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Monday, April 18, 2016

By 2021 the effects of New Atheism movement may be largely over in the United States

Although the New Atheism movement  (which is a form of militant atheism) is a shadow of its former self, it did create some  increased public discussion about atheism in America.

The God Delusion is a 2006 best-selling book by the new atheist Richard Dawkins which advocates atheism/agnosticism and criticizes religion. Although its critics rightly pointed out the book was shallow intellectually and contained many factual errors, it did sell a lot of copies.

If you look at the data below,  which includes a Google trends USA graph for the word "atheist", a case can be made that the effects of New Atheism movement and the book The God Delusion may be largely over by 2021 in the United States.

Current low morale of the atheist movement 

 In the latter portion of the 20th century and continuing into the 21st century, due to various historical events/trends, the atheist movement has had lower confidence/morale (see: Low morale of the atheist movement).

Google trends graph:: Searches for the word "atheist" at Google USA

Global resurgence of religion. Lower confidence of secularists

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported:
Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass."[17]

The agnostic Eric Kaufmann is a professor of politics at Birkbeck, University of London and author. As noted above, his academic research specialty is how demographic changes affect religion/irreligion and politics.

 Kaufmann wrote in 2010:
Worldwide, the march of religion can probably only be reversed by a renewed, self-aware secularism. Today, it appears exhausted and lacking in confidence... Secularism's greatest triumphs owe less to science than to popular social movements like nationalism, socialism and 1960s anarchist-liberalism. Ironically, secularism's demographic deficit means that it will probably only succeed in the twenty-first century if it can create a secular form of 'religious' enthusiasm." [18]

In 2012, Eric Kaufmann indicated:
I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious. On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British. [19]

Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[20]


Austria: Leading indicator of European desecularization

Concerning the future of religion/secularism in Europe, Eric Kaufmann also wrote:
We have performed these unprecedented analyses on several cases. Austria offers us a window into what the future holds. Its census question on religious affiliation permits us to perform cohort component projections, which show the secular population plateauing by 2050, or as early as 2021 if secularism fails to attract lapsed Christians and new Muslim immigrants at the same rate as it has in the past. (Goujon, Skirbekk et al. 2006). This task will arguably become far more difficult as the supply of nominal Christians dries up while more secularisation-resistant Muslims and committed rump Christians comprise an increasing share of the population.[22]

See also: Investor's Business Daily on the flood of Muslim immigrants to Europe