How Christianity is Surviving in the 21st Century

I’ve recently had another encounter with preachers at my college and I’m realizing something quite fundamental about not only Christianity but all of religion.

In this video you can see, beyond anything else, that this preacher is unwilling to bring up the subject of Hell. He will manipulate himself into knots and pretzels to emphasize the parts of the New Testament which talk about love and sacrifice and being saved if it means not pointing out the darker parts. But this makes sense in an evolutionary perspective.

When humans were primal, they had in the largest case both a lack of safety as well as a lack of understanding (although, I can easily see that these are so circular and catalyzing into the other that they express characteristics of the same emotion). This feeling made it possible for gods and fairies to enchant people and instill their own feeling of order. All of a sudden, there was a larger, more fulfilling reason to not murder and to not be scared in the night.

But now in our 21st century life, we have understanding. We believe, be it by dogmatically being instilled by our government or upbringing, that what helps society is good (and this was expressed by many philosophers including Joseph Butler, a Christian himself, and David Hume). We also know enough from science to comprehend the natural world around us so we are not needlessly scared.

With these two combined, we can no longer be chained to religious fear. There is no reason to bring up Hell anymore because it brings up so many errors in thinking and so they only bring up Heaven. It’s like what you see from mafias: when they can no longer threaten and enforce communities, they will all of a sudden tell the people how much they help their children be safe and how they create business.

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