Sunday Question…

Which religion (baring unatural disasters) will be most prevalent (ie. believed by the most people) in 1000 years? Why?

Do you think we will ever reach a condition where there is ‘one god’? Do you think that god will be different from the god you believe in now?

Or do you think that the final ‘one’ religion will be a Polytheism ? Will your current god be included in the accept list?


Software developer by day, scale model builder and wargamer by night.

Posted in Makes You Think, Question of the Day, Religion
11 comments on “Sunday Question…
  1. suzi says:

    [Wasn’t sure if you’re actually looking for replies, but I’m very busy at work atm so looking for distractions 🙂 ]

    For thousands of years there have been multiple religions – why would that would change and one triumph in 1000 years time? So there won’t be a final one religion, just a bunch of more-or-less related systems of belief.

    That or buddism will win because it’s got the best media coverage.

    Anyway, that’s always assuming we’re all still around, which has to be looking increasingly unlikely. So my vote goes for some refined version of whatever it is woodlice believe at the moment.

  2. Richard@Home says:

    Oh, I definitely AM after some replies!

    “For thousands of years there have been multiple religions – why would that would change and one triumph in 1000 years time?”

    I was just extrapolating based on current data… Seems to me Christianity and Islam seem to be getting more and more converts every day…

  3. ibbo says:

    It’s september 11th, and I’m into displacement activities too. What I’m pretty sure about is that the number of true “Believers”, has almost nothing to do with the “success” of a religion (It’s ability to survive and propagate as a “system” of belief in it’s own right?).

    I’m also not sure you can equate religion with a belief in supernatural god(s), as that shows quite a lot of “Western” influence. Can’t really see there being any *new* religions as such, maybe a resurgence of some older ones as people look for something else to occupy that part of their lives.

    some might say that religion is one of the key things people use to set themselves apart from others. As such, in 99% of cases religion is largely divisive amongst groups, not unifying (Thats to say, for the 99% of people who pick a religion like they choose a toothpaste, because it’s what their parents believed, or their peers, or what the state mandates, etc) people will use a system of belief to define themselves rather than as a tool for understanding the world in which they live and their place in it (I think the strong atheists are just as, if not more, guilty of this frankly). It’s their choice of a different “System” of belief that defines their faith, not the faith itself… I’m more wordy today than usual (Thats saying something)… let me put it another way

    For 99% of athiests, the system of belief called “Atheism” (As a self-viable system of belief in this context, not to be confused with “Science”) can’t survive without the thiests. 99% of pagans are pagans because they aren’t christians, etc, etc.If the 1% ever resolved on a common ground, the other 99 percent of people would only find something else to fight about. It’s just easier with religion, because it’s more abstract, and you don’t have to think so hard to come up with plausible reasons to go beat up the guy next door (Yeah I reckon bush belongs in the 99% category ;)).

    Of course I’d be betryaing my roots if I didn’t point out that Zen, Taoism and Bhuddism are well along the way to realising this. The only problem is that if you’ve traveled in the east or been exposed to its philosophy, you see that those religions have exactly the same issues of belief without critical thinking for 99% of the population, yet their “Faith” is steadfast. and the other 1% of people are just going around saying what a great idea it would be to be nice to each other ([Passive-Aggressive violence allowed, of course 😉 ]).

    Will there be 1 religion? never, and if there ever is then it won’t be important any more because we’ll only be fighting about something else instead.. waves vs particles / classical vs quantum / prickles vs goo probably.

    Well that killed an hour, thanks!

    Ian (Born again wave-iest, anyone who believes in particles is a NUTTER) Ibbo.

  4. suzi says:

    Yay… more (sadly beer-less pub conversation)

    Some extra random points…

    Rich said: “Seems to me Christianity and Islam seem to be getting more and more converts every day”

    On the other hand, the various branches of Christianity are so different in their views that even if they do share one basic idea – are they really functionally all the same religion? Quite possibly not. (I’m not so well up on my branches of Islam but the same may well be true).

