A future with no religion possible?

Someone asked me if I thought the future would be better without religion and I don’t think it is possible to have that sort of a future. I think that as humans its in our nature to be curious. We all have questions that we want answered and we will keep looking for the answers. My opinion is that religion is about questions and finding answers. For example one may want to know what their purpose in life is so they pray and often they reach their conclusion. That’s just one example there are a lot of other (probably less superficial) questions like perhaps Why am I? I find that no amount of science or math can tell us why we are so people look to faith and discover why on their own. I think that as long as we ask those questions religion will never cease to exist.

I am not too experienced when it comes to the world (trust me I am practically a child still) so I would really love to hear other people’s thoughts.

Current thinking in the anthropology of religion says that you are probably right: religion has been around longer than civilisation, possibly longer than farming, and shows no sign of disappearing. Further, its benefits (public schools, universities, hospitals, preservation of knowledge, etc) suggest that its absence would not be good, and the absolute failure of communist states to demonstrate that “no religion too” means “all the people living life in peace” gives us no cause to assume that religious wars are caused by the religions.

So, it most likely will not disappear, and it most likely would not be good for it to do so.

It’s been tried before it. The communists in Russia tried to produce a country with no religion with all their means, including for example through schools promoting atheism, and when communism fell, religion remained. It was tried even harder in Albania, for example. That country also did not become a country with no religion.

Technically speaking, I think it is possible to have a future with no religion. What I don’t think is possible is for there to be a future without spirituality. That is, religion is a formal, communal spiritual system. It’s possible not to have that. But I can’t see human beings having no spiritual longings (which may bring back religion), at least as long as we are human beings.

In fact, I’d consider it an essential part of the human being. If mankind really turns away from spirituality, then it has to be a fundamentally different “mankind” than what has existed until now.

That is a neat point about the benefits of religion and how it brought a great deal of benefits to the world :slight_smile: thank you for the input.

No such future is possible. The gates of hell shall not prevail, after all. :coffeeread:

There are other things that could be added to the list as well; human dignity, scientific method, law, art, music… Try to imagine a world without Christianity. As others have said, all we need to do is look at cultures and nations without religion. They have to wall their citizens in just to keep them.

It’s possible but it would be a radically different world. Without the Mystical, religious or spiritual all that is left is the pragmatic and search of fulfilment in the world. A world like that would be something quite different than what we are used to.

If I were to judge what that world would be like, I think modern secularism gives us a picture of that.

It all depends how you define religion right-different than a Philosophy

-if you mean an organized structure consisting of core beliefs - rituals, supreme being or beings- ultimate judgment - then I think it is a toss up-but it will take hundreds of years

rituals will fade with time ( Roman Catholic -remember Supreme High Mass-and High Mass-Reconciliation) or Rite 1 in the Episcopal Church

I think that we are safe from having no religion as the true believers of many sects such as Islam , Roman catholicism and the Orthodox are still numerous

God may be redefined over the centuries a favorite in my Church is “God is Love”

when people say God is Love and thus will always be-my response is what’s the point without a judgment

The huge numbers of people who are religious is pretty big.

So I don’t think it will die out. Especially with Islamic states.

Or humanity turns to something fundamentally unlike what we’ve heretofore called “spirituality” – something like what’s alluded to in When God Is Gone Everything Is Holy.

If you look at the record, the reality is that the Abrahamic based religions get more air time now than ever. If the attached link is anything to go by, Christianity and Islam account for about 53% of the world’s population.

Atheism and “no religion” are about 15%.

Of the other religions, Hinduism is about 15%, predominantly Indian. Buddhism is about 6%, with the remainder taking up the remaining 11%.

The way I see things, the Abrahamic faiths are taking centre stage at the moment, largely due to the Moslems. Abraham’s “physical” descendants, the Jews, might be small in number, but they’re right up there in the thick of things at the moment.

