25th June 2009

“Adults still have childhood memories of being taken to church, and they maintain a nostalgic affection for Christianity but that is dying out. They still go along with the some kind of religious identity but they're not passing it on to the next generation, and people who aren't raised in a religion don't generally start one as adults.”

Professor David Voas

5 Responses to “25th June 2009”

  1. AtheistAdvocate Says:

    Thank god for small favors! 🙂

  2. Chris Says:

    I know many people in this boat but can’t generalize from my small sample of similarly situated people. The generational progression in my family looks like this:

    1. Great Grandparents – went to church every week and confession regularly.
    2. Grand Parents – went to church every week and fish on Fridays. What’s confession?
    3. Parents – made me go to church in pre-teen years only. Friday is burger night.
    4. Me – church? Maybe on Eoster if not busy.
    5. My kid – who is this God person anyway?

    To borrow an idea from MLK – The arc of history is long and bends toward naturalism.

  3. Oxymoronic Christhinker Says:

    So if atheism is the “default position” (debatable) of humanity as a whole, and if “people who aren’t raised in a religion don’t generally start one as adults,” then how in the hell did we end up with religion at all?

    The “generational progression” in my family looks very much like the opposite of Chris’. Chris – why do you go to church “on Eoster if not busy?”

    I would say that “naturalism” can be – but not necessarily so – quite “religious.”

  4. Scepticus Says:

    “Adults[Some] still have childhood memories of being taken to church, and they[some] maintain a nostalgic affection for Christianity but that is dying out.”

    I don’t know of anyone in my family – past or present – that followed a religion. The only time they went or go to church was/is for the occasional wedding, christening and funeral (including their own). Even then, they – the living ones that is – would joke about the whole affair; they’d take the piss out of the priest, the rituals and the hymns. All my family members found/find Christianity embarrassingly silly and unbelievable – although some loosely believed in “something” but weren’t quite sure what. None of them (that I have spoken to) had heard of the terms: theist or atheist – I guess that can be put down to the quality of education in most areas of the UK. However, I’m pleased to say, the majority of my family now consider themselves atheist/agnostics.

  5. Chris Says:

    Sorry to confuse, OXY. Stopped church long ago. Went on Eoster with my folks as a child. They gave up long ago. As to why man started believing in the first place – read Daniel Dennett. He proposes a very solid reason. In short, we have “hyperactive agency detectors” that make us prone to thinking that things that happen, from leaves rustling to rain to the sun moving across the sky, are caused by thinking beings like us. A predispositon to thinking the noise we just heard was a lion and not the wind was advantageous to survival and natural selection reinforced it.