cosmopolitan. For example, though Christians constitute only 2% of India's population, Christmas is widely celebrated. Affinity for religion is becoming stronger among Muslims irrespective of the affluence factor.

    January 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  93. Daniel Annen

    Many of us hope, and so do I. The only choice is thinking, not believing.

    January 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  94. Laila

    Many of us hope, and so do I. The only choice is thinking, not believing. –

    My comment to this is, that you can´t have hope without beliving. I agree that thinking is a good way to reach many things and phenonemons in the world, but man cannot live without hope / belivieng in one way or another.

    Another comment to this debate is, that that I don´t consider buddhism as
    an religion, because it is not!
    Buddhism is the eastern answer to the western kind of phsycology, which with thinkers like Nietzsche, Scopenhauer inspired thinkers like Carl Gustav Jung!
    Buddhism is a way of thinking, yes, but is not an religion. There is no superior God in buddhism, for example.
    And buddhism as a way of thinking is non-violent and has no history that implies violence or war.
    Therefore I can call myself an ateist, still I think and develope myself in buddhistic terms and ways.

    An ateist

    January 26, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  95. Liberated !

    Indeed, the words of Apostle Paul prove true.

    1Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    The question is; believe what! The degree of your sincerity will far exceed your degree of understanding in coming to know God on a personal basis.

    1 Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
    1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

    Romans 5:1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Oh how I wish I could help you to understand!

    January 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  96. Logine

    The old religious traditions have once served many a purpose, from explaining the unexplainable to help the poor to teach and research, to serving as moral authority. All on the grounds that they knew the whims of the God(s), and even more the key to eternal life/bliss.

    As humankind changes and comes to acquire knowledge and skills in a number of fields the God hypothesis has now become obsolete and often boils down to an inner confidence in the never changing symphony of life. So let's put those old religions where they belong. In the museum, and God in the realm of pure – and very inspiring – speculation. The big driving forces hope and love are common to all man, indepenently from birthplace, age, race. So is earthly faith: in our fellow men, in the potential for good and progess...

    The search for one's innermost answers is a very intimate and personal one, as J. Krishnamurti put it so wisely: "Truth is a pathless land, you can’t approach it by any religion or sect..." The ideals of humanism are well suited to inform a good, constructive life. Be kind, learn, help those in need...And the world, this world, will be a better place.

    January 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  97. Chris

    We have a new religion coming- GB (Global Warming) with a new god CO2

    January 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  98. Lionel

    Cannot see religion dwindling, the good thing would be to get rid of the churches or "the management" of all of them. Human kind at large has evolved beyond the point of believing in man made multinational preaching hope/fear after death. Come on people, meaning god's people, are starving to death and they parade with their ancient attributes while living in palaces and building new places of worship at unbelievable cost. Sale it all and give it to the needy.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  99. Liberated !

    Well, it looks like this particular blog has died so will leave one last bit of input.

    After 9-11, people went back to church in droves. This lasted for awhile, about six months if I remember right. Then, like before, they were reminded why they had quit going to church so long before. Nothing had changed, nor has it yet, still the same old dead religious rituals that were totally meaningless except when the offering pan was passed. In general, selling you a ticket to heaven that these reprobate religions don’t even have themselves.

    The sad state of religious reprobacity still exits today and people know to turn back to such is futile. Therefore, they are turning to the intoxication of knowledge. I do not criticize humanity for doing such, I only have to say that when they reach the end of that rope, they will only find the inability to solve the problems of humanity once again. Actually, it will be compounded because we as humans will be so much more aware of the depth of the dilemmas that we are in.

    It deeply saddens me that I hear such a degree of silence when it comes to proclaiming the liberty to humanity that Jesus Christ did. He didn’t come to earth to condemn humanity for the fallen state that they were in but rather to deliver them from it and give them life and that more abundantly. Unfortunately, the truth it takes to do that is being denied, decried, defied, and despised by the religious leaders of the day that claim to be Christian. Indeed, I have come to realize that if Jesus Christ were walking the face of the earth today and preaching the same Gospel he did 2,000 years ago, the overwhelming majority of Christians would consent to his death again! I’m talking 999,000 out of a million!

