Many religious believers believe that we not only have an immortal soul, but that this soul is our true self. When we die, we live on as our soul. They often ask in a serious manner, “Where will we be in 1000 years?”
Of course the reality is that in 1000 years we will be dead and just as there was no consciousness before we were born, there will almost certainly be no consciousness after we die. But I like to refocus the question on the collective “we.” Where will we (as humanity) be in 1000 years?
The religious never stop predicting the end of the world and it always seems to be going to happen soon. They always think that we are living in the end times. The really scary thing is that many of them hope that we are because the standard Christian interpretation of Revelations is that the world needs to end in order for Jesus to return and give special few Christians “God’s kingdom.”
Oddly enough, I thought they would be much happier in Heaven. Why bother trying to create a kingdom of God on Earth after the whole world is destroyed when you can sit up in Heaven enjoying bliss for all eternity. Something doesn’t make sense here… I suspect a great many things don’t make sense here actually.
But let’s move on to where I hope humanity will be in 1000 years. As an atheist and a humanist, I hope that we have ditched religion and other superstitious beliefs and that human beings have socially evolved past our petty differences, greed, jealousy, hate, etc. I dream of a world similar to Star Trek (which is a mere 200 to 300 years in the future) in which we are exploring strange new worlds far from Earth.
This really is the stark difference between the theists and atheists when it comes to our hopes for the future. Now sure, not all theists think this way, but a most do. And even if a theist shares the atheistic hope for a better future, they should realize that religion is one of the main things holding us back from reaching that goal.