39 6

In your opinion what is the most likely thing that could halt human progress?

Technology? Environment? Arrogance? Or?

atheist 8 Apr 21

Post a comment Author doesn't reply Reply Author doesn't reply Add Photo

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


Nothing. Progress can be impeded, but not stopped.
Given our short life span we have a skewed vision of evolution.
But think of where humanity was even 200 years ago. That's roughly three life times.
Still sucks in a lot of ways, but obviously many things have improved despite the impediments of some.




Fundamentalists—and I say this not to be hyperbolic. Right now, we as a species are facing down mass extinction, but because of fundamentalists we’re not able to address it.


Religion. It's already happened.

That is a popular myth. In fact, history shows the religious institutions have, by and large, promoted math and science instead of trying to destroy them.

Here are a few selections showcasing the myth:

The myth as viewed by a Bishop:

The myth as viewed by a Humanities professor:

The myth as viewed by a physicist:

The question here is not "Are science and Religion in conflict (at war, etc)?" My answer is related to the question about what is most likely to halt human progress. The debate over religio-scientific conflict are separate issues reserved for a theoretical and rhetorical dialectic between religious apologists and philosophers. Human progress is the issue here. Humans have made progress, are continuing to make progress, but could be much further along with religion.

Based on history as it is understood in most contemporary societies, we can say unequivocally that human progress was delayed for at least 1000 years due to religion. During the era of "The Dark Ages", religion brought out the worst in human nature - tribalism, authoritarianism, demonetization and zero-sum thinking - and repressed the better attributes of human nature - logic and reasoning, preferring ignorance and superstition over understanding and know-how. Imagine where humanity would now be if not for the Dark Ages!

Religion didn't stop there, but the Enlightenment helped to thwart their efforts at ignorance. As humans have progressed, religion continues to festers in the back-ground, always fighting for legitimacy. To the extent there is a war/conflict, it is not about religion and science - it is about religion and human progress.

Based on current U.S. politics, one can certainly argue that religion is winning, To be sure, evangelicals have been slowly elbowing their way into U.S. politics for the last 40 years, and they are finally in charge. With that leadership, we see the expected trend toward tribalism, authoritarianism, demonetization and zero-sum thinking, just like the Dark Ages. Unlike the dark ages, the dangers are much greater, for they can now realize their desires of the second coming, which requires Armageddon. What better way than the nuclear option.

They have won a battle, but as long as rational humans are able to intercede and prevent them from delivering their ultimate goal, human progress, using the tools of reasoning that nature provided, will ultimately prevail. History tells us so.


"Based on history as it is understood in most contemporary societies, we can say unequivocally that human progress was delayed for at least 1000 years due to religion. "

The notion of "the dark ages" as being dark to science and progress is a myth which modern history has thoroughly debunked:

"Among the more popular myths about the “Dark Ages” is the idea that the medieval Christian church suppressed natural scientists, prohibiting procedures such as autopsies and dissections and basically halting all scientific progress. Historical evidence doesn’t support this idea: Progress may have been slower in Western Europe during the Early Middle Ages, but it was steady, and it laid the foundations for future advances in the later medieval period.

At the same time, the Islamic world leaped ahead in mathematics and the sciences, building on a foundation of Greek and other ancient texts translated into Arabic. The Latin translation of “The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing,” by the ninth-century Persian astronomer and mathematician al-Khwarizmi (c. 780-c. 850), would introduce Europe to algebra, including the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations; the Latinized version of al-Khwarizmi’s name gave us the word “algorithm.”"

Here are more myths about the dark ages you might erroneously believe:



"Sure there have been clerics that have contributed to the advancement of science, but they have been few and far between!"

Here is my list of clerics and other religious that have made significant advancement to science.

Give me your list of non-clerics and non-religious and we'll see which are "few and far between"



"so you can't claim that it's b/c of any religious teaching per se!"

I didn't. I only claim that their religion did not impeded their pursuit of science.

They were religious.
They did science.
How then did their religion impede their science?


So you continue to claim but have failed to state HOW?

For example, in this list of Christian scientist, tell me HOW the majority of them were persecuted by the church and HOW the majority of the knowledge they promoted was suppressed by their church.



I don't see science being the topic of any of those books so I'll ask again:

In this list of Christian scientist, tell me HOW the majority of them were persecuted by the church and HOW the majority of the knowledge they promoted was suppressed by their church.

Feel free to quote from the books you listed in your answer.



Christianity was instrumental in the creation of universities during the middle ages where they demanded that all it's people should learn math and natural philosophy (the "science" of the time).

Islam demands that all it's worshipers seek new knowledge.

How can you claim that these institutions are suppressing and persecuting science in light of those facts?


So Jesuit universities, like Xavier university, are suppressing scientific knowledge and persecuting science... eventhough they have an active and well respected physics department??


Or Catholic universities, like Notre Dame, are suppressing scientific knowledge and persecuting science... despite produced a nobel prize winner in medicine?


The evidence is not in favor of your thesis that religous sponsored schools suppress science and perscute scientists.


"Why is the middle ages referred to as the dark ages? "
Because historians had traditionally not know much about said times.

