Yesterday I listened to a podcast from The Economist in which Paul Saffo of Stanford University offered several predictions about the state of the world in 2035. Among other things, he anticipates major developments in robotics by that time, although he says robots will not be the anthropomorphic creations of fiction to which we’re accustomed.
The part of the interview that grabbed me was his prediction of the advent of a new major world religion: “It’s time for a new God.” He thinks this new faith will have a heavy component of environmentalism and lacks only a charismatic personality to make it go global.
As I’ve noted several times on this blog, modern environmentalism already has many features of religions, and thus Saffo’s prediction could already be seen as having been fulfilled, although the current environmentalism is limited to the Western world. Could a charismatic Arab or South Asian take it worldwide?
Saffo is an atheist, a self-professed “rationalist,” so he thinks non-secular religions are bogus, but he believes that the “human need for certainty” will drive this new religion that supposedly will address 21st-century concerns better than Christianity or Islam. If you’ve spent any time at all on this blog, you probably know what I think of that assertion!
Now that Thanksgiving travel is over, I plan to get back on my daily or near-daily posting schedule. I hope you think that’s a good thing.