Translator: Leonardo Silva
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven Hello. My name is David Voas, and I’m going to be
talking about religion. Now, I know some of you are really tempted
to dash for the exit at this stage, but I should explain
that I’m a quantitative social scientist, and I’m going to be talking about the
decline of religion in the Western World. Now, whether measured by belonging,
believing, participation in services, or how important it’s felt to be in life, religion is losing ground
across the Western world. Society is being transformed,
and the momentum seems to be unstoppable. Well, at this point, you might be
asking yourself a couple of questions. First, is it actually true? And even if religion is losing ground,
could things change in the future? I’m going to argue
that, yes, it really is true, and, no, things won’t change. Modernization has predictable
and permanent effects, one of which I call
the secular transition. Well, it’s not the case
that the pattern of decline is that people reach
the age of 30 or 40 or 50 and suddenly decide
that they’re not religious anymore. What happens is they enter adulthood being
less religious than their parents were. So there’s a process
of generational replacement, where older people
who are more religious die out, and they’re replaced in the population
by younger people coming up behind. And that’s a process that’s been happening
for decades now across the Western world – in some cases, for a century or more. Let me take as the example
whether people say they have a religion. And I’ll use the example
particularly of New Zealand, which has a question
on the census about this. If you look at this graph, the horizontal axis at the bottom
shows year of birth. So we go from the beginning
of the 20th century, on the left, to late 20th century, on the right. And you can see
that for the oldest generations, those on the left-hand side, virtually everybody says
that they have a religion. And you come down to the right-hand side, and roughly two-thirds say they don’t. So that’s a remarkable shift to have happened in the course
of less than a century. Well, this sort of story is found
throughout the Western world, even in the United States,
which is often thought to be an exception. Things have started more recently there, the process is still
only just starting to be noticed, but it is happening. I’ll come back to the US in a moment. And it’s similar whatever measure we take. So it’s the same for attendance
at services, for example. Well, you might be thinking, “Okay, the old Christian
denominations are struggling, people don’t identify with them so much,
they may not be going to services, but surely, they still believe in God, or at any rates, they’re
spiritual in some sense even if they’re not religious.” Well, here is the United States, and this shows
the proportion of the people who say they know God really exists
and they have no doubts about it, again by year of birth – older people on the left,
younger people on the right. And you can see that in the older
section of the population, something of the order of three-quarters, say they know God really exists, and that falls to not
much better than 2 in 5 for people born later in the 20th century. Or Canada, for example, where we have data
on the importance in life of religious or indeed spiritual beliefs. And here again, we see
a sharp generational gradient, from something like two-thirds
of the oldest generation saying that these beliefs
are very important to them, and that drops down
to something like 1 in 5 for the youngest adult generations. Well, as you look at those,
you may be well wondering whether I’m simply comparing
the effect of being old with the effect of being young. Is it the case that people become
more religious as they get older? Well, we have census and survey data
going back quite a number of years – decades, in fact – across the Western World now, and we can answer that question. And the answer is no. On average, people within
a given generation don’t change across the adult-life course. So what we’re seeing
is not the effect of age, but permanent generation gaps. Lack of religion isn’t just a stage
that young people are going through. So this idea that there’s something
about modernization that erodes religious commitments, that reduces the respect
accorded to religion, is known as the secularization thesis. And there are a couple of objections
that are commonly raised nowadays to the secularization thesis. One is the example of the United States, which is modern,
and yet religion seems to thrive. And if it’s an exception, then surely
no generalizations are possible. The other objection
that’s commonly raised is that we’re looking
at change, not decline, and that while those old, conventional
churches may well be struggling, there are new churches,
new religious movements – Mormons and Pentecostals, for example – there’s alternative spirituality
and indeed non-Christian faiths, like Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, that are gaining ground across the West. Well, as I mentioned a moment ago, even in the United States, in fact, it seems that decline has set in. We only just have the data now to notice, but it seems that it started
a few decades ago. And it’s following the same pattern
of generational replacement that we’ve observed elsewhere in the West. And while it is the case
that there have been developments, particularly immigration, that have brought people
from more religious countries into the Western world, those effects aren’t big enough
to reverse the main trend. So – so far so good, or so bad, depending
on your view of religion. Secularization is happening. But there’s still a big question. You may be asking, “Isn’t it possible that the popularity
of religion could be restored, even in the Western world?” After all, faith promises benefits that are difficult or impossible
to obtain any other way. It offers meaning, purpose, solace, ultimate justice, life after death, the prospect of being
