NY wants to ban religious vaccine exemptions + UK non-religious figures jump 46%

#1
New York Wants to Ban Religious Vaccine Exemptions to Help Control the Measles Outbreak
https://www.worldreligionnews.com/religi...s-outbreak

INTRO: A significant number of New York State lawmakers want to end all religious exemptions given for vaccinations. Such an action has come to the fore due to Brooklyn and Queens reporting measles outbreaks. Rockland County has also reported several measles patients. About 181 New Yorkers, as of March 27, have fallen ill due to the disease. Another 153 cases have been detected in Rockland. Health officials were quick to take note, with a state of emergency being announced in on March 26. The declaration carried the unusual provision of forbidding unvaccinated children below 18 years of age to visit public places like places of worship, schools, and malls for 30 days. (MORE)



Number of non-religious people in Britain jumps by 46%, new figures show
https://humanism.org.uk/2019/04/09/numbe...ures-show/

EXCERPT: The number of people in Britain who say they have no religion has increased by a staggering 46% over the past seven years, making non-religious people the fastest growing group in the country, according to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The data [...] shows the number of non-religious people has almost doubled since 2011, with nearly 8 million more people now saying they have no religion.

Humanists UK, the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people, welcomed the new findings and called on the Government to take heed of the latest figures by better representing non-religious people in government policies. [...] But Humanists UK also raised concerns about the leading question used in the survey which asked ‘What is your religion?’ It has been advocating for the Census question and other survey questions on religion and belief to change to ‘What is your religion, if any?’, as the existing question tends to overestimate religious belief, acting as a measure of weak cultural ties rather than religious belief. (MORE)
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#2
"Religious exemption" doesn't mean it's used exclusively, or even largely, by religious people.

The latest measles threat started when an infected student at the University of California, Berkeley, rode the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train system earlier this month, possibly exposing hundreds of thousands of people to the disease, the Los Angeles Times reports.

And in a worrisome trend, it's the college-educated residents of affluent areas who are skipping vaccinations. "It's that whole natural, BPA-free, hybrid-car community that says, 'We're not going to put chemicals in our children,'" Dr. Nina Shapiro, of UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, told Salon.com.
- https://www.livescience.com/43577-why-ri...tions.html

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#3
(Apr 10, 2019 02:22 AM)C C Wrote: Number of non-religious people in Britain jumps by 46%, new figures show
https://humanism.org.uk/2019/04/09/numbe...ures-show/

EXCERPT: The number of people in Britain who say they have no religion has increased by a staggering 46% over the past seven years, making non-religious people the fastest growing group in the country, according to

new figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The data [...] shows the number of non-religious people has almost doubled since 2011, with nearly 8 million more people now saying they have no religion.

I wonder what that really means.

My concern is that there's a world of difference between religious belief and religious adherence. While I'm reasonably certain that there is indeed a growing reluctance to claim adherence to any particular church in our day and age, I'm not convinced that it represents a corresponding drop in what I'd call 'spirituality'. In other words, I suspect that people's intuitions about transcendence, about "higher powers" and so on, aren't changing nearly as much as church adherence figures are.

In England in particular, I think that a big part of what's driving it is a growing disconnect between the (ethnic) English people and the Church of England. Fewer and fewer of these people feel any particular attachment to the C of E, and don't seem to be moving towards joining any other denomination either. So they wind up in the 'no religion' column.

Quote:But Humanists UK also raised concerns about the leading question used in the survey which asked ‘What is your religion?’ It has been advocating for the Census question and other survey questions on religion and belief to change to ‘What is your religion, if any?’, as the existing question tends to overestimate religious belief, acting as a measure of weak cultural ties rather than religious belief.

The "what is your religion" question probably needs to be divided up into several different questions.

Three adherence questions:

1. Do you consider yourself to be part of any particular large religious tradition? (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism etc.)

2. If the answer to 1. is yes, do you consider yourself to be a member of a particular organized denominational group within that larger tradition? (Specify)

3. If the answer to 2. is yes, do you participate in any religious activities organized by this denomination? (What kind? How often?)

And three belief questions:

4. Do you believe in the existence of a personal God?

5. Do you believe in the existence of an impersonal higher power or transcendent dimension to reality?

6. If the answer to 3. or 4. is yes, does this belief play any significant role in your own life?

And finally a practice question:

7. Do you participate in any distinctive religious practices? (Prayers, religious clothing, meditation, religious study etc.)
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#4
(Apr 14, 2019 03:56 PM)Yazata Wrote:
(Apr 10, 2019 02:22 AM)C C Wrote: Number of non-religious people in Britain jumps by 46%, new figures show
https://humanism.org.uk/2019/04/09/numbe...ures-show/

EXCERPT: The number of people in Britain who say they have no religion has increased by a staggering 46% over the past seven years, making non-religious people the fastest growing group in the country, according to

new figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The data [...] shows the number of non-religious people has almost doubled since 2011, with nearly 8 million more people now saying they have no religion.

I wonder what that really means.

My concern is that there's a world of difference between religious belief and religious adherence. While I'm reasonably certain that there is indeed a growing reluctance to claim adherence to any particular church in our day and age, I'm not convinced that it represents a corresponding drop in what I'd call 'spirituality'. In other words, I suspect that people's intuitions about transcendence, about "higher powers" and so on, aren't changing nearly as much as church adherence figures are.

In England in particular, I think that a big part of what's driving it is a growing disconnect between the (ethnic) English people and the Church of England. Fewer and fewer of these people feel any particular attachment to the C of E, and don't seem to be moving towards joining any other denomination either. So they wind up in the 'no religion' column.
I agree. "Having no religion", i.e. not claiming adherence/membership in any particular religion or denomination, is definitely not the same as being "non-religious". Conflating those two seems to be a bit of wishful thinking. I don't claim any particular religion, but being a syncretic panentheist who enjoys Christian apologetics is a very far cry from being non-religious, much less anything approaching atheism.

This would seem to more aptly reflect religious/spiritual belief in the UK:

Overall, a third (33%) of British adults do not believe in God or a greater spiritual power of any kind – roughly the same number as believe in “a God” (32%). The rest either believe in a higher power but not a God (20%) or don’t know what they believe (14%). This is a slight shift from 2012, when YouGov found that 37% believed in a God, and 29% did not believe in a God or a higher spiritual power.

Younger Britons tend towards non-belief. Only 25% of 18-24 year olds believe in a God and 46% deny the existence of any greater spiritual power whatsoever. Among over-60s the numbers are flipped: 41% believe in a God and 24% are non-spiritual.
- https://yougov.co.uk/topics/lifestyle/ar...gher-power

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