Will the Internet Kill Religion?

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“Smokin”

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#42
Jan 27, 2013
 

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Yiago wrote:
From Salon:
http://www.salon.com/2013/01/16/religion_may_...
"As we head into a new year, the guardians of traditional religion are ramping up efforts to keep their flocks—or, in crass economic terms, to retain market share. Some Christians have turned to soul searching while others have turned to marketing. Last fall, the LDS church spent millions on billboards, bus banners, and Facebook ads touting “I’m a Mormon.” In Canada, the Catholic Church has launched a “Come Home” marketing campaign. The Southern Baptists Convention voted to rebrand themselves. A hipster mega-church in Seattle combines smart advertising with sales force training for members and a strategy the Catholics have emphasized for centuries: competitive breeding.
In October of 2012 the Pew Research Center announced that for the first time ever Protestant Christians had fallen below 50 percent of the American population. Atheists cheered and evangelicals beat their breasts and lamented the end of the world as we know it. Historian of religion, Molly Worthen, has since offered big picture insights that may dampen the most extreme hopes and fears. Anthropologist Jennifer James, on the other hand, has called fundamentalism the “death rattle” of the Abrahamic traditions."
So, here is something interesting. The internet, especially combined with smartphones and other portable devices, has changed how we interact with the world. When I was a teenager if you wanted to know something about Mormons you had to ask a Mormon or go to the Library and hope they had something on the subject. Everything was limited, at least in the short term. You could do research over the long haul and learn as much as anyone else. But for dinner table discussions you were limited to what you actually already knew and what others at the table could tell you.
Not anymore.
Now we pop out our Galaxy and Google it. In seconds we can set the record straight: Yes, Mormonism was invented by Joseph Smith and he was already a known con artist. Bam.
So I kinda agree with this idea that the internet is killing religion. But I'd say it is less about "killing religion" than about subtly fostering critical thinking. When you Google the LDS at the dinner table you are faced with a multitude of hits. You have to parse out which ones are most likely to be accurate. This is the essence of critical thought.
Religion is not a friendly place for critical thought. Once you pull down the curtain to see the Wizard it is impossible to put it back up. I think the internet is the tool that lets Joe and Nancy Regular pull down the curtain on just about anything.
Yes thanks to technology, we now hear about the "god gene" and the "god particle". Technology gets closer to proving intelligent design every day.

“HeavensofFireEar th is catching”

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#43
Jan 27, 2013
 

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Yiago wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow, I'm a "hypocrite". Interesting. I never said the internet provides us with "truth". The point is that today if you have a disagreement over some fact or another you can pull it out of your pocket, literally, and settle the matter. Unless you deny the existence of the internet and smartphones.
Now, here's where the rubber hits the road. I posted the bit about Joseph Smith without giving it much thought. I had heard many times that he was a con artist - which is true. He founded a religion and that makes him a con artist by trade.
Prior to founding the religion he and his family were involved in "treasure hunting" using "seer stones", according to the Wiki page and other accounts. I think this is a matter of historical record. To quote the Wiki page on the seer stones:
"Beginning in the early 1820s, Joseph Smith was paid to act as a "seer" in attempts to locate lost items and find precious metals hidden in the earth.[4] Smith's procedure was to place the stone in a white stovepipe hat, put his face over the hat to block the light, and then "see" the necessary information in the stone's reflections."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seer_stone_%28La...
If you think that a man charging people to use magic rocks to find lost items is not a con artist at work then we live in very different realities. I didn't argue that he was a convicted felon, just that he was a known con artist. Which is true.
But that is a tangent to the thread's main topic. The point is freely available information is poisonous to religion. Personally I don't think religion will ever go away. But clearly the dogmatic faiths of the past are not doing as well as they used to. Catholicism in particular has taken a serious beating in the past decade. Protestantism has a more robust survival mechanism because people of that branch of Christianity are more than willing to leave and start a new church if they don't like the old one. So we'll continue to see splinter Protestant churches from now on.
But I think moving forward it will be less likely that we'll see a huge rise in the classic, dogmatic religions. Cults can control information when they are small but as they get bigger it becomes harder to do. LDS has been working very hard to minimize the crazy bits of their faith and maximize their image as normal Christians. I think the fact that we had a Presidential candidate get as far as he did and still be a Mormon is actually pretty cool as it demonstrates a willingness to tolerate other faiths. But it is also a sign that religion might not be as important to people as it used to be.
“A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.”

&#8213; C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

“Michin yeoja”

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#44
Jan 27, 2013
 

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motto wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey moron, the god its referring to on our money is the god of christianity, get a clue and stop trying to act all knowing.
Look at your money under a microscope. It's crawling with your god.

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#45
Jan 27, 2013
 

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Tide with Beach wrote:
<quoted text>
I doubt it. He wasn't born a president. He rose to the position.
Your analogy has failed.
<quoted text>
I do know more than other people, including you. Do you know what color my flashlight is? I do.
Your intellectual rigor has been called into question. It may not be worth debating.
I think it's worth ridiculing.

