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Future Of Religion



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I was just curious about what people think religion will evolve into in the future.

 

Do you think religion will create its own fate and cause the end of the world (mankind) like what profits have predicted in the bable?

 

Do you think religion will just fade away?

 

Do you think religion will just continue to evolve as people opinions continue to change about different things?

 

Or maybe you have another opinion?

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As long as Christianity is the dominate religion, things will likely stay the same. It will try to slow science and social progress to a degree, but it will be beaten back. It can't end human existence because there are always a portion not indoctrinated enough to make rational decisions. It's just going to be there, like it is now.

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As long as Christianity is the dominate religion, things will likely stay the same. It will try to slow science and social progress to a degree, but it will be beaten back. It can't end human existence because there are always a portion not indoctrinated enough to make rational decisions. It's just going to be there, like it is now.

That could be the case and I hope you are right but one of my concerns is that religion has evolved into what it is now. We have people in the muslin religion blowing themselves up in the name of their religion killing many innocent people. What will the next step be WMD? Probably. If they can use WMD they will and with their persistence they will most likely get them eventually. This could cause a domino effect and lets say that the muslims fail at this. Like you said christianity is the dominate religion now. With people like Bush in the position he is christianity is becoming the next extremist group.

I am not that much into politics but it does make sence to me.

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I think eventually most religions will fade away with time. There will probably always be one or two cults, but I doubt most of society will be religious in the future.

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We've already seen Christianity reduced to a shadow of its former self throughout most of the Western world. Even if you take the most fundified part of the States, t'ain't nothin' compared to the insanity of pre-Enlightenment Europe.

 

And Islam is currently going through similar growing pains that will see it, too, fade to mere symbolism within the next 400-500 years.

 

If it has a strong underlying poetry and is very, very fortunate, a religion survives as metaphor. Otherwise, it just fades to a historical curiosity whose primary use is to to explain archeological inscriptions.

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One more disaster on American soil, and theocracy might end up being among the least of our worries. One worldwide cataclysm, one failure to prevent such an occurence, and religion will return stronger than ever.

 

Religion will not disappear unless we're very lucky, and avoid the end of the world. Of course, by that point, it won't matter much I suppose.

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At the moment here in Australia there are a growing number of people joining Baha'i. Although it seemed to have the right idea at first, I quickly learned that it was nothing more than another "God-cult."

 

Website here: - http://www.bahai.org.au/scripts/WebObjects....woa/wa/default

 

On the site it states:

 

Baha'is strive to realise the teachings of Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), the founder of their faith. Born a member of a leading noble family in Persia, Baha'u'llah turned His back on status and wealth to devote His life to promoting the unity of all people. He is regarded by Baha'is as the most recent in a line of messengers of God that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Jesus and Muhammad.

 

The "temple" is near to me so I think I'll have a looksee on the weekend.

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At the moment here in Australia there are a growing number of people joining Baha'i. Although it seemed to have the right idea at first, I quickly learned that it was nothing more than another "God-cult." ... The "temple" is near to me so I think I'll have a looksee on the weekend.

 

I had a friend in college who practiced Baha'i, and years later I visited a Baha'i temple in Washington, D.C., but just once. So I know just a teeny-tiny bit about their religion. Some of it is very impressive. (For example, I like that they actually encourage inter-racial dating and marriage as a means of uniting people in one world, though their promotion of Esperanto as the universal world-wide language seems a bit silly.) However, I was turned off by their advocacy of specific prayers, as if there is some magic in using certain words.

 

Any way, if you do investigate Baha'i further, perhaps you can share your findings with us?

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Any way, if you do investigate Baha'i further, perhaps you can share your findings with us?

 

Will do. I just want to see why it is catching on so fast here.

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I suppose that it is difficult thing to predict the future. Prediction by it's nature must surely be speculative, right? That being said, here are my two cents on this.

 

I think that so long as there are those willing to acknowledge that there sacred things in the world, which may be a natural aspect of many people, then there will follow along with this a cultural edifice (religion) that seeks to somehow embody, capture, know, etc. the sacred. I think that cultural edifices must and do evolve along with the cultures that fabricate them. So barring the the destruction of humanity, it is my guess that religion will not simply fade away rather it will evolve.

