This is last week’s news.

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Discussion (26)¬

  1. AchillesAndTortoise says:

    I don’t know… maybe indifference will be worse for Christianity. As long as people are actively hostile to it, it creates a reaction from the religious which could in fact strengthen Christianity. Unlike indifference.

    Either way, excellent comic! Love Mo’s deadpan. Or whatever it is.

  2. fontor says:

    And if they were hostile, that would be better too, because then they cared about religion one way or the other. As long as they’re not indifferent.

  3. The Beagle says:

    Indifference strikes me as worrying. Indifferentism – now there’s something for Jesus and Mo to talk about.

  4. Scott says:

    Indifference, as others have said, is worse than hostility. All you have to do is look at countries which persecute christians to see that the underground church thrives (when see, obviously you have to take the word of the missionary).

  5. Once again, thanks for the thoughts and the link. I’m happy with indifference. It means that if we can get to them with actual information, there’s less cognitive dissonance to get out of the way. Hopefully we can get to them before they experience “times of trouble”, so they don’t turn to the irrational before they find out how silly the dogmas are.

  6. Diane G. says:

    Having watched too many fellow Boomers go back to the church (whatever church) when they became parents, I fear a survey of “youngsters” doesn’t mean much. I suspect many of us would have polled “indifferent” if surveyed in youth, had anyone been doing such a thing…Now if we also knew what the “youngsters” thought about all types of woo, we might have better predictions. My sense is that society in general isn’t becoming anymore of a community of critical thinkers than it’s ever been, and is possibly less so.

    But–thanks for the smile, as always, author!

  7. keeyop says:

    I’m ambivalent about the indifference. Not paying attention to something [or partaking in it] can make it go away… OR, allow it to fester. What happens when and if the number of “moderate” believers decreases? Guess it depends on whether you think the moderates mollify or empower. Crud.

  8. Trevor Prinn says:

    @Diane G: From what I have seen among those I know, the reason they have gone back to church is that it’s the only way to get their kids into the local state schools, which just happen to be CofE controlled and won’t admit children of parents who don’t go to church. They stop going as soon as their kids are out of those schools.

  9. JohnnieCanuck says:

    So Andrew Hall, PZ threatens you with the banhammer for blog whoring and now we find you here. Why don’t you venture a relevant opinion instead of just linking to yourself?

  10. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Indifference in usually equals indifference out, boring. Leading or following, you are part of something, if you get out of life’s way, oblivion.

  11. Diane G. you wrote: “My sense is that society in general isn’t becoming anymore of a community of critical thinkers than it’s ever been, and is possibly less so.” Interesting question. Easy to get a false impression just by what we pay attention to. Having found the atheist community, I’m feeling like I’m not so alone anymore. But I’m the only one of my generation, or seem to be, in my family. My kids I think reject the woo stuff. It would be nice to know whether we are winning or not. My feeling is that we are, but it’s only a feeling. Not backed up by surveys and empirical data at all.
    The atheist movement reminds me of the gay movement. We’ve been in the closet. My feeling is that more and more of us are coming out. Wish I knew for sure.

  12. In the Canada 2004 Census, the number of no belief/no particular belief jumped from a decades long rate of 8% to 16%.

    Statistics Canada bizarrely interpreted this as older people are more religious – as if the young people who cause the jump would hit some magic age and then become religious.

    So, it’s a bit funny when the people who’s jobs are population demographics, can’t cope with changing demographics

  13. @Nassar Ben Houja you have a way with words that bespeaks considerable intelligence. I’m looking forward to the day when you actually start using that mind of yours to question the beliefs you were taught. Should be some interesting epiphanies coming your way. Let us know, okay. We’re hoping for you.

  14. @random ntrygg
    That is very strange. If older people are more religious, and the largest demographic, the baby boom, is aging into its dotage, you would expect that the number of non-believers would be going down, not up. The boomers still outnumber all the other demographics. Dont they?

  15. Stonyground says:

    I was reminded of indifference to religion during the time that the Pope was in the UK. Atheist and rationalist blogs had much to discuss and were alive with debate. Mentioning any of the outragious lies that the Pope had come out with to colleagues at work resulted in indifferent shrugs. I think that the wall to wall coverage of the visit probably resulted in most folk reaching for their Sky remote to switch to something mindless but not Pope.

  16. dimbulb says:

    J.C. needs a marketing class. When you’re trying to make a sale, indifference is the worse thing you can come up against. An angry customer is much easier to deal with. You can let him cry on your shoulder, take his side, tell him how your product is new and better than the one that pissed him off. But apathy? You’re dead, you can say what you want, do what you want and it just doesn’t matter because no one’s listening. Marketing 101

  17. nina says:


    StatsCan was making the assumption that the no/no particular young people would later become religious – so were trying to downplay the results.

    the next census, the religion question was removed.

    which was interesting to me – as I had been part of a group that had filed a human rights complaint against StatsCan in the late 90’s – and they claimed it’s difficult to add or remove questions – and all questions had to be related to legislation.

    We pointed out the religion question has no legislative link and were given a lame excuse that the churches had requested it

    but they couldn’t explain why there were refusing to put a sexual orientiation question on the Census, despite many gay groups asking for that to be on the census.

  18. kev_s says:

    Grow up being forced to go to church…end up hostile.
    Grow up never being forced to go to church… end up indifferent.

  19. kennypo65 says:

    I love indifference, people call me an atheist, but the truth is I don’t care about religion, unless someone is using it to hurt others or trying to shove it down my throat, then the gloves are off.

  20. jerry w says:

    “Indifference is better than hostility” indeed, much the same way a dog would rather be punished than ignored. Or at least that’s what abnormal psychologists would like us to believe. And by “abnormal psychologists” I mean…..

  21. Intelligent Designer says:

    @dimbulb: Marketing 101? Sounds more like Conversion 101 😉

  22. dysamoria says:

    Indeed, being forced into something leads to hostility toward it if it does not convert. There seems to me to be a separation in human beings between those who are inherently followers in thought and those who are questioners… Unsure of the genetic and social weighting on this. I find inquisitive people less likely to be religious (or at least more able to harmonize with the non-religious).

  23. Topi Linkala says:

    kennypo65: Hear, hear!

    And it doesn’t matter what thay are trying to shove to you or anybody else.

    There btw. is name to religious indifference. It’s either apatheism, if you think that it doesn’t matter if god exist or not, or it’s ignosticism, if you think that nothing can be discussed before we define terms and religion is moot point because definitions don’t exits or are not clear.


    I’m personally ignostic as I find talking about religion as stimulative as talking of moon bats or fishes with bicycles.

    On the other hand I like discussing about religions relation to society as that has very well defined terms.


  24. smartalek says:

    Topi Linkala, if you venture back this way, I thank you!
    I had not encountered either of those terms before.
    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the education.
    Wish you the very best.


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