Freethinker’s Forum: Reason’s decline |

Freethinker’s Forum: Reason’s decline

Modernization has taken on a very different meaning in recent years: The future does not look welcoming for the unfaithful.

For centuries, modernization in Western societies was synonymous with secularization. Separation of church and state, a paradigm exploited by every successful society since the Copernican revolution, has been paramount for civic advancements, scientific achievements and ethnic tolerance. But presently, anyone can see that the line between priest and politician is practically nonexistent.

Just look around you. Our once-beautiful country is now theologically juxtaposed against Islam and its tenets of violence, and we are spearheading the campaign against progress by taking on a medieval crusade in the name of a fictitious protagonist named Jesus. There is nothing modern about our actions. We are acting like the men and women of antiquity – men and women who solved problems by bloodletting.

Where do the nonbelievers fit into all of this? According to demographer Eric Kaufman, the future looks bleak for those who don’t fully embrace stone-age ideas and myths. Kaufman states that the world’s religious population is now increasing, and this is in stark contrast to almost a full century of decline.

The reason for this change, Kaufman argues, is twofold: First and foremost, religious people simply have more children. Inherited religiosity is by far the easiest way for the God franchise to expand. Why do you think the Catholic Church is against condom use, despite the fact that many sexually transmitted diseases are rampant in our society?

Secondly, many people in the new generation are rejecting secularization, which means that inherited religious beliefs are becoming stronger and less malleable. Science is presenting humans with fantastically bizarre answers to the most challenging questions of the cosmos, and yet, for some reason, the next generation is more interested in the foolhardy tales of gods and prophets.

But do not be mistaken: This isn’t solely an American problem. The high rate of Muslim immigration in Europe, coupled with Islam’s dogged tenacity, will cause a decline of secular European politics by the middle of the 21st century, Kaufman argues. Due to these regrettable factors, world modernization will start to resemble American modernization, with politicians finding themselves in a constant state of compromise with the sizable religious populations. In other words, it will be necessary for a European candidate to appease the devout in order to win the electorate. Sounds eerily familiar, right?

It’s hard to fathom that the world continues to be shaped by ancient storytellers who didn’t even properly understand the differences between a rock and a tree. These storytellers continue to fuel an ever-expanding ideological conflict between the east and the west; and when radical Muslim nations like Iran have the capacity to enrich uranium, they also have the ability to commit Old Testament-style extermination.

Modernization has become a very dangerous word.

– Damian Sowers’ e-mail is

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