How Long Do You All Think That It Will Take For Religion To Go Extinct?

Slimm
Superfan
Slimm's picture
Posts: 167
Joined: 2007-03-15
User is offlineOffline
How Long Do You All Think That It Will Take For Religion To Go Extinct?

Are you one of those people that think religion will never die? Or do you think it's only a matter of time?

The truth is slowly being planted all over the place by organizations just like Rational Responders, and it's such a beautiful thing. The Theist's arguments are getting cut down with lightning speed and pretting soon they'll have to run out of their off the wall opinions.

My best bet would be that by the year 2500, religion will be gone. But I don't know what to say for the Middle Eastern/Muslim religions. Rationality seems to have no future over there, but you never know.

What would be your best bet, and why?

Slimm,

Quote:
"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


Fanas
Posts: 249
Joined: 2008-03-27
User is offlineOffline
Only way to complete get rid

Only way to complete get rid of all the religions includes mass murders. So it won't happen.

 

Well theres another way, it includes evolution. We should one day evolve to the point when religion is useless for everyone. But it will take a long long time.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Only way to complete

Quote:
Only way to complete get rid of all the religions includes mass murders. So it won't happen.

Ironically, this would be one of the best ways to spread religion.  People tend to look very sympathetically at martyrs, and our moral sense goes all higgly-piggly when there's a big mass murder.  Two very strong emotional reasons to look for something better than this cold, cruel world.  Even if it were possible to really discover everyone's true beliefs, killing all theists would likely spawn a resurgence in religious belief.

Quote:
We should one day evolve to the point when religion is useless for everyone.

Sorry for using you as an example, Fanas, but this is often indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding of natural selection.  Evolution doesn't strive for anything, and it has no particular interest in improving any one part of an organism.  Additionally, evolution only works on what has happened.  It cannot predict.  In other words, if a new bacteria is introduced into the environment, the humans that already have a beneficial mutation will survive its effects better, and later generations will be more immune.  The catalyst is the selection pressure.

It has been well observed that stupid people multiply just as prolifically as very smart people.  It's cynically observed that the smart people reproduce substantially less.  In other words, at present, there's no apparent selection pressure towards intelligence.  Unless there's an unforseen event in the future that forces humans into selective adaptation, it won't happen. 

Long way around my ass to get to my elbow and say there's no scientific reason I'm aware of to believe that humans will evolve into more rational beings, and there are certainly precious few cultural indicators.  I think religion is here to stay, and the best we can hope for is minimizing its power.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2484
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Religion has been with man

Religion has been with man as long as rats. So far we haven't found an effective way to be rid of either. Even if there was complete proof of all scientific theories and we could show every unknown possibility, there would still be religion. Stupidity knows no bounds. A movie called Idiocracy was a view into how stupid people will inherit the Earth. Stupid people in the movie mutliply faster than intelligent ones. After debates with some theists it's fairly clear they will cling to their myths as long as they live and indoctrinate their children. Our efforts may help reduce the numbers, but they will still be here for years to come.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Idiocracy did a very strange

Idiocracy did a very strange thing to me.  I watched the whole thing, thinking that it had to get better.  After all, the whole premise is essentially true.  We're selectively breeding for stupidity, reduced resistance to disease, and more genetic disorders.  Since the movie is about how stupid we are, surely it's got something for me... there's got to be at least one inside joke for the intellectual who might watch it.... right?

In the end, I realized how stupid it was for me to think that.  My $3.50 movie rental fee is out there right now, weaving its way through the hands of half-ass directors and producers who will soon trot out the next in a long line of movies that claim to have an intellectual point, all the while spiraling, just like our DNA, into utter ruin.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Fanas
Posts: 249
Joined: 2008-03-27
User is offlineOffline
Well, maybe i used term

Well, maybe i used term "evolve" not the way i should.

 

I assume that there are three types of people: atheists, indoctrinated atheists and fanatics.

Being theist has absolutely no darwinistic explanation. Because it does not give any advantage.

So i must assume that fanatics are mentally ill.

Indoctrinated atheists in a non-religious society would become atheists.

And atheist are atheists already.

So for absolute extinction of religion fanatics needs to be cured or evolve in some way. But because being fanatic has no disadvantage, the same as being atheist has no advantage, so neither has advantage over another. That means you are right about the unforeseen event of some kind.

 

Hmm, that makes you think.

Or we need to take over the authority and make fanatics go away for good.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Being theist has

Quote:
Being theist has absolutely no darwinistic explanation. Because it does not give any advantage.

Hmm... I would make the observation that Islam is the fastest growing meme on the planet, and that its adherents are multiplying faster than atheists -- by leaps and bounds.  I'd say religion might have a darwinistic advantage, after all...

