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Last Religion Standing


Butters
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With the increasing rate of scientific discoveries and our greater knowledge of different cultures, most modern religions come under a lot of outside pressures that they didn't in the past.

 

Which religions do you think have the greatest chance of surviving for the next few hundred years?

 

In my opinion it would be some form of Buddhism, as large amounts of it are based on claims that cannot be refuted by science. Not all of it, of course, but it avoids a lot of the larger sweeping statements of supposed fact that occurs in Abrahamic religions. Again, it's not immune. Although Buddhism can be all consuming in some people's lives, my sister in law for example is a Buddhist, but it is more of an observance that gives her a type of serenity, and something that she can easily compartmentalise.

 

A creationist will always be fighting against logic to maintain their belief for example. Islam is more demanding in a day to day sense as well, and involves submission to God which is hard to fake, although I have met several lax Muslims in my travels, usually over a beer or whisky.

 

Just interested, and of course it is very regional, but I suppose the question is, which religion has the best statistical odds of maintaining a steady following?

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Ah. So the Raelians then.

 

(I am of course making the assumption with this thread that it will be answered from an atheistic perspective! Otherwise people end up quoting their various holy books at each other!)

 

 

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It is characteristic of all primitive forms of thinking to believe that they have to have a foundation in the assumption of some thing existing outside the belief system to validate it. Thus everything from the notion that ethics can only make sense if there is some invisible bearded guy in the sky who says it is right, to the assumption that the only way to explain the propagation of heat is to assume that it is an invisible fluid or substance, such as was done in 18th century physics, reflects this pre-modern way of understanding how truth is established.

 

But the modern understanding of the validity of explanatory systems is that they are based on their own internal coherence rather than correspondence to some assumed thing outside them. Thus Peano's foundation of mathematics has nothing to do with its correspondence to some external 'essence of number,' but to a logically structured, coherently related system of axioms which clarify how number is used. Similarly, Ben Franklin's way of explaining lightning operated by understanding it as a process which coherently relates a number of common phenomena, rather than by assuming it could be understood by its correspondence to some ontologically distinct entity outside the system, such as the Roman god Vulcan hammering a forge in the sky.

 

Once we adopt this modern perspective with its shift to the coherence rather than the correspondence theory of validity, we can jettison all religions, which reflect the old-fashioned assumption that some other type of entity outside the explanatory system has to be found to valid the system by corresponding to it.

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If I can predict the future, I'll be like god, but I can't predict the future accurately. Right now it is a three way battle, Christianity, Islam, and buddhism. There are some variations, but I'll put them into this three groups. ultimately, christainity might be the last one standing, but no mortal beings knows what will happen in the future.

Christainity is the most aggressive in recruiting people or they say proselytizing. They have a thinking that they need to spread the word or something. They go from door to door, very friendly people just trying to strike up a conversation, and they invite people to go over to their churches. Behind their friendliness, is a hidden motive to convert others to their religion. They view other religions as not equal to their own, example paganism, thus I don't think they will agree with the concept of co-existence with other religions. I saw those churches around my place, really modern buildings. Sometimes, one whole street or road lined with churches or Christianity related buildings, schools. This has got to be the dominant religion in the years to come, at my area. To have such buildings and infrastructures, they probably have a big economical might. The money that makes it possible. Some school belongs to these religions, like catholic schools. No universities yet, but probably there are some at some western countries. Deep in the jungles of borneo, there are houses with crosses. in south Korea, Japan, slowly in china too people are taking up the religion. because it is like a status symbol too. Something that makes them higher class, due to aligning with the english language, culture from the west, like something exotic to us asians, or they might acquire some form of sophistication, especially for those ladies. These ladies are more available to the Caucasians guys for some reasons.

Islam...I'm don't know much about Islam. Its power base is in middle east. There are large populations in africa that are muslims, and asia, like turkey, malaysia and indonesia. I think US and major western cities have increasing muslims populations. I read this in a book about Muhammad Ali. My understanding is some black guys probably want to have a name that is not a white man's name or something. and also British takes in some immigrants from Pakistan and india. When they want to build a mosque at the site of the wound of USA people, the Twin towers , this could mean mosques could be present at other places or some neighbourhoods with migrant populations. I haven't been to US nor europe though, haven't seen with my own eyes.

I know a little more about Buddhism, compare to Islam, but also not much. I'm aligned to Buddhism and Taoism. A year or two back, I was really upset and angry inside due to some dark evil thoughts circulating in my heads, I have to rely on some buddhist teachings to get me past those difficult situations. In a way, it has some psychological effect, although Buddha wasn't the one saying it but the monks wrote some books. I'm not a true buddhist though, as it seems one needs to be a follower of a senior monk, and take some rituals.

