connections between Protestantism and atheism

I want to write an article or even a book about how Protestantism leads to atheism. But I need some help. If anyone has any input about their connection please let me know. I haven’t looked into it but have countries that stayed mostly catholic kept faith in God vs countries that became mostly protestant? And I feel relativism is one bridge between them

It began with denying the Church’s proper authority. Once that was done the end result was denying God. It was inevitable, although most Protestants and atheists have no knowledge/understanding of this. This is why idolatry–setting up false gods, be it oneself or anything else, is so grave. It leads us away from God to ourselves and then out into the abyss of unbelief.

In any study I believe it’s better to gather evidence and then come to a conclusion. The way you’re doing it sounds like you’ve made a conclusion and are now looking for evidence of it.

You might look at some statistics about countries that have the largest Catholic populations and the declining or increasing number of Catholics in the population. Here’s one study:

Then you might research the number of atheists in the world and what countries they are in and how those trends have changed over the years. Also, you’ll probably have to make some decisions on whether you want to include all Catholics and all Protestants in your research, or just practicing Catholics and practicing Protestants.

Also, how would you determine what the criteria for keeping faith in God is? Is it just being baptized Catholic, or would you want to do studies on abortion rates, mass attendance, pre- and extra-marital sex, divorce rates, promotion/acceptance of same sex marriage, birth control, belief in the precepts of the Catholic church, etc.

Here’s a Wikipedia article on the demographics of atheism that might help steer you in the right direction. I was surprised to read the results of the Canadian poll that found so many weekly church attenders don’t believe in God.

My instincts say that being European leads to being atheist more than anything. And many European countries are traditionally Catholic.

What the above poster said, about conclusions and evidence.

I could write a book/article about Catholicism leads to atheism, too. Or Buddism, or Islam, or…you get the idea. Don’t pain with so broad a brush.

based on certain observations I’ve made and the logic and reason of their held beliefs I’ve made this hypothesis. And now looking if anyone has took the time to collect data on this or has any other insite, be it statistics or philosophical.

I’d echo dronald’s words of caution about “reasoning” backwards from a conclusion.

I can come up with some pathways that would allow someone to move from Protestantism to atheism that may not exist in Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy, but that doesn’t mean that Protestantism inevitably leads to atheism, or even that it’s more likely to occur in Protestantism versus other traditions.

thank you for the sources. I’d be looking at just tye belief in the Christian God rather than particular practices.

thank you for your input. I hope you read my response to that message. It certainly wasn’t me taking the idea out of thin air but from more general observations. Now id like to go more in depth.

I think there’s clear connection that can be seen with the ideas of sola scriputra and sola fide and relativism which can lead to disbelief in a divine truth

Maybe check out Devin Rose’s books If Protestantism Is True and the Protestant Dilemma. The second one may just be an extension of the first title not sure.

oh yes I intact have this book sitting in front of me haha

Okay. But now we can only assume that no matter what you’re presented with, you’re only interested in data that shows how Protestants are likely to become Atheists. That confirms a bias imo.

I think it would make more sense to ask people off all Christian denominations for proof that one is likely to keep a person within the Christian faith. I don’t have any statistical data on Catholics, but based on my observations, kids find Catholicism boring and are likely to leave and yet still call themselves Catholic. Does anyone have any data to prove my point please?.. See, it’s an odd way to start a study.

There is absolutely no link between Protestantism & atheism. You are starting with a conclusion & then trying to prove it. Please check out ‘scientific method’ which applies to all research. I could just as easily say/prove lapsed RCs tend to be atheists.

The “imputed righteousness” doctrine can lead to anti-nomianisim, the belief that, for all practical purposes, there is no absolute objective morality for man, no natural or eternal law that we necessarily need to abide by- or that we’re really meant to abide by in any case. Taken to the extreme this doctrine effectively changes nothing for man; he remains in His sin, no true justice is intended to be restored to God’s creation.

But…Protestantism doesn’t lead to Atheism.

(fyi, many of the Atheists I know are former Catholics–much more so than Protestant).


You largely miss the point. First philosophically and doctrinaly there already is a link between Protestantism and disbelief of God. I mentioned one of them being relativism and sola scriptura. There’s nothing wrong with one wanting to see if this has effected populations etc. If it doesn’t I would simply not write about it so please don’t assume. Your example of mass being boring causing kids to leave doesn’t prove your point. You’ve mad an observation that kids leave the church, and a possible cause for this and now you’re asking if anyone else has supporting data or insight. There’s no problem with that. Such a study may have been done and is why youth masses exist. You’re in effect telling me not to go in search for further info on the subject.

no I did not say “there’s a link between these two and I have NO evidence or reason to think so other than my bias, but does anyone have any evidence for?” you and the other guy seem to have me mischaracterized for this

thank you for your input

thank you for this insight

But isn’t it possible that the majority of those who become lapsed or leave the Church entirely is because they are ‘protesting’ a teaching or doctrine of Jesus and His Church?

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