I am currently researching for a new documentary that I will hopefully be making in the coming year.
The film will be exploring the correlation between internet growth and religious decline.
First of all do you agree there is a connection between the two and if not/so why?
Secondly, how much do thou think the internet has influenced your relationship or lack there of with faith?
I am going to reframe from sharing my own findings right away in order to get raw feed back on the subject matter.
Further more if the subject matter highly interests any one I am looking for assistant researchers, so please get in touch.
I must disagree. It MUST be our job to "upset their apple cart" - in other words to disabuse them of their illusions, because they vote, and they determine the schools' curricula, and they sucker for the easy lines that deny global warming, and that tell them to pray instead of taking their kids to the doctor. Religion destroys the critical thinking skills which are necessary to be a good citizen, and to maintain a quality society.
Never heard of the psychological phenomenon of resistance, I guess. You learn about it in Psych 101.
I've taught Psychology 1101. I won't bother you again.
Then you should know that pushing people in a direction you want them to go is usually a fruitless effort and can cause them to simply dig in their heels.
The key word is 'disabuse', with the core 'abuse'.
There was a similar thread at AtheistNexus.com that "The internet: Where religion comes to die" taking after Thunderf00t's YouTube video with the same title and another thread by the title "Internet The Religion Killer". I remember reading in some book about Artificial Intelligence an interesting comment about the internet. It said something like the internet being a kind of nervous system or the collective mind of humanity being hard-wired as an artifact that completely encloses the entire planet in a thought. And the author suggested that long before the flying saucer lands on the south lawn of The White House, the alien artificial intelligence which is growing in the primordial soup of the internet will have speciated and conquered the planet. This sort of implies that maybe the internet is where humanity itself comes to die.
There's so many ideas how this could take form or where this could go. I could imagine Google replacing God in that we'll re-name the search engine "God." I think perhaps another take on it is that the internet could be a place where all ideologies as well as atheism come to die. Richard Dawkins talks about "agnostic atheism" where in one doesn't necessarily say "there is no God," but just says, "It's likely that there no God." So, there's a sort of incompleteness there such that the direction that we we'll be eventually led to is one aligned with the culmination of science that will give us a complete reflection of the universe that will shed light on the whole "God" business and that in turn will put theism and even perhaps atheism in their place.
There is as much misinformation on the web to help support the theistic argument as there is valid verifiable data that supports the scientific approach (ie evolution). Just take a look at Conservapedia for an example of questionable data.
On a personal note, I bloody despise Conservapedia.
A correlation and functional relationship are two very different things. A functional relationship implies a causal relationship of one upon the other. A correlation may present itself exactly the same, though coincidentally.
I found the website for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in 2006, and it changed my life. I came into contact, and am still in contact, with others who live in other parts of the world where Christianity does not have such a hold on the masses. Through hours and hours of discussion with them and the hilarious Christian hate-mailers, I lost the need to feel apologetic for my atheism, and I found out in what I DO believe.
Through the internet, I am able to stay in contact with like-minded folks, learn from them, and continue to develop my understanding of religion, my relationship to it, and its place in the world. I live in an area that is not generally thought of a super religious but the church-per-square-mile ratio is still high and I encounter many Christians in an average day. My job requires me to go to peoples homes all day long, and as far as I can tell I feel like New England has its own little bible belt and I'm in it. However, I know I don't have to be hostile to them. I can be strong and polite, and just do what I went out there to do. Then I can come here and vent about it safely.
Yes, I agree there is a connection between internet growth and religious decline. Why? Information! Instantaneous, vast, and offering different points of view. Information that previously took foot work and skimming thru drawer's and drawer's of card catalogs at the local library.
Google the word god and thousands of hits appear. Google the word atheist and thousands more appear. Information that has been kept from the church goer. Information that has been denied the student or made hard to find is now a few key clicks away. And with the information there's, more times than not, truth. There's also bullshit and the religious, being a gullible lot, buy into the bullshit almost as often as they buy into the truth.
As a boy I was told to go to church every Sunday. As a father I never subjected my children to that. I left the decision to them if they wanted to believe in a deity or not. They chose wisely. I've succeeded in raising two atheist. They will probably, if they have children, do the same. And the church will get smaller. My kids are always on the internet. They're connected thru their gadgets and they've been taught the power of the search engine when looking for the truth. They've also been shown how to discern what's bullshit and what may be factual but to also verify.
I found this place on the internet. I've learned so much.
I think it helped me sort out how i felt about religion. When i was a young teen, I googled up information about god and religion. What I found was contradictory information about all the religions in the world. It made me think about how can one religion be the true and only religion. People who follow a particular belief always thinks theirs is more superior and the right way to believe. It was my first realization that something just wasn't right about it.