 

More later... got to run now.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Fanas
Posts: 249
Joined: 2008-03-27
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Being theist has absolutely no darwinistic explanation. Because it does not give any advantage.

Hmm... I would make the observation that Islam is the fastest growing meme on the planet, and that its adherents are multiplying faster than atheists -- by leaps and bounds.  I'd say religion might have a darwinistic advantage, after all...

 

More later... got to run now.

 

 

I see that too, but i just can't find any. Please anyone do, i really want to know.


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
I have no idea how long God

I have no idea how long God belief/religion will last. After all, it is so recent we have no idea how it can stay given changes. 


qbg
Posts: 298
Joined: 2006-11-22
User is offlineOffline
I see religion sticking

I see religion sticking around in some form--probably a very different form than now--for some time.

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
-- The Economic Tendency of Freethought


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
 One problem is that even

 One problem is that even though cults don't make it as mainstream religions, they still have their adherents. The problem I'm talking about is that there's a sucker born every minute. (Or just someone who really wants to believe in magic.)

That moral laziness will be with us forever, is my guess. Can't come up with solutions to your own problems? Give up and talk to the supernatural. It's so appealing that I don't think it'll die.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3139
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Hold on there.

Hambydammit wrote:

Long way around my ass to get to my elbow and say there's no scientific reason I'm aware of to believe that humans will evolve into more rational beings, and there are certainly precious few cultural indicators.  I think religion is here to stay, and the best we can hope for is minimizing its power.

Hold on, suppose you lived in the USA in 1850. You might be opposed to slavery, but you would say it's been around forever, there is too much incentive to keep it going. So rational person might say it would be around for thousands of years more. But things changed  pretty rapidly, unfortunately it took a major war for the change to occur.

I'm not sure religion could go down without a big war. We're sort of in war now with this Christian society vs. Islamic society. If this war ramped up into a global conflagration, it's hard to imagine a peaceful resolution to this conflict without the world being much less religious.

But, look at Europe, it is largely becoming less religious, only culturally Christian(except for the Islamic immigrants). This change is largely peaceful. Unfortunately, the religious people have a much higher birth rate. I would say that religious people have a higher birthrate, probably because they have more confidence in the future. Non-religious need to come up with a better alternative to religion that gives people self-confidence. If this happens, religion would be dead.

The evolutionary disadvantages would be that irrational religious societies would do more environmental damage, have more poverty, less technical advances to improve survival and create more wars(like Bush did). I think this would argue for nonreligious people segregating themselves from the religious, instead of trying to get along with them and letting them drag everyone down.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Assuming the species lives

Assuming the species lives long enough, I think we'd see less than 5% of the people on the planet that hold a belief in god within 500 years.

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
World wide communication

  World wide communication is the key, and would make leaps and bounds to muting religion,  if all were made available to Rational Debate, Science etc .....

About evolution ..... Evolution is a process that is not exactly 100% mindless, is it ?, in the sense that it is an active process "effort" of some sort .... the winner being life and so a higer consciousness ???  .....

A desire ? Springing from what and how ? 

In other words, I don't believe in accidents, nor a plan , or a beginning or an end, or a purpose. But I think evolution has a quality of something caring and fighting to survive,  as I , even on a molecular level to some measurable degree, not yet fully known nor understood ???? 

Okay , evolution is nearly mindless , that I agree .... but little things add up to bigger things. The beginning of life on earth ???  No No,  the evolution of life on earth ..... no beginning, no purpose, but not exactly mindless ! ???   

Some call it god and then invent silly dogmas ..... Is a tree conscious to any teensy degree ???  

I don't fucking know !  What Am I , an Atheist theist ?  Ummm, just a nut case in ....  awe !    GAWED, I AM !       

.... but anyway, with upcoming improved world communication, I AM quite certain that Religion, as we know it, will be nearly mute in a relatively near future, 500 yrs ?

well as long as the aliens don't start playing tricks on us, or some other crazy things like massive unending earth quakes and world panic etc.  ....  Hey, keep "praying" and a hoping !  Visit the other galaxies !  Hell, create a better cosmos !      So many suffer worse than I .... from GAWED delusion !


Corporeal
Posts: 32
Joined: 2008-03-20
User is offlineOffline
Fanas wrote:Well, maybe i

Fanas wrote:

Well, maybe i used term "evolve" not the way i should.

 

I assume that there are three types of people: atheists, indoctrinated atheists and fanatics.

Being theist has absolutely no darwinistic explanation. Because it does not give any advantage.

So i must assume that fanatics are mentally ill.

Indoctrinated atheists in a non-religious society would become atheists.

And atheist are atheists already.

So for absolute extinction of religion fanatics needs to be cured or evolve in some way. But because being fanatic has no disadvantage, the same as being atheist has no advantage, so neither has advantage over another. That means you are right about the unforeseen event of some kind.

