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Religion has a great future!

February 1, 2008
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A cover story in the Economist a few weeks ago talks about how religion is becoming increasingly important in our modern world. Most of the articles (10 in all) on this subject discuss today’s politics and the violence resulting from people viewing issues through religious eyes. An important point made was that religion is on the rise in countries where it was once frowned upon:

Russia‘s secret police, the KGB, hounded religion: its successor, the FSB, has its own Orthodox church opposite its headquarters. In the Polish parliament the speaker crosses himself before taking his seat. Some of China’s technocrats think that Confucianism, which Mao condemned as “feudal”, is useful social glue in their fast-changing country. But they brutally repressed a Buddhist sect, the Falun Gong, and they are worried that Christian churchgoers may already outnumber Communist Party members.

There is also an article on how mixing religion and politics is fermenting trouble in India.

There were two other things that struck me in these articles. One was that it’s the more extreme religious sects that are rising rapidly.

The second thing was that Hinduism will eventually decline, just as soon as our population stabilizes. Take a look at this chart:

pop-by-rel-economist.jpg

I had written a post on how hard it can be for converts to be accepted in Hinduism but as we all know Hinduism will not proliferate mainly because it is not a proselytizing religion. I guess the only reason for the increase in the number of Hindus is the increase in our population. Once our population starts to stabilize, so will the number of Hindus. Both Christianity and Islam will grow rapidly. Interestingly, Christianity is spreading in China. Read this:

…the number of Christians in China rose from below 10m in 1900 to 400m in 2000. Officially, the Chinese government admits to 23m Christians within its borders, but it counts only churches that register with the authorities, and the real figure is probably around three times as high. Most Christians prefer private “house churches”. China even has two Catholic churches, one official and one underground.

Related Reading: Even India’s urban elite don’t want to go in for an inter-religious marriage.
Why people are religious
Destruction of Ram Setu will hurt religious sentiments
Hinduism does not encourage conversions
Are burqas catching on in India?
True faith in God can be confused with rituals
Is a dress code required in a temple or a church or any other place of worship?
Book countering the Hinduphobia of the west
What role do “Gurus” play in our life?

40 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2008 3:29 am

    christians especially the crazy lot of born agains propogate aggressively while islam has petro dollars backing it

    i feel that ur partly wrong about death of hinduism
    yes figures may go down but it does influence a lot of westerners – well what is yoga and dhyan n likes

    lastly do chk out my blog !

  2. February 1, 2008 3:45 am

    Religion is not going to go away. People will always have it because people will always need something instructing them and showing them way out of their lives’ misery.

    Neil Gaiman says that gods die when there is no one worshiping them. A bunch of religions have gone into obscurity when their followers have gone away. Buddhism, Jainism, Zorastrianism (I hope I am spelling it correctly) are dwindling away steadily. Hinduism has a brighter road ahead then those.

    Also, Hindu religious leaders, even the most fanatic ones, haven’t been much into propagation by conversion.

  3. February 1, 2008 5:40 am

    I would be happy to see if Buddhism grows rapidly.

    This clearly indicates conversion plays a huge role in growth of a religion. Especially, when a they take advantage of poverty and convert people to a particular religion.

  4. February 1, 2008 5:59 am

    I think I will sit this one out…

  5. February 1, 2008 6:04 am

    All my Chinese friends here are Christians and prescribe to the so-called underground churches.

  6. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 1, 2008 6:12 am

    Nita,

    Ideally I should hold my comments in abeyance until I have had a chance to look at the original 10 articles in the Economist. Your article presents some basic statistics but does not interpret them, and this kind of piece does need interpretation, else it can become an incentive for all kind of extreme reactions (such as “Hindutva khatrey mein hai”, and all kinds of recoil action which would be undesirable.

    It would be useful to know the primary sources of these data gathered by the World Christian Database, and whether they are in fact statistically comparable. The figure for practitioners of Hinduism at end-2007 seems very close to the total population of India (est. 1.1bn). This includes Jains and, by devilish legerdemain, everyone who does not declare any other (recognised) religion, accounting in all for just under 75% of the population as “Hindus”. Add to this the significant (though not a majority) Hindu populations in Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia, and you still can’t make up a billion in 2007.

    The Census of India 2001 found a slight decline in the growth rate of Hindus, where as the WCD graph shows an opposite trend. Such trends do not change so rapidly.

    //…it’s the more extreme religious sects that are rising rapidly.//

    How do you decide that a sect is “extreme”? Just the presence of a few vocal extremists among its ranks cannot be used to tar the whole sect.