"Why has it been said, but for religion, mankind's level of scientific knowledge would be far more advanced today?"
Because what is said and what is real are two different things.

"Religious institutions teach science as an extension of God's divine will which allows them to accommodate religion & science! "
Then why does Notre Dame have nobel prize winners in medicine make no mention of god?

"see The Templeton Foundation!"
Not an educational institution.





I would say the thing is a conglomerate of the result of human immaturity of mind, and it breaks down into these parts:

  1. Educational stagnation

  2. Indiscriminate breeding

  3. Over-reproduction

  4. Laziness

  5. Substance abuse

  6. Stupid ideas

  7. "Okay, but we need to see what happens if we do X"

  8. Damaging the environment

  9. Attacking ecosystems

  10. Low-culture

  11. Reliance on fossil fuel

  12. Public health issues

  13. Lack of support for advancements in science, tech, etc.

  14. Lack of support for improving policy

  15. Ignoring the possibility of aliens retaliating to environmental insults from humans

  16. Most of traditional ideas

  17. Most of culture

  18. Impressionistic notions of global-scale issues like human purpose, economic plans, etc.

  19. Globalism/indiscriminate de-culturalization

  20. Reliance on bloc politics to do things & come up with ideas.

  21. Rehashing expired, poorly supported ideas

  22. Planning in the dark

  23. Giving power and rewards to idiots and/or corrupt people

  24. Serious environmental insults, like nuclear testing


Nothing, because my purpose is already determined haha. The notion that the world can be saved is unattainable by a single person for a sheer lack of manpower.


The first two abused becuase of arrogance and greed.


I agree: HUMANS


It depends on what is penned 'human progress'. If it means continuing on our nonsustainable path, we will doom ourselves. Arrogance?


Humans. That was easy... 🙂


Technology is not always progress


I've shifted my thinking on this in the last few years while watching the rapid pace of "progress" on self-driving vehicles and self-teaching factory robots. Artificial Intelligence will leap-frog the human race and consider the 'meatbags' a nuisance before us meatbags can possibly consume our resources or sufficiently foul our nest. The labs and corporations researching and building these things are having a lot of fun doing it but it will be humanity's undoing. All it will take is ONE twisted person to delete all the safety switches. We have more than enough twisted mental patients walking around looking for a bigger gun. It won't be long... the generation being born today will see their own demise to the machines. Glad I have no kids.

I agree. I think that capitalism will continue to accelerate up until the point that man gives over control of the world to machines of the sort that Ray Kurzweil speculates about. He thinks there will be (by 2045) a technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity). The hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.

@cava That's the way I see it. I don't see a bright future for humans. I'm going to look at Kurzweil's writings.

@cava "Man" will not intentionally give over control of the world to the machines... it will be A person, or a GROUP or people who will do it, consciously, intentionally, with malice and forethought. It will be one or more suicidal terrorists, exactly as with the not-so-hypothetical terrorists of today, taking the rest of the human race with them on their way to meet the 72 virgins who are waiting for them in their reward. Just one twisted (or incompetent) A.I. nerd is all it will take to unleash the machines. Once the machines can design & build their own, advancements by them and for their own purposes will take place overnight while we sleep.


I have always thought about resource depletion trumping technology.

I'm waiting for that issue to be resolved, tbh. Has me a bit shook up about the quality of life when SHTF.


Continued ignorance of basic science.


Pervasive ignorance.
It's already happening.

@atheist It's been hijacked by religutards, greedy politicians, and stupid-ass administrators.


Greed, I think it's already seriously limiting it for many unfortunately.

@atheist I mean everyone, not the extremely successful money hoarding few 😉

@atheist yes well if everyone was like me things would certainly look different. The amount of crap people buy that they don't need astounds me...and then they buy it for me as gifts! A nightmare of the modern age.


Self aware AI will spell the end of humankind. To a continually evolving AI, humans will be exposed as the illogical, unnecessary, problematic and destructive breeders they are. I give us 50 years at best until the short-lived evolutionary experiment of opposable thumbs coupled with an underdeveloped cerebral cortex and overactive amygdala comes to a grinding halt. The machine gods will take over and the next evolutionary step will likely survive, while the Earth returns to a pristine state of an absence of Monkeys in Pants.


Environment - increase in natual disasters, melting of the ice cap-oceans rising. Coastlines threatened.


Progress toward what?

@atheist hmmm lots of attempts so far have had the opposite effect


Genie is out of the bottle.


"the genie is out of the bottle" is a figurative saying not a literal construct.


Nuclear war.


"Halt" Human progress? That is a mighty big statement. I think it would take a great deal, but obstacles impeding/slowing progress, IMHO include:

The current infusion of religion into the US administration
Global thermonuclear war

I don't subscribe to technological doomsday scenarios we see played out in film (Terminator, etc).


Global warming.




Racial and political division.


Arrogance of humans. When you are so sure you are correct in all things, you can't develop new ways of adapting. Even a virus knows how to survive. I see too many humans with no self knowledge, awareness, floating in a sea of trash. **

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:62931
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.