1. And is that Miss Daisy?

    True story, my girlfriend and I just watched that movie for the first time last night! Too funny.

    LASCOLLA! Sorry, what was the question?

    Just wanted to make sure you pronounced my name absolutely 100% correct. Otherwise, people might think I’m some other obscure old lady!

  2. Yes, people will still believe, when life gets uncertain superstitions creep in, it will always be that way. It will be interesting to see if religious belief is pushed more and more to the fringes of society by then though?

  3. Belief and faith are synonymous.

    You arrive at belief through faith.

    Faith is required because of the facts of reality and their contradictory position to claims about reality.

    They call it make belief for a reason. It’s pretend, how is faith any different? Faith is the suspension of thinking, belief is accepting the suspension of thought and considering the outcome factual.

    Therefore, faith is thoughtlessness, belief is the acceptance and organization of thoughtlessness.

    But what are we really talking about here? Ignorance. Ignorance is faith and the assertion that ignorance is correct is belief.

    It’s kind of like how the christian god differs from the jewish god, but only because one precedes the other.

  4. I came back because I forgot to speak on the possible future of religion.

    They will all adapt to science. Enter science fiction religion. Basically what we see in the newer religions, mormonism, scientology, etc. They talk about space, planets, space ships, etc. 

    It’s becoming more scientific as it’s versed by science. In the future, the religion will be a more practical religion, something like the new ‘prometheus’ movie. Oh, that was so terrible.

    I had no idea that’s how panspermia worked! Thanks, writers of LOST. Sounds like you were LOST when you wrote the screenplay.

  5. As long as religion stays out of science, schools, politics and the public square it will be as if they were gone anyway.

  6. Like Karen Armstrong wrote in “The History of God”, the definition will change to fit the times, philosophically, scientifically, and sociological.

  7. We can only hope to see an end to religion in the near future. Me? – I’d ban organised religion, maybe even make it a criminal offence.

  8. Wow, they were lame. We need more people like Dawkins and Hitchens.  And CNN is so pathetic. Why do they have two atheists and then the theist? How about an actual debate?

    On a specific point I wish when people talked about Mormonism they would forget the magic underwear and talk about pedophilia and racism. When you look at the actual history of the Mormon religion its really disgusting. Check out the book Under the Banner of Heaven. Polygamy was really an excuse for pedophilia and racism is built right into the sacred texts of Mormonism (God gave people dark skin because they were immoral). 

  9. An interesting idea came out of this conversation…….suppose religion declines precipitously, such that most of the churches and their properties are sold off.  The new owners will then be responsible for paying property taxes.  There MAY be so few active tax-exempt churches that the issue of those few paying no taxes becomes a non-issue.

  10. This we can both agree on 100%.

    Let’s stop talking about the goofiness and start talking about the harmfulness. It’s only about 1,000,000x more important.

  11. Yes, I don’t see why this isn’t possible. Getting together to pray en mass is what needs to go. Pray in your own head, not with my tax dollars. There are so many complications once you engage in congregating. 

    Certainly, this gives them a physical representation for what is so obviously an imaginary belief system. In other words, it makes it real for them, in a way that their fairy tales can never do. God isn’t real, churches are and we should be putting a stop to them, just as we would if god were real. We would combat him with every last breath (at least I would).

  12. Throughout history hard times and misfortune have often led to a rise in religious faith. Perhaps this is due to a perpetual need by humans to be guaranteed a happier future as can be seen in heaven. I think that that’s why it might appear favorable to entertain belief in a benevolent overseer and the promise of divine intervention. Surely such faith would comfort an otherwise hopeless person in say an apocalyptic or otherwise miserable setting. The other factor is education. There can be no doubt that more educated individuals are far less likely to hold religious beliefs than their uneducated brethren. Given the above I do believe that faith in religion and superstition will be in rapid decline in any places where people have a: have a decent standard of living, and b: access to a good education. As for a complete disappearance of faith, it is more likely that religion will become mostly cultural until it is strictly hereditary as is already in place in the Jewish community.

