Religion and Philosophy

Why there is no way back for religion in the West: David Voas

I suspect this fellow is probably right in the sense that the West will eventually resemble China or Japan, where religion plays only a very marginal social or cultural role. I don’t think that’s good or bad,  just a probability.

Religion is in decline across the Western world. Whether measured by belonging, believing, participation in services, or how important it is felt to be, religion is losing ground. Society is being transformed, and the momentum appears to be unstoppable. You might be asking yourself two questions. Is it actually true? And even if religion is currently losing ground, could things change in the future? David is a quantitative social scientist with a background in demography. He serves on the executive committee of the European Values Study and is co-director of British Religion in Numbers (, an online centre for British data on religion that has received recognition as a British Academy Research Project. He serves on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Sociology and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. With Mike Brewer, David directs the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC). He is also Deputy Director of ISER.

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  1. This guy obviously needs to read up more. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann; The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity And What To Do About It by Philip Longman and

    Lets end with this gem: “He added: “As a childless gay atheist I suspect my own genes have a very mortal future ahead. But for any godless hetero-couples reading this, toss your contraceptives and get busy in the bedroom. Either that or, perish the thought, God isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

    David is clearly delusional.

    • Well, I think Voas is discussing indigenous Western culture, while Kaufmann is discussion immigration so their arguments are not mutually exclusive. I haven’t watched Kaufmann’s video, just read the summary, but that seems to be his line of argument.

      • No, Kaufmann is mainly discussing the differential birthrates between native religious whites and native non-religious whites in the West. Religious whites have significantly more children than their secular equivalents. This is important because these things compound over time. A good test case is Israel, where religious Jews are poised to become the majority over the next couple generation

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