I believe I speak for all of us when I say that this planet will ultimately be void of religious people, and not because of any rapture or Armageddon, but simply because of natural deterioration. Religious disbelief is on the rise, faster than anytime ever in history. But when oh when will this planet be void of religion? How long will it affect our lives? Let’s speculate this.
First, I am 100% certain that religion will one day be completely dead. If not this century, maybe the next. If not this millennia, maybe the next. Maybe it’ll even take longer. But either religion dies with humanity one day (the cause for human extinction I do highly believe to have been caused by religion itself), or it dies from human society. How about in 10,000 years? Would people still in 10,000 years say “I’m sure Jesus will come anytime now”? How about in 100,000 years when humans have (hopefully) evolved to a superior specie, a Homo Novum, if you will. Will people then still go around screaming “Evolution is a lie from the pits of Hell!”. Well, of course not. Sooner or later religion will be extinct, and only looked upon us an early human necessity and a late human ball-and-chain. But how about this century and the next? What can we expect of religious deterioration?
In a study by the Pew Forum, it was found that the rise of “nones”, which are people without religious affiliation, are increasing, and religious people of different faiths are decreasing. Comparing polls from 2007 and 2012, we see that people who define themselves as “Unaffiliated” have gone from 15.3% to 19.6%. Of course we have to take in consideration that there might be many who define themselves as “non-religious”, but still believe in a mainstream religion, they just don’t follow a specific denomination. Still, an increase in 2% of people who boldly define themselves as either atheists or agnostics is astounding for USA in a period of five years.
The most apparent reason for this increase can be found when looking at the ages of the people who took part in the poll. The younger the people are, the more likely they are to not have a religion. An astonishing 1/3 of people under the age of 30 are non-religious. You can clearly see when looking at the other age groups that the older you are, the more likely you are to be religious. You can see that the change is not small, it’s actually pretty fast. The next generation might as well be 50/50.
On a side note, according to Christian Post, people who believe in evolution unguided by a god have increased from 13% in 2004, to 21% in 2013. The way I see it, at least USA is well on its way to become more godless.
How about the rest of the world? Well, according to a recent study by biopsychologist Nigel Barber, religion could be gone as soon as 2041. This is wishful thinking if you ask me, but Barber might have some truth to what he is saying. As we see it now, religion seems like a hard thing to eradicate from society completely, but just think about how fast things have been going lately. But for religion to disappear completely off the face of the earth it does take more time. By 2041 we might have achieved societies where religion is not allowed in politics and schools, and religious fundamentalists are either gone or locked up. Not a completely impossible scenario, since according to Kathleen Taylor of Oxford University, religion could soon be classified as a curable mental illness.
There is one problem though, which I will only mention briefly: Islam. We have seen it happen in for example Albania, and it’s currently happening in France, and I believe Great Britain is not far behind: becoming a nation with a majority of Muslims. The problem is that first of all Muslim immigrants do not want to try to adapt to the new society they have moved to, only retreating back to spend time with other Muslims. This makes it harder to adapt, and only breeds the familiar intolerance and hatred towards non-Muslims. Second of all, Muslims produce more offspring than the rest of the population. While an average European family consists of around 2 kids, Muslim families are usually more than twice as much. In the end Muslims will reach majority, and quite quickly, just like in Albania.
Those of you who read too much Karen Armstrong or just otherwise claim Islam to be a religion of peace and having no hidden agenda to “Islamify” the world, I highly recommend that you watch The Third Jihad, where Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim himself, tells of the hidden horrors behind radical Islam.
So on one hand non-religiousness is rising, but so is Islam. Christianity is withering, and so are other religions. Now I ask the all-important question: What is earth’s future? An atheistic earth, or an Islamic earth? Will we ultimately see World War III not being about money, oil, or natural resources, but a religious vs. non-religious conflict between atheism and Islam? Most possible, since religion is the most common reason for war. Let’s just hope that for the sake of humanity and this earth, that reason will prevail.