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I was reading a Sci-Fi novel a few years ago in which a group of primitive aliens were discussing their various religious beliefs.  One of these aliens turned to the human protagonist to ask about religion on Earth.  The human responded, rather snobbishly I thought, “Oh, we outgrew that stuff.”  I’ve known more than a few people who longingly await the day when religion is tossed upon the ash heap of history, and this attitude seems to be pervasive among science fiction authors as well.  “The Orion War” is my response.

1.3 Orion War

“What good has religion ever done for us?” these anti-religious individuals might ask.  They’d then point to the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the current discord over evolution, gay marriage, and stem cell research.  They might also point to the ongoing threat of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.  Given all the trouble religion has caused us, wouldn’t it be better to simply…

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2 responses »

  1. Religion has evolved over the millennia; from deification and anthropomorphization of inanimate objects; to a pantheon of man-like beings; to a single being; to a guiding force. Ideas of an afterlife have also evolved.

    Religion satisfies a deep psychological need for answers to some of the mysteries of life; and as such, will probably not be “outgrown” as long as humans have the biological brains they do. Since there will probably always be mysteries, there will probably always be religion (or some such belief in a value system that cannot be proven to exist). However, as we learn more about our world, and ask new questions, religion will have to evolve to answer those new questions. In the future, our conclusions about how the world was created, what (if anything) guides it, and what our eventual fate will be, may change radically from what it is today.

    Of course, there will be some who espouse these ideas, and others who will deny them. Religion may become more fringe; or, depending on its future form, may be accepted by the majority of humanity. Only time will tell.


    • James Pailly says:

      “Fringe” is probably a good term to discribe the Christian community we meet in “Orion War.”

      What will religion really look like in the future? I don’t know. I’m sure it will be very different than what it is today, but I just find it hard to believe it will ever go away entirely.


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