Would you accept the idea?
I think something like this will be for the better
40.7% (11)
40.7% (11)
It's a good idea ... but I prefer the talking snakes and the fire people
3.7% (1)
3.7% (1)
is a constant quest for god any different from what they're trying to do now?
48.1% (13)
48.1% (13)
no, our holy books are the word of god full stop.
7.4% (2)
7.4% (2)
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Poll: Religious Evolution

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Instead of Religion dying, what if somewhere down the line it evolved into something private and harmless? After some consideration about it being more genetic than anything else It's very unlikely that it'll actually die.

Instead of relying on all the older logic there came a new idea that there was something like a deity but it's alot more complex than what any "holy" book now can describe, kinda like theology with the athiest mindstate "We're no longer trying to claim that we know everything, we know nothing, all we can be sure of is the maker, and our sciences further our understanding of this being"

They don't like to preach or particularly even share the idea, they take the "if you can feel it you can, if you can't you can't" mindstate, with more peaceful passive views than anything else, no restrictions and no herecy.

What would you guys think of that kind of futureistic theology

It would certainly be for the better. The religions we have have already adapted significantly to be in the forms we now see them, of course, and it seems likely to continue in that direction.

The more vocal, hateful or violent veins of Christianity & Islam are already being disowned by the moderates, at least here in the West.

SsilverR:
"We're no longer trying to claim that we know everything, we know nothing, all we can be sure of is the maker, and our sciences further our understanding of this being"

Who would this appeal to? You are certain that a God exists, but can tell nothing about it? What's the point of such a deity? What need does it fulfill?

I cannot see this catching on.

SsilverR:
They don't like to preach or particularly even share the idea

In that case I really can't see it catching on. If they don't try to get new members of their religion, it'll quietly die off.

SsilverR:
no restrictions and no herecy

Then what's it for?

You look like you want to set up a religion based on not having a religion. If you don't want to have a religion, you can always not have a religion, that's what people do currently.

SsilverR:
Instead of Religion dying, what if somewhere down the line it evolved into something private and harmless?

This would be called "personal religion" which a lot of people, even those who also participate in the communal aspect of religion, already practice.

Instead of relying on all the older logic there came a new idea that there was something like a deity but it's alot more complex than what any "holy" book now can describe, kinda like theology with the athiest mindstate "We're no longer trying to claim that we know everything, we know nothing, all we can be sure of is the maker, and our sciences further our understanding of this being"

And this would be called "deism".

They don't like to preach or particularly even share the idea, they take the "if you can feel it you can, if you can't you can't" mindstate, with more peaceful passive views than anything else, no restrictions and no herecy.

What would you guys think of that kind of futureistic theology

I think it's exactly the same as what a lot of theists who are not fanatical about their beliefs have already been practicing for over two centuries. Many of America's founding fathers, for instance, were deists who treated their beliefs in exactly the way you describe.

thaluikhain:

SsilverR:
"We're no longer trying to claim that we know everything, we know nothing, all we can be sure of is the maker, and our sciences further our understanding of this being"

Who would this appeal to? You are certain that a God exists, but can tell nothing about it? What's the point of such a deity? What need does it fulfill?

I cannot see this catching on.

SsilverR:
They don't like to preach or particularly even share the idea

In that case I really can't see it catching on. If they don't try to get new members of their religion, it'll quietly die off.

SsilverR:
no restrictions and no herecy

Then what's it for?

You look like you want to set up a religion based on not having a religion. If you don't want to have a religion, you can always not have a religion, that's what people do currently.

1. It's stared a long time ago, never met someone who claims to be christian but doesn't like christianity?? they go by their own rules and cherry pick what they want their ideals to be and ignore the rest of the belief ... that's called "doing what works for you" since alot of humans tend to be more compatible with the idea of theology genetically.

