virus: Religion of the future

Richard Brodie (
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 08:55:01 -0700

The failure of religion to satisfy the masses is not, as many have thought, a failure to take into account modern scientific truths. It is instead a failure to satisfy the shift in people's lives from coping with survival to exercising their own power and choices. Where an old-time religion had given advice on comforting and succoring the weak and ill, in the future we will need admonitions against caretaking and enabling the deluded and unaccountable. Where an old-time religion had given advice on walking the straight and narrow path needed to maximize the chance for group survival, in the future we will want advice on blazing our own trail effectively. Where an old-time religion bet it's own survival on proselytization by threat and conditioning, in a future where we are all conditioned to be wary of attempts to condition us and coerce us through fear, a religion will recruit by displaying playful fulfillment among its membership.

We must stop taking serious people so seriously. Life is important-but it is not serious. Preachers and pop psychologists who attempt to shame us into sacrificing our lives for others, even our children, are working to create a world of misery raising its next generation of sufferers. How much more compassionate to realize that each of us must put our own life first and trust that we may make our contribution to others within that context.

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme" Free newsletter!