Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
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20-03-2017, 10:26 AM
RE: Atheism surges as Brits stop saving a prayer for a higher power
(20-03-2017 09:23 AM)julep Wrote:  
(20-03-2017 09:18 AM)mordant Wrote:  That makes perfect sense, though. People whose thinking is the most rigid, and who consider their beliefs the most indispensable, are going to either be traumatized out of their faith or driven into the deepest recesses of it. These folks see the world turning to shit and anyone telling them, "come over here, and circle the wagons with us" are going to pick them up as adherents. They will assert things like, "this is happening because we haven't been sinless / pure / faithful enough, here's how you've been doing it wrong".

In a future world where religion is entirely on the margins, I would expect those margins to be a LOT wackier than is average right now.

The same phenomenon is happening politically, too. It explains the rise of far-right nationalism, isolationism, and bigotry.

The great danger in all this is that liberalism (religious, political, and otherwise) has maybe over-played its hand a little too early in the game, and now we have an abreaction because there were too many people waiting in the shadows to reassert their core beliefs and make a power grab. The world isn't ready for that level of inclusiveness and compassion in our public conduct. It is still too tribal, to unaware and deliberately blinkered, too subjectively driven by negative emotion and threat avoidance and largely impervious to objectively positive indicators. Such people see threats everywhere, and upsides nowhere. Indeed, the only upsides they CAN see on their horizon of awareness is increasing conformity to dogma, and they have seen precious little of that of late.

I agree that it makes sense. I think it's actually quite likely that anti-liberal, pro-tribal forces are going to increase their power markedly over the next few years. When things get even shittier, they'll double down and say it's because there are still too many heretics and outsiders. Take their country back will morph into take their planet back, and we'll all be fucked.

Liberalism, tolerance, and attempts to expand "tribe" to include all humans, IMO, flourish and expand mostly in times of relative peace and prosperity. I don't see much of that in the near future.
I have in recent years regarded the resurgence of conservative religious and political sentiments as a reflection of their death throes. What I didn't realize was that it would go quite this far and threaten to push us into a new dark age (mini or maxi, or aborted, I don't pretend to know at this point). I had hoped that it would just take another generation or two to root it out by attrition, but now the open question is how many younger people are getting pulled into this.

So while I don't think I was fundamentally wrong in my assessment, I think I miscalculated regarding the amount of pain and suffering that purging these primitive memes from our collective brains was going to exact from us. It is rather like an anti-slavery activist of the 1850s thinking slavery was on the way out, and not exactly being wrong, but not foreseeing the national paroxysm that was the Civil War and the long detour through reconstruction and Jim Crow which isn't fully resolved to this day.

Sadly, my great grandchildren may well still be dealing with this crap, and I had hoped that wouldn't be the case.
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