The Religion of the Future
- My guess is that religion as we know it will be gone within two generations
(maybe 4 or 5 for the Islamic world, which is a little behind the rest).
- At least these four events will bring about this change even more rapidly than Western materialistic society has: gene therapy (that basically changes your DNA,
hence changes YOU), robotics (that will create automata that behave
exactly like us), cloning (that will multiply YOU), and the discovery
of life on other planets (that will probably make us rethink a lot of
things we take for granted about intelligent/conscious life).
I think all of them will take place within 50 years or so. After that,
humans will need a whole new way of thinking just like they needed a whole new way of thinking after Newton, Darwin and Einstein.
- Religion has traditionally been about a superior being to explain the
"mysteries" that our brain could not explain. The "mystery" has
been shifting (and mostly shrinking) as science
explained more and more phenomena.
- Ultimately, "mystery" always meant "human ignorance".
- Religion was truly about the inferior human being, not about the superior being.
- The religion of the future will have a different protagonist: not a superior being overseeing the universe, but simply our inferior brain and its inherent limitations in understanding the universe.
- Perhaps human ignorance has no ending, because there will always be a new "why?" that we cannot answer. The religion of the future might be the acceptance of the "cognitive closure" (the notions that the human brain just cannot comprehend, no matter what).
- The hidden assumption of religions has been that human life is somewhat extraordinary and special, but they did not offer a definition of "extraordinary".
- The laws of the universe don't change just because humans come and go. I never found a good definition of "ordinary" and "extraordinary". If the world is divided into the ordinary and the extraordinary, the problem is deciding which is which.