    Is there any wonder why the general public has gave up on religion.

    There is only one verse in the entire Bible where the entire plan of salvation is summed up. That verse is Acts 2:38! It reads the same in the Catholic Bible as it does in the King James Version.

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of JESUS CHRIST (emphasis mine) for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    The Catholic Church rejected this 17 centuries ago even though they claim Peter was the first Pope and therefore, according to their doctrine, would have to be infallible. Why did they forsake his first and most powerful, basic message of salvation?

    All the protestant churchs are just as intoxicated on the heresy of saying “in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Instead of doing what it says to do, baptize in the name of the Son, Jesus Christ, they just simply repeat the instructions and thereby make baptism a meaningless, religious ritual. The power is in the name! But you say, it says in the name of the Father and of the Holy Ghost also and how right you are. Problem is, because you do not know the father or his name, you even deny the name of the Son in baptism. Matthew 28:19 does not interpret Acts 2:38 but rather, the other way around. The book of Acts is named such for it is the actions of the Apostles on the teachings of Jesus Christ!

    No wonder religion is dead in the water! The only life it has is the life given to it by those who are deceived by it!

    Search for truth, you will still find it! To find God, you’re going to have to bypass these reprobate religious ideologies and he will make himself known to you in a manner that will surpass your greatest imagination. Then you too will be liberated, not only from the fallen degenerate state of humanity but also from the bondage of religion!

    May God help you to know him on a very personal basis!

    January 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  100. Donna

    The title of the article should be " FALSE Religion Will Soon Be a Thing of the Past." Her end will be by the Creator, the true God, the one whom religions hide from people. The bible illustrates false religion as a harlot or prostitue, in the book of Revelation. She is responsible for all the innocent blood shed in all the earth. False religion uses deception and fear to keep people from knowing the truth. The bible has not been changed-the Dead Sea Scrolls prove it. Would the Creator of the entire universe, all the laws that keep everything in order and working perfectly allow puny man, or not have the ability, to keep mortal man from changing his writings? I do not think so. Speaking of the bible, it is not a science book, but when it comes to scientific things, it is accurate. Thousands years before the earth was proven to be round, or hanging in space, the bible stated it. Isaiah and Job, bible books. It outlined hygenic routines regarding handling the dead and human waste. This is at a time when Egyptians were using animal dung to heal wounds. The bible, is reasonable, logical and it helps people from all walks of life and in any situation. I have seen and experienced concrete proof of how it changes peoples lives for the better, when it is studied and followed accurately. It educates people on how to get along with each other-no matter what race, status, or belief. It is full of loving, sensible counsel and principles from a Creator that cares about each one of us. False religion has twisted, perverted, and hid it's truth from people. Jesus said of God's word, "Your word is truth." He also said "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." The truth is not a "pathless land." The truth is found in what Hitler, and the Catholic church could not destroy, even though they tried-the bible. When people know and understand the bible, they are set free from false religion and the false doctrines they propagate. Jesus spoke of false religious leaders as "workers of lawlessness" and he said that a tree that produces worthless fruit will be cut down. What is the fruitage of false religions today? War, immorality, greed, hatred, materialism, clergy-laity distinctions to name a few. The next time someone comes to your door offering a free bible study, would it not be wise to check it out for a few minutes?

    January 31, 2010 at 3:16 am | Reply
  101. Zendell

    Just gonna say, that a certain group of Christians have been preaching the end of false religion for decades. Reasoning that the God of the Bible will put into the hearts of the Kings of the earth to kill the great harlot, who is false religion.

    The people of the world as a whole hate religion so much, and for good reason, I might add, that eventually, the leaders of Government will agree it needs to go. This is not far off.

    However, when it does happen, and it will, know that the time is up. All alive at that time will know that there is a God. Enjoy your day!

    January 31, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  102. Liberated !

    AMEN!!!