 

Hmm, that makes you think.

Or we need to take over the authority and make fanatics go away for good.

Alright, I had a much longer post than this typed up but then I closed the tab by accident so I'm just going to post the cliff notes since I'm not going to retype all of that all over again:

Theism does (or did) have an evolutionary advantage in that it helps keep early/small societies together. There was a big journal article on this (as well as the brain area hypothesized for being responsible for religious belief) that was published several years ago, I'll see if I can find it since it explains things much better.

As for theism going away, I doubt it. Maybe in several hundred years most people will be atheist but there's always going to be people who believe in the supernatural.


Fanas
Posts: 249
Joined: 2008-03-27
User is offlineOffline
Corporeal wrote:Fanas

Corporeal wrote:

Fanas wrote:

Well, maybe i used term "evolve" not the way i should.

 

I assume that there are three types of people: atheists, indoctrinated atheists and fanatics.

Being theist has absolutely no darwinistic explanation. Because it does not give any advantage.

So i must assume that fanatics are mentally ill.

Indoctrinated atheists in a non-religious society would become atheists.

And atheist are atheists already.

So for absolute extinction of religion fanatics needs to be cured or evolve in some way. But because being fanatic has no disadvantage, the same as being atheist has no advantage, so neither has advantage over another. That means you are right about the unforeseen event of some kind.

 

Hmm, that makes you think.

Or we need to take over the authority and make fanatics go away for good.

Alright, I had a much longer post than this typed up but then I closed the tab by accident so I'm just going to post the cliff notes since I'm not going to retype all of that all over again:

Theism does (or did) have an evolutionary advantage in that it helps keep early/small societies together. There was a big journal article on this (as well as the brain area hypothesized for being responsible for religious belief) that was published several years ago, I'll see if I can find it since it explains things much better.

As for theism going away, I doubt it. Maybe in several hundred years most people will be atheist but there's always going to be people who believe in the supernatural.

 

Could you give me a link to this article. It would be interesting to read it.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
EXC, it's my opinion that

EXC, it's my opinion that the current Western ideological war between Christianity and atheism is somewhat irrelevant because of the rate of growth we're seeing in Islam, and the steady decline of the United States as a viable economic world power.  I suspect that we may see moderately good success, but if I had to guess, I'd say that in a couple hundred years, the world will be predominately Islamic.

Europe is alarmingly tolerant of the influx of Islam, and we're already seeing major problems in England, France, Spain, and other countries that are quickly abandoning Christianity.

The problem with Islam, of course, is that it's a religion, and tolerance of it doesn't have much bearing on its spread.  Short of deporting all Muslims, there's not much that Europe can do to stop the spread of the ideology.

My hope is that America can affect a major turn-around in a hundred years or so, becoming a truly secular country.  If it could do this, maybe it will be strong enough to represent an ideological alternative to Islam.  As it is, our status as a Christian nation only fuels the growth of Islam.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Corporeal
Posts: 32
Joined: 2008-03-20
User is offlineOffline
Fanas wrote:Corporeal

Fanas wrote:

Corporeal wrote:

Fanas wrote:

Well, maybe i used term "evolve" not the way i should.

 

I assume that there are three types of people: atheists, indoctrinated atheists and fanatics.

Being theist has absolutely no darwinistic explanation. Because it does not give any advantage.

So i must assume that fanatics are mentally ill.

Indoctrinated atheists in a non-religious society would become atheists.

And atheist are atheists already.

So for absolute extinction of religion fanatics needs to be cured or evolve in some way. But because being fanatic has no disadvantage, the same as being atheist has no advantage, so neither has advantage over another. That means you are right about the unforeseen event of some kind.

 

Hmm, that makes you think.

Or we need to take over the authority and make fanatics go away for good.

Alright, I had a much longer post than this typed up but then I closed the tab by accident so I'm just going to post the cliff notes since I'm not going to retype all of that all over again:

Theism does (or did) have an evolutionary advantage in that it helps keep early/small societies together. There was a big journal article on this (as well as the brain area hypothesized for being responsible for religious belief) that was published several years ago, I'll see if I can find it since it explains things much better.

As for theism going away, I doubt it. Maybe in several hundred years most people will be atheist but there's always going to be people who believe in the supernatural.

 

Could you give me a link to this article. It would be interesting to read it.

I've been trying to find it, haven't had any luck yet. I remember reading about it a few years back in newsweek or time and I figured that there was a journal article behind it though its looking like it may have possibly been a book. There's a more recent article on the subject of a biological basis for religious experience that I found on CNN, but as far as the evolutionary article goes I'm not having any luck. If you feel like wasting hours pouring through the newsweek/time archives you'd probably find the article (and thus the source for the original work on the subject) that I'm talking about, and maybe even an EBSCOhost search would turn up results (though when I tried searching I got thousands of results of crap).

