In 1882, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche declared that “God is Dead.” With this statement, he didn’t mean that God has suffered a physical death of some sort, like slipping on an icy planet or something, but rather that humans had lost their ability to believe in God, and as such religions, like Christianity, had lost their moral basis and would not last long. Nietzsche wasn’t the first or last person to predict the decline of organized religion. Among the other predictions:
- In 1710, English thinker Thomas Woolston said Christianity would be gone by 1900
- Voltaire said in religion would crumble in 50 years
- Thomas Jefferson said in 1822 that “there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian”
- Famous dead-white-guys Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Sigmund Freud each predicted that religion soon crumble
- Renowned sociologist Peter Berger wrote in 1968 that in “the 21st century, religious believers are likely to be found only in small sects, huddled together to resist a worldwide secular culture.
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