    February 1, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  103. Dave

    It seems that although most religions of today offer people some hope and comforts in such dire times, they offer very little that allows personal direct experience of the divine. Its common for people to have negativity towards religion, as humanity has disgraced the name of true religion with their absurd fanaticism.

    Religion is not to blame. The fanaticism of humanity is to blame.

    http://www.gnosticawakenings.com

    February 5, 2010 at 9:49 am | Reply
  104. Rev.David Peitz

    Friends,there will always be Christians until our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ returns.And then after the rapture all hell is going to break out.Rather you and I believe this;doesnt matter.I have read the last chapter of Revelation of Gods Holy Word.Maybe you would like to read Revelation also.Think of it this way;if I live my whole life believing that Jesus Christ exists now and forever more,and it is not true;what have I lost.But if it is true,and I know it is";look what I have I gain.So yes ,I believe that religion(Christianty)shall exist until the end of time.

    February 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  105. Evan

    Religion should be banished, and punishable by law, maybe not for practicing "faiths" (people are vulnerable and clueless" but for those who teach others and lead them to religious "facts". These people ARENT clueless and prey on those that follow them. Religion has done its job in human history, and a good one I admit. But its time is past and now its time for people to grow up and learn how to get along without harboring judgement or seeking some forgiveness for some imagined sin.

    February 15, 2010 at 3:43 am | Reply
  106. another student

    From my research in studying religion, I found that they're the same, as for the useful tool the thesaurus describing the synonyms and the antonyms of each word of the dictionary.
    The synonym for each religion is the belief of a higher power, supreme being, faith, vitures, and rituals to be practice, as for the antonym is how each religion practices these rituals of prayer, marriage, baptism ceremonies, and how their Bible depicts there idea of what/who God, or Gods are. Currently, there are 256 religions trying to prove a point, which in my opinion is to many, for the fact that some of these religions don't allow others to visit some countries around the world, so if all the religions around the world can agree that we're all in this together regardless of our beliefs, than there would be no need for Holy wars, and people not saying my religion is better than yours, or whatever the case maybe.we must over as one nation fighting and living for common cause, which is freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    February 15, 2010 at 4:25 am | Reply
  107. arvind pathak

    will religion soon be a thing of the past?yes if not already so.traversing the globe for 53 yrs,began my quest to find answer to who am i and what am i supposed to do .going from kafka,albert camus,cs lewis,bible gita to present state of a believer in humanity to be a humane homo-sapien to live and let live ,all species of flora&fauna in an ecological balance specially to avert pollution of our external milieu,the environment comprising of land air,water around us.to waste time on a god not seen heard or active enough to save people from each other's greed avarice inspires me to let a sleeping god remain at rest rather than wasting time money energy spent on church,temple,mosques,synagogues,could be used better for schools,hospitalsor any other creative productive community endeavour.more bloodshed has occured due to fights between,allah.jesus and their followers.as karl marx said religion is the opiate of the masses,it seems it is an unseen element causing hatred and division between homo-sapiens as a species ,even dogs do not kill each other for their creator.,please let god rest. in peace as it is he or she is deaf,dumb,insensitive,noninterventionist by nature that is if he is there at all..

    February 18, 2010 at 11:39 am | Reply
  108. Guy H Dods

    Surely religion has ever only been a method of controlling human beings, for the benefit of the "controllers". Any half-decent education in 2010 can have no room for a magical/mystical god that controls all that happens on this world. Insecurity, none or poor education, or no understanding of what "goes on around us" only leads to human beings believing in something they have no understanding of. Religion is an insult to human intelligence!

    August 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  109. Derkar

    Yes, religion will continue to become a thing of the past. We are a consumer oriented culture and when religion does not give us the "goodies" we desire we move on. Our culture is now entirely "Man centered" rather than "God centered", and unfortunately many churches have fallen in to the trap as well. Religions will continue to fall, until we are all "united" in a "one world religion" and we all sing "Cuum-by-yah" together in perfect harmony. Interesting to note that the Bible speaks of this exact thing happening... ironic isn't it.

