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    Posted October 4, 2015 by
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    The Great Awakening: Three Reasons Why Your Grandchildren Will Never Know God

    With important advances in technology, our grandchildren may never know God. Already we are in the midst of an enlightenment. From 2007 to 2014, the number of Americans who identified as religious dropped almost eight percent, and the number who identified as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular” increased by six percent. These changes were not limited to one demographic, although the greatest increase was seen in the young. They were found across all faiths, genders, races, and socioeconomic groups.

    Here are three reasons why this trend will not only continue, but may effectively cause an extinction of supernatural belief.

    The Internet
    What the Gutenberg press did for the average man and the Bible, the Internet is now doing for the average man and belief. With the ability to research our own questions through search engines such as Google, we have become empowered to seek our own answers, no matter our academic background or training. In fractions of a second, we can now find answers to things that our ancestors once ascribed to the gods. In a way, the Internet is an ethereal spirit not unlike God, and while it does not show itself, it does speak. The Internet speaks through answers from search engines and through the collective voices of all who connect through the web.

    On the World Wide Web, we can read about the wide flavors and varieties of opinions, which many of us may not be exposed to in our local communities. Through on-line forums and chat rooms, we connect with other skeptics and voice our doubts in a safe manner, away from the judgment of our neighbors and perhaps even the wrath of our families. Sites exist for doubters of nearly every faith, even for clergy who are still masquerading as believers.

    An analysis of Google Trends suggests a cultural awakening. As a representative of our lives as well as our collective psyche, search engines reveal a lot about us and about what we think. The number of Americans asking the question, “Is God real?” has increased four-fold from 2007. Ditto for Jesus. People seem to be questioning their beliefs with searches such as, “Who made God?” and “What is God?”

    Artificial Intelligence
    With the advent of voice bots, natural language generation, and artificial intelligence, machines are quickly on their way to becoming a new type of all-knowing, all-powerful superhero (or villain, depending on your view). This Christmas, some children will find AI Barbie under the tree. The doll will be able to have a conversation and remember (read: store) important information about kids to use in later conversations. Barbie will offer her devout, eternal friendship, although she may also feed the narcissism that Jesus fed for earlier generations. Barbie, like Jesus, loves us, no matter what we’ve done.

    AI will fill God’s role while offering solutions for problems that have long-plagued humanity, such as extreme weather events, climate change, and answers to the heart-breaking questions of why some children develop cancer or other debilitating illnesses. One day, machines may be able to create the perfect species or decide who should die and when.

    Over the past few centuries, we have pushed God and the heavens further out into the universe. In the future, we will be recreating a new great chain of being here on earth with AI heading the hierarchy. This intelligence will no doubt exceed human’s, one day answering humanity’s biggest questions: How did we get here, and where are we going?

    The next best thing to a heaven we can’t see and that doesn’t make sense is a technology we can see and that does make sense. Over the millennia, the afterlife has provided hope for reuniting loved ones and for a life free of suffering. The hope that parents and children could be together again in heaven was the best panacea for the pain of death. The nascent cryogenics industry now offers a better chance of immortality and an afterlife. Rather than buying a plot, a coffin, and a headstone, organizations such as Alcor Life Extension Foundation sell the hope of resuscitation and of restoring good health.

    As we’ve become more sophisticated as organisms and more aware of our surroundings and ourselves, we’ve still held tightly to God. It is not difficult to understand: mortality and injustice are tough pills to swallow, no matter how physically or intellectually tough we are. With the Internet, AI, and cryogenics, every person will be able to find answers to many of humanity’s timeless existential questions. Some of us will even be able to buy hope for a more certain afterlife.

    Our grandchildren will have no need for God.
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