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What will be the future of Religion and Belief system ?

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Mohammad Shazaib
Mohammad Shazaib Aug 26, 2020
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With the technological advances and the AI transition, what do you reckon will be the belief system of future generations? Is the religion and belief systems of today suffice the generations of the Digital revolution? There is a major question mark about the compatibility of theological dogmatism with modern technology. Do we need to rethink our values and reform our belief systems?
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Big discrepancy, but not impossible to continue being religious

Anja M
Anja M Sep 02, 2020
With the ever growing technological advancement, better life standard, etc. attachment to the mythological/religious is diminishing and ultimately leading to a greater degree of secularization. Therefore, there is an expected and justified line of thought that less and less people will find any need for believing in God, or any supernatural being. However, we don't need a fully super-intelligent or any AI to be developed in order for some things to change. We can witness degrees of change, especially when human biotech enhancements become more and more available, but, in foundation, there is no compatibility between any theology and technology per se. For the starters, their domains are completely different and cannot intersect (transcendent vs. empirical). Perhaps some sort of a religious worship will be precisely in the post-human as it will show itself to be. But even so, if certain basic understandings of the God-human relationship remain available through religions as we know them, or some modified, but still genuinely spiritual teachings, belief in the supernatural and transcendent of that kind will always be possible.
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Belief systems will persist, religions will weaken over time

Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Sep 06, 2020
This is a vast yet exciting query. Firstly, we need to get rid of the notion that 'belief systems' are restricted to religions and religious behaviours. Whereas religions comprise believing in some supernatural phenomenon that the believers ascribe to dictate the real-world incidents without any direct evidence of it, there can be secular belief systems that demand evidence before being faithful to the theory or the process. In this regard, we have to concede that even non-religious people have robust belief systems, albeit standing on the logical and evidence-based grounds. Hence in the truest of sense, there will never be a non-believer human being in the world. Secondly, when we take religiosity as one of the many forms of a probable belief system (and eventual behavioural manifestations), we need to understand the evolutionary utility of something as culturally and sociologically consistent as religion. As Dr Robert Sapolsky, the celebrated Stanford neuroendocrinologist and acclaimed author explains in his 2017 book 'Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst', the religious beliefs that have independently evolved across all human societies dispersed all around the globe serve as a kind stress-busting aid to the individuals in the society. When we believe that there is something, someone, responsible for all that goes around us, it vastly reduces the stress that we have in our lives that exists because of our cognitive limitations to understanding the causalities of the natural world. The notion of the existence of a benevolent deity offers a feeling of 'control and predictability', Sapolsky posits in his book, and this benevolence is partial to specific in-groups. For its ability to form social groups and explain reality in tidy (however inconsistent that explanation may be) ways, religions have "undeniable health benefits", and hence they are evolutionarily useful. But with the advent of modern knowledge and the development of science and other rational forms of understanding the natural world, why are religions still lingering around? Will they continue to exist far into the future as well? To answer these questions, let's look at the data and trends available: 1. As of 2018 -2019, 4% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 2% in 2009. 2. In Western Europe, where Pew Research Center surveyed 15 countries in 2017, nearly one-in-five Belgians (19%) identify as atheists, as do 16% in Denmark, 15% in France and 14% in the Netherlands and Sweden and a staggering 25% in the Czech Republic. 3. Most Americans (56%) say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral, while 42% say belief in God is essential to have good values. 4. The stronger the religious belief among the citizens, the weaker the country's GDP and Per capita income. These above facts and similar trends suggest that religiosity is in steady decline. Another such evidence as to how strongly the idea of atheism is spreading is given by the fact that the book 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins has been downloaded more than 3 million times in Saudi Arabia, one of the most religious countries in the planet. Such observations are strong indicators of the widespread impact of secular principles and the constant remodelling of the moral and ethical compass of human beings as a species. Though it would be quite unnatural to say that the technological advancements would wipe out the religious beliefs from the world, it seems plausible to expect a gradual decline in the religious dogmas as the world moves on to the next phases of the technological revolution. Nevertheless, belief systems will always be there. It is altogether a different thing that these beliefs will be more rationally brought into existence by the advent of modern scientific understanding rather than ignorance and traditional conventionality. See Robert Sapolsky's lectures here: http://www.openculture.com/2017/11/atheist-stanford-biologist-robert-sapolsky-explains-how-religious-beliefs-reduce-stress.html See the Pew Survey research on global trends on atheism: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/12/06/10-facts-about-atheists/ About Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion: https://www.richarddawkins.net/2014/11/the-god-delusion/
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Adaptation of the belief system with respect to AI

