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March 23rd, 2011
10:56 AM ET

Organized religion 'will be driven toward extinction' in 9 countries, experts predict

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Organized religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies, a team of mathematicians predict in a new paper based on census data stretching back 100 years.

It won't die out completely, but "religion will be driven toward extinction" in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, they say.

It will also wither away in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland, they anticipate.

They can't make a prediction about the United States because the U.S. census doesn't ask about religion, lead author Daniel Abrams told CNN.

But nine other countries provide enough data for detailed mathematical modeling, he said.

"If you look at the data, 'unaffiliated' is the fastest-growing group" in those countries, he said.

"We start with two big assumptions based on sociology," he explained.

The first is that it's more attractive to be part of the majority than the minority, so as religious affiliation declines, it becomes more popular not to be a churchgoer than to be one, he said - what Abrams calls the majority effect.

"People are more likely to switch to groups with more members," he said.

Social networks can have a powerful influence, he said.

"Just a few connections to people who are (religiously) unaffiliated is enough to drive the effect," he said.

The other assumption underlying the prediction is that there are social, economic and political advantages to being unaffiliated with a religion in the countries where it's in decline - what Abrams calls the utility effect.

"The utility of being unaffiliated seems to be higher than affiliated in Western democracies," he said.

Abrams and his co-authors are not passing any judgment on religion, he's quick to say - they're just modeling a prediction based on trends.

"We're not trying to make any commentary about religion or whether people should be religious or not," he said.

"I became interested in this because I saw survey data results for the U.S. and was surprised by how large the unaffiliated group was," he said, referring to a number of studies done by universities and think tanks on trends in religion.

Studies suggest that "unaffiliated" is the fastest-growing religious group in the United States, with about 15% of the population falling into a category experts call the "nones."

They're not necessarily atheists or non-believers, experts say, just people who do not associate themselves with a particular religion or house of worship at the time of the survey.

Abrams had done an earlier study looking into the extinction of languages spoken by small numbers of people.

When he saw the religion data, his co-author "Richard Wiener suggested we try to apply a similar technique to religious affiliation," Abrams said.

The paper, by Abrams, Wiener and Haley A. Yaple, is called "A mathematical model of social group competition with application to the growth of religious non-affiliation." They presented it this week at the Dallas meeting of the American Physical Society.

Only the Czech Republic already has a majority of people who are unaffiliated with religion, but the Netherlands, for example, will go from about 40% unaffiliated today to more than 70% by 2050, they expect.

Even deeply Catholic Ireland will see religion die out, the model predicts.

"They've gone from 0.04% unaffiliated in 1961 to 4.2% in 2006, our most recent data point," Abrams says.

He admits that the increase in Muslim immigration to Europe may throw off the model, but he thinks the trend is robust enough to withstand some challenges.

"Netherlands data goes back to 1860," he pointed out. "Every single data that we were able to find shows that people are moving from the affiliated to unaffiliated. I can't imagine that will change, but that's personal opinion, not what the data shows."

But Barry Kosmin, a demographer of religion at Trinity College in Connecticut, is doubtful.

"Religion relies on human beings. They aren't rational or predictable according to the laws of physics. Religious fervor waxes and wanes in unpredictable ways," he said.

"The Jewish tradition that says prophecy is for fools and children is probably wise," he added.

And Abrams, Wiener and Yaple are not the first to predict the end of religion.

Peter Berger, a former president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, once said that, "People will become so bored with what religious groups have to offer that they will look elsewhere."

He said Protestantism "has reached the strange state of self-liquidation," that Catholicism was in severe crisis, and anticipated that "religions are likely to survive in small enclaves and pockets" in the United States.

He made those predictions in February 1968.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Atheism • Austria • Ireland

soundoff (3,551 Responses)
  1. vbscript2

    Hmmm... people have been predicting this for a long time. They all had one thing in common: they were all wrong. These guys are no different.

    "God is dead."
    –Nietzsche

    "Nietzsche is dead."
    –God

    March 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Sort of like the whole Jesus is coming back thing...

