Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Is The Internet Destroying Religion?

  1. #1
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corryton
    Faith
    Trinitarian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    5,982
    Amen (Given)
    293
    Amen (Received)
    2838

    Is The Internet Destroying Religion?

    What is the connection between the internet and apostasy?

    Link

    ------

    Does the net pose a danger? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Last night, I saw someone share an article about how the internet is causing people to leave Christianity. On the face of it, let's just accept the claim. Actually, I'm quite sure the claim is true. This was an atheist who shared it so naturally, the idea is the internet is showing people that religious claims are false.

    Unfortunately for them, that's the kind of simplistic thinking that is behind many such claims. You could say that the totalitarian regimes in Russia and China caused atheism to rise, therefore atheism is true. In all of this, I don't want to assume that any one position is true. Hypothetically, atheism could be true and Christianity false. I just want to access how we're approaching the claim.

    The idea is that more information leads to more knowledge, which could in many ways seem like something obvious to say, but it's not. More good information leads to more knowledge. There is plenty of false information out there. You can watch a documentary on Netflix called Behind The Curve about people who believe the Earth is flat.

    Most New Testament scholars that are even atheists and agnostics would decry Jesus Mythicism as an utterly bankrupt theory. Unfortunately, if you went by what is seen on the internet, you would think that this is the main idea of such scholars. Atheists will go and treat this like it's gospel and do so because they read something on the internet and never bothered to read anything else.

    In all of this, I don't want to say the internet is horrible. There is plenty of good information on the internet. The problem is most people don't possess the skills in research necessary to sift out the good information from the bad. This isn't just limited to atheists. There are plenty of Christians out there that believe stupid things because they don't know how to sift out information.

    One key problem of this is avoiding books. You see, the information you read on the internet is often free stuff and not the best material that you can find in scholarly works by people who actually want to get paid for their information because they have these strange desires like, you know, providing for their families and earning a living.

    Many times when I present these books to people and ask if they want to read them, I get met with the strongest resistance. Whenever this shows up, mark it for what it is, a form of anti-intellectualism. If you are confident in your position, you should have no problem reading the other side. Don't say the other side isn't worth reading if you think it's worth the time to go out there and argue against it. This also goes for those of us who are Christians who do need to read the other side.

    So what we could say is that many people who are low-information are having their minds changed easily. I say this in light of realizing that as a Christian, I am happy much information is being put out about groups like the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses that they wouldn't have access to normally, but even then that information needs to be sifted out. When we have had Mormons visiting us, I have found them to be just as credulous with material on the internet and even anti-Mormonism and anti-Watchtower material should be checked for veracity.

    Two great offenders worth mentioning in all of this are Wikipedia and YouTube. When someone sends me a Wikipedia article on a serious subject, I don't even bother reading it. Some might say the footnotes at the end are usually good, but then just go and read those sources and show me that that information is in there. Wiki is fine if you're looking up pop culture references, like movies, TV shows, music, and video games. It's not good for debatable positions.

    YouTube is the second great offender here. Of course, there are plenty of great YouTube channels out there. Sadly, anyone can set one up and having knowledge and skill is not a requirement. It's too easy to think that someone is an authority because they have a channel, but they're not. You must look at the content that is being produced.

    So the problem is not really religion. It's low-information thinking. Again, nothing I have said here is about any particular worldview being true or false. I have simply made claims about how we access religious claims and any other claims and test them for validity.

    The shout of victory that the internet is leading to more information and thus more people leaving religion is itself a low-information belief. It doesn't bother to examine all possible reasons going on and just assumes that people are finding stuff on the internet and learning that X isn't true, whatever it is. That could be, but there are other reasons and those need to be examined as well. To choose one automatically without examination or justification is to be the kind of person who does just believe whatever is read to them on the internet.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  2. Amen Chrawnus, Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  3. #2
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    DownUnder
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    4,116
    Amen (Given)
    177
    Amen (Received)
    637
    I would argue that the problem is Churches not taking their proper role as educators seriously. People who have been educated in researching the Bible and claims about the Bible for themselves have a more robust response when they encounter misinformation than those who don't.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

  4. Amen Chrawnus, mossrose amen'd this post.
  5. #3
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    45,929
    Amen (Given)
    4392
    Amen (Received)
    20503
    Christianity has nothing to fear. The truth can stand up to any criticism.

    But I believe the internet is the death of many of the established cults, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, the LDS church, scientology, etc. -- as more information is freely available about these cults, the more people wake up and leave them.

    Which is why may such cults will tell their members to stay off the internet.

  6. Amen Chrawnus amen'd this post.
  7. #4
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    The Republic of Texas
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    48,933
    Amen (Given)
    10493
    Amen (Received)
    23113
    Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit of the Living God.
    --- this space intentionally left blank ---

  8. Amen Sparko, Chrawnus, Christianbookworm, mossrose amen'd this post.
  9. #5
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Northern Hemisphere
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    9,110
    Amen (Given)
    5342
    Amen (Received)
    1701
    How do people underestimate God? Do they not know what omnipotent means? Or what omniscience or omnipresence means?
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  10. #6
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Southeastern U.S. of A.
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    47,332
    Amen (Given)
    1011
    Amen (Received)
    17301
    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    How do people underestimate God? Do they not know what omnipotent means? Or what omniscience or omnipresence means?
    Too many folks try to make God in their own image.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" -- starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)

  11. #7
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Northern Hemisphere
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    9,110
    Amen (Given)
    5342
    Amen (Received)
    1701
    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Too many folks try to make God in their own image.
    Why would they do that? I'm glad God is a much better being than me! He's the standard for goodness! His character literally is the standard for morality!
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  12. Amen KingsGambit amen'd this post.
  13. #8
    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Next to you
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    9,412
    Amen (Given)
    1521
    Amen (Received)
    4037
    Apostasy is primarily a heart thing with most people I think. so I think the biggest connection between apostasy and the internet is the very widespread proliferation of online pornography.
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •