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The More We Evolve, The Less We Need God

The More We Evolve, the Less We Need God
The BriefGet Up To Speed

Does God have a place in 21st century human affairs? For many, the answer is an unapologetic yes. Belief in a higher power, they argue, is the foundation of human consciousness and the soul of all social, political, and scientific progress. Further, some claim, humans are biologically predisposed to embrace religion and require faith to live moral lives. Others are far more skeptical. For them, adherence to faith and religious tradition serves only to fracture communities and prevent humanity from embracing a more enlightened, reasoned, and just social order. As we look to the future in uncertain times, should spirituality and religion play a central role in human evolution, innovation, and discovery? Or has God become obsolete? 


"Religion is both a force of good and evil because religion is a man-made institution, and human beings are both good and evil.”

Friday, November 24, 2017
Reza Aslan and Lawrence Krauss

“Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials.”

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Kari Paul

“Is churchgoing and religious adherence really in ‘widespread decline’ so much so that conservative believers should suffer “growing anxiety”? Two words: Absolutely not.”


Sunday, January 28, 2018
Glenn T. Stanton

“Most U.S. adults now say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values (56%), up from about half (49%) who expressed this view in 2011.”

Friday, October 6, 2017
Gregory A. Smith

“Looked at another way, only 54% of U.S. adults think of themselves as religious – down 11 points since 2012 – while far more (75%) say they are spiritual, a figure that has remained relatively steady in recent years.”

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Michael Lipka and Claire Gecewicz

“By 2060, the unaffiliated population is expected to reach 1.2 billion. But as a share of all people in the world, religious ‘nones’ are projected to decline from 16% of the total population in 2015 to 13% in 2060.”

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

“Religion in the United States is worth $1.2tn a year, making it equivalent to the 15th largest national economy in the world.”

Sunday, September 25, 2016
Harriet Sherwood
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Nicholas Wade
Current Events

“The split in evangelical Christianity isn’t new, but it appears to be widening under Trump.”

Friday, March 2, 2018
Perry Bacon Jr. and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

“Ever since his election in 2013, Francis’s efforts at reform have made him deeply unpopular with conservative Catholics, some in positions of influence within the Vatican itself.”

Sunday, February 18, 2018
Catherine Pepinster

“President Trump has issued new policies to ensure religious freedom is a priority throughout the Federal Government.”

Thursday, February 8, 2018

“Certainly, all people should be allowed to practice their religion without governmental interference. But religious freedom cannot be permitted to eclipse other fundamental rights, and HHS’s proposed rule does precisely that.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Mirah Curzer and Melissa Lee
For The Motion

“When researchers ask people to report on their own behaviors and attitudes, religious individuals claim to be more altruistic, compassionate, honest, civic and charitable than nonreligious ones. Even among twins, more religious siblings describe themselves are being more generous. But when we look at actual behavior, these differences are nowhere to be found.”

Monday, March 12, 2018
Dimitris Xygalatas

“Religion is rapidly becoming less important than it’s ever been, even to people who live in countries where faith has affected everything from rulers to borders to architecture.”

Friday, April 22, 2016
Gabe Bullard

“The authors do not claim to prove that religion causes an innovation deficit. However, they hypothesise that theocratic models of government, in which political leaders are strongly influenced by religious institutions, may provide a channel for anti-scientific views to influence public policy.”

Monday, March 12, 2018

Besides being a source utility for some agents, religiosity could also have a direct effect on growth, e.g. by promoting greater trust and trustworthiness among individuals (at least, up to the point where it becomes a source of civil strife), or by legitimizing the authority of the ruler and state, thereby reducing agency problems.

Sunday, December 1, 2013
Roland Bénabou, Davide Ticchi and Andrea Vindigni

“Places with higher levels of religiosity have lower rates of scientific and technical innovation, as measured by patents per capita.”

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Chris Mooney
Against The Motion

“In humans’ mysterious journey to become intelligent, socializing creatures like no other in the animal world, one innovation played an essential role: religion.”

Monday, February 27, 2017
Julie Zauzmer

“Does religious faith lead to these healthy behaviors? Or is something else, independent of faith, causing them?”

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
David Leonhardt

“Previous research suggests the "happy person" is young, healthy, well-educated, well-paid, optimistic and extroverted. The same research found the happiest people tend to be religious, married, with high self-esteem and job morale and modest aspirations.”

Sunday, February 25, 2018
Kayonda Hubert Ngamaba

“What’s more, many of the people who work as civil servants, educators, charity workers and business leaders are motivated by their religious faith, to bring about positive change in cities.”

Monday, December 11, 2017
Chris Ives and Andre Van Eymeren

“Secularism is indeed correlated with greater tolerance of gay marriage and pot legalization. But it’s also making America’s partisan clashes more brutal.”

Saturday, April 1, 2017
Peter Beinart

“Local churches are instrumental in the effort [of resettling refugees], since they’re tasked with welcoming and resettling a refugee in the community, a process that can take several months.”

Sunday, September 11, 2016
Priscilla Alvarez

“America is far from becoming a churchless nation. On any given Sabbath, for instance, some 4 out of 10 Americans will make their way to churches and synagogues, mosques and temples – a number that hasn’t fluctuated dramatically in the past half century.” 

Sunday, October 11, 2015
Mary Beth McCAuley