Scandinavian Nonbelievers, Which Is Not to Say Atheists

I wonder if they are not true atheists after all. Personally I 'lost' my belief in any divinity aged 6-7 yrs old. It happened because I was a lazy bugger to do my homework. One day I decided that perhaps I should impress my teacher by doing my homework after all. So what happened - I could not find my assignment book, panic! I searched high and low - nowhere was it to be found. I thought to myself that finding my assignment book is probably a pretty small thing for the 'Big Yin'. I prayed (for the first and last time) that perhaps he could help a wee man out.

 

Well, did He?

 

Did he buggery and no; 'he' is not getting my vote!

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/us/28beliefs.html

 

This article disturbs me in the sense that it implies that my fellow Scandinavian brothers and sisters are actually very religious, its just that they want to keep it to themselves, a personal thing if you will.

 

Bollox I say.

 

I lived in Scandinavia the first 4-5 yrs of my life, the next 20 yrs in the United Kingdom, another 17 in Scandinavia and the rest in South Africa. I think 14 months is an admirable time for conducting a study. I do however wonder at the conclusions arrived at by Mr. Zuckerman.

 

In my mind people in Scandinavia answer questions the way they do because of the healthy secular society they live in. Society there has not forced them into getting serous about 'belief'. Belief in Scandinavia should not perhaps be described as belief per-say but rather your birth domination, you are what you are - it has little or no significance in how you choose to live your life.

 

A Scandinavian may answer the question thus, 'I am a protestant, I am an orthodox, etc.' without ever actually thinking about the consequence of this 'innocent' answer. If on the other hand you were to ask about walking on water, turning water into wine or Noah's flood, even ' Do you go to church?' - you can bet the answer would be different, sniggers of contempt. It is simply that Scandinavians do not have to take religion seriously - it is more like a tradition - Christmas or getting married in a church - a tradition where we enjoy our time with the family, or a ceremony where we celibate a the union of man and wife, man and man, or woman and woman as it happens...

 

"At one point, he queries Jens, a 68-year-old nonbeliever, about the sources of Denmark’s very ethical culture. Jens replies: “We are Lutherans in our souls — I’m an atheist, but still have the Lutheran perceptions of many: to help your neighbor. Yeah. It’s an old, good, moral thought.”

 

Lutheran perceptions? A pretty standard secular perception I would claim, stated by a gentleman that has never had to think about why he would be a Christian in the first place. 

 

Just my half-penny's worth...

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Comment by Tom Ristola on June 2, 2011 at 4:56pm
On this very topic, the recent census conducted in the UK, the national secular society in the UK ran a campaign to encourage people to think a little more carefully when ticking the box for religious affiliation.  Will be interesting to see if this has any effect on the amount of cultural Christians there are here.

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