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Why have Church numbers declined in England?

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Am curious about this, I remember when younger in the 90s. Churches were really busy, especially on Sundays. But now they seem dead in this country, am a Muslim myself but just curious as to why people have stopped going? 

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Not only in England...

To keep it short, I think this decline is consequence of both the increase in human knowledge and an increasingly educated population, as god is the personification of the unknown.

The decline will continue until a point is reached where people will look back to wonder what possessed their ancestors to believe in such farcical notions of religion and god.

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I don’t think religion will ever completely disappear as people will always need some reassurance that “everything will be ok”. 

As for the decline, I somewhat agree with Machado. People are probably under less pressure from family to be religious? I don’t know? Perhaps freedom of choice has improved... as with scientific advances and general intelligence? It’s hard to say not being religious myself. Would be interesting to hear from those who go to church etc 

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It's become less acceptable to force people to go, which has always explained the size of religious support for the most part. 

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6 hours ago, Machado said:

Not only in England...

To keep it short, I think this decline is consequence of both the increase in human knowledge and an increasingly educated population, as god is the personification of the unknown.

The decline will continue until a point is reached where people will look back to wonder what possessed their ancestors to believe in such farcical notions of religion and god.

There's an aspect of that but the main flaw with that theory is it assumes that was the main reason people were going to church in the first place.

In truth more likely people were going back in the day because 

a) churches were community pillars that brought people together, and people like to be a part of that. And

B) everyone else was going, and it was an expectation.

The decay of local communities in the era of a rising global online community has been a significant contributor to reduced numbers not only in churches but in all sorts of local causes and communities. In this age most major institutions are viewed with disdain.

However some of these old forgotten community causes become in vogue again and go through a resurgence. I think the church wouldn't see that happen tho because in the eyes of the younger generation they have lost the moral authority on many issues and struggled massively to adapt it's message in an increasingly modernising and liberalising world.

The Catholic church in Australia, particularly at its very highest leadership level in Cardinal George Pell positioned themselves firmly with the conservatives in politics and stuck true to obviously harmful and inhumane positions on things like contraception, refugees, marriage of priests, abortion in cases of rape and incest, and limiting priesthood to men only. And worst of all the history of obfuscating the wrongs done by priests in the past wrt child abuse and paedophilia (an outcome I'd argue was exacerbated by their refusal to let priests take wives and have families of their own, in terms of that dusting the type of person likely to select priesthood as a career). 

 

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Because the number of Mosques has increased.

 

Start the crusades. :ph34r:

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You could name a thousand things. It's easy to over analyse. To play on one rarely mentioned... it's boring. Tastes change over time so maybe that is a factor. Church attendances spike at Easter, Christmas and around tragedy. That is when mass holds the most attention. The inbetween is struggling. Around the ages 11-13 is when kids start to ask do I really have to do this? Between the ages 14 and 21 those bored kids are far more likely to adopt a view that God doesn't exist than the rarer kids who didn't find it boring. 

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The only time I go to a Church is either a wedding, christening or a bereavement which really is once in a blue moon nowadays and even before I got married (which was not in a church by the way but a registered office) I never went to church.

I don't think parents nowadays are strict with their children about going to church and the kids will grow up playing games or their iPads, Play Stations etc or watching and listening to music on the tv or whatever, being honest I would rather sit here listening to music like ABBA etc and sing along with that than sitting on a pew in a church and sing "All Things Bright and Beautiful" or listen to a priest or whatever reading verses from the bible where I could sit here with a wine or a cup of coffee and read a good book. :coffee:  

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For people growing up in the 60s and 70s. When there were more church goers, was society better? Were kids behaved better or was it the same?

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8 hours ago, MUFC said:

For people growing up in the 60s and 70s. When there were more church goers, was society better? Were kids behaved better or was it the same?

It's much better here. Back in the 60s we still had areas that condoned violence against blacks, gays, and not typical white Americans, and the country was split over a war we were fighting in yet no one understood why. 

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Catholic churches have fallen in attendance for obvious reasons, due to Phedophile rings going around within the Church.

