Have Theistic ideals slowed humanities progression?

This question is personal to me, for it was the main catalyst for me turning to Atheism, many years ago.

I’d like to put forward the notion, that due to words like blasphemy, technological progression was halted, or even in some cases reversed.

Humanity, as I’m sure you’re probably aware, is only around 0.7 on the Kardashev scale, if it wasn’t for Theistic manipulation, could we have potentially reached a type 1 civilisation by now?

This is a chain of thought that has caused me great resentment, for I feel my life would be far more interesting and colourful, if the average person had access to space travel for example.

That’s not even mentioning all the other potential wonders on our horizon, wonders that I may never be able to witness in my lifetime.

If this theory holds any water, that would mean we are still being slowed, the only hope we would have is for the exponential growth of technology to superseed the out dated ideologies; of course this would also imply a decline in the Theist population, due to conversion.

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I am no expert, but if I had to guess, it might of helped a little bit two to three thousand years ago, but in the 21st century it seems to be pretty obvious to me that it has slowed human race progression.

Similar train of thought has caused me to resent large portions of the human race, with a particular focus on the very rich and powerful leaders of various religions. After spending a lot of hours here and other places discussing religion with people both anonymous on the net and with friends and family in person, I would say a vast majority of “religious folks” are actually victims. Brainwashed from a young age by all their most important peers, parents, teachers, religious leaders etc. I am under no illusion that if I was raised in similar circumstances I would likely been caught up in the same brainwashing.

On a side note, I think space travel for the average person, would have never been possible, even if we have been a strictly science focused race for the last several millennia. I do not think casual space travel for everyone with our fragile mortal bodies will ever be possible.

I think that is fair to have resentment about. An easy example would be many religions attempts at blocking embryo research and other genetic research. While there absolutely are moral implications to consider, the “god creates life at point of conception” and it is an abomination to go against “god’s” plan, or some derivation of such line of thinking.

The exponential growth of tech may well do that. I feel in some ways it already is/has. Major organized religion has gone from, controlling most all of education, the written word, research etc, to being increasingly pushed to the fringe. The internet means websites like this exist where people can openly talk about alternatives and point out large flaws of religion among like minded peers, for almost free. In many major cities in the US average weekly church attendance has dropped sometimes well below 50% Especially among the youth.

Conversion to an “atheist” standpoint remains low. But I would argue that zealotry and other fanatical following of religion has greatly waned in many parts of the world. I have met many, MANY! people that are not religious in any major way except in name and a few major events in their lives, and barely spare a thought to religion/god otherwise. I frequently find as a life long atheist, that I know more about many aspects of especially the christian god that most theist know, and I never been a christian and have had minimal exposure (compared to most,) to christianity.

Consider yourself lucky, I was raised a Church of England Christian, said the Lords prayer every night.

My mother tells me my disbelief is a phase that will pass, it’s been a decade, she still maintains this. :no_mouth:

I’ve tried reasoning with her in every way I can imagine, she just shakes her head at me like I’m making a fool of myself. This issue has created a wall between us, so much so I barely talk to her anymore.

It’s not for lack of trying on my side, honestly I’ve become apathetic towards the situation.

Being raised a Christian definitely had an adverse effect on my character, it took many years to stop believing my every action was watched by an almighty, judging deity.

It took a few more years to develop my own moral compass, those years were shaky, I went through that phase of “nothing matters anyway.” until one day I realised, my actions affect others, what right did I have to interfere in such a way.

I feel with Atheism, came wisdom, wisdom I’d never have achieved living as a Theist.

Anyway, I seem to have gone off topic :rofl:

I always remain very impressed by people that are born into religious indoctrination and still manage to free themselves. It seems most folks are more interested in what they are familiar with and maintaining status quo even if status quo may be harmful to them.

It has been my limited experience that folks that identify themselves as atheist for a decade or more do not tend to switch back. Once the illusion is fully broken, and people are able to properly examine their previous religion stance from an untainted outside perspective, it is a bit like asking an adult that has not believed in Santa Claus for years, to suddenly believe in Santa Claus again.