reunited with loved ones, and so on. Isn’t it the case, you might be wondering, that nothing is irreversible? There’s a reluctance nowadays, I think, to believe that we’re converging
towards some determined future. This is a notion that was popular
in the mid 20th century, but that’s fallen out of favor. It reminds us now a bit
of the Victorian idea of progress, where the highest form of civilization is represented by people
who are remarkably just like us. And yet, modernization does have effects. We can look at, for example,
the Human Development Index, which is calculated each year
by a United Nations agency. It’s based on life expectancy, years of education, national income per capita. And on that score, Norway is currently at the top; Niger, in Africa, is at the bottom. And as you look down this list of all
the different countries in the world, it’s very apparent that the most highly developed countries
are the least religious and the least developed countries
are the most religious. Now, there are some exceptions. There are the countries
on the Arabian Peninsula, for example, that produce oil, are off the trend line. They’re rich, but religious. But in the mid 20th century, they were underdeveloped
and very traditional. So it’s certainly the case that religious decline comes very late
in the process of modernization, but it does come,
at least if societies modernize. If we think about the very question about whether
religion can decline in society, it’s often objected
that most of the world is religious. And that’s very true, but then, most of the world
isn’t very highly developed. So I’m talking specifically
about the 40 or 50 countries that have gone furthest
down the path of modernization, places in Europe, North America,
Australia, New Zealand, a few in East Asia,
a few in Latin America. The 140, 150 countries elsewhere
are very different. It’s not easy to specify
the causal mechanisms, and indeed, it would take
another few talks to even try to sketch some of the factors that might connect modernizaton
with problems for religion. But to name just a few: prosperity brings choice and an unwillingness to defer
to traditional authority; secular and scientific worldviews
start to displace religious worldviews; communications and geographical mobility bring people into contact
with different cultures and beliefs; and physical and material security seem to reduce the need
for the solace provided by spirituality. Now, whether any or perhaps
all of these factors operate, it’s clear that there’s something
about the process of modernization that does cause problems for religion. Moreover, it’s very difficult
for religion to bounce back. We do know of some places where religious involvement
has increased in recent decades, but those are typically places where
national elites had suppressed religion or imposed a degree
of secularity that was lower than the development
of the country would find natural. So one thinks, for example,
of Iran, the former Soviet Union, China, even Turkey perhaps – but when those regimes fell
or restrictions were relaxed, religion rebounded to something
that was more like an appropriate level, given the degree of modernization. So the secular transition is underway, but why should it be irreversible? I think the key reason is
that people with no religion have great difficulty in acquiring one. And if you’re wondering
why that’s the case, it might help in understanding this to think about a religion
that’s not your own. Now, I’m going to guess
that most of you watching aren’t Hindu. Apologies to those of you who are. You can think of a different religion. But here, as an example,
are some of the Hindu deities. And here are some scenes of Hindu worship. Now, some of you may decide that Hinduism
is the faith that you’ve been looking for, but I suspect that for most of you,
it seems a bit exotic, strange, maybe even slightly scary. And I suggest that that’s the position that a large proportion
of young adults in the West are in with respect to any religion. They weren’t brought up going to church,
and they don’t feel comfortable attending. They didn’t grow up
with Christian doctrine. That’s not to say
they won’t become Christian. Some of them will. Many will. Some will become Hare Krishna
or Muslim or Buddhist. But most won’t, and for most, in fact,
it’s nearly impossible. You have to be raised with a religion
to find it natural. Now, I’m not suggesting that religious
belief is inherently implausible or religious practice is inherently odd. On the contrary. What I want to argue is that it’s a matter
of custom and culture. So in the past, in the West, most people had a religion,
at least nominally. Most people had some sort
of religious knowledge. Religious involvement was the norm, and it was supported by culture
and popular sentiment. These days, the default
is quite the reverse. Many people grow up with
very little acquaintance with religion or religious identity. Religion has become
almost countercultural, indeed to the extent that people
who have any contact with religion, it’s often in news stories about extremism
or abuse or intolerance. And that’s simply not conducive
for religious revival. I’m not arguing that Westerners
are all rationalist, with a naturalistic worldview. On the contrary. A large proportion, at least half,
believe in God or something out there, a higher power perhaps. Another large, perhaps
non-overlapping proportion believe in some form of life after death. But for most people, it’s not something
they’re really interested in, it’s not something that’s very
important in their lives; they have little interest
in becoming religiously active. So the secular transition is underway. Because it proceeds
by generational replacements, it works very slowly
and will be going on for years to come. When it comes to human beings,
nothing is certain, but I hope that I’ve shown you
that there’s a good argument there’s no way back
for religion in the West. Thank you. (Applause)

