Author Topic: The Internet Takes Away Religion  (Read 1866 times)

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The Internet Takes Away Religion
« on: April 06, 2014, 02:48:04 pm »
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/526111/how-the-internet-is-taking-away-americas-religion/

Quote
[Computer Scientist Allen Downey] says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet. He concludes that the increase in Internet use in the last two decades has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.

It goes on to indicate that the University of Chicago's General Social Survey's data indicates a other factors causing people to lose their religion.  Those are, a decline in religious upbringing and an increase in college level  education.  Downey says those stats are rather pail in comparison to the data of increased internet use.



Quote
If this third factor exists, it must have specific characteristics. It would have to be something new that was increasing in prevalence during the 1990s and 2000s, just like the Internet. “It is hard to imagine what that factor might be,” says Downey.

I thought perhaps that the increase in science and technology might account for the unknown data. The Internet is just a smaller factor in increasing knowledge acceleration.   I mean amazing things seem to happen almost weekly. To my mind that tends to trump faith a bit.

What say you, folks?

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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 03:20:22 pm »
The internet, to my mind is as big a leap in information transmission as the invention of the printing press was. The ramifications in terms of impact on the sharing of knowledge and ideas is of the same if not greater order of magnitude. The way we process ideas and subject them to examination and testing is accelerating the informing of the global consciousness. Ideas are much more rigorously tested, much quicker now than they used to be. Memetic evolution is selecting on an increasingly short timescale.

False ideas like many of the ones presented in religion are not strong enough to survive the ocean of critical analysis that is suddenly brought to bear on them and, because this analysis is now instantly made available to the whole world, these false ideas are falling pretty quickly, supplanted by replacement ideas that make much more coherent sense. It's still slow enough to disappoint some but at least most of those people would agree it's travelling in the right direction.

So yeah, I'd guess the internets has made a significant impact on religious affiliation. Hell, I can trace a massive decrease in my own - wooly mystical thinking - since I started using it. Much more effective, replacement concepts and descriptions have been made available to me. I purposefully bombard myself with new ones on a daily basis.
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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 09:55:57 pm »
Being able to communicate and make friends with people outside of your immediate cultural surroundings almost certainly has a massive impact in people's ability and desire to tag themselves with an isolating label that forces them to filter everyone not bearing that label through a lens marked "other".

I mean, for example, it's really hard to draw an imaginary line between myself and Belgians and say "I am this thing, and they are that thing" when having daily conversations with Waffles and :regret:.
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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 11:49:28 pm »
Being able to communicate and make friends with people outside of your immediate cultural surroundings almost certainly has a massive impact in people's ability and desire to tag themselves with an isolating label that forces them to filter everyone not bearing that label through a lens marked "other".

I mean, for example, it's really hard to draw an imaginary line between myself and Belgians and say "I am this thing, and they are that thing" when having daily conversations with Waffles and regret.


Bingbingbingbing! I agree. It also shifted information transmission from a location-based exchange (everyone gossips at church), to a peer-to-peer exchange (I can talk to you from half-the-world-away, or even last-week).


The 'third factor' is cellphones. Once we carried the phone around, it started breaking those word-to-mouth network-node's (church's) centralizing pull. People could feel a sense of community in radically new ways.
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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 02:22:58 am »
Very interesting.  So we're basically broadening our collective horizons on a large scale.  I wonder if people who were well traveled prior to the 90s were less inclined toward a religious affiliation--when the way to reach other cultures was via airplane.

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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 05:33:01 am »
Being able to communicate and make friends with people outside of your immediate cultural surroundings almost certainly has a massive impact in people's ability and desire to tag themselves with an isolating label that forces them to filter everyone not bearing that label through a lens marked "other".

I mean, for example, it's really hard to draw an imaginary line between myself and Belgians and say "I am this thing, and they are that thing" when having daily conversations with Waffles and regret.


Bingbingbingbing! I agree. It also shifted information transmission from a location-based exchange (everyone gossips at church), to a peer-to-peer exchange (I can talk to you from half-the-world-away, or even last-week).


