I'm creating an alternative earth and wondering if it's possible that a culture could not develop a religion? It seems most cultures I know all stem off some religious belief but what if the culture was science Or technology motivated/based. As in they're beliefs are some sort of evolution and they prioritize academics/education. I'm not sure if this Is really plausible and I appreciate any answers. Or if there are any examples in history of cultures being like this.



marked as duplicate by Mołot, Cyrus, Mormacil, Community Apr 10 '17 at 11:14

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    $\begingroup$ see history.stackexchange.com/questions/7403/… $\endgroup$ – James K Apr 10 '17 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ see also worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/20372/… on this site. $\endgroup$ – Cyrus Apr 10 '17 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ There are literally whole books about religion, why humans seems to create some wherever they live and so on. I'm voting to put this on hold as too broad, because if there are books on this topic, it can't be expected to be fully answered in Q&A form. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Apr 10 '17 at 10:32
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    $\begingroup$ Religion is a very fluid concept. For example, do the Japanese have a religion the way Americans understand it? $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 10 '17 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ May I point out it's customary to not select an answer for at least 24 hours? This way people from every time zone and lend you their knowledge. That should lead to better answers which is better for all of us. $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Apr 10 '17 at 10:48

Yes but unlikely. Religion seems to occure when we can't explain things. It gives us a reason for the events around us. So it's possible but unlikely to form.

What would be more likely is having religion cast aside as science and knowledge increases. Give rise to a movement of logic that rejects the divine. I doubt it would go easy but it could be done. I assume the less organized your religion the better.

So over time religion is rejected, science and logic rules. This will likely have a severe impact in how we deal with the dead. If there is no afterlife, what do we strive for? Do we accept universal ethics and morality? Buddhism is an example that without divine punishment there can still be a motivation to be good.


While it is possible for the culture to evolve without religion, it would be much more difficult for a government to control the actions and directions of an early population as it begins to grow.

An alternative could be that religion guides them to believe that science, education and academics will give them a higher knowledge and bring them closer to god/gods/spirits/whatever as not all of the population will feel a vested interest in science.

The other alternative would be leaving religion behind in favour of science.


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