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/04/04/neurotheology/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurotheology

Something interesting to point out from the wikipedia entry is this paragraph:

"Newberg et al describe neurological processes which are driven by the repetitive, rhythmic stimulation which is typical of human ritual, and which contribute to the delivery of transcendental feelings of connection to a universal unity. They posit, however, that physical stimulation alone is not sufficient to generate transcendental unitive experiences. For this to occur they say there must be a blending of the rhythmic stimulation with ideas. Once this occurs '…ritual turns a meaningful idea into a visceral experience.'"

In other words doing any kind of repetitive action (chanting, rocking back and forth while praying, etc.) combined with the belief that what you're doing is spiritual will cause you to have a religious experience.

 


Loc
Superfan
Loc's picture
Posts: 1130
Joined: 2007-11-06
User is offlineOffline
I do think religion will

I do think religion will effectively cease eventually, though when I couldn't hazard a guess. As science answers more and more questions, religion has less to hold on to. At the moment the beginning of the universe and life are pretty big gaps that religion thrives in. Presumably, these will one day be answered, and then believing god did it  would seem as silly as believing god is personally responsible for every bolt of lighting. People thought that in the past though. With every generation of new science, hopefully religion will diminish.

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

dudeofthemoment wrote:
This is getting redudnant. My patience with the unteachable[atheists] is limited.

Argument from Sadism: Theist presents argument in a wall of text with no punctuation and wrong spelling. Atheist cannot read and is forced to concede.


Slimm
Superfan
Slimm's picture
Posts: 167
Joined: 2007-03-15
User is offlineOffline
I wish I could travel to the

I wish I could travel to the future just to see the planet earth full of Atheist as they laugh at all the theist who ever lived in what would be the past to them. Now that would be a true heaven, lol. Like I said I only give it 500-600 years!!!

 

Slimm,

Quote:
"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


funknotik
atheist
funknotik's picture
Posts: 157
Joined: 2007-12-10
User is offlineOffline
Sapient wrote:Assuming the

Sapient wrote:

Assuming the species lives long enough, I think we'd see less than 5% of the people on the planet that hold a belief in god within 500 years.

 

I agree I think it will probably decrease to a very small segment of the human population. When information is readily accessible in even the most remote locations that is when we will begin to see a decrease. In my opinion it's all about access to information, if we where to perform a controlled experiment and have a kid learn science while being indoctrinated at home by his parents. I think he would probably lean towards science since it has more direct answers and doesn't dodge complex questions like religion does. Would be nice if someone could speed up the process!


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Allow me to enter this

Allow me to enter this discussion (yes, I have read all the previous posts as well as the OP)

In my experience regarding these sorts of things, its important not to be a starry-eyed optimist. It is perhaps just as important not to be overly fatalistic. If you all don't mind, I am going to try and steer away from the discussion about biological evolution, for several reasons:

1. In case it has escaped the attention of any one of you, humans are the most biologically complex creatures on the planet. Any behaivoural/neurological patterns that influence certain beliefs as being innate, or, as they say in evolutionary psychology, "programmed" will be the result of long and complex processes that take a rather long time. A "rather long time" is about five orders of magnitude greater than the human life span.

2. Because of this, virtually every "change" in human behaivour patterns since the first of our species walked the Earth cannot be put down to genetics. This does not mean that evolution has "stopped". Far from it. There have been many changes throughout the human course of events. Resistance to malaria, the gene encoding lactose, etc. However, by "changes" I am not referring to simple physiological changes which are to be expected within such time spans, and tend to proliferate locally. I mean behaivoral changes. The analogy which I am going to borrow from Ronald Wright is that we are running mental hardware which has not been seriously updated for hundreds of thousands of years on 21st century software. That is to say, if we were to take a Paleolithic child from a campfire, and raise him in our society, he/she would stand an even chance of earning a degree in physics or computer science.

3. Anyone who is familiar with the human career knows it can be divided, basically, into two parts. Everything before the Neolithic revolution, and everything after it. The stone age technology called farming is the technology upon which the entire human endeavour has since been built. With the exception of weapons that can kill us all, the invention of farming has had more impact than anything else we have ever concieved. After the Neolithic revolution, civilizations, beginning in the Fertile Crescent (Babylon (Iraq)), Sumer (collectively under Mesopotamia) China, and India. People are often very startled when I tell them that the entire human endeavour of organized culture and civilization spans approximately 300 generations. Before that, the human career prior to the Neolithic revolution began, spans a deep abyss of time, 99.7% of the human existence. During this time we lived in roving bands, mostly kin. I would estimate that there were fewer than 200,000 humans on the ground for much of this point, all that stood between today and evolutionary failure.

