Map of religious countries

John Gallen writes:

Our census might disagree with this Win/Gallup study that says that 41% of people in Ireland are NOT religious…. with only 45% claiming to be so.

Choice quote from Guardian – “Jean-Marc Leger, president of Win/Gallup International, said globally an average of two-thirds of people still consider themselves religious. “Religion continues to dominate our everyday lives and we see that the total number of people who consider themselves to be religious is actually relatively high,” he said.”

Interactive map here.

UK One Of The World’s least Religious Countries (Guardian

91 thoughts on “Unbelievable

  1. ahyeah

    Compared to other countries – even those that are supposedly more non-religious – there’s a very high proportion of Irish residents identifying themselves as non-religious. Very few ‘don’t knows’ in Ireland – suppose we’ve been forced to really think about it over recent years.

  2. medieval knievel

    a lot of irish people would say they’re catholic in the census, but would not consider themselves to be ‘a religious person’.

    1. PaddyIrishMan

      Agreed. “Catholic” in the Irish context is a label indicating that you were baptised as a Roman Catholic. In no way does it indicate any beliefs or attendance at any religious ceremony. “Religious” indicates someone who actually believes in that stuff.

  3. John

    the census is probably wrong as people dont want to admit they have no religion on “state forms” in case they need it for schools entry etc.

        1. Don Pidgeoni

          Really? People are weird. I would have thought it was more about the census maybe not recording “religion” correctly. Someone might say they are Catholic because that was how they were bought up and how they probably expected their kids to be bought up (since you can’t really get out of it easily with all the schools and what not) rather than doing religious acts like going to church regularly.

          1. Clampers Outside!

            That too… I believe the 2006 Census was the first one I checked the ‘no religion’ box. It didn’t matter too much to me prior to that, and I just checked it in the past for the reasons you mention, among others… stupid reasons, habitual reasons, traditional, etc. I moved on by 2006.

          2. ionabike

            I’d agree. The question on the census was basically framed in a rigid binary fashion. A more probing question or set of questions would be more useful though not everyone would be happy with the answers

    1. Bingo

      Plus plenty of people had their census forms filled out for them.
      How many teenagers, young adults were asked anything by the person filling out the census?

  4. Bluebeard

    The dominant belief here is individualistic liberal consumerism. What is worrying is how many believe they are more sophisticated being non religious and yet have no set of values to guide them except the joneses and the market.

      1. Domestos

        And the artisan farmers’ market? Anyway, thanks, Bluebeard, for your morning sermon from the altar of patrionisation.

      1. Don Pidgeoni

        If anything, religious leaders tend to show they have increasing out-dated values or none at all.

      2. Bluebeard

        I never said you had to be religious to have values, Im just wondering where our values come form now, or are they just whatever you’re having yourself. A society or civilisation is based on shared values. Usually these have come from myths and stories, of which the most powerful (and popular) were religions. now that we have eschewed these in Ireland, my questions is where do we derive our values from.

          1. Bluebeard

            Very nice. But too broad and too interprative. Societies usually break such generalisations into more detailed and instructive codes, like the pillars of Islam, buddhist eightfold path, ten commandments. Corporate values, codes of practice etc.

          2. Janet

            Nope im pretty sure one commandment would work if actually put into practice across the board.. love thy neighbour.

          3. Bluebeard

            Sorry, Don. Its slightly more sophisticated than that. One mans dick is another womans hero. When you try and define it, you’ll end up back at something religion has already done. But you and Janet could start your own cult.. Christian except not..

          4. Don Pidgeoni

            I would love to start a religion/cult with Janet, she’s awesome!

            First rule – no Bluebeards allowed

          5. Bluebeard

            And you will be the judge of that. The big Don!! Judging his way around the parish- one dick at a time.

          6. Don Pidgeoni

            Just continuing the good work of religion there, Bluie

            *adjust beret, puffs on cheroot*

            Go on, I’ll let you have the last word, I know you like to.

        1. Bob

          Why do you believe that society doesn’t have a shared belief based on it’s own designated principles? Because it actually does.

        2. Joe the Lion

          Unbelievably vapid, mindless nonsense even for Bluebeard

          The religions themselves are built on “myths and stories” particularly for example the festivals of Samhain and Lughnasa which were – get this – pagan festivals. Unless you’re saying ‘pagan’ is a religion now – are you? Get over yourself with your blithering half-baked nonsense.

          1. rotide

            Joe the lion wins the award for single most ignorant comment of the day.

            Because you know ‘pagan’ does refer to religion.


