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Chiggity Czech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

2022-12-08

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/02/01

Much unlike the Central European and Eastern European neighbours of the Czechs, these Europeans do not adhere, much, to a belief in a divine all-powerful overlord.

Pew Research, based on their — well — research, explains how the Czech Republic simply harbors a different internal belief system dynamic compared to other nationalities within Central and Eastern Europe.

Let’s make this quicker and less painful than the standard Pew Research article, within the categorization of a religion, we can identify a specific religious group; those, commonly, found in Central or Eastern Europe.

But we can also see the ways in the Czechs simply retain a unique sensibility in their lack of compatibility with the rest of the region, where there were 18 other countries surveyed in the region. That makes this all the more interesting, as 18 countries approximates 10% of the entire set of the world’s nations.

In that, this is a good size comparison in a region of the world steeped in religion; while yet, a country stands firm against these fundamentalisms found within its own borders. This can lead to some interesting questions about the applicability and import of a faith to the functioning of a society.

Because, as far as I know, the Czech Republic has not collapsed upon its mass of non-belief. This, once more, is in stark contrast to the belief in a God and a religious affiliation marking the majority of the countries in Eastern and Central Europe.

By the numbers, boys, we have 72% of Czechs not identifying with a religious group in addition to 46% simply describing their religion as “nothing in particular,” thus marking something akin to the SBNRs or the spiritual but not religious cohorts found in New Age and loosely-and-inconsistently rationalistic circles in North America.

Then 25% of Czechs identify as atheist. This is a marker of something highly unusual for most nations of the world, except for, perhaps, mainland China with an extraordinarily high number of atheists within its own borders. Given the world’s population dynamics and trends, and current demographics, the reality of faith-based reasoning is inescapable, because these provide comfort, solace, reasons for community, and easy answers to the complicated structure of the universe and the human world.

In more general terms, 66% of Czechs do not believe in a God; this does not mean atheism, but, in fact, a brand of atheism. It comes down to an axiom of the non-existence of absolute or total atheism in the form of a pantheist describing that which exists, or the real or reality, or even simply the natural world discovered by empiricism, as their God, and, therefore, an absolute atheist, being in denial of all gods, unable, logically speaking, to deny that which is exists, is real, or is reality, or even just the natural world discovered by empiricism (the last one not necessarily to be mocked as this reflected Einstein’s view of a god in many respects). An absolute atheist posits an existence without any gods; whereas, a single instance of a definable god would simply make this notion of an absolute atheist in a logical and philosophical sense moot, as was just shown, Q.E.D. Of course, emotional reasons may or cognitive limitations may stall this realization.

Hence, with this general lack of belief in a God, we can see the general form of a lack of belief in the existence of the higher powers in the universe constituting, probably, given the surrounding nations being Christian, the Abrahamic versions of a god seen in Yahweh and God. Compared to the 66% of Czechs who do not believe in God, we can see the 29% who do believe in God. This split grows wider as time moves forward more.

If you have time to examine some of the images in the link more, we can see the obvious differentials in the beliefs compared to Poland, Latvia, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Serbia, Croatia, Georgia, and so on. The former Eastern Bloc, important to note, was absolutely dominated by an atheist dogma in the Soviet Union for much of the 20th century with the Czech Republic being a outlier in these regards, in the modern period. In either case, we can have stated-based fundamentalisms in secular ideologies or religious fundamentalisms in theocracies.

Indeed, we can see the emergence of many of these tendencies in the ways in which the common traits are men at the top and absolutisms. To properly reduce the incidences, severity, and probability of these occurring, we need honest assessment of traits and precursors. The median belief in God in the region is 86%, which, in fact, may reflect a relatively common international level of belief. The number of those who do not have a religious affiliation or a belief in God simply are those who are the international minority and have been for a long time — and will remain so, based on some extrapolations, for the 21st century. The flavors of atheism, as with the flavors of theism and pantheism, and so on, will vary slightly, as being born into a faith is, probably, the strongest predictor of remaining within a faith. Atheism only went public, vocal, and marginally communal in the light of internet.

Religious affiliation and a belief in some higher — shouldn’t that be greater? — power, usually magical, is the vast majority of the peoples within Central and Eastern Europe. With the large numbers of the religiously unaffiliated with the Czech Republic, one of the more intriguing facts about the developments within the nation are the ways that this impacts child-rearing: parents raise their kids unaffiliated. Obviously, any fair parenting, for the sake of the future of the child, should incorporate a factual and knowledge-based account of religion rather than simply endorsement down the generations without justification, as this permits the development of the critical faculties of the students in spite of their eventual adherence or non-adherence to a faith tradition in the end.

Based on the reportage, the ground prediction for the foreseeable future is one where the Czechs simply do not adhere to a faith or religion, or a belief in a traditional God. Apparently, what tends to come with traditional views on the nature of social relations and cultural life is a belief in a god or an adherence to a religious affiliation, in this, we can note the direct relationship between a belief in a god and, probably, a direct linkage to the ways in which the attributes of this god reflects those values considered most important in community — even down to reflection of the ways in which the individuals look within the society reflexively, almost, mirroring the images of the gods themselves: collective ethnic anthropomorphization of the gods.

These lessened or attenuated, even defunct, religious practices build a society in which there is a reduction in the level of conservatism, where the religious institutions and signifiers of belief become purveyors of the traditionalism seen in most of the population in this region of the world.

This extends into social attitudes, too, as explained, “For example, Czechs have among the highest levels of support for legal abortion (84%) and same-sex marriage (65%) in the region. Similarly, they are the most likely to say they never attend religious services (55%) or pray (68%).” In other words, this spectrum of spiritual practices and religious affiliation shifts inversely with level of lack of belief in a God. This provides some intriguing general statements about the nature of belief not only in the Czech Republic, but, by implication, the ways in which Czechs and non-Czechs in Eastern and Central Europe belief in a god or have religious affiliation will link to their social attitudes. However, a belief in the soul or fate may retain its appeal for many Czechs, in spite some of the former tentative findings or conclusions.

But even with this lack of religiosity, in numbers and in beliefs and practices, the Czechs view religious affiliation with a pragmatic eye, as it is seen to strengthen social bonds and morals within societies — not just the Czech society.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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