You are a veteran from the Iraq war. You lost a leg, from the knee down, in an IED altercation. Some robotics engineers at your local University are working on a very special project: advanced prosthetics which would allow amputees to walk without canes or crutches, and maybe even run and jump. The best part? In exchange for participating in their study, they’re willing to donate an advanced prototype for your continuous use.
Do you take them up on their offer?
Or do you politely respond, “Thanks, but no thanks! After a month of prayer, my leg should grow back nicely. I only need god. Keep your technology”?
No sane person would say that. Why? Because it’s ludicrous. Why? Because, no matter how religious most of us may be, or how convincingly we say we believe in the loving power of god, we know that prayer does not regrow limbs.
Once upon a time, when medicine was new and largely erroneous (drilling holes in skulls, the four senses of humor, etcetera), humans had barely any help at all for a severed limb. If you lost a leg, you were left to hobble around on crutches with a stump – that was, if you were lucky, and not bedridden. A hundred years ago or more, praying was just about all one could hope to do to change such a sad situation – so people did.
While the habit has become tradition, it appears less and less reasonable. As science discovers more about the world, and technology produces more fruits of that knowledge, people don’t have quite as much time to waste on prayer as they once had. They’re too busy helping one another.
To say that technology promotes atheism is to say that technology counteracts belief in god.
If ‘god’ is considered to be an all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing being, the fact that he does not help the sick, while human-gleaned medicine does, is making those of us with the fruits of accumulated naturalistic knowledge far less likely to believe in a god.
The need to believe in such a god increases with desperation and powerlessness and decreases with access luxuries like healthy food, clean water, warm, dry shelter, education, and advanced medicine. Don’t believe it? Just look to earth’s quality of life standards: the best countries to live in (determined by low infant mortality rates, caused in turn by useful technology) tend to also be the least theistic.
Contrary to the beliefs of some anti-technology religious sects, this does not mean that technology is evil. Rather, it means that belief in the supernatural is useless compared to what humanity has learned to do for itself. People have a responsibility to their children to accept the help that technology provides: this is why, in civilized countries, to deprive a child of necessary care due to religious belief is considered negligent, even abusive.
The imagined god of western theistic religions is jealous of humanity’s advances.
He doesn’t like that we’re finally learning to fend for ourselves and that we don’t feel the need to cower before him, begging for help that he will choose not to provide. He’s very good at demanding total adherence while simultaneously appearing not to exist at all.
This god’s jealousy shows in his followers – followers who try to ban stem cell research, deny evolution, and prevent the peaceful deaths longed for by sufferers of incurable illnesses.
Fortunately, while the god of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity is very jealous and destructive, he is also lazy when it comes to helping humanity out. He doesn’t do anything for us, but rather, seems to heap demands upon demands. Every generation brought up in the healthy environments created and supported by technology will see this. Belief in the Western god is dying, and the more we share the wealth of knowledge, the faster it will disappear.
While it’s true that scientists and technicians are overwhelmingly unlikely to believe in gods simply by their close acquaintance with the scientific method, the main technological aspect leading people away from superstition in favor of technological advancement is efficacy.
Plainly put, technology works, while worship doesn’t. It makes far more sense to help ourselves and one another than it does to beg an invisible being for help. Humanity’s hope for itself is getting stronger by the day, because it’s getting better and better at taking care of itself.
This empowerment leaves little room for superstitious belief in ancient desert-gods, and if technology keeps advancing, they soon won’t even be missed. Why wish for heavenly reward when life BEFORE death can be so enjoyable?