I am not sure what you can do. I have certainly tried to point out my view point and how I reached it to many family and friends, (very gently these days.) Until people are ready to hear it, (and quite often that can be never,) no amount of reasoning, logic, evidence, etc will dissuade people to change something so central to their overall thinking. Kids for the same reason they are so vulnerable to indoctrination, are usually the only ones that are open to such a radical change in core thinking. Expecting someone that is 60+ and been religious all their lives to change is usually a fools errand, at least until they are ready to “hear it.”

I went through a similar process, even though I was never religious, when I left the nest at 18 and struck out on my own. No doubt, moving away from religion or having no religion, some answers have to be filled in to replace what was lost. But at least you made those decisions yourself, you took a journey of discovery of actual truth instead of living a lie in your very finite time alive.

I do that all the time here.
:wink:

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Ahhh - “what if”??? The wonderful world of what would have been!

The Library of Alexandria.

Where would mankind/science/philosophy/history be now if only this had survived?

Or, perhaps, hundreds of years from now, science may be resented for withdrawing from … (name anything we’ve left off for “ethical” reasons)…

Don’t misunderstand…I agree that religion has “slowed” mankind’s ability to evolve at a “faster pace”, fuck, not only with knowledge, BUT socially (regarding women’s rights, LGTB, racial, etc) HOWEVER I am grateful for all that has happened in the past.

Huh? Whaaaaa :flushed: Whyyyyy??? Because, if it didn’t happen this way, I would not be here to enjoy it. So I don’t give a fuck about “what could have been”, I’m grateful for how it is now, with a tiny goal of improving it a smitchen through educating my boys.

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Honestly, I’ve never thought of it like that, you have a very valid point there.

I’d never heard of the library of Alexandria, you’ve given me a whole page of history to explore, I thank you for that.

Sadly, this is a fact I’m slowly coming to accept.

One social construct that could be implemented, but surely never will, is to ban the teaching of anything religious to anyone under a certain age. Atheism included aswell of course.

I only say this, because children are too impressionable and accepting of anything they are told by adults.

It would be near impossible to implement, can you imagine trying to stop Muslims teaching their children Islam, for example. GOOD LUCK. :joy:

Still, an interesting thought.

Well, by default, we are all birth atheist (no belief in god).

Kids ask questions. I introduced death to the boys at a young age. Burying hamsters and flushing goldfish. I’d give them a hug when stupid animal name pet died. They’d ask if “he’s” OK and I’d say yes, he’s dead.

Later they asked what happens at death. So I honestly told them I didn’t know, cause I wasn’t dead yet, but from what I can tell, the body stops working and so does our brain. Do you think “we” go anywhere? I don’t know…I’ve never experienced “going” anywhere when I had surgery and there are some “cool” NDE but those are only told to us by living people using their memory, so I don’t know how accurate their idea of “life after death is” - but if their experiences teach me anything, it appears that when we go through the process of dying, it can be a wonderful experience.

These always lead to questions about ghosts, aliens, parallel universes, what “superpower” would I want…

In other words, as a parent it’s difficult to answer some questions without using your own life experiences or knowledge - a religious person, believes in the afterlife, and base it on some type of evidence and share that with their kids to elevate fear of death, sharing with them “what they know”.

Personally, I wouldn’t want this process interfered with. You grew up, and are making your own decisions on your own now. My boys will grow up and may join a church. :woman_shrugging:t2:
Who knows? Then they may be mad at me for not teaching them “the truth” and almost condemning their little soul to hell :fire: bwahhhh hahhhhaaaa hahhhhaaaaa. :smiling_imp:

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Oh,that’s easy; Cold war Russia :face_with_monocle:

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Lol :laughing:. Yes!!! Control! The superpower of control- then everything would be “right” bwahhh hahhhha haaaa

Thanks Cranks - reminded me… check out China :cn: for this idea in reality.

