As much as I express scepticism about religion, I do actually like it. It serves a purpose, and it does help a lot of people. But, if the theory of it being a “software” means of organising masses of people to improve survivability, then it appears that many of the mainstream religions have reached a roadblock of how far they can progress. This is because the rules and guidance they provide no longer marry up to a technologically driven world.
Although they had their evident flaws, old school religions do something that the modern replacements (e.g. Marxism, liberalism, humanism, capitalism, post-modernism, woke-ism) don’t bother trying to tackle, and that is trying to create a bigger picture. The old school creators had serious imagination. I mean, humanism is just humans are great. Marxism is just workers are great. And so on. That’s all pretty low-level in comparison to “there’s this big dude up there who made everything! Like, EVERYTHING! And this super powerful being, well, it cares about you.”
I know some people say science should belong into such a bag of religious-type beliefs, but it’s just a tool, it doesn’t give meaning (although it can help people find it), and you can’t organise people by proving dark matter exists or having an equation that would say “42 is the answer!” That being said, it’s the science that has been the pain in the arse for all these religions, even the newer ones. Like humanism, it barely takes any research to show that humans are not as great or individual as we like to pretend we are. While with the old school ones, the list of inaccuracies is a hell of a lot longer as they try to tackle many nuances in life.
Why can’t we just ditch all high-level belief and get through life? Well, that seems to go against human nature. This need for a higher level of belief appears to be something ingrained into ourselves; forcing ourselves to think otherwise doesn’t seem to work. People are fucking miserable without a sense of purpose, and I think that’s palpably clear. There is an innate want for meaning and to be a part of something bigger. It’s biologically imprinted into us because that need allowed us to be better social animals, which made us better survivors. So, because of this, I sometimes think that the world needs a new religion. It would need to help give people the ultimate meaning to want a better world and help guide human development with rules that can evolve through time, like a software that can continually update to allow adaptation to an ever-changing environment. So, what I keep on ending up with during these stoner thoughts is that what’s needed is a belief that can combine the practical with the ultimate purposeful. I try to guess what this could be in my books. An example is that it’s humanity’s purpose to create God.
As weird as it sounds, there are some sound structures to such a belief. It’s a belief about the future, so you can’t disprove it. It’s a big and fucking lofty ideal that is ultra-purposeful. You can’t get more meaning than that:
“Hi, Tim. What are you up to today?”
“Hi, Mr Tiddlywinks. I’m just trying to help facilitate the creation of God.”
It’s a belief that would not regress or go against human/technological development as the whole purpose of the view relies on such progress. Also, any developed rules for it can pragmatically change with whatever the environment throws. Of course, that goes to the potential risk of such a belief; it’s the ultimate “ends justify the means” type of thinking. You’d be able to convince yourself that you could do anything at all, as long as it could be justified as helping humanity reach Godhood. You could quite easily imagine that life would become more than expendable, as long as such a goal was achieved as human life is insignificant compared to a god’s.
Then again, I could be completely wrong, and maybe we should focus on the low-level thought and keep it basic. The human brain can help model this. One neuron in our brain has basic functions, and there is no complexity in thought derived from it. When you have 86 billion of them, it’s another matter, and somehow sentience is derived from it. These are all interlinked with around 32 trillions cells, trillions of bacteria, and the external environment. All of which helps us become conscious beings. If all those neurons were far more complex, competent, and got fucking uppity with each other, then consciousness would be far too chaotic to function. So perhaps, the actual opposite is needed. Maybe we’re supposed to regress into efficient automatons, so that individually we’re pointless, but when amassed with billions of others, we can coordinate to create a conscious superorganism somehow.
Also, maybe no reason or purpose is needed for us as our transformation to this state is simply a natural process that’s fixed into us like a seed that germinates. Maybe any thought or reason that we attach to our lives and civilisations are just pointless noise whilst this fixed process takes place. We could believe in an omnipotent Spaghetti Monster or Jesus, and it would be irrelevant as our fate would be fixed.
The annoying part, I can keep expanding on such thoughts but it’ll ultimately lead no where as such big questions can never be answered with such a small computer (the human brain). So, ultimately, I have no fucking clue. Even so, it’s pretty damn entertaining and fun to think about such big things as it’s like creating a story. Also, I can’t help but feel life would be far blander if I thought I had all the answers.
Anyway, that’s enough stoner thoughts from me! I’m starting to feel peckish 🙂 .