Iceland has already been known for having a large proportion of atheists compared to other countries and its youngest generation continues to be more secular. A recent poll by the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association found that 0.0% of Icelanders 25 or younger believed that God created the world. 93.9% believed the Big Bang created the world and the remaining 6.1% had no opinion or thought the world was created by some other means.
Of course with any poll there is some room for error, but 0% is a pretty remarkably low number. For some comparison, 51% Americans (of all ages) were “not too confident” or “not at all confident” that the Big Bang created the universe.
That same poll found that young Icelanders are also heavily atheist as 40.5% of them identify as an atheist. In comparison, about 28% of American millennials identify as atheist.For the most part, we are seeing more countries become more secular over time, especially the younger generations. However, there are some odd patterns. For example, America is maintaining a high amount of intense religiosity with its Evangelical population. This will surely sustain conflict in the political arena as the Religious Right still has plenty of power.
I do think there are some inherent problems with religious belief on a philosophical level. Even progressive religion still celebrates believing in something without evidence. It still creates legitimacy for supernatural beliefs. While progressive religious people may not bother anyone with their beliefs, it doesn’t stop others from using their religion to justify religion and bigotry.
I don’t think religion is going away anytime soon, and I predict it’s going to become more loosely defined and less dogmatic. However, even if most of the world becomes “spiritual but not religious,” that general idea of believing in something without evidence will still make me uncomfortable. Of course, our brains are pretty wired to believe in Gods, but I just hope we continue to fight against the harm such beliefs can cause.