  13. “We can only hope to see an end to religion in the near future. Me? – I’d ban organised religion, maybe even make it a criminal offence.”

    I seldom use words like this but that is just idiotic. Atheism shouldn’t be a stand along system. It should also go hand in hand with a belief in reason, what some people call the values of the enlightenment. And one of the primary values of the enlightenment is that people decide things via reason not force. 

    You do know that there have been attempts to ban religions in the past. Either by one religion banning another or even by atheists (I know people don’t like to admit it but communists were atheists) to ban all religion. They all failed. The more you repress something the more you create push back in the other direction. The idea that governments have the right to outlaw any belief system is more offensive to me than religion. 

  14. Hmm…..the problem is that the people doing all that disbelieving are ( almost by definition, it seems to me ) largely former nominals and not the wackos responsible for the worst excesses of religion. Someone let me know when the Pope and all his bishops, and all those crazy mullahs, no longer believe in God.

  15. Having an tough name to pronounce I have to wonder about others who think that their name is more important that the fucking question they were called onto a TV show to answer. Let me help – no one cares.

  16. The question they are really debating is what will be the power of the Christian churches in the USA in 50 years.  On surveys, people answer to look good.  Right now pretending to be Christian is what most people think is most socially acceptable.  That is not that interesting a measure. What you really want to know are such things as:

    1. church attendance.

    2. profile of who is giving how much money to fund the churches.

    3. financial shape of churches.  Do they have enough in the bank to continue forever without donations?

    4. should gays be harassed? Should churches be closed that aid and abet child molesters? Should abortion be legal? Should contraception be legal? Should euthanasia be legal? Should schools teach sex education? Should Muslims be allowed to build mosques wherever zoning laws permit churches? Should creationism be taught in schools?  Should there be a formal prayer in schools? The church has strong positions.  What influence do they have over the entire population in shaping opinion?

    Because of the Internet, keeping the flock ignorant and in the dark, the #1 tool of the churches, is no longer feasible. Anyone who starts thinking or questioning is not likely to stick with any orthodoxy long. Religion will die like a termite-infested house.  It will be completely rotted away, but still look impressive on the outside to the last moment, then collapse.

    As soon as the supers look at the men behind the green curtains who run the churches, rather than at the bogeymen imaginary gods, they will quickly lose faith.  There was such a crisis long ago. We call it the Reformation.

  17. I can only hope your kidding with your comment about banning organized religion. If I were to assume that you meant for such a thing to happen by the effect of majority rule when religiosity became less common than atheism than by the same logic it would be conceivable for governments to make laws attacking specific religions as easily as all religions and perhaps even provide punishment for not believing a certain religion. This would of coarse require a government with a single predominate religion. That is exactly the position of the christian majority in America where by the above logic the government could enact laws to oppress the atheist minority. This probably wouldn’t happen in America though and not only because of the first amendment clause about freedom of religion but also because most American’s today tend to disprove of that kind of semi-fascism ideology.

  18. The key word you glossed over there was “ORGANIZED”

    No one is advocating banning religion.

    Imagine it this way. A long time ago the religious used to have routine ritual sacrifices in mass. We put an end to this. Now they have a similar thing where they get together and sacrifice the children’s minds in the audience. This has to stop, too.

    You should apply that title to yourself, because you didn’t bother reading before you denounced an obvious solution to an obvious problem.

    Then you go on to say “it will fail”

    Well, something like 99% of all new businesses fail. Well, I guess capitalism is worthless!

    Even religions fail at a large rate. Something like 99% of all life has failed, gone extinct. By your logic, life will never happen.

    Governments already do outlaw belief systems and you’re lucky they do. Government is the exact business of outlawing belief systems, you ignoramus.

    What of polygamy? Slavery? 

    You have a tendency to type before you think. You seem to display this knee-jerk reactionary response almost routinely. You deal with only straw people. I’m guessing because it’s much easier than dealing with real people.

  19. Again, witch burning, human sacrifice, we (the government) bans these things and guess what, these practices were, GASP RELIGIONS.

    We put a stop to them by force and will continue to do so.

