Here's an article from Psychology Today with the headline 'Why atheism will replace religion'.Religion and the concept of God were evolutionary necessities to feed human curiosity and to cope with this mysterious world.Now that we understand our Universe through science and technology,they are no more required thus avoiding many damages done in the name of religion.But how long will it be that atheism will completely overtake Religion?I'm suspicious about it and that certainly is not going to be any time soon.Religion appeals to people's emotions,they serve political purposes as well.Even if people believe that god does not exist,still they will follow their religious practices and the norms.No doubt that Atheism is on rise with the progress in science and technology,the idea of its complete domination is still questionable.But I'm an Optimist.
Here's the article -
Why Atheism Will Replace Religion
Clive Bell said that civilization begins with the correction of instinct by reason.
When I took my first psych course (in the late 1950s), instructors insisted -- and I mean insisted -- that only non-human animals had instincts. Humans had none.
Some years later psych instructors said early humans had instincts but these became emotions.
I took my first cultural anthro course at about this time and heard instructors say civilization began with tool use.
Pardon my non-French, but shit changes.
What further changes will occur?
Undoubtedly ideas shift. Victor Hugo remarked "How little time it takes to change everything." However, examined carefully, often the change is not a total reversal, but an advance—the old ideas are subsumed in the new notions.
Instinct has been an ambiguous concept. For some it has meant behavior that cannot be overridden by reason, almost a reflex. Others maintain that human beings do not have instincts at all, or have erased them through the use of reason.
Clive Bell probably did not have a scientific concept in mind when he said that civilization begins with the correction of instinct by reason. He likely meant that the conscious overriding of a primitive initial reaction by thinking was an initial sign of civilized behavior.
Personally I don't know if we'll live to see that day before religion gets us all destroyed in nuclear fire. Sometimes it seems inevitable, that the mind of the majority of humanity hasn't grown enough to prevent an Armageddon of their own making. The majority of Americans alone do not believe in evolution and hate it being taught in our public schools. What of the rest of the world ? Who has the majority in the world, Creationist science deniers, or Science savvy Evolutionists ?
Man has always embraced the idea of god ever since he started reasoning,even to this day the vast majority of the population believes that a god exists.We as atheists are almost certainly sure that a god does not exist,but what about the people who believe that a god exists?There has to be some physical or psychological benefits they receive to believe what they believe.To steadily move froward in the direction of atheism replacing religion we as atheists and rationalists and free thinkers and humanitarians need to figure out all the known and unknown benefits the belief in god provides to human beings so that the same benefits can still be achieved without the idea of god and thus avoiding religions.
I'll try to bring forward all the benefits I know the belief in god and being religious provides to humans,come up with whatever pros you are aware of.
The comfort and benefits of religion consist in the hope of living forever in paradise, seeing loved ones again, having someone to lean on (both God and Church or whatever religious gatherings) in times of unrest, and it provides explanatory power (albeit mistaken) and closure. Also, those who experience strong reactions when they believe they are "feeling the spirit" report it as a feeling of ecstasy and communion with God.
Yes,the concept of god basically helps to cope up with the fear of death.Many just don't like the idea of non existence and prefer taking refuge in delusion instead and hope there is some possibility of eternity despite the surmount evidences to the contrary.There are many more reasons and I'm curious to figure them out,whatever is possible.
In our own times, religious stories enable people with little mental ability to escape the labor of thinking. They need only believe the story tellers.
In ancient times, the few with much mental ability used religious stories to assuage the fear felt by those of less mental ability -- fears of lightning, fires, predators, et cetera. The first story tellers to ask their listeners to pay probably prospered.
In the original television series Cosmos (1976) there was an episode called “Encyclopedia Galactica”, the title itself a term invented by Isaac Asimov. In this episode however I remember a part in which various alien species were categorized with a type description, species title and civilization age. Often, to this day, I remember the described “forecast” of our species wasn’t all that good. Barely a type 1 civilization of approximately 250,000 years in age with a population (at the time) of slightly over 6.5 billion, and for all accounts on the verge of becoming something more than just another bunch of clever monkey’s if only we were able to shake off our early brutish ignorance and accept our place in the greater cosmological whole. And I can’t help but wonder how much we’ve changed since then. But still, religion seems to remain, that stupid, myopic poison of mere primitive, animalistic chauvinism, and it makes me sad. To think that a huge portion of our species is perfectly willing to throw it all away because they wish to believe that our ultimate destruction will be glorious and lead to some form of eternal salvation.
I often wonder, if we make it through this dark period in our evolution, will we still be human. Will we become The Übermensch Nietzsche once described or will the Last Men win the day and bring upon us the final decay of all we could ever hope to achieve?
There could be many benefits the belief in god could be providing to mankind,some known and some unknown.
According to psychologists,children with imaginary friends perform better than those who don't have one.I'm not sure how credible this is,but there are many references for this.What could be the possible reasons?Does it motivate them?Or make them feel in a company?Whatever it is,it works at some level.
There are some links here to the sources-
Why People Believe In God (1)
Belief in a god or gods as beings of a type distinct from human beings does not seem to occur as the primary focus in early primitive religions as it does in later beliefs. Instead there is a prevalence of ancestor worship. Nietzsche, Herbert Spencer and others locate the origin of religion in the attempt to appease spirits of the dead. Frazer argues that burial of the dead was to keep their ghosts from returning.
I don't know how well this is supported by evidence since such primitive people would not leave much behind them. Where does animism fit in this picture?
Animism at its simplest is a belief that there is no difference between the physical and the spiritual. Other beliefs grew out of it later, but early man (and some of us today) have problems with sleeping and waking states of being. In animism everyone and everything had a spirit. These spirits must be appeased whether the spirit of the dead, the mountain, the tree, or the brook. Often food is left for the dead, or they are adorned a certain way in death so as to help them along their journey, and so forth. It's even possible to see ancestor worship in this premise. Early man knew that the ancestors were further along the journey than the living was, but fear also drove early man to guarnatee that the living and the dead kept separated. Needless to say, gods sprang up in everything!
We find this now in early writings that eventually became the Old Testament. There were many gods and JHVH was a jealous war god. In time one god would supplant another god, and the god numbers started to dwindle. We have the J documents and the P documents, etc. and everything was constantly being re-written in the elimination of certain gods. In this way the writings would remain vital, vibrant, relavent to everyone living at that time. Imagine the generations that would go into this reform and re-writing. Eventually there was one god, JHVH, or Jehovah if you will. ALL OF the discrepancies and errors of the Bible can be set into this evolutionary writing, OR the desire of the writer to make something so when it was not so at all.
Camels are introduced at a wrong time.
Isrealites actually became a part of the Jericho settlement without a battle.
A list of Biblical things here gets very long.
JESUS IS the Sun who exists in the heavens of his father. All things exist because of him, and he gives his life that all may live. Behold, he rises again daily and we have everlasting life.
This was so simple to early man. The modern day theist and christian apologist has done quite a job on it. The old ways are hardly recognized, and I blame our delusions today on Constantine the Great.
I spent some years in different parts of my life on Indian reservations, and so saw animistic belief systems up close. My father, who never knew his father, convinced little me that Pikes Peak was my grandfather. I never really believed that the snowy mountain somehow impregnated my grandmother, but in some real way I still feel myself a product of that lump of land. And I really am in a material sense -- the mountain's flora and fauna became my flesh & blood through digestion, and so the elements of its soil the bricks of my bones. The mountain is alive in that I and its other denizens live. I am related as surely to those stones as I am to Uncle Vernon, and the main difference is a coincidence of time.