      March 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Colin

      It will ocntinue to decline, but never die out completely. There will alwyas be a few believers. Just like there are stil la few flat earthers.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  2. Tim

    This is the natural progression of man kind. Religion was created to explain unknowns and as we discover ways to explain the unknown religion is no longer needed. Soon man will look back at Christianity the same way we look at Greek Mythology or the religion of indigenousness people.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • vbscript2

      People have been saying that for almost 2000 years. They're still wrong.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Tim

      No there actually right. 2000 years ago everyone believed in a God of some kind. Today we don't see that anymore and we as man understand that religion is something personal. No one says it will die out completely but the evolution of man kind has proven time and time again it will ditch old ways of thinking when something else proves to be correctly. Sorry but the world wasn't created 7000 years ago and it wasn't done in 6 days.

      Just because it doesn't happen over night doesn't mean it won't happen.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • cb

      vbsctipt2, Christianity started 2000 years ago. I doubt people were saying it when it was still life-threatening to be a christian. nice try tho.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  3. BOOBUS BEEF

    In the matter of this article people need to evaluet there boobuses if you dont you can fall victim to the boobus king or creamy boobus fats it is a ridiculous day when you are unable to release adequate boobus fats.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  4. ibn abdaz

    Islam will flourish before the end of time. The Jews (and shias) will follow the anti-christ. Some Christians will convert to Islam and some to Judaism. There will be a war between the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and the ant-christ. The anti-christ will be killed by Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). Then there will be peace for some time. Then the society will get corrupt again and then the day of judgment will arrive. All disbelievers will then be thrown in hell fire and the gates of hell will be closed forever. The believers will abide in Paradise peacefully for eternity, which will be true success. Beilvers are those who believe in the Oneness of our Creator and do good deeds.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Lovely bit of fiction you have there... Based on what, exactly?

      March 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Dboy66

      Don't forget the 72 virgins you get every time you fly an airplane into a building.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  5. SaLeForce

    Best news I have heard today!

    March 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  6. Gerald

    If you do not believe in God, pretend for a moment. If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

    March 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      god...can I have a tuna sandwich?

      March 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Tim

      If your all knowing than why do you test people to such extremes in the Bible? Shouldn't you already know the outcome without putting people through famine.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Since god doesn't exist, I don't have to pretend.

      On the other hand, those that worship some type of god, they're constantly pretending...

      March 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Gerald

      How curious you are Sean.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Dboy66

      God...why have you never healed any amputees?

      March 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Gerald

      Tim: A coach knows he cannot beat the other team with the players he has. But will he not push them to strive for perfection nonetheless?

      March 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      So...no sammich?

      March 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Gerald

      You can make your own sammi Sean.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      *sigh* Ok, but I was out of bread and tuna. I was hoping god could conjure me up some with that loaves and fishes trick I've read so much about.

      March 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • KinNYC

      Why do children get horrible diseases, suffer and die?

      March 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • g

      Do you exist?

      March 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  7. Ian

    Is it going to be the fate of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as well?

    March 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • nvda

      nah, spaghetti is too good to go extinct

      March 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  8. Enoch_knows_whos_names_are_written

    Atheism will be the pathway to Islam and suffering.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Yeah, that makes sense.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • fuyuko

      this doesn't make any sense.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  9. JonathanL