2. what i'm suggesting is something completely new, we shouldn't try to associate what might be with what we currently know. A system like that isn't impossible ... there will be people who admit they believe in a deity/energy or some sort that either was the cause of creation or the creator itself, but we won't give it human traits and only persue the possibility of what it might be. psychologically it will allow alot of people to just get on with their lives with less worry (AKA the mental states who genetically need something like theology or they risk insanity or breakdown)

3. what is current religion for? people could argue control, in times where a guy can cut your head off and there's no cctv to save you, telling him he will burn forever and creating an overall power based on justice seems reasonable at the time.

I'm not trying to create a religion, I'm an Athiest and I'm discussing the possibilities of future style of religions that will be more compatible with current society, and will cause less problems.

As Silvanus said religions are already changing in places that demand a standard for social behaviour, more peaceful tennets are being focused on and some people forget parts of their holy books as if they never existed in the first place .... some people would call that a foundation for phase 1.

.... not that it's a plan lol

It's what's already happening in a lot of places: Religiosity being replaced with spirituality, religious fundamentalists being replaced with moderates who don't feel the need to enforce their rules on others, Literalism in decline with Deistic notions on the rise. Society will probably never be fully Atheistic but it doesn't have to be. We just need to get rid of those that would fight against a Secular, free, individualistic society. And it appears that we are doing just that slowly through societal change. No force required.

SsilverR:
1. It's stared a long time ago, never met someone who claims to be christian but doesn't like christianity?? they go by their own rules and cherry pick what they want their ideals to be and ignore the rest of the belief ... that's called "doing what works for you" since alot of humans tend to be more compatible with the idea of theology genetically.

Aren't all Christian sects based on cherry-picking, though? Isn't that the point, you or your group decides what bits are important and discards the rest?

SsilverR:
2. what i'm suggesting is something completely new, we shouldn't try to associate what might be with what we currently know. A system like that isn't impossible ... there will be people who admit they believe in a deity/energy or some sort that either was the cause of creation or the creator itself, but we won't give it human traits and only persue the possibility of what it might be. psychologically it will allow alot of people to just get on with their lives with less worry (AKA the mental states who genetically need something like theology or they risk insanity or breakdown)

Ah, so you are saying that, at least for some, there is an innate need for belief in something larger than themselves, and you are trying to fill that with a harmless and powerless deity? I don't think that would work.

Now, I accept that people generally need to venerate and generally obsess over something, and that throughout most of history it was usually a deity of some kind. But take that away and people start venerating (to some extent) kings or celebrities or ancestor figures. Cults of personality developed around Mao and Stalin, for example.

I don't think an empty, meaningless deity is going to fill that need.

SsilverR:
3. what is current religion for?

Any number of things. Your idea seems to have no content whatsoever, so really can't be for anything. It can't control or teach or comfort or explain anything.

This has already been done; the Scientific Revolution was partly this. Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, and Darwin all firmly believed in God and were trying to reconcile Biblical truth with empirical truth. So were many of the scientists who looked up to them. Up until somewhere in the late 1800s or early (maybe mid) 1900s, western mainstream science was largely an attempt to fill in the gaps left by the Bible or to corroborate what the Bible said. I find it sad that this was the case; reluctance to abandon this adherence to the Bible as an assumed truth wasted centuries of time, incredible amounts of effort, no small amount of money, and the genius of some of the most brilliant people who ever lived.

But yeah, to answer your question, it has already been done, and while science research itself is pretty much clear of it now, many nonscientists, and some scientists, have yet to fully make the transition.

McMullen:
Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, and Darwin all firmly believed in God and were trying to reconcile Biblical truth with empirical truth.

Darwin was a Christian in his earlier life (up to and including his time on the Beagle in the 1830s), but he gave up his religious belief over time.

Charles Darwin, Letter to Down Beckenham, 1879:
"I think that generally (& more and more so as I grow older) but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind".

Charles Darwin, 1887:
"By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation".

Charles Darwin, 1887:
"I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine".

Charles Darwin, 1888:
"I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind".

Religious microevolution maybe but religion can only change inside its kind, religious macroevolution has never been proven to be able to happen. Or where you there when the Jews and the Christians split? Didn't think so.
Check and mate, mate.

