Jump to content

Are Computers Destroying Religion?


DarthOkkata
 Share

Recommended Posts

I realize that Christianity is strong, and that the vast majority of the world is still Theistic.

 

The number of Atheist, and Agnostics is growing quickly, moreso than ever before.

 

One thing I hear a lot of, is that former believers didn't have access to the opposite views, rational explinations, and contradictions related to their faith. It just never dawned on them that they should bother questioning faith. Stumbling across something on the internet seems to be a common way of 'discovering' the subject, and allows for real compare and contrast research from both ends of the spectrum. I'm aware that not everyone converts this way, some come about it on their own when they accidentally have a rational thought.

 

Sure, there have been books and videos before, but it was more of an underground movement, and you had to seek them out, sometimes with quite a bit difficulty. It's also much easier to keep private, as there is no real 'evidence' of your evil questioning laying about your home for theistic friends and family to stumble across.

 

Most faith research in the past involved books and video that praised, or put a positive spin on whatever figment it supported, with opposing or negative views being difficult, or rather, too much trouble for a normal person to access. Until recently, dissenting views have been difficult to aquire in print, and would be mostly ignored by a person of 'true faith'. Reading a book is a major time investment to most people.

 

Websites have a magazine like quality, and you can take only a few minutes to browse through them. Something even the most hardened of Christians might do in an evening of web browsing, especially those accustomed to the format of web page. [We see them here at times, the hit and run posters who show up and preach to us before vanishing into the data stream again.]

 

It's also more difficult to quell as a computer won't tell you 'don't question', ostracize you, and force you into 'Jesus Camp' . [or whatever camp applies.] It leaves very little risk of social 'punishment' for trying to have a thought of your own. [Most seem to expect confirmation and strengthening of faith when they start this search. An answer to make them feel better about whatever they're questioning.]

 

There's no fear of retribution, little fear of being discovered [thanks to the internet's anonymity], and a wealth of rational explinations for why most theistic beliefs are stupid. Complete with evidence, and pointing out the lack there of on the other side.

 

Now, this information is just a few keystrokes away, available to everyone easily.

 

Is the internet the beginning of the end of 'god'?

 

There's little hope for the older generation to throw off their crazy shackles, but those who will spend their entire lives with access to such information, and are accustomed to having questions answered, and looking for information that way might be different.

 

What do you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The internet though is used just as much, moreso even for theist sites. Preaching on the web, online confession, online churches and forums. The battleground has just moved to a new medium.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have to agree with Vixentrox, that all this does is provide a new medium for an old set of fights. I've seen religious sites claim (almost) exactly what you were claiming in the OP.

 

The one thing I do see going on a bit is helping the growth of smaller religions, mostly from the dissemination of information, and, if nothing else, an easy way for like-minded people to find eachother and realize that they aren't alone. That kind of cuts all ways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are Computers Destroying Religion?, Is the 'information age' the downfall of stupidity?

 

I fucking wish.

When information is composed of factoids strung together at random, (as it is on the internet) It is nearly imposible to find any coherant and stable starting point for inteligent discovery.

The result is that although we get information overload, None of said information has a context.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree I think atheism is a growing thing, for the new generation of teenagers/college students. I guess my generation, I had a battle with some Christians (well an argument sort of.) The guy was saying this atheist had a radio program and he was spreading propganda when a Christian was on. I said " Hold on..hold on..Christians spread propoganda to...and that is why it is impossible for any politician that is atheist to be elected because of propganda."

 

Then this girl got in the conversation and revealed she was atheist I was like: :eek:, then this other dude revealed he was an atheist and it was a three on three battle. I never really occured to me but I think atheism is a growing trend. The information age I think does have some affects into it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing about the Information Age... the information is available if you look... what is done with it is impossible to say...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I agree with the OP. I am seeing more and more agnostics and atheists being open about their lack of belief, and I do think it comes down to the internet. Most times you stay hidden when you think you are all alone. What various other skeptic's sites and information have done is given individuals a sense of community. Yeah, the Fundie christians(because, honestly, with the exception of Muslims and Christians most theists are okay...Their faith is their faith, they are not trying to indoctrinate everyone else)are taking the battle ground to the net but I see their influence beginning to wane. You have all of these authors coming out with atheist books and people openly speaking out against their non faith...I think it has to do with the fact that the Christian right tried to transform America into a theocracy and NOW we are rebelling. Even though we are not that far along I love the progression...I would love to see Christianity and Islam dissappear altogether. I despise both of them, sorry...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that the OP is correct and at the same time Ramen666 has a very good point. When I was younger, I could never come out of the closet as a Deist. To do so was to ask for almost instant attack by the Christian minions! Now, it is not uncommon for a person to profess disbelief in that silly Asiatic superstition that held half the world in thrall for nearly 15 centuries. The internet is instrumental in deconversion of the Theists and even on this site, myself and another long departed member actually deconverted a troll in the very early days of the site. I have never had anyone online tell me that they became Christians/Jews/Muslims/Buddhists/etc because of what they found online, but I have many tell me that they deconverted because of what they found on line or because of arguments put forth by myself or other Atheists/Agnostics/Deists that showed the sheer stupidity of the Christ Cult! - Heimdall :yellow:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the internet is both helping and hurting. Yeah, a lot of atheists/agnostics/other non-Christians are coming together, but so are the Christians. Also, most people don't look up the information disproving Christianity until they have serious doubts themselves. I know if I'd have found this site in my younger years (had the internet been around then), I would've just crossed it off as a bunch of deluded people and moved on. Same with evolution stuff.