    It might be a good thing. Chriatianity was illegal in the first place. It wasn't even a religion. It was a cult with many different versions roaming around until Constantine legalized it in 310 AD on the condition that it include many Pagan Holidays and symbols. As for the different Christian creeds, Constantine forced the Bishops to come up with a single creed (now known as the Nicene Creed – still recited). Atheists are the smartest and most knowledgeable about religion of all the organized theistic and non-theist groups (though Atheists tend not to organize in groups but they identify themselves as Atheists when asked and by that are classified, but after all who would actively organize around something they do not believe in?). I used to be a Natheist (Non-Atheist) myself. I once wanted to model myself after St. Francis and devote my entire life to obedience to God's will. Then as I read the Bible I found out that not only was God a bad role model, actually pretty horrible and violent and jealous etc.. I found the Bible full of the most obvious contradictions and gaping logical holes. To be fair most religions have this problem. After struggling with having to suppress my ability to reason, I decided there is not reason to actually commit my life to any of the religions, but I still would go on to cultivate my better judgement and character. I found a moral code that is Christian-like but it is based, not on fear of God's wrath, or hope of rewards in Heaven, but on everyday reality and common sense. In time I had become exposed to many different religions about which I did a lot of reading trying to understand how this could be. I realized that some say "God is everywhere", and some say he "is not in an earthquake" (Just trying to be relevant – ref the First Book of Kings. Elijah, in despair over the situation in Israel, runs to the desert, back to Mt. Sinai to find the God of the Revelation to Moses."And lo, the Lord God passed by. There was a mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. There was an earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake."). But back to the God topic: So where is God? Atheists would doubt his very existence (not anywhere). And some believe he can exist in the mind or in the heart. But who is right? And if faith allows you to believe anything, does it matter who is right? Faith based systems allow and encourage people to dismiss logical questions, facts, and other evidence as 'the work of the devil'. I experienced this whenever I asked a question that would stump the Sunday School teacher. After all, as evidenced by many religionist arguments, you can say something is true when it isn't, and believe it (common in faith based reasoning). But how do we find out what is really true about God, if he exists? To complicate things, I found out there are many gods (even in the Bible) and most of them think they are special. But the Judeo-Christian God (Yahweh..Jehovah.."The" God) thinks he is the most special. According to his scribiner interpreters, "He" claims to be the God above all the other Gods. Did he say that to usurp Jupiter who around that time allegedly claimed that post as well? But I wasn't there so I can only guess because I don't even know if he was aware of Jupiter since there is no tale of God travelling to Greece at the time of Moses. According to the Bible, originally Yahweh was one of the sons of El, the chief god. He was various things to the people who followed that religion; at one point he was the war god of the Israelites (Jehovah translates as "great Warrior"). There are many early versions of the Biblical creation story (predating Genesis. Some take place in 7 days (the earliest story from about 1200 B.C. and sometimes the creator is female such as Euronyme (the genesis story from ancient Greece). There are passages in the Pentateuch which still reflect the old polytheism of the area in the Old Testament. Yahweh was first one of many gods, then the chief god of a particular tribe, then the one true god out of many, then the creator of the entire universe. I guess that sounds better. It commands more respect and certainly puts the other Gods in a lower status. All you have to remember is that God is a jealous God and will not exactly be happy if you go back and worship on of the other Gods for example, Molech, Resheph, Melqart or Tanit. So be aware, and be happy. But always know which God is in charge. Still not sure where he is though, or even if he is a he, but I hope someday, somehow, we find out the truth and can put these open questions to rest. Or if we find out there is no God, we can stop bickering like knowitalls about God's characteristics and what his will is, and also maybe look to logic and reason to become philosphical rather than religious,

    March 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • cb

      lol. your post is so long, i guarantee about 2 people will actually read it. well done.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • KinNYC

      I read it. GREAT!

      March 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Blah blah

      Second!

      March 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  10. holycow

    I just don't get the urge to proselytize. I believe in God because it helps me make sense of existence and of my own self. I believe that Jesus was the embodiment of God's perfect love and that God's love is more powerful than death.

    I never speak of my beliefs (well, guess i'm typing them here, but it is a belief forum after all) and I would never bother anyone by trying to convince them to share my beliefs.

    so I just don't understand the urge to proselytize, especially from non-believers. Why try to impose a belief system on anyone? Why is 'being right' or intellectually crushing someone who believes differently so gratifying? What does this say about the depth of our own humanity? Think and let think.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Jim

      If we believe that Christ is the only way to be reconciled to God and that people who do not accept Christ as the only way to be reconciled to God will spend an eternity separated from Him then it is the greatest act of love to try to get others to understand and accept God's plan of salvation. To not do this would show a lack of love for your friends and neighbors.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • fuyuko

      god's only command we should obey is to love your neigbor. if you do that, then you're cool. where people go wrong though, is being literal about the bible and using it to preach or scold others into believing your version of the sacred text. the 'other side' is upset that for years they are made to feel guilty and bad for not believing as religious people do. at least thats my take.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • NL

      Believing that a god will cause great disaster to people if we allow gays to marry, for example, is as much a superst.ition as believing that black cats cause bad luck. If people keep their beliefs to themselves you can pretty much overlook their bigotry, but voting to make gay marriage illegal makes about as much sense as voting to make owning a black cat illegal. That's why we atheists feel compelled to challenge these folks' beliefs. They are causing needless harm because of some old superst.ition.