    As for the sharp rise in the rate of growth of Christians, one should remember that after the collapse of the Soviet Union a lot of closet Christians came out into the open, and China, too, became more tolerant of religion in general after Mao.

    Some of the above are tentative statements, not backed by adequate analysis. Please read them just as a first reaction to your post. It would be interesting to see what others have to say.

  7. February 1, 2008 6:49 am

    I would be really happy if people who follow these religions, atleast 10% of them, begin to try to understand the philosophy behind the respective religion.

    I would also be interested to see the number of Atheists, how would that change🙂

  8. Raj permalink
    February 1, 2008 8:20 am

    I am not worried at all if religions have a great future or not.What I am worried about is when people use religion as a divisive issue and try to impose any religion on others and start killing each other in the name of “religion”.You know how I hate imposition of any kind.

    I think enough damage has been done in the name of “religion”.What was originally intended to provide some solace and succour to harried souls has become a dangerous thing in the hands of extremists.

    Take mediaeval Christianity.Everyone knows how witches and heretics (and cats) were burned alive.The killings that take place in the name of Islam and Hinduism need no mention at all.I shall not spare the Buddhists just because I believe in Buddhist philosophy.In Sri Lanka,Buddhist chauvinism combined with Sinhala nationalism is causing unbelievable suffering.And I shall not spare the Communists either.In many places,the Communists have brutally oppressed people belonging to all religions.

    I think “religion” should be confined to what it was originally intended for.If we allow the monster of religious extremism (of any kind) to get out of control,all of us are doomed!

  9. February 1, 2008 8:46 am

    Prax, Parth, Priya, Ruhi, thanks.
    Vivek, I feel exactly the opposite from you. My interpretation of the data above would have inflamed people. If I thought it was necessary though I would have done it but at times I am a coward!
    And it is not the extreme people in religion that I am talking about. I said clearly ‘sects’ which means the beliefs of the sect as a whole.
    And true, what you say about closet Christians.
    About the authenticity of the data, your guess is as good as mine. This post is just food for thought.
    Rambler, the articles said that atheists are becoming more vociferous and more militant. Interestingly, the Economist also said that anyone who converts (becoming atheist is also termed as conversion) is far more extreme in his/her views than someone who is not a convert. I found that fascinating…and it explained a lot about my own beliefs. Although I am not a religious person, I shy away from becoming an atheist (and even hesitate to call myself agnostic which I probably am) because I simply don’t feel strongly about it!
    Raj, it is the extreme forms (sects) of religion which are rising, unfortunately!

  10. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 1, 2008 9:00 am

    Nita,

    //…anyone who converts (becoming atheist is also termed as conversion) is far more extreme in his/her views than someone who is not a convert. I found that fascinating…//

    I am surprised you found it fascinating. It is a well-known and commonly observed fact. Fresh converts are generally more “kattar” than those who were born into the faith (or lack of it).

  11. February 1, 2008 12:11 pm

    Vivek, I agree with you //Fresh converts are generally more “kattar” than those who were born into the faith//. An old saying says- naya musaalman 6 baar namaz padhta hai.
    I could never understand the logic of conversion. If I believe in a particular religion what stops me from following it. Why do I need to perform the rituals to tell people I believe in this particular faith. I can believe in Christ without Baptism or in Islam without converting.

  12. February 1, 2008 12:34 pm

    Vivek, I do find that idea of people ‘converting’ to atheism fascinating. I think you misunderstood my sentence which I had written in response to Rambler’s query. I have always associated the term conversion with converting to a religion. What’s fascinating is that Atheism is becoming some sort of religion! A fascinating concept to me at least. And yes I am perfectly aware of the adage…more loyal than the king…

    Prerna, thanks.

  13. February 1, 2008 1:58 pm

    Nita: There needs to be a distinction made between religion and organised religion; as much as a distinction needs to be made between atheists and agnostics; and between ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’.

    In the blur of definitional clarity, pretty much every one’s argument and counter-argument can be defended. To borrow from Jean Dreze and mangle it: whatever you can say about religion/ atheism/ agnosticism/ (insert another -ism here), the exact opposite may be true too.

    On the issue of religion and politics, it makes eminent sense to those who are tuned into politics – and do not make the ennui-inducing statement “I do not do politics” – that a new paradigm of political engagement cannot evolve without taking religion into account. One of the best treatises I have read recently is Madeleine Albright’s:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R34ILBD5VJTXBS/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

  14. wishtobeanon permalink
    February 1, 2008 8:26 pm

    Scary is all that I can say as far as the intolerant, violent (sides of) religions are concerned!

