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[轉載] Why Atheism Will Replace Religion

Why Atheism Will Replace Religion
Why atheism grows faster than religion
Published on May 18, 2010

Atheists are heavily concentrated in economically developed countries, particularly the social democracies of Europe. In underdeveloped countries, there are virtually no atheists. Atheism is thus a peculiarly modern phenomenon. Why do modern conditions produce atheism?

First, as to the distribution of atheism in the world, a clear pattern can be discerned. In sub-Saharan Africa there is almost no atheism (Zuckerman, 2007). Belief in God declines in more developed countries and is concentrated in Europe in countries such as Sweden (64% nonbelievers), Denmark (48%), France (44%) and Germany (42%). In contrast, the incidence of atheism in most sub-Saharan countries is below 1%.

The question of why economically developed countries turn to atheism has been batted around by anthropologists for about eighty years. Anthropologist James Fraser proposed that scientific prediction and control of nature supplants religion as a means of controlling uncertainty in our lives. This hunch is supported by data showing that the more educated countries have higher levels of non belief and there are strong correlations between atheism and intelligence (see my earlier post on this).

Atheists are more likely to be college-educated people who live in cities and they are highly concentrated in the social democracies of Europe. Atheism thus blossoms amid affluence where most people feel economically secure. But why?

It seems that people turn to religion as a salve for the difficulties and uncertainties of their lives. In social democracies, there is less fear and uncertainty about the future because social welfare programs provide a safety net and better health care means that fewer people can expect to die young. People who are less vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature feel more in control of their lives and less in need of religion.

In addition to being the opium of the people (as Karl Marx contemptuously phrased it), religion may also promote fertility, particularly by promoting marriage, according to copious data reviewed by Sanderson (2008). Large families are preferred in agricultural countries as a source of free labor. In developed "atheist" countries, women have exceptionally small families and do not need religion helping them to raise large families.

Even the psychological functions of religion face stiff competition today. In modern societies, when people experience psychological difficulties they turn to their doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They want a scientific fix and prefer the real psychotropic medicines dished out by physicians to the metaphorical opiates offered by religion.

Moreover, sport psychologists find that sports spectatorship provides much the same kind of social, and spiritual, benefits as people obtain from church membership. In a previous post, I made the case that sports is replacing religion. Precisely the same argument can be made for other forms of entertainment with which spectators become deeply involved. Indeed, religion is striking back by trying to compete in popular media, such as televangelism and Christian rock and by hosting live secular entertainment in church.

The reasons that churches lose ground in developed countries can be summarized in market terms. First, with better science, and with government safety nets, and smaller families, there is less fear and uncertainty in people's daily lives and hence less of a market for religion. At the same time many alternative products are being offered, such as psychotropic medicines and electronic entertainment that have fewer strings attached and that do not require slavish conformity to unscientific beliefs.

References
Sanderson, S. K. (2008). Adaptation, evolution, and religion. Religion, 38, 141-156.
Zuckerman, P. (2007). Atheism: Contemporary numbers and patterns. In M. Martin (ed.), The Cambridge companion to atheism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This book is not held by any U.S. Library.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/b ... ll-replace-religion
可不可以煩請翻譯
有人譯了部分:

社會發達,人心不再信神

轉自:http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4b5cb56b0100nbae.html

編譯範文:
(原文:http://www.psychologytoday.com/b ... ll-replace-religion
社會發達,人心不再信神。

今天,無神論在經濟發達的國家盛行,特別是在歐洲。在欠發達的國家,無神論則幾乎絕跡。在世界範圍上看,無神論的分佈區域很清晰——在撒哈拉沙漠以南的非洲,無神論者不足1%,而在歐洲發達國家,對上帝的信仰下降明顯:不信上帝者在瑞典占64%,丹麥占48%,法國占44%,德國占42%。

為什麼現代社會推動了無神論的流行?

人類學家詹姆士·弗萊捨提出,科學能預測與控制大自然,逐漸替代了宗教而成為人們控制生活中不確定性的手段。研究發現,國民受教育水平高的國家會有更多的不信教者,而無神論與智力呈高度的相關性。無神論者往往是受過高等教育的人,聚居在歐洲發達國家的城市裡,可以說是富裕社會的產物,因為他們在經濟上感到安全。當人們在人生中遭遇困難,前途未卜,就容易成為宗教的奴隸。在社會福利保障完善、醫療服務發達的國度,人們用不著對未來擔驚受怕,很少人年紀輕輕就會死掉,人們不容易遭受自然災害,對人生具有控制感,對宗教的需要就減弱了。還有研究發現,宗教可促進婚姻和生育,這對農耕社會意義重大,可產生大量勞動力,但在發達的「無神論國家」裡,婦女樂於組建小型家庭,就用不著宗教來建立大家庭了。

美國紐約市立大學亨特學院生物心理學博士奈傑爾·巴貝認為,宗教的心理學功能在今天也受到了嚴峻的挑戰。在現代社會,人們經歷心理困境時,會去看醫生、心理學家、精神病學家。他們需要科學的方法解決問題,更喜歡醫師開的精神藥物,而不是宗教提供的精神鴉片。運動心理學家們發現,人們去看體育比賽,能獲得去教堂祈禱大致一樣的心靈滋養,其他需要參與其中的娛樂活動也有類似作用。為此,宗教正在努力收復失地,例如在教堂內演奏搖滾聖樂……

http://csf718305.blog.163.com/bl ... 753201103101835790/
支持鼓勵每位離教者
我是一個比較執著教義的人,正因為發現基督教不合於己,故現轉入佛教。
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