The Atheist Movement Is Taking Hold In The US
More and more people in the United States are shedding their faith of fairy tales and embracing a life of atheism and I for one couldn’t be happier about it. After all religion is responsible for some of the most horrific acts of violence the planet has ever seen. It creates separation between people and causes perfectly rational people to do completely irrational things. A recent poll called “The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism” has shown a sharp rise of atheism in the United States the last 8 years. In fact in 2005, the poll showed 73% of Americans considered themselves religious. When the poll was given again in 2012 the number had dropped to 60%. During that same time, the number of Americans who say they are atheists rose from 1 percent to 5 percent.
While still a minority, these numbers are showing a dramatic swing in how people think and perceive the world, and it shows that it is happening rapidly. Ryan Cragun, a University of Tampa sociologist of religion who studies American and global atheism said he believes the poll shows that more people are willing to identify as atheists. “For a very long time, religiosity has been a central characteristic of the American identity,” he continued. “But what this suggests is that is changing and people are feeling less inclined to identify as religious to comply with what it means to be a good person in the U.S.”
So What Causing The Changes In Peoples Identity?
When looking at how the US views religion and how deep the roots go you have to understand why people originally believed in religion and a god. When the different religions took hold thousands of years ago, people thought the world was flat and that all the stars, planets and sun orbited around the earth. There were no telescopes or microscopes. The main tool people had is the naked eye. To a primitive people complex subjects like mortality and the reason for being were just too much to handle. To help understand and come to grips with life, early man created religion. It helped to give a perspective as well as acting as a tool to help rulers keep large populations of subjects in line.
The rapid advancements of science and technology over the last 50 years is simply mind boggling. As science and technology evolve, so does the core of peoples beliefs. Every new thing we learn and understand breaks down a little piece of the huge wall religion has created. Each new piece of science acts as a mortar slowly chipping away brick by brick of a persons system of beliefs. Eventually that wall is coming down. For some it takes a few shots, for others it takes a barrage. And the cool thing is that there is no stopping this. It’s all part of our overall natural evolution as human beings.
I can attest personally how difficult it can be to completely release yourself from a set of beliefs you were taught from the moment you were born. With a few years immersed in the wonders science has to offer as well as lots of reading I was able to shed over 30 years of Catholicism. Some people remain in denial longer than others but eventually a hundred years from now or so, I boldly predict religion will only infect a small number of people in the developed countries. It’s the most rational and logical path for human existence to take and the world will be better off for it.
Perfect Example of The Snowball Effect
When people speak about their own personal atheist beliefs it causes those around them to really question what they themself think. Other influences around them like Hollywood help in its own way with more and more stars announcing they are atheists. These people create shows designed to entertain as well as open a closed off brain to the realm of new possibilities. Social media also plays a big role in this. As the snowball grows bigger and gains momentum the virus of religion slowly but surely gets run over and squashed, just like a bug.
Just a few hundred years ago speaking as I am now would have been punishable by death. Thank fuck reason and skepticism took hold and the world has vastly improved. Recent bestselling authors like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens are helping people make sense of the cluttered mess religion has made of society. Atheists will get married and have little baby atheists who will grow up in homes of science, fact, reason and logic. This is how change begins. The atheism movement is just getting started and the numbers are growing. It’s only a matter of time.
What do you think? We’d love to hear you sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!