The Future of Religion

Lawrence Krauss is a pretty smart guy.  He is to dark matter what Columbus is to America.  He has written  books  about  the  origins  of the Universe.  He is well informed on topics both scientific and theological.  So, when he speaks, I listen.lawrence krauss

But, I think he’s wrong about this.  He’s saying that religion will be extinct within one generation.  I’m not at all a religious person, I’m probably just  about as much an atheist as Krauss or Dawkins.  I’m not saying it would be a bad thing if religion disappeared, I’m not saying what I think should happen, I’m just saying what I think WILL happen.

Also, even if it were to happen, I don’t think it would change the world that much.  Christian Fundamentalists, if you took their Christian Fundamentalism away, would still be crazy people who want to dictate how other people live their lives, puritanical about sex, and loudly proclaiming something.  Islamic fundamentalists, minus Islam, would not necessarily embrace western styles and give equal rights to women.  They’d find some other justification, but keep on doing the same old shit.

But  I don’t think it will happen.  Sure, science will continue to roll back the curtains that hide the inner workings of the universe from us, and we will see farther and clearer than any generation before.  At least, those of us who pay attention to those  kind of things will.  But, there are still more people who go to church  than watch the  Discovery Channel, and they are not going to be convinced by mere logic.

People like their religion.  Church is a place of social networking.  Also, having something to believe in, illusory as it might be, can make life seem a bit less  complex.

I think it more likely that religion in the future  will continue to morph, and liberalize.  Nobody’s burned any witches (at least not in the west) for  several generations now.  Most religious people are not fundamentalist nut cases.  I think it far more likely that religion will evolve into something  else, but they’ll still call it religion.

If it’s going to go extinct, it will certainly take longer than one generation.



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