Why there is no way back for religion in the West | David Voas | TEDxUniversityofEssex
Tagged on:                                 

100 thoughts on “Why there is no way back for religion in the West | David Voas | TEDxUniversityofEssex

  • July 28, 2019 at 6:54 pm
    Permalink

    Religion and God are like calculus and crocheting, if you don't make an effort to learn they just aren't there for you– and when you really need those skills it's too late. Jeremiah 29:13 says: "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." No pain, no gain.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 7:42 pm
    Permalink

    Islam will take over quite easily

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 3:13 am
    Permalink

    I would like to know David's opinion on the fact that the more secular and "modern" a society is, the more precipitously their birth rate declines. I would be interested in hearing his opinion about the way that "secular" societies are desperately fighting to bring immigrants from the less secular countries to make up for their aging population, and if he thinks it's possible that the immigrants might successfully bring religion with them to the west. I do not suggest that the young atheists might find religion in mass numbers, but I do suggest that they are going to be so few in number compared to the immigrants that the culture might shift.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 7:36 am
    Permalink

    I think you'd be surprised

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 8:26 am
    Permalink

    religion is fake news.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 8:35 am
    Permalink

    This guy is so full of his own feces I can smell it from here! Atheism, or the "unaffiliated" group, is expected to lose market share worldwide to those in a religion through 2050 according to the experts. Europe is predicted to go from 75% Christian to 65% Christian but it will be more than made up by growth in Africa and Asia.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 10:06 am
    Permalink

    Intersectionality is the new fundamentalist cult that has taken the place of religion in terms of being the one thing that just must be true or people would freak out. You will find everyone's religious. It's just now their god is politics, and the same inerrancy now applies to intersectionalism as used to apply to scriptures. Actually, fundamentalists are usually way more open to the idea of possible errors in their faith than intersectional people are. And one problem with intersectionality: It has no mercy, no forgiveness and no limits on cruelty, making it even worse than traditional religion.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 4:25 pm
    Permalink

    Voltaire said that man has created God in his own image. Often it's actually a 'non God' (concept, worldview) like this that folks are subconsciously following (very religiously!).
    Revelation: God has revealed himself to man.
    Rejection: Men have turned from the Truth.
    Rationalisation: Thinking they are wise they have become foolish.
    Religion: Man at his lowest. Worshipping the created (including others of mankind) rather than the Creator.
    We have abandoned God and he is returning the favour.
    It's not about religion, even Jesus challenged religion, it's about seeking and finding God as revealed in Jesus Christ. A God who loved us so much He died to make us right with Him. He gives us His life for our old life. This is the Divine exchange that radically changes lives!

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 5:36 pm
    Permalink

    What is modernization though? Not so much depth in this reasoning. Maybe future (even more modern) societies will retain some more traditional ways of life as compared to ours, ie living in close connection with nature (with more ecological/organic technology)? How about the correlation between how much a culture is damaging the climate and how religious it is?

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 5:44 pm
    Permalink

    I will be brutally honest. The idea of an eternal Father Figure is a nice thought but misguided. This belief is Santa for adults

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    most people's understanding of religion or esoteric spirituality is so little. most knowledge is kept hidden.
    Here's one thing most people don't understand, believing that there is nothing greater than your ego and to just care about yourself and do things for yourself (i.e. worshiping the ego) and that right and wrong is subjective and we can determine what right and wrong is (i.e. moral relativism)…that's satanism. most people are religious, they are satanists and they don't even know it.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 7:55 am
    Permalink

    Imagine a religion other than your own.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 2:30 pm
    Permalink

    There are many points to be made here but I believe the biggest factor is people realizing and accepting the hard and brutal truth that Christianity,Islam etc. are the costumes used to disguise the monsters people know they truly are.They fall short of far more than the Glory.They fall short of reality.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 9:21 pm
    Permalink

    Good. We should replace the old religions with something that embraces empiricism and reason over fiction. Something that makes us embrace doubt, uncertainty and skepticism. But we can still keep the traditions and holidays. They're not really the problem, it's the beliefs that are the problem.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 1:50 am
    Permalink

