The internet may be a driving force behind the public's loss of interest in religion.
I know the internet is how I got the tools I needed to find the errors and general nonsense in the Bible that simply can't be overlooked. There is so much information on the internet that the only way for someone to remain a Biblical fundamentalist is to either stay on fundie-friendly sites or develop guts of rock.
No matter which religion a person observes, the internet can give them a million reasons to come out of their shell and see what else is out there. And the 'net helps you see what else is out there as well. beliefnet.com itself is evidence of that.
The reason i believe religion is on the decline is due to the materialistic society we live in. Religion just like everything else has to be carried on through generations, and that requires participation from church, state and family as well as schools. Theist philosophy is not as popular as atheist philosophy, and if you can't relate something it becomes irrelevant. Material science takes God out of the picture, and in the process people are losing the sense of sacredness towards life, when that sense of sacredness becomes loss life becomes cheap and any value placed on it becomes just " mere sentiment". When you take all this into account no wonder people are becoming godless.
Nonsense. I'm an atheist and I think life is as "sacred" as it gets-- as that's ALL there is. Life is not cheap, it is what's sacred as far as I'm concerned, and the fact that it's really gone once it's gone just makes it more so. If you need a God to make you think life is not cheap, then by all means, but you don't speak for me. Frankly, I think it is the belief that God is there with an afterlife is what makes life seem cheap, as it undermines the finality of death.
It is nice to believe that life is sacred. I believe it is also nice to believe in the fact that we are responsible for our actions so that we can respect the rights of all creatures. Without respecting the rights of others regardless of what we believe the effect of our actions will only result in misery. Atheism doesn't acknowledge that we are accountable to something greater than us, this produces a " we are the proprietor" mentality that culminates in an exploitation without accountability that gradually leads to degradation. For things to change for the better mentalities have to change therefore we need a philosophy of universal brotherhood among ourselves ( human beings ) as well as to animals.
If by rational thought people can be made insightful to respect the sacredness of life then rational thought is a useful tool. I believe our thoughts more or less reflect our heart though, and if we don't purify the heart the "mind' itself by rational thought won't be able to achieve any light.
Yes quite. And to me, "purifying the heart," means minimizing to the extent possible superstition and its synonyms (faith, belief, religion, etc.). I "believe" that I exist, and that other people exist, that a consistent and rational universe exists that I am able to interact with, and that it has value, but all else are conclusions derived from those fundamentals. God is superfluous. Less is more. If I can't logically deduce that something is true or not, it's truth or falsity remains unknown, only superstitions need to be believed in.
Everybody has belief and faith that's part of being human. Purifying your heart means letting go of animosity towards people just because they are different from you.