Somehow I don’t think the Abrahamic God is going to allow Himself to be pushed off the stage that easily, and any consideration of a future without religion is somewhat premature. The way I see it, the current growing conflict between Islam and the West is God’s backdoor way of making sure we don’t forget His baleful presence.

I have not read the book, so I cannot comment on it, but I can reply to your comment based on my understanding. I didn’t limit the definition of “spirituality”. I would include Native American spirituality there too, not just the Catholic type.

But the book description sounds a lot like its describing pantheism- as in, “everything is God” “Everything is Holy”. That sounds nice. And for a time I explored this perspective. But I find it faulty in that it presents too many problems from the get-go. I know a common expression is “Holy ****!”, but would you really consider human or animal waste holy? Would you put it up on display to venerate and worship?

I consider human and animal waste necessary and the product of a natural process which has a place in the environment (as fertilizer, etc.) And I consider the whole eco-system a wonderful testament to God. But not everything is holy. In fact, holy means to be “set apart”. How can we set everything apart? It is the same as not setting anything apart. If everything is holy, nothing is holy. The creation, as wonderful and good as it is, is not the purpose nor the creator.

I consider this a misunderstanding or a distortion of spirituality. Nevertheless, even this sort of spirituality manifests an inborn desire for the human being to give thanks and praise to God for the sake of God and for the sake of his wonderful creation.

Consider for a moment that this author’s depth of spiritual questioning is informed by his Catholic Christian upbringing. The only reason he has these spiritual insights that allow him to question to such a depth is because he was raised with Catholic awareness and sensibilities.

I am 60 years old. I have known and talked with a number of young people who were raised with no religion at all. They are completely incapable of formulating the kinds of questions or embarking on the kinds of spiritual quests that this author is on.

With no Christianity, this generation will be a collection of dullards with no ideology but pleasure and self-interest who will be easily controlled by whatever power deals out pleasure and self-interest.

Bread and circuses, anyone?

A nation without God is a nation of slaves. The founding fathers knew this well. Why don’t we?

Paul

Slaves of their sins and immoralities

Holy in the sense of something appealing to venerate and worship? No. Holy in the sense of something fascinating and frankly awe-inspiring in its mechanism and importance to life? Yes.

I consider human and animal waste necessary and the product of a natural process which has a place in the environment (as fertilizer, etc.) And I consider the whole eco-system a wonderful testament to God. But not everything is holy. In fact, holy means to be “set apart”. How can we set everything apart? It is the same as not setting anything apart. If everything is holy, nothing is holy. The creation, as wonderful and good as it is, is not the purpose nor the creator.

Raymo does write:

What a thing is matter! In the formulations of contemporary physics, matter is all vibration, resonance, and inexhaustible potentialities, a music of the cosmos. If this is matter, who needs the immaterial? Who requires a ghost in the machine when the machine itself is a thing of such infinite surprise? The greatest miracle is as close as my next breath.
*

I consider this a misunderstanding or a distortion of spirituality. Nevertheless, even this sort of spirituality manifests an inborn desire for the human being to give thanks and praise to God for the sake of God and for the sake of his wonderful creation.

You consider it a misunderstanding or a distortion because you are combining “spirituality” in the sense of supernaturalism with “spirituality” as the senses of awe, wonder, respect, and gratitude when we consider the universe and our lives. The point of the book is to tease apart those two ideas.

anyone who despises religion has an infantile understanding of what religion brings to our lives. For the most part, they attack the child’s view of God, that he is the sky daddy granting wishes if he feels like it.

I don’t like to play dictionary games with philosophical and theological concepts; those are superbly shallow definitions of both “holy” and “spirituality” that even the most basic understanding will put the lie to.

If you insist on defining both such that they are impossible without religion; then I concede the point - there is no future in which your definitions of holiness and spirituality will be understood, except if religion as you understand it also continues to exist.

Hopefully many others will be able to escape the demon-haunted world, and show you the way you missed.

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