I think I know the answer to this question already, but I'd like to know your thoughts.
There's no clean cut response really, if you think about it. I think that as long as there are people, there will always be religion. However could you go as far as saying that religion could be classed as a mind independent phenomenon...? If there are no people to practice it, then does it disappear, or does the concept remain?
Food for thought.
I'll go into this further if anyone fancies debating it with me. Care to join?
there will always be religious thought because our brains have evolved to be predisposed to that kind of thinking. perhaps i should say that there always will be as long as we don't evolve to a point where we're no longer predisposed to such thinking. except that what predisposes us to that kind of thinking is our very cognitive processes themselves. for us to evolve to the point where we no longer are predisposed to religious thought we'd have to evolve to change not what we think but the very way our minds work, our neuro-cognitive processes.
I think if people disappear, religion disappears with us. I suppose there could be another species who evolves to our level and could create their own forms of religion. I think religion is closely associated with tribalism and that's going to come pretty naturally to animals. I mean, I work in a sports bar now (gag) and have seen how crazy people can be about their team. I think it's partially about wanting to feel a part of something and having a sense of identity. If it's not God or football, it's something else.
I think education is really the only way to fully get rid of religion or its ingredients.
I do like the idea, but unfortunatley (at least in our life time) religion will not be eradicated. The thing is citing the example of the Catholic Church, there's just too much power for these people to give up. And that's the one thing that seems common throughout humanity and the animal kingdom- the draw to a hierarchical system of power and with that, status. Yet another reason why as long as people exist, we won't be free of religion. I mean we, as a species (even the free thinking ones) award status and power to others almost sub-consciously - take a look at the atheist community.... do we have Dawkins up on a pedestal? How about Christopher Hitchens? I wish we weren't so disposed to do this, but we are as 'Nelson' suggests in the previous reply.....
I always thought Wittgenstein had an interesting way at looking at this sort of thing "Magic seeks different satisfactions from science. It is best seen as a highly developed gesture language, not depending on hypotheses or evidence, or seeking causal explanations as does science. So there is no progress in magic as there is science."
Thank you so much, what a brilliant video, no shouting or raving just logical facts.
Oh how I wish children could be shown this at school and then and only then I believe religion will disappear. I will send this to my friends.
If in the years ahead humanity is able to progress (there are a few challenges!) then I think the World in a few hundred years (say) will look back at us now in the way we look back on bygone eras in terms of its backwardness - almost certainly, with the progress proviso, religion will be relegated to a small minority status - unless evidence turns up in the meantime to suggest that a supernatural being did create the Universe as we know it - yeah, as if!
There is a propensity for people to believe in something fantastical (not sure that football clubs fall into the same league - pun intended), but is this really a predisposition from birth or is it part of our conditioning from birth? Given Islamic families tend to produce Muslim children, children of Jewish families tend to remain Jewish, and so on, I think it mainly boils down to considerable conditioning from an early age. Whilst I have not imposed my non-religious beliefs on my children, and given the inescapable religious milieu even in modern day Britain, the fact that my 2 daughters are also definite atheists is evidence to me that religion is not a natural state of affairs (given a reasonable level of education). Parents and society have a lot to answer for.
How could concepts such as religion exist without a species to think those concepts? - concepts are abstract notions rather than a reflection of something real. If humanity were wiped off the face of the planet (by disease, say) religion dies along with it. The icons of religion such as churches remain until they succumb to the actions of the elements. End of.
Here's a thought, maybe when All religions wipe each other out, which I believe will eventually happen if the wars continue as they are today. Even if we win the war in afganistan the religiious factors will not just lie down they will take it back by any means. .
All the time humans make money out of war, like manufacturing guns and all weapons of war then religion will always be a tool for the greed in humans.
For as long as there are human, the type of thought that brings forth religion will exist. As Nelson said, the only way that religion can be completely wiped out would be to alter our very cognitive processes. Just look at the John From cargo cult. It sprung into existence from no more than flawed observations, superstition and hope.
Education and knowledge can stem the tide, but the floods of irrationality and religious/supernatural belief will always be there, waiting to break free should the bulwark of rationality and critical thinking fail.
Religion developed because there was a survivalist need for it in our genetic history. Just like there are genes that pre-dispose you to addictive behavior, there are genes that pre-dispose you to religious belief. (They might even be the same ones, honestly. What else is religion than an irrational, often harmful behavior pattern?)
Whatever that survivalist need was, it seems to be on the way out. How many of us were born 'just not buying it?'
Genetics are funny things, though. They switch off, pop back up, die out and re-appear in difficult to predict ways.
If there isn't a society there that enables religious behavior, however....well, will they just find something else to follow? Football teams? Politics?
Take a look at places like Ireland and Scotland. Both were tortured with years of religious wars. Now that the U.K is becoming more and more agnostic, the violence has turned from Catholic vs. Protestant to Celtic vs. Rangers. People mob, beat, kill and commit horrible acts in the name of......which team you 'support.'
There is something in this gene pool that has evolved from a tribal 'us vs.them' pattern. Will we ever see the end of it?
Not in our time.
Eh. If we don't blow ourselves up, destroy the earth or manage to eradicate our species...then possibly.