The text and literatures are filled with supernatural events, that is hard to proved by science. One text says the buddha was in one of his previous life a giant monkey, which while trying to save other animals perished in the disaster. Now maybe it is funny or a coincidence, but science seems to indicate that the human ancester is an ape like creature. Being reborn in the next life can't be proven by science. It is like the other religions, which say god exists. I was coerced to attend a Tibetan Buddhism chanting session once. I don't know what they were chanting, but the book have english translation, and it has all the supernatural stuff, spirits of the mountains, evil animals spirits , devils and such. buddhism is widespread in mainland of asia, and some people in US become buddhists too.

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I think that over the next few hundred years there will be more different religions, not fewer.

 

I don't know about that. Each tribe had pretty much its own religion, most of these tribal religions are very unlike the universal religions in that they are very specific to the people or location. As with the languages of these tribes their religion will die out too. I do think we'll have more flavors of the universal religions though.

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It is characteristic of all primitive forms of thinking to believe that they have to have a foundation in the assumption of some thing existing outside the belief system to validate it. Thus everything from the notion that ethics can only make sense if there is some invisible bearded guy in the sky who says it is right, to the assumption that the only way to explain the propagation of heat is to assume that it is an invisible fluid or substance, such as was done in 18th century physics, reflects this pre-modern way of understanding how truth is established.

 

But the modern understanding of the validity of explanatory systems is that they are based on their own internal coherence rather than correspondence to some assumed thing outside them. Thus Peano's foundation of mathematics has nothing to do with its correspondence to some external 'essence of number,' but to a logically structured, coherently related system of axioms which clarify how number is used. Similarly, Ben Franklin's way of explaining lightning operated by understanding it as a process which coherently relates a number of common phenomena, rather than by assuming it could be understood by its correspondence to some ontologically distinct entity outside the system, such as the Roman god Vulcan hammering a forge in the sky.

 

Once we adopt this modern perspective with its shift to the coherence rather than the correspondence theory of validity, we can jettison all religions, which reflect the old-fashioned assumption that some other type of entity outside the explanatory system has to be found to valid the system by corresponding to it.

 

I would like to point out that not all religions require the belief in a supernatural moral agent as a foundation for ritualistic practices. I think that the OP is making a good point as to why the non-Abrahamic religions might be the most enduring because of precisely this belief (or lack thereof), since it edits out the most prevalent question that the Abrahamic religions in the face of rational scrutiny must ask themselves, "Does God (as perceived as a supernatural moral agent) exist?".

 

I think that Buddhism or some form of Taoism will be the last religion standing. Sikhism gave a good shot at it though. :D

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I don't know about that. Each tribe had pretty much its own religion, most of these tribal religions are very unlike the universal religions in that they are very specific to the people or location. As with the languages of these tribes their religion will die out too. I do think we'll have more flavors of the universal religions though.

 

Sure, most location specific religions did not survive the rise of larger and larger societies and then globalization. However, as you say, the big religions tend to "speciate." And new cults arise and some take hold, well after the eras of global communication and science began. Case in point: Scientology. Even if we do somehow become more "rational" on the whole, there are also more of us, with more niches and more opportunity fr the like-minded to find one another.

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Buddhism is sort of a bridge between science and religion. In Buddhism, one is seeking enlightenment which represents a peak state of mind/being. It is sort of the study of human nature but using your own mind as the experiment. This goal takes a lot of contemplation, internal data observation, will power and understanding of human nature so one can separate conscious and unconscious projection. If one is lazy or too busy to put in the time, there are other religions that make the religious experience easier. Religions that tell you what to think save people from having to do as much work.

 

As an analogy, say we have two schools. One school makes you derive everything on your own, using basic guidelines. Buddha was not a herd animal but an individual. The other school condenses everything for you and gives you collective bottom lines to memorize. It is much less work to be fed bottom lines. Buddhism wants one to question existence. Christianity is about faith in some basic bottom line principles.

 

Relative to the masses, most people don't want to put that much time into anything, but they still want results. One can exercise to lose the extra weight or just pop a pill. Most tend to want the pill, to make it as effortless as possible. With Christianity, Jesus simplified the requirement to love God and love your neighbor. Those more inclined to take sort of a Buddha path, will try to make it more complicated. Easy will still tend to win. Many of the split off churches tend to add more rational complexity to meet the needs of those who wish more of a challenge from their religion. They don't want all bottom lines but will accept some. But that is not for everyone, since this takes a larger commitment of time and effort. So if they still wish to be a part; quick and easy.

Edited by pioneer
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  • 1 month later...

