Covid-19 Will Deal a Huge Blow to Organized Religion:
Many people go to church out of habit.
They have done so their entire lives.
Covid-19 has forced them to break that habit.
Covid-19 has caused many of their friends to die or become extremely sick.
Many will reason that:
It will be interesting to see how many people are back in church regularly 1 year from now.
Historically, churches grow in times of great tragedy. I actually wish I could be alive in about 500 years so I can see how 2020 is written into a new chapter of the Bible, (for literary amusement only). When people hurt, they are more susceptible to dogma. I fear people will did in deeper. I'm donating to at least atheist organization tomorrow. Hoping to get religion out of politics.
Yes, some people say this virus will take people back to religion. I don't agree. First, the church habit thing you mentioned it a good point. Second, COVID has been an awful but timely reminder that science and reason solves problems, not imaginary gods and their dickhead sons. Also, religions have not come across well during this crisis, and have looked impotent, in my opinion. Third, the future of religions depends on the young, not the old. Younger cohorts were already secularizing, and I think the virus tragedy will reinforce that. Personally, I'm looking forward to hard data on this subject in the future. We will just have to wait and see.
I am not so certain. I think people are yearning for a sense of normalcy and community. Also, when life seems even more unpredictable and out of control, I think people feel a higher urge to clutch anything that gives them hope and "sense" including religion.
I think the flaw here is the phrase, "Many will REASON that".
My aunt said she can't wait to start going to church again and she's a fairly reasonable person who voted against Trump, pro choice, pro gay rights. I imagine most religious people are less reasonable than she is...
Church services are now going online, both livestreamed and recorded. I know; I am an agnostic organist working in a mainstream church. However, giving is down, presumably because the collection plates aren't being passed right in front of them where everyone else can see. Of course, they are planning big comebacks when everyone gets a vaccine.
I doubt it will hurt religion much. Most religious people (I suspect) depend on religion as a hedge against the unknown and the frightening. They don't come to it by reason, so they won't leave it by reason. In frightening times, that hedge only becomes more valuable.
I agree with #1 because that is a real occurrence. Although I suspect that many are just very afraid and wishing to return to their familiar reassuring routine as soon as possible. The smartest ones will achieve escape velocity. Regarding #2, that is something that someone that uses reason, like you, would think. Do you see where I am going? The list of occasions they have had the chance to figure that there is no one looking out for them is endless, but they are well insulated against reason. And then you have the activity of the herder getting back his herd together. There will be less a year from now in direct response to the experiences during covid, but I am afraid the numbers will not be reduced significantly.
I see your thinking on this but my kids ran the other way with it. They thought the end is coming so they had better get back in with god. At a grocery store this afternoon a checker friend of mine exposed herself as a Trumper without knowing it. We were talking about the virus and she says all we know is doctors tell us it is the virus and we do not know. It could be anything and we just believe what they say. When I told her she was getting her medical facts mixed up with her politics she shot back that there are 2 sides of this and "somebody has to pay those doctors." Hey, lady. It is not politicians doing the paying.
My point is that a couple of years from now this will get twisted more also as the conspiracy people are also religious. The thing is, we are just not sure what they will call it at that time.