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← No religion and an end to war: how thinkers see the future

No religion and an end to war: how thinkers see the future - Comments

down_under's Avatar Comment 1 by down_under

A dream vision of the future......sadly though, I wonder how likley it really is

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 11:27:00 UTC | #13929

Cholmonedeley's Avatar Comment 2 by Cholmonedeley

I'm not sure that this:

"This final scientific enlightenment will deal an overdue death blow to religion and other juvenile superstitions."

will ever happen. A Theory of Everything, for one, seems to me to be beyond the reach of human knowledge. Every time we say we're onto it, another thing is discovered--Newtonian physics, then the Theory of Relativity, Quantum physics, String Theory, M-Theory--and then we say that we're finally almost onto the Grand Theory. In this layman's mind, there will be new things to take into consideration until the end of the human species through cataclysm.

Second, we'll never really get rid of faith: there are people who think that Harry Potter is a real person and Rand Al'Thor really is going to fight the Dark One in another few ages.

That's not to say neither pursuit is worth it, as we've come very far in science and in beating back the lions associated with religion in just a few hundred years of effort, but some things, like uncertainty about the true nature of reality and the human tendency for faith, seem to me to simply be inherent facets of our world.

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 11:43:00 UTC | #13933

Nazgul's Avatar Comment 3 by Nazgul

There's two type of people in the world: Optimist and Pessimist.

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 12:15:00 UTC | #13939

Frostbit's Avatar Comment 4 by Frostbit

Unfortunately, this is a pollyanna forecast.

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 13:39:00 UTC | #13950

JackR's Avatar Comment 5 by JackR

No, Nazgul. The two types of people in the world are those who divide people into two types and those who don't. :-)

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 13:56:00 UTC | #13956

down_under's Avatar Comment 6 by down_under

There are 3 types of people in this world;
Those who can count, and those who cant! ;-)

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 14:21:00 UTC | #13960

Nazgul's Avatar Comment 7 by Nazgul

Okay... there are ONE type of person in the world... rational ones. Just some of us chose to have the ON botton turned to OFF.

As far as me maybe being an Optimist, I just think that having a positive out-look about religion being diminished is better... especially on this site where some finatics may visit. If they read that WE even doubt our hopes, they may become more bias towards their faith.

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 14:44:00 UTC | #13963

TranshumanAtheist's Avatar Comment 8 by TranshumanAtheist

These forecasts make it sound like we'll turn into the Tollans from "Stargate SG-1."

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 18:08:00 UTC | #13974

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 9 by HappyPrimate

Anybody hear Rev. Pat Robertson's predictions for 2007? A nuclear terriorst attack no less. But he says he had been wrong before. In any event, the future is impossible to forecast and while we might work for one outcome (such as as outlined in the article) we may well be sadly disappointed. As a US citizen, I was astounded that we came so close to becoming a theocracy I could hardly breathe. I still am worried that we are not out of the woods yet. Should the planet suffer any sort of truly catostophic enviromental event, all civilized systems could break down. Read Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. We constantly walk a thin thread. As for me, I keep my fingers crossed, not that it will do any good.

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 19:00:00 UTC | #13978

raptur's Avatar Comment 10 by raptur

actually, there are 10 types of people in the world. those who understand binary, and those who don't.

*waits for groans*


Wed, 03 Jan 2007 19:11:00 UTC | #13980

LDmiller's Avatar Comment 11 by LDmiller


I want some of what these guys are smoking!

Even if the West met their rosy predictions, Islam is headed the other way. Knowing my fundie relatives, I don't see the future like these guys. They are waiting/hoping for Armageddon!

Significantly, Sam Harris is not on this list of dewy-eyed optimists.


Wed, 03 Jan 2007 21:34:00 UTC | #13990

MGBOY's Avatar Comment 12 by MGBOY

Actually there are two types of people in the world. Those with brains and no religion and those with religion and no brains.

Wed, 03 Jan 2007 23:17:00 UTC | #14002

Aussie's Avatar Comment 13 by Aussie

Optimist, Pessimist and Realist.

Thu, 04 Jan 2007 02:18:00 UTC | #14027

A-Leprechaunist's Avatar Comment 14 by A-Leprechaunist

I think there could be some sense in Pinker's optimism about a continuous downward-trend in violence.

We may not be able to eradicate the natural tendency in humans towards violence and superstition, but the information highway should make it near-impossible to organise large numbers of people under particular ideologies.

This ought to reduce the number of large-scale wars, which depend upon mobilisation through indoctrination, and chip away at organised religion.

Thu, 04 Jan 2007 02:24:00 UTC | #14029

Homo economicus's Avatar Comment 15 by Homo economicus

Ever seen past predictions by scientists? Not always right.

I remember the Financial Times once asked people to make predictions about the economy for the forthcoming year. The ones closest to reality were not the economists or financial accountants. It was the dustmen (refuse collectors).

Lets hope the evangelicals future is pie in the sky.

Thu, 04 Jan 2007 02:25:00 UTC | #14030

k1mgy's Avatar Comment 16 by k1mgy

>>The spread of information through the internet and mobile phones will "gently, irresistibly, undermine the mindsets requisite for religious fanaticism and intolerance".<<

Since we're into predictions now (Pat "chuckles" Robertson is off his meds) I see in the near future the Haggardists coming down hard against the use of mobile phones and computers.

A new day dawns for the Abacus and word of mouth.

Thu, 04 Jan 2007 03:55:00 UTC | #14038

Tinky Winky's Avatar Comment 17 by Tinky Winky

"within 25 years religion will command little of the awe it seems to instil today"

Thank God for that

Thu, 04 Jan 2007 04:34:00 UTC | #14043

baldywilson's Avatar Comment 18 by baldywilson

actually, there are 10 types of people in the world. those who understand binary, and those who don't.

I thought the 10 types of people in the world were those that understand binary, those that don't, and those that can distinguish binary from ternary ;)

Thu, 04 Jan 2007 08:32:00 UTC | #14103

Will in Aus's Avatar Comment 19 by Will in Aus

Perhaps the fading out of religion and the decrease in violence around the world will go hand in hand. It wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Fri, 05 Jan 2007 04:27:00 UTC | #14219

the lankin's Avatar Comment 20 by the lankin

if people don't have religion they will find other banners to fight under. people are selfish. any talk of war and the removal of religion as concomitant 'smacks of intellectual and moral cowardice'

Sat, 13 Jan 2007 15:10:00 UTC | #15464

condorfree's Avatar Comment 21 by condorfree

When religion subsides - Then Gods order for a new vision can take place - but the trouble with people is they want to say it is or it isn't!
When God is right there with the answers. I guess we are too tied up in our own crying. See ya" around, trying to create a world where the Children can be productive.
Jesus has already told us how to heal ourselves.

Tue, 16 Jan 2007 21:17:00 UTC | #15851

Linda's Avatar Comment 22 by Linda

I read the above article in the Guardian newspaper while flying home to Canada from London on New Years Day and was exhilarated by the news. How disconcerting to read in this report on January 15th from Spiegel Magazine:

Religion, Born Again by Rainer Traub
Amid wrenching change worldwide, people are returning to old-time religion. In the name of God, terrorists are happily maiming and killing; in the United States, the Christian Right has a stranglehold on government. On this increasingly God-fearing globe, only Western Europe looks like the last bastion of secularism - or are the faithful here too returning to the fold?",1518,459500,00.html

It's as if we take one step forward only to slip and slide back to the bottom of the pit of superstition.

Wed, 17 Jan 2007 06:01:00 UTC | #15892