It has been reported that Ireland is now in the top ten for people claiming to be “convinced atheists”. We are still in a minority but this is great news. There is also another story of the failure of a recent recruitment drive by the Catholics to find any replacement priests. So as the majority of the diehard Catholics are over 60, the ratio of Atheists to theists should increase again. All good news to my ears. Teach, don't preach.

More here

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Comment by Sagacious Hawk on August 8, 2012 at 3:26pm

That seems to be the biggest long-term issue in the Catholic church. There just aren't enough young people who want to be priests. It's starting to happen over here in the US, too. Hopefully within a generation, we'll see a serious decline in the number of people who call themselves Catholic and in turn a more serious fall in the international power of the church.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on August 8, 2012 at 3:57pm

The poll has been much discussed on the radio today. Most people are saying it is because of the abuse scandals. I would agree that they have played a major part but are not the only reason. I would like to suggest that there are many “new Atheists” because the Church is of no relevance to them today. It is not that the church needs to change as its hierarchy are saying; it is just that most young people see it as irrelevant because it is a system from the middle ages and has nothing to offer them. There is no vacuum being created as it influences diminishes. It does not need to be replaced with anything as many of the devout callers to the talk show suggest. If I had a cold sore on my face it does not need to be replaced once it dies. There is nothing to miss.
There were too many people from the Jesus camp on. None of the Atheists were getting upset or angry with them even when they were being called “immoral” or “satanic” or whatever. They just found them tedious if not amusing. Hearing people pray for me on the nation airwaves is surreal. Being polite and civil helps to “humanise” Atheism for those that have genuine doubts about their own (lack of) faith. Teach, not preach.

Comment by James Cox on August 8, 2012 at 4:03pm

How goes the rate of atheism in Mexico?

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on August 8, 2012 at 4:47pm

James - Mexico not included but still interesting enough reading in this

pdf at bottom of page.

Comment by Logicallunatic on August 9, 2012 at 7:52pm

the more irrelevant religion becomes the more the faith-nuts will scratch their mewling claws against the crumbling edifice. 

Comment by James Cox on August 9, 2012 at 8:30pm

It is unclear if more atheists is better or not, if political power or preservation of intellectual freedom/knowledge are the primary needs for numbers, this I can understand.

More than once, I have people suggest that, '..you don't have the numbers to change anything', or '..go along to get along'.

Sitting once under the 'right wing of the Spruce Goose'(literally!), while attending a a patriotic rally following 9/11, just so a Woman's shelter could get funding, drove these points home rather hard..;p(. As the color guard entered, as the local conservative minister suggested that 'our women do good work', it was clear that being there was like attending a brown shirt rally as they promote the US version of empire. The shelter got their money, but it was hard to not feel dirty! We walked out, quietly, hopping that the storm troopers would not notice.  

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on August 10, 2012 at 7:24am

I know what you mean James. I am more eager to see lesser numbers of overtly religious people than I am in seeing more Atheists, be they militant or mild. It is the removal of not just the power of the religious from politics that I want (in my militant way) but the purging of the religious mind-set in general and the ethos that that such thinking brings to bear on the overall mentality or zeitgeist of the population. Not everyone need to “think Atheist” – I am just happy that those who “think religious” (the religious think??) are having less influence and that it is on a downward slope. Storm troopers beware this Atheist on a mission from no god :-0

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