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Future of Religion Hypothesis.. Do you agree?

Proving_a_Negative
Posts: 88
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5/24/2015 9:40:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Religion has changed dramatically over time. This is my opinion on the subject. God has been used to explain scientifically unexplained phenomena and for power. At first, some people would proclaim that they are god or a messenger for god. There were also religions that explained why the sun revolves around the earth, what lightning comes from, and other little details. Just look at the list of Greek gods. These gods had very descriptive attributes. Examples are appearance, behavior, family, power, name, and more. Usually, these religions were polytheistic. Over time, these religions dissipated since they were easy to disprove.

Now, we have religions that are much more generic. They are normally monotheistic, have an incredibly generic god, and their god is credited with very little. God is commonly used as a way of explaining the origin of the universe and the existence of life. It has become far more difficult to disprove these religions.

Overall, here is my hypothesis: As time goes on, religion will become less descriptive of their gods and credit their gods with less. Please let me know what you think. I might be just crazy because this is a subjective stance. This mostly comes from the theological "God of the Gaps" argument.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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5/24/2015 10:16:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 9:40:26 AM, Proving_a_Negative wrote:
The future of religion, in my opinion, actually depends mostly on sociocultural and socioeconomic factors rather than the state of technological prowess. Yes, religion will retreat from areas where it is clearly socially unacceptable to hold (for example, belief the Earth is the centre of the universe), but cognitive dissonance theory does a good job discribing how religion adapts and changes with external challenges.

In fact, there is a hypothesis that this is exactly how Christianity started - as a response to cognitive dissonance of the believers at the time, facts and beliefs were changed in order to achieve cognitive consonance without dropping their general pre-conceived beliefs. In the case of Christianity, it is proposed that the defeated Jesus was made into a victorious one by this very process.

Similarly, religion will just continue to change and adapt - seemingly regardless of how much dissonance is thrown its way. Only secular education and environments, as well as high quality-of-life are really going to actually reduce religiosity. Which is pretty much the conditions we see in western environments, and less so in others.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/24/2015 10:42:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 9:40:26 AM, Proving_a_Negative wrote:
As time goes on, religion will become less descriptive of their gods and credit their gods with less.

The religious sector is staffed with professional and semiprofessional classes whose principal employment is to find ways to impress and gain influence over laiety. It supports a discipline called theology -- an academic pursuit with no independent intellectual accountability whose principle purpose is to interpret scripture and religious traditions in ways that support these claims to authority.

In this respect, religious institutions are hard to distinguish from tax-exempt communications organisations rewarded specifically for the influence and attention they are given. While their brand-value ebbs and flows, they have the incalculable benefit of having dictated the rituals and symbols around key life events for centuries, and of having accumulated vast properties and substantial privilege and political access intergenerationally.

Whatever their theology might become, it's hard to see that with these huge marketing and commercial advantages, some won't find -- by whatever cynical ploy -- ways to stay relevant.