Thursday, March 24, 2011

Organized religion on the way out in Canada

God keep our land? The math is against it
Postmedia News: Religion may be on the road to extinction in Canada -- mathematically speaking, that is. Traveling with us are Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

A study presented... at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas noted a steady rise in the percentage of those countries' residents who claim no religious affiliation, and explained how social factors could help push religion toward the dustbin of history.

Richard Weiner, a University of Arizona researcher and one of the study's authors, explained the formula's conclusions. 'There'll be a continuing loss of membership among people that identify themselves as belonging to a religion. Over time, we could reach a time where society is dominated by people who claim religious non-affiliation,' he said...

The model predicts that for societies in which the perceived utility of not adhering is greater than the utility of adhering, religion will be driven to extinction,' the study said... Weiner speculated that... 'People no longer see the slate of benefits as being as great as they probably did 100 years ago. It's become less socially useful.' Daniel Abrams, one of the study's co-authors, used a similar model in 2003 to predict the decline of the world's lesser-spoken languages.