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Man and Superman: Role of Religion

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 26th 2017

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In order to give focus to some major changes she sees on the horizon, Sramana Mitra has written several pieces that grew out of her original article, Man and Superman: Human History Bifurcates. The previous articles in this series: Two Distinct SpeciesWhat CAN Be Controlled?Rationalizing PopulationsHow Long Does Democracy Survive?; and The Environmental Time Bomb. Please share your thoughts and help get the conversation going.

In recent times, Islam is facing a tremendous backlash because of the mindshare that ISIS and Al-Qaeda have managed to garner. Anti-Islam sentiments are appealing political fodder for populist candidates.

But the religion that actually holds humanity together is one that cuts across all major religions: Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and most other smaller sects. In fact, that religion is one that even the Atheists and Agnostics subscribe to.

Humanism.

We’ve all, irrespective of our religious affiliations, bought into the concept that to serve God, you need to serve Man. Even the non-believers believe that being “Good” involves serving Man. And if my knowledge of scriptures of various religious dominions is accurate, serving Superman, won’t cut it. You need to serve the poor and the needy.

This has been a very helpful framework to keep humanity collaborating across socio-economic classes.

But what if Superman, at some point, loses interest in Humanism?

Already, many in that category are people armed with exceptional technical knowledge and prowess. They are men and women of Science, mostly not of Religion.

Today, Bill Gates spends his fortune (and Warren Buffet’s as well) to eradicate diseases like Malaria, Polio, etc., in far corners of Africa. Does he have to do that? Not necessarily. He does it because he is a Humanist. He has decided that serving Man is the best way to spend his time and money.

But what if Superman, at some point, as a group, decides, that Man is destroying the planet through overpopulation, causing unrest through terrorism, and is becoming a burden overall?

What if Superman decides that Humanism is no longer a good religion to follow? We need to let Evolution run its course.

I was born and raised Hindu. Today, however, I have no interest in God. I love the rituals of my family and culture that bring people together. Religion serves for me a social purpose as a solidifier of community, nothing more. But God, as a concept, no longer interests me. I draw my transcendence needs from my work, nature, art, beauty and relationships.

I have been deeply entrenched in Humanism, in liberal, democratic ideas. But, the fact that over population is threatening the planet’s wellbeing worries me. The rise of the useless zombie class worries me.

How far am I from that critical conclusion? That Humanism no longer makes sense. Let Evolution run its course.

It’s a disturbing question that I am unable to side step given where we’re going: rampant automation, end of Work, end of Capitalism, end of Democracy.

I request that you consider it thoughtfully, rather than pouncing on me with half-baked rebuttals.

My attempt to think this through is sincere. Please weigh in with similarly sincere contributions. I am looking to advance my thinking on this subject with your collective inputs.

 

This segment is a part in the series : Man and Superman

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