Why are people less religious in the 21st century?
#1
Being relatively new to Catholicism I might just have a fair amount of convert zeal, but I find it hard to comprehend how people can not care about religion. I can have a limited amount of respect for atheists because, although I disagree with their conclusions, they at least grappled with the "big questions". Most people however seem to be indifferent towards questions about God, morality, and the meaning of life. Most modern people seem to see religion as irrelevant to their life.

What are the causes of this?
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#2
(08-23-2011, 10:20 AM)Aragon Wrote: Being relatively new to Catholicism I might just have a fair amount of convert zeal, but I find it hard to comprehend how people can not care about religion. I can have a limited amount of respect for atheists because, although I disagree with their conclusions, they at least grappled with the "big questions". Most people however seem to be indifferent towards questions about God, morality, and the meaning of life. Most modern people seem to see religion as irrelevant to their life.

What are the causes of this?
Here is a new study by MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44192469/ns/...-behavior/
"Contrary to popular perception, college educated white Americans more likely to practice religion than the working class "...

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#3
There was a historian who once commented that so central was God to the understanding of the world during the middle ages that it was impossible for people to doubt His existence. That's no longer the case today and even many religious people will express doubts today.

Prosperity also challenges religion. Never before have so many people had access to so much luxury. When things are going well on this earthly plane one needs God less.

This said I wouldn't lament how horrible the present is compared to the past. While people during the middle ages certainly seldom doubted the existence of God that doesn't mean that all or even most of them lived their faith as they should have. The Middle Ages also had it's fair share of herseies.
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#4
I'm sure there are quite a few reasons why people are less religious now than they were only 60 years ago.  I think a few would be:

1. The perception that science has "disproved" religious claims or has unmasked superstitions;

2. Liberalism: the idea that we're completely autonomous and free, so much so that we don't need religion because we ourselves should run our own lives (19th century);

3. Moral relativism: the idea that truth is neither objective or universal, but relative to culture and time, so what's true for you may not be true for me, and all truths are equal in value;

4. Tolerance: the idea that every religion or claim is somehow worthy of respect, so those ideas (religions) which claim to be exclusively true are deemed as intolerant (which is "bad");

5. While not true of everyone, parents simply have not passed on the Faith to their children.  I know quite a few people who believe that religion is a matter of choice that children should make once they've grown up; this denotes a lack of faith on the part of those whom I know, because what person would refuse to teach their children the truth?  At the heart of this is the idea that life is full of choices (Which shoes should I wear today?), religion being one of them.  "Have it your way!"

6. Corrupt individuals give the impression of a corrupt organization; bishops didn't do what they should have done with bad priests (report them to the police rather than send them to therapy).
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#5
Its the absence of God that the atheists and the world feels, they haven't been touched, as yet that is, with what Bishop Sheen always used to call ' the divine invasion.' Thats why ultimately they are so sad because they have this kind of void and they're trying to fill it with all kinds of rubbish. God is really seeking man but these people just don't want to be found. A long time ago I was talking with a guy on the street who cornered me for literally hours about his wife, how useless she was, how she was trying to take his kids off him, he just went on and on. I was getting restive and i threw out some words like ' you really need God, why don't you come to our Church and see whether you like the Catholic Faith', but I was getting kinda fed up and wanted to be gone. That night he strangled his wife, she lasted in a coma for another couple of weeks, then died and he of course ended up in jail. Don't be fooled by modern man, he looks a mess, he really is a mess.
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#6
(08-23-2011, 10:36 AM)SouthpawLink Wrote: I'm sure there are quite a few reasons why people are less religious now than they were only 60 years ago.  I think a few would be:

1. The perception that science has "disproved" religious claims or has unmasked superstitions;

2. Liberalism: the idea that we're completely autonomous and free, so much so that we don't need religion because we ourselves should run our own lives (19th century);

3. Moral relativism: the idea that truth is neither objective or universal, but relative to culture and time, so what's true for you may not be true for me, and all truths are equal in value;

4. Tolerance: the idea that every religion or claim is somehow worthy of respect, so those ideas (religions) which claim to be exclusively true are deemed as intolerant (which is "bad");

5. While not true of everyone, parents simply have not passed on the Faith to their children.  I know quite a few people who believe that religion is a matter of choice that children should make once they've grown up; this denotes a lack of faith on the part of those whom I know, because what person would refuse to teach their children the truth?  At the heart of this is the idea that life is full of choices (Which shoes should I wear today?), religion being one of them.  "Have it your way!"

6. Corrupt individuals give the impression of a corrupt organization; bishops didn't do what they should have done with bad priests (report them to the police rather than send them to therapy).

This.
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#7
People often talk about the good old days. But did they ever really exist?

To answer your question: because God allowed it. Google "Pope Leo XIII vision".
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#8
We don't face the questions dealing with immortality on a day to day basis like people used to.  The average age of an adult is something like 65 where it used to be between 25-35.  People used to face death on a daily basis.  Many mothers dies in childbirth.  Many, many, babies died in infancy.  You had plagues, TB, Scarlet Fever, and even the common cold and flu regularly killed people.  Death was a reality for people of ALL AGES until this century.  Now we take it for granted that we will live until we are old and grey because the majority of people do.  So young people just don't have to face questions dealing with eternal life, source of existence, etc.  Funny, soldiers who go in theater, the elderly, or those who come down with a terminal illness often find God very quickly. Apparently the rest of the world is too busy with their video games, careers, and shopping to give God a second thought - they have plenty of time. (let's hope their right.)
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#9
Religious fervor rises and falls during the centuries. Today many folks are also distracted by TV and other technologies which occupies their minds. They also try to push death into the future so they don't have to deal with it. But all that is already posted  is the rest of the whys
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#10
(08-23-2011, 12:45 PM)Gakmo Wrote: Funny, soldiers who go in theater,

There are no atheists in foxholes.  
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