Will religion be able to survive next hundred years in the face of fast technological advancement?
Who decided that technological expertise is the best method to measure our ability to understand the reality we live in? Those who are influential in defining
peoples' realities - the producers, scientists, advertising, the media,
politicians, etc. -- have made technological advancement the barometer of human progress, claiming that the advancement of technology is a most noble pursuit for the human race, that it has made the world a better place to live in.
As proof, they list all the consumer gadgets we use and are dependent upon
- CD players, computers, cameras, cell-phones, televisions, DVDs, cars, and so
on - and say that the intelligence to build these things shows that we have
advanced our understanding of nature and how she works far beyond our ability
in the middle ages.
But is this proposition correct? To build a CD player, one certainly requires
advanced knowledge of physics and chemistry, but these two elements contribute
to only a small part of the reality we perceive. A far greater portion of reality consists of our conscious experience of it -- something most people have forgotten. The unsuspecting public does not realize that they are the observers of reality, and that such observation is conditioned by the culture they grew up in. They take it for granted that what they experience is reality, and that this reality is best described in physical and chemical terms.
Modern science is very useful for making technology, and when we live in a world where the masses are kept in awe and reverence of technological wonders, science is of course a most important undertaking. But the jubilation of the modern people over the newest technology is not different from the gaping wonder with which people in the middle ages looked upon sorcerers and magicians firing off sulphur and gun powder. The magicians did this to dupe their audience and secure their comfortable hold on society. In the middle ages the regents of society kept people in ignorance so they were easy to control and manipulate, and today modern controllers use the exact same means to enslave people in ignorance. In the global culture the slaves have just been upgraded to a middle class who owns their own house and car. But they still slave their lives away in boring jobs and are marred by the same endless worries and miseries, people have always suffered from. They are still being ground down by taxation,
victims of greedy politicians, exactly like it's always been.
There is no basis for saying that advanced knowledge of mathematics and physics
enables a person to better understand the reality he lives in any more than the
cave dweller of some 2000 years ago who worshipped nature and various gods. If
modern society were based on a proper understanding of reality, why is it
ruining nature and her inhabitants, who are sustainers of life? It is atheism
that keeps the consciousness on this lower scale of conscious evolution and
blocks a human being from becoming self realized. Self realization simply means
to realize oneself as separate from matter, without which there is no question
No amount of technological expertise can aid us in that. Despite the so-called
advancement of modern society the human being is till not able to transcend his
mental conditioning. The proof is that modern society does not produce people
with evolved consciousness. Rather, we see the exact opposite taking place - in
proportion to the advancement of technology, people have become more and more base and animalistic.
So why aren't the principles of recognizing the self -- which is the basis of all understanding and learning -- not being taught in the modern educational institutions? Because society, as it exists, is not equipped to facilitate self-realized human beings. What need does a self realized person have of the plethora of useless products that are produced by the few conglomerates that control world consumerism? Such enlightenment would indeed negate the necessity for the technological advancement upon which the world's finances now rely. That is why, in the current global culture, a deliberate campaign exists to transform people into atheists. In such a culture, religion has been replaced with politics. Instead of voting for a particular religion, one now votes for politicians, who are
mostly hired by those multinationals with the biggest checkbooks -- all in the
name of serving the people, of course. The modern Coca-cola and Disney culture
has already made the whole world into one big marketplace - a worldwide altar
where technology is worshipped as the new opium of the masses.
Being fed endless propaganda from Hollywood -- where technology is being depicted as the saving grace for all of life's problems -- and living in an environment where they are constantly bombarded by cell-phone and computer emissions (EMF), we quickly forget that technology, despite assurances to the contrary, cannot save us from the onslaughts of nature. Time and time again, technology comes up short in the fight against nature; the new priests of society, now clad in white coats instead of black, fail to comprehend how the mechanisms of nature work.
And how could they? They also suffer from the misunderstanding that everything
is dead matter, and are restricted by the assumption that their knowledge of
physical laws can explain everything.
Yet more important than the understanding of how matter works is to understand how consciousness, false ego, intelligence and mind work. These make up a much greater part of the reality we perceive. As long as we fail to understand the difference between matter and consciousness, we cannot even be said to have evolved beyond animal consciousness. That's why atheism is dangerous - it keeps the consciousness trapped in a one-dimensional world of matter. It keeps the living being from its rare mission in the human life form, which is to study consciousness. It cultivates a perception of life where the consciousness cannot see itself - a deception where the consciousness
in its absorption in matter forgets itself.
Every individual is duty-bound to alter their consciousness and connect it with the whole - Sri Krishna. While Srila Prabhupada was a nitya-siddha, he was also a social revolutionary, as was the Lord he served: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The political correctness that predominates in the world and passes as social
etiquette should not stop us from assisting him his mission - to silence the
atheistic class of men, and to inundate the world with Krishna Consciousness.
Sure. Why not? I don't think technology poses a threat to religion. I don't think technology has reduced (or increased) religiosity in the past, at least not much, and it probably won't in the future.
Not to say that religious demographics won't change over the next century; I just doubt technology is much of a factor.
At the same time, it's hard to simply leave technology out of any discussions about what humans will be doing for the next hundred years.
I can argue wth myself a lot about this. For instance, it can be argued that the technology of Gutenberg's printing press caused the Christian schism, enlightenment, and the rise of religious criticism / skepticism & atheism, because for the first time anybody could get a hold of a bible and see what it actually said. That shattered the church, and the splinters just keep splintering. It might have already been the single, mortal wound that ended religion, or led to toxic infection, although it will still take centuries to finish bleeding out.
Another argument against me is, globalism (and the internet) is making comparative religion possible for first time for everybody, whether they are interested in the subject or not. You can't help but find out about the goings on (and the peculiar institutions) of Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Pastafari. A very small amount of comparative religion can innoculate you against the dogmas of your own religion. One manifestation is, westerners have for decades been leaving "religion" altogether in favor of "new age" alternativo spiritual expression. That sort of thing will probably increase with multiculturalism, which is partly a result of technology.
Many other arguments...
But religion is doomed for other reasons imho, and 100 years might be the right time frame. Atheism is sure to continue to grow in real numbers, if not demographic percentages, until the next dark age. And, barring another dark age, as people in the third world start getting middle class educations, it will soon start to grow demographically, too. It'll reach a tipping point - possibly a predictable one, maybe 20/80 - and whoosh, religion will dissolve. Bits will linger for centuries, but I expect it will lose its authority rather suddenly. I also don't think anyone will notice at first. There won't be riots or nationwide rape frenzies. Nothing will seem to change, because religion doesn't do anything. It won't be missed.
Every person doesn't have the best combination of genetics,life circumstances and wisdom.And there is no mandatory wisdom head for every ten people ,like a consultant or mandatory coach to help with each person's life since ten years old.So things will keep going wrong for most people especially when born in disadvantaged countries and circumstances.Religion is the only advise other people will throw at each other .God is love and all that talk.Nowadays time is precious to spend on others with more entertainment options by technological advancement and more travel options,so religion will continue as some source of hope and magic pill.