    Religion may be on the way out, and there may be no way back for it in general terms, but I disagree with this guy's conclusions on why that is. Especially of those three lines at around 13:23 the first and the third are wrong. "You have to be raised with religion to find it natural" – No you don't, you just need an inquisitive mind, an open mind even, a yearning for deeper truths, a search for meaning, a need to understand life, reality and consciousness. I was not raised with any religion, I come from a very secular society with an almost atheist upbringing and yet my own personal quest for finding deeper truths and meanings led me to find spirituality. "Contemporary culture is not conducive to religious revival" – First of all, many are realizing in a Terence McKennian way that culture is not our friend, and finding their own paths and truths. Second, our contemporary culture and zeitgeist is conducive to religious revival, in two ways. The new age yoga vegan health altruistic meditation revolution movements are good breeding grounds for spirituality. And also the nationalistic and traditionalistic movements which have risen as a counter-reaction to large amounts of islamic immigrants are breeding grounds for traditional christian values. I have seen so many people, who were atheists in their youth become either buddhists, hinduists, karmic yogis or new age spiritualists when in their 20's and 30's they have started thinking more about health, food, animal rights, human rights, exploitations, politics and the socio-economic system. I have also seen many who were atheists in their youth suddenly become very christian, or even celtic or norse mythology -religious, and hold on to traditional values, as they have felt threatened by islamic culture taking over.

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 6:42 pm
    Permalink

    Of course you need to be raised in religion to accept it. Exposure after you can again things means you'll know their claims are utter nonsense. God isn't dead, he never existed.

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 1:35 am
    Permalink

    The subversion of Western societies by a (((certain))) group of individuals has gave a rebirth to Christian and religious ideals.

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 6:50 am
    Permalink

    The West is in steep decline. What comes next?

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 6:06 pm
    Permalink

    christianity is rapidly expterminated in the u.s. down 10% every decade!!!!
    obama doubled the muslim population while decimating christianity.
    The planet is very overpopulated and must start incentives for 2 child families.
    2/3 of children born in mexico are fleeing to the u.s.
    we also need repatriation incentives. many refugees want to get home..

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm
    Permalink

    smug detractors come and go but the gospel will remain when they're long gone. a time of falling away was prophesied. the courageous will stand till the end. in a difficult time of war or natural disaster people return in droves to the Lord.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 2:46 pm
    Permalink

    What is he talking about.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 2:52 pm
    Permalink

    Suleiman and paul from now on I can perfectly speak english well done gentlemen.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 4:37 pm
    Permalink

    Spirituality is important than religion.
    Religion uses God to make money.It's business.
    Thats why Rev.18:4 says toget out of Her.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 7:11 pm
    Permalink

    "a people that loses it's faith is doomed to have women and children rule over them."

    Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 11:46 pm
    Permalink

    Thank god, religion is dying out!

    Reply
  • August 3, 2019 at 9:15 am
    Permalink

    Somehow this isn't so surprising.

    What he probably overlooked was the discredited religious leadership. We should remember the decline was largely within western religion (he didn't seem to elaborate any further about eastern beliefs). Scandals and scams have rocked Protestant and Catholic churches alike, and for a religion as rigorous as Christianity, one misstep can be quite of consequence.

    The thing is, religious belief has always been with humanity and even today the atheists and securalists are still a minority globally. It's just like in ancient times when irreligious philosophers weren't really a majority. Even the scientific community couldn't exactly rule out the existence of God. Religion will not be stamped out, but the form it may take in this century will be something like what is seen in Japan: a personal selection of beliefs in all sorts of gods or spirits subject to one's tastes or convenience. "Spiritual not religious." Not the strictures of Christian teachings, which I might even say goes against human nature.

    What should be asked maybe isn't why Christianity declined, but why and how it even appeared and grew in the first place.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2019 at 1:03 pm
    Permalink

    The fear of death and what's after it is what keeps religions alive. The worst part of it is that the religious conmen don't realise they really are conmen and believe their own lies that have been passed down as traditions and beliefs. That's why they are so stubborn to admit they are wrong, they really believe they are "correct".

    Reply
  • August 4, 2019 at 1:34 pm
    Permalink

    I believe in VOO Doo 🔪🧸👅

    Reply
  • August 4, 2019 at 7:07 pm
    Permalink

    Passing on is not an end, rather a break and an evaluation. No vertigal hierarchy. By the way. Why, how?
    …for she's been
    Written.
    Look it up. SheHe.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 3:21 am
    Permalink

    Out of curiosity, this appears correlated with the flynn effect. This could be explained if religion required a maximum level of iq. Curious how well, or how much that explains.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 7:24 pm
    Permalink

    Just 10 years ago I wouldn't believe in things that are around today and are actually considered to be normal. Honestly, the prophesies are coming true right before me in my lifetime. The chip impants are just around the corner. Scary.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 11:13 am
    Permalink

