Poll: In the U.S. more people are declaring themselves to be unbelievers in the last decade than in several decades before that. To what To what would you attribute that fact to?
The rise of the Internet.
The 9/11 crime against humanity.
Both the Internet and 9/11 together.
As we near the end-time Satan is becoming more active.
None of the above.
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Atheism, Internet & 9/11
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13-08-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Atheism, Internet & 9/11
I want to know what you all think about the recent rise in the number of people in the U.S. declare themselves to be unbelievers. As someone who has been an unbeliever/athiest/agnostic for a long time, I find this upsurge mostly a good thing. We have the right to think the way we want to, and I hope that we will continue to gain respect for that right.

In my first pole, I will be asking you if the rise of the Internet or 9/11 was most important factor in the rise of atheism. Or if it was a combination of both or neither.
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13-08-2011, 06:51 PM
RE: Atheism, Internet & 9/11
I'm not sure if 9/11 had a major effect on convincing people to come out so to speak. While there probably were some people who might even have converted to atheism it probably had the same effect for conversions to christianity if anything.

Truthfully I would imagine the rise in internet activity has helped with the rise in outed atheists than anything else. If for no other reason than because it allows people to connect to more people than would be possible otherwise. It has allowed people to realize that their numbers are greater than they may have thought. Not believing is more popular that previously thought. It's relieving.
Not to mention the rise in accessible information (though it;s harder to find than it used to be due to overwhelming amounts of porn) it's hard to believe in creationism when you can type in evolution into google and literally get thousands of intelligent results. As well as thousands of creationist results Sad

I also think that it has caused the theists of the world to realize what kind of situation they are soon to be in. They have been a lot more outspoken as of late, or at least the gibberish they are speaking is finding it's way into my path more.
Things are getting desperate for these people, and they are coming to a head. The internet is already aflame with the war and it has spread ti's jam all over television. Not too long now I think, until it is in all of our homes. Luckily we have the science on our side. Should help.

I'm tired. Reading what I've written thus far I sound nutty. But I'm gonna leave it due to tiredness.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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13-08-2011, 07:46 PM
RE: Atheism, Internet & 9/11
This is a hard vote to make because I don't really think its all one thing. I do think you left out an important reason, though: the rising political power of fundamentalist religion. If you count 9/11 as an influence in the rise of fundamentalism in the US, then it is a contributing factor. If you are talking internationally, then the internet is a huge influence, but mainly in those places where fundamentalist religious philosophies already dominate the political discourse.

I was an uninterested agnostic for years before becoming an outspoken atheist, and probably would have been content to remain so if it hadn't been for the growing fundamentalist attacks on free speech, separation of church and state and science education.
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13-08-2011, 10:03 PM
RE: Atheism, Internet & 9/11
I think science advancing further helps alot as well as the internet. We now have knowledge about evolution and all these technologies, and the ignorance God hides in is slowly dissipating. We no longer have a need for God in explaining why we are here.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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14-08-2011, 12:46 PM
RE: Atheism, Internet & 9/11
The fact that more people are declaring themselves to be atheists doesn't necessarily mean that there are more atheists. It is possible that our culture has changed so that atheists are no longer afraid to express their real beliefs.

I chose the fourth option: Satan is becoming more active as we approach the end of this age. His activity is the reason for these cultural changes that encourage atheists to be more open about what they believe.

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
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14-08-2011, 03:27 PM
RE: Atheism, Internet & 9/11
Satan is becoming more active because a few demons say he is putting on a little too weight, so he's been taking to jogging and weight lifting, hence the earthquakes and tsunamis we keep seeing.

I really think it's a combination of the internet, scientific, and social advancement.

I think the internet helps because of communities like this, I think the reasons that atheists and other non-religious folks tend to go back to faith because they like the sense of community. With the rise of the internet, we make our own community, so we don't feel as compelled to go back to religion. Not only that, but with the internet there is much more information available, between youtube and wikipedia scientific information is there and at your fingertips, even sheltered home schooled kids can now learn the truth.

Scientific research has helped also, we now find out that maybe god controls a lot less then he used to, making him seem less omnipotent, or at least, less involved in our lives. Germ theory, evolution, cosmology... all of these.