    On a different point, if there was one religion it would be so powerful the state would have to take it down (or it would have to be the single world state… and if it was you’d get rebels so it still wouldn’t have won). I think there’s a long history of states taking such action. Another practical reason why it’s unlikely.

    I agree with a lot of the stuff Ian said about in-groups. Although personally I’m a atheist because I can’t bring myself to believe in god … would possibly be reassuring if such an entity existed, but I just don’t believe it. I’m not so sure that many (more than 1%) of other atheists don’t feel the same way.

    Looks like buddhism is getting the most votes, along with the most inconsistent spelling 🙂

  5. ibbo says:

    Yeah.. pretty much on the same page I guess. What troubles me (Well I guess your other half would know better about the logical argument here) is how does NOT believing in something (god) put you in a class (being an Athiest)? It smacks of an undecidable proposition to me, and surely it’s not logically consistent? Personally, I think it’s entirely possible to not believe in god, but not wish to be labelled an athiest (Well there’s me for a start).

  6. ibbo says:

    I will, of course, concede the word “bright” is a good one 🙂 and you aren’t in a position to talk about spellings, unless you rescind your status as atheist and admit to being a red-wiggly-underline-right-click-change-iest 😉

  7. Richard@Home says:

    The dictionary disagrees with your request not to be labelled an athiest:

    a·the·ist (ā’thē-ĭst) pronunciation

    One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

    I have stopped calling myself an atheist for a couple of reasons: a) I can’t prove or disprove there is a god and b) it really can have a negative response with some people.

    I dislike the term ‘bright’, as it infers that anyone who isn’t a bright is stupid or dull.

    I’ve been calling myself a realist or naturalist recently.

  8. ibbo says:

    I think there’s a huge difference in not believing in something and denying the existence of something. Hence I think that many athiests are as blind and uncritical about their choice of athiesm as those who chose to follow a religion. I certainly don’t have any evidence that can be used as a logical basis for denying the existence of god. more importantly, my beliefs, even if I knew what they were, and without a classical deity, are much more complex, intricate and beautiful than can be defined by saying “My beliefs are defined as the negation of what you believe”. Ergo.. what I was saying.. classical athiests can’t exist without religion, because “A-The-ists” almost by definition have to define themseleves in terms of the theology they are trying to deny.

  9. Richard@Home says:

    Point of order by learn’ed colleague… an atheist doesn’t deny theists or theology, that would be like trying to deny the chair you’re sat on, he denies a god or gods.

    That’s pretty much the whole point 😉

    [edit]I have had a bottle of wine and a great deal of quality skunk, spelling be damned![/edit]

  10. ibbo says:

    So what about religions that don’t rely on god or gods? are they ok then?

  11. ibbo says:

    Actually.. it’s also more complicated than that.. because.. IMNSHO Athiests in this context DO deny thiests and theology.. because…. it would be true to say they dont *If* you invoked antropology to say said “There are some people over there and they believe something that I can’t see any evidence for and I need to understand it… It might or might not be ‘true'”… then I believe that position does not deny theology or theists. However, the position “You’re basically deluded, and there’s nothing to it” *does* *absolutely* deny theology and theists, because belief in god isn’t a theory its a.. well a belief. It’s like trying to do geometry on a fart. The two systems aren’t compatible (Fluid dynamics aside). And thats a good thing!

    This, I’ve often felt is part of the reason the argument never gets resolved. you’ve been tricked into a position by being told it’s the most logical, scientific and reasoned from base definitions one, but there’s no such basis for that argument.. apart from occams razor, which, for practical purposes, suits me fine, just don’t try to invoke it as a “proof” (as dawkins does).

    Also, the point of order not withstanding, if an athiest denies god, you still need a agreed definition of god to confirm what being an athiest means. it’s just a semantic trick to try and say I’m not denying that you believe in something only that what you believe is wrong. As a *scientist* I have no basis whatsoever for making such an arrogant statement, regardless of my personal belief that most people of faith are just giving a pretty name to their biggest fear so it doesn’t seem so scary. Shock Horror! telling those people that will not make them change their minds.. only deepen the trenches.

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