In a blog, you can write about anything but if you like to attract comments, you will tend to notice which subjects elicit the greatest response. I don’t doubt that many bloggers have found, as I have, that religion is a great crowd-puller. This seems rather strange to me in a technologically advanced society in a scientifically knowledgeable age but the fact remains that a post supporting, say an atheistic approach to reality, is likely stir up a good deal of passion and angst. Why is this?
To make a beginning in investigating this topic, I thought I would take another look at religious statistics, to see how many claimed to believe what. The figures reproduced below relate to Britain. How relevant they are to, say the US, I have no idea. I would guess that figures in all Western countries would be fairly similar, though greater divergences would be expected in other parts of the world. Anyway, to the figures. Click on the panel to go to the source Web site, National Statistics Online.
Religion in Britain
The figures show, unsurprisingly, that the largest group of those claiming religious affiliation does so under the Christian umbrella (71.6%) and that the next largest coherent religious group is Muslim at 2.7%.
The figures also show that, after Christians, the next largest group, at 15.5%, comprises those who claim no religion. Of course, we should beware of calling these “atheists”: they no doubt include agnostics, people who never think about the subject of religion at all and those who have varying sorts of spiritual leanings (New Age?) without associating these with a religion as such. Much the same might be said of the “Not stated” group.
Each reader will draw his or her own conclusions. Believers will derive some comfort, perhaps, as will opponents of religion. Opinions are unlikely to be altered.