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Because religion is a bunch of bullshit and more people are realising it

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2 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

Because religion is a bunch of bullshit and more people are realising it

I love studying religions, and spend a lot of time reading as many 'religious' books as I can get ahold of. 

The more I read, the more dumbfounded I am that people believe it. I feel like logic is becoming more and more of a popular thought process, and religion just doesn't jive with it. 

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Just now, Eco said:

I love studying religions, and spend a lot of time reading as many 'religious' books as I can get ahold of. 

The more I read, the more dumbfounded I am that people believe it. I feel like logic is becoming more and more of a popular thought process, and religion just doesn't jive with it. 

I think the study of religion is definitely important. Because religion is clearly a very important part of humanity's history and how cultures around the world were shaped. From a historical and cultural standpoint, there is no doubting the importance of religion.

But yeah, the more I learned about... things, just things generally, the more I thought "why the fuck do people believe this shite?" I can understand why people were religious when religion was the only way to explain things that people couldn't explain with what was known to the world today. And it obviously was used to shape the social and moral order of various societies and cultures - but I think we live in a time now where we've got uniform concepts of what is right and wrong... and we don't need to get that from religion anymore.

The only thing I can get my head around with people who are actually religious nowadays is they want to believe in something comforting about the afterlife. And not just think that when you die that's just it, you're dead and the world keeps turning. The afterlife is comforting and it makes people think what they do matters. Although I think what people do matters, regardless of whether or not it sends them into heaven or hell (or neither, because they'll just be fucking dead), or if it's the difference between them being reincarnated as a giraffe or a tapeworm (or neither, because they'll just be fucking dead).

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9 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

I think the study of religion is definitely important. Because religion is clearly a very important part of humanity's history and how cultures around the world were shaped. From a historical and cultural standpoint, there is no doubting the importance of religion.

But yeah, the more I learned about... things, just things generally, the more I thought "why the fuck do people believe this shite?" I can understand why people were religious when religion was the only way to explain things that people couldn't explain with what was known to the world today. And it obviously was used to shape the social and moral order of various societies and cultures - but I think we live in a time now where we've got uniform concepts of what is right and wrong... and we don't need to get that from religion anymore.

The only thing I can get my head around with people who are actually religious nowadays is they want to believe in something comforting about the afterlife. And not just think that when you die that's just it, you're dead and the world keeps turning. The afterlife is comforting and it makes people think what they do matters. Although I think what people do matters, regardless of whether or not it sends them into heaven or hell (or neither, because they'll just be fucking dead), or if it's the difference between them being reincarnated as a giraffe or a tapeworm (or neither, because they'll just be fucking dead).

Yeah - I understand people who are over the age of 50 who are still strong in their religious faith, as it's what they grew up with, what their families and friends are. 

However, their is a guy in my neighborhood, early 30's, smart as hell, and a preacher. It boggles my mind when we talk about religion and I ask him the more difficult questions, and it's so obvious that he has this fearless faith in his beliefs...and asking him, he'll admit that his faith in God and the church is something he has never had to struggle with. Again, I respect the hell out of this guy and really do believe that he's a very intelligent guy, but his faith in something so...crazy, baffles me. xD

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2 minutes ago, Eco said:

Yeah - I understand people who are over the age of 50 who are still strong in their religious faith, as it's what they grew up with, what their families and friends are. 

However, their is a guy in my neighborhood, early 30's, smart as hell, and a preacher. It boggles my mind when we talk about religion and I ask him the more difficult questions, and it's so obvious that he has this fearless faith in his beliefs...and asking him, he'll admit that his faith in God and the church is something he has never had to struggle with. Again, I respect the hell out of this guy and really do believe that he's a very intelligent guy, but his faith in something so...crazy, baffles me. xD

I had an interesting discussion with someone who was young, intelligent, and deeply religious. At a point the discussion came down to: "yeah, science and logic might defy my beliefs... but it's what I believe," which is fair enough... but if you know facts defy your beliefs and you still believe in them, that's mental.

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3 hours ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

I had an interesting discussion with someone who was young, intelligent, and deeply religious. At a point the discussion came down to: "yeah, science and logic might defy my beliefs... but it's what I believe," which is fair enough... but if you know facts defy your beliefs and you still believe in them, that's mental.