    Your idea that what Muz said had anything to do with repressing the belief in religion and not the secular aspects of religion (building a church every 10 feet to abuse children in) is asinine and pathetic.

    Deal with our actual arguments, please.

    Organized religion (the physical, monetary, political, social aspects) need to be LIMITED, or penalized. They are a huge waste and only cause ham.

    Any person can continue to be religious without a church. Where does it say that we need a megamansion for every ideology? Do you realize how that wouldn’t even be possible for everyone? How is this a right and not an overlooked and irrational privilege?

    ORGANIZED RELIGION is different from BELIEF in religion. What a silly tirade you went on for no reason.

    And I can’t stress it enough. The US government, like all governments LIMITS the ability to act upon harmful religious ideologies and practices. THAT IS WHAT GOVERNMENTS PRIMARILY DO. This notion that doing this is worse than religion is inescapably stupid. If governments hadn’t been doing this throughout history, you and I probably wouldn’t be having this conversation!

    No one is trying to round up people and put them in camps. I swear you people need to stop watching the news and listening to Alex Jones, FFS. There is no proposed thought police and if there were, it would most definitely be religious and not secular.

  20. Exactly. Well said. I would add that it could go further then that. A system that claimed to supplant religion such as Marxism or Scientology (I know they call themselves a religion but they also claim when its convenient to be an alternative to psychology) could be installed as the only proper way to think. That was my point. There are certain values that are so essential we must preserve them and the freedom to think and say what you want is one of the most essential of these values. 

    We don’t NEED to outlaw religion. We are right. We have the truth on our side. We need to set a good example and try to educate people who don’t get it. Forcing people to believe a certain way is something that religions need to do. It is totally contrary to a  scientific (brite, enlightenment) philosophy. 

  21. This plain old TV segment had three people asking the right skeptical questions and one person in the unenviable “empty hands” position.

    Made my day.

  22. That was probably the best CNN could do on a Saturday night.

    The host was pretty lame too, don’t you think?

  23. If this was on FAUX news, you would have either that troglodyte Hannity or O’Reilly hollering at the top of their lungs professing “the majority can’t be wrong” or some other double digit IQ drivel. Props to CNN for having the cahones for even talking about this.

  24. 50 years? Yes. 500 Years?  Probably still yes. These things can last thousands of years, they’re not going to vanish overnight.  However hard we might wish otherwise.

    Consider how lovely it must be:  to know the Truth, to have caring parents and parent-authority figures (pastors, teachers, mayors, governors, senators, presidents) in charge of our lives, all affirming that same Truth, trusted friendly parent-figures on TV reaffirming the very same Truth, a community that loves and supports and helps you to live with, by, and for the Truth, so you never need to worry, doubt, or think.  Just do what they tell you, play your part, don’ t let your side down.

    And in the end, to go joyfully to the ultimate Big Parent in the Sky, to be forever free from all distress. 

    How awful those Truth-Deniers, telling me to wake up, grow up, look around, ask questions.  I don’t want to ask questions, I want to be told answers, told what to think, told what to do.

    Against a deal like that, it’s a wonder there are as many skeptics as there are.  I doubt it will be much more than a minority viewpoint for a long long time to come, it’s so hard to leave the cocoon of infancy.

    Discovering that there are no Grown Ups in charge of The World, and that the Trusted Leaders are liars and frauds, that’s hard.  Taking charge of your own thoughts, opening up to doubt, asking all the questions and following wherever the answers lead, that’s hard.

    So, back to the original question.  Yes, in 50 years, it’s going to look much the same as now.

    Unless The Rapture happens first….

    Someone mentioned The Reformation.  That was a watershed, but it didn’t end Christianity, it fragmented it, with turf wars between the fragments continuing to this day.  Perhaps it gave cover for small bands to escape completely and become free from all religions, but if so I seem to have missed that piece of history.  Maybe they survived by keeping a low profile.

  25. No one to my knowledge is advocating outlawing religion, again another straw person you like to hang out with. What’s his name Fallacy?

    Again, who is advocating thought police? Why don’t deal with the actual arguments made? Is it because the ones you’ve made up are much easier to knock down? Me thinks so.

