Is Faith in Teenagers Deflating?

  • Your Soul Is My High

    Your Soul Is My High (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    24
    Location:
    Australia
    I live in a urban suburb in NSW Austrailia, and it has come to my attention, that by observing the religious views of the teenagers in my high school, there is an absurd amount of people who have absolutely no faith in God, or have any other religious aspects in their lives. Where I am right now, it isn't "cool" to be affiliated with church or religion. It just seems to me that the older generations have been a lot more accepting of this sort of affiliation, and even in our country wide statistics, there has been a significant drop of Catholics and Christians and a higher rise of Atheists and Agnostics. (I'm not saying the other religions aren't important, just that these are the two most popular in our country.)

    Our country tries to shy away from it as much as possible. Put us next to America for example. Where we try to avoid any debates of religious sayings, there is a huge difference of opinion where their leader says "God bless America." Those sorts of things are pretty much unheard of here. There are plenty more examples I could give but this one came off the top of my head.

    Maybe I have a biased opinion, but if there is anything that anyone would like to add, that would be great. I am not up for debates that would offend or harm anyone, but only those who want to talk about their opinion of the supposed deflation of faith. Thank you. Any country review is welcome.
    April 15th, 2013 at 08:48am
  • Airi.

    Airi. (2240)

    :
    NaNoWriMo 2016
    Gender:
    Age:
    26
    Location:
    United States
    @ Your Soul Is My High
    Everyone has their own reasons for turning away from organized religion so it's hard to pinpoint why the youth may be turning away from religion. I can't speak for Australia but here in the U.S, polls have shown there is a rise in people turning away from organized religion, both in old and young people. While they say it's a rise in atheism and agnosticism, to me it seems to be a rise in religion. A lot of Americans who turn away from organized religion say they still believe in a higher power, they just no longer wish to identify organized religions such as Christianity for whatever reason they may have. I don't think it's a matter of whether it's seen as "cool" or not but rather a matter of personal belief and what a person feels.

    With the youth, I think a lot of it has to do with the way our world has changed over the years. As our society changes, our viewpoints change as well. The older generation has a different way of thinking because they were raised in a different type of society than our generation was. Our generation is becoming more accepting of things that were seen as 'taboo' for the last generation. The youth in countries like Australia and the U.S are becoming accepting of things like same-sex marriage and pre-marital sex, things like the past generation frowned deeply upon. The way our society is becoming more 'liberal' I guess and becoming more accepting of things may be a big reason for why people are turning away from organized religions like Christianity. I think a lot of the youth just don't agree with Christianity's teachings and would rather turn away from the church and religion. I don't see anything wrong with that. As long as the individual is happy and not hurting anyone, why does it matter what religion they are or aren't? I dunno, I just don't see anything wrong with people de-converting from certain religions.

    I dislike it when our leaders say "God bless America" or something of the sort. We're supposed to be a secular country. We are a country founded upon freedom of religion and to me, when politicians mix religion and politics, it really goes against what this country is supposed to stand for and goes against the secularism of this country. I hate how much religion is mixed into our politics. We're not supposed to be ruled by a single religion yet Christianity has such power in our politics. I don't think the mixture of our religion and politics is anything to be proud of or wish for.

    Just as a quick question, what would be an "absurd amount" of people lacking faith in god and/or organized religion? Why is the amount of people like this 'absurd'?
    April 15th, 2013 at 09:57am
  • charming.

    charming. (135)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    28
    Location:
    Australia
    I don't think we can say Australia "shies away" from religion when our 'atheist' PM says children should study the Bible / defends man-lady marriage on the basis of [Christian] 'tradition', and where Parliament begins each sitting with the prayer "Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to vouchsafe Thy blessing upon this Parliament. Direct and prosper our deliberations to the advancement of Thy glory, and the true welfare of the people of Australia" followed by the Lord’s Prayer. At least America is upfront about its religiosity.
    April 15th, 2013 at 12:41pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    32
    Location:
    United States
    No, I don't agree. I think more teens are thinking for themselves and coming to their own conclusions instead of blindly following the herd. This is a good thing, not a bad one. (I don't live in Australia, but I feel similar things have happened in America.)
    April 15th, 2013 at 05:02pm
  • Mogar

