US author Dan Brown made a provocative claim during the Frankfurt Book Fair that AI will replace belief in traditional religions.
Brown’s reasoning for his remark is that humanity no longer needs God but instead will develop a new form of collective consciousness with the help of artificial intelligence which fulfills the role of religion.
Studies prove that religious belief is already in decline globally. Brown’s new book, Origin, was inspired by the question of “Will God survive science?” now that — for the first time in history — there are more agnostics and atheists than believers in many countries.
It’s an interesting question and one that’s been explored by more people than just Brown in recent years. Neil Gaiman’s epic fantasy novel ‘American Gods’ was recently turned into a TV series and questions whether humanity is moving away from worshiping traditional godly figures in favour of the ‘new gods’ of society, technology, and globalisation.
“Are we naive today to believe that the gods of the present will survive and be here in a hundred years?” Brown, 53, told a packed news conference.
Naturally, his views will be seen as controversial and he recognises they will not be welcomed by many clerics. However, in a world still full of religious conflict, he calls for greater harmony between religions and those who choose not to believe.
“Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all share a gospel, loosely, and it’s important that we all realise that,” he said. “Our religions are much more similar than they are different.”
While it’s perhaps easy to dismiss Brown as just a fantasy writer, he spent a lot of time speaking to futurists and experts while researching for his book. The protagonist, Harvard Professor Robert Langdon, was also the lead character in Brown’s popular novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’ which received its fair share of controversy for questioning the history of Christianity.
“We will start to find our spiritual experiences through our interconnections with each other,” he said, forecasting the emergence of “some form of global consciousness that we perceive and that becomes our divine.”
“Our need for that exterior god, that sits up there and judges us, will diminish and eventually disappear.”
Do you agree or disagree with Brown’s remarks? Let us know in the comments.