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UK poll: Religion does more harm than good

 
 
Reply Sat 23 Dec, 2006 12:40 am
From today's The Guardian

Quote:
Religion does more harm than good - poll


82% say faith causes tension in country where two thirds are not religious


Julian Glover and Alexandra Topping
Saturday December 23, 2006
The Guardian

More people in Britain think religion causes harm than believe it does good, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today. It shows that an overwhelming majority see religion as a cause of division and tension - greatly outnumbering the smaller majority who also believe that it can be a force for good.

The poll also reveals that non-believers outnumber believers in Britain by almost two to one. It paints a picture of a sceptical nation with massive doubts about the effect religion has on society: 82% of those questioned say they see religion as a cause of division and tension between people. Only 16% disagree. The findings are at odds with attempts by some religious leaders to define the country as one made up of many faith communities.

Most people have no personal faith, the poll shows, with only 33% of those questioned describing themselves as "a religious person". A clear majority, 63%, say that they are not religious - including more than half of those who describe themselves as Christian.

Older people and women are the most likely to believe in a god, with 37% of women saying they are religious, compared with 29% of men.

The findings come at the end of a year in which multiculturalism and the role of different faiths in society has been at the heart of a divisive political debate.

But a spokesman for the Church of England denied yesterday that mainstream religion was the source of tension. He also insisted that the "impression of secularism in this country is overrated".

"You also have to bear in mind how society has changed. It is more difficult to go to church now than it was. Communities are displaced, people work longer hours - it's harder to fit it in. It doesn't alter the fact that the Church of England will get 1 million people in church every Sunday, which is larger than any other gathering in the country."

The Right Rev Bishop Dunn, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, added: "The perception that faith is a cause of division can often be because faith is misused for other uses and other agendas."

The poll suggests, however, that in modern Britain religious observance has become a habit reserved for special occasions. Only 13% of those questioned claimed to visit a place of worship at least once a week, with 43% saying they never attended religious services.

Non-Christians are the most regular attenders - 29% say they attend a religious service at least weekly. Yet Christmas remains a religious festival for many people, with 54% of Christians questioned saying they intended to go to a religious service over the holiday period.

Well-off people are more likely to plan to visit a church at Christmas: 64% of those in the highest economic categories expect to attend, compared with 43% of those in the bottom group.

Britain's generally tolerant attitude to religion is underlined by the small proportion who say the country is best described as a Christian one. Only 17% think this. The clear majority, 62%, agree Britain is better described as "a religious country of many faiths".

ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,006 adults aged 18+ by telephone between December 12 and 13. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 937 • Replies: 18
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Dec, 2006 12:44 am
From the same sourde, page 14

Quote:
lChristians in numbers

Faith, hope and church-going
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Sat 23 Dec, 2006 12:50 am
http://i18.tinypic.com/4i1kpqx.jpg
http://i11.tinypic.com/358z67s.jpg
http://i14.tinypic.com/4i4v1ck.jpg
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Dec, 2006 01:33 am
I guess this points out the difference between faith and religion.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Dec, 2006 02:43 am
Well, might be, DD.

(Forgot to mention another online source: Devout Poles show Britain how to keep the faith
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Raul-7
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 11:30 pm
DrewDad wrote:
I guess this points out the difference between faith and religion.


Exactly. Religion is via practicing your Faith daily, at all times - not simply wearing a Cross around one's neck or visiting Church every once in a while. Religion is in your interactions and behavior in day-to-day life. Which is also true Faith (to believe God see's and knows what you do at all times and that you will eventually be held accountable for everything you did or said). Many people may have faith in God, but certainly they do not practice it (religion).
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2006 08:41 am
I find it difficult to find many redeeming qualities in religion. On the other hand history records the damage it has done over the centuries.
Would humanity have been better served if religion had not been foisted upon it? One thing is sure, it couldn't have been any worse .
.
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2006 09:44 pm
Hey, it's not my One True Completely Peaceful Religion that causes problems, it's everyone else's false ones.

