Cyborg apocalypse in 2045

Human beings are innately religious, so when they reject traditional religions they replace them with new ones.  Often, they project their religious sensibilities onto other areas of life, such as politics or psychology or medicine, turning them into means of salvation or apocalypse.

Today, many people fear, love, and trust technology.  I have heard of the “singularity”–that time when computers will allegedly attain consciousness–proclaimed as a means of finding eternal life, when we can all download out minds into our computers and live forever.  Now a book is warning about a singularity apocalypse, when computers start to consider human beings–who will by then be cyborgs–to be the equivalent of dangerous insects. [Read more...]

What happened to all of the cults?

Not long ago, people were worried about cults.  Their teenagers and young adults would run off and join the Moonies, the Hare Krishnas, or the Children of God and not be seen of again.  Often, parents hired “deprogrammers” to abduct the son or daughter who was caught up in the cult and to conduct a process of reverse brainwashing.  Why aren’t we hearing about that sort of thing anymore?  Many of these groups are still around, but the general fear of them seems to have gone.   Religion scholar Philip Jenkins has some theories, after the jump, and I propose some of my own. [Read more...]

Obama’s order to hit religious charities?

President Obama has signed an executive order forbidding anyone with a federal contract from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  The effect may be to cut off faith-based charities and institutions from participating in government projects or receiving federal funds.  After the jump, what this may mean from a Catholic point of view. [Read more...]

Behind the laws banning religious conversions

The militant Hindu political party won big in India’s recent elections.  Now the party’s vice chairman is calling for a law in Nepal to ban religious conversions. Hindus would just not be allowed, by law, to become Christians.  This is already the case in Muslim countries.

The thought of banning thoughts and inner convictions seems very odd, as if a person could turn off what he or she believes by force of law.  For Christians, especially Protestant Christians, religion is a matter of what a person believes.  Other religions are about what a person is.  If you are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or animist, your religion constitutes your cultural identity.  To change your religion is to reject your family and to commit a kind of treason against your community.  Christianity, on the contrary, is a faith for people of “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9), which is first manifested at Pentecost. [Read more...]

Treating faith as a virus of the mind

Some atheists are getting meaner and more threatening.  Trevor Logan tells about a new book, endorsed by the usual celebrity atheists, entitled A Manual for Creating Atheists, calling its author, Peter Boghossian, the “atheist version of a Westboro Baptist Church pastor.”  Boghossian calls for treating religion as a public health menace, “a virus of the mind,” that needs to be systematically eradicated by the government.  (Sound familiar?) [Read more...]

“The hardest place on earth to be a Christian”

That would be Pakistan, according to Jesse Johnson.  It isn’t just that Christian are persecuted by the government.  The entire culture systematically excludes, punishes, and torments Christians.  Christians may not attend schools or universities, so most of them are illiterate.  This keeps them from getting decent jobs. Their testimony is not accepted in a court of law, so they lack legal protection.  Their daughters are routinely kidnapped.  Christians are often accused of blasphemy and murdered. [Read more...]


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