    Mogar (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    20
    Location:
    United States
    I live in Massachusetts, which is a state that is considered as liberal. I came out as an atheist a while back, and even though we're not really under 'the bible belt', I still received a few negative reactions. I don't see how having no religious affiliation is 'cool'. Ever since our most primitive state of mankind, we've been guided by the belief of a higher power to guide us along the way and answer certain aspects of life that we had not been able to explain ourselves. However, we are at the point where we don't need that guidance. We have a decent understanding of how and why stuff happens. For me, part of becoming an atheist and no longer relying on supernatural explanations for the world was realising that we're all alone. There's no grand scheme here. It's not exactly flowers and sunshine. I do agree that the youth are becoming less dependent on organised religion, even religion in general. It is something I've noticed; even I'm a part of that. But I think it's all a part of thinking. Thinking for ourselves, instead of relying on what explanations we receive which may be questionable to some. It's growth, it's evolution- for lack of a better word. The numbers of religious people may be dropping, but we have a long way to go before the majority of people in power are atheists, where the ideology has an affect on the way most people live.

    And quite frankly, I don't see one thing wrong with it.
    April 15th, 2013 at 07:44pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    32
    Location:
    United States
    I don't think it's just youth either. The number of adults who identify as Atheist/agnostic/not religious is growing. 'Not religious' is especially growing.
    April 16th, 2013 at 05:46am
  • Sour Dime

    Sour Dime (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    26
    Location:
    United States
    Personally I think in general faith in any particular religion is disappearing. As for teenagers it's a part of finding who you are, you question things and start to think for yourself.
    April 16th, 2013 at 06:40am
  • charming.

    charming. (135)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    28
    Location:
    Australia
    dru saves the songs:
    I don't think it's just youth either. The number of adults who identify as Atheist/agnostic/not religious is growing. 'Not religious' is especially growing.
    Plum Drop:
    Personally I think in general faith in any particular religion is disappearing. As for teenagers it's a part of finding who you are, you question things and start to think for yourself.
    Agnosticism/atheism is rising in prominence in [western] countries, but, globally, religion is on the rise. Particularly in the 'global south' (Africa / South America)

    Inevitable global secularism / non-theism was a popular theory in the 80s/90s but is proving untrue.
    April 16th, 2013 at 08:13am
  • Sour Dime

    Sour Dime (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    26
    Location:
    United States
    pravda.:
    Agnosticism/atheism is rising in prominence in [western] countries, but, globally, religion is on the rise. Particularly in the 'global south' (Africa / South America)

    Inevitable global secularism / non-theism was a popular theory in the 80s/90s but is proving untrue.
    I didn't know that I guess it kind of makes me sad but that's probably because of my own views on religion.
    April 16th, 2013 at 08:37am
  • Sansa Stark

    Sansa Stark (930)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    70
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Here in Portugal, we got out of a dictatorship 40 years ago, where people were forced to be Catholic. They had no choice, it was literally the law. Most of my country is made up of old people, so they have this blind sense of religion embeded in their brains. The younger generations want to rebel against this, so they choose to be agnostics/atheists. Of course - and don't get me wrong - there is this sense that religion is for old people or that believing in God means you're dumb and hate science and a teen who admits to have faith in God will probably be teased for it by his/her peers.
    April 16th, 2013 at 09:02am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    32
    Location:
    United States
    @ pravda.
    Thank you for correcting me. I'm from America, so I had read an American article about it.
    April 17th, 2013 at 12:01am
  • Your Soul Is My High

    Your Soul Is My High (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    24
    Location:
    Australia
    I just want to say that I am finding everyone's responses quiet interesting. My understanding of this topic is quiet low in regarding to what other people think, that is why I posted this forum. I never really thought about it as the different ways that everyone is describing and I think it is great that there is such a strong discussion about this. I am taking in everyone's words and keeping an open mind. I can't wait to see what more people have to say about it.
    April 17th, 2013 at 02:06am
  • schrodinger's cat.

    schrodinger's cat. (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    28
    Location:
    Great Britain (UK)
    Well, my friends and I are in our last year of university and I only know one person (apart from myself) that isn't atheist.
    I'm glad that my and younger generations are being pushed to think for themselves but I find it saddening that I only know one person that is open to the possibility that there is something other than this, but I guess that's because it makes me feel lonely.
    April 21st, 2013 at 08:17pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    32
    Location:
    United States
    @ schrodinger's cat.
    Only the plus side, you do know they exist because there are churches.
    April 21st, 2013 at 08:20pm
  • cosmic pixel