          2. Bluebeard

            Wow Joe, you revealed yourself there. Of course pagans were what we (and some still do) consider religious. the term usually meant “of other religions”. Don’t enter a battle of minds unarmed.

          3. Bluebeard

            And Id say Don and Jane are morto for you. Letting the side down. They do seem a bit more educated than you though, that could test the new friendship down the road.

          4. Joe the Lion

            Was Bluebeard referring to a pagan ‘belief system’ above Rottweiler? Or to religions based in the judeo-Christian morality system? Inquiring minds want to know.

          5. Joe the Lion

            Bluebeard your reference was clearly to: “instructive codes, like the pillars of Islam, buddhist eightfold path, ten commandments. Corporate values, codes of practice etc.”

            Is there a code of practise for paganism?
            Even if I accept the categorisation you now make of pagan tradition being “religion” ( I don’t, but I’ll play along as I know valid Christian philosophers like yourself like to define things this way) you have in fact made my point for me- the religions to which you refer above are nothing other than a rag bag of makey uppie rules of thumb, oul scrapyard odds and ends and bits taken from here there and everywhere – in particular they always change according to fashion in order to adapt to popular taste. This is the big flaw in your pathetic defence of homophobes like your mother. Religious folks have always been shape shifters.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      Hahahahaha… what total and utter deluded bullcrap. You don’t need a religious institution to have morals. Religion is an invention of human kind, and so too are the morals derived from it.

      1. Bluebeard

        Most places that would have morals would have some form of shared belief that they are based upon. Where else have you seen morals come from? Aren’t all morals based on shared human beliefs?

        1. Clampers Outside!

          Just because one has a shared belief does not mean they have religion. An individuals ability to show and express empathy has more to do with morality than any religiously derived rules.

          So, no, all morality is not derived from shared beliefs.

    2. nellyb

      What are these values again? RCC is fincorp playing by Wall Street rules and worse. Orthodox are greedy land grabbers and olympic champion mysogenists. Buddhists slaugter muslims in Asia. At least atheists dont praise God after they’ve made a kill on a market shorting people’s pensions.

      1. Bluebeard

        What do atheists use as a guide to good behaviour? Atheists are rapists and murderers too. That is not exclusive to believers.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          They can use the empathy they have, if they have it.

          And yeah, some atheists are bad people and have poor empathy, to put it in hyper simplistic terms. No one said it was exclusive to those with religion.

          1. Bluebeard

            No, but you have an irrational hatred of religion, but yet no idea how to replace the important function it played in society since the beginning of consciousness. What fills the void? Not glibness like empathy…

          2. Don Pidgeoni

            You accuse Clampers of hating religion but state that people who oppose SSM don’t hate gay people? Your logic box is loose

          3. Bluebeard

            You hate religion too Don. And religious people. Admit it. I deal with people who are anti SSM every single day, I would say 20% are homophobic, the rest just have conflicting beliefs. Thats probably why Im such a good campaigner, and why you and your mates sit on your pontificating asses being correct but turning everyone off.

          4. Janet

            I don’t hate religion, i come from a deeply religous family who respect my decision to not believe, whatever gets you through the day just don’t push it and it’s deluded so called interpretations of morals down others throats or expect us to have to live by them.

          5. Bluebeard

            And so the well runs dry revealing the emptiness at its core. Now, run along and find someone else to judge and find fault wth. Hopefully they won’t stand up to you and you can crush them with your cane.

          6. Don Pidgeoni

            You were so close Joe, then you had to go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like incestuous sexual encounter with my sister.

            Plus, I wouldn’t want Bluie to think we are ganging up on him rather than trying to get him to answer a perfectly valid question or to think things through a little more.


          7. Bluebeard

            My work here is done. I have helped two people come together, even if it is to reinforce their own bigotry. Cute to see you both sniggering in the back of class.

          8. rotide

            Don, re-read the thread, you are getting crushed by Bluebeard in this debate.

            He’s making logical points based on his belief and interpretation. You are basically name calling.

          9. Clampers Outside!

            “No, but you have an irrational hatred of religion” – I have no hatred for religion / faith.
            I have hatred of the man built institutions built up around religion / faith. Super massive mega as the grand canyon is wide, deep and long is the difference between those to stances!

            “yet no idea how to replace the important function it played in society” – I never said I have the answers. But I do know that the idea that a one singular thing could replace religion is idiotic. As the only thing that could replace all that religion ‘does’ on all levels – emotional, physical, societal, spiritual, individual, etc. etc – could only be another religion.
            To quote Graham Greene – “If you have abandoned one faith, do not abandon all faith. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose. Or is it the same faith under another mask?”
            Again, I do not know what will replace religion, I do know that it won’t be one singular thing but many different ideas relating to the emotional, physical, societal, spiritual, individual, etc. etc. elements it covered.

