I think that what evangelical Albert Mohler wrote recently at his blog is true:
The future shape of the world appears to be a worldview competition between Christianity, Islam, and Western Secularism.
And I think it’s quite obvious which one is lapping the other two. There is nowhere that Christianity really shows itself to be in obvious civilizational control anymore (except, perhaps, in gay-killing Uganda, Vatican City, and some parts of the American South). John Calvin’s Geneva and Martin Luther’s Germany are things of the past (thank goodness). And the places where Islam dominates are poor, scientifically and technologically backward, or propped up by oil reserves that will be gone within a century (if not a few decades).
This is not to say that Christianity and Islam will not claim adherents a century from now. Obviously, both will. But, short of destroying the world with the weapons of mass destruction that they might find at their disposal, they will not determine the direction of society.
Instead, what will face-off over the human future will be two forms of secularism:
- Enlightenment Jeffersonian secularism (which is democratic, science and truth respecting, pluralistic, individualist, and grounded in a commitment to universal human rights and equality); and
- nihilistic Nietzschean secularism. This is the secularism of those Machiavellian plutocrats and other elites who are committed to the expansion of their power by any means necessary—including “management of the masses” (via human exploitation and the manipulation of Herderian nationalist fervor).
And what will ultimately be at stake is how, and to whose benefit, the human genome will be exploited when we reach the technological ability to direct our own evolution. Will humans evolve into two distinct species (those enhanced and those not)? This is a game that Christianity and Islam will be impotent to affect the outcome of (and are barely equipped to even address coherently).
So the future belongs to secularism (and, hopefully, of the Enlightenment sort).
But the irony is this: even as Enlightenment secularists, Christians, and Muslims feverishly argue with one another today, the Nietzschean plutocrats (and their elite sympathizers) are well on their way to winning tomorrow.
Nihilistic Chinese intellectuals, for example, are earnestly reading and debating, not Thomas Jefferson, the Bible, or the Quran, but Carl Schmitt.
And you don’t even know who Carl Schmitt is, do you?