4. Considering this information collectively, it is important to realize that when we speak of programmed traits, we generally refer to traits that were shaped during the longest part of our prehistory, {see above}. The human experiment in civilized existence does not run deep, but it runs wide, for it naturally allows for an enormous population amplification. Because of this, assessing the impact of programmed traits, or changes in programmed traits is extremely dubious. Biological evolution is slow. Human cultural evolution is fast. Because of such rather conspicuous things as global civilization and so forth, it is extremely difficult to assess the interplay of human cultural evolution with our programming, because in the advent of civilization, there have been a very large number of us produced by the timespan has been very short. Biological changes that may occur in humans during this extremely short time period will be offset, and easily beaten, by cultural changes. The analogy I like to use is the vaccine. The eradication of smallpox, after all, did not come because of natural selection resulting in the survival of only those with innate immunity. It came because we got rid of it. 

What I am trying to say is that we are rather plastic creatures in terms of our neurology. The advent of civilization is testimony to that. The effects of biological evolution, or indeed, even any pre-existing innateness to do such and such a behaivour are too slow and too easy to shift. My rule of thumb with respect to human behaivour is that its degree of being ingrained is inversely proportional to its complexity. Some that is physiologically universal such as sex is so deeply ingrained that the biological impulses have more or less withstood every cultural more pertaining to it. Everywhere, everytime, from Puritans to hedonists, people have had sex. On the other hand, something like religion or reason etc. etc. is to a much greater degree determined by environs. Clearly it cannot be true to say that we have, for example, a propensity towards religiosity to the same degree that we have one towards sex, or anger, or hunger, etc. Even very complex traits such as language are far more universal, since that example in particular is completely universal.

Ultimately, what this means is that assessing whether or not religion will "always be with us" or will not, or anything else that may pertain to its future, cannot be assessed in terms of complex underlying behaivours in humans and associated biology, or in terms of evolutionary pyschology. Nor can it be assessed in terms of innateness or lack thereof. Being that these biological impulses are not underlying or ingrained to the same degree that something such as language or sex/hunger/need for oxygen is.

I prefer to assess such a question in the same manner that I would any other institution. I am trying to encourage you to, in this discussion about the survival of religion or lack thereof in the coming years, shed your beliefs that the results will be determined by the underlying biological or pyschological innateness of such beliefs, because the complexity of such ideas is such that, as I have shown above, whatever is ingrained will be very, very plastic. That is to say, in these cases with these very complex mental traits, whatever biological selection that caused whatever form of them being ingrained (I am being vague because evo psych is so speculative) are, in advanced human civilizations, can be changed or reversed altogether when cultural changes shift what constitutes an advantegous mental behaivour. We probably are not going to see, for example, a culture that makes language taboo (how would that even be possible?). But consider the number of cultural changes that have ensured that what constitutes an advantage with respect to less ingrained, more complex behaivours change. The mere existence of complex civilizations with millions of people in them living and working in close proximity requires the shedding of numerous complex, distinct, but ultimately plastic traits that would have proliferated better during the first epoch of the Stone age, that spans approximately 99.7% of human existence. I like to sum this up in a single sentence: "We domesticated the dog biologically. We domesticated ourselves mentally".

Another factor to consider that is unique to our time entirely is that a sufficient understanding of underlying biological impulses and where they come from is more likely to allow the person who carries such knowledge to dispense of associated beliefs, because they know full well that such beliefs are irrational. Consider racism. A person who understands and is well versed in the psychological, biological and evolutionary impulses associated with racism and its relationship to our existence in kins and roving bands, with in group/out group mentality, and its necessity in this environment, is less likely to be racist, since he is likely to catch himself at it and hence understand the irrationality of such beliefs. I'll use myself as an example. I take advantage of modern knowledge to train myself to overcome crowd pyschology. A useful trick to have and know. It makes you almost impossible to con.

Let's return to the point at hand. When asked what I think will happen, to, for example, Christianity, I remind my interlocutor that "Christianity" has existed for approximately 50 generations. Having established that the religion has a very short career in human history, therefore, the notion becomes rather less daunting. Nonetheless, I hope nobody here is going to pretend to be able to confidently assert whether or not religion will be completely gone in 500 years or so. Its hard to say. I try not to be overly optimistic about such things, but I simultaneously (for reasons outlined) reject the idea that religion will stay with us for all time because of underlying biological and pyschological ingraining. I realize that to whomever has just finished reading this post, I have led you all this way not to give you a concrete answer on my opinion on whether religion will ever go away (to make you feel better, I'll say that I think it will, but I won't say anything concrete). But I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless.

