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How the Internet is taking away America's religion


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#1
Yuli Ban

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http://www.technolog...ricas-religion/

 

Using the Internet can destroy your faith. That’s the conclusion of a study showing that the dramatic drop in religious affiliation in the U.S. since 1990 is closely mirrored by the increase in Internet use.

Back in 1990, about 8 percent of the U.S. population had no religious preference. By 2010, this percentage had more than doubled to 18 percent. That’s a difference of about 25 million people, all of whom have somehow lost their religion.

That raises an obvious question: how come? Why are Americans losing their faith?

Today, we get a possible answer thanks to the work of Allen Downey, a computer scientist at the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, who has analyzed the data in detail. He 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.

 

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#2
Cosmic Cat

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Its pretty obvious when your connected with the world instead of your local church, you can be very open minded.

#3
Raklian

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Die, religion, die! Die! Die! *lightning arches from my fingertips*

 

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#4
tw88

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Ideas are like diseases in the way they spread. Like diseases, ideas tend to spread faster in more densely populated areas. Being connected to the internet opens one up to the world of ideas and perspectives where one might other wise be isolated from such influence due to geographic isolation. The coastal regions of the US are more densely populated than the interior, and Europe is much more densely populated than the US is as a whole.  Traditionally, ideas flowed from Europe, to the coastal regions of the US and then slowly made their way into the interior. With everyone online these days, physical geography maters less in what types of ideas you are exposed to and decreases the lag in the flow of ideas from one region to the next. Europe and other industrialized countries have been less religious than the US for decades, the internet is just increasing the flow of ideas that result in people being less religious from other areas of the world to the US. 


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#5
Bradley

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tw88 makes a good point. The internet created a virtual city. However, the internet is maturing so it is going to become more effective at spreading ideas and error checking those ideas. 

 

In addition to decreasing religious affiliation we will also see a political power shift. The political class will begin to lose power and average people will continue to gain power. Politicians and media are quickly losing the power to influence thought. 

 

The exchange of information still has a way to go (we still have climate change deniers), but in general it is pointing toward a vastly more sophisticated population. 



#6
nomad

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Unreasonable sexual mores have finally turned on their creators. Oh internet, you make me proud.


Cats.


#7
FutureGuy

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The internet gets more awesome day by day.


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#8
jamesgera

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we don't live in small community where the local priest is the only guy in town with answers.

we are connected to the world which makes us more powerful.

there is a reason some countries ban internet usage because they don't want their people discovering what other countries are doing which would make them want to change things in their own countries.

as for religion. people will tend to look up answers to their questions online instead of asking a priest. this exposes people to other faiths as well as atheism. they discover other worlds which conflict with their way of thinking 


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#9
PrimordialBeing

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Maybe the Bible Belt will make the Religi-web, where the only music is Christian rock, the forums discuss Jesus, the fashions are about what's trending in the Vatican city, the porn is only in the missionary position and is all unprotected, he pulls out at the last second every time, and the news is all equally backwards. And Facebook becomes " The Book ", and allows you to get in touch with pastors from all over the world.
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"And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you"-Friedrich Nietzsche
"The biggest risk is not taking any risk.. In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks* - Mark Zuckerberg

#10
Unity

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Yeah I think the last gasp was in the mid-90s.  I remember it well because I was one of those 50% who was first connected and it was one of the transitions that marked me as I fell into a world I could never imagine.  What really started it were the questions:  What does it mean to have a soul/faith in a world where I can reconstruct your neural connections to make you think whatever I want?  I think this is still an important question because we can ask "What is 'inherently' important if I can make you think whatever I want?"  Anyhow, I think my prior affiliation still marks me and limits me in some ways.  Sometimes I am annoyed by this being the case and sometimes I can't help but wish there were more people who could flow between the mindset of logicality and faith (by faith I mean a sense of connectedness to something greater than yourself that ties all the random bits together that seems to be a hallmark of minds that pierce into the night to create something good).  Anyhow... rambling rant is rambling.. I think this sort of thing is going to be a BIG transition for the third world especially Latin America, Africa, and other places where internet access is limited due to poverty.  In fact I think it may lead to instability as people begin to question the social structures.  It may not be a wholly nice transition.



#11
Nick1984

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The internet <3

#12
Alric

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I wouldn't say they are directly connect. More so that the internet spreads information and knowledge and knowledge is anti religion.



