Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The God Delusion Decade

I wonder how many reading this have maintained their own blog for a time only to suddenly find that they no longer have anything pressing to throw out in to the blogosphere, resulting in a never updated ghost blog. Well, it has been a while since I posted. I have been busy this year promoting the Humanist cause. I spoke at a couple of debates at Hull Guildhall, one on Faith Schools (I was against them) and another on Free Will (I was all for it). I questioned the false trichotomy of the Alpha Course at the Rowntree Park Birthday Party in the Summer (see photo). I gave a talk on Bad Science in York and took part in a Humanist/Muslim dialogue at York mosque as part of the exclusively named Interfaith Week. I even gave a Humanist Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Humberside for the week before Christmas. But did any of it help to increase the number of free thinking religion sceptics in our region? We read in the press how the number of people in our country committed to a religion is in constant free fall, especially the number of Anglicans. Apparently there is a half-life decay in religiosity. If one or both of your parents were religious, then there is only a 50-50 chance that you will follow in their footsteps. At this rate, it is hard to see how the official religion of our country will survive in the coming decades. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s misguided criticisms of the American Episcopal church’s appointment of a lesbian as a Bishop, in the same week as the Anglican Bishop of Uganda expressed support for the death penalty for homosexuals (which the said prelate was remarkably silent about), will surely hasten the exodus of liberal thinking men and women from the CofE. The Pope has been wooing the Anglo-Catholic wing from the Anglican fold, though the never ending child abuse scandals rocking the Catholic ecclesia should make the faithful question taking that path. I suppose this will leave the happy-clappys dominating the Anglican pews. Has all this decline in religious observance led to a corresponding increase in support for the nations Humanist Societies? Though the level of support for organised Humanism has shown a moderate increase, I am disappointed that the God Delusion decade did not win more converts to the naturalistic, scientific and rational world view.