[When we are educated, secure, and free, we no longer want or need a god, or gods, and religion disappears… ds]
I am a soon to be 40 years old Swedish game developer. This is my try to explain how Sweden cured religion.
I’m living in a totally non-believing world. I’m using the word world because it is my world. This is not strictly true for every single Swedish person, we have older people voting for the Christian party (about 4%) and we have a bunch of young people believing in (in Sweden) almost harmless new age stuff.
First off, so you don’t fall into the pit of denying all I have to say on a notion that I’m hiding something. It wasn’t so long ago you were born into the Swedish church, I had to actively file a form to officially leave it and not until after that was I relived from paying church tax. This is not the case anymore but no matter that is not what I mean when I’m talking about that we are secular. We have been “unbelievers” for a long time, most of my parents’ generation do not believe in a god even though my parent’s parents did.
To start, I didn’t at all realize that religion was a problem in the western world until I was about 25.
Mocking/harassing/controlling someone for not believing in god was something I didn’t contemplate. I had seen ridicule the other way around though, for just one example when my soccer team saw the referee praying in half-time our team fell over in laughter, I actually stood up for him telling them that they couldn’t know he was wrong. I want to believe that I did stand up for the underdog but I think it was because at the time I hadn’t worked out the burden of proof situation and actually thought he had an honest claim.
To my point, we didn’t talk our way out of religion. We didn’t legislate our way out of religion (we had church membership decades after we stopped believing). We didn’t execute believers or in other ways force it. What happened is simple, we took away the most common reason to believe, and we have free (and up to 9:th grade legislated but de facto 12 grade) education.
It is as simple as that, if you are not in pain from: poverty, unfair medical treatment, horrible underpaid working conditions, fear of not being able to provide for your family, feeling disconnected with society, or other factors that makes you feel that the world is fantastically unfair, the emotional need for something making it fair in the world beyond disappears.
Being educated speaks for itself, sometimes (like when a family member dies) I really hate being educated and not being able to believe.
Btw education is totally free in Sweden, as in totally free! College and University is free, and the government is even covering your living expenses with an interest free loan. You can fail an entire year and still be eligible, the people that make it are more than happy to pay taxes for their rest of their life. Not so much because of gratitude but for the understanding that living in a society where people have learned what you have learned is better for them.
We still have the one percent richness stuff which comes with an accumulative market economy, and some of them are assholes placing their money outside of Sweden just to score more points (one dollar one point).
We also have the same share of non-rich assholes, the trolls the racists the idiots and so on 🙂