      March 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  11. HereIAM

    This article is a lot of guess work crammed into a statistically unreliable assumption. Belief will not die, It will only change from one theme to another. The same as it has been doing for thousands of years. You people that are discounting God are also destroying hope for justice, reason for existence, purpose for balance, and the very essence of logical conclusion. And you people that are tapping your holy books and claiming Divine knowledge have lost your credibility and by clinging to it you and your dogma are doing a disservice to God and the good that personifies his character. You see I know these things are true because I have perfect faith, unbiased by others, unmodified by the effects and limits of our perceptions, strengthen by science, within the confines of natural law, and uncorrupted by the evils and tragedies that we have resigned to accept as well as procreate by ignorance. Your all missing the single most important thing that is required to even speak when it comes to this subject. And I’m not the one that is going to tell you what that is either. Most of you are a waste of breath anyway.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • holycow

      perfect faith? what a bold claim.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  12. BOOBUS BEEF

    bubbeses

    March 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  13. Justin M.

    Jesus Lives! And some day you will meet him. Are you ready today?

    March 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • fuyuko

      why worry about it.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Dboy66

      Jesus never existed! Now go out and enjoy your life.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Blah blah

      yeah let me hide the bong first

      March 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  14. Greg

    I know I don't spell all that well, but it's me:) To me I don't live in a fairy tail world, I can't afford to. I live my life through Jesus Christ, and thats how I live. I do not expect people to share my views, but they are my views, as you have yours. I will continue to write my sermons for my internet site (and make no profit) and enjoy the blessings that I receive. People can believe in whatever they want to believe, and people can make fun of me for my beliefs, thats OK! They are my beliefs! It is funny though how through this article people started talking about GOD. It is even more funny that the American Atheist posted on here for people to grow up. I do not judge anyone who does not share my views and/or opinions, nor hate them. Jesus Christ didn't hate, nor shall I!

    March 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  15. AverageJoe76

    Religion is definitely a very HOT topic, look at all the posts. Just like anytime there's an article concerning RACE. I appreciate the spirituality religion attempts to offer, but could never absorb the "doom-n-gloom" aspects, that were obviously put in to control people. My point has always been; If God is all-powerful, and God knows everything, then God can see the future. If God can see the future, He knows what kind of person He's creating. And if He can see how the person will turn out, then why send this person to Hell for his misdeeds, or non-belief? "What does God need with a starship" – Captn. James T. Kirk

    March 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • mwa0619

      Religion is definitely a very HOT topic, look at all the posts. Just like anytime there's an article concerning RACE. I appreciate the spirituality religion attempts to offer, but could never absorb the "doom-n-gloom" aspects, that were obviously put in to control people. My point has always been; If God is all-powerful, and God knows everything, then God can see the future. If God can see the future, He knows what kind of person He's creating. And if He can see how the person will turn out, then why send this person to Hell for his misdeeds, or non-belief? "What does God need with a starship" – Captn. James T. Kirk

      AverageJoe76, I think you are not taking into the fact that God gave people free will, so they can choose their actions, good or evil. God may know how a person turns out, but the way a person lives their life and turns out is a function of the choices they make during their life, good or evil. C.S. Lewis uses the analogy of a writer who knows how the story will end for his characters, but they still make their own choices.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • zulumIKE

      These are good points. I have used a similar argument, yet no one can come up with a decent answer to that.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • zulumIKE

      mwa,
      How can you have free will if someone is destined to go to Hell in the first place? If God created you, then he has to know what is going to happen to you if he is all knowing. Then if that is the case then you have no freewill as to what your future is.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • fuyuko

      god, like humans, likes variety. it would be a shame if we are all alike. so he gave us the desire to believe and teh desire not to believe. i doubt seriously that a benign creator is then going to punish you for something he made you in the first place.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • mwa0619

      If God created the universe, and people, then God is outside of that universe, that system God created. God is above that universe/system. An individual inside of that system can make choices based on their thoughts/experiences and based on their choices dictate their own futures. God, being the creator of this system, doesn't operate on time/past/present/future. So to say "God knows what I will do before I do it, therefore I have no free will" doesn't mean anything to me, because I believe God doesn't follow time as humans do. I believe that God knows what I will do, but that I still make the choice.

