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Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Atheist Activism, Christianity, End of Days, featured, Global Climate Change, secularism, The Future | 4 comments

Where Will Society Be In 100 Years?

395168_315721008459998_215911514_nOne hundred years from now we will be dead but it is entirely probable that our children may still be alive. I say “probable” and “may” because it really depends in large part to who wins the culture war. For simplicity sake, let’s look at the two opposing worldviews and see which one offers the best hope for our future.

Let’s say that religious fundamentalists win the culture war. Where do they think we will be in 100 years? The answer is obvious. They believe that Jesus will return to Earth soon and that “soon” is almost certainly within their lifetime. With that in mind, they don’t believe we will be around in 100 years.

In fact, they actually prefer that we aren’t here in 100 years. Every day that the apocalypse is averted is another day that Jesus hasn’t come down on a white cloud to restore the Kingdom of God. The Rapture will only occur after Armageddon. So why try to make peace in the Middle East when a. it is destined to happen and b. it would be a glorious sign that the End Times are truly upon us and the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Global climate change? Who cares, Jesus will be coming soon and all the good Christians will be spirited off to Heaven. Besides, God gave human beings dominion over the Earth and he has a plan. There is no way human beings can mess up God’s divine plan, right?

Sure this is silliness, but there are large numbers of Americans who actually believe this crap. They aren’t the tiny minority that many less-fundamentalist religious believers claim they are.

Now let’s look at humanist atheism. We are pretty sure that this life is the only life we have and that this world is the only world we have. Because we care about our offspring and our race, we want the world to continue on even after we are dead. We want our children to live in a better world than we live in today.

Ideally, we would also love to actually be around in 100 years to see what the world is like. So we want to not just try to solve the world’s problems and make the world better for our children and their children, but we would also like to make sufficient medical and/or scientific progress that would prolong our lives so that we can live better now and possibly live long enough to see what the world is actually like in 100 years. The idea is not only to survive for the next 100 years, but to actually make the world a better place to live in 100 years.

Humanistic atheists understand that the world will be here in 100 years no matter what. The question is, will be here too? The universe is indifferent to us, but we are not indifferent to the universe. We have to make sure that the Earth can sustain us, not the other way around. This is why global climate change is such a big deal to most atheists. I don’t really care if humans caused it or not; what I care about is can we fix it. If we can’t, then we will die. So if we can fix it, we should fix it. Not because we care about the Earth, but because we care about our own survival on this planet. The Earth will be just fine without us, but since we kinda need the Earth for our own survival, we should really get right on that global warming thing.

Where society is in 100 years depends almost entirely on which direction we choose right now. In order to move our society forward we have to stop these religious fundamentalists from setting our course. Are we going to let them dictate our politics? Are we going to waste our resources arguing about labels or on slight philosophical differences or are we going to work together and fight back.

  • Michael R

    None of the above. Neither religion nor environment will be big problems. Evolution is a story of group fitness. The Western world has all the signs of imminent collapse (massive debt, massive demographic change, free-trade induced permanent recession, paralysed and polarised politics, etc). The US is already disengaging from the world and dark forces are filling the void: China, Russia, Iran, ISIS etc

    If you want to know about the future, ask the Chinese. In terms of group fitness, they are striding ahead of the US in leaps and bounds. They will soon rule the world. It will be lights out for freedom. Hello dictatorship once again. Get ready for the full kowtow to the new Han Dynasty.

    Just as the US was blindsided on 9/11, so it will be blindsided by China. They are furiously building an asymmetric warfare capability to take you guys out. In terms of group fitness, the Chinese wrote the manual: The Art of War. They are coming for you, and you guys are more concerned with feminising the military. China is already stealing islands off its neighbours, who are pooping their pants because they know the US (especially Obama) will do absolutely nothing to stop them. Wake up, sleepy heads. Get out of your myopia.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      The threat from China isn’t a military threat. China will also have to face the problems of global climate change. Not only are they not immune from the problem, but it is much, much worse in China than it is in the US.

      BTW, I’ve actually read the Art of War and much of it is obsolete due to technological advances. Sure, some of it is still valid and that is why it is a classic, but don’t try to make it out to be some sort of manual for Chinese world domination. You might be surprised to know that most of our own military leaders have probably also read that book (it isn’t even that long).

      What I propose is that we stop fighting with the Chinese and actually try to work with them on the issues that are important to us both. For a communist country, there is a lot of capitalism taking place there. We can work with them for the betterment of humanity. They want the same things we want.

  • Kira Des

    What makes you think that if the religious fundamentalists win, they’d be believers in Jesus? I think it’s a hundred times more probable that they will be believers in Allah. The number of Muslims continues to grow and they have Jihad on their side, which has taken over many countries one by one and is already spreading across Europe. I’d hope that it doesn’t happen but the way things are – most of the world will be under Islamic law and rule in a century.

    I think the only way to stop this is if smart people have more children in order to reverse the obvious trend we have at the moment – of people’s intelligence being inversely proportional to the birth rate. Otherwise, we’re doomed.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      I disagree. Yes, Islam is growing in many other countries, but no other country has the military might of the United States of America. In America, the number of Muslims is about 0.6%. It’s kinda not that big of a deal. If the Republicans pick a fundamentalist wacko for their presidential nominee and that wacko happens to win the general election, then we will see Christian fundamentalism in action. This is far more likely than 0.6% of Muslims taking over the United States or in Muslims around the world being able to successfully destroy the United States in a military conflict. To put it in context, If W. Bush became president today, the Religious Right would have egged him on much more and he would have almost certainly been even crazier right wing than he already was. Could you imagine Rick Perry as President? Or Sarah Palin? Maybe Sam Brownback will throw his hat into the ring. These are pretty probable possibilities.