Once they all join mine, there'll be hapiness and peace all round.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2006 10:06 pm
It's interesting, 63% of people said they were not religious, yet 64% said they were christians.

So, a certain percentage of christians don't consider themselves religious. How's that for counter-intuitive........

This must mean that people differentiate between being religious and proclaiming themselves part of a group (christian).

I wonder if this is because people like to think of themselves as part of a group, even if they don't follow the practices of that group.

This also means that statistical results of studies like this are going to be very hard to interpret because the responses are subjective based on the interpretation each individual has as to the definition of the items within the question (religion, christian, etc).

I wonder how people in the US would respond to the same sequence of questions.
0 Replies
 
Raul-7
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2006 10:54 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
It's interesting, 63% of people said they were not religious, yet 64% said they were christians.

So, a certain percentage of christians don't consider themselves religious. How's that for counter-intuitive........

This must mean that people differentiate between being religious and proclaiming themselves part of a group (christian).

I wonder if this is because people like to think of themselves as part of a group, even if they don't follow the practices of that group.

This also means that statistical results of studies like this are going to be very hard to interpret because the responses are subjective based on the interpretation each individual has as to the definition of the items within the question (religion, christian, etc).

I wonder how people in the US would respond to the same sequence of questions.


It's because they have false hopes, they seem to believe that if they belong to that group (Christianity) then that automatically means they are guaranteed a seat in Heaven. Which is why Christianity is falling apart, they base their faith on false hopes of Jesus (pbuh) repenting for all their sins even though most do not even follow the model he set. But in reality they are nothing more than hypocrites.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2006 11:07 pm
Raul-7 wrote:
It's because they have false hopes, they seem to believe that if they belong to that group (Christianity) then that automatically means they are guaranteed a seat in Heaven.


Most of those people said they weren't religious, so I doubt they are worried about a 'seat in heaven'.

I bet a good number of those people classify themselves as christian simply because their parents told them they were christian when they were kids. If a majority of christians feel they are non-religious, then the nature of christianity (as defined by its adherants) is inherently changed.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Dec, 2006 12:04 am
rosborne979 wrote:
Raul-7 wrote:
It's because they have false hopes, they seem to believe that if they belong to that group (Christianity) then that automatically means they are guaranteed a seat in Heaven.


Most of those people said they weren't religious, so I doubt they are worried about a 'seat in heaven'.

I bet a good number of those people classify themselves as christian simply because their parents told them they were christian when they were kids. If a majority of christians feel they are non-religious, then the nature of christianity (as defined by its adherants) is inherently changed.



I just wish we could quantify the non-religious Christians in America so next time some religious blow-hard spouts off that 80% of Americans are Christian we could point out that probably less than half of those are followers of the Hypothesis of Christianity. The others are just wannabees who will join the rest of us heathens in hell.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Dec, 2006 03:38 pm
I wonder how many believe in the concept of heaven and hell?
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Abid
 
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Reply Thu 28 Dec, 2006 09:02 am
Even people who are not christian can be seen as saying they are affiliated with 'the religion of my parents' but not practising it.

It seems to me that in western society, the love of materialism is killing off religious lifestyles.
As this occurs

Unemployment increases
Child pregnancy increases
Crime increases
Fornication, wife swapping, homosexuality, orgies etc are on the up
Depression / suicide increase

Its a slippery slope......
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Dec, 2006 10:14 am
Abid wrote:
It seems to me that in western society, the love of materialism is killing off religious lifestyles.


I'm not sure it's materialism which gets the credit. But whatever it is, it's good.

Abid wrote:

As this occurs

Unemployment increases
Child pregnancy increases
Crime increases
Fornication, wife swapping, homosexuality, orgies etc are on the up
Depression / suicide increase

Its a slippery slope......


I don't remember where we've had this discussion before, but if I remember correctly, there is no connection between lack of religion and any of the things you listed above.

