Thursday, October 23, 2008
Is Religion Here to Stay?
In the comments of a recent posting we heard the oft-repeated argument that a majority of Americans are believers and nothing is going to change that. It's an example of an irrational argument but it seems to be part of the defense mechanism of most believers.
I don't think it's true. I think the USA will change, just as Western Europe has changed. Here's what PZ Myers calls [A heartening graph].
There is one other possibility that some of my colleagues fear. Instead of a slow steady evolution away from superstition, we may see an ugly revolution in the USA as the two sides of the debate adopt mutually antagonistic points of view. There's an argument to be made that what many of us see as a hopeful sign is actually the precursor to establishment of a religous fundamentalist state—or at least a civil war where the attempt is made.