      March 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  16. Hellbound

    OK, take all the "prophets" from whatever religion you choose, now bring forward to our time and what do you have. I there time their "prophecy" is taken as THE word, why, because look at how they communicated, how they understood the world, how they dealt with their problems. Modernize any "prophet" and you now have NUT. You want to know why any religious text has no new: chapters; books; footnotes; revisions; etc., because eventually the majority got wise and realized they are all crazy. Anyone now a days who proclaims to have a spiritual event is automatically labeled a Nut Case. And 665 times out of 666 they are. So go ahead and cling to out dated stories of times no longer relavant if it makes you feel good. But for anyone who actually wants life lessons or meaning, try just being a good person. Hell you can learn more ways to live a good life from Nick jr than you could from any tool in the pulpit.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  17. Jesus Follower

    VERY URGENT ! READ AND UNDERSTAND !

    The Lord Jesus is coming again as he ascended once into heaven, did you forget this? why do u read all books and NOT THE BOOK of BIBLE? You will be judged by your sins and unbelief, I quote here for you something about the judgment that unbelievers in the Lord Jesus will soon suffer:
    And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:15

    So repent and believe in the gospel for the kingdom of heaven is at hand !

    March 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • fuyuko

      We actually know nothing of the sort. The bible was created to get people to convert, and scaring them with judgement day is a very real way to do that. just because something is written in the bible doesn't mean this is what God is going to do. We honestly do not know.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • ffoeg

      you religious nuts will some day be extinct! just to bad i will be long gone. imagine a world where religious wack jobs did not push thier beliefs on others!

      March 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Dboy66

      It's almost funny how frantic the believers are becoming. They just keep repeating their foolish ideas over and over again. What else do they have left really? It's funny. And it's sad.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Tim

      Jesus = Horas. The story of Christ isn't even original.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Blah blah

      blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

      March 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  18. SGT B

    John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him."

    Hebrews 2:2 "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world."

    Romans 1:1 " For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that that they are without excuse. For even thoug they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
    Isaiah 30:15 "For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, 'In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.' But you were not willing..."

    Shalom

    March 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Dboy66

      Heh. Just keep repeating your little bible verses. The rest of the world is moving on.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Steve

      It's so hilarious when people quote the silly bible as if it's going to prove or change anything. It was written by corrupt men in order to control and use less intelligent ones. Quoting it means you're either one of the liars or one of the fools.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • fuyuko

      i don't believe a kind and loving god would sacrifice his child for humanity. it is sad that jesus died, but i suspect his death is more the result of mankinds problems than god's desire. human sacrifice is an evil act, and god isn't evil.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  19. Loren

    Ireland is going to become religion-free?

    Given how many people have been killed there in the name of God, I can't help but see how it might be an improvement.

    Imagine a boring Ireland. Their slogan could become, "Erin go blah."

    March 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • fuyuko

      the deaths in ireland have more to do with poltiics than god.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  20. Sharon

    Yeah! More people using logic instead of emotion.
    After all, Man Created God. Now, hopefully, man is figuring out that organized religion often leads to hate and wars.
    If you believe, like Jesus said, don't make a show of prayer. Prayer doesn't need to be organized.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • jon

      hatred of religion has caused far more wars and deaths than religion itself. you might want to read some history before spouting nonsense.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Tim

      Jon I think you might want to read some history yourself. The wars being started due to hatred of a religion are started by people of a different religion. What wars are you pointing to where Atheist or people of non-faith started in with people because of their beliefs?

      March 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Brian Coles

      Dearest. . . . . . you are lost. . . .in a lost world. and knocking on the wrong door while seeking to counsel God.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Dboy66

      The problem is that the intellectual class has not created a modern moral system to replace these old blood religions. The masses are obviously in need of a "shepherd" to guide them, and this will probably always be true. The intellectual elite are probably less than 2% of the population. The other 98% is going to need a system of values and morals simple enough for them to follow.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • fuyuko

      I believe in a more deist viewpoint of God. Where personkind seems to go wrong is the reliance on religious text and revelations given to individuals. this seems to cause the most trauma- the conflciting text and some of the hate contained within.

      March 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.