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  1. #11
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    I think so, because at that point, religion became solely about epistemology, eschatology, and morality. No longer was it necessary for it to be about collective identity, even though that tradition carried onward on a smaller scale.
    That's a good point... although what I see happening is that the overall cultural identity is simply getting fractured. The large group still tends to view itself as part of a "generalized faith" or "quasi-faith" -- and then there are smaller pocket groups with very strong homogenized identities that are laying claim to being the true progency of the faith.

    At this point, religion could be attacked on these fronts - epistemology first by rationalism then by empiricism, eschatology by rationalistic predictions of the future, along with medical developments, and finally, morality by the development of socioeconomic ideology. At this point, the cultural solidarity afforded by common religious practice becomes increasingly divorced from the subjective individual experience of the divine, and the more irrational teachings become less understood as metaphorical and more easily dismissed as absurd. Religion begins to wither as the benefits of collective spirituality become less understood.
    Well, I see that kind of pattern happening on a broad scale, but I guess I just see it as dilution, not DEATH; I mean, despite that movement, the USA is not keen on atheism and modernism. We're a spiritual potpourri right now, people are encouraged to believe in whatever they want -- instead of providing large-scale group identity, religion either becomes small strong pocket group identity or individual identity. The major casualty to me appears to be the large-scale cultural religious identity, but the rest continues to subsist.

    The very traditional, literal practices of the faith, though, as well as any complex theological understanding, is being lost on the national front, though. They just subsist in small pocket groups.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    No.
    Exactly.

    Read this book and then come back to this thread:

    http://www.amazon.com/God-Is-Back-Re...ds=god+is+back

    Here in the UK the church, which had been in decline for decades, has actually started to grow again.

    From my personal experience, I am from a very atheistic environment in East Germany and out of the 25 people I used to go to school with, who were more or less all atheists, 4 of them have independently from each other converted to different versions of Christianity.

    And these are just the Christians, I don't know about other faiths.

    I think that how religion is practiced is changing. My generation tends to eschew too much authority and demands authenticity and a lot of the emerging churches are built on the principles of being culturally relevant, non-authoritarian and authentic.

  3. #13
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Things change with time, or they wither away and become endangered.. Religion will continue to melt together as people continue to be more accepting and live closer to each other, marry, etc. I don't think it is dying, I think it is more lively than it was in the 90s.

    A lack of education, or desiring of an in depth education, is also going to contribute to radical changes in religion.

    I also think it is changing its ways so as to keep up with society and the times. But I don't find that adaptation a signal of death.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    What is religion here?
    I think of religion as offering an object of devotion and a frame of ethical orientation.

    Traditionally its been a deity which is the object of devotion and its will as discerned by prophets, scriptures and divine intervention has been the ethical orientation.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think of religion as offering an object of devotion and a frame of ethical orientation.
    Haha. Well, then religion will die (on this planet) when all animals die.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Things change with time, or they wither away and become endangered.. Religion will continue to melt together as people continue to be more accepting and live closer to each other, marry, etc. I don't think it is dying, I think it is more lively than it was in the 90s.
    I like the word "lively."

    I actually feel like the traditionalist religions, because they were not challenged for a long time, were stagnating. I find people challenged to be more thoughtful nowadays, as if you want to believe a faith like that, you really have to think about it and are forced to see it through many eyes.
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  7. #17
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I like the word "lively."

    I actually feel like the traditionalist religions, because they were not challenged for a long time, were stagnating. I find people challenged to be more thoughtful nowadays, as if you want to believe a faith like that, you really have to think about it and are forced to see it through many eyes.
    Definitely. Fundamentalist religions of all sort are dying.. (I don't know why, but I'm immediately thinking of The Wall in Game of Thrones.. Everyone is so concerned about their petty battles, and only Jon Snow seems to remember the bigger enemy at any given point in time. Im not sure how that plays into this, but my mind created it for some reason..) Even my religion, which is fluid to begin with, has a lot of modern touches to it. The quality of items, or items at all, are no longer necessary.. I do not conduct rituals, or speak different tongues, or place faith in objects the way fundamental Wiccans and Pagans seem to do. I find it perfectly acceptable as a ritual to go to a Christian church.

    I'm reminded of the story of how Christmas trees and Easter eggs came about.. the shallow petty things were adopted and accepted, rather than fought over, to make an overall harmonious transition. Pagans didn't feel so out of place, and Christians trusted other self-proclaimed Christians more, etc. I think modern life is sort of doing the same thing. Religion is taking a more peaceful route, and accepting things that are very different because their bigger goals are not washed away by those changes.

    If Christian rock bands, churches that run at night and weekdays instead of just the Sabbath, and being educated in a way that makes accepting other religious differences in the neighbors around us still gets youth in the doors and celebrating God, it seems like a deal I would take.

    .. But there is always something sad about seeing fundamentals leave. I don't want those tiny tribes in the Amazon to cease existing and start using money. I don't want to see Roman Catholic churches stop using Latin. I think youth are quick to forget the roots of things.. and I'm not sure exactly what, but I know there is importance in those things beyond them just being historically what's happened. It is why I still do rituals at all, and still acknowledge Pagan holidays and read Tarot occasionally.
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  8. #18
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I've written this elsewhere, but I think a lot of these sorts of large-scale things are cyclical. Depending on how the world shifts / politics shifts / culture shifts, in another 500 yrs we could be back to where we were at in the 1200's, or 1600's, etc... maybe a different religion, or maybe bouncing back to one of the more rigid implementations of the past.

    In the current snapshot, yeah, we're in a period of less unification of belief systems, and no cultural mandates, in western cultures at least.

    I'm not going to say it's 'dying' until I stop reading religious-overtoned messages on tv, or in politics, or on the radio, or until I see those scary giant 'non-denominational' churches ceasing to be built.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    It will continue to be diluted.
    I think this is a fairly accurate answer.

    As society evolves, messages, rules and teachings from centuries or millennia ago will be increasingly inapplicable and forgotten, but I doubt the core concepts (God, afterlife, certain aspects of the moral code) will disappear anytime in the near future without some kind of momentous and unforeseen shift or event.

    I imagine atheism rates will increase somewhat, but eventually plateau.
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  10. #20
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    I wouldn't say "dying"... I think "changing" is a better description of what we see.

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