Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Freedom of Choice

I'd rather fight than switch.

I was thinking about posting something about religion the other day and I just happened to come across this bit o' news from Springfield to kick start my thought.

I'm a non believer. Always have been. Check it out...

According to The World Christian Encyclopedia (1985), more than a billion of the world's people consider themselves nonreligious (agnostic about religious claims) or atheistic (actively opposed to religion). Nearly three-quarters of these people live in East Asia, where they are a majority of the population of China. Nonreligious persons and atheists also make up a majority of people in the Soviet Union. Non believers are a larger group worldwide than Islam. Even if you combine all of the followers of Hinduism and Buddhism together, non-believers outpace their numbers.

Meanwhile back in Jesusland,

As of 2006, 14.1% of Americans do not follow any organized religion. This is an unusually rapid increase -- almost a doubling -- from only 8% in 1990. There are more Americans who say they are not affiliated with any organized religion than there are Episcopalians, Methodists, and Lutherans taken together.

So, if we shun and punish non-believers, should not there be other repellent castes of folks equally deserving of our scorn. How about smokers?

While smokers have certainly been pushed to the margins physically, it's hard to say that they're complete social outcasts. I know several people who smoke. It breaks along these lines...

In 2002, approximately 22.5% of adults were current smokers. Although this prevalence is slightly lower than the 22.8% prevalence among U.S. adults in 2001 and substantially lower than the 24.1% prevalence in 1998, the rate of decline has not been at a sufficient pace to achieve the 2010 national health objective.

In 2004, an estimated 20.9% (44.5 million) of U.S. adults were current smokers; of these, 81.3% (36.1 million) smoked every day, and 18.7% (8.3 million) smoked some days. Among those who currently smoked every day, 40.5% (14.6 million) reported that they had stopped smoking for at least 1 day during the preceding 12 months because they were trying to quit. Among the estimated 42.4% (90.2 million) of persons who had ever smoked, 50.6% (45.6 million) were former smokers.

So, we might agree that the percentages are relatively equal in both camps with smokers shrinking and dying at prodigious rates while atheism is growing at much the same speed.

Why then, is one group frequently maligned and the other is left to their own relative freewill? Discuss.

Aethism. It's the new black.

No comments: