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The idea that modernity leads to a lessening religious belief is being abandoned by theorists in America and Europe. Figures like Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling argue that increasingly religion seeks to impinge on science, and now the first systematic study of European cultural groups predicts that fundamentalists of all religions are out-breeding moderates and atheists, and will eclipse them quite soon. In Israel the Ultra Orthodox will form the majority as soon as 2050. Since the birth rate of secular people in the West is way below replacement level (2.1), and the birth rate of religious fundamentalists of practically any stripe is far above (roughly between 5 and 7.7 children per mother), through the sheer force of demography, academic Eric Kaufmann claims they will become a much bigger force in the Western World. Is that inevitable? Should people be worried?
Laurie Taylor discusses the anxieties of atheists and the predictions of demography with three theorists of different perspectives.: The Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, Tariq Ramadan; Eric Kaufmann, Reader in Politics at Birkbeck College and author of Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? and Rebecca Goldstein, philosopher and author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God; A Work of Fiction.

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30 minutes

Last on

Mon 12 Apr 2010 00:15

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