This is basically already happening. Christianity has changed much from 1000 years ago. Religion does not encompass peoples lives nearly as much now as it did back then. Take an average Christian from this age and send s/he back to medieval times and they would probably be burned at the stake as a heretic (especially if they are Protestant).

Most of the people I know are Christians. Do you know how many of them regularly attend church? One. I realize that is anecdotal evidence, but such a thing would be unheard of not so long ago in the US.

That said, this is something that is going to take centuries.

Zeconte:

SsilverR:
Instead of Religion dying, what if somewhere down the line it evolved into something private and harmless?

This would be called "personal religion" which a lot of people, even those who also participate in the communal aspect of religion, already practice.

Instead of relying on all the older logic there came a new idea that there was something like a deity but it's alot more complex than what any "holy" book now can describe, kinda like theology with the athiest mindstate "We're no longer trying to claim that we know everything, we know nothing, all we can be sure of is the maker, and our sciences further our understanding of this being"

And this would be called "deism".

They don't like to preach or particularly even share the idea, they take the "if you can feel it you can, if you can't you can't" mindstate, with more peaceful passive views than anything else, no restrictions and no herecy.

What would you guys think of that kind of futureistic theology

I think it's exactly the same as what a lot of theists who are not fanatical about their beliefs have already been practicing for over two centuries. Many of America's founding fathers, for instance, were deists who treated their beliefs in exactly the way you describe.

Zeconte nailed this. This reply is spot on.

As to the OP, religion will not die, nor will it evolve. No mere change in form can save the outdated substance of our Bronze Age ideologies. Religion can, however, revolve into something new, something far more meaningful to our information age. The challenge is to find moral guidance in a unified theory of mega phenomena. By mega phenomena I mean gravity, dark matter, dark energy, black holes, time dilation, time itself --- the arrow of time, entropy, and evolution.

I'm not religious in the sense you have in mind, but I almost voted for "no, our holy book(s) are the word of God full stop", because that's really how I think any truly pious believer should think - and I can respect that strong, directed conviction a hell of a lot more than I can some wishy-washy, incoherent, politically correct mix between science and religion.

Anyway, the picture of religion not having changed since antiquity is historically untenable; actually it has been changing quite a bit. Philosophy and religion were once one and the same thing; then they became distinct, but still are intimately related to one another, such that one can say unironically that philosophy proper and religion proper are still one and the same (and if the relevance of this point isn't clear enough, let me remind you that philosophy is generally considered a 'secular' enterprise today, and rightly so).

Institutionalized religion might die, but religion proper won't - and shouldn't - at least, not anytime soon.

TWRule:
I'm not religious in the sense you have in mind, but I almost voted for "no, our holy book(s) are the word of God full stop", because that's really what I think any truly pious believer should think - and I can respect that strong, directed conviction a hell of a lot more than I can some wishy-washy, incoherent, politically correct mix between science and religion.

Anyway, the picture of religion not having changed since antiquity is historically untenable; actually it has been changing quite a bit. Philosophy and religion were once one and the same thing; then they became distinct, but still are intimately related to one another, such that one can say unironically that philosophy proper and religion proper are still one and the same (and if the relevance of this point isn't clear enough, let me remind you that philosophy is generally considered a 'secular' enterprise today, and rightly so).

Institutionalized religion might die, but religion proper won't - and shouldn't - at least, not anytime soon.

I completely agree. I can respect anyone who actually acts according to their beliefs. Saying "I believe in a god in some kind but I don't let it influence my life" is being dishonest to yourself. You can either accept atheism and live with the existential dread, or accept theism and follow it's laws.

I also think the picture of religion painted is often way to negative. There are and have been Millions upon Millions of people on earth who religion has helped to live a happy and fulfilled life. Religious organizations treat ill people and feed the poor. They console those that have lost loved ones and can offer a healthy community. The central tenants of most religions, including the ten commandments, are actually really good basic rules for a society.

There might be nothing "divine" about religion, but neither is organized religion the devil. It's just that religions are potentially very powerfull, and power is dangerous in the hands of men.

