I read a lot of recent atheist opinions about the “imminent collapse” of religion. It’s certainly positive thinking, and a boon for society to no longer cling to ignorance, fear and superstition, but there’s an element of whistling past the graveyard about it in my opinion.
Religion could completely collapse as an idea and remain the tool it is today for control. If you would like an example, look no further than Saudi Arabia. Their law is based in religion, it proscribes personal behavior down to the minutia of daily life, and it is by nature brutally repressive. Are all Saudis “true believers”? No. Do a majority of them agree with the repressive tenets of Islam? No. Why then, do 28 million inhabitants living in poverty, squalor, and ignorance not rise up together one day and squash those responsible for their misery?
“Groups of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.” [quote Wikipedia]
We could set up an experiment called “the religion of politics” to observe this principle in action. Lets call it the US. In the US there are three rooms. One room has a group of people we’ll call Democrats. The second room, a group we’ll call Republicans. The third room contains a small group comparatively to the other two who control the conditions in the other two rooms and substantially benefit [earn money] from the use of those controls by depriving the other two rooms of resources or they could lose benefits by allocating resources fairly between groups. The occupants of the “control room” are selected by vote as permanent representatives for the people of their respective background demographic rooms.
Care to make a prediction of the outcome? Will the occupants of each room participate honestly in the process? Will they adhere to the process? Will they learn from past experience how to best select candidates? Are any/all of them satisfied with the outcome of their decisions?
If we wish to end religion, we must FIRST remove it from power, and prevent it from gaining any future influence.
Debating whether or not it [religion/politics] is a good idea or a bad one is irrelevant. We only need to examine the outcome of our experiment for the truth.