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The Age of Disbelief Exploring rising rates of atheism and the lowering percentage of Christians in western society. Discussing the reasons for this and the potential outcomes. Table of Contents I am a deeply religious nonbeliever - this is a somewhat new kind of religion. 1 Introduction3 Log 5 Chapter 1: Maslow’s triangle and the role of the church 7 Chapter 2: The Western Perception of Christian Conventions 11 Chapter 3:
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  The Age of Disbelief  Exploring rising rates of atheism and the lowering percentage of Christians inwestern society. Discussing the reasons for this and the potential outcomes. Table of Contents I am a deeply religious nonbeliever - this is a somewhat new kind of religion.   1 Introduction3LogChapter ! #aslow$s triangle and the role of the church %Chapter & The 'estern (erception of Christian Con)entions !!Chapter 3 *ood without *od !+Chapter + (ainting a (icture of an Atheist 'orld !,Conclusion &&-ibliography &+ 1 Albert EinsteinPage 1  Introduction There are many core similarities across all organised religions which ser)e to fulfil the needs of societies$ and the persons that are within them. or a long time religion has been said to be essential for indi)idual wellbeing as well as playing an integral role in forming the moral and legal basis of indi)idual and collecti)e societal conduct./owe)er0 in recent times there has arisen a shift in patterns of religious following in 'estern 1ocieties. 1ince !,%!0 Australian census data has reported an a)erage 3.,2 increase of persons identifying as ha)ing no religion each decade. 'ith the statistical incline steepening further still between &! and &!! where the non4religious population 5umped 6.72 &  Although America doesn$t include religion on the census0 (ew 8esearch Centre found that in &!+ roughly 32 less American adults claimed to belie)e in *od than in &%. 3  These shifting adherence patterns are currently reported to be occurring all o)er the western world0 in countries such as 9ew :ealand0 England0 'ales0 Canada and Ireland + .1o what of the needs that religion has ser)ed for these cultures o)er the centuries;  Are they being neglected by this new non4religious generation or is 'estern 1ociety adapting to fulfil these needs in alternate secular ways; I also wish to del)e into the cause of this social shift after such a lengthy history of dependence on religious tradition and what the conse<uences of such a shift continuing might be. or example0 can a world without religion be moral and ordered;I will mainly focus on Christianity in my research as it accounts for the largest population of religious people in western culture and is the religion experiencing the most decline. In saying this I will also include0 where rele)ant0 analysis of rising 2 Losing My Religion? Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Governent! !#!, 2$ ov! 2$1%! &eb! $' (uly 2$1)! *ntro+ucing ne instruction in t-e census% Aerica.s /-anging Religious Lan+sca#e! Pe Researc- /enters Religion Public Life Pro0ect RSS! !#!, 11 May 2$1! &eb! 1$ ov! 2$1! Losing My Religion? Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Governent! !#!, 2$ ov! 2$1%! &eb! $' (uly 2$1)! *ntro+ucing ne instruction in t-e censusPage 2  le)els of disbelief in other religious traditions. An example of another religious tradition in decline is seen in the &!! study conducted by (utnam and Campbell0 who found that 2 of American =ews doubt the existence of *od.  The in)estigation of these <uestions will contribute to a broader understanding of therole of religious culture in society and a deeper awareness of the rapidly changing social and religious landscape of 'estern 1ociety. I will engage a )ariety of <ualitati)e research methodologies including inter)iews0 content analysis and <uestionnaires and strong secondary research in order to gather a <ualitati)e understanding of the opinions and moti)ations of those at the heart of this social shift.#y cross cultural comparison shall be between Christians and Atheists of western society0 allowing me to compare their wellbeing0 morality and world )iews.  Barooa-, (a-nabi! At-eist (es3 (u+ais &it-out Go+! 4-e 5u6ngton Post!  4-e5u6ngtonPost!co, n!+! &eb! 1$ ov! 2$1! Page %  Log October and November   were spent de)ising the focus of my (I( as I >new from thebeginning I wanted to write something about religion. ?riginally I was going to del)e into the similarities shared across all religions and the reasons for this0 which I assumed was due to the social needs that religion srcinally sought to fulfil for indi)iduals and societies.rom December to January  I conducted two inter)iews0 sent out <uestionnaires on my topic and began my content analysis of @-elief$. /owe)er during these methodologies I was inspired to my final topic0 especially as =ewish inter)iewee -etty Adler admitted that she didn$t really belie)e in *od0 school counsellor Allan  Anderson drew my attention to the negati)e effects of religion on many students and episode 3 of @-elief$ del)ed into the possibility of spiritual fulfilment outside of religion.These facts led to further research into atheism and agnosticism resulting in my intrigue surrounding their rising population in western culture. Despite my change of topic I was able to integrate some of the information from these methodologies into my (I( particularly in the first chapter.In February and March  I created and distributed <uestionnaires for a comparison of  Atheists and Christian$s )iews toward this shift0 rewrote my introduction and spent a lot of my time on my secondary research. As well as as>ing for feedbac> on drafts.In April I conducted two inter)iews with ones <uestions specifically for an atheist$s )iewpoint on the topic and another set specifically for a Christians )iew. I then wrote my second chapter based on the secondary research I had gathered0 my inter)iew responses from Ian -lain0 'ill small and Allan Anderson as well as my second <uestionnaires responses.In May  I began researching people$s opinions of the conse<uences of such a shift. The main issue I found was the opinion that without religion society would lose its moral compass and order. I researched e)idence for and against this belief and realised that the issue of morality without *od was so broad that it needed its own chapter. I based this third chapter mainly on the )ast amount of secondary research a)ailable on the topic. Page 
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