I think people are more likely to become non-religious than be satisfied with a sanitised or watered-down version of their religion. I've been hearing a lot recently that atheism is growing in support, the orthodox/fundamentalist sects are doing fine, but the moderate middle is losing ground. By trying to appeal to everybody, and by trying to marry together scripture, science and pop culture, they end up becoming the kind of painfully inoffensive, bland mush that doesn't hold anybody's attention for very long.

TWRule:
I'm not religious in the sense you have in mind, but I almost voted for "no, our holy book(s) are the word of God full stop", because that's really how I think any truly pious believer should think - and I can respect that strong, directed conviction a hell of a lot more than I can some wishy-washy, incoherent, politically correct mix between science and religion.

Does that include following the laws on, say, not wearing clothes of more than one fabric? What about the gospels left out of the Bible, in which Jesus makes a snake explode-- do believers have to believe in them, too?

You'll never find a believer who believes every word, or follows every law.

SsilverR:
After some consideration about it being more genetic than anything else It's very unlikely that it'll actually die.

Why do people insist so much that it's genetic? It just comforts people. Most of us are afraid of death (even if we don't admit it) - religion is the answer. A lot of us don't see any meaning to life - religion is the answer.
It's already dying out but it will take a few generastions. It's a slow process.

Instead of relying on all the older logic there came a new idea that there was something like a deity but it's alot more complex than what any "holy" book now can describe, kinda like theology with the athiest mindstate "We're no longer trying to claim that we know everything, we know nothing, all we can be sure of is the maker, and our sciences further our understanding of this being"

They don't like to preach or particularly even share the idea, they take the "if you can feel it you can, if you can't you can't" mindstate, with more peaceful passive views than anything else, no restrictions and no herecy.

How can there be any structure if there aren't any rules?
Also, everything is competitive. There are so many things you can turn towards, so many things you can invest yourself in. The better the PR, the more followers you'll get.
Your idea basically says: "We don't know aything. You can join us but you don't have to. We'll be in that corner over there if you'll need us." Does that sound appealing to you? Would you join such an "organization"?

HardkorSB:

SsilverR:
After some consideration about it being more genetic than anything else It's very unlikely that it'll actually die.

Why do people insist so much that it's genetic?

It's easy to assume that anyone who thinks differently from oneself is just wired differently/wrong, and not that if they'd had the same upbringing they'd think the same.

Also, it's popular to assume that the way things are is the way things always would and could be.

Holy hemorrhoids, I've been doing that for YEARS. Like...seven of them. I always wondered what Rob meant when he called me a Deist.

Good to know I'm on the winning side of history. Huzzah.

Silvanus:

TWRule:
I'm not religious in the sense you have in mind, but I almost voted for "no, our holy book(s) are the word of God full stop", because that's really how I think any truly pious believer should think - and I can respect that strong, directed conviction a hell of a lot more than I can some wishy-washy, incoherent, politically correct mix between science and religion.

Does that include following the laws on, say, not wearing clothes of more than one fabric? What about the gospels left out of the Bible, in which Jesus makes a snake explode-- do believers have to believe in them, too?

You'll never find a believer who believes every word, or follows every law.

There are fundamentalists who make it their business to believe every word and follow every law, but I was including those who work from a non-literal interpretation of scripture as well (and/or not necessarily recognizing all books as legitimate), so long as their means of interpretation isn't in conflict with their faith, and their interpretations are motivated by said faith, not political or other reasons.

TWRule:

There are fundamentalists who make it their business to believe every word and follow every law, but I was including those who work from a non-literal interpretation of scripture as well (and/or not necessarily recognizing all books as legitimate), so long as their means of interpretation isn't in conflict with their faith, and their interpretations are motivated by said faith, not political or other reasons.

And where do you draw the line between those reasonable interpreters you describe above, and those who follow (what you termed) a "wishy-washy, incoherent... mix between science and religion"?

Because, of course, almost any moderate would consider themselves to be following a reasonable interpretation.

Third-eye:
Religion can, however, revolve into something new, something far more meaningful to our information age. The challenge is to find moral guidance in a unified theory of mega phenomena. By mega phenomena I mean gravity, dark matter, dark energy, black holes, time dilation, time itself --- the arrow of time, entropy, and evolution.