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I subscribe to the theory of religion as a meme/virus. I think it's a default setting in our pattern-seeking brains, and even if the Abrahamic desert cults eventually die off I fear something as ridiculous and dangerous will just take it's place. :ugh:

 

Education seems to be the only hope of eradicating this 'virus'. But I think it will take a major event to start the world down the path of enlightenment.

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I subscribe to the theory of religion as a meme/virus. I think it's a default setting in our pattern-seeking brains, and even if the Abrahamic desert cults eventually die off I fear something as ridiculous and dangerous will just take it's place. :ugh:

 

Education seems to be the only hope of eradicating this 'virus'. But I think it will take a major event to start the world down the path of enlightenment.

 

Religion is the longest meme/virus EVAR.

 

Well I am hopeful and I just believe religion will turn into something better. You're right that education is the only way to get rid of religion, but as long as some questions remain unanswered then there will be someone making up some doofus story as to how we got here.

Just my two cents.

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I think the American people, lazy as they are, are beginning to stir with that passion that is Just About Having It. They're sick of being walked on by self-righteous millionaire ultra-religious and self-righteous ignorant masses who are too stupid and purposefully uninformed to demand anything better. More people are disillusioned.

 

This can go two ways. I have to admit most people are just too concerned with their own comfort to make any kind of move, and we'll most likely end up being further driven into the ground while Pat Robertson laughs his ass off. But there's also the possibility of revolution, increased by the increasing Hispanic population immigrating from the south.

 

The world will grow sicker of this allowance of extremism in the form of evangelical Christianity and Islam called "tolerance" and will eventually "blow up" figuratively. New regions and new people will take power after years of silence, oppression, and manipulation.

 

Most Americans will be left penniless, and most deserve it. Nuclear weapons will be obliterated and science will turn towards advancing mankind, not killing it. The Abrahamic religions of old will be swept away with disgust, although the more esoteric and philosophical, non-exclusivist Asian religions will probably survive, although in a more advanced and altered form.

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This doesn't seem terribly valid as the poll assumes that all religions will follow the same path, be treated the same by any society that views them, and makes no room for human innovation as applied to religions (which always happens).

 

Every religion is different, most radically so, and therefore cannot be expected to have the same fate.

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One more disaster on American soil, and theocracy might end up being among the least of our worries. One worldwide cataclysm, one failure to prevent such an occurence, and religion will return stronger than ever.

 

Religion will not disappear unless we're very lucky, and avoid the end of the world. Of course, by that point, it won't matter much I suppose.

 

Actually, I would think that a big disaster would be the thing to deconvert a lot of people. Lots of people deconverted after 9/11 and Katrina. People seem more willing to believe in god when everything is going right, but more willing to question their beliefs when things go wrong. Granted, it's a stereotype, but it usually takes something negative to make someone question something they had believed in since childhood.

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Guest See Darwin Run

While I agree with many people here, I'd like to point out an amusing point all of you seemed to have glossed over - religion doesn't evolve. Opinions about religion evolve. Religion is the antithesis of change. Change is heresy in religion.

 

The Bible arguably hasn't changed for a few hundred years now (although, I guess you can say we've added a few more versions of it since then) but the way it gets interpretted does. In the Dark Ages, the bible was taken so literally, that people decided to execute witches and heretics in the inquisition. Nowadays, while the text itself is unchanged, we instead argue about whether the world was "really created in seven days" but understand that instructions on beating slaves isn't appropriate behaviour. The text of Jesus instructing how to beat a slave is still there - just like it was 1000 years ago - we just choose to gloss over it.

 

---

 

My personal opinion? I think the major three monothesitic religions, and Hinduism aren't going anywhere. You combine all four of them, and you have a group of about 4.1 billion people. That's two-thirds of the planet. There is no possible way that you can change the minds and offspring of 4.1 billion people even within a timeframe like a millenium.

 

Will science ever triumph over religion? No -- because people have an absurd need for a "complete" answer. And religion hands it to them, no matter how ignorant or wrong that message may be.

