Question with 5 notes
fuggina asked: The Western (i.e. white) world, and some of East Asia (Japan for example) have already gone through their demographic transitions. The rest of the world, to varying degrees, is still going through demographic transition, in some cases (Muslim world, sub-Saharan Africa) with absurdly high birth rates and lowering death rates. When you look at these centers of population growth, these are not atheists, not people who will be raised as atheists, or even much exposed to it in later life. The
demographic projections indicate huge population growth in religious, in certain areas violently religious, areas. What’s your take on this? How does this inform your views on immigration, not only in the US but the Western world? It seems the Japanese basically don’t have immigration, or at least at an insignificant level, so their country isn’t under any real threat. What about the rest of the first world, what do you think the future holds?
This seems to be the type of question that may be a bit controversial no matter how I answer it. Lots of people likely have different perspectives and answers on this topic so before I go in to my answer hopefully people will keep that in mind. It seems that any time people discuss Islam it is a touchy topic and perhaps that is because of how aggressive many Muslims are in denouncing any criticism of their religion. Everyone wants to discuss Islam but nobody wants to speak out against Islam. This is an issue that relates to other religions as well, Hinduism and Sikhism come to mind, but the majority of this growth that you’re referring to is happening in Islam.
Many groups have claimed to be the largest growing religious group and in the Western-Euro centric world it is likely non-believers, but outside of that world it is Islam. In sheer numbers that growth in Islam likely outnumbers the growth of non-believers, but statistics on these things can be hard to gather. As a result we’ve seen a good amount of controversy in areas of Europe where many Islamic and religious minority people are attempting to migrate. There have been bans on halaal and kosher meat slaughter, circumcision, and even burkas in several countries. Some people see this as European people suppressing religious liberty but others see it as these countries taking a stand against allowing widespread practice of these “traditions” in their country and I think with good reason. If we are truly going to eventually eradicate many of these archaic practices there needs to be a stance against them. Many European countries have given up on cultural integration, they realize it has been largely unsuccessful.
Many of these immigrating groups often want to bring all of their traditions and practices with them regardless of whatever cultural or legal conflicts may arise. The hope of European countries is that immigrating people will integrate into their society and become part of it but that is not what is happening. These groups are attempting to remain entirely separate. They are becoming isolated and section themselves off, it is a form of self imposed segregation. Once these groups achieve a sizable number they even often believe they should only be held accountable to their own rules and regulations, not that of the country they are actually occupying.
These are issues that do need to be addressed and need to be discussed and I think European laws restricting or banning what are barbaric religious traditions is a step to push more integration. People need to be brought together, not pushed even further in to their own separating groups clinging to ridiculous tradition. I really don’t know how this can be best accomplished without “offending” people or pushing against their religious sensibilities. At some point I think that may be an issue we shouldn’t be as concerned about, especially when it comes to a topic that involves religiously sanctioned cruelty and abuse. I would rather have religious people offended than to have people and animals needlessly abused.
The future is something people always like to speculate on but no one can really know. I think there are two options more likely than others, prosperity or annihilation and religion may be one of the largest factors in deciding which road we take. The digging in of religion or the relinquishing of religion could be what decides it. I can not envision any scenario in which the world better prospers with more religion. I am hopeful, but I am often reminded that people tend to act against their own best interests. Time will tell.