The Inevitable Growth of Atheism: Six Predictions

Aug 25, 2015


By Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Faith in America: Humanism. Read other perspectives here.

Given the obvious and continued decline of religion in the U.S., as reported in the recentPew Study, the question is not if religion is declining but what shape the decline is taking and how it will play out. We offer six trends to watch — and a final proviso.

1) The internet will continue to influence falling way from religion, and it will snowball, since the new transparency penetrates almost all firewalls. For instance, the Mormons are confronted by DNA evidence challenging their 19th-century claims of the lost tribes of Israel being American Indians and the Roman Catholic Church can no longer bury its secrets. The internet also enables new institutions, such as The Clergy Project, offering a private meeting place for non-believing clergy no matter where they live. (In 2007 we couldn’t find anything on the internet about non-believing clergy and now Google shows 844,000 results.)

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