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I’m not entirely convinced that simply banning an entrenched social idea or practice is always (ever?) effective.

Of course I might be wrong. I’d be very interested in learning of just one example

Some things which have been banned and did not just go away:

Alcohol in the US; prohibition.

The church banned sex outside marriage,and still does.

The church has always also banned masturbation.

In our society at least, sex between adolescents has been banned for centuries. It seems to me that many parents still have a problem seeing their adolescent children as sexual beings

Both the Soviet Union and the PRC tried to ban religion. Looking at those places today, religion seems to be flourishing.

I’m unable to agree that religion has held back human progress, especially since that does not seem to be the case in China or India.

I think it may be reasonably argued that religion slowed down progress in Europe and the world, up to the enlightenment in the18th century.Then came the industrial revolution, and continuous development up to today. I’m not convinced we would be any further developed if there had been no religion.In my opinion, we can speculate but not prove either position.

MY basic position on religion has not change: Religion is literally universal and has been so at last since the beginning of recorded history. It is we atheists who are in the minority, not the believers , in all of their diversity.

It is my opinion that religion only exists, on the scale that it has because it meets important human needs. I think religions almost certainly have some [social] evolutionary benefit.

IMO it is no accident that as countries become more affluent, the need for religions decline,and countries become secular.

Today, significant religious growth may be correlated with lack of development, poverty and ignorance (uneducated) I can’t prove there is causal link, but I suspect that is the case.

Have a look at the US.It seems to me that as groups, the most egregiously dogmatic and superstitious believers are found in areas of poverty and lack of education. Have a look at the US bible belt. Seems to me these states are the poorest in the union.

If religion is banned or restricted, people will have those needs met some other ways, typically through personality cults; EG Nazi Germany, the soviet union, Maoist China and the Kim dynasty in North Korea.

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While its true that the political and social power of the Christian Church (specifically, and other religions generally) impeded the growth and development of human freedom, morality, knowledge and by smothering secular philosophy and the sciences, there is no guarantee that a Christian free history would have delivered a brighter cleaner freer 21st Century. Its like the old ‘what if’ story that suggests if someone could have killed Hitler as a baby or if he had died in the trenches in WW1, WW2 might have been avoided. We don’t know this to be true.There were plenty of candidates and political turmoils at the time, anything might have happened and quite likely any alternative outcome might not have been better.
History is damn unpredictable. Who, apart from the Simpsons would have guessed Trump would be POTUS? It was such a ludicrous idea at the time it made a perfect plot device for a socially satirical cartoon show.
But it is fair to say that every draconian legally enforced promotion of the Christian creed from the Edict of Milan in 325 AD to the Code of Justinian in 529 AD (which quite literally made even thinking about alternatives to established dogma a thought crime) set the stage for the stagnation of human development for the next 1500 years or so.
But rather than get mad that all that happened, be grateful we have in some small way emerged out from the theist shadow and that some of us can openly claim our atheism and confidence in secular ideas and ideals. Some poor bastards even today still cant do that under threat of death or belligerent discriminaton. Better to promote the positive for the hope of the future for all of us, including those poor bastards, than dwell on the past negative.

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Trump and QAnon … hoping USA has more intelligence than what is being touted

I think the US is collectively easily smart enough to have avoided electing Donald Trump once and George W Bush twice***

I have the suspicion that so many smart-enough people can’t be arsed voting that the stupids win…

When 40% of a country decline to vote,I think it’s reasonable to say those people get the government they deserve==also for lacking the wit to vote against a candidate they hate.

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((90)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

***have never understood why Dubya was proud to be a pubic wig. I actually heard him say so, at least once. He actually said “Ah’m proud to be a merkin” :face_with_monocle:

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Here’s another thought, goes along the same lines really.

We are mortal because our chromozones decay, what if in the relatively near future, we develop the ability to renew our chromozones.