 

While I don't see the human race ending in my lifetime, I have serious doubts that we'll be here in 1000 years. At our current rate of consumption, we'll have tapped the planet dry long before then.

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Hi SDR,

 

Welcome to Ex-C! Thanks for the great post!

Hope to read more from you!

 

Taph

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While I agree with many people here, I'd like to point out an amusing point all of you seemed to have glossed over - religion doesn't evolve. Opinions about religion evolve. Religion is the antithesis of change. Change is heresy in religion.

 

The Bible arguably hasn't changed for a few hundred years now (although, I guess you can say we've added a few more versions of it since then) but the way it gets interpretted does. In the Dark Ages, the bible was taken so literally, that people decided to execute witches and heretics in the inquisition. Nowadays, while the text itself is unchanged, we instead argue about whether the world was "really created in seven days" but understand that instructions on beating slaves isn't appropriate behaviour. The text of Jesus instructing how to beat a slave is still there - just like it was 1000 years ago - we just choose to gloss over it.

 

---

 

My personal opinion? I think the major three monothesitic religions, and Hinduism aren't going anywhere. You combine all four of them, and you have a group of about 4.1 billion people. That's two-thirds of the planet. There is no possible way that you can change the minds and offspring of 4.1 billion people even within a timeframe like a millenium.

 

Will science ever triumph over religion? No -- because people have an absurd need for a "complete" answer. And religion hands it to them, no matter how ignorant or wrong that message may be.

 

:rolleyes: Bitter, are we?

 

That is vastly uninformed (to say the least).

 

The fact that religion does exist in a changing world shows its tenacity. Religion DOES change. In the first couple hundred years of Christianity it changed into something its founders probably would have found unrecognizable. From there it went on to the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern variations of those who wish to return to the past (fundamentalists) and those who wish to look to the future (liberal Christians).

 

Of course you could always say that liberal Christians or progressive Hindus aren't REAL Christians or Hindus, because they do not fit your own prejudiced idea of what a Christian or Hindu MUST be in order for you to carry your prejudice against them. Fine, if you have an absurd need to carry a grudge.

 

Religions across the planet are constantly in a state of flux, just as everything else. Buddhism came from a deeply skeptical origin to the messianic modern sects found in China, Japan, and Korea. Judaism has been altered so much to meet changing conditions that two Jews, while still steadfastly believing in the same religion (not even counting the so-called "cultural Jews"), yet have entirely different bases of faith and practice. An Orthodox Jew can follow laws that even a Conservative may never have even heard of, yet both worship the same God.

 

Of course Christianity and even more so Islam have brought on the strongest opposition to development through time, but even many Muslims today are starting to admit that it's probably more in line with God's will to live peacefully in a melting-pot world than to force converts by the sword. Sometimes and often, religions die out and are replaced, such as, for example, the pagan religions of Greece and Egypt, which were overtaken by Christianity (and, in Egypt's case, later Islam). Often these long-forgotten religions are taken up again years after their supposed demise, like the modern pagan groups and the African gods worshiped by some blacks in the US after Christianity's spread in Africa itself. It is a matter of course that these religions change. Because nobody nowadays thinks it's proper to sacrifice a goat to Athena.

 

Within any society, and any facet within that society (the sexes and their definitions and roles, religion, politics, age, economics, moral values, etc.) have two factors: that of stabilization and that of change. Stabilization is that which seeks to retain the status quo. At the extreme of stabilization there is that element which seeks to return to a previous way of life. Change is that which seeks adaptation which it sees as neccessary to grow within what it perceives as a new situation. Like a yin and yang, both these elements are neccessary to an extent in any society and yet often at odds with each other. This isn't drippy blather but an established fact of sociology.

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I think Jesus will go the way of Zeus, Isis, Odin, and all of those other dieties...To World Literature Classes to be studied for college credit.

 

Presently, it is so indoctrinated into our culture that It won't go anywhere right now...But it will fade. People, even the dumb fundies, will evolve...

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Using history as a guide, I would hazard these few predictions-

 

Religion will never be eradicated. It will always exist in some form unless humans evolve appreciably and our basic nature is altered.