  15. February 1, 2008 9:10 pm

    Shefaly, I too wish there was this distinction! There would be people who would have dared to call themselves religious if it was not confused with a belief in organised religion!

    wishtobeanon, scary for the majority, heady for the extremists!

  16. avid mass permalink
    February 1, 2008 11:17 pm

    theism will always be a part of culture, but it is what it is. one can choose to continue the cycle or one can break outside and make their way of life. it’s what makes one comfortable. if believing in entities that have never been proven to exist makes one warm and cozy inside, then more power to them. seems a rather weak existence to strong independent thinkers, but the world needs diversity. we can’t all be leonardo da vinci’s…

  17. February 1, 2008 11:48 pm

    @ Nita:

    You say: “…There would be people who would have dared to call themselves religious…”

    This suggests you presume that at least some are scared to call themselves religious for any number of reasons.

    Well, I would say that it is patently not the case for me and for some other hardcore non-believers I know. We think of all religious people are nutters and fatalists, who do not control much in their lives and want someone else to blame. They remind me of Dilbert’s upwardly pointing tie, which shows middle managers control nothing, including their tie!

    Harivansh Rai Bachchan once wrote that God is not my clerk that he will do my bidding. Point to ponder for all.

  18. MJ "revoltingpawn" permalink
    February 1, 2008 11:51 pm

    Disagree, in third world countries ( yes include China since socially still third world like) religion is increasing but in the developed world religion is declining.

    On Shadow Democracy we our on part 9 of a 10 part series of articles titled – Does God have a Future?

    Check out part 2 for relevant information on religious beliefs and church attendance tends…

    http://www.shadowdemocracy.org/2007/12/09/does-god-have-a-future-part-iithe-conundrum-between-spirituality-and-religion/

    For the whole index of the series…

    http://www.shadowdemocracy.org/index.php?s=%22Does+God+Have+a+Future?%22

  19. February 2, 2008 6:53 am

    @ Nita: If I remember correctly, the Vatican had openly issued a statement that they intend to convert entire Asia in this millenium. The Chinese were kept away from religion for so many years and since *most* humans need external support, who else than God? I think that the Christian missionaries had a perfect market entry strategy – identify the right market at the right time and product WILL sell. Thats fair enough.

    @ Pr3rna: You can do that only because you don’t follow an Abrahamic religion (I think, please correct if wrong). Eastern religions are fundamentally flexible.

  20. February 2, 2008 6:57 am

    @ Shefaly:
    //We think of all religious people are nutters and fatalists, who do not control much in their lives and want someone else to blame

    Your comment makes me smile, thats succinctly put.

  21. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 2, 2008 11:49 am

    Priyank:

    If by “Abrahamic” you mean the same as “messianic”, your statement leaves room for debate. I don’t know about other Eastern religions, but Hinduism today betrays a frightening tendency to move away from flexibility. What is more, this is move is led by goon squads rather than learned theologians.

  22. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 2, 2008 11:56 am

    Nita:

    //Atheism is becoming some sort of religion//

    Heaven forbid! Is nothing sacred any more?🙂 Not even freedom of thought and expression?

    You mean even to deny the existence of god (note the lowercase “g”) I have to remain within strictly mandated precepts of dogma?

  23. Guqin permalink
    February 2, 2008 5:36 pm

    The course of religion is very similar to the course of art. When the cavemen drew the first pictures on the stones, art was spontaneous, natural and free. At the end here, art is manufactured by the professionally trained and locked up in the museums or galleries that one must pay or buy to see. Primary Daoism and Hinduism are like the first art and its activity , which are transparent, open and simple. If they are the flowers, then the later organized forms of them are nothing but man-made gardens, which are only designs and do not really add anything new as long as flowers are concerned. In this sense, a true religion does not have a future but only a past. Its past is its future.

    Most religions today are just gardens with most dead or mutated flowers. The imposing structure of the gardens is only the power of men. In this light, Vatican issuing an open statement as “converting the whole Asia” only confesses its secularity.

    Regarding China, one must think in hundreds of years but our life times. The under-ground churches are still on the surface (same as Commuism and Capitalism there in a different way). China herself is the ocean underneath. When a ship enters an ocean. The ship can only follow the nature of the ocean if it wants to live long. It doesn’t matter how big the ship is. The ship changes the ocean? Unheard of.

