Fascinating article in the Atlantic that shows the key factors that control the rate of societal secularization:
Using a separate model, Future of Religion and Secular Transitions (forest), the team found that people tend to secularize when four factors are present: existential security (you have enough money and food), personal freedom (you’re free to choose whether to believe or not), pluralism (you have a welcoming attitude to diversity), and education (you’ve got some training in the sciences and humanities). If even one of these factors is absent, the whole secularization process slows down. This, they believe, is why the U.S. is secularizing at a slower rate than Western and Northern Europe.
via Artificial Intelligence Shows Why Atheism Is Unpopular – The Atlantic
Sort of tracks my own experience – when things are in turmoil, people turn to spiritual practices. When things are doing great, people don’t feel the need.
Reminds me of part of the message in Psalm 78.