The Rise of Atheism

Millennials increasingly are driving growth of ‘nones’
“Millennials increasingly are driving growth of ‘nones’”


While I question the data on Catholics, the overall numbers look accurate. This is not surprising–frankly, anyone who is surprised has been living under a rock–though I do have to constantly remind myself that even in my generational cohort, over 50% of people claim to be religious, because I find the notion vaguely unbelievable. (Even when I was a kid attending church, I noticed that my fellow “religious” kids didn’t act like they really believed in all of this god stuff, so how religious can all of those people really be?)

The interesting part is simply the phenomenon: society is becoming drastically less religious (even members of the older cohorts are becoming less religious over time.) (I suppose the other interesting part is the insulting hostility of the comments on the piece toward religion/religious people. Is it really necessary to constantly insult the majority of people in the country?)

The big question: WHY?

(I have my own theories, but I’d love to hear yours.)


7 thoughts on “The Rise of Atheism

    • I do suspect this is most of it. Though I also think there may be some “tipping point” effect due to religious faith operating on mirror neurons (oversimplified, I know.) That is, religious experience may feel more real on a neurological level to people when everyone around them is having the same experience, and feel more fake when no one around them is. So when everyone around you is religious, it’s very easy to feel religious, but as more and more people become atheists–say, because of the information or because it’s high-class or because Christianity bred for atheism–it becomes very hard to feel that feeling anymore.


  1. Everybodies an expert, it’s like Socrates’ day, “they don’t know what they don’t know.”

    Most people have unquestioned cobbled together beliefs (of all stripes) and going to a Church means they’ll have to question such.

    It’s like how many atheist KNOW the science they THINK they do, or how many Christians know the bible? Or? Or? But with no check of a group, they can all be experts.

    So I think it’s grade inflation that’s to blame and modern religions inability / lack of desire to speak to the mediocrity everyone fells. If God loves everybody then no one’s special.


  2. […] The Rise of Atheism, Without Ceremony, Religion is Meaningless (part 1), Without Children, Religion is Pointless (Part 2), Without ethnicity, religious identity disappears (part 3), The Decline of Religion (part 4), The Incompatibility of Christian Morality and Evolutionary Morality? Has Christianity Selected for an Atheistic Upper Class? Christianity and the Rise of the Art Instinct […]


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