    Well that if people in west have enought children lol , but as a matter of fact religious people typically have more children than non religious , so no , religion is going nowhere.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 6:29 pm
    Permalink

    The atheists say that life is completely meaningless when put into a scientific perspective (big bang, no God, no inherit value) yet believe in upholding laws, treating others with respect, making societal “progress”, etc. Hypocrisy that saddens any Christian because these people are so lost in the lies of the world.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm
    Permalink

    Atheism is the weapon of those who choose to rebel and who do not want to be held accountable for their actions. It’s far easier to be an atheist than a Christian.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 6:32 pm
    Permalink

    Mathematics, properties of physics, and matter point towards to the existence of God. Where do these rules come from? Do they exist solely in our mind or do they point to an architect?

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 6:34 pm
    Permalink

    Don’t believe everything you hear in a classroom or a church. Just because someone has a degree does not mean they know what they are talking about or that they are telling the truth. Same applies to those in the church. Jesus Christ is Lord! Wake up from the lies of the media and politicians.

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 12:42 am
    Permalink

    I think old people have been taught to automatically say they're religious, but when really pressed will admit they have 'doubts' about it and young people have been taught to automatically say they are NOT religious, but will when pressed admit to having doubts about their purported atheism or admit they believe in the existence of a 'higher power'. I think the proportions of people who are actually spiritualized will be about the same.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 3:56 am
    Permalink

    Im a first generation Atheist, but i still admire my Christian Ancestors for carrying the West through 2 centuries of Industry without destroying the World

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 5:56 pm
    Permalink

    This Is why churches in UK try to control schools. They can't get adults in church so they force kids instead

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 6:51 pm
    Permalink

    When truth is gone, you'll look for God.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:22 pm
    Permalink

    Man… So boring voice… Didn't finish the video.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 11:46 pm
    Permalink

    Perhaps the decline in Christian faith among the developed countries is significantly due to the church at large not adequately answering the question raised by science and the (I believe) incorrect view of moderns that faith and science are contradictory. Say for example healing in the name of Jesus was recorded for the apostles Peter, John and Paul. And asking for prayer by the elders were with the expectation of God answering this prayer as the people confessed their sins. That is somehow harder for moderns to believe, though it is logically consistent that the God of creation is well able to heal even today. Another example is that many people believe in evolution rather than creation. But I don't know of any experiments or observations recording one species evolving into another (true we have antibiotic resistant bacteria, but they are still bacteria, they have not become stem cells for example which can become multi-cellular organisms). Yet evolution is given the same credibility as physics or chemistry in our children's classrooms unchallenged. This is really a violation of the principles of scientific inquiry and validation. When one applies the rules of historical validation (which is the best we can do since acts in history do not repeat), we find a lot of support for the recorded Old Testament history of the Jewish nation and the resurrection of Christ in the New Testament. So there are Christian organizations that have dedicated themselves to such evidences and arguments. I believe that these will help with faith among thinking people.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 12:13 am
    Permalink

    If there is life after death then why is it called death?

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 12:15 am
    Permalink

    Humans on the earth are as fleas to a dog, nothing but an infestation.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 8:50 pm
    Permalink

    I cried when I found out Santa wasn't real. But I got over it.
    Christians, get over it!

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 9:58 pm
    Permalink

    Religion steadily loosing the influence and power they once had over the people in the west?

    1. The actions of people as a group were always different from how an individuals from the same group would act.

    I believe this social phenomena will see peoples action that in many points in history was controlled and influenced by religion be replaced with something else.

    So we can forget about us replacing the results arising from a behaviour pattern that can best be described as that of communal apes with the rationality of single individuals as religion completely exits the scene.

    But rejoice ye all, for it will definitely be better than where I am currently from, where the puppeteers continue to push men to act as the communal ape at an increased rate that too.

    They want to completely kill off and wipe traces of individuality to further their already permeating control and influence.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 11:05 pm
    Permalink

    I got zero faith in failed dead carpenter deities .

    Reply
  • August 11, 2019 at 8:40 am
    Permalink

    I really wanted to watch this, but after 5 mins, all I could focus on was the mouth noises every time he open and closed from the mic being to close/sensitive…

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 4:21 am
    Permalink

    If things will go worse in west ppl will turn to God again.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 4:39 am
    Permalink

    I am 35 yo and i found beliving in God helpfull and making life less painfull. So i decided to belive and i'm happy about it.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 1:03 pm
    Permalink

    Decline of religion…. 1000x increase in depression… just my humble opinion …🌏

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 3:55 pm
    Permalink

    Generations of Normal People Have Been Waiting for This Moment.. Let the Quest for Truth and Reality be our Legacy..