  24. February 2, 2008 6:45 pm

    Gugin, a very profound comment. When you say that the way religions (I can relate to Hinduism) were when they were born are very different from what they are now. Later on religiouns became ways to wield power.
    What you said about China is interesting. You feel it’s basic nature will not change. I sincerely hope so Gugin!

  25. Raj permalink
    February 2, 2008 7:22 pm

    Guqin,

    Thanks for your comment.It is really wonderful to read your thoughts inspired by Daoism (Taoism to those who read only Western reports) that come straight from the heart.

    I admit I know very little about Daoism (and Confucianism) and that little I do know may not be the correct way to understand them as it has been gained from reports by Western authors.

    As for the Vatican’s intentions to convert “the whole of Asia”,I am not bothered in the least because I think that even if they achieve their objective,which is highly unlikely,the converts will still think in an Eastern way even if they follow the rituals prescribed by the Vatican.It is not easy to change the way of thinking of an entire continent just by converting its inhabitants to another religion.I am just putting in superficial Western terms what you so beautifully said about the ship and the ocean.

    The East shall remain the East and the West shall remain the West and the twain shall never meet 😉

  26. Ishq permalink
    February 3, 2008 1:20 am

    We can thank the PC bleeding hearts in the Indian govt for these potential demographic changes in India,

    Look, I respect ALL religions, and am glad other religions are being uplifted in India. BUT, Hindus deserve equality too. The hypocrisy of the liberals in power make me sick. They equate being a proud Hindu as a fanatic. What is wrong with loving your religion? Hinduism, just like any other religion, is a wonderful religion, with a rich and vibrant history and mythology. It sickens me how Hindus in India are somehow likened to BJP supporters, even though India is the SAME country which Hinduism was BORN!! And psuedo intellectuals wonder why more and more Hindus are disillusioned by the Congress.

    Religion and politics should not mix, but the way things have gone on in India, there is no other choice. Hindus want to support a part which supports their interests!!

  27. February 3, 2008 1:43 am

    Nita and Vivek: When you say Atheism is becoming like a religion, I wonder what aspects of religion it encompasses. True, the “converted” atheists are a lot harsher on Theists, but I see that more as an effort to purge theism from within their system rather than any actual harm intended. Though, I must admit, some of them convert for the pop culture, or the shock factor. Often people mistake Agnosticism with Atheism, but that is hardly a comment on Atheism.

    But having said that, the reason Atheists in the west are so agitated is simply because they are consciously being sidelined. It is a battle for basic rights and these battles aren’t won sitting down.

    As for India, I am unsure where we stand on the atheist issue. For one, we are far more liberal (most of us anyway) in accepting choices other people make. But on the other hand, Atheists aren’t accepted. I know of cases where people have been shunned by their families for disposing their faith. We still have no Atheist check box on our government forms. It might seem trivial, but it isn’t.

    @Rambler:

    “I would also be interested to see the number of Atheists, how would that change”

    The growth of Atheism is a tricky question. Its growth is not just directly linked to how many people follow it, or “convert” into it, but with many seemingly unrelated factors. For instance, Atheism is on the decline in ex-communist nations. This is partly because of the increase in converts to religion (for whatever reason).

    Japan, a largely non-religious nation, actually has a negative population growth. The estimates for 2050 are just over 100 million (current is above 127 million).

    However, in first world countries with significantly large populations, non-religious populations are on the rise. Atheist population in the US alone has risen from 8% to 14%. But with theists having a much higher growth rate (I wonder why…) it is no wonder then, that on the whole, atheism, in spite of its growth, is declining.

    @Nita: I had decided not to comment here, but someone had to stand up for atheism! This constant brushing aside of our “faith” is probably the reason why atheists are becoming increasingly impatient and annoyed.

  28. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 3, 2008 7:26 am

    DD.

    You got me all wrong. I was in fact expressing my alarm (perhaps in mock horror, but an alarm nonetheless) at Nita’s statement that it was “becoming a sort of religion”. For me “religion” means “organised religion”, and is a thing to be ridiculed and despised as a matter of principle in the face of adherents who act holier-than-thou.

    Re. the convered: it is not only atheists but even converts form any one religion to any other who are insufferable, and must be firmly put down if they betray the subtlest signs of getting out of hand.