 

I do think Christianity and Islam are either due to die a slow death or go out with a bang...killing lots of innocents in the process. Personally, I'd rather see the former.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the internet is both helping and hurting. Yeah, a lot of atheists/agnostics/other non-Christians are coming together, but so are the Christians. Also, most people don't look up the information disproving Christianity until they have serious doubts themselves. I know if I'd have found this site in my younger years (had the internet been around then), I would've just crossed it off as a bunch of deluded people and moved on. Same with evolution stuff.

 

I know about Christian sites and their prevailence on the interweb. I was taking that into account in my own thoughts on the matter. I also know about 'thoughtless loyalty'.

 

However, when you finally had your rational thought, you would have known the information was out there to inspect. Maybe you wouldn't remember a specific web address, but all you need is a search engine and a few words related to what you want.

 

Also, the internet gives Atheist and Agnostics a voice the Theist can't quell socially. It's opened up a lot of topics to the world that probably wouldn't have been discussed in the same manner otheriwise. [Not just theistic beliefs].

 

The internet is a good primer, an open debate, and can point you to where you can find the information you need, if not give you direct access too it. It's not the only source you need, but can provide you with directions and a map.

 

I don't think it's going to happen quickly, but as our knowledge of the world and universe expands, so too will the number of Atheist/Agnostics. The internet just might be the front door.

 

I'm hopeful, but not expecting to see real results in my lifetime either. At least, not while I might enjoy them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like Amethyst said, it helps and it hurts. But overall, I think the fallout of the Information Age is helping.

 

It is why there will be no more "Great Awakenings." There is simply too much information out there, too much intelligent criticism and too little on the Xians' side to counteract it, for Xianity to ever take such a mass hold on people ever again. I think the time for that sort of thing is over, and any life Xianity ever has will be found either in communities where Xianity is habitual or in converts. And, citing the same abundance of anti-xian criticism and information, there won't be waves of converts anymore.

 

Sure, people will be tricked into the cult. This happens - many crackpot ideas can find willing ears if they are presented in the right way. Yet, humanity isn't ignorant of Xianity's flaws as we were in the past. I don't think the conditions that contributed to "Great Awakenings" of the past are or ever will be right again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were not for internet access I would not have deconverted. I can see religion becoming a thing of the uneducated masses. Where more intellegent people will at least not be fundamentalist. Perhaps it will become a class issue as well.

Working in a pawn shop, there are many, many people who either have no idea what to do with a computer or have no use for one. Do you have any idea how many crack whores, prostitutes, meth addicts, manual laborers bring me crosses or some kind of religious medalion to pawn for some extra cash to get either a fix or beer for the weekend? They also have tons of Christian tattoos. I'm beginning to think that Christianity is the religion of the bottom wrung of society. Yes, there are some intellegent people who are down on their luck, but after spending a few minutes talking to them, they are not Christian.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm beginning to think that Christianity is the religion of the bottom wrung of society.

 

Because it's just like the lucky horseshoe or the rabbits foot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were not for internet access I would not have deconverted.

I agree, I am not sure if I would have deconverted if not for the internet.

 

I always had doubts about Christianity and was seriously questioning it, but I didn't know where to turn for opposing viewpoints. And I found all that on the internet. It helped me to be able to have chatroom debates about religion, atheism, etc., as I had met a couple of people (both agnostics) that I exchanged emails with for almost a year during my "searching".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Florida
I'm beginning to think that Christianity is the religion of the bottom wrung of society.

 

Because it's just like the lucky horseshoe or the rabbits foot.

 

!!!!!!!! I've said that so many times Jun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Tyranthraxus

Religion will never go away. The best we can hope for is that Christianity is replaced by something less odious.