    Reply
  • August 13, 2019 at 8:32 am
    Permalink

    I feel like this guy is giving his Ted talk to mentally disabled people. My god people can read a graph bro

    Reply
  • August 13, 2019 at 2:24 pm
    Permalink

    Buddhism isn't a faith.

    Reply
  • August 13, 2019 at 3:00 pm
    Permalink

    "Things won't change"…until God decides to change it with one big event.

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 2:39 am
    Permalink

    I disagree with the part about their being no way back.

    I suspect you'd see a whole lot of people turning to religion if there were an existential crisis that governments, scientists etc couldn't fix.

    Or, alternatively, it's possible that our power could decline and an ascendant non-western culture could simply shove it down our throats.

    Reply
  • August 15, 2019 at 1:41 am
    Permalink

    The interwebs, where religious/god beliefs come to die. Beepers were ok for a while then came cell phones. Goodbye beepers. Religions were ok for awhile then came science. Good bye religions.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 1:32 pm
    Permalink

    The problem is not religion. Religion is not a thing. Religion is what people think. It's ideas in minds. Therefore, religion will never die, only change shape. The latest religion we have is the Climate Change sect, fully equipped with dogma, anti-science, prophets, blasphemy, persecuted dissidents, doomsday scare, defamation of unbelievers etc. Religion is indeed alive and well. But this type of religious sects, like the Climate Alarmism sect and Flat Earth sect, are worse than religions centered around a diety, because these untheological ones can be falsified by science, unlike the traditional religions. Yet people fervently believe in them. So, the problem is the mind, not religion.

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 2:56 am
    Permalink

    Finally. It`s (essentially) almost over. I`ve been embarrassed for my species all my life. I became an Atheist at 6yrs old

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 4:46 pm
    Permalink

    Religion is doomed because information is easily accessible .. this was expected as the Age of Aquarius approaches .. but all Ages come and go so unfortunately religion will come back around again to enslave the masses .. it is expected .. and the cycle will go on and on and on ………….

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 1:58 am
    Permalink

    I was raised Catholic and I find it horrifying, alien, dangerous and generally rediculouse. Education is the best medicine for the virus of religion. The more I learn the less I can relate to practicing Christians, or any religious or spiritual person. The education system in the USA is awful, this is probably why the US is still the most religious nation in the West.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 5:46 am
    Permalink

    Today's life is hard enough with taxes , divorce, greedy banks, economy,phone scammers, sickness,car accidents,job loss,substance abuse,mother nature,and then after all this I have to worry about hell,I never asked to be born in the 1st place,give me a break at some point please!I do hear some good things that churches do like the Mormon's helping people in the west,but then you hear about churches in the south making a million a week buying Citation jets when that money should go to help there community,Just my 2 cents.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 8:59 pm
    Permalink

    when i was 18 i was positive jesus was coming back before my 20th birthday, now i'm 67 and not waiting anymore. i'v grown up.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 9:04 pm
    Permalink

    whats keeping religion alive in the western world is money , the televangelists know how to extract it from the morons that support them.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 11:41 pm
    Permalink

    My faith in Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to be a choice for light and truth. May I recommend a open-minded exploration of The Book of Mormon. It is a second witness of Jesus Christ and is meant to be a companion to the Holy Bible for our "day." Together, they provide hope for personal salvation no matter how out of control the world events appear. These events are foretold — but we always have the choice to persue light and goodness through Jesus Christ, the only source of lasting peace if we follow His commandments.

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 3:41 am
    Permalink

    Maybe religion is simply being de-ritualized and is nearing its complete assimilation into western cultural values.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 1:05 am
    Permalink

    Mobile phones will kill religion dead. Now, everyone can get educated.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 1:38 am
    Permalink

    Nobody blindly follows religion anymore, every religion tells its followers that their religion is the only way to god, so that tells us that, all or all but one religion is a cult. I was a catholic, I challenged God to prove he existed in an auditorium full of other kids out loud for everyone to hear. I hated "father" Hutchinson, so I prayed to god before next weeks final exam to be confirmed, that god, if he existed, launch "father" Hutchinson headfirst through the windshield of his car and smash his head open, like a watermelon on an oak tree. A bunch of other kids said let us pray. A week later, some old priest was in Father Hutchinson's chair, when another student asked, where's father Hutchinson, the old priest said "Oh, didn't anyone else tell you, Father Hutchinson died, he went head first through the windshield of his car and smashed his head open like a watermelon on an oak tree. everybody looked at him and then looked at me. the next thing he said was "Now don't anybody cheat, I'll be watching you like a hawk" Everybody looked at him, then looked at me. I whispered to the mob. "what do you want me to do, ask god to kill him too." So I looked up at the ceiling waved, then pointed as if on Que, the old buzzard dropped, not dead, but unconscious just long enough for everyone to cheat an pass the to get confirmed