 

Religion will, as it always has, evolve. All religions have and continue to do so. Christianity, for example, was very different in, say, 150 C.E., or in 1000 C.E., and is quite different today. Whether they will evolve into something worse or something better depends on too many variables.

 

Religion will both benefit and impede mankind. All major religions (and several minor ones) have produced demonstrably positive effects. They have also all unleashed their fair share of atrocities and diabolical personalities.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself. :)

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  • 1 year later...
While I agree with many people here, I'd like to point out an amusing point all of you seemed to have glossed over - religion doesn't evolve. Opinions about religion evolve. Religion is the antithesis of change. Change is heresy in religion.

 

The Bible arguably hasn't changed for a few hundred years now (although, I guess you can say we've added a few more versions of it since then) but the way it gets interpretted does. .

Welcome to the forums! I disagree that religion doesn't change. You don't need to look much further than the history of chapter 16 of the Gospel Of Mark to see how much the bible has changed over the years. Who's to say that a 1000 years from now we won't have another modern day Council of Nicaea who will vote to canonize the Secret Gospel Of Mark or the Gospel Of Mary, and remove all scriptural references that preach against homosexuality and suppression of women, and create a new bible canon while the current one dies out. If an entire chapter of a bible can be removed but later added in, I don't think it's entirely impossible for other parts of the scripture to literally be changed over time. I think it just depends on whatever is accepted by popular vote at the time because after all, religion is made by humanity, not the other way around. Thomas Jefferson even attempted something similar to this with his own bible canon by removing the supernatural elements, but it never quite caught on. But just imagine what things could have been like if it did. As for the fate of religion, I think as long as people fear the unknown, and as long as the purpose of religion is to fill that need to know the unknown, religion will never completely go away. But I think the more science reveals that religion couldn't, the less parts of our lives we'll need religion to explain for us and I think religion will evolve as more is discovered by science. And I think whether or not Christianity survives depends on how much Christianity can keep up with explaining what science can't. Of course, it also probably depends on how willfully ignorant xtians are and how afraid of change they are, but if that recent survey that shows more adults are leaving their childhood religions behind is to be believed, maybe there's still some hope for humanity.
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I disagree that religion doesn't change. You don't need to look much further than the history of chapter 16 of the Gospel Of Mark to see how much the bible has changed over the years.

I agree, religion defeinitely evolves, just like everything else does. Especially if one makes a blanket statement about "religion" meaning all religions and not just one specific religion. For example both Christianity and Islam evolved from Judaism, probably mixed in with a little ancient egyptian and other religions thrown in for good measure. From Christianity you have other variations of core doctrine that have evolved over time: mormonism, calvinism, etc., not to mention all the differing denominations of Christianity. I think the only way someone could claim that religion doesn't evolve (which religion??), is if they believe in god and that one of those religions are true and will stay the same forever because "god" is going to see that it does.

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In the past forty years, I've seen so many changes in the Old Order Mennonite community where I was born that saying religion never changes seems like talking into the wind. Yet the Old Order Mennonites are known to outsiders as people who never change. The same can probably be said of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet it, too, has changed so much in the past forty years that some of my generation have left because of the changes. Sweeping changes following the Second Vatican, for example, caused major concern for a lot of people, as I am sure some members here at exC can attest. Even though birth control is forbidden, RCC family size in Western countries has shrunk dramatically in the same time frame.

 

Maybe some people will say theology or religion is not related with things like family size, beards, and shaving. Think about where the religious church rules come from. People think God says this or that, so the church makes rules about it. That raises otherwise neutral items like birth control and shaving/not-shaving to the level of moral issues related to eternal salvation. For that reason, when religion changes, so does society. Or is it the other way around? This is a classical chicken and egg argument; the two are definitely related and changes happen all the time. Regardless of which one influences the other religion changes and evolves. Will it ever go away?

 

I think so, but I would give it another thousand years to be relegated to history footnotes and lectures. And a millennia is such a massive amount of time--I won't hold my breath to see if my prediction is right or not. I think that is what I predicted some time ago and I might as well stick to my story.

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