When you think about it, the cross would have been the equivalent of today's electric chair. So when you see someone with cross tattoos or jewelry, it is pretty sick if you think of it in that light. I wonder what people would do if we started wearing "electric chair" apparel.

The cross is something you see everywhere. Just the other day I saw someone with a cross tattoo, biker type, rough looking, with a silly cross on his bald head.

I wonder if people "wear" the cross because they are really Christians, or if it is just their way of trying to say, "I am a good person and the cross proves it."

I also wonder, with the blend of such a range of beliefs, ranging from fanatical, cults to indifferent tradition, where are "we" (as a species) trending towards either the creation of a new religion, or are we trending towards learning to NOT have or need a religion. I fear that we may be trending towards fanaticism, although I do not really know. Religions change and morph over time, blending aspects of the current existing religions and culture, with new ideas. So where will the human race be in another (say) 500 yrs? Is there evidence that we could eventually see a world dominated by humanism, agnosticism, atheism, secularism, etc? Or are we headed in the opposite direction? What do you think? Why or why not? Sources please, and thank you.

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Surely the cross signifies the sacrifice that Jesus is said to have made. 

I thought I was creating a new religion with "my" moral theories (still under construction), but I've realised that's all they are, a bunch of theories.  A whole religion takes much more than that - such as a big social structure that does things.  However, my theories are a stripped-down version of what's gone before, and as such, are very powerful if you take them in conjunction with existing practices.  Perhaps this is the way things will go - abstracting out the essence of existing religion into a new powerful clean stripped down version.  There's no reason why atheists and the religious shouldn't bounce ideas off each other, and all the better for that. 

Apparently the world is becoming a more religious place, because the religious are out-breeding the atheists.  Atheist countries have a falling birth rate.  Source: "Big Gods - how religion transformed cooperation and conflict" by Ara Norenzayan - an atheist with a small a. 

Overpopulation is the world's #1 problem.  Atheists (rationalists, thinkers, etc.) are probably better educated, have jobs, use birth control..it is no wonder that the atheist community would have a lower birth rate.  Religious out breed the atheists, then indoctrinate their offspring with Sunday schools.  Having said that, I do believe that more and more people are turning away from formal religions.  At least, I hope so.

Informal religions are just the same only different, are they not?

There are nondenominational churches (often camouflaged as "centers") popping up everywhere that preach a kind of syncretist (Asian, Western, Wiccan, quasi-occult) woo.

I hope people who move away from formal religions and adopt critical thinking instead (I don't even say "humanism" because "isms" often denote belief systems).

Hi there, all these different religions & cults are based upon ideas re no practlcal proof  at all just the usual gibberish.Well there are very strange practical experiments going on re transfer of matter energy to application medium. The initial strange effects are a diminishing of sleep snoring but there is a slight viagra effect as well. I expect a lot of jokes about this.Well prayer cannot compete with this so it looks pretty bleak future for the sky gods later on down the track.

I apparently need more coffee to understand this.

So many variables are involved that it is impossible to know what the state of the world will be in terms of humanism and atheism in the future. We can barely predict what will happen in two years or even six months.

Though it sure would be wonderful if the world became a lot more compasionate, rational thinking and humanistic. :) I share your optimism.

I haven't really formed an opinion one way or the other in regards to where the future is headed in terms of religion. I have only begun to ponder it, hence the discussion at hand. It will depend greatly on how we teach our children, or how they learn to think for themselves. I am not necessarily optimistic, but I am sure that I would like to be!

Something to keep in mind:

Moments of equality, liberty, democracy and true religious freedom in isolated pockets of the world throughout all history have been extremely extremely rare. Furthermore in each case it seldom lasted more than a couple generations.

It is almost irational to be optimistic in this case but I still am.

The difference now is portable worldwide instantaneous communication. It's harder and harder to find any isolated pockets of anything. It makes good ideas like freedom, equality, and democracy very hard to kill. Unfortunately it also makes bad ideas hard to kill too.

I'm pretty sure that while those ideas are hard to kill, food and shelter come ahead of them.

What I meant by isolated isn't that they were isolated from the world in terms of communication but rather in their style of leadership and the freedoms they had. Globalisation has been very successful without improving human rights or democracy in many cases.

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