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.
An answer that some have mentioned is actually one of the more important aspects of the phenomena you are studying. The information, even if it is conflicting information, sits out there and is now available precisely at the time the curiosity is present in an individual.
Since the information is not pushed to them, it carries a higher credibility in the average persons eyes.
If you had a sample of 100 young people, say 12-20 years old, some of them might have events in their lives that make them search for answers when they are 12, others might never have a question. But when that wild hair hits them, the answer is out there in a way never before experienced in human history.
Just as with other things, indoctrination can work most, even 99 percent of the time. But all we need is one doubt to begin the process that changes someones life for the rest of their lives.
Since religion relies on obfuscation, fact tends to trump it. So the math is in our favor. We have
I suspect there is somewhat of a parallel between books and the Internet. Throughout history, or at least since the printing press, religion hated books, as evidenced by book burnings. Well, the Internet is like books on steroids. It allows anyone with any desire to find evidence and reasoning that will disprove religion.
Come to think of it, Wikipedia is supposed to be the sum of all human knowledge, and within it, God is not found and It's existence is not proven. That's proof enough for me!
Good luck on the documentary, it sound like it will be great!
Certainly the Internet has played a major role. It has allowed one to privately find answers to questions that family, peers and church might not tolerate. Indeed, it is probably difficult to pursue any kind of religious question without being exposed to skeptical sites. That said, I believe that the simultaneous rise of powerful right-wing religious groups and 9/11 terrorism in the U.S. has been a major turn-off to those millions who normally float along with little resistance to religion, and especially to the youth who arrive at the questioning ages watching religious strife all around the world. I made it the age of 23 (in 1970) without being aware that anyone had ever criticized the Christian Bible (!).
I'm a Boomer, and I grew up in a world in which churches were detached from politics, and one called a fundamentalist followed the teachings of Jesus that reflected peace, tolerance and sacrifice for others.
Google killed the god of those with internet access.
Found this while stumbling atheist stuff:
Speaking of google, they call it "Googlism" they have interesting views on the dismissal of religion.
So google is trying to compare themselves to "God"? I just hope they don't get too serious on that.
Theological discussion aside, it was Marshall McLuhan who, back in the 1960's, with his books Gutenberg Galaxy and Understanding Media talked about electronic media creating what he called "a global village," obliterating political and cultural borders by putting everyone everywhere in touch with the same information.
I haven't read every post. Am I the first to mention him?
You are the first. Very interesting!
I don't think a documentary on this subject would be complete without an acknowledgement of what the Internet does to support religion. There are ways in which global connectedness can isolate people and allow them to find small groups of like-minded, narrow-minded friends to support their wacky beliefs.
Just this morning I noticed my sister joined a group on Facebook called "The Raptured." This group is a treasure trove of fear and loathing, with a misinformation density thicker than anything I've ever witnessed before, and I manage online communities for a living! I've never seen Facebook remove images for copyright violation until now, this group has numerous posts with images removed for this reason. I guess these people don't believe they are subject to man's laws. There's actually a report of a UFO sighting in the first page of posts!
My Grandma uses the internet to connect with church friends. Their FWDing network was so toxic, I had to opt out. She watches FOX (yet voted for Obama) and aparently emails the internet equivalent of FOX.
My uncle is a member of a fundamentalist church AND a computer programmer.
I think the internet is mostly what you make of it.
It is education that removes superstitious beliefs. For centuries access to education was tightly controlled by religious organisations. Many of those organisations will claim that they helped to bring schooling to the masses. Some credit is due to them for doing that. However all teaching was done with religious underpinnings. It was done for the glory of god and not just the education of the individual. At higher level many Universities were just as sectarian and only the rich and powerful had access to knowledge. It was in their interests to keep it strictly controlled. Google is the conduit that allows us access to information and knowledge which in turn educates people and removes superstition. Google levels the playing pitch.
I think that it has long been an easy observation to make that wherever knowledge is amassed in great amounts, then there is very little faith to be found. Less than 1% of scientists keep their faith during the course of their education and study. That number is so low that it can't even be identified as a demographic, and is much easier to explain as an anomaly.
I look forward to seeing this documentary, and hope that you post it here after it's made.