#13
Yuli Ban

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Maybe the Bible Belt will make the Religi-web, where the only music is Christian rock, the forums discuss Jesus, the fashions are about what's trending in the Vatican city, the porn is only in the missionary position and is all unprotected, he pulls out at the last second every time, and the news is all equally backwards.And Facebook becomes " The Book ", and allows you to get in touch with pastors from all over the world.

This already exists.
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#14
GenX

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I wouldn't say they are directly connect. More so that the internet spreads information and knowledge and knowledge is anti religion.

I agree, I don't know that the rise of the internet and the decline of religion are necessarily related.  As a Christian myself, I see some pretty awful things happening with Christianity.  Most notably in the US is the church's almost violent opposition to gay marriage and the church's own marriage to a specific politial party.  I think that these are the reasons that so many people are abandoning the church.  It's pretty hard not to read the gospels and see Jesus hatred for the church leaders of his day (the pharisees) and then see our own church leaders doing the same thing that the pharisees did.  The internet may play a part, but I don't think it's the cause. 


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#15
PrimordialBeing

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Maybe the Bible Belt will make the Religi-web, where the only music is Christian rock, the forums discuss Jesus, the fashions are about what's trending in the Vatican city, the porn is only in the missionary position and is all unprotected, he pulls out at the last second every time, and the news is all equally backwards.And Facebook becomes " The Book ", and allows you to get in touch with pastors from all over the world.

This already exists.
Dear lord no...
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for life" -Terry Pratchett
"And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you"-Friedrich Nietzsche
"The biggest risk is not taking any risk.. In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks* - Mark Zuckerberg

#16
PrimordialBeing

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    Why are you bothering to look at this? Go read my post.

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Also, on topic, God Bless the Internet (pun intended)
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for life" -Terry Pratchett
"And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you"-Friedrich Nietzsche
"The biggest risk is not taking any risk.. In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks* - Mark Zuckerberg

#17
Yuli Ban

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Maybe the Bible Belt will make the Religi-web, where the only music is Christian rock, the forums discuss Jesus, the fashions are about what's trending in the Vatican city, the porn is only in the missionary position and is all unprotected, he pulls out at the last second every time, and the news is all equally backwards.And Facebook becomes " The Book ", and allows you to get in touch with pastors from all over the world.

This already exists.
Dear lord no...
It's part of the reason religion is dying. God.net sucks ass.
Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#18
PrimordialBeing

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From what I hear, they're still on 24kb internet speeds. And they can't call their buddies while waiting for half an hour for jesusandpals.com/fundamentalist.stupidity to load. Poor guys.
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for life" -Terry Pratchett
"And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you"-Friedrich Nietzsche
"The biggest risk is not taking any risk.. In a world that is changing quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks* - Mark Zuckerberg

#19
jamesgera

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Iran plans on bringing the internet to the country and opening up to the world. i don't believe the president understands how powerful the internet is and would destroy his belief system in Iran. 

how long would you start to see some changes in how Iran works. will we see women fighting for equal rights and atheist groups deciding to come out or people looking up porn sites.

the porn site thing is more of a rebellion against a religion i mean in the old days a kid caught with a nudie magazine would have gotten like 15 rulers across the hands or ass. but this was back when the church had complete control over my country and it was actually when people became more opened to sex that led to the decline of the church among other reasons. do you think it would be the same here ?



#20
jamesgera

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Iran plans on bringing the internet to the country and opening up to the world. i don't believe the president understands how powerful the internet is and would destroy his belief system in Iran. 

how long would you start to see some changes in how Iran works. will we see women fighting for equal rights and atheist groups deciding to come out or people looking up porn sites.

the porn site thing is more of a rebellion against a religion i mean in the old days a kid caught with a nudie magazine would have gotten like 15 rulers across the hands or ass. but this was back when the church had complete control over my country and it was actually when people became more opened to sex that led to the decline of the church among other reasons. do you think it would be the same here ?

Saudi Arabia has internet, but there have been protests calling for more extremism, saying that the modern Saudi Arabia is too liberal, all of the people having access to internet. Internet is one of the main factors, but not a deciding factor.

 

 

yer but Saudi Arabia is not really a world wide web kinda place. most houses are not connected to the rest of the world and i have a feeling that the internet is only for SA so don't expect to see people from there on Youtube or anything. 

plus i recently read that they passed a law saying women are not allowed near the computers. 

the Iranian president was saying he wanted to be able to connect to other countries as in using the same internet we us and not restrict the people from tons of websites like SA or China or North Korea






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