Why should any of that be an object of moral guidance? I don't see it.

Silvanus:
And where do you draw the line between those reasonable interpreters you describe above, and those who follow (what you termed) a "wishy-washy, incoherent... mix between science and religion"?

Because, of course, almost any moderate would consider themselves to be following a reasonable interpretation.

Indeed. In fact, a lot of moderates who argue for, say, gay marriage etc. think that Jesus would love everybody and would want everybody to be happy, that gay marriage would perhaps not be in concert with the letter of the Bible but absolutely in concert with the meaning of Jesus' existence, life and teachings. In my book? Much preferable to any Literalist idiots talking everything at face value, even stuff written thousands of years ago for a society so very different and more barbaric than ours.

Seanchaidh:

Third-eye:
Religion can, however, revolve into something new, something far more meaningful to our information age. The challenge is to find moral guidance in a unified theory of mega phenomena. By mega phenomena I mean gravity, dark matter, dark energy, black holes, time dilation, time itself --- the arrow of time, entropy, and evolution.

Why should any of that be an object of moral guidance? I don't see it.

Well, that's the thing about religion. It drives its moral guidance from an external source. The old Bronze Age religions have it that morality comes from God(s), or the creator. Over time it shifted a bit among some believers to the first mover or watchmaker (deists). Whatever; the essence is the same: moral guidance comes from outside the self.

This is seen as a higher form of guidance. Since it's outside the self its objective, universal, and eternal. Moral guidance based on an individuals beliefs, philosophies, or a "personal code" are subjective, specific, and malleable, and, therefore, deficient. Then there's the middle ground of moral guidance based on societal norms, customs, and law. These too are somewhat transient and tribal, and, therefore, again, deficient.

Religion teaches that man is part of nature, that there is a correction with universe, and this is reflected in religious moral teaching. Unfortunately the source of this teaching is some book(s) supposedly, written either under divine inspiration or, better yet, with direct participation from the big guy him/her/it self. And that's just the start of the problems. But the notion of the cosmic connection is emotional and rooted deep in the human psyche. That's one of the reasons why so many today, in this information age, still cling to the old Bronze Age religions.

And that's the thing about those mega phenomena I listed (and have listed). They are clearly our best clues as to what's really going on in the universe, and they hold the promise of renewing that connection. We need to study those clues to divine the message(s) they hold. Some say it's impossible, that we will never know the secrets of the universe, but people used to say other things we find silly today, like man will never fly, or man will never walk on the moon. Like those problems, all it will take is dedication, perseverance, and hard work.

The time is right. The old Bronze Age religions are well past their prime. A new age is upon us and with it the need for a new religion. Its not evolution its revolution.

I don't think anyone actually wants religion to die. They just want the one's they don't believe to not effect their lives. The more laws that are put in place based on secular reason, the closer we are to making everyone happy.

Silvanus:

TWRule:

There are fundamentalists who make it their business to believe every word and follow every law, but I was including those who work from a non-literal interpretation of scripture as well (and/or not necessarily recognizing all books as legitimate), so long as their means of interpretation isn't in conflict with their faith, and their interpretations are motivated by said faith, not political or other reasons.

And where do you draw the line between those reasonable interpreters you describe above, and those who follow (what you termed) a "wishy-washy, incoherent... mix between science and religion"?

Because, of course, almost any moderate would consider themselves to be following a reasonable interpretation.

I would judge based on the sort of conviction (or lack-thereof) they display in how they live. If they have a sense of over-arching direction in their lives which their way of life is determined by (and usually it's not difficult to tell when they do, especially with how they talk about their faith), then I'm less inclined to think they have just chosen arbitrarily from the buffet of possible opinions in a compartmentalized thought process.

I'd also press those people on the logical conclusions of their commitments to test their views for self-consistency.

Shadowstar38:
I don't think anyone actually wants religion to die. They just want the one's they don't believe to not effect their lives. The more laws that are put in place based on secular reason, the closer we are to making everyone happy.

