Religiously unaffiliated ‘nones’ are pursuing spirituality, but not community

Source: Los Angeles Times

By Stephen Asma

In the 1980s, only 10% of Americans said that they had no religious affiliation. Three decades later, more than 23% of Americans describe themselves as nonreligious, according to the Pew Research Center. This growing group is referred to as the “nones,” meaning those whose religious affiliation is “none.”

Millennials, in particular, are much more likely to reject organized religion, Pew found. About a third of all millennials are nones. And who can blame them? They were raised in an era of sex abuse scandals and jihadist extremism. Corruption of institutions and ideologies have turned many young people away.

But contrary to the hopes of neo-Enlightenment thinkers like Steven Pinker, millennial nones are not abandoning organized religion to become secular, science-loving humanists. Rather, they are turning toward more individual forms of spiritualism, including yoga, meditation, healing stones, Wiccan spell casting and astrology.

These nones tend to believe in the soul, divine energy, mystical realities, ghosts, fate and myriad other superstitions that traditionally fell under the umbrella of religion. They also tend to eschew formal social gatherings and regular group activities.

Young nones, in other words, are adopting one of the least helpful aspects of organized religion (magical thinking) while abandoning one of the most beneficial (social bonding).

According to a number of studies and surveys, religious people tend to be happier, have better health, stay married, live longer and commit less crime. In recent years, a growing body of research has suggested that organized religion reduces the risk of depression.

But these advantages don’t come as a result of beliefs alone, nor from inner mental states achieved by the individual. Rather, they are obtained through the social activity of a group.

Read further

Suggested Reading

‘Doctor’s Orders: 20 Minutes of Meditation Twice a Day’ – How about 10 Minutes 5 Times a Day?

What Can a Quarter of Unaffiliated US Population Find in Islam?

Could You Get Possessed – Christianity, Islam and Science?

From the Muslim Sunrise: Truth and Science


4 replies

  1. Zia— in modren time, what is the benefits to join Ahmadiyyah? Every one can reach ahmadiyya website .

    If we join Ahmadiyya or other groups have to pay some money every month or years ( obligated donation etc)

    Most clerics, imam, leaders use Islam religion for political purpose and some of them to earn money for living.

    Whereas our prophet Muhammad NEVER receive money from his followers or sponsor, because God forbid it.

    1.Say: “No reward do I ask of you for it but this: that each one who will may take a (straight) Path to his Lord.” QS 25;57.

    2. “Obey those who ask no reward of you (for themselves), and who have themselves received Guidance. QS 36;(21)

    3. “No reward do I ask of you for it: my reward is only from the Lord of the Worlds: (109) “So fear Allah and obey me.”QS 26; (110)

    What do think Zia?

    All love ❤️

  2. We should learn ‘the Truth,’ from all teachers and all communities. When the ‘nones’ are ready to join a community they should choose one with the best paradigms and the greatest potential to help them grow in spirituality.

    • Zia— it is cool, awesome statement, I love it.

      Because there are so many sects of Muslim, yes, young Muslims should leanr Islam from many sourses of Islam in order we can get the truth. Otherwise young Muslim will be deceive with wrong teaching like the teachung from the extremist Intolerant Clerics.

      I agree with you Zia
      All love ❤️

    • In this spirit of ‘we should learn from all teachers’ we at The Muslim Times bring you good News from all sources, including for instance the Ismaili Community (who is doing excellent work with the Aga Khan Foundations for instance) and the Muslim Heritage website and others.

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