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 11:31 pm
    Permalink

    This argument overlooks a couple of important points:

    1. The Charismatic Preacher: We could easily see in future a very charismatic preacher that could reignite religious feeling. Say a turbo-charged Billy Graham or, for that matter, another Christ-like figure

    2. Religious people have more children. A lot more. Over time religious people tend to outlast the non-religious

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 1:14 am
    Permalink

    No offence, but hasn’t communism help quicken the process? This isn’t a way for me to argue against him, more a question to affirm things further…..but what if a fascist government comes in place that forces a religion through war? Idk. Like from the east? Idk, just thinking aloud.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 11:53 am
    Permalink

    Rubbish. The popularity of “religion” has ebbed and flowed throughout Western history since the time of the Minoans. What this man sees as a permanent death of religion is premised on a timeline barely 1/40 of all Western history.

    Compare modern surveys to a survey of the people during the Spanish Civil War or the French or Bolshevik Revolutions and you would get the exact opposite result. The very fact that this timeline began just after a massive resurgence in religion in the West speaks volumes to how unscientific and myopic this methodology is.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 5:34 pm
    Permalink

    The dead church, overtaken by dead legalism is indeed dead, but the Church of our ever living Jesus Christ, will never die.
    He is the Firstborn among the dead and His Holy Spirit is ALIVE and well and living in the hearts of His children.

    “Come to Him [then, to that] Living Stone which men tried and threw away, but which is chosen [and] precious in God's sight. [Ps. 118:22; Isa. 28:16.] [Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house, for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.”
    ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:4-5‬

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:05 am
    Permalink

    Religion is the drug that humans created to overcome death anxiety. It treats the symptoms but it is not a cure for the disease. Acceptance of our mortality is the key to unlocking the freedom to live our lives to the fullest. Religion is a crutch for people to support themselves on, but when your mind heals, you learn to walk on your own.

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 11:10 pm
    Permalink

    …great talk ruined by detestable audio…like you're inside his mouth while hes talking…

    Reply
  • August 29, 2019 at 8:23 am
    Permalink

    There is a University in Essex???

    Reply
  • August 29, 2019 at 9:33 am
    Permalink

    I identify as spiritual, but not religious

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 6:47 am
    Permalink

    In India we are in reverse…Hindu was a civilization but has now fallen to become a religion. We talked about consciousness, mind, happiness, existence, etc but now we talk what a Hindu can eat.
    This probably shows religion feeds on poverty and suppression. A free person always tends to choose atheism.

    Reply
  • August 31, 2019 at 8:19 am
    Permalink

    A good unbiased presentation.
    I reckon it's good to see through the control schemes of politics in the name of religion, or politics in the name of anything else, for that matter.
    But there's so much more to a spiritual view than that. It's more like an internal investigation into one's consciousness, and the origin of the same. Also a sense of family with all living beings, and that life becomes embodied but is not dependent on bodies.
    In modern socieites, many hardly know where their food comes from, and feel depressed and isolated. I wonder if there's a connection between that and a departure from seeing divine handiwork in the patterns of the world. Our own patterns are so prominent in our vision, and we depend on our own efforts. One might say, where's the need for prayer?

    Reply
  • August 31, 2019 at 4:09 pm
    Permalink

    One of the greatest men in history who has inspired me is American inventor, diplomat, small business owner, philosopher and patriot Benjamin Franklin. Following closely in his footsteps, I am a printer, electrician, entrepreneur, and Deist. Franklin was not a religious man, however he was a highly critical thinker. He constantly pondered the mystery of life, Earth's creatures. wonders of the Heavens, etc. He concluded that organized religion failed miserably to answer the questions about life he sought. He needed to fine them elsewhere. He found them in the principles of Deism. In short, Deists use logic and reasoning to arrive at their unique view of the world, life, and how everything came into being. For the most part, Deists are close observers of systems and interrelationships. They often marvel at the complexity and interdependency of people, plants, animals and everything that surrounds us. Most importantly, conventional Deists, as opposed to Darwinian evolutionists, tend to believe in a master creative force in the universe that brings all living things together in a single, coordinated plan. More to the point, Deists support the opinion of purposeful design, and that nothing makes itself. Human beings are part of the "creation", for the lack of a better term, not apart from it, as in most religious philosophy.

