Opinion: Millennials Eschewing Organized Religion
Physicist Lawrence Krauss thinks religion could go the way of homophobia with millennials largely removing themselves from religion.
Lawrence Krauss, a noted physicist and author, believes that religion could become extinct within the next generation. He laid out his thoughts in a talk at Australia’s Victorian Skeptics Café, wherein he references the shifts of public opinion on subjects such as equal marriage rights, and the rapidity with which those shifts have occurred. He makes a point to state that “if we can plant the seeds of doubt in our children…we have an obligation to do so.”
Religion is still present and very much a force to be reckoned with in many nations, including the US. It offers tribal comfort, feeding the part of the brain, which perceives events as happening for a reason; it comforts the part of the brain, which is always searching for a reason behind everything. Religion will not fade away quickly because the human brain is subject to cognitive biases, many of which may be inflexible. Instead of looking to the end of religion, efforts should be focused on moving it in a progressive direction. The Millennials are showing themselves to be more progressive than earlier generations, generally accepting equal rights for all and other progressive causes. They may end up influencing religion, even if they do not quite intend to.
It has gotten to the point that dire predictions concerning the end of religion have become something like the stern warnings of doomsday cults; that the end is nigh and sinners will be punished. Religion has so far evaded its dying breath, but it may have finally met its match in the Millennials. There is no guarantee that Millennials will continue to turn their backs on it, but large numbers of them are certainly disengaged from organized religion at present.