The Internet and atheism
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23-12-2013, 07:33 AM
The Internet and atheism
Do you think the Internet is one of the biggest factors driving the decrease of religion in developed countries in the past 20 years? For that matter, does anyone have any links to any studies or research on this topic?

I was thinking about this today and realized that the Internet makes it far easier for people to anonymously gather and discuss topics that might otherwise be off limits. Also, it's far easier for people to simply find information and dissenting points of view that they might not have otherwise found.

I know for me, personally, being able to read other points of view and to find resources like cataloged Biblical contradictions and failed prophesies were instrumental in me considering something other than Christianity.

So, I don't really have any data other than the two points above and my own experiences. I'm curious what your thoughts are on the matter and whether not you can point to any studies on the matter.
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23-12-2013, 07:50 AM
RE: The Internet and atheism
Ignorance fuels religion, Information kills Ignorance,
While the internet has an abundance of Ignorant information, it also has the material for people who so choose to do so, fact check and break the bonds of ignorance.
Unless theists ironically evolve with fingers in their ears and the ability to say la la la la la la their whole life, Theism is a doomed evolutionary trait.
the faster we can look up bible verses on our smart phones the easier is to dismiss the theists arguments that "that's not in the bible", "that's out of context", "God did not endorse that".
Its seems super obvious that the internet is killing religion, but it would be good to see some unbiased evidence for it.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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23-12-2013, 09:02 AM
RE: The Internet and atheism
Religion will not survive the internet. Many things are having issues with the internet like dictatorships. Some countries are trying to censor the net.

There may be some anecdotal evidence on the subject in question. Check out some stats on literacy vs religion. There you see the more religious a country the less literacy they have. Some of the most appauling stats are found in African countries. So I'd use this as a partial explanation that confirms the internet kicking ass.

8000 years before Jesus, the Egyptian god Horus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life."
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23-12-2013, 09:06 AM
RE: The Internet and atheism
(23-12-2013 09:02 AM)BlackMason Wrote:  Religion will not survive the internet. Many things are having issues with the internet like dictatorships. Some countries are trying to censor the net.

There may be some anecdotal evidence on the subject in question. Check out some stats on literacy vs religion. There you see the more religious a country the less literacy they have. Some of the most appauling stats are found in African countries. So I'd use this as a partial explanation that confirms the internet kicking ass.

"religion will not survive the internet" Is the best way to say it! I agree.

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23-12-2013, 09:35 AM
RE: The Internet and atheism
Maybe but there's no way to compare actually.
Since there's no sample of the world with no Internet at all to conduct a comparative test, no way to be certain. In addition, chances are there's Internet access in the Vatican or Uganda for instance.
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23-12-2013, 10:11 AM
RE: The Internet and atheism
(23-12-2013 09:35 AM)GaëlK7 Wrote:  Maybe but there's no way to compare actually.
Since there's no sample of the world with no Internet at all to conduct a comparative test, no way to be certain. In addition, chances are there's Internet access in the Vatican or Uganda for instance.

Pretty much everyone in the Vatican is someone who's financial income is Dependant on religion, and it's also a ridiculously small sample size. While I'm sure there's Internet access in Uganda, it's probably much more spotty than in other places.

Also, third world countries are much more likely to kill you for apostasy, which is a pretty good bit of incentive to not go digging in the theism/atheism rabbit hole.
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23-12-2013, 10:12 AM
RE: The Internet and atheism
I don't think the Internet is causing it, but it will make it harder for religion to reestablish. Back in the late 1700's church attendance was falling and secularism was on the rise since there were all of a sudden naturalistic explanations for many things which had previously been unexplained. However religious leaders saw this and launched "the Great Awakening" in order to swell attendance and revitalize religion. [America and its Peoples, that's the book I'm getting this from)

There won't be another Great Awakening this time. The Internet prevents that sort of thing.
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23-12-2013, 10:30 AM
RE: The Internet and atheism
I subscribe to the idea that the Internet contributes significantly to the rise in secularism, but to be objective we have to admit there are more sites dedicated to religion than not, and if someone is seeking answers they can find both sides of the fence rather easily. People like to just say the Interwebs are a major factor, but do we have actual data on this? Do we have data on how many people have re-affirmed their faith because of the Internet? Again, I do subscribe to that line of thinking, but without a PEW study or a Gallup poll or something, I can't be too hardlined on that way of thinking.

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23-12-2013, 11:37 AM
RE: The Internet and atheism
Someone posted some stats about religion and the US population somewhere on TTA recently, and it showed among other things that the younger the group, the higher the percentage of atheists/non religious.

Today's teens are the group with the largest percentage of non believers. They also practically grew up on the internet.

To indoctrinate someone, you have to either isolate them, or put them in with a bunch of already indoctrinated people. Then the subject will hear the intended indoctrination over and over, and nothing else.

Today's youth would have to be isolated (home schooled) to be subject to indoctrination. Otherwise, today's youth is exposed to everything under the sun online.

So yes, the internet plays a role in today's increase in atheism. It interferes with indoctrination.

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23-12-2013, 02:32 PM
RE: The Internet and atheism
(23-12-2013 11:37 AM)Dom Wrote:  Someone posted some stats about religion and the US population somewhere on TTA recently, and it showed among other things that the younger the group, the higher the percentage of atheists/non religious.

Today's teens are the group with the largest percentage of non believers. They also practically grew up on the internet.

To indoctrinate someone, you have to either isolate them, or put them in with a bunch of already indoctrinated people. Then the subject will hear the intended indoctrination over and over, and nothing else.

Today's youth would have to be isolated (home schooled) to be subject to indoctrination. Otherwise, today's youth is exposed to everything under the sun online.

So yes, the internet plays a role in today's increase in atheism. It interferes with indoctrination.

Not so fast. It all depends on the free west as both government and private business owners, keeping it available and fair. Business monopolies do exist. The NFL, cable companies and health care.

The technology right now, if not gamed can lead to more exposure. But look what gun manufacturers have done keeping their candy stores open. Anything can be gamed and monopolized because humans ultimately are part of every system, public and private.

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