PS Hamby. You are correct. Idiocracy was not funny. The only intelligent thing that was said was in the opening voice-over about evolution.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


HeyZeusCreaseToe
Superfan
HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture
Posts: 675
Joined: 2008-02-27
User is offlineOffline
On the original post

I would say two or three generations after the last of the self sufficient, so-called uncivilized stone age cultures have their culture destroyed by the population expansion and land grab of their cultural autonomy.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3139
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:EXC, it's

Hambydammit wrote:

EXC, it's my opinion that the current Western ideological war between Christianity and atheism is somewhat irrelevant because of the rate of growth we're seeing in Islam, and the steady decline of the United States as a viable economic world power.  I suspect that we may see moderately good success, but if I had to guess, I'd say that in a couple hundred years, the world will be predominately Islamic.

Yes, Islam is kind of spread by the sword and high birth rates. So maybe this would be a case of the most violent ideology subjecting the timid ones though murder and intimidation. Plus you have socialism in Europe so the non-Muslims are actually going to take care of the Muslims with large families. So the non-Muslims are committing cultural suicide.

But, the problem is with modern technology. Sam Harris pointed out how insane it is that in the Islamic world, you have Engineers with the technical education and scientific reasoning to build a nuclear weapon, yet they still hold religious beliefs about getting 72 virgins. This kind of dangerous mix will lead to global conflagrations kill millions. Muslims will not be spared. Look at how the Sunni and Shia sects murder each other.

So if Islam did become the predominant world religion, the resultiing wars and poverty would be so bad that only a much less religious world could end the conflicts.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Fanas
Posts: 249
Joined: 2008-03-27
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:Hambydammit

EXC wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

EXC, it's my opinion that the current Western ideological war between Christianity and atheism is somewhat irrelevant because of the rate of growth we're seeing in Islam, and the steady decline of the United States as a viable economic world power.  I suspect that we may see moderately good success, but if I had to guess, I'd say that in a couple hundred years, the world will be predominately Islamic.

Yes, Islam is kind of spread by the sword and high birth rates. So maybe this would be a case of the most violent ideology subjecting the timid ones though murder and intimidation. Plus you have socialism in Europe so the non-Muslims are actually going to take care of the Muslims with large families. So the non-Muslims are committing cultural suicide.

But, the problem is with modern technology. Sam Harris pointed out how insane it is that in the Islamic world, you have Engineers with the technical education and scientific reasoning to build a nuclear weapon, yet they still hold religious beliefs about getting 72 virgins. This kind of dangerous mix will lead to global conflagrations kill millions. Muslims will not be spared. Look at how the Sunni and Shia sects murder each other.

So if Islam did become the predominant world religion, the resultiing wars and poverty would be so bad that only a much less religious world could end the conflicts.

 

 

I don't need any special power to see that Islam is already becoming a dominant religion. Christianity sucks, but at least it's not so aggressive. If Islam becomes a dominant religion then we are all in a big trouble. I guess in 20 to 50 years Islam will be the dominant religion.  Unless we do something to protect this world from religious apocalypse.


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
The only reason Islam is

  The main fixable reason Islam is spreading is because open world wide communication is being squashed. Fix the fucking air waves and TV,

SHEEEZZZ ... even our own western governments like "we the people" being afraid.  Hang all the TOP DOGS  for world treason  ..... EAT THE RICH ..... Destroy them ..... The FCC is part of our enemy   


Jubal
Posts: 41
Joined: 2008-03-27
User is offlineOffline
I'm afraid I'm pessimistic

I'm afraid I'm pessimistic about the long term future for Mankind.

I see it as far more likely that religion armed with NBC weapons will wipe us back to the stone-age or eliminate us altogether than we will ever be free of religion.

As long as people are afraid of death, we will have religion to make them feel better. As long as we are afraid of the dark, we will look for a magic friend to protect us from the unknown.

You can talk all you want to about education. That's only part of the answer. First, as just a matter of IQ, there are a VAST number of people literally NOT CAPABLE of critical thought. Not making too much of current IQ tests, but take for example these numbers: Supposedly something like 21% of world populations score BELOW 80 on a standard IQ test, even one specifically designed to account for illiteracy and cultural factors.

These people are ALWAYS going to go with the easiest, most emotionally satisfying answer, and that's always going to be religion/supernatural worldview. You can try to explain logical fallacies to these folks til you're blue in the face, you'll have lost them completely after the 1st paragraph.

They can't even examine their own theology. These folks wouldn't pass the first semester at divinity school, much less be able to become logically skeptical.  From my understanding of the polls (not that I'm impressed with poll-takers' ability to explore complex religious ideas with a few yes/no questions) seem to indicate about 23% or so of Americans are fundamentalists. I don't find it surprising that this number is about the same as the number of people possesing very sub-par intellects.

