The spirit

In late March, I had an interesting exchange on Twitter with Barney Leith. No big deal - he probably hasn't thought twice about it, but it got me thinking. Barney was responding to a media report about research that concluded that, based on census figures, religion was set to die out in nine countries. The report said:

"A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers.

The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation. ...

The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland."

Jason Palmer: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

To this, Barney asked: "How much weight can we place on the findings of this study that claims religion may become extinct in 9 countries?". I replied "People may say they don't affiliate with any religion, but plenty still talk about spirituality. Just look at Twitter!". And Barney answered: "Spirituality: ambiguous concept used to refer to a wide range of beliefs & practices. Lots of interest, yes, but in what?"

Full story...