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Old 09-07-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
Well, technically people rule countries, not religions or atheism itself.
So you agree with me that when atheists control government they create totalitarian regimes and put themselves in the place of "god" and demand complete submission, thereby establishing a religion.
You are making a common confusion of dogmatic marxist governments where atheism is one of the tenets with atheism which is neither religion, philosophy, dogma or political movement.

You can also have dictatorships which are religious. Such as the Juntas in Latin America and Iberia and the ones currently being unseated by their own people in the middle east and N Africa.

I rather think the attempt to discredit either religion or irreligion by totting up the war- crimes is futile (1). Whether it has merit is down to the evidence, not the political track record. However that doesn't answer the question of the OP. I would put my money on education which tends to provide alternative theories to religion (and the aftermath of Marxist atheist education is surely still being felt in the former Marxist nations and states) plus a decent standard of living which would pull against a despairing rush to anything that offered a palliative.

But why the high level of theism in the US? I think it does have something to do with the separation of church and state! That all kinds of Christianity could compete for custom as there was no state church controlling society, might have led to a very theist - influenced social and educational system (though I can see a problem with this theory here) and this received an impetus in the 20's (look it up) and from the adaptation of effective marketing methods to evangelism.

I just put this forward as a suggestion.

(1) which is just as well as marxist atheism still tops the list despite Bosnia.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 09-07-2011 at 06:50 AM..
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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Probably has something to do with the relatively low national IQ as compared to Europe. People in Europe perform better in math, science and history. They usually speak multiple languages, have a better understanding of anthropology and culture.

People in the U.S. draft Shawn Merriman for their fantasy team, wakeboard, and love Jesus.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Valencia, Spain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
Similarly, 18% of the people in Spain are atheist....
More like 22%. Only 15% of Spaniards are regular church. goers.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:14 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafius View Post
More like 22%. Only 15% of Spaniards are regular church. goers.
I based my statement on the data from the Eurobarometer (p. 11) which tends to be very accurate.

Looking at those statistics, France is the most atheist country in Europe (33%) while Malta is the most theist (95%).

Some other interesting facts can be found on p. 12:

Quote:
A similar tendency to that observed for the question on the meaning and purpose of life in the gender category occurs here: more females (58%) declare that they believe
Quote:
in a God than males (45%). As we might expect, the 55+ group stand out in the age category with a relatively higher proportion declaring that they believe in a God (63%) while less than one in two confirm this in the younger age groups. While the more highly educated stood out for the frequency of their philosophical meditation, those who left school by the age of 15 can be distinguished for their tendency to believe in a God (65%).
Quote:

Those positioning themselves on the right of the political scale are more inclined to believe in a God (57%).

In parallel to our observation above, those who meditate on the meaning and purpose of life (55%) have a greater inclination to declare that they believe in a God than those who do not have such philosophical reflections (44%).

Later on in the survey, respondents were asked whether decisions on science and technology should be based primarily on an analysis of the risks and benefits or on the moral and ethical issues involved. As indicated in our introduction, this question was also systematically cross-tabulated with the results to all questions. In this regard, the tendency emerging here is that those who believe that such decisions should be based primarily on moral and ethical issues (55%) are more inclined to confirm that they believe in a God compared to those giving more importance to a risks-benefits analysis (47%) in science and technology decision-making.

Respondents were also asked later on in the questionnaire about the strictness of their own upbringing: whether their parents were generally in charge and made the rules, classified as strict or whether their parents generally let everyone do what they wished, classified as not strict. Here too an interesting tendency emerges in that those who declare that their upbringing was strict (54%) are more likely to believe in a God than those brought up in a household without rules (39%).

The results reveal some principal tendencies. The first being that there is seemingly a move away from religion in its traditional form - “I believe there is a God” - which seems to affect the Protestant countries, such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, as well as countries with a strong secular tradition such as France and Belgium. At the same time there is an affirmation of traditional religious beliefs in countries where the Church or Religious Institutions have been historically strong, notably, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland. In certain Eastern European countries, in spite of 40 or 50 years of communism, a strong attachment to religion emerges in Catholic countries such as Poland, Croatia and Slovakia. The third tendency is the development of a new kind of religion characterised by the belief that “there is some sort of spirit or life force”. This new religion or spirituality is more marked in certain Protestant countries, such as Sweden or Denmark as well as in the Czech Republic and Estonia.
ETA: Something seems to go wrong with the quoting

Last edited by LindavG; 09-07-2011 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
I based my statement on the data from the Eurobarometer (p. 11) which tends to be very accurate.

Looking at those statistics, France is the most atheist country in Europe (33%) while Malta is the most theist (95%).

Some other interesting facts can be found on p. 12:

[font=Verdana]
That is badly out of date. (from 2005) Here is the latest. Public Opinion analysis - Homepage
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:26 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanspeur View Post
That is badly out of date. (from 2005) Here is the latest. Public Opinion analysis - Homepage
I didn't check the date but I doubt much has changed in the last 6 years. I clicked your link but it only directs to the EC homepage. I checked for updates in the last 3 years but I couldn't find anything on religion. Could you post the direct link to the survey?
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
I have always wondered why Christianity has so much more influence in the former European colonies (USA, South America, etc.) than in Europe itself. Compare for example the UK, where 35% of the population do not believe in God (source) to the US, where only 6% of the population do not believe in God or a higher power (source). Similarly, 18% of the people in Spain are atheist (source) compared to less than 2% in countries like Paraguay, Colombia and Peru (source). The European countries with the least amount of theists are the Scandinavian countries, the Baltic States, the NL, Czech Rep., France, Slovenia and the UK. In all of these countries, less than 40% claim to believe in God.

Why do you think Europe developed in such a different way than North & South America? It seems that in the Americas, Christianity has only become more evangelical and fundamentalist in the last decades whereas in Europe, the influence of religion on society has greatly declined.

I always chalked it up to Europe having a longer time for cultural evolution to do what it does.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:59 PM
 
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Why are Atheism and Agnosticism so much more prevalent in Europe?

It's not.....

Religion in Europe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Check the eurobarometer poll.

To classify has an atheist in my book you would have to be in the third category. Now has you can see only 18% of all people in the EU are in that category.

People tend to confuse irreligious with atheism, THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

It is true that religion plays a somewhat smaller role in life here compared to the US, but many people still believe in a life force/higher order of some sort.

Basically most Europeans are pantheist/deists/irreligious but not atheist or agnostic.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:01 AM
 
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I think that's true. Irreligion is not the same as atheism. In fact while atheism is a agnosticism -based 'wait and see' view what we actually see of atheism is anti - religion. Thus atheists and the irreligious can co -exist relatively comfortably.

The disagreement about whether the 'god-experiences/soul/mystical experience' are innate and evolved feelings or an experience of something outside is going to be an area of debate but nothing like so bitter as the one between atheist and the religious.

And the fact is that the irreligious should be on our side but they will always tend to side with the religious.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:06 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 14,800,908 times
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Originally Posted by LindavG
Quote:
Why do you think Europe developed in such a different way than North & South America? It seems that in the Americas, Christianity has only become more evangelical and fundamentalist in the last decades whereas in Europe, the influence of religion on society has greatly declined.
My guess is that it has to do with (economic & political) power.
At the time the Americas (north & south) was being conquered by the Europeans the church had a lot of power. But with the coming of the enlightenment philosophy the church lost a lot of power which opened up the way for a more democratic government.
The church (and similar organisations) had always thrived on a top-to-bottom hierarchy where the elite was never questioned but because of the enlightenment philosophy the end of the top-to-bottom structure became a fact.
Mainly because of the rise of public education for the masses.
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