And of course, social advancement. We are becoming more secular (well... mostly). You don't have to belong to a certain religion, or even believe in god to have an active social life anymore. Simply put, we are just not very religious anymore, Christians and atheists alike.

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16-08-2011, 11:47 PM
RE: Atheism, Internet & 9/11
It's multifactorial, so I think everyone who has posted so far, apart from you know who, has made good points. I would add that Richard, Chris, Sam and others like them have helped too.
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17-08-2011, 01:25 AM (This post was last modified: 17-08-2011 01:30 AM by DeepThought.)
RE: Atheism, Internet & 9/11
9/11 forced the issue. It made more people aware of religion and it's consequences. At the time that happened atheists for the most part were not outspoken.

After the 2001 terrorist attacks they were followed by bombings in London, Bali and other places.
Personally I think 9/11 and terrorism had more of an influence. The Internet is a convenient medium we chose to exploit. It's global and easy to access.

Richard Dawkins released 'The God Delusion' in 2006, Hitchens released 'God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything' in 2007, Sam Harris released 'End Of Faith' in 2004, and Daniel Dennet released 'Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon' in 2006.
Those books are the ones they are most well known for. I see that as a response to the 911 attacks. The growing atheist community seems like a response to what has been happening around the world, thanks to peoples growing awareness post 9/11 of religion and it's influence in society.

9/11 was the massive wakeup call that set everything in motion... Internet is the censorship resistant catalyst that is helping it spread.

“Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be born.” - Lawrence M. Krauss
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17-08-2011, 01:55 AM
RE: Atheism, Internet & 9/11
(17-08-2011 01:25 AM)DeepThought Wrote:  9/11 forced the issue. It made more people aware of religion and it's consequences. At the time that happened atheists for the most part were not outspoken.

After the 2001 terrorist attacks they were followed by bombings in London, Bali and other places.
Personally I think 9/11 and terrorism had more of an influence. The Internet is a convenient medium we chose to exploit. It's global and easy to access.

Richard Dawkins released 'The God Delusion' in 2006, Hitchens released 'God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything' in 2007, Sam Harris released 'End Of Faith' in 2004, and Daniel Dennet released 'Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon' in 2006.
Those books are the ones they are most well known for. I see that as a response to the 911 attacks. The growing atheist community seems like a response to what has been happening around the world, thanks to peoples growing awareness post 9/11 of religion and it's influence in society.

9/11 was the massive wakeup call that set everything in motion... Internet is the censorship resistant catalyst that is helping it spread.

Yes...I think you are right. In fact it just occurred to me that the following is the opening sentence to my book ( not that I'm anywhere near the league of the authors mentioned):
"On September 11th 2001 Islamic terrorists killed over 3000 innocent people. The world was shocked and wanted to know why."

No doubt about it, 9/11 changed the way we look at religion.
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06-09-2011, 01:02 AM
RE: Atheism, Internet & 9/11
After 9/11, I saw a growth in the Church and a strengthening of Christian beliefs. I, of course, live in a religious community, so I certainly can't speak for everyone in the U.S.

But what I saw was a Christian nation in complete shock and desperation being led by a president besotted by religion. It seems like everything about Bush had to do with religion... At any rate, he called the country to unite under God and rely on him for strength and healing. Christians began to demonize Muslims; a dichotomy was formed between 'us' - the good and peaceful Christians of the West - and 'them' - the violent Islamic Fundamentalists who would kill any American on the spot. In reality, both sides are deluded and self-righteous; it just happened to be the Islamic Fundamentalists who committed the atrocity (...some people even theorize that Islam is going through the same 'phase' of religious development that Christianity passed through during the bloody days of the Inquisition).

I would imagine that people whose faith was already shaky before 9/11 may have been pushed over to the side of atheism. The terrible events of that day also gave atheists' claims regarding the impossibility of a benevolent God more weight; this likely made for more convincing and emotionally-appealing books. And of course, I'm sure there were some people who first began to doubt God's existence after 9/11... I just didn't see very much of it in my community.

The Internet, on the other hand, has helped lots of closeted atheists realize that their views are not ridiculous and that one can have morals without religious convictions (it is, of course, a Christian myth that it is all or none). It would be interesting to follow up on this subject using actual academic research.

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.
- Shakespeare's King Lear
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