The 'third factor' is cellphones. Once we carried the phone around, it started breaking those word-to-mouth network-node's (church's) centralizing pull. People could feel a sense of community in radically new ways.

Yes; community is no longer defined as "those I live with" or "those I go to church with". It no longer has geographical boundaries. It does have ideological boundaries, but those are becoming more fluid, as people discover that those who share their religion may not share other core values, and many of those who do not share their religion do share other core values.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 06:53:37 am »
Now now, we can always look at the bad side of things, because while it might sway neutral people in a favourable manner, the batshit people i assume go off the deep end:

"What is the correlation between the Internet and right wing fanaticism?"

I would like an USA person to answer and use as an example, i would think its exponentially easier for given person to explain than for me to research it.

Id speak of mexico, but im not old enough, internet accesability does not compare well to 1st world countries, and the use is by far, i would assume, more as leisure time dump into garbage like facebook rather than reading, because althought our population is alphabetized (presumably, we lie on a lot of statistics amd also lie by the compilers and analysts) we are for the most part an illiterate nation (2.8 books a year grand average).

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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 12:43:57 am »
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/526111/how-the-internet-is-taking-away-americas-religion/

Quote
[Computer Scientist Allen Downey] says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet. He concludes that the increase in Internet use in the last two decades has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.

It goes on to indicate that the University of Chicago's General Social Survey's data indicates a other factors causing people to lose their religion.  Those are, a decline in religious upbringing and an increase in college level  education.  Downey says those stats are rather pail in comparison to the data of increased internet use.



Quote
If this third factor exists, it must have specific characteristics. It would have to be something new that was increasing in prevalence during the 1990s and 2000s, just like the Internet. “It is hard to imagine what that factor might be,” says Downey.

I thought perhaps that the increase in science and technology might account for the unknown data. The Internet is just a smaller factor in increasing knowledge acceleration.   I mean amazing things seem to happen almost weekly. To my mind that tends to trump faith a bit.

What say you, folks?

Johannes Gutenburg transformed the Western world with his printing press and movable type, but the Internet is currently transforming the entire world. I don't think it is a smaller factor at all.
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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 12:56:12 am »
Being able to communicate and make friends with people outside of your immediate cultural surroundings almost certainly has a massive impact in people's ability and desire to tag themselves with an isolating label that forces them to filter everyone not bearing that label through a lens marked "other".

I mean, for example, it's really hard to draw an imaginary line between myself and Belgians and say "I am this thing, and they are that thing" when having daily conversations with Waffles and regret.


Bingbingbingbing! I agree. It also shifted information transmission from a location-based exchange (everyone gossips at church), to a peer-to-peer exchange (I can talk to you from half-the-world-away, or even last-week).


The 'third factor' is cellphones. Once we carried the phone around, it started breaking those word-to-mouth network-node's (church's) centralizing pull. People could feel a sense of community in radically new ways.

I have to agree with both of you. Great points.

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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 01:19:44 am »
The internet, to my mind is as big a leap in information transmission as the invention of the printing press was. The ramifications in terms of impact on the sharing of knowledge and ideas is of the same if not greater order of magnitude. The way we process ideas and subject them to examination and testing is accelerating the informing of the global consciousness. Ideas are much more rigorously tested, much quicker now than they used to be. Memetic evolution is selecting on an increasingly short timescale.

False ideas like many of the ones presented in religion are not strong enough to survive the ocean of critical analysis that is suddenly brought to bear on them and, because this analysis is now instantly made available to the whole world, these false ideas are falling pretty quickly, supplanted by replacement ideas that make much more coherent sense. It's still slow enough to disappoint some but at least most of those people would agree it's travelling in the right direction.

So yeah, I'd guess the internets has made a significant impact on religious affiliation. Hell, I can trace a massive decrease in my own - wooly mystical thinking - since I started using it. Much more effective, replacement concepts and descriptions have been made available to me. I purposefully bombard myself with new ones on a daily basis.

I shudder to think how I might have turned out had I not explored the interbutts.
“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.” - M I C H E L   D E   M O N T A I G N E

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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 03:17:45 am »
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/526111/how-the-internet-is-taking-away-americas-religion/

Quote
[Computer Scientist Allen Downey] says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet. He concludes that the increase in Internet use in the last two decades has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.

