Here on Building a Better World Part 9, I wanted to talk about the ultimate fate of religion in the far-flung future. As I already discussed in my post on time travel, religion didn’t fare well in the distant future and everywhere that it tried to prove it’s claims, it failed miserably. This wasn’t limited to the Catholics, nor to Christianity, virtually all monotheistic religions failed across the board when it became painfully clear that they were all false. Christianity, as a whole, dropped to representing a tiny percentage of the population. Islam similarly fell, but they had some serious problems that I’ll explore in part 10 of my series. Judiasm went virtually extinct, as did Shintoism, Taoism and many of the other eastern religions. Hinduism fared better than most but it too was practiced by only a sliver of the population.
So what happened to religion? Read on and find out.
Religion failed, mostly because it became absurd to continue to believe things which advanced science had disproven. Sure, they stumbled on for a while, hemorrhaging members left and right, but over time, it became impossible for most theists to adhere to the doctrines of religions that were clearly lying to and misleading their followers. While virtually no religions, outside of the Catholics, ever dared to use science to attempt to verify their beliefs, this mostly came off to the general public as fear and an admission that they didn’t really believe the things they purported to believe in the first place.
As I had also brought up previously, there were Purity Colonies dedicated to religious belief, most major religions had at least one and, with a single exception, all of them failed, some through attrition and some through violence. There were two Muslim Colonies, one Shiite and one Sunni and they ended up destroying each other over doctrinal differences. The last of the religious Purity Colonies was called New Vatican, where the last of the dwindling Catholic faithful fled following their failed time travel experiments. It didn’t last too long, in-fighting and a loss of faith caused it to fall within a century and the planet was largely abandoned, with the exception of an order of hyper-religious monks that remained for a while thereafter.
This doesn’t mean that religion died out entirely, but the modern-day monotheistic and polytheistic religions simply didn’t have much staying power once humanity was faced with a universe full of aliens who had no clue about humanity’s gods. In fact, these aliens often came with a full complement of their own gods and beliefs and, to everyone’s amazement, humans were only too happy to adopt and worship these alien gods and that fact really was the final straw for most rational humans. An improvement in education, advancements in science and the clear and obvious demonstration that the beliefs of some of the largest and most influential religions had done most of them in and those that remained were quite different than what had come before. They tended to be more esoteric beliefs, without faith in gods or the supernatural. They became more philosophically spiritual than supernaturally spiritual and even those didn’t tend to garner large followings. In my sci-fi universe’s modern day, religion is not really a factor in public life. In a general sense, churches are few and far between, it’s not a matter for discussion in public discourse, politically it’s a non-issue and those that do consider themselves religious are, if not embarrassed about it, are at least quiet about it because it’s not a matter for open discussion most of the time.
It’s sort of become what I wish religion would be like in the real world. It’s no surprise that things have gone that way in my science fiction world.
Next time, as I hinted, I discuss something about the Muslims and whatever happened to the planet Earth. I hope you look forward to it.