The world is plagued with problems. That a universal purpose may help us to more effectively address some of them may seem a far-fetched idea, but those who lead organizations and nations already know that people will strive to attain a purpose they have come to believe in and consider important. Perhaps the benefits to be obtained from a universal purpose (as sketched in this and the previous chapter) are overstated, but we won’t know the true extent of its possibilities until we have tried. As the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Can we really continue the way we have been, letting the winds of chance blow us hither and thither? Should each nation continue acting independently and as they wish? Or are we ready to think collectively as we shape the future our grandchildren will inherit?
If the idea of developing a universal purpose seems implausible, the idea of eventually developing a universal religion based upon this purpose must seem preposterous. How could anyone think that adding a new religion to the existing mix might simplify the situation when religions themselves often contribute to—and may even create—some of the very problems we are trying to solve?
The idea of deliberately trying to develop a new religion might have seemed nonsense when first opening this book. But, if it did so, perhaps this was because so little has been generally understood about how the founders of our various religions obtained their ideas, and why those who followed these leaders created religions. Religions are commonly thought to be based upon ideas that came from a god, but one of this book’s purposes has been to show that this may not have been what actually happened.
Religions are social tools, designed and fostered quite deliberately by human beings to ameliorate social ills. What was done with success in the past can be done again with success in the future. Please re-assess my contention that humanity needs a universal religion. Is it not actually quite a plausible suggestion? And would developing a religion that is consistent with our current understanding of reality actually be so difficult to do? I do not think so.
How we might begin to undertake such a task is discussed in the next two chapters.