It goes on to indicate that the University of Chicago's General Social Survey's data indicates a other factors causing people to lose their religion.  Those are, a decline in religious upbringing and an increase in college level  education.  Downey says those stats are rather pail in comparison to the data of increased internet use.



Quote
If this third factor exists, it must have specific characteristics. It would have to be something new that was increasing in prevalence during the 1990s and 2000s, just like the Internet. “It is hard to imagine what that factor might be,” says Downey.

I thought perhaps that the increase in science and technology might account for the unknown data. The Internet is just a smaller factor in increasing knowledge acceleration.   I mean amazing things seem to happen almost weekly. To my mind that tends to trump faith a bit.

What say you, folks?

My loss of faith in the afterlife is due to the internet, and specifically to this site. Even more particularly, LMNO and I taking a particular position in a conversation with Cram (with some input from Vex) about whether stepping on a Star Trek transporter and emerging on a planet, if away team you is still you. LMNO and I took the position that it was, because it's the pattern that defines you, not the composite atoms, because atoms don't have individuality, and further that your atoms always have to be in flux anyway, otherwise you would be a preserved specimen.

That lead me down a rabbit hole, ending with the question "where do I go between falling asleep and dreaming?"

It was the most uncomfortable question I've ever asked myself, and I had to reject any concept of the soul until data could back up why we stop experiencing anything during that period.

I haven't rejected the idea of god(s) because the definition is a slippery one. It's a useless word in the English language. I now attempt to find some sort of sacred meaning in the fact that life exists, and that a chemical (DNA) has a need to continue to maintain its existence (which is a delightfully absurd concept. Think about that. I'm a chemical. I need to continue to be this chemical. I must therefore find a way to continue to exist and make more of me. The instinct to survival and reproduction is freaking ridiculous on paper). That it evolves and gives opportunity for intelligent life to emerge to contemplate the universe. So I can't discount gods. I just have to reject certain conceptions of the word.

So, I think what's going on here is that the internet facilitates conversations that are unlikely face to face. Both in subject matter and geographical distance.
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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2014, 01:40:00 pm »
                                Discordia: official religion of the Internet since 1861
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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2014, 02:48:48 pm »
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/526111/how-the-internet-is-taking-away-americas-religion/

Quote
[Computer Scientist Allen Downey] says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet. He concludes that the increase in Internet use in the last two decades has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.

It goes on to indicate that the University of Chicago's General Social Survey's data indicates a other factors causing people to lose their religion.  Those are, a decline in religious upbringing and an increase in college level  education.  Downey says those stats are rather pail in comparison to the data of increased internet use.



Quote
If this third factor exists, it must have specific characteristics. It would have to be something new that was increasing in prevalence during the 1990s and 2000s, just like the Internet. “It is hard to imagine what that factor might be,” says Downey.

I thought perhaps that the increase in science and technology might account for the unknown data. The Internet is just a smaller factor in increasing knowledge acceleration.   I mean amazing things seem to happen almost weekly. To my mind that tends to trump faith a bit.

What say you, folks?

My loss of faith in the afterlife is due to the internet, and specifically to this site. Even more particularly, LMNO and I taking a particular position in a conversation with Cram (with some input from Vex) about whether stepping on a Star Trek transporter and emerging on a planet, if away team you is still you. LMNO and I took the position that it was, because it's the pattern that defines you, not the composite atoms, because atoms don't have individuality, and further that your atoms always have to be in flux anyway, otherwise you would be a preserved specimen.

That lead me down a rabbit hole, ending with the question "where do I go between falling asleep and dreaming?"

It was the most uncomfortable question I've ever asked myself, and I had to reject any concept of the soul until data could back up why we stop experiencing anything during that period.