    August 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  110. Sam

    What i really do not understand is ,why USof A thinks it is the centre of the world and wants to believe what it believes. God is about faith and about individuals. What has Science has done to humanity? could it stop all the wars across the globe,could your science stop recession, or fury of nature .Human beings are on their own peril ,Just one more war has all the capability to wipe out our race. What ever religion you follow .Just have faith in GOD. West has lost its faith because of Money . Because of Materialistic Thoughts. Only if you have read the Bible yourself you will know what i am ranting about. Look into your souls fellow humans , you ll understand . There is God.

    August 15, 2010 at 7:17 am | Reply
  111. Titus Udom

    The reduction in the number of Christians is a direct fulfilment of the scriptures: In the last days the love of many shall wax cold, men shall be lovers of self/pleasure more than lovers of God.

    This backsliding does not make Christianity less important or untrue. Let God be God and all men lies... remember the days of Noah. they mocked him and soon the floods came and swept off the world.

    Hold unto your faith and do not be deceived.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  112. Karl

    No, I don't think religion will be some sort of "superstitious relic" like the non-religious people say.

    Religions have died in the past and new religions pop up. The Greek myths that our parents and teachers taught us were once part of a religion almost 2500 years ago.

    Like many other things like art, philosophy, science and emotions, religion and belief is what makes us human. If you take out religion in this world today, do you think great works of art like the Sistine Chapel or the Temple of Heaven would be more appreciated? No.

    The goal of every religion in the world is to love thy neighbor and be compassionate to others. I've read one comment that religions themselves should not change but the people who follow them should. And there is a sense of community if you belong in a particular religion or a particular religious denomination.

    Yes, people like Dawkins, Nietzsche and Russel will continue to criticize religion, but it will never go away. Taking away religion is like taking away the soul, the heart of a heartless world.

    August 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  113. Bill

    I think people today discover more and more that other people who are religious try to decide also for them how to act or behave. We can all see that religion can be a ground for very bad or very good things depending on the peoples character. It seems to me that religion is based on whatever you want to believe. No religion can show any evidence for anything. I find it more easy to live a normal good life and see the beauty of this world today instead of some future fiction after life.

    August 31, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  114. Lynn, Cincinnati

    If God doesn't exist, then why would He rhyme grope with the Pope?

    September 4, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  115. Angel Rodha

    I think Astronomy and Quantum Mechanics are making us humble, and by that, they are doing great damage to traditional religion's point of view which centers everything around human beings, and a book.

    October 26, 2010 at 5:25 am | Reply
  116. Mekuria

    Institutionalized religion is an instrument which the scoundrels devised to rule on the ignorants.

    January 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  117. Morgan Acuff

    I believe that there is an age of empiricism coming and we stand on the cusp. Soon morality and motivation will be separated from the religions and their threatening. As with children, people will come to understand that the only way to truly promote good morality is to promote understanding of principles, not just because you are told that's the way it is. Objectiveness will find it's rightful place and a new golden age of reason will be upon us. The time-frame is frightening, but it is coming.

    June 18, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  118. Morgan Acuff

    I would like to add a very gracious quote from a very understanding man. It goes as so, "Take Care of the People, and God Almighty Will Take Care of Himself."

    June 18, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  119. Ethan

    i think it's ridiculous that religions need to resort to means of attraction in order to build a following. They should preach what the believe and stick to that. They shouldn't be luring people in by using things such as "rap music and serving alcoholic drinks". However, I am in the group of people who find themselves religion-less. I'm not Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or even Atheist. Because frankly, they're ALL bullshit. Maybe I'll start my own religion - "No One Knows". Because it's true. No one knows if god exists and no one knows that he doesn't exist. You can't claim that he does exist and you can't claim that he doesn't because you DON'T KNOW and neither does anyone else. In my opinion, religion was created as a form of government to keep people in line through fear of what they don't know (afterlife).

    June 13, 2013 at 6:26 am | Reply

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