Cosmologist and theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss believes that religion could be eradicated — or at least largely removed from society — in just one generation.
Krauss, who made this claim while delivering a speech to the Victorian Skeptics Cafe in Australia in late August, spoke, among other subjects, about how children should be taught about faith in schools, claiming that religious systems shouldn’t be treated “as if they’re all sacred.”
Instead, he argued for changes in how children learn about religion and critical thinking — proposals that are just beginning to gain traction this week.
“What we need to do is present comparative religion as a bunch of interesting historical anecdotes and show the silly reasons why they each did what they did,” he said. “Instead of shying away from it, we have to explicitly educate people to confront their own misconceptions.”
Addressing the future of religion, Krauss cited gay marriage and slavery in offering up a dire prediction: that religion could be largely eradicated within just one generation’s time.
“People say, ‘Well, religion has been around since the dawn of man. You’ll never change that’ … This issue of gay marriage, it is going to go away, because if you’re a a child, a 13-year-old, they can’t understand what the issue is. It’s gone,” he said. “One generation is all it takes.”
Like same-sex matrimony, Krauss said that slavery, too, was ended in a generation, adding his belief that the same dynamic applies to religious adherence.
“Change is always one generation away,” the scientist said. “So if we can plant the seeds of doubt in our children, religion will go away in a generation, or at least largely go away — and that’s what I think we have an obligation to do.”
Watch Krauss’ comments below:
Krauss made waves earlier this year when he said during a separate appearance that teaching creationism to kids is akin to child abuse.
What do you think? Is it possible that religion could be largely eradicated in a generation?
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