            “….since the beginning of consciousness” – ….is a philosophical discussion all of its own and would require a level of understanding of quantum mechanics I wouldn’t even purport to fully have my head around :) Let’s park that one for another day.

            “What fills the void? Not glibness like empathy…” – If it were glib, it would not be empathetic. So, of course not.

          10. Bluebeard

            Clampers,- time and time again you are on here ridiculing religion and anyone associated with it. So its a hairline, not a canyon.
            My initial question was rhetorical, but points to the trend on here to dis religion and the religions and replace it with some film flam, namely pamby, selective form of pretend empathy. When scratched it become a liberal dogma more terrifying than any religious one.
            beginning of consciousness, ie dawn of homo sapiens sapiens, is generally considered to be around 70k yrs ago give or take a millennium or two.

            So in a society where you actively pursue (and celebrate) the abandoning of religion, Im just wondering what this new, clean society will form its behaviours around. No-one has yet suggested anything. My own view is that religion (all of them) contain the wisdom of millennia and should not be so easily discarded leaving us will a vacuum of values.

          11. Clampers Outside!

            I ridicule the institutions of religion, and the odd YD / IONA nut jobbers like ABM.

            Em…. it is widely accepted that the modern human is around 200,000+ years.

            I “pursue (and celebrate) the abandoning of [ORGANISED] religion”.

            “wondering what this new, clean society will form its behaviours around” – I believe religion will evolve into something else, what I don’t know; and ‘organised religion’ in its current ‘institutional’ from will devolve. There will be no jigsaw piece to replace it. No, I don’t believe there will be, it will be something else completely and as I said, I will not take on the fortune telling of what that might be, thanks. But not knowing, does not mean there will be nothing.

            As you say yourself “religion (all of them) contain the wisdom of millennia and should not be so easily discarded leaving us will a vacuum of values” – No one has said that there will be a vacuum of values if religion disappears, because those values that stay the course are human values, not religious ones. Human values are the base, religious values are those tacked on afterwards… tacked on after our own awareness, and consciousness.

          12. Joe the Lion

            I dont hate religion either actually, like Janet I also come from an average religious Irish family. What I do hate though are sanctimonious tw*ts with their head stuck up their a****le while preaching to all and sundry that their religion is better than mine or none or whatever. The idea does occur to me Bluebeard that you’re fully aware of your own shortcomings as a person, hence harangue whoever happens to disagree with your received views on the moral supremacy of the Judeo-Christian traditions. To be fair you’re not alone many folks who are as rational as you are also unthinkingly reflect this bias. This must be a confusing place for you: using childish taunts and vituperation to try and pettily score points over some perceived bogeyman while at the same time sanely rationalising to yourself that your belief system is the best one because it just is so it is. The fact is that if you were actually sure in your own beliefs you would not give a fiddlers what Don and Clampers or anyone else have to say about religion. I’ll light a candle for you shall I?

  5. Dubloony

    Define religious? Is it turning up at a place of worship once a week, spending the rest of the week screwing your workers, cheating on taxes and generally being a crappy human being.
    Much rather deal with a caring atheist any day than some creeping Jesus hypocrite.

      1. phil

        Im going to be Christian about your comment and turn the other cheek , you know like Jesus advised…

        1. sickofallthisbs

          Oh wow, you are so clever – thank you for trying to teach me. What a great comeback. Clap clap clap.

      1. Bluebeard

        In ireland suicide figures have increased with the decline of religion. Without meaning, life is often found to be not worth living. Religion has often provided that meaning. What replaces it?

        1. Don Pidgeoni

          Many previous suicides were not recorded as such because of the stigma stemming from religious types. Correlation is not causation.

  6. Rugbyfan

    just wait for the run up election when the politicians will be at mass every Sunday and chasing funerals looking for votes!

  7. Dandahan

    He who commissions receives.
    Either way a storm in a tea cup.
    15 countries have legislated for SSM.
    Nothing to do with equality …Heterosexual coupling cannot equal Same Sex coupling.

    EU commission on Human Rights states SSM is not a Human Right.
    Ms Mc Aleese makes a mistake or mis-representation?
    Social perspectives will not be changed by some piece of legislation one way or another.

    Not homophobic … to be fair …alternative perspectives are still permitted… to be fair?
    Fair enought … mmm?

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