Researchers in America working for the Northwestern Universityand the University of Arizona have concluded that people the West are finding religion to be less useful. They suggest that religion itself may die out in nine nations.
To get to these results, the research team used mathematical techniques, nonlinear dynamics, to mine data from census results going back a full centruy from Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.
At the core of the prediction is teh suggest that social groups that have more members are more attractive to join. Social groups have status, utility or both. For example, it’s useful to speak the language of the largest social group in your area and you join that group by learning the language.
The survey and modelling is available online from the Cornell University Library.
Richard Weiner, a researcher at teh University of Zrizona and one of the authors, walked press through some of the conclusions. He said;
“There’ll be a continuing loss of membership among people that identify themselves as belonging to a religion. Over time, we could reach a time where society is dominated by people who claim religious non-affiliation,”
In the Czech Republic nearly 60% of people identified themselves as non-affiliated with religion. That was the highest recorded in the study. Countries like The Netherlands have a non-believer percentage in the 40% area but that figure is predicted to soar to 70% by 2050. That’s less than 40 years.
In Pure Spirit
Are you a non-believer? Do you think this is a natural course of the development of society or does the possible exctinction of religion in some countries herald a terrible tradigy?
Photo credit: Jerzy Kociatkiewicz