Rational practical behaviour is purpose directed:
religions exist so that moral behaviour may also be this way.
The world is in labour to produce a second renaissance. Like the first, this reconstruction results from a growth in knowledge and understanding about the real nature of life, the universe and ourselves. Unlike the first, this renaissance will grow very quickly, spread and fed by electronic media, sought and bought by the needs of a globalizing world. Unification of ideas, ideals, desires and, eventually, morality will inevitably force the development of a global religion of some kind.
Which course will humanity choose? Will we continue to view morality as an ordained given? Will we refuse to unify and continue to support a million or so different faiths, defend the need to have a multifaceted view of morality, carry on squabbling and never reach a collective agreement when international situations demand one? Or will we succumb to some new visionary who is revitalizing one of the old god-headed myths, and unite to create the needed global religion in this manner? Or will we choose to develop one that can be forward-looking and reality-based?
All we need to set out on this journey is a single meta-purpose to act as a beacon. Used to frame a universal purpose and an associated set of behaviours, we would have laid the foundation of a religion that would be rational and practical, moral and just, timeless and universal. Our descendants would then have the right to speak with confidence, proud of their beliefs and actions, certain about the behaviours they practiced, ready, willing and able to join, with heads held high, all the other great civilizations of the universe.
None of this will come to pass in the next few generations. But equally, none seems impossible to bring about, given the will and enduring effort of many who care.
Ah! If only we might return after death, to see what has come to pass. To see heaven on Earth—what an afterlife for us to witness, and what a legacy for us to bequeath!