I predict a move to Theism without ties to Religion

As more people leave religious institutions and members leave Christianity and Catholicism in particular, i don’t think this will be necessarily a sign of growth in atheism, but rather i think people are leaving religion in particular and not necessarily theism or a spiritual view of reality. I don’t think Materialist notions of reality will hold sway over the majority even though it’s grown in popularity…What i think is happening is that people no-longer respect religion…

Of course this is just my opinion and is perhaps completely wrong.

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And we see hints of this in the “nones” as a lot of them are not atheist/agnostic but simply not a member of any organized denomination. Though I think it is mainly because most denominations heavily only that their members must believe or accept certain positions on issues. But that seems rather counter to the level of individualism many desire.

Also, are we sure we aren’t witnessing the results of a society that doesn’t “force” everyone to profess a particular faith?

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I think there will be a huge increase in religious relativism. “It doesn’t matter what religion I am, all religions lead to God.”

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Theism without a defined religion is not that different from atheism.
You live as you wish and believe in a god you created as your own image in your mind.

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When being polled as to their religious or spiritual identify, many people are now opting for “spiritual but no religious.” It is becoming more popular to think that way, although I don’t think it is so much a choice of a position but rather a rationale for one simply doing whatever one feels like, whatever feel good.
This phenomenon does to seem to support your contention, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this disregard for organized and structured religious identities is the wave of the future.

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I’m not sure about that. Would such a person simply find a church that conforms to their views or maybe doesn’t focus too much on certain issues?

And what of those who view the organized religions as man-made structures that cloud the Devine?

The majority of people I have known or met that have this philosophy, “I’m spiritual but not religious” see no need for any organized church and just live their life doing what the feel good about. They don’t seek out any church that could be considered a structure within the Judeo-Christian ethic. Their choice is to simply feel “warm and fuzzy” with no structural underpinning.

Do what you want and feel good about it.

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A lot of my peers do seem really turned off by organised religion. I wonder if it’s how we live in that we have less reason to physically go to places unless we really want to. Even physically going to church can still feel like a very individual rather than communal experience so it’s no wonder many don’t see the point.

I personally remain in hope that the majority of the population will turn to Catholicism. However, what is probably more likely, in my opinion, is the oppression of religion entirely—or at least Christianity. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see many new martyrs in the coming years.

Theism without religion. Sex without marriage. Marriage without commitment. Fatherhood without responsibility. Life without thought. Sounds sort of par for the course.

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Some call it Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.
Rather than following God, it’s demanding God conform to sinful humans. For the branch of it that’s calling itself ‘Christian’, essentially it’s mocking Jesus’ suffering on the Cross.

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Talking to one person who says she’s spiritual but not religious, her philosophy was along the lines of: We’re sent here by the maker and then when we die we bring back the lessons. (And the maker could potentially be plural.) I was curious and asked about her view on absolute morality, whether this maker(s) would have an absolute stance and her response seemed to suggest either that the maker could have opinions changed or that the absolute was malleable.

My guess would be that spiritual but not religious comes more from seeing all the religions of the world and wondering how only one could be true. For me I know there were years where I considered the idea of all of them being true in terms of societies receiving God differently. For me the biggest problem with that philosophy I had that kept me from making the jump was Jesus and how pointless His existence would be if “they’re all true” was true. Had I been raised without a mother who instilled faith I probably would’ve made that jump and stopped considering myself Christian, much less Catholic.

If so we’ll just be moving from greater understanding to a “comfortably” vague understanding of God and His will for us, at least in the case of leaving Catholicism.

I suspect that people reject conventional religions for simple practical reasons unrelated to the main truth of the religion. They don’t want to be Jews because they think it silly to ban bacon. They don’t want to be Sikhs because they don’t want to wear a turban all the time. They don’t want to be Hindu because they don’t believe in Gods with a hundred arms, and so on. Islam - pork. Christianity - Noah’s ark. Buddhism - reincarnation.

Once the bits and pieces are out of the way, what’s left - basically the ten commandments and the two commandments, whose instructions are pretty much the same for all religions.

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I don’t know anyone who would reject Reincarnation in Buddhism… I mean, it’s kind of a centerpiece, and how they think one attains enlightenment to begin with. By getting more tries. And most who say they already attained enlightenment in the here and now will more than likely demonstrate how much they fail soon enough.

They don’t really have commandments in the typical sense either. They care more about cessation of desire and suffering. Ethics are important, but it’s not exactly the primary interest.

edit: Besides, in many actual practices of Buddhism, many average people just hope for Reincarnation at best. They only try to build up good karma at a later period in their lives. This is the justification, for example, of some young Thai girls who get involved in the sex trade. They don’t care about enlightenment or morals in the here and now… They just hope they get a better chance later… and they merely try to ensure building enough karma for a good outcome in Reincarnation. It’s pretty sad, but there ya go.

If you are a Christian then you hold to what Christ represents. You follow what He taught. You believe that living by His example is a good thing. That you should not cast the first stone. That you should help the sick. That you should treat people well.

I don’t think that you need an organised religion to follow Christ.

But if you want eternal life…THEN you need religion. There isn’t one that doesn’t offer it. As long as you follow the rules.

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With some people I know I don’t even think it’s the rules, its church as an organisation they don’t like. A lot of people seem to prefer a DIY approach to things, for example doing an exercise program at home or reading a self help book, why not take this approach with the spiritual life.

Maybe if you could fulfil your sacramental requirements with a podcast and a mail order Eucharist many Catholics would take this approach.

We already had Theism in the 18th Century. I believe we are presently trying things which will not work, and generation after generation will say, well that did not work lets try this, and eventually they will ask the question what is this thing called the Catholic Church?

The reason I have that opinion is that back in the 19th Century my family said, I wonder what outside the Catholic Church is, to which they did, and every generation tried something further and further away and never found any real form of peace.

For me, I could never be any religion except Jewish or Catholic. God established his covenant with the Jews, beginning with Abraham, but foreshadowed with Adam and Eve, Noah, Melchizedek. But with the coming of the Jewish Messiah, I have to be his follower, so I can only be Catholic.

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