The other 80% or so are reachable, can be persuaded, can be educated. At least to the point where they are a little sheepish about what they would classifiy as their own relatively harmless superstitions, and would never justify  a course of action based upon it. That's a cultural thing.

Sadly, it only takes a very few smart but deluded people, along with those idiots, to make some really nasty weapons. Which is what makes me pessimistic. We now have the capability (and that will only get easier over time) to pretty well wipe out the human race. All it takes is one madman with religious delusions and access to the right tech. to trigger events that end humanity.

If there were no other reason to justify a serious effort to colonize of space, that should be enough to convince to everyone. If nothing else it's a way to hedge our bets against a few madmen.

Being open-minded isn't the same thing as being vacant.


Coopaloop
Coopaloop's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: 2008-02-09
User is offlineOffline
I think it is just a matter

I think it is just a matter of time. I hope that I will be able to see religion come to an end in my lifetime but I don't think that will be likely. If I had to give a rough estimate I would say anywhere between 250 to 500 years. With rationality and our advances in science on the rise I think that is a reasonable estimate.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan


Anon (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
I think religion will last

I think religion will last forever, as long as the religious authorities play it safe, and make little demands of the followers time and money, religion is staying for a long time.

But say, if a pope gets elected thats more fanatical then the last and begins trying to drastically change the religion, thats when people will get shaken out of the ignorant "im just christian because my parents were christians" state.

And thats when wel'l see major religions crashing down.

As for the Evolution possibility, i say its more then likely. It is religious dogma to hold back on re-production. That being said however theres nothing stopping an atheist re-producing less with more time devoted to more academic goals.


General-Forrest
General-Forrest's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: 2008-05-29
User is offlineOffline
how long will religion last?

as long as people have imagination and come up with new scencerios to use and then some leader radical take over the idea and use it to gain power to force the belief on the ones that are weak or can not do anything about it. its like asking how long will greed and power stay around and the answer is until something stops humans from wanting to be better then other groups of people! no doubt all three like to go together! so i would have to say your answer would be never. another way to look at religion it is like teaching folklore and mythology so be hard to convince people to give that up since it been going up to know why would they seem to want to change it now?

 

 

 

General


riz1
riz1's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: 2008-06-25
User is offlineOffline
Theists have a slight

Theists have a slight advantage over us. We must remember that these people believe they can attain anything by just lifting up their hands and asking for it, these people also don't have to deal with the morbid thought of existence being a one attempt only game. Most theists, even those who doubt, are going to find ways to convince themselves otherwise.

Our advantage is that we are far more analytical, and driven. We have to gain leadership positions in society (social, political, and economical spheres), and utilize these buffoons to our advantage. The world needs it narrow-minded idiots, we need a class that thinks they will become something by doing nothing but praying.

Religion is here to stay, but we can use that to our advantage. The theists can ramble all they want, as long as they don't control anything.


Bulldog
Superfan
Bulldog's picture
Posts: 333
Joined: 2007-08-04
User is offlineOffline
Slimm wrote:Are you one of

Slimm wrote:

Are you one of those people that think religion will never die? Or do you think it's only a matter of time?

The truth is slowly being planted all over the place by organizations just like Rational Responders, and it's such a beautiful thing. The Theist's arguments are getting cut down with lightning speed and pretting soon they'll have to run out of their off the wall opinions.

My best bet would be that by the year 2500, religion will be gone. But I don't know what to say for the Middle Eastern/Muslim religions. Rationality seems to have no future over there, but you never know.

What would be your best bet, and why?

Slimm,

 

It will take as long as it does for the human species to go extinct.  As long as we reproduce some will hatch offspring too feeble to think for themselves.

"Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." Thomas Jefferson
www.myspace.com/kenhill5150


mrjonno
Posts: 726
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Really dont get this

Really dont get this American paranoia that Europe is turning into downtown Saudia Arabia it really is complete Fox News bullshit.

Citizens who are of an Islamic faith in most  European countries is betwen 1 and 3%  (Germamy has 1% but 4% including guest workers). With immigration and increased birth rates this is not expected to increase by more than 1% in the next couple of generations.

For some completely unknown (but guessable) reason the CIA puts the figure at 10% for France, French goverment estimates are around half that and the % of people who actually take the religion seriously is half that again

We do of course have issues in the UK but they are completely different to that of the USA

In the UK we have 2.8% of the population as Muslim guess what that actually outnumbers active Christians!!!. To me thats something to celebrate 2.8% islam nuts 2% christians and around 95% of people who worship football and excessive alcohol consumption.

 

The really big difference between Western Europe and the US is nationalism. There are definite minorities that really have few emotional ties to the country they live in but even among everyone else ties to nationhood are far weaker. You fly a flag outside your house in the US and you are 'normal' fly outside the UK if you don't get the council coming around to fine you for planning regulations your neighbours will shun you as a completely freak.

