There are in fact no indices which can verify such a movement at a global level or in the 137 countries surveyed by the Gallup Poll which Dr Barber quotes. In fact, the global trend is one in which the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer in every society, including those already deemed developed. If anything, one could argue that current trends in the globalised marketplace suggest that poverty is on the rise and the prospect for many nations and peoples would point in the opposite direction to that being asserted by Dr here Barber. One cannot help thinking that here is another of those attempts by someone from the global North, referred to ironically as western society, who is seeking to justify the direction in which their societies are moving and who is seeking to suggest that when we have progressed and moved from poverty and un-enlightenment, we will come to adopt their positions in due course. This is just another assumption of so-called western superiority in thought and the development of human society. For the past decade, the label of homophobia has been used to label societies like our own, with its pejorative connotation and intent, and now our religious commitment is being defined in pathological terms. Secularism is overrunning Europe, and Europe is searching for a moral foundation which will guide its way forward. The United Kingdom has taken legislative steps which limit the place of religion in schools, limit what persons can publicly affirm regarding their religious views on human sexuality, and are increasingly relegating religion to private space. The rise of atheism or agnosticism within such a context is not an indicator of affluence or the removal of the vulnerabilities of life which confront the poor, neither is it a comment on the validity and worth of religion. In some ways, the position and conclusion arrived at by Dr Barber is as old as the existence of religion. The assertion of religion as wishful thinking is nothing new.
Original Source – Atheism’s farewell to God