“Don't be so dichotomous.”

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#46
Jan 27, 2013
 

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River Tam wrote:
I think it's worth ridiculing.
Copy that.

“Don't be so dichotomous.”

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#47
Jan 27, 2013
 

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motto wrote:
There is a creator and organized religion has done more harm to the plan of that creator than anything that could have ever been contrived against it.
How do you know about a creator? Could it beeeee...from religion?

And if religion is harming the plan of this creator, he's not very good at what he does, now is he? This guy just can't get it right. There should be a sitcom about it, "The Creator"...I recommend Jon Lovitz for the lead.
motto wrote:
Trying to explain How I know that there is a creator is like trying to explain the joys of having a child to someone who has no desire for children. Feeling the emotions that come with being filled with joy upon witnessing that childs birth would have no meaning to a person who detests the thought of having children.
That is an awful analogy. Did the creator come out of your wife's box?

Let me turn this around for you. You'll know you're a dog only after I hypnotize you. Silly dog, keep your eyes on the pocket watch. You've been deceived all your life. You're not a human. Now I'm going to count down from ten, and when I get to one, you're going to bark. 10..9...8.....
motto wrote:
I could never understand why some athiests act as if its their duty to berate and demean what others hold sacred, sort of like the school yard bully taunting what he percieves as being weaker. What do you hope to gain from such actions?
I intend to learn something, and hope someone reading might learn something as well. It's not something you're likely to learn, but you never know. Stranger things have happened.
motto wrote:
Do you think that if you can convince someone that it truly is a myth that you have somehow accomplished something important or great?
I'd be happy if I can just convince people to be consistent with how they evaluate claims.
motto wrote:
Just because you feel as if your existence is the result of an accident and pointless in the scheme of things, doesn't give you the right to mock someone else for their beliefs.
What does give me the right to mock someone else for their beliefs? Should I not have that right?

What's it to you? Are your beliefs so fragile that they can't take a little criticism?

If you're not into "organized religion", I think that's just great. You're free to believe in any kind of god you want to. There's no reason to borrow one of the countless descriptions of gods that come from organized religions. You can make up your own. So, what kind of god would you like to believe in?

“Don't be so dichotomous.”

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#48
Jan 27, 2013
 

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Bull Durham wrote:
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Yes thanks to technology, we now hear about the "god gene" and the "god particle". Technology gets closer to proving intelligent design every day.
Neither of those things has anything to do with deities or intelligent design.

Intelligent design has been thoroughly discredited.

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#49
Jan 27, 2013
 

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Tide with Beach wrote:
<quoted text>
There should be a sitcom about it, "The Creator"...I recommend Jon Lovitz for the lead.
A Creator, yeahhhhhhhhh, that's the ticket.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

“Don't be so dichotomous.”

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#50
Jan 27, 2013
 
River Tam wrote:
A Creator, yeahhhhhhhhh, that's the ticket.
http://www.youtube.com/watch...
http://www.youtube.com/watch...

“Michin yeoja”

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#51
Jan 27, 2013
 

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Tide with Beach wrote:
I saw a male Byron Allen once. It wasn't scary at all. It was natural.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Mobilehome owner

Somerset, KY

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#52
Jan 28, 2013
 

“Question, Explore, Discover”

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#53
Jan 28, 2013
 

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motto wrote:
There is a creator and organized religion has done more harm to the plan of that creator than anything that could have ever been contrived against it.
Trying to explain How I know that there is a creator is like trying to explain the joys of having a child to someone who has no desire for children. Feeling the emotions that come with being filled with joy upon witnessing that childs birth would have no meaning to a person who detests the thought of having children.
I could never understand why some athiests act as if its their duty to berate and demean what others hold sacred, sort of like the school yard bully taunting what he percieves as being weaker. What do you hope to gain from such actions? Do you think that if you can convince someone that it truly is a myth that you have somehow accomplished something important or great?
Just because you feel as if your existence is the result of an accident and pointless in the scheme of things, doesn't give you the right to mock someone else for their beliefs.
I understand what you're saying here and I respect the fact that you believe. However you seem to have some basic misunderstandings about the topic and you've made a couple of fallacious arguments.

First, your baby analogy is not accurate. We can see babies born every day therefore nobody denies that babies exist. No one has ever seen a deity, therefore the default position is that there are no deities. The burden of proof is on the person claiming that god exists.

To better understand why that is true just replace the word "god" with "fairies" or "Santa Claus" and you'll see what I mean.

Following religion can and does harm people. We see that most explicitly with terrorist attacks. But there are other harms as well. Recently a baby boy died because of a botched home circumcision. That was a religious ceremony. There have been many cases of children being mistreated or killed due to parents' beliefs, such as refusal to allow medical attention.

The more subtle harms are in misogyny and bigotry. The Bible puts women in a secondary role to men, which is the very basis of misogyny. The Bible provides a basis for people to be opposed to homosexuality, which is a naturally occurring human sexual orientation.

