Ebbing of Kiwis’ faith defies belief

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Census will record population’s increasing dismissal of religion but to do so is to lose means of great healing.


We don’t need a census to tell us that society is changing rapidly. But perhaps we do to quantify just how rapidly. Our latest census is coming up on Tuesday March 5, though it will be a year or so before we get to see its analysis.

The results of the most recent British census from 2011 have just been published and they reveal an astonishing decline in those identifying themselves as Christian – down from 72 per cent in 2001 to 59 per cent in 2011. At the same time those professing no religion rose from 15 per cent to 25 per cent.

Doubtless such large swings reflect changes in perception as to what nowadays defines “Christian”. And the big shifts are likely to be at the margins where profession of faith has remained pretty nominal. But they clearly highlight the obvious fact that society is becoming more secular. We can expect the upcoming New Zealand census to expose similar trends.

Now it is entirely appropriate that our democratic institutions, our state education system and our legal system have become, and remain, secular. That is secularism. It has been with us a long time now and was one of the founding principles of the US constitution.

Written By: Jeff Tallon
continue to source article at nzherald.co.nz

19 COMMENTS

  1. Nothing new in this must be said, his 3 arguments are:
    1: Argumentfrom improbablility (about the universe: hence god exists).
    2: Argument from “biblical” historical evidence and claiming that they match perfectly.
    3: Argument from authority (Einstein said Jesus could cure all social ills, and we allknow Jesus was a good guy right?).

    That is all. There’s a comment asking if Prof. Dawkins would reply to it but I honesltly don’t know if it’s worth more reply than what I’ve just given.

    The link to the article’s broken by the way (only gets to the main page f the herald)

  2. WTF littletrotsky13, didn’t you notice that if we lose religion we “lose means of great healing.”

    Why the hell hadn’t anyone pointed this out before? No one told me that the theists could heal, I thought it was just a big pile of BS to keep the peasants and the ladies in line!

    Time to reconsider my world view! Does anyone know if there’s anything in this homeopathy?

  3. ” Here the general supposition seems to be that religion has cultural value only and therefore all religions have equal claim. But the unspoken sub-text is that no religion is “true” and, conversely, that they are all equally “untrue “

    He should have stopped there and called it a day.

  4. “The second strand is the Bible which shows itself to be both marvellous and miraculous. It is marvellously corroborated by archaeology, astronomy and history. It is miraculously endorsed by the accuracy of its long-range forecasting. This is a strand of steel.”

    Seriously? Stuff and nonsense! I could tear that statement apart in seconds!

    • In reply to #5 by ArloNo:

      “The second strand is the Bible which shows itself to be both marvellous and miraculous. It is marvellously corroborated by archaeology, astronomy and history. It is miraculously endorsed by the accuracy of its long-range forecasting. This is a strand of steel.”

      Seriously? Stuff and nonsense! I could tear that statement apart in seconds!

      The Bible is only marvellous and miraculous in the sense that people all over the world still believe it is marvellous and miraculous – despite the weight of evidence against every single word in it.

      This says more about the gullibility of humanity than anything else. A strand not of steel, but of ignorance.

    • In reply to #5 by ArloNo:

      “The second strand is the Bible which shows itself to be both marvellous and miraculous. It is marvellously corroborated by archaeology, astronomy and history. It is miraculously endorsed by the accuracy of its long-range forecasting. This is a strand of steel.”

      Seriously? Stuff and nonsense! I could tear that statement apart in seconds!

      possibly this refers to the 21st century definition of miraculous (such as someone praying to the ghost of a nazi sympathiser and their back pain getting better shortly after they said the prayer/had an operation or water dripping from a statue by a sewage outlet) which actually means “not very impressive and easily explained if a little tragic that people still cling to such ever dwindling twaddle”. in which case, yes. it is utterly miraculous

  5. It’s extraordinary that Dr Jeff Tallon, highly qualified in a branch of science, should be so poorly informed about the Bible. “Daniel” was written some 500 years before the time of Jesus?