    No one ever said we would EVER force ANYONE to believe ANYTHING. That is just silliness you invented.

    ORGANIZED RELIGION IS THE MONEY, POLITICS AND REAL ESTATE OF RELIGION. It has nothing to do with what they believe, it’s all about what they DO. What they DO is spend my money building mega mansions, indoctrinate, abuse physically and mentally the children of the world. This is not something I will continue to contribute to and it should be illegal. If not the tax exemption, the ability to create a religious auditorium to brainwash children. That is criminal in my view and many other’s view.

    Again, deal with my arguments and stop twisting my words to make them easier to discount. This is a typical tactic of silly theists. Why are you lowering yourself to do so?

  26. Again. Attacking? No. WTF are you talking about?

    I’m talking about making it illegal to build a mega mansion and bring all the kids inside to brainwash them and doing it with our tax dollars and televised and propagated through politics and the movement of money.


    You keep twisting it into thought police and attacking religion, etc.

    You aren’t attacking religion to take away it’s tax exemption, neither are you attacking them to stop them from making an authoritative establishment, where kids are quite literally brainwashed and lied to.

    That IS criminal. Building mansions on every corner to lie to children with tax dollars should be illegal, I stand by it one hundred percent. 

    When you finally realize that this isn’t an attack on religion, but it’s ridiculous usurped privileges, we can talk. Until then, you both seem to be quite sufficed to play with your straw people.

    No one is advocating thought police, or rounding up believers and making them atheists, etc. That is just a silly misconception of what you superficially browsed through when you read my comment.

    What we’re talking about is what religious people DO, not their ability to believe whatever they like.

    Your arguments are so naive a child could discount them.


    You arrive at belief through faith.

    I would certainly agree that they are both synonymous with a certain disgraceful disregard of reality, separately they just emanate the stench of pompous  ignorance,  but put them together and you have a toxic and vicious blend of irrational and odious justification to act out bigoted farcical fear soaked hysteria and the putrefaction of preposterous self induced hatreds with the impunity and ‘freedom’  organized, and the associated dingleberry wannabe cults, that religion’ allows.

    I would think that the root cause, or rather odiously crafted scam, is a completely mendaciously inspired ‘faith in belief’ and the completely corrupted feedback loop of ‘belief in faith’
    Put them in such proximity and you get a spooling up of a critical mass of sheer barking  insanity.

  28. “…Give me the proof, the physical proof that god exists.” A little sigh – then, waaaaffffle waaaaffffle waaaaffffle!

  29.  If under the late 17th and early 18th Century, A sort of self selecting sieve occurred, with Protestants heading to the American Colonies. Leaving Europe to the Catholics and an enlightenment movement that has trended up ever since. The enlightenment has trend up in the US too, but the cold war meant it took a big hit over the half dozen decades. And now America is coming to, like the morning after the night before. The question how long till the new generation get into those places of power to push back the insanity more forcefully, or at least dump Citizens United.

  30. The odious part is bad, but the real stomach turner is the unctuousness and smug confidence of their mealy-mouthed apologetics in dressing up faith as a virtue. The whole concept of faith is their biggest artillery piece… as in “you got to have faith” and all that bollix.   

  31. It is interesting and obvious how religious people say more contradictory things than ever when give even more ground to reason. Demise of religion is so rejuvenating …. I feel that I am being reborn in a new world in accelerated evolution of minds…

  32. “you got to have faith”

    That is the very concrete and implacable bottom line…beyond which they cannot go…and they know that deep down.
    That is why from the very top doggies in dresses to the dumbest jeebus freak on the street, much of a muchness I might add, that is the only common incontrovertible and universal ‘answer’ they all dredge up at some point…usually when their brain dead brain farts have been thoroughly debunked and then some and their ego is, if not shamed then, badly dented!

    ‘Yeah you don’t know cos you ain’t got faith’

    It is the prissy way they flounce off after delivering this ‘ultimate incontrovertible ‘truth’ that supposedly therefore proves ‘god’ that cracks me up…so ‘effing predictable!

