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Evolutionary Spirituality

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Michael Dowd predicts that most religions will adapt to "evolutionary" version of their spirituality on something more or less like the following timeline:

  • 2010
    • evolutionary spirituality is a no brainer for under 30's, when they hear about it
    • there are several types of preaching: "you can do it" and inspirational Christianity, to post-modern Christianity (New Church movement) or "Green" Christianity
    • Unitarian Universalists, liberal Christians, Christian-Buddhist hybrid movements, will be have enthusiastically embraced Evolutionary story by this point
  • 2010-2015
    • evangelicals from more conservative paths will be having the conversations about how to accept or embrace evolution and deep time within their circles
    • the public concept of the older views of their religions will be something akin to what it looks like to consider "flat earth" Christianity- That the stars are the holes in the dome where God's light comes down through, and that the water falls into reservoirs that are piped back up to become rain- it's not that the story is bad, it's that it's so tiny and so small compared to the vastness of time and space- comparable to a "little deity"
  • 2020-2025
    • Evolutionary Spirituality is a real no-brainer for a great number of people- the 20+'s from 2010 are now 30+'s. The Evolutionary story is a foundation for meaning articulated in movies, the arts, games, and so on, and so forth. Parents and grandparents still scratch their heads and aren't quite sure how they feel about this.
  • 2030-2050
    • >50% of the majority of religions have embraced an ecologically based worldview; Islam may be a decade behind
  • 2060-
    • All religions are basically founded in Evolutionary Spirituality.

Now, Michael, as a source of intelligence, is clearly favorable towards Evolutionary Spirituality, and wants this to happen. That said, he has good arguments and unique insight as a long-time preacher.

I can't remember all of his arguments, but can recount some that I remember.

  • People from all angles (conservatives, too) are electrified by the message. The story of evolutionary spirituality is spiking a lot of interest from many different groups, and it's being supplied by many groups of people. Michael sees here the beginning pull of the water, before a major wave. He's been very surprised by the response, and the people who are asking for the message. So, just by numbers, he feels "major tug" here, and thus, he reasons, there's probably something substantial here. (1) the idea makes a lot of sense, just in itself. (2) the young accept it super-fast. (3) there's a lot of interest and "pull" here.
  • People are discovering that there are multiple interpretations of what has been discovered through the scientific method, and dissecting scientists historical interpretation. Not by way of countering it with religion, ("The bible says 6,000,") but rather, by analysis of the act of interpretation: "Meaninglessness is not sequiter from Evolution." In fact, many people draw inspiration from the story of evolution. Witness the Pokemon phenomenon, for example. You can look through papers in literature, and see this discussion happening.

It is interesting for us to note, (since there are many transhumanists reading this,) that many of these Evolutionary Spirituality stories, which frame themselves as taking place now, and taking place today, (that is, the Creation is not finished,) note human-machine mergers as a very plausible next step in evolution, and speak to the formation of the Natural-Animal-Human-Computer-Satellite organism.

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