I'm a muslim and i read Koran. In Koran, God said when the world close to end the Dajjal will born between syria and Iraq. He is not human neither devil but he is the most evil creature of all time. He kill his own parents as soon as he was born and he possess single eyes and a word "Dajjal" written on his forehead (in arabic of course). but this not what i want to tell here, i only want to share my believe that Koran said Jews, Christians and Muslims are the domain religions that exist on that day. The Dajjal will try to make all human on the earth left their religion behind and follow him. Muslims are so many at that time but unfortunately they are incredibly weak physically and also spiritually. God describe the number of Muslims like the bubbles in the ocean, so many but yet very weak.

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I think Confuciansim will be around forever, though not directly. Its principles permeate all the other eastern religions, and the morals it teaches are often in line with western ethics. I like confucianism myself, as an athiest, it just teaches good moral principle with a helathy dose of philosophy that seems to know its place (not answering questions of origin), no hocus-pocus required.

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I think Confuciansim will be around forever, though not directly. Its principles permeate all the other eastern religions, and the morals it teaches are often in line with western ethics. I like confucianism myself, as an athiest, it just teaches good moral principle with a helathy dose of philosophy that seems to know its place (not answering questions of origin), no hocus-pocus required.

 

I would probably agree with that. It's more philosophy than commandment.

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Often commandments are the result of empirical observation and reasoning to form principles that are extrapolate to apply too all. Thou shall not smoke in public places is a commandment that sort of formed in a similar way. Like any commandment, we also has the self righteous and the metering of punishment. The idea is to regulate behavior to maximize the herd. We could have left this to each person to ponder.

Edited by pioneer
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With the increasing rate of scientific discoveries and our greater knowledge of different cultures, most modern religions come under a lot of outside pressures that they didn't in the past.

 

Which religions do you think have the greatest chance of surviving for the next few hundred years?

 

In my opinion it would be some form of Buddhism, as large amounts of it are based on claims that cannot be refuted by science. Not all of it, of course, but it avoids a lot of the larger sweeping statements of supposed fact that occurs in Abrahamic religions. Again, it's not immune. Although Buddhism can be all consuming in some people's lives, my sister in law for example is a Buddhist, but it is more of an observance that gives her a type of serenity, and something that she can easily compartmentalise.

 

A creationist will always be fighting against logic to maintain their belief for example. Islam is more demanding in a day to day sense as well, and involves submission to God which is hard to fake, although I have met several lax Muslims in my travels, usually over a beer or whisky.

 

Just interested, and of course it is very regional, but I suppose the question is, which religion has the best statistical odds of maintaining a steady following?

 

I think you hit on a major point regarding modern secularism and religion when you mention compartmentalization. Modern secularism has developed a dominant "religion" of compartmentalism. Those who fail to compartmentalize are often treated as the heretics of modern life. In fact, I believe that psychiatry has elevated the maintenance of "partitions" to the highest level of sanity while demonizing those who transcend cognitive "partitions" as schizophrenics or some other terribly stigmatized label.

 

Currently, Islam is under attack as being a total-lifestyle instead of a compartmentalized cultural practice. The assumption is that religious-practice should be compartmentalized to be validated as "religion" and that total-lifestyle practices should be banned. Ironically, secularism has evolved into a total-lifestyle of its own - apparently one that desires to eliminate all competition to its monopolization of modern individuals.

 

Nevertheless, religion has gained popularity as modernity has developed a drive to transcend its limits. This "postmodernization" often entails revivals of spirituality/religion and other minoritarian culture that became taboo in modern culture. So, imo, religion will not only survive modernity, but postmodern revivalism will actually lead to an increasing interest in various religions and cultures, and people will develop theological insight into the common elements in otherwise distinct religious ideologies. They will also use insights from studying one type of theology to discover previously misunderstood elements of other religions. Thus, various religions will grow as their scholars gain insight from inter-disciplinary theological discourse.

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The subjective aspects of the mind associated with religion are also used by materialism. Marketing can give the pet rock a prestige effect to make it more than what it is. In religion this would be called idol worship. This golden calf effect was part of religious evolution, with religion coming to the conclusion these man-made objects were not gods since they wear out with use and not get stronger with use. Humans found a work-around this common sense by associating collector's prestige to objects. Some old artifacts become worth more as their get older, but this is only if we don't use them since they will wear out and lose their value. Materialism religion can continue on as long as we can keep generating the prestige special effect of new golden calves as the older golden calves lose their magic.

 

Every few months computers get upgrades. From a practical point of view, these monthly marginal upgrades should not be enough to buy. The prestige effect of the materialism religions is used to impact new magic to the new, as the old magic wear away, even without ever physically wearing away. Religions attempts to use this subjective effect in a more advanced way, since object worship is actually very ancient and was part of the oldest religions. Using an abstraction was more progressive.

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