    The association you observe between negative population growth and the prevalence of non-religiousness is in varying degrees true of several advanced countries of the Old World. However you almost make it sound like a statistical correlation, which it is not. It is a more complex phenomenon, driven by a combination of associated factors such as

    1. a major part of the population shifting from the primary to the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy;

    2. education and skill development among, women opening for them the doors to alternative occupations other than being home-makers or cogs in the the wheel of their family’s major occupation (which is usually agriculture, animal husbandry or artisanal activity);

    3. more education of women and their increased participation in the workforce leading to a tendency to marry late and to have fewer children, at a later age;

    4. all the above usually accompany socio-economic development, in which improved nutrition and health care bring about a drastic reduction in maternal and infant mortality, improved survival rates for infants and children, and a decrease in the perception of a child (especially male) as old-age insurance, leading to lower felt need for having a large number of children.

    5. All of the above developments are usually accompanied by heightened material aspirations, gradually lowering belief in god and replacing formal religion as a principal guiding factor in life.

    6. It is a combination (not necessarily in that order) of all the above factors that contributes to negative population growth. However it is important to note that this is not necessarily a stage worth aiming at. It brings its own problems, notably an “aged” population in which the elderly, who have passed their economically active period in life, become a high proportion of the total population, imposing a higher burden on those in the younger, working-age segment of society, or a social security system which essentially depends on what that segment can contribute to the welfare of the elderly and the aged.

    A demographer (or anyone from the social sciences) will be able to explain the whole process in greater detail, but I think I have more or less covered the basics.

    //in first world countries with significantly large populations, non-religious populations are on the rise//

    This is not a universal truth. The US has always been known to be a more “religious” society than Europe or most of the Old World. Japan, traditionally a deeply spiritual society, does not seem to have had an overtly significant tradition of public display of faith.

  29. February 3, 2008 8:09 am

    MJ, thanks for those links.
    Ishq, an interesting point you brought up. Yes, the Congress does seem to be giving some preference to minority religions for political benefits and because of vote bank politics. Interestingly, even the Economist acknowledges this, they say that this is the cause of a backlash, from hindus. I was surprised to read that actually, because in India people (some major newspapers at least) do not want to admit that the government is doing this. But a foreign magazine has actually said it!
    DD, the aspect of religion that atheism seems to be taking on is perhaps a very intense feeling about it? And it looks to me that atheism is getting organized too! Hopefully it never gets as organized as religion! Also you are probably right about why atheism is becoming stronger as a movement and they are enough in numbers now to stand up for their rights. In India as you rightly said, atheism is looked down upon.

  30. February 3, 2008 11:37 am

    From what I’ve observed, many atheists would probably be better termed as anti-theists.

  31. February 3, 2008 2:32 pm

    @Vivek: I am sorry if I misunderstood you. I have always felt the shortcoming of the internet starts and ends with the transmission of sarcasm.

    //in first world countries with significantly large populations, non-religious populations are on the rise//

    I wish to clarify what I said here. The point I am making is not that Atheists are in the “religious” majority. But their percentages over the past decade (for numerous reasons) have risen. I think I mentioned somewhere that the number has climbed from 8 to 14% (these stats are for the US).

    About the population decline in countries like Japan, the point here is that these are “strongholds” of Atheism (non-religious if anyone wants to split hairs). It is obvious, that other faiths will also be harmed by the decline in the Japanese population, but since the majority of it is non-religious, the discomfort will be amplified in the Atheist camp!

    That is not to say that it is all cut and dry as far as the rise and fall of religion, but it is hard to ignore these parameters (another example would be the decline of communist states, that were breeding grounds for Atheism).

    In conclusion, all I was trying to say, is even though Atheism is growing, for factors beyond our control, the percentages are either falling or not rising as expected by optimistic atheists. That makes it look like Atheism is losing its appeal among the masses even though there is growing disillusionment among theists, coupled with a more courageous closet atheist, willing to now, stick his neck out and be counted. However, I will accept your critique that the reasons I gave out were hardly complete and more a piece of the puzzle than anything else.

    I am not sure I understood you completely, but I feel that you might have understood my statement to be “All countries with negative population growth rates are Atheist hot beds”. If that is the case, it was hardly what I meant. I didn’t assume one implied the other. I hope that what I have said before this para will make it sufficiently clear as to what I wanted to convey.

  32. February 3, 2008 2:58 pm

    @Amit: There are 3 terms that I have recently come across, which are being increasingly used for Atheists. One is, of course, Antitheist as you mentioned, the other two, less flattering are Militant Atheism and Atheistic Evangelism.