 

But the masses need religion. The masses need to believe to keep them in check. Unbelief will always be fore the minority. The elite, who will not believe but will preach it to the masses to keep them under control, and the misfits and rebels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The internet though is used just as much, moreso even for theist sites. Preaching on the web, online confession, online churches and forums. The battleground has just moved to a new medium.

 

Well, perhaps a new medium, but I would argue that while the xian message has been readily available in its entirety at total saturation levels for eons. The argument against xianity has been forced underground until now. I wish I had the availability of research that the internet now offers when I was asking questions and ultimately deconverting. Certainly the moron-level theists who are comfortable in their "god said it, I believe it" zone, will not be affected, but the intellectually honest now have a tool available that was up until now not widely accessible.

 

Americans have a difficult time seeing that xianity can in fact die out because they are just surrounded by so much of it. Those who live in European countries on the other hand, have seen it die out with education. What exists over there is but a shell of the dogma that used to exist. I don't see why the info that the internet offers wouldn't do massive damage to the American sects over a relatively short period of time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The internet though is used just as much, moreso even for theist sites. Preaching on the web, online confession, online churches and forums. The battleground has just moved to a new medium.

 

Well, perhaps a new medium, but I would argue that while the xian message has been readily available in its entirety at total saturation levels for eons. The argument against xianity has been forced underground until now. I wish I had the availability of research that the internet now offers when I was asking questions and ultimately deconverting. Certainly the moron-level theists who are comfortable in their "god said it, I believe it" zone, will not be affected, but the intellectually honest now have a tool available that was up until now not widely accessible.

 

Americans have a difficult time seeing that xianity can in fact die out because they are just surrounded by so much of it. Those who live in European countries on the other hand, have seen it die out with education. What exists over there is but a shell of the dogma that used to exist. I don't see why the info that the internet offers wouldn't do massive damage to the American sects over a relatively short period of time.

 

Something no one else has yet mentioned. Internet video, and places like Youtube are excellent ways of getting the end of the message across to others as well.

 

Moderately intelligent people are more apt to pay attention to a video as opposed to actually reading something. The stupid can sometimes become convinced by pretty cartoons that point out the obvious as well.

 

There will always be fundies who live, eat, and breath jesus. They'll have nothing to do with any information that contradicts them.

 

Having the information available seems to be having a massive effect on the US. It's starting to show in popular culture more and more. Comedy Central has lead the forefront of blasphemy on non premium channels.

 

The balance of power seems to be shifting a bit at a time, but a bit faster than expected, and the Republican Party isn't helping matters any with their massive screw ups and head of stupid...I mean state...

 

MTV and a few other networks like Spike and G4 are starting to make Atheism 'cool', especially in young people.

 

I still think the internet itself is the best tool thus far, and where it seemed to get started. I'm hopeful, but I also doubt I'll see it before I'm too old to enjoy it, if at all. Things are getting better for Atheist, but kind of like how they're getting better for gay people. We're not there yet, but growth will hopefully not slow too much before things tip in our favor a bit more.

 

I don't trust theist with my planet. They're looking forward to the end of the world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Conspicio

I hope that one day I see humanity view religion as an unfortunate growing pain to universal knowledge.

 

One could argue that it is not necessarily computers per se that are destroying religion, but they are facilitating in the education of the public. We can pool our thoughts, experiences and ideas together and never see each others faces. 100 Years ago we could not have dreamed of this. I wonder whats in store for the future? Hopefully not a mushroom cloud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mass media can go either way -

Prayers on TV mandatory in Iran

 

From Wikinews

May 9, 2007

 

Ezatollah Zarghami, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) who is appointed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said, "In the current year, television productions that do not have prayer scenes will not be allowed to air."

 

Referring to a scene in a television program wherein a murder suspect was shown supplicating, Zarghami stated, "Prayer scenes should not be confined to positive and leading characters, the elderly and the clean-living types." Consequently, program heroes and villains are expected to pray alike because it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

 

All television stations are interrupted five times everyday to permit praying to be broadcast. News anchors and reporters are also required to call upon God.

 

Some Iranians watch Western television shows in Iran notwithstanding their being banned. IRIB itself sometimes airs censored versions of Hollywood movies; however, since Iran and the United States do not have any sort of copyrights relations, companies in either countries do not have any legal recourse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd also like to point out that the internet is not bringing about the downfall of stupidity, and in fact, stupidity is being broadcast all over the place. I mean look at MySpace for crying out loud.

 

There was a quote I heard a long time ago and lost who it should be attributed to:

 

"The Internet has been growing exponentially, while the clue has remained constant."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.