To be honest I prefer it that way, I like democracy I like free speech but there are plenty of countries with that and the UK is not special in this regard (nor is the US).

 

 

 

 

 

 


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Yep,  the messengers of

Yep,  the messengers of fear and separation are the enemy ....  


Abu Lahab
Superfan
Abu Lahab's picture
Posts: 628
Joined: 2008-02-29
User is offlineOffline
mrjonno wrote:Really dont

mrjonno wrote:

Really dont get this American paranoia that Europe is turning into downtown Saudia Arabia it really is complete Fox News bullshit.

Citizens who are of an Islamic faith in most  European countries is betwen 1 and 3%  (Germamy has 1% but 4% including guest workers). With immigration and increased birth rates this is not expected to increase by more than 1% in the next couple of generations.

For some completely unknown (but guessable) reason the CIA puts the figure at 10% for France, French goverment estimates are around half that and the % of people who actually take the religion seriously is half that again

We do of course have issues in the UK but they are completely different to that of the USA

In the UK we have 2.8% of the population as Muslim guess what that actually outnumbers active Christians!!!. To me thats something to celebrate 2.8% islam nuts 2% christians and around 95% of people who worship football and excessive alcohol consumption.

 The really big difference between Western Europe and the US is nationalism. There are definite minorities that really have few emotional ties to the country they live in but even among everyone else ties to nationhood are far weaker. You fly a flag outside your house in the US and you are 'normal' fly outside the UK if you don't get the council coming around to fine you for planning regulations your neighbours will shun you as a completely freak.

To be honest I prefer it that way, I like democracy I like free speech but there are plenty of countries with that and the UK is not special in this regard (nor is the US).

 

Hey Mr Jonno,

Why does islam garner so many concessions socially that the rest of the Brits don't?

There are many articles I read on a daily basis that show islam is being given preferential treatment thus underpinning their (muslims) belief that they're 'superior' to non-ummah.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1895962/'Non-Muslim'-father-banned-from-London-pool.html

That's just one example, another is a bit more serious. Remember the islamic demos against the Danish cartoons? They were allowed to demonstrate, carrying some of the most heinous placards I've ever seen. Remember what happened when the BNP and other right wing groups tried to counter-demo? They were threatened with arrest.

If you can't connect the dots then you're screwed and you don't even know it.

 

Religion has about 200 years as a major influence, barring some kind of coming together of the two major forces sooner.

I'd love to see some kind of religious war taking out 2/3 of the world population. I'm even happy for me to be one of them if it helps the Atheist cause.

 

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


I AM GOD AS YOU
Superfan
Posts: 4793
Joined: 2007-09-29
User is offlineOffline
Looks like a KKK propaganda

Looks like a pic of the KKK, ...  propaganda promoting the wicked U.S.A.

Add skid row to the theme  .....  who is ugly ???  Throw the first stone ???


mrjonno
Posts: 726
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
The Muslim demo's were

The Muslim demo's were almost certainly illegal but there werent arrested because

 

a) it would have started a riot  (crimes that are not directly and imminently putting the public in danger are often ignored), that is nothing to do with Islam

b) The security forces don't want arrests of people for relatively minor crimes , they want to get them for for active terrorism

c) The BNP were prosecuted for enciting racial hatred against muslism and their leader was found innocent

 

You have people on the far right in this country who mistake the UK f no longer being a white christian country for it being an Islamic one it isnt and there is no evidence it is becoming one either.

I actually think  Islam is in the long term good news for secularism in the UK, I strongly dislike all faith schools but its impossible to  legally deny Muslims having their own ones while Christians have theirs. With these extremists around it just makes it more likely we will get rid of all of them


Bulldog
Superfan
Bulldog's picture
Posts: 333
Joined: 2007-08-04
User is offlineOffline
Police allow deomonstrations

Police allow deomonstrations for a number of reasons as long as they do not threaten the peace.  The most important reason for allowing a demonstration of this nature is the mining of intelligence.  As long as the demonstration does not threaten to become violent there is no reason, especially in a country that values freedom of speech (the U.S. seems to be losing that now).  As long as the demonstrators are comfortable with the fact they can do their thing without fear of arrest or retribution, they will relax somewhat.  Those who coordinate, agitate or otherwise amp up the rhetoric of a demonstration would be the target of observers who would film and identify them.  This information would likely lead to others not necessarily involved in the demonstrations or present who could be more important persons of interest.Preventing the right wing from counter demonstrating would most likely be done to prevent violence which could interfere with the intelligence gathering process.

"Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." Thomas Jefferson
www.myspace.com/kenhill5150