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Aug 28, 2020
Humans have been “facing” advancements since the beginning of human existence. AI is another step in the process. More radical advancements will definitely follow. Lifetime of a person is seldom sufficient and appropriate to decide whether any advancement is for the good or bad of the human civilisation. Bad effects can surely be followed by (we have no way to know when) extreme benefits for human life. Who, then, decides whether it is good or bad? - The one who lost his life when the advancement presented a dip or the one who benefited the most when the advancement was at its peak with respect to benefits to human life? Humans have always adapted to advancements in a number of ways. Moreover, their responses also change with time. Broadly, human responses can be categorized into the following: 1. Those who will accept and support the development of AI wholeheartedly. These people will make AI their belief system or change their belief system (knowingly or otherwise) to accommodate AI. 2. Those who will accept and use it only when necessary. They might accommodate AI in their belief system or simply have a dual belief system (sometimes leading to irony). 3. Those who will not accept it and may or may not use it. They don’t need to accommodate AI in their belief system. 4. Those who will not accept it and vow to put an end to it. They will not accommodate AI and find ways in their belief system to denounce it. 5. The people who are indifferent and clueless (about their opinion); the bystanders This has always been the case. Humans will change their belief system towards AI either way.
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Mohammad Shazaib
Mohammad Shazaib4 years ago
In addition. There will be a transition, once the goal of AI has been accomplished, there will be a shift to a new school of thought that will transcend the idea of AI. We may not be there to witness the Post AI era, but we can anticipate things ahead of AI in the coming future. This will bring into question AI as a belief system. 
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni4 years ago
I think so too. Once AI is established and functional (affecting daily human life), people might understand it merits and demerits better. People might able to better comprehend the future with AI better. That might change their view regarding AI (both positively and negatively), also leading to a change in their belief system. That is the reason I mentioned in my suggestion that the responses (towards AI) of the people will change with time.
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What will the AI believe in?

jnikola Oct 20, 2020
Humans probably started the path of evolution like all the animals. They cared about food, reproduction and survival. By knowing themselves, their emotions, needs and experiencing new challenging situations, they needed the explanations for the unexplainable events such as death, after-life, luck or others. They also needed a set of rules which define and lead to a successful and happy life. It all resulted in spirituality and religions. People obviously needed it. Today the situation is changing, as people already explained above.

With the growing independence of the AI systems, in silico humans, algorithms acting like real minds, with real emotions and feels:
  • Will the technology ever need to believe in something?
  • Will it ever find itself in a situation where there is no explanation, no logical solution or a cause, that will make it requesition its existence?
  • Will there ever be something like AI religion?
  • Would it be prone to believe in something in order to decide easier?
  • Will it just mimic human behaviour and develop the same customs and share the same values?
This could help defining the future religion and belief system.
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AI is adding another dimension to our belief systems

Nitish Nov 27, 2020
Our belief systems are based on a vast set of metaphysical rules and laws. However, the religions are the major driving forces behind the propagation of these regulations among a large populace. Our religion centric beliefs as we see them today are the result of continuous addition deletion of rules and values. They continuously evolved with time and acclimatized according to the situation and circumstances. In many ways, they are still evolving to get their share in our daily lives.
Development of AI is one of the remarkable technological achievements humans have accomplished in this 21st century. But, is technology and religion antagonistic to each other? or is religion losing its prime position in human civilization with the continuous advent of technology?
Practically, both of these conditions are not true. Because in some ways, religion/ belief systems are doing exceptional use of technologies for self-propagation among people. For example;
  • Use of online platforms for donations to religious establishments, peoples, rituals, and to such ceremonies.
  • The pilgrims are visiting religious places using high-tech transportation systems, which are more or less based on AI.
  • Most important or we can say destructive use of technologies can be seen on social media platforms where the orthodox theists spread hate, bigotry, mistrust, and religious fanaticism among peoples.
  • In return, technology is also enjoying gradual advancement to satisfy the need of a vast consumer market.
These are just a few examples, the actual interdependencies of belief and technology are deep, complex, and unavoidable indeed. Therefore, In my opinion, they are not contradictory but complementary to each other.
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