    I think these terms are highly derogatory, in the sense that they are used more with the aim to defame than anything else, perhaps like saying food nazi or grammar gestapo, to artificially heighten the sense of alarm (I realise my examples were more light hearted than the topic at hand, but it serves the purpose of illustration).

    The words militant and Evangelical would seem to portray a sense of violence about them, and I do mean physical violence. When you say militant, you don’t visualise a man with a mic talking, in a calm demeanor to an audience, do you? Surprisingly, Richard Dawkins has been called Evangelical.

    I feel these terms are coined, by the insecure religious leaders, that feel the pressure of answering the tough questions that Atheism raises of their gods, which is made especially easy due to the urgency with which prominent atheists are rallying.

    @Nita and Amit: The places you will find a “organised, militant” atheism is probably the US and hence western europe, as well as Israel and the arab states. Fundamentalist religion in these regions are in seats of power, and there will be no solution as long as each faction maintains its fundamentalist ground. I hope I have succeeded, atleast in part, to indicate why such terms came into existence. I for one, don’t mind being labeled “anti-theist” as it proves to me the insecurity of the people that call me that and their inability to accept my logical conclusion.

    @Nita: Sorry for the long comments, but there were a lot of points raised and it was hard to tackle them all. And more importantly, pardon me for hijacking yet another post (seems like I am making it a habit), though I must congratulate you for attracting a crowd that is willing to discuss with an open mind, and in the process, I find myself, usually narrow-minded, more open to new ideas as well. That is why I love your blog!

  33. February 4, 2008 12:23 am

    DD, I haven’t used the term militant or evangelical with atheism, you have.🙂

    And militant does not always have to imply actual use of violence – even one’s ideas and words can be militant. As for the term ‘anti-theism’ showing insecurity of others, as an “atheist” I guess that’s your defense mechanism.😉

  34. February 4, 2008 9:22 am

    Amit, from reading blogs I have realised that atheists form a very vocal group out there in blogosphere and I assume in real life (in the west) as well. This was for me a great education which I would not have got unless I read blogs! Interesting to see what’s happening out there…but I doubt whether the movement will come to India even in the next 50 years! Sure there are atheists here but they are a quiet lot mainly because of their fewer numbers.
    DD, thanks.🙂

  35. Guqin permalink
    February 4, 2008 11:53 am

    We should return to the very basic:

    To me, the divide between Theism and Atheism is artificial. Faith is only a fancier word for Trust. If one completely, truely trusts the world, the universe (that is completely, truely let go the insecurity), one is automatically in the meditative mode (almost by definition). This is the state of the infant (not even the child, but only the infant). “Return to infancy” said Lao Zi and Christ.

    When one thinks of God or Buddha, God and Buddha automatically turn against him by standing between him and the universe. One shouldn’t need to trust the universe through God or Buddha. Religion divide and especially Theism / Atheism devide are a result of the inability of this direct trust, hence people must do it through different media. At least in Daoism THIS DIVIDE BETWEEN THEISM AND ATHEISM MELTS AWAY.

  36. February 4, 2008 9:01 pm

    Nita, Dawkins and other similar writers need to sell more of their books too, and that means a following of vocal people.😉

  37. Guqin permalink
    February 4, 2008 10:21 pm

    I just noticed that my last post wasn’t clear:

    “God and Buhhda automatically turn against him”, as a medium (for him to master), not as a will.

    “One shouldn’t need to trust the universe through God or Buhhda”, ideally, but in reality people mostly do, which is OK. Here comes the divide.

  38. Captain Sharks permalink
    February 10, 2008 11:49 am

    religion is d most beautiful thing created by man but religion when mixed with politics becomes d most evil thing….

  39. MJ "revoltingpawn" permalink
    March 7, 2008 11:26 am

    Amit…

    I did not understand the connection between selling books and atheists having the need to be vocal?

    Are you saying Dawkins’ purpose in being an atheist is just to sell books?

    Oh wait, Christians are always writing books and they can’t seem to stop pushing their beliefs on me so maybe there is a connection.

  40. mikeklashinko permalink
    July 7, 2008 9:05 pm

    Religion doesn’t make people good. People can both do good and crazy shit in the name of religion.

    The Falun Gong isn’t a Buddhist sect. It’s a religious movement that combines Taoism, Confucainism, Buddhism, animalistic-shaman beliefs, and folklore. It was founded by li Hongzhi, who is derided as a cult leader for saying he has mystical god-like powers and anti-gay, anti-mixed race remarks.

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