By James W. Astrada
The subject of religion is an all too familiar road many have taken almost their entire lives. The question of whether it causes more damage to humanity rather than helping it seems to have been answered. New studies conducted by bio-psychologist Nigel Barber has suggested that atheism (being so prominent in this day and age) has become the new staple in developing countries and will completely wipe out the sensationalist claims handed down by religion by 2041. Why it would take so long to do so can be simple. Humanity has a hard time letting things go even in the face of destroying it completely via logic, rationality, and reason. As humans, we built our lives, beliefs, and customs based on our cultural upbringing and know nothing else until we come into contact with another culture/ belief system.
For the sake of argument we can live our entire lives believing one thing even though evidence around us destroys our beliefs with facts, discoveries, and research. Our mind is so powerful in the way that at such a young age, we enter the stage where our development comes into play to learn how to deal and cope with the future. If wrong information based on fairytales and “interpretation” is fed to our psyche daily, eventually the mind learns to accept it. This is not to claim that the paranormal doesn’t exist, this is to explain that how we view the paranormal with demons, devils, and those willing to “take our souls” is not accurate. These kinds of primitive belief systems worked well during medieval times due to lack of information to the poor class and all of the power and rites giving to the ruling class. Without question, the king and priests could stamp their legacy based on messages from an invisible deity that only they had contact with. With the poor groveling in fear, the idea of questioning, rationalizing, or utilizing our mind’s ability to employ logic was nonexistent.
In modern times, it would be easy to blame the chaos around us on another invisible antagonist (the “devil”) for all of the wrong doing happening now, however, that would be adhering to victim consciousness: the lack of accepting responsibility. While Barber’s study focuses on the economic standpoint of where atheism is prevalent in developing countries (post-communist and Muslim), he suggests that eventually due to a high exposure to atheism, religion would finally become irrelevant by 2041.
While others believe that the idea of procreation based on religious beliefs keep mainstream religions highly populated enough to keep the religion going, this may not be entirely true. The idea that the “religious will inherit the earth” presented by Thomas Rees is not true, as we need to remind ourselves of the horrible history of the last 2500 years. Imagine the countless murder, torture, crimes, oppression, and genocide of many humans who did not share the beliefs of opposing forces. Observe what has taken place during the crusades, inquisition, Cashmere, the conquest of Latin America, etc…. Should we just write this off as ancient history? I think not, as we still engage in the same situations today. However with more aware individuals who are not afraid of these bullying religious groups who wish to relive their glory days of suppression of thought, information, emotions, and L/R/R (logic, reasoning & rationality).
What’s needed is a balanced perspective. Perhaps with a “live and let believe” policy, the world could move ahead, with freedom to be more open minded. Inclusive, rather than exclusive, maybe even uniting ourselves around some pretty basic ideas, like accepting and loving one another… much like the founding fathers of those religions told us to do.
Rebecca Savastio. “Religion to Disappear By 2041 Claims New Study.” Las Vegas Guardian Express (July 2013).
©Copyright 2013. James W. Astrada.