I want to popularize the following or a similar belief.

In many thousand years people will travel back in time to give us an afterlife, if we make it possible, by going the steps, that will lead to a culture able to time travel and if we behave in a way, so that they will want to save us. They will not intervene in history in major ways, like revealing them selves, careful to avoid paradoxes and breaking the chain of events, that led to their ability to time travel

Some stories have something about them, that makes them believable beyond the usual suspension of disbelief, something that makes people live their lives by the wisdom they see in this stories. Psychologically, in terms of propaganda, from a story teller perspective, how can I make the description of this religion such a story?

Religious belief is one of the strongest and most stabile motivators for humans. It is largely independent of what evidence can be presented at the time. A religion, that bases its salvation story on technological advances and scientific discoveries yet to come, that is on the scientific method as a part of its path to personal salvation could promote such advances.

It could also provide a framework of thought, that could stay stable over the stretches of time it would likely take to actually develop time travel. This core properties should be preserved, or enhanced by the solutions proposed.

How can I make such a belief a more contagious idea for the reader?

An ideal answer would refer to one or more scientific studies investigating what elements of religious or ideological stories make them convincing and comment how the findings form that studies could be applied to the present narrative.

  • $\begingroup$ This kind of theme has been done in multiple sci-fi stories. For example, Eon by Greg Bear. I've read at least one other that I can't find the name of right now. $\endgroup$
    – workerjoe
    Sep 12, 2018 at 0:50
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    $\begingroup$ What's wrong with "We came form the future, you can tell by this cool tech we have. If you don't act this way you will die. You can trust us we came form future. You are royally acked. And btw. To speed up the process we will kill some few main sources of problems"? $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2018 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ You need to read Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Jordan Peterson's *Maps of Meaning" (or watch the videos). $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Sep 13, 2018 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ @bukwyrm how to optimize the user experience is what I'm trying to ask about, do you have suggestions how to change the question? $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2018 at 1:01
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    $\begingroup$ Highly Highly highly recommend reading the Foundation series by Asimov. He basically had to do this and more in order to guide a galactic civilization through ten thousand years of dark ages. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Sep 24, 2018 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


You need look no further than Ancient Egyptian Theology

Ancient Egypt is a fascinating and thought-provoking religious culture that spanned common to elite life, from the smallest observations and objects to the largest, from the smallest time to the longest.

Furthermore, contradictions in the religion did not lead to incoherence, but rather to layered complexity enabling multiple interpretations, flexible enough to tailor for all situations, yet with a solid rigid core belief strong enough to last for millennia.

Yes, keep in mind Ancient Egyptian theology lasted from 3150BC to 525BC, but having said that it laid the foundations for Classical theology and many argue even Monotheism. Even Intermediate Periods, where the civilisation devolved into warring tribes, was adequately explained in theology enough for it to survive 2 such periods (when I refer to periods, I mean centuries).

Core to the foundation of the religion is the fundamental belief that there is Order in the Universe, an island within the Natural Universe - which is chaotic and disparate. Symbols and Gods (Pharaohs, being kings), creatures, events, and observations are evidence of this constant formation of Order, without which Disorder will prevail. Eternal struggle and vigilance is the price to pay to retain this order.

Even the humble dung beetle, symbolised by the Scarab, is evidence of this divine power. The beetle humbly creates order from chaos, by rolling dung into a ball, through which life can form.

Death and the afterlife are strong features of this Order. Symbols are not representations of meaning, they actually are the object. For instance, a picture of person is not just a picture of a person, but is actually the person. A statue of a guard is not merely a statue, but is actually him. Your Name, is not just what someone calls you, it is actually you. Therefore you exist forever, your body is not all you are, our environment is not all for life, but for death. Pharaohs continue to live, eat and sit on chairs, need furniture, need their armies, in tombs which become their house.

It is therefore also possible to be dead at the same time as alive. Osiris, the god of Death, is both alive and dead. Kings are people, yet also gods. Animals and objects are mundane, yet also have divine meaning (hence hieroglyphics, many see pretty pictures on the wall, but they actually have dual meaning - a jackal defends the entrance of a tomb, yet is also a letter in a word).

Your story encompasses the same duality. People from the future are actually alive now, but haven't been born yet. Actions are being done, but have already been done. People from the future may be gods, but they are also just people, both dead and alive. Objects and actions may have little significance now, yet at the same time enormous significance later.

Your future is already written and is the order of things, yet also it hasn't been done, and needs constant vigilance and attention, lest all devolves into chaos.

All elements of your story can be woven into the inherent flexibility and contradictions of Ancient Egyptian Theology, and I encourage you to research this amazing culture, which has lasted longer than any cultures have since.


Read up on Theilard de Chardin's Omega point (re)interpretation of God. God is seen as the Omega point. For those not into reading up on Theology, think Restaurant at the End of the universe, except instead of Cows wanting to be eaten, it's populated by God. Basically when the Noosphere becomes coterminus with the Universe, when there is no meaningful difference between the will of whatever distant descendant of our civilization permeates the universe and physical law.

The Noosphere is the sphere of thought encircling the earth that has emerged through evolution as a consequence of this growth in complexity / consciousness.

The Omega Point is a spiritual belief and a scientific speculation that everything in the universe is fated to spiral towards a final point of divine unification.

Chardin's views are considered heretical by the church, but you can see a strong echo of them in Singularitarian beliefs, wherein there are groups that believe in cross-temporal brain state capture as an feasible option at some point beyond the Singularity. It's easy to imagine a Transcendental Christian Church of the Latter Day AI who would blend core christian belief with these sorts of future-originating rapture concepts.


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