A recent post about atheism elicited a bizarre comment. I had observed that atheists may soon find it necessary to actively neutralize or eliminate religious believers as dangerous extremists and harmful bigots. An unbeliever commented that they wouldn’t need to. They would just wait for all the believers to die out in the face of the indomitable force of technology driven secularism.
The lack of awareness by this supposedly enlightened soul is astounding. All the statistics show that, rather than decreasing, religious belief around the world is increasing at a very fast pace. Islam is a fast growing religion, but Christianity is growing faster. Furthermore, religious belief is not only growing as the world population grows, it is growing faster than the normal expected growth of the world population. Even further furthermore, it is traditional religion that is experiencing the greatest surge of growth.
Technology and science haven’t lessened humanity’s appetite for religion, because as it grows the world population is also growing in awareness of, and use of modern technology. Where traditional religion is waning is in the affluent, amoral countries. This would lead us to conclude that it is affluence and decadence that affect religious belief negatively, not technology or science in and of themselves.
I don’t have a problem with people being atheists. I don’t have a problem with people be smart. What does get my goat is people who strut around as smart atheists, who haven’t really thought through their position. So many that I meet seem to have done just what they accuse dumb theists of doing: swallowing the propaganda pills. They’ve read a headline somewhere or heard a sophomoric argument against religion or the Catholic Church and never trouble themselves to find out whether it is true, whether it is logical or whether it is sustainable at all.
Take the person who commented: he must have caught on to the popular notion of progressivism–that each and every day in each and every way we are getting better and better. He believes this because of the wonders of science and technology. In other words, because we have more gadgets, can communicate faster and manipulate our bodies and our environment more we are somehow improved as human beings. All of this despite the fact that we have just emerged from the century in which we have at once made the fastest technological progress and also exhibited the most vast moral decadence, violence and depravity the world has ever seen. So this is progress?