There may even be some indication that the slippery slope you mention actually goes in the other direction.
0 Replies
 
Abid
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Dec, 2006 10:40 am
rosborne979 wrote:
Abid wrote:
It seems to me that in western society, the love of materialism is killing off religious lifestyles.


I'm not sure it's materialism which gets the credit. But whatever it is, it's good.

Abid wrote:

As this occurs

Unemployment increases
Child pregnancy increases
Crime increases
Fornication, wife swapping, homosexuality, orgies etc are on the up
Depression / suicide increase

Its a slippery slope......


I don't remember where we've had this discussion before, but if I remember correctly, there is no connection between lack of religion and any of the things you listed above.

There may even be some indication that the slippery slope you mention actually goes in the other direction.


Sorry if I dont believe you. Its not really something that can be proved either way though is it.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Dec, 2006 11:08 am
Thai insurgency targets Buddhists
By Richard Ehrlich
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
December 29, 2006



BANGKOK -- Buddhists are fleeing their homes in southern Thailand in the face of an increasingly militant Muslim insurgency that has begun calling for an independent and pure Islamist nation in the impoverished region bordering Malaysia.
What began as an indigenous protest against heavy-handed rule from the mainly Buddhist capital, Bangkok, has developed into a battle reflecting extremism in Iraq and Afghanistan, including beheadings and the burning of schools.
"This land must be separated between Muslims and the nonbelievers. This land must be liberated, and an Islamic system must be its foundation," warned a leaflet recently distributed in the south that the Thai military showed to reporters.
"This is a land of war that is no different from Palestine and Afghanistan," said the leaflet, signed by an obscure jihadist group known as the Islamic Warriors of Pattani State.
"This land is not the land of the Thais, but the land of Fathoni Darulsalam," it said, using an old Arabic name for the mainly Muslim region of southern Thailand.
Other fliers instruct Muslims not to buy or benefit financially from lands abandoned by Buddhists, saying the properties will be distributed to needy Malays once the region is liberated from the "occupying Siamese," according to a Bangkok newspaper, the Nation.
Authorities say 1,730 persons have died in three years of unrest, more than 1,000 of them Muslims, including many killed by confused and poorly disciplined government forces. Others were killed as a warning to other Muslims not to cooperate with the government.
The dead also include about 680 Buddhists who appear to have been slaughtered to disrupt their work and frighten other Buddhists into leaving, according to the respected Prince of Songkhla University in Pattani.
The killers' tactics have grown increasingly brutal, including the decapitation of 25 persons since 2004.
Insurgents also assassinate saffron-robed Buddhist monks who collect alms during barefoot walks through villages and towns, even when armed troops escort the clergymen.
Shocked by the sight of blood-splattered monks sprawled in the street and reports of nearby assaults, about 200 Buddhist villagers in Yala province have fled.
Carrying meager belongings, they clustered in Buddhist temples, grateful for sacks of supplies sent by Queen Sirikit, and hoping for financial compensation and resettlement.



The evils of religion on display

Will this be the future of Europe when the Moslems become dominant force.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Dec, 2006 11:24 am
Thailand isn't exactly a country covered by the quoted UK-poll.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Dec, 2006 11:48 am
Abid wrote:
rosborne979 wrote:
Abid wrote:
It seems to me that in western society, the love of materialism is killing off religious lifestyles.


I'm not sure it's materialism which gets the credit. But whatever it is, it's good.

Abid wrote:

As this occurs

Unemployment increases
Child pregnancy increases
Crime increases
Fornication, wife swapping, homosexuality, orgies etc are on the up
Depression / suicide increase

Its a slippery slope......


I don't remember where we've had this discussion before, but if I remember correctly, there is no connection between lack of religion and any of the things you listed above.

There may even be some indication that the slippery slope you mention actually goes in the other direction.


Sorry if I dont believe you. Its not really something that can be proved either way though is it.


Well then, sorry if I don't believe you either.

But if it's not something which can be proven either way, and you don't have anything to support your claims, then why did you claim them in the first place? Did you just have a hunch?
0 Replies
 
 

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