    cosmic pixel (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    23
    Location:
    United States
    A lot of my friends are not religious, once they left their parent's house they've left the churches that they were raised with; example, I have a friend who was raised Baptist, but is now Atheist.
    "Faith" can be defined in so many ways. Faith is merely something that you believe in, so in my opinion even Atheism is a faith, just not in a deity. Everyone has faith in something, whether it is the existience of something or the lack of existience in something.
    I have a theory on the 'deflation' of 'faith' in teens.
    My own experience with religion is that I was raised Catholic, but I've found some of the beliefs to be problematic. One example, I am bisexual and I believe that homosexuality is okay, I support gay marriage. A lot of people around my age from the same religion will agree with me. Also the horrible child molestation scandals that have taken place over the years that some of our leaders do little to nothing about. (though I find it interesting those who are trying to do something about it are not mentioned in the media) I believe in God and worship Jesus Christ, but to call myself a Catholic instantly leaves me open to being assumed a homophobic child molester, which I absolutely am not. People make unfair assumptions about me based on what I believe, and I feel like that's what makes teens want to stay away from religion in general. Nobody wants to be accused of bad things just because of the bad apples in their group. People are so aggressive on things that shouldn't even matter, like political stance, religion, race, orientation, gender. Whatever happened to showing mutual respect to someone because they're human? Everybody wants to be treated equally, and religion gets in the way of that sometimes. As an adult I plan to continue believing in God, worshipping Jesus Christ and attending Mass on Sundays, but I could not be part of an organized religion because once you do that, your individuality is extinguished and you are lumped in with 'the others'. Individuality is important to teens and young adults.
    That being said, I don't blame anyone for disliking religion. People use it as an excuse to be assholes, people use it to make themselves look good, people use it as an excuse to kill, hurt, ect. and there are few who are part of a religion because it is what they truly believe. It also sucks when you try to have an honest talk with someone about their religion, and once they find out you believe something different it's suddenly. "Ohhhh you're trying to shove God down my throat!" No, that's not what I do at all. I don't openly discuss my beliefs with anybody unless they ask me about it. I however like to ask people about their beliefs, whether it's Atheism, Buddhism, Muslim, ect. because it shows how diverse we really are, and it's just incredibly interesting to learn about individuals and their reasoning for believing what they do. I try to respect everyone.
    Faith is not deflating in teenagers because we all have faith in something, I just think that Atheism is a more popular belief now than it every was.
    May 13th, 2013 at 01:51am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    32
    Location:
    United States
    @ Sorceress:.
    I don't necessarily agree that not believing in something is having faith. You don't have faith in anything if you don't believe in anything. A lot of Atheists are scientific so they know what they believe; it is factually backed up and more than a 'belief', but a substantiated fact.

    It's certainly a belief system, but I don't think I would call it "faith".
    May 13th, 2013 at 01:59am
  • cosmic pixel

    cosmic pixel (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    23
    Location:
    United States
    @ dru's troubled soul

    But Atheists don't believe there is a god, correct? Wouldn't you say you have faith in the fact that there isn't a god? You can't believe something unless you have faith in it, or at least that's what I've come to understand. That's more or less the gist of what I meant.
    Are you an Atheist yourself?
    May 13th, 2013 at 02:45am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    32
    Location:
    United States
    @ Sorceress:.
    I am not an Atheist. I am a New Age Progressive Christian and the only believer in a family of nonbelievers.

    Since God cannot be proven, you have to take his existence on faith. Since there is no evidence God exists, one would not need to make a leap of faith.

    "You can't believe something unless you have faith in it" >> and they don't believe in something and they don't have faith in it.

    Though some Atheists do have faith in certain things. My mother believes in reincarnation and that requires faith.
    May 13th, 2013 at 03:04am
  • cosmic pixel

    cosmic pixel (100)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    23
    Location:
    United States
    @ dru's troubled soul

    What is a New Age Progressive Christian? I've never heard of that before.
    Ah, I see. To me believing and faith has been the same thing.
    I really wish reincarnation existed. I mean, I guess there's no proof that it doesn't exist but it seems unlikely to me; it would be cool to come back as a bird or something after passing on.
    May 13th, 2013 at 03:16am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

    :
    Member
    Gender:
    Age:
    32
    Location:
    United States
    @ Sorceress:.
    I had to combine a bunch of terms to try to describe myself. I don't believe in a lot of things anyone else does. I am a Christian, but I don't take the Bible literally and I don't believe in one true god/Gods. I don't believe in conventional heaven/hell. I think science explains a lot. I don't think any religion discusses the universe enough to be completely right.
    May 13th, 2013 at 04:03am