According to the 2011 Census ‘no religion’ is the response that shows the largest growth in numbers form 18.7% in 2006 to 22.3% in 2011. There is no definite answer to why there is such a large increase in people putting down ‘no religion’ on the census although there are a range of things that have happened over time for people too shift away from the traditional religions. Such as The new age movement, the age of enlightenment, immigration, denominational switching and secularism.
Among the people that state ‘no religion’ are groups such as atheist, agnostics and rational humanists. All do not follow a religion, so if they do not have a set out value system how do they satisfy the needs of a human person and promote social responsibility?
An atheist is a person who believes that there is no divine power either within the universe or outside it. It holds that there are no reasons to believe in any reward or punishment after death. The essential key features of an atheist are that they believe that there is no go or divine being, it is not an active philosophy with an organised body of doctrines, humanity has no ultimate goal and no further aspirations because there is no life after physical death, the universe and its life evolved by a natural scientific process. Modern Atheist maintain that there is no real or genuine evidence to support the belief in the existence of God. Atheists also say that belief in God is meaningless because there is no way humanity can prove or justify any power higher than itself and extending from that although they acknowledge that some contributions by religion have benefited humankind, atheist argue that these same benefits can be achieved without a person adopting a religion . Good ethical behaviour, including compassion towards others, is significant for people without a religious faith. Atheist follow this and have their own social responsibilities and aims such as encouraging informed free-thought on philosophical and social issues, to safeguard the rights of all non-religious people, to serve as a focal point for the fellowship of non-religious people, to offer reliable information in place of superstition and to offer the methodology of reason in place of faith, support equality for gender and sexual orientation and to support laws which protect the individual. Atheist believe that the human person is a complex organism being with structure, biochemical processes, culture and a sense of morality this ties in with satisfying the needs of the human person they assume that humanity is of prime importance and therefore their morality and social organisation is to increase importance of humans and human life.
Agnostics promote social responsibilities and go about satisfying the needs of the human person much the same too that of Atheists. Everything is quite similar all though the essential features differ, Agnostics believe that there is no sufficient evidence to make a judgement on the issue of the existence of transcendental beings however if at a later date, there is sufficient evidence to prove the existence of god or gods, then their views will change.
Agnostics like atheists believe that all human aspirations, like living a meaningful and purposeful life, can be achieved through the use of human reason. They argue that all behaviour that brings about benefit for the individual and society can be discovered through human reason. They believe without a belief in God’s existence it is actually easier to give more attention to things such as self-determination and being wholly responsible for the life a human lives and working out what it is best for the individual. It is important for humans to act