    “The book [of Daniel] reached its present canonical form approximately in the middle of 164 BCE.” That is not a quotation from “The Young Atheist’s Handbook” (the title of a real book, by the way). It’s from the Oxford Companion to the Bible.

    The author of “Daniel” pretended that his work of fiction was far more ancient than it really was. It’s the only Old Testament text that specifically “prophesies” (albeit ambiguously) the coming of a Messiah (chapter 9, verses 25-26).

    Dr Jeff Tallon- yet another overeducated loon… and an ignorant one, too.

  6. Breath taking inanity!
    Demands evidence but fails to provide any himself, just questions with wide shiny eyed incredulity other statements that place a higher value to actual evidence then a vague contradictory fairy story.

    Sloppy work…

    Nothing to see here!

  7. So here we have a physicist, Jeff Tallon, who believes in a perpetual motion machine called “God” ! Just bloody amazing ! Ooop sorry, I forgot, God isn’t subject to the laws of physics. How stupid of me ! God of course, is in that unreachable area of detection by modern scientific instruments, and yet He can still walk on water and curse fig trees, and of course come back from the dead to float off to heaven to sit beside Himself on His own right hand side! All impossible things by any currently known physics. Yet Tallon believes them ! Dear oh dear !

  8. In reply to #6 by Nodhimmi:

    Sorry, Nodhimmi old thing, but is it entirely ethical to cut and paste someone else’s comment and present it as your own on another website? You have my apologies if you are in fact Arch, from Mt Wellington.

  9. All I know is that whenever I’m conversing with a New Zealander over the web, and mention that I’m from Southern California, they immediately begin apologizing for the existence of Ray Comfort.

    • In reply to #16 by IDLERACER:

      All I know is that whenever I’m conversing with a New Zealander over the web, and mention that I’m from Southern California, they immediately begin apologizing for the existence of Ray Comfort.

      And so they bloody well should!

    • On another note…

      It would seem very apparent that the religiotards are deeply disturbed by the census figures, certainly the major Blighty tally!

      And followed by a later USA Pew research poll they must feel distinctly uneasy if not downright queasy.

      Things are not going their way, that is plain to see, and this is not a glitch or statistical anomaly these are figures pointing at the tar-pit of perpetuity, you know the sink hole where religions go and die as the myth they always were..

  10. The disappointing thing about this article is that the only ‘strand’ worthy of a response, and the only one based on science, he gets totally wrong. As a scientist he should be able to read the literature and not mis-represent cosmology. It is not universally agreed that the universe is fine tuned, and certainly not ‘astonishingly finely balanced to the point of profound improbability’. It is possible that a deeper theory of physics of which we are as yet unaware means it must have the properties observed. If it is fine tuned, however, the multiverse hypothesis is a credible explanation with a sound basis in quantum physics. The fact that it may not be falsifiable does not make it false – at least it wasn’t contrived to be so like the God hypothesis.

  11. This author is supposed to be capable of scientific research???

    The second strand is the Bible which shows itself to be both marvellous and miraculous. It is marvellously corroborated by archaeology, astronomy and history. It is miraculously endorsed by the accuracy of its long-range forecasting. This is a strand of steel.

    Yeah! – but only when viewed through “faith blinkers”.

    When compared with scientifically researched archaeology, astronomy and history, it is a load of self-contradictory crap!

    The book of Daniel, for example, in a count-down of 173,880 days, reveals to the very day the coming of Jesus to Jerusalem at the beginning of Passion week – though it was written some 500 years earlier.

    Or more accurately – it was retrospectively faked! – not to mention the dodgy counting in those days for records of ages (such as 900 year old Noah). Retrospective prediction is sooooo easy! (Even when it is not about fiction!)

    Today we blithely ignore such evidence because of its nominal impossibility (or possibly because of ignorance). But something is going on here that defies our modern cynicism for religion.

    Yep! Pure ignorant, incredulous, gullibility, projected on to others!

    Any scientist without the “faith virus”,would be embarrassed over writing such poorly investigated garbage!

    Any competent researcher would spot the clue in “nominal impossibility”!

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