What struck me the most about the novel The Year of The Flood were the Gardeners, and how religious belief was still so prevalent in post-apocalyptic times. The Gardeners still believed in God even with all the revolutionary scientific discoveries, like splices, and cloning, as well as when the world was coming to an end and they were dying of starvation one by one. This amazed me because as technology rises, people tend to stop following ideologies without proof. This is due to the growth of intelligence amongst people in society, and the rise of questioning.
Of course, religion is still common in our society today, although its clear that amongst millennials, it is less practiced. I was curious as to how common it is, and if it’s died down over the last decades, like I predicted.
To back up my assumptions, I decided to do some research, and so I dug into the world of religion, and how it has slowly started to fade away and become something far more “passé” amongst our generation.
First, we must analyze how much the use of technology has increased over the decades. According to Brookings, homes with internet access have almost tripled worldwide in just 9 years, going from being in 18% of homes worldwide, to 44%, in less than a decade.
From this chart we can conclude that technology has definitely risen and become more common amongst society in the last decade, going from being a luxury to a necessity. The increase of technology has definitely changed a lot in our society, making news more accessible, facilitating communication, and allowing us to express ourselves more freely through blogs just like this one. These changes have welcomed different ideologies and allowed us to open our eyes to issues we normally wouldn’t be exposed to, such as flaws in religion, through the blooming of science.
Next, I wanted to find proof of actual change amongst generations, so I found this chart dividing belief by generational cohort.
According to the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life study, only 18% of those aged 18-29 absolutely believe in god, compared to 34% of those aged 30-49. Another shocking difference was the 38% of those aged 18-29 who absolutely do not believe in God, compared to 12% of those aged 59 and up.
Lastly, I wanted to see if there was a general drop in religious views over the last couple of decades to make sure that the change in religious views wasn’t just dependent on age, so I found the following chart
According to Religion News Service, “Religiosity in the United States is in the midst of what might be called ‘The Great Decline.”. This graph has no specific scale since it factors in a combination of different measures, but it’s clear that it has been steadily declining. Those who attend church are far less frequent, and those who associate with no religion are growing rapidly.
The counterargument would be that in desperate times, most turn to what they know, which is religion. But then again, believing may be hard when the waterless flood wipes away all that you know.
So, fellow classmates, my question is this: Do you think that in our future, religion will still have a place in our society? Or are you a firm believer in the power of evolution, and that evidence has yet to prove the existence of a higher power?