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 10:00 am
    Permalink

    This is predicted in the New Testament. It’s termed as the grate falling away. We Christians who have a well informed view on the teachings of Christ and his disciples, both lament and rejoice the coming of the end times. Saint Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians.

    "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…" 2 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV).

    Reply
  • September 3, 2019 at 2:27 pm
    Permalink

    Thought he was going to bring up how the newer generation is not as easily duped into the brainwashing techniques of indoctrination especially with fear-based dogmatic religions such as Christianity. Nope, apparently, the newer generation is simply just not into it, too boring.

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 6:22 pm
    Permalink

    Ignorance and childhood indoctrination abound in 'Merica

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 6:59 am
    Permalink

    As far as religion in schools go .. why?

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 3:16 pm
    Permalink

    His definition of religion is way too narrow. No wonder he reached this conclusion.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 4:35 pm
    Permalink

    It's refreshing to have simple PowerPoint slides. Easy to read with no unneeded colors or effects.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 7:20 pm
    Permalink

    As long as every child has the fact checking juggernaut called the Internet, religion is completely screwed.

    Reply
  • September 5, 2019 at 10:26 pm
    Permalink

    This is what might save humanity. There's hope!

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 6:05 am
    Permalink

    This is wonderful news for the world as a whole. The trump presidency is a clear indication that the christian religion is getting desperate.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 11:57 am
    Permalink

    Lets hope the secular revolution happens sooner rather than later. We have a lot of work to do to clean this mess up, and the resources squandered on building the biggest and best "churches" (read: entertainment venues), buying Lear jets and Bentleys, and the huge tax breaks given to "religious based organizations" could fund a shitload of beneficial policies.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 6:35 pm
    Permalink

    Please, someone, get this man a glass of water

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 9:45 pm
    Permalink

    @TEDx Talks . Are you deleting or blocking my posts??? They are not showing up for some reason.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 9:47 pm
    Permalink

    This TED talk is terrible. It forgets about Jains, Quakers, Buddhists, ans many otheres, many of whom don't have a belief in God but still have a religious spiritual connection amd they are forgotten in evidence. Moreover the PowerPoint was awful and he was Really boring, slow and repetitive

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 10:36 pm
    Permalink

    Scripture tells us this, we shouldn’t be surprised of the decline in belief it’s clearly progressive ,certainly in the West. For many religious belief creates a control from individual freedom. It’s a choice, mans way or Gods way, the Bible has been showing us the consequences of this decision process throughout.

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 3:39 am
    Permalink

    Groovism is a fact based belief system, that incorporates most religion's beliefs. Instinctively, our question of our existence has been claimed by many religions. Groovism is a forward looking system, that expects to answer most, if not all questions. The Evolutionary step we instigate will prove globally necessary & enable consciousness to evolve!!!

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 5:58 am
    Permalink

    This is great news – finally the USA will become a developed society independent of being the currency peg of choice for the financial underworld (city of London) until the 1940s and regardless of the petrodollar (to this day).

    Reply
  • September 7, 2019 at 7:56 pm
    Permalink

    Funny seeing this from a British guy.
    There is no way back for Christianity in the west because Islam has many more kids.
    In a few generation they will claim they were in Britain first. Just like the Arab invaders to India (Pakistan) did and the so called “Palestinians” who are nothing but invaders

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 7:28 pm
    Permalink

    Religion is dying in certain regions of Europe…not all regions…Eastern Europe is still highly religious…Russia after decades of Communist rule is now going back to her Orthodox roots…and America is more religious than Europe. The decline has really set in Northern Europe though…especially in UK, France, Scandinavian Countries, etc. Surprisingly Germany is still fairly religious! You can check out 'Christianity is Default is gone' Guardian article.

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 11:25 pm
    Permalink

    I believe that everyone has the religious mind
    but thought , organized religion and the material world has diverted us away from it.
    There is nothing sacred in that format.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 1:13 am
    Permalink

    In societies and cultures where free thinking is encouraged, religion is bound to diminish.

    The number of Muslims filtering through to the western world is growing at an alarming rate. Give it time to integrate with the freedom to think and make your mind up and watch that faith slowly but surely be diluted amongst the new generation Islam masses.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 11:22 am
    Permalink

    Someone who clearly needs to look at the field of seculosity. Religion has died, as Jordan Peterson notes, its merely metamophsised into religious secularism, but they're actually just a "religious".

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *