This movie was by far my favorite of the three. There wasn’t actually anything I disagreed with this time. None of the religious conspiracy theories. I’m very impressed, I recommend you watch it.
Archive for the futurism Category
Why atheism will replace religion:
Why atheism grows faster than religion
Published on May 18, 2010
by Nigel Barber, Ph.D.
Atheists are heavily concentrated in economically developed countries, particularly the social democracies of Europe. In underdeveloped countries, there are virtually no atheists. Atheism is thus a peculiarly modern phenomenon. Why do modern conditions produce atheism?
First, as to the distribution of atheism in the world, a clear pattern can be discerned. In sub-Saharan Africa there is almost no atheism (Zuckerman, 2007). Belief in God declines in more developed countries and is concentrated in Europe in countries such as Sweden (64% nonbelievers), Denmark (48%), France (44%) and Germany (42%). In contrast, the incidence of atheism in most sub-Saharan countries is below 1%.
The question of why economically developed countries turn to atheism has been batted around by anthropologists for about eighty years. Anthropologist James Fraser proposed that scientific prediction and control of nature supplants religion as a means of controlling uncertainty in our lives. This hunch is supported by data showing that the more educated countries have higher levels of non belief and there are strong correlations between atheism and intelligence (see my earlier post on this).
Atheists are more likely to be college-educated people who live in cities and they are highly concentrated in the social democracies of Europe. Atheism thus blossoms amid affluence where most people feel economically secure. But why?
It seems that people turn to religion as a salve for the difficulties and uncertainties of their lives. In social democracies, there is less fear and uncertainty about the future because social welfare programs provide a safety net and better health care means that fewer people can expect to die young. People who are less vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature feel more in control of their lives and less in need of religion.
In addition to being the opium of the people (as Karl Marx contemptuously phrased it), religion may also promote fertility, particularly by promoting marriage, according to copious data reviewed by Sanderson (2008). Large families are preferred in agricultural countries as a source of free labor. In developed “atheist” countries, women have exceptionally small families and do not need religion helping them to raise large families.
Even the psychological functions of religion face stiff competition today. In modern societies, when people experience psychological difficulties they turn to their doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They want a scientific fix and prefer the real psychotropic medicines dished out by physicians to the metaphorical opiates offered by religion.
Moreover, sport psychologists find that sports spectatorship provides much the same kind of social, and spiritual, benefits as people obtain from church membership. In a previous post, I made the case that sports is replacing religion. Precisely the same argument can be made for other forms of entertainment with which spectators become deeply involved. Indeed, religion is striking back by trying to compete in popular media, such as televangelism and Christian rock and by hosting live secular entertainment in church.
The reasons that churches lose ground in developed countries can be summarized in market terms. First, with better science, and with government safety nets, and smaller families, there is less fear and uncertainty in people’s daily lives and hence less of a market for religion. At the same time many alternative products are being offered, such as psychotropic medicines and electronic entertainment that have fewer strings attached and that do not require slavish conformity to unscientific beliefs.
Sanderson, S. K. (2008). Adaptation, evolution, and religion. Religion, 38, 141-156.
Zuckerman, P. (2007). Atheism: Contemporary numbers and patterns. In M. Martin (ed.), The Cambridge companion to atheism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This book is not held by any U.S. Library.
Original Article: http://www.psychologytoday.com…
For a long time us nonreligious folk have been criticizing the ideas of heaven among the many religions and ascertaining that once we die our consciousnesses disappear and never return.
And certainly there is nothing to fear of this kind of end. No more suffering, you won’t even care at all. Yet it still gives you incentive to live.
But what if I told you there could actually be heaven waiting for us, without a need for a God, without religion, or spirituality? Do I have your attention?
Besides being a philosopher, political theorist and a party-animal, I also spend a great deal of time thinking about the future, more specifically the far future; I am a futurist.
Keep in mind this is all theoretical. It’s an idea of mine, not a belief. In-fact I don’t actually have any beliefs, only ideas.
There may come a day(and we are speaking farther in the future than you can imagine) in which we develop the technology to sustain our universe from being destroyed by whatever natural processes would threaten it. This would essentially give us unlimited time. If this is achieved I think it would be theoretically possible to develop technology capable of taking a “snapshot” of the universe. With this snap shot we would be able to see every single smallest piece that makes up the universe. If this is achieved we would then be able to use the data collected to hypothetically turn back the clocks and see every single happening in the history of the universe. This means seeing every creature to ever come into existence. At this point whatever grand life form it is that has this technology would then be able to decide whether to bring any of us back to life by reconstructing us from the data provided by the snapshot. With infinite time on their hands it would be expected that they would finally do this. We would all see each other again and live in the amazing new world we would encounter.