    That they do not even realize for a second that they are waffling on about wishful woolly pink and fluffy thinking makes it even more hilarious…or sad depending on outlook.

    Religion is in decline globally it has begun to fall apart quite visibly, one day it will disappear up its own orifice, not before time, dead in 50 years I expect, or relegated to a kooks corner of society maybe replaced by a bastard cross breed of Gaia and quantum theory, as in… ‘We are all one and one is all’… kind of philosophy, but with event horizons and particle duality instead of the Eucharist and the rapture.

    I am sure there is cash in that somewhere, if there is then someone will tap into it with a cosmic zeal that will betray the inherent banality of the inevitable scam.

    But as for the traditional delusions their bad news is that rationality is emerging, it must be something to do with evolution and we all must be aware that that process takes ages but it does happen!

    They do seem like bunny ‘wabbits caught in the headlights…paralysed by fear and hysteria…hence the utter bollix they all squirt liberally about these days, they are literally pissing themselves with ‘fistikated feelology’ to try and delay the inevitable!

    The fact they are making themselves even more foolish has not even raised a blip on their radar screen, so engrossed are they on desperately attempting to set up yet another section of society as the root cause of evil in the world and the reason they seem to be having some local difficulty.

  33.  The main issue in the USA is churches aggressive competition to gain Market Share, IMHO an unintended consequence of the lack of a State Religion, leaving a vacuum for all and sundry to try to fill.  The Christian Denominations in England, for example, seem much better behaved, except for imported strains from the US, but even they can’t get all that far due to the Established Church of England being in the way.  And it, being secure, and knowing its place, doesn’t meddle with politics.  Ironic, methinks, that England’s model should have turned out so much better than the brave new experiment of its former colony.

  34. lol. If he did exist he’d be pretty miffed about his CNN coverage, five minutes; a quick sound bite from Hawking and now Jane with the weather. What’s next week? Quantum Gravity coffee morning with Larry Krauss and Dolly Parton?

  35. I think 50 years is very optimistic, 100 to 125 years is more realistic. About four generations need to die off in order to even make this possible.

     A large issue that is frequently overlooked is when a young couple has children. The parents may have stopped going to church/attending religious services in their twenties, but they return in their thirties because they feel that they need to give their child a “good moral” upbringing. It is as if they have no other option, so they return to church. Also, holidays, Easter, Christmas, etc., are more fun with children. Parents seem to have their hands tied with lack of options so they revert to what their own parents did with them.

  36. alaskansee – what if someone’s name is mispronounced on national TV by a professional being paid big bucks to get the facts right.  Then it is mispronounced repeatedly because it is not corrected?  Then would anyone care?

  37. So doubt is a part of faith! How convenient! At least this “progressive” pastor acknowledged that there is no evidence for God, that doubt is a part of faith and people still believe it anyway! I call that wishful thinking.

  38. I was pretty sure 25 years ago religion was dead and we would be laughing by now. Look who’s laughing. There will always be religion but there may not always be respect for it.

  39. An interesting and encouraging piece.   The absence of any religious representative in the first part leaves me ambivalent@Strangestbrew:disqus  it allowed a clearer flow to the conversation but didn’t expose the defences that religiots will offer to such analyses.


    it would be conceivable for governments to make laws attacking specific
    religions as easily as all religions and perhaps even provide punishment
    for not believing a certain religion. This would of coarse require a
    government with a single predominate religion. That is exactly the
    position of the christian majority in America where by the above logic
    the government could enact laws to oppress the atheist minority.

    Ah!  You mean like this one:- http://www.richarddawkins.net/arti…  – (indonesian-atheist-alex-aan-has-been-sentenced-to-two-and-a-half-years)

  41. I don’t think it makes much difference if people be-leave god in 50 years,as it will only be replaced by another hoping to make a fortune, Scientology seems to be making money from fairy tales, 

  42. Just read this article, have to say that 50 years ago, (when I was 16 ) I thought religion would die out … seems more prevalent than ever now, especially on the news,tv etc.

    On the other hand only one or two people of my acquaintance believe in god, so that’s hopeful !

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