So here is an immediate fun fact … Jedi Knights are in decline, in 2001 the Uk had 330,000 who registered “Jedi Knight” as their religion, but in 2011 we find that the force is not with that many any more, there are now only 176,632
It might sound like a daft answer to give within an official census, but in fact it is quite a sensible response to a daft question. In essence, by asking people what their religion is, you are in fact asking them to specify their favorite myth, so answering “Jedi Knight” clearly states that any answer to this question is actually a reflection of superstitious beliefs and also mocks the question itself. It is still however an interesting question in that I am curious to comprehend how rational the UK population now is.
The good news is that there has been a huge increase in rational thinking ..
- 14 million clearly identified that they have no faith and another 7% simply ignored the questions and declined to even bother answering it.
Here is how the religious numbers now look … the following compares 2001 (light red) with 2011 (dark red)
- Huge decline in Christianity
- Huge uptick in non-belief
But wait a moment, what is up with that increase in Islam, what is that about, lots of conversions? Actually no, Islam is not suddenly more popular, what you see there is an indication of how unpopular Islam actually is, this is all due to immigrants from Islamic nations abandoning their country of birth and coming to the UK for a better life. I still however expect to see some daft claims from some Muslims touting this as evidence that Islam is the fastest growing because they don’t understand what is actually going on here.
It is also fun to note that despite their sharp decline, the Jedi Knights still outnumber many other nutters such as Scientology who only have 2418 in total. Oh, I almost forgot, we also have …
- Pagans – 56,620
- Wicca – 11,766
- Druids – 4,189
I’m honestly not sure how many of them actually believe and how many are simply taking the piss, hence fall into the “Jedi Knight” category.
Do census numbers really matter? From the viewpoint of government it does, measuring what is actually going on enables good fact-based decisions to be made regarding the allocation of funds for things such as education and transport, but as for the religious statistics, it is interesting of course, but should not be utilized as a basis for any funding decisions.
One other key observation here is to remember that reality is not something we get to vote about, so when it comes to playing the numbers game with religious beliefs, the statistics do not in any way change anything. the things that are true remain true regardless of who accepts or rejects them, so if some specific belief becomes more or less popular, that does not in any way confirm it to be more true or less true.
It is rather common for some Muslim apologists to make claims such as “Islam is the fastest growing religion” … it is not by any measure, but even if that was actually correct, it does not in any way confirm the belief itself to be true … reality is something we do not get to vote on.