I haven't rejected the idea of god(s) because the definition is a slippery one. It's a useless word in the English language. I now attempt to find some sort of sacred meaning in the fact that life exists, and that a chemical (DNA) has a need to continue to maintain its existence (which is a delightfully absurd concept. Think about that. I'm a chemical. I need to continue to be this chemical. I must therefore find a way to continue to exist and make more of me. The instinct to survival and reproduction is freaking ridiculous on paper). That it evolves and gives opportunity for intelligent life to emerge to contemplate the universe. So I can't discount gods. I just have to reject certain conceptions of the word.

So, I think what's going on here is that the internet facilitates conversations that are unlikely face to face. Both in subject matter and geographical distance.

That's a great point...and I think the added anonymity that goes with that allows people to be more free with their queries to others. 

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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2014, 06:31:18 am »
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/526111/how-the-internet-is-taking-away-americas-religion/

Quote
[Computer Scientist Allen Downey] says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet. He concludes that the increase in Internet use in the last two decades has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.

It goes on to indicate that the University of Chicago's General Social Survey's data indicates a other factors causing people to lose their religion.  Those are, a decline in religious upbringing and an increase in college level  education.  Downey says those stats are rather pail in comparison to the data of increased internet use.



Quote
If this third factor exists, it must have specific characteristics. It would have to be something new that was increasing in prevalence during the 1990s and 2000s, just like the Internet. “It is hard to imagine what that factor might be,” says Downey.

I thought perhaps that the increase in science and technology might account for the unknown data. The Internet is just a smaller factor in increasing knowledge acceleration.   I mean amazing things seem to happen almost weekly. To my mind that tends to trump faith a bit.

What say you, folks?

My loss of faith in the afterlife is due to the internet, and specifically to this site. Even more particularly, LMNO and I taking a particular position in a conversation with Cram (with some input from Vex) about whether stepping on a Star Trek transporter and emerging on a planet, if away team you is still you. LMNO and I took the position that it was, because it's the pattern that defines you, not the composite atoms, because atoms don't have individuality, and further that your atoms always have to be in flux anyway, otherwise you would be a preserved specimen.

That lead me down a rabbit hole, ending with the question "where do I go between falling asleep and dreaming?"

It was the most uncomfortable question I've ever asked myself, and I had to reject any concept of the soul until data could back up why we stop experiencing anything during that period.

I haven't rejected the idea of god(s) because the definition is a slippery one. It's a useless word in the English language. I now attempt to find some sort of sacred meaning in the fact that life exists, and that a chemical (DNA) has a need to continue to maintain its existence (which is a delightfully absurd concept. Think about that. I'm a chemical. I need to continue to be this chemical. I must therefore find a way to continue to exist and make more of me. The instinct to survival and reproduction is freaking ridiculous on paper). That it evolves and gives opportunity for intelligent life to emerge to contemplate the universe. So I can't discount gods. I just have to reject certain conceptions of the word.

So, I think what's going on here is that the internet facilitates conversations that are unlikely face to face. Both in subject matter and geographical distance.

That's a great point...and I think the added anonymity that goes with that allows people to be more free with their queries to others.

Well, that doesn't exactly match up. I've met Cram in real life twice, and LMNO and I are both musicians in the same city, so we meet up anyway (though PD made me aware of his existence. He and I would have met up anyway, and if you don't know my legal name, I'm not exactly shy about it). Vex is the only one I haven't met involved in that interaction. Though I suppose his input was the most instrumental. It was when Vex said that consciousness is an illusion. It's not really. We are conscious, but the statement got me to think more.

Also, Vex, you killed my soul. Thanks a lot, Vexbama!
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Re: The Internet Takes Away Religion
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2014, 06:52:09 am »
I think that it is more that it brings inquisitive and receptive minds together. And likewise it brings uninquisitive and unreceptive minds together. One of the most difficult conversations I had with Villager was my new disbelief. I didn't even really want to tell her about it, but she knew that something was bothering me and coaxed it out of me. She still believes in it, and tried to talk me back into believing in it. I appreciated it, because, well, I don't want to stop existing at any point, but I can't accept it unless I'm given a solid reason to. Not that Villager doesn't have an inquisitive mind, but I dislike this.... acceptance of eternal nothingness. I don't want her (or anyone) to feel that.
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