Imagine how theists would react to that, who needs heaven when you are immortal on earth.

Obviously, you’d need an off switch, for when you run out of things to do.

Gives you another reason to resent, we could potentially be the last mortal generations of the human race.

Imagine technology could return your youth to you, I doubt it would reverse the effects of aging, but it could definitely halt it. Maybe quantum autonomous nano swarms riding our blood cells, acting as a super immune system, regulating our body, giving us increased regenerative abilities. Okay, I may be getting ahead of myself with all this pseudo science and what ifs. :sweat_smile:

It’s the “tethers” that determine “life span”…and various studies are being pursued to understand and (perhaps) slow/extend/maintain this process - with an obvious intent to extend human life span.

Complicated read??? You betcha! Lots to learn and interactions of chemicals.
It’s like gene splicing- remove “one bad trait”, with the intention of easing suffering …and, oops :grimacing: that gene removal opened up a different vulnerability to another illness.

We have a looonngggg way to go - but we are getting there.

Imaginatively, I do hope or envision a future time where money is recognized for what it is (an imaginary construct that facilitates trading and cooperation) - AND humanity will outgrow its “use”…sorta like “needing the bible/Koran/fav holy book” to tell you how to be “moral”. However I don’t see that happening until mankind as a whole starts to really take responsibility and admits that it’s OK to not have answers.

The idea of AI causally being tossed as an alternative for humankind decision making and fair resource balancing scares the shit out of me. Why? Because
A) without emotions, it would be a psychopath (uh, think “corporations”)
B) programmed emotions (for empathy?) are only as good as “mankind’s emotional maturity” lol :joy:

Ahhhh. Thankfully I never get to live or experience the future.

I cant help but ask here if anyone else saw the news clip about Trump and QAnon, where a reporter explained to Trump that QAnon, considered to be a national threat by the FBI believes that he (Trump) is leading a global crusade against the organised forces of satanic cannibalistic paedophiles. Trump responded that he had not heard of Anon before other than they liked him. Trump look around the press group with hands in supplication beseechingly asked something like “That’s got to be a good thing, isn’t it?” Even Hitler would have to have been surprised anyone as leader of the most powerful nation could be so stupid.
sorry, off my soapbox

QAnon believe Trump is a “Savior” of sorts (fighting forces of evil be it “reptilian aliens” or “Illuminati” or “other secret society” or “demon/satanic forces” etc). It appeals to the religious and new age “white hat” groups that believe this world is run by evil forces.

Part of QAnon for the last upteen years has been a promise of arresting Clintons, Soros, Gates, Sachs/bankers, etc … now realistically are any of the above without some form of criminal activity? I’d bet they all have (Clinton all cozy with Epstein) … HOWEVER laughably, the arrests are happening around Trump’s inner circle :o:. Lol.

His lawyer, his previous campaign manager, etc etc

Besides, skeletons in the closet normally (not always) eventually get revealed (eg. Uh…Epstein- I’m sure The Royal Shithead Andrew isn’t “delighted” about that AND couldn’t stop the release). Whether there are arrests, or enough evidence to meet court standards is another story.

Anyway, if my favorite FB conspiracy guy is a partial insite into the pulse of these followers … well, maybe Trump is part of the “conspiracy” and QAnon is “dis-information”. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

NOW … a quick “google search” reveals this is BULLSHIT (wife info). Fucktards. Shit like this … but they are getting “tired of waiting”.

Edited to add: damn, wrong pic - doesn’t matter, the other was Fauci’s wife was Gislaine’s sister … which they aren’t “married”.

I’m going to slowly chew my way through that, I may get bored part way through, but I’ll do my best!

I feel woefully inadequate in my education, I didn’t enjoy school, so what I know, I’ve pretty much taught myself.

I’ll just look up the definition of words I don’t know, so I can gain a glimmer of understanding.

They gave up trying to get me to go in, I’d just disappear into the trees and build things instead! :joy: