Early humans had a relationship of wonder with their universe, especially with phenomena they couldn’t rationally understand. To solve these mysteries, the ancients created pantheon of gods to explain anything. We ended up with a god of thunder, tides, earthquakes, volcanoes, infertility, plagues, love, among others.
Thus, wherever there were gaps by ancients in understanding the world around them, they filled those gaps with God. This typically led to phenomena of the ‘God of the Gaps.’ However, as scientific knowledge increased, gaps in understanding of the natural world gradually disappeared, so pantheon of gods began to shrink. As gaps in understanding narrowed, gods that were created to fill a void in understanding shrunk.
But these gods did not ‘go gentle’. It is always a messy process for a culture to abandon its deities. Spiritual beliefs are etched deeply on peoples psyches at a young age by—hammered by parents, teachers, religious leaders. Hence, it becomes difficult to disengage from such beliefs without leaving a portrait of deviance in the wake, or suffering a social backlash. Religious shifts occur over generations, often with bloodshed.
As the gods of the gaps vanished, Zeus, the god of all gods, from whose image Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) are fashioned, has proved resilience despite the narrowing gaps in understanding of the universe.
Zeus, the most feared and revered of all the pagan deities, has resisted his own extinction, and mounted a violent battle against the dying of his own light, precisely as had the earlier gods Zeus had replaced.
The resilient of Zeus has presented unprecedented illogical scenarios. Unlike before, how can we have modern human minds, that is capable of precise logical analysis, and yet simultaneously permits acceptance of senseless religious beliefs that should crumble beneath even the slightest rational scrutiny?
We have an otherwise enlightened society. We have people admirable mental aptitude. Yet, they suffer no shame feeding their children harebrained junk such as christian analogies of the Resurrection, the Virgin Mary, Noah’s Ark, the parting of the Red Sea, heaven, and hell. How can an otherwise intelligent mind take mythologies, hook, line and sinker.
How can a modern rational individual, be an adherent to a religions that hosts wild claims—humans rising from the dead, miraculous virgin births, vengeful gods that send plagues and floods, mystical promises of an afterlife in cloud-swept heavens or fiery hells?”
Initially, it has been because even with modern rationals, there are still gaps in appreciation of nature, and Zeus has to fill such void. Secondly, wherever Zeus has been threatened, he has been spread by the brute of violence and political dominance. It is why the two leading religions, Christianity and Islam, were spread through conquests, bloodshed and by brute force of political dominance.
These arsenals are no longer viable. There is no society which is invading another to spread religion. The growth of science and advent of globalization has caused immense knowledge spread, hence closing the gap of understanding, held by Zeus.
Hence, without tools of dominance and with increasing closure of gaps of understanding. Science has filled huge void that was there. In this case, Zeus, the last God of the gaps, cannot be sustained. This will eventually lead to the collapse of the religions.