But not every religion is pernicious to the same degree, and not everything in a religious memeplex has a negative or pernicious consequence. Religion tends to teach ethics and morals, which of course can be a good thing, but they can also be taught outside of it, and indeed is. Historically religions have conflicted with science, with democracy, and with any other form of free thought.
It is unrealistic to eradicate religions by outlawing them. This is evidenced by the experiment in the former Soviet Union. Thus, it is imperative to find other means by which people can be turned away from belief in the supernatural and dogmatic religions.
What can we do about it?
The solution to improve the world is to introduce a paradigm shift in education. It is imperative to use education in a greatly improved form, assisted by the use of the science of memes. Education today, and in particular early age education is misguided because the system is largely focused on knowledge and not on brain development and on learning how to think.
The current education system fails because it generally allows children to develop their rational capabilities in a haphazard way, if at all. It relies entirely on parents to teach children how to think, which is a mistake as parents are rarely equipped to teach that and seldom if ever they attempt to do so. It also leaves the child’s mental development to the vagaries of parental mechanical meme transmission. Even worse, it relies on religious indoctrination from an early age when a child is most vulnerable as they have not yet come out of their “magical thinking” stage.
A child that has not been protected or immunized against religious memes—and most children will be mercilessly exposed to them—will be infected by them and in most cases will be for life. This type of early-age exposure to religious indoctrination is a form of mental abuse.
To improve the world the education system needs to be radically altered in order to prevent this from happening. This is how we would create a better society. The system needs to be focused in the early brain development phase on teaching children how to think and to make rational and critical thinking an automatic process.
By the use of games and other systematic methods a child’s brain needs to be “molded” to automatically use inductive and deductive reasoning. As the child grows he needs to learn how to think critically. This cannot be left to chance and hope the child acquires these skills naturally along the way. A child has to be exposed to mathematics from an early age in an entertaining manner so as to prevent the much too prevalent math aversion and ignorance so common today.
Asking questions and approaching presented positions skeptically should also be an automatic process. As they mature they need to be exposed to an epidemiology of ideas to learn how memes propagate as outlined above, so they will know how to identify pernicious thought contagions and be prepared to reject them.