I guess one could argue that there is at least ballpark agreement among those who care about these matters, that religion in its many forms, or belief in the supernatural more generally, is a natural occuring phenomenon among homo sapiens, and it is here to stay, unless we posit some kind of Utopia in the future, where humans are somehow free from the two main driving forces for supernaturalism over the millenia, fear and ignorance.
Fear, not only of dying, but of disease, of what the future might bring, fear for family and relatives, fear to be able to make a living, to find food, shelter, to be able to pay the bills.
Ignorance of physics, medicine, why the sun rises in the East, why the tides go in and out, why we die, why we fall ill, where we came from, where we go when we die. As AC Grayling once said, science and religion have a common ancestor in ignorance.
So religion and supernaturalism are here to stay, and we should be aware of that when we gather at atheist and sceptic meetings and plot world dominion.
I think as an outlook for the next 20 years, the two things everyone of us in this movement can do, and help to achieve, is to aim to push back the influence of irrationality, superstition and belief without evidence wherever we see it, and campaign for the retreat of supernaturalism and organised religion from public life, work hard to curb its influence on politics, on matters of morality or ethics, on public and sexual health, on education, on sexuality.
I’m in this movement for my own child and all the other children, and I want to help protect him and the others from the braindeadness that comes with affiliation to, and indoctrination into, organised religion at a young age, be that in the home or in places of education.
I think if in the next 20 years we achieve, with our blog posts, our newspaper articles, our conferences and just in general our outspokenness, to raise awareness of these issues and to cut back, step by step, the influence of the supernaturalists on public life, then we have done well. Religion will never be completely gone, but we should do our best to relegate it from its current position of influence and power in public life to one of private worship, where it can’t do much harm.