The rise of atheistic spirituality as an ideal
This is an excellent review of the current analysis of religious belief in its evolving public role.While the projected trends toward increased religion due to expansion of the developing world make sense given history as we know it, I wonder if this isn’t really a case of knowing only the ‘official’ history and applying that.
As I keep saying to people, rather tiresomely, the future is not going to be like the past. Throughout most of human history that was not a statement with significant likelihood of occuring. Our suspension in an era of immense paradigmatic change suggests to me something like a new axial age.
But there value judgements to be made and that will be made historically based on the survival of societies who simply drift back into religious belief in times of insecurity versus those that move to a new set of tools for assuaging insecurity or fostering positive attitudes and new actions.
The primary area of difference now is not atheism versus religion but atheism and spirituality versus religion and superstition. Many of us make a clear distinction between spirituality and religion with the first being personal and unconnected to supernatural or mythological beings or forces. The scientific indeterminacy of this universe along with the need to expand knowledge through diversity to find unity is a very satisfying replacement for insecurity.
This is, of course, predicated on continued movement to planetary level civilization with guaranteed well being as a shared commitment and right. This is tied to the positive development of a new type of civilization at the planetary level. This also places any movement to supernatural and classical mythos based religion as a logical result of the failure of civilization.
Put simply the return of religion is an indicator of failure, slow or fast. Successful development will be shown by the rise of atheist spirituality which is based in science and knowledge with diversity as an ideal.