I actually want religion to die. Independently of whether it affects my life, I'd rather no-one on Earth believe in a deity or the supernatural, because I'm convinced that such beliefs are false, and I prefer for people to not have false beliefs.

Rowan93:

Shadowstar38:
I don't think anyone actually wants religion to die. They just want the one's they don't believe to not effect their lives. The more laws that are put in place based on secular reason, the closer we are to making everyone happy.

I actually want religion to die. Independently of whether it affects my life, I'd rather no-one on Earth believe in a deity or the supernatural, because I'm convinced that such beliefs are false, and I prefer for people to not have false beliefs.

Religion doesn't need a deity or the supernatural, only faith that the universe's natural laws have a moral aspect and can give guidance on issues of good and evil.

Rowan93:

Shadowstar38:
I don't think anyone actually wants religion to die. They just want the one's they don't believe to not effect their lives. The more laws that are put in place based on secular reason, the closer we are to making everyone happy.

I actually want religion to die. Independently of whether it affects my life, I'd rather no-one on Earth believe in a deity or the supernatural, because I'm convinced that such beliefs are false, and I prefer for people to not have false beliefs.

Not every religion has a supernatural component.

Either way, I think that's as silly as wishing no one on Earth had opposing political stances.

Religions are memes (analogous to genes); they have always been evolving and adapting. It's not unlike how life evolves.


(Lecture starts at 2:20)

Edit:
Here's another very relevant video:

I think Daniel Dennett's idea is good: A religion that can survive in an enlightened society, where everybody has been taught about the historical origins and belief systems of every major religion, would be a benign religion.

If it means I don't have to see another news story about how people think 'God hates fags' then I'm all for it.

I think that the story science is slowly discovering can be a massive reservoir of spirituality, if only we knew how to tap into that.

Third-eye:

Rowan93:

Shadowstar38:
I don't think anyone actually wants religion to die. They just want the one's they don't believe to not effect their lives. The more laws that are put in place based on secular reason, the closer we are to making everyone happy.

I actually want religion to die. Independently of whether it affects my life, I'd rather no-one on Earth believe in a deity or the supernatural, because I'm convinced that such beliefs are false, and I prefer for people to not have false beliefs.

Religion doesn't need a deity or the supernatural, only faith that the universe's natural laws have a moral aspect and can give guidance on issues of good and evil.

That strikes me as even more obviously false than the existence of souls.

Shadowstar38:
Not every religion has a supernatural component.

I have other problems with religion, but for edge cases like the ones without supernatural components (can you name three?) the definition of "religion" gets vague so could you clarify what you mean by the word?

Either way, I think that's as silly as wishing no one on Earth had opposing political stances.

Well, no, I think it's more analogous to wishing everyone on Earth agreed on a specific political issue so that we could move on and deal with more important things. Which isn't that difficult: For instance, almost everyone agrees that hereditary absolute monarchies are a bad idea, and it's not at all implausible that at some point in the future that'll be something everyone on Earth agrees on.

Religion Adapts to Reality - Geography, Lifestyle, Culture, Language, etc. Therefore I strongly believe it has and will change in the future as time goes on and our lives change more. I don't see it happening in the near future, but nothing is certain except for death.

Rowan93:

I actually want religion to die. Independently of whether it affects my life, I'd rather no-one on Earth believe in a deity or the supernatural, because I'm convinced that such beliefs are false, and I prefer for people to not have false beliefs.

How can we ever know the truth? Atheists and theists alike proclaim they know, but truth is nobody knows.

What is the universe? Where did it come from? What is outside? Is there an outside? Are there more then one?
What happens in a black hole?
What is up with the wave-particle duality?
Why does an observer change the way reality behaves?
Life seems to be purely chemical, but how many chemical reactions have you heard of that can contemplate itself?
What on earth is time? How is it possible that it runs at different speeds in the cosmos? How can anything have happened before time?

So many things we do not know, and may never know. Do not assume that you know creation, for both atheists and theists are as much in the dark as everybody else.

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