Spain´s leading newspaper El Pais runs a poll today in which they ask readers if they believe that religion plays an exagerated role in society an 88% answered positively. Moreover 46% of young people in Spain declared themselves non religious (atheists, agnostics or indifferent to religion). And in the rest of Europe things seem to be moving in the same direction. Here´s the Atheist Bus Campaign according to The Guardian.

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Rafa Garcia on November 24, 2008  · 

Not accurate. El País is a pro-left journal. It would be interesting to perform the same poll in a diary line ABC or La Razón.

Good week.

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Leonardo on November 24, 2008  · 

Martín, Rafa: Either it is accurate or not, freethinking is always good news. 😉

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Martin Varsavsky on November 24, 2008  · 

@ Rafa Garcia:

El Pais is the leading newspaper in Spain and it outsells ABC or La Razon at least 10 to 1. There are niche pro Catholic newspapers in Spain but neither its President nor its leading newspaper are Catholic.

fonero on November 24, 2008  · 

i ask myself what you will think obout, when suffering from cancer for years…. even if all your money cannot help you… kismet? fatwa? what? nothing? don´t tell me this! –

your “troll”

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Marc Arza on November 25, 2008  · 

As a Catalan I can confirm Martin’s story. One of the greatest cultural shifts in Catalonia and Spain this last fifty years is the fall of the religious role in society. Church attendance is as low as could be and the average age of Church goers is getting higher and higher.

Agnosticism and atheism are hegemonic and religion is no longer a significative issue for most citizens.

When suffering from cancer I turn to doctors. I guess it’s the best thing to do!

Mark Arza

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polac on November 25, 2008  · 

Knowledge is our religion
This is probably the best definition of God a I have ever read

An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.

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José Luis on November 25, 2008  · 

Another thought creeping up in Spain is that if God does not exist, one does not need repentance for his/her “sins”. Santiago Carrillo declared that flatly in a recent interview in El Mundo: “ I am atheist, therefore I do not need to regret anything, that’s only a Catholic practice”. Well, I am atheist, but for people of a turbulent political past like Carrillo, I agree with the supreme laicist, Voltaire: “If God doesn’t not exist, it should be invented”. I am not inferring that only religion can bring good behavior, but it motivates many people. On the other hand, atheist societies to the core, have perpetrated some of the greatest crimes: nazi Germany, soviet Russia, communist China and Camboya the terror period of the French Revolution… Granted, there was the Inquisition too. But as guns don’t kill people, people do; religion doesn’t burn heresy, people do. Or better said, ideas do not kill people, people do. Will the new religion of militant and radical atheism be different from the Holy Inquisition?

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ignacio on November 26, 2008  · 

@José Luis You seem to forget that none of the regimes you mention have committed their awful crimes “in the name of atheism”, on the other side, check how many harm has been done “in the name of God”, from the crusades to 9/11.

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José Luis on November 26, 2008  · 

My point is that atheism does not bring automatically a more ethically responsible society, “free from the dogmas of the past”. The regimes I mentioned were about the creation of the “new man”, and in many instances that was achieved by liberating the society of the scum (priests, Jews, unruly farmers… and any other parasites stopping the march towards a brave new world liberated from religion, the opium of the masses). During the French Revolution, Robespierre created a Estate religion, apparently superior in principles, but an excuse to justify his crimes. The same can be said of the different fascisms I mentioned, making the Estate the new God in Earth.
There are good believers and atheist, the problem arises when they believe their own superiority and enforce it on others. The utopias of a few, religious or laicist, degenerate in the nightmare of the masses.

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ignacio on November 26, 2008  · 

The issue is not wether atheists or religious people are better persons, but if a society without the irrational impulse of religions that feed wars, defend obsolete social orders (women in the muslim countries and in the catholic institutions, gay rights, etc.) and prevent saving lives (misinforming about AIDS and preservatives, especially in Africa), but be a lot better for everybody to live in.

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José Luis on November 26, 2008  · 

Ignacio…I do not see the difference in rationality between killing people who believe in a transcendent and spiritual life (cleric killed during the French Revolution, Spanish Civil War or soviet utopia) and those who believe if God does not exist everything is fair (Witches, Jews like Spinoza, or free thinkers by the Spanish Inquisition). The so- called “liberating revolutions” have been also based in what you call “irrational impulses”, alas, in the name of Reason.

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Rami Morante on November 26, 2008  · 

Hi to all!!!
Discuss about religion is the “never-end”…spending hours, while at this time there are millions of childrens “muriendo en las calles, y desiertos del mundo”. Atheists, Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, or all kind of names for all kind of religions, means nothing, absolutely nothing if they only spend the time, money, and all resources just “spreading” and “preaching” its own ideas, own systems and gods without any action to favor the people who is dying on the streets or the childrens around the world… Do you know how much is the cost of this Atheist Bus? Do you know how much is the fix cost of the Vatican (or other headquarters) each month? Since many many years, Media, Religion & Governments are working together only attending its own interests…(it is not a secret, search on the books and internet, secret pacts and secret societies are real, not urban legends). I´m not talking about many people on the lower level of the piramid working a lot to help others…also there are many people from different nations, from each social and economic level helping a lot…But the leaders, the rulers…the people on top of the piramid…what they are doing? If we continue with this, spending the time, this world will never change. Compassion and love are two words that we need to hear more, and practice more often…after that maybe we can start to discuss something else.

Un cordial saludo a todos!!!

ps: Sorry for my “not good english”

Rami Morante
My Profile

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tigreton on November 28, 2008  · 

Yes,i’m a spanish teenager with religious family and i’m not religious. sorry mom. i went sundays to the church, and what, only because my family say it, not because i like it…

PD: You can see a web page for getting answers

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José Luis on November 28, 2008  · 

Tigreton, you are a confused and stoned Spanish teenager, a “pijo” who indulges in whatever feels good.

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craig on March 9, 2009  · 

“Tigreton, you are a confused and stoned Spanish teenager, a “pijo” who indulges in whatever feels good.”

No I believe it is you that is confused in assuming that because he is a teenager he doesn’t have the right to decide on the beliefs by which he runs his life, his parents may make him go to church but they have no right to (nor can they) force him to believe it.

Your logic seems to imply that he should still go to church because he stopped due to not enjoying it.

Thats a flawed argument you should at least have a reason to do something that makes your life less enjoyable. Doing it for no reason is no diffeent than deliberately giving yourself a headache by banging your head against a wall.

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