The Evolution of Religion

Oct 19, 2011 Comments Off by

It is becoming blindingly apparent that if the senior members of the older religions do not move to modernise their institutions’ standpoints, their institutions, and possibly religions, will die out. The major world religions are increasingly under siege from the fair-minded secular who dislike the conservative and sometimes tyrannical views. Religions are expected to keep up with modern morality.

It seems there are two roads. Turn left, and bring the teachings of a religion up to speed with contemporary ethical and legal philosophy, or turn right, and slowly die out from dwindling numbers as people cannot relate the teachings to their real lives. Religion, perhaps ironically, has the choice to either adapt or die, which is, in a word, evolution.

In some cases, religion has already evolved. There are numerous spiritualist groups around the world and they are growing in number. Such ideas tend to shift the goalposts beyond the horizon, so that science doesn’t have any hope of catching up with them soon. The revival of extinct or endangered religions, such as paganism or neo-druidism, which are more timid, could also be considered evolution. Such groups tend not have teachings at odds with the rest of the world and also have a rare element of fun.

Although, it is probably not surprising that religion must evolve in order to survive. Almost anything, in almost any system that is complex enough, will evolve. Nations, corporations, and organisations all adapt to keep going, so why not religion.

But will religion actually change? Religion has been resisting change increasingly for many decades now. It may be past the point of no return, and is destined to disappear. Or it may be at the tipping point, which seems more likely given the overall world prominence of religion. Or this whole theory may be wrong and religion will be fine, apart from being locked in an eternal argument with the considerably non-religious.


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