What are we talking about here? God creating the earth ten thousand years ago, and using the rib of a man to conjure up a female?

I don't view science and religion as completely different and contradictory things. But I also view the Bible not as a completely accurate record of history so much as a guide and a value set.

I think physics explains what we observe and we can extrapolate back to be informed about how the universe took shape but I don't see it proving a total absence of some creative force that could be what some people perceive god to be. Physics doesn't to me answer

A lot of atheists mistakenly believe religious people see literal truth in every page of the Bible. Some do. Plenty of born again types are particularly conflicted. But others read the Bible looking for the underlying message and how they can apply it in the way they live their life.

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50 minutes ago, Harry said:

What are we talking about here? God creating the earth ten thousand years ago, and using the rib of a man to conjure up a female?

I don't view science and religion as completely different and contradictory things. But I also view the Bible not as a completely accurate record of history so much as a guide and a value set.

I think physics explains what we observe and we can extrapolate back to be informed about how the universe took shape but I don't see it proving a total absence of some creative force that could be what some people perceive god to be. Physics doesn't to me answer

A lot of atheists mistakenly believe religious people see literal truth in every page of the Bible. Some do. Plenty of born again types are particularly conflicted. But others read the Bible looking for the underlying message and how they can apply it in the way they live their life.

Shit like creationism. The entire Noah’s ark shit. The ridiculous ages people lived to in the Bible - how in the fuck was that realistic to people who had nowhere near those live spans when the books were written?

There might be some other worldly superpower God for e holding shit together. But it sure as shit has fuck all to do with any man made religion.

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4 hours ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

Shit like creationism. The entire Noah’s ark shit. The ridiculous ages people lived to in the Bible - how in the fuck was that realistic to people who had nowhere near those live spans when the books were written?

There might be some other worldly superpower God for e holding shit together. But it sure as shit has fuck all to do with any man made religion.

I've been a reasonably consistent Roman Catholic churchgoer over my life. I don't know anyone who goes to church who believes the old testament is a record of fact. That sounds like more the born again Christian types that I find shockingly contradictory and in so many ways out of step with what Jesus stood for.

The purpose of reading from the Bible each week and the main reason why I and most people I know go to church is to reflect on the underlying messages and behaviours demonstrated by Jesus and contemplate how we can apply those behaviours in the world around us. It's about reflection and self improvement.

Whether you look at Jesus as a divine being or simply one of the world's greatest and  most influential philosophers is not that relevant to whether you should consider yourself Christian or even go to church imo.

 

 

 

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Religion doesn't have much to offer now really does it? You think about what religious stuff you generally get exposed to. You've got religious extremism and terrorism often in the news, what you learn at school, and weddings, funerals etc. 

I respect that people who go to church get their sense of community, having a bit of a moral code to stick by, some routine and stuff, but nowadays you can get all of those things from many other places.

I think that it's partly also another symptom of nobody having the attention span to concentrate on an hour of listening to people read stuff and sing hymns thanks to the instant gratification social media/Netflix world we live in now.

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2 minutes ago, Cicero said:

People are becoming more rational

I would dispute that greatly. The worship of material things and money has simply replaced the supernatural.

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26 minutes ago, The Artful Dodger said:

I would dispute that greatly. The worship of material things and money has simply replaced the supernatural.

The highly religious in most established doctrines worship money above all else which tells us the whole story. But hasn't it always been that way?

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Just now, SirBalon said:

The highly religious in most established doctrines worship money above all else which tells us the whole story. But hasn't it always been that way?

Any true Christian will be familiar with the sin of worshipping Mammon. The problem is human beings are inherently greedy, selfish and wicked. We have replaced one institution with another, the institution of rapacious materialism is eroding our souls and will end in a sea of blood, possibly within the next 50 years.

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On 09/06/2019 at 15:56, Cicero said:

People are becoming more rational

Horrible when you have it, Aveeno cream helps a lot. 

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7 hours ago, JOSHBRFC said:

Because most kids don't like their bottom touched.

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