We inherently know these things are bad. Just look at slavery. The Bible supports slavery yet as humans we eventually rejected it. Our moral compass does not come from God or else we would never have done that. We can also reject these other nasty ideas, such as misogyny and bigotry.

But we first have to stop giving shelter to the idea that there is an all powerful deity running the show. That is why a lot of atheists attack religion. It doesn't matter how sacred it is to you.

Lastly, I don't think my existence is pointless. We all give meaning to our own lives by context. I have children I love, family and friends I love. I don't need to imagine a supernatural entity to give me meaning.

The world is awesome as it is. I love a good fantasy, but I know the difference between that and reality. That's all this is really about.
Old

Clay City, KY

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#54
Jan 28, 2013
 

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Grey Boxer wrote:
<quoted text>
the bible does say that unicorns do exist
Really? got a verse? I don't remember them being in the Bible
Old

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#55
Jan 28, 2013
 

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motto wrote:
I could never understand why some athiests act as if its their duty to berate and demean what others hold sacred,.
because atheism is itself a religion
Old

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#56
Jan 28, 2013
 

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Tide with Beach wrote:
<quoted text>
And if religion is harming the plan of this creator, he's not very good at what he does, now is he? This guy just can't get it right.
You are assuming that people are the core reason for creation. We aren't. We are only one tiny species on a single rock off in a far corner of only one galaxy. We are only part of a plan and probably only a back up plan. If we want to survive and evolve into a better role and our souls to get to Heaven we need to get our sh!t together and use the brains that were given us.

“Not afraid to stand alone.”

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#57
Jan 28, 2013
 
Old wrote:
<quoted text>Really? got a verse? I don't remember them being in the Bible
Num 23:22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Num 24:8 God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce [them] through with his arrows.

Job 39:9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?

Job 39:10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

Psa 29:6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

Psa 92:10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like [the horn of] an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
TOK

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#58
Jan 28, 2013
 

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Old wrote:
<quoted text>because atheism is itself a religion
Atheism is not a religion. If atheism is a religion, then not playing baseball is a sport.
motto

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#59
Jan 28, 2013
 

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Yiago wrote:
<quoted text>
I understand what you're saying here and I respect the fact that you believe. However you seem to have some basic misunderstandings about the topic and you've made a couple of fallacious arguments.
First, your baby analogy is not accurate. We can see babies born every day therefore nobody denies that babies exist. No one has ever seen a deity, therefore the default position is that there are no deities. The burden of proof is on the person claiming that god exists.
To better understand why that is true just replace the word "god" with "fairies" or "Santa Claus" and you'll see what I mean.
Following religion can and does harm people. We see that most explicitly with terrorist attacks. But there are other harms as well. Recently a baby boy died because of a botched home circumcision. That was a religious ceremony. There have been many cases of children being mistreated or killed due to parents' beliefs, such as refusal to allow medical attention.
The more subtle harms are in misogyny and bigotry. The Bible puts women in a secondary role to men, which is the very basis of misogyny. The Bible provides a basis for people to be opposed to homosexuality, which is a naturally occurring human sexual orientation.
We inherently know these things are bad. Just look at slavery. The Bible supports slavery yet as humans we eventually rejected it. Our moral compass does not come from God or else we would never have done that. We can also reject these other nasty ideas, such as misogyny and bigotry.
But we first have to stop giving shelter to the idea that there is an all powerful deity running the show. That is why a lot of atheists attack religion. It doesn't matter how sacred it is to you.
Lastly, I don't think my existence is pointless. We all give meaning to our own lives by context. I have children I love, family and friends I love. I don't need to imagine a supernatural entity to give me meaning.
The world is awesome as it is. I love a good fantasy, but I know the difference between that and reality. That's all this is really about.
You need to be more careful in what you are reading. I said the joys of havng a child not actually seeing one born. You are one of the most clueless people I have ever conversed with. You are probably still in middle school so go play your clueless games.
TOK

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#60
Jan 28, 2013
 

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Old wrote:
<quoted text>You are assuming that people are the core reason for creation. We aren't. We are only one tiny species on a single rock off in a far corner of only one galaxy. We are only part of a plan and probably only a back up plan. If we want to survive and evolve into a better role and our souls to get to Heaven we need to get our sh!t together and use the brains that were given us.
Based off of this statement, is it safe to assume that you believe there is a deity that not only created Earth, and all the life it contains, but also other planets with life as well?

You say, "probably only a back up plan."

I thought god was supposed to be perfect? Why would he need a back up plan?

Do you consider yourself a member of the Christian faith? Scientology? Baha'i?
Grey Boxer

London, KY

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#61
Jan 28, 2013
 

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TOK wrote:
<quoted text>
Atheism is not a religion. If atheism is a religion, then not playing baseball is a sport.
I like the atheism isn't a religion anymore than bald is a hair color.

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