Is Internet destroying religion?

Is Internet destroying religion?


“Is the Internet destroying religion?” I think it is making it very difficult to be religious. I think the Internet’s helping atheists in a lot of ways. And here’s the basic reason: the one thing the Church has over you is this idea that they have some sort of knowledge, and if you come to church you will acquire that knowledge. You know, it’s in the Bible, the pastor, the priest is gonna explain the Bible to you, and this is knowledge you can’t get from anywhere else. And you know what, sometimes they can keep you even more sheltered, they can make you go to Christian schools when you’re growing up. In elementary school, in high school, even in college. You can go to a Christian college. Or you could be homeschooled! Like you can be trapped in this Christian bubble that says “we have the knowledge, and no one else has it”. And what does the Internet do? It brings you knowledge at your fingertips. So all of a sudden, if you have questions, you don’t have to go to your pastor anymore. You can go to Google, and you can see what a lot of people have answered to your questions. It’s amazing how important that is, it’s exposure to knowledge. And, if you’re an atheist, and you’re having doubts about your faith, when I was growing up I didn’t know who to talk to, and by the way that wasn’t that long ago, but I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about my doubts. And so what did I do? I went on AOL and I would type in, like, “What happens when you don’t believe in God?” And I started realizing, there are some people out there who don’t believe in God, and I’m reading the things they’re saying, and it kind of makes sense. And I never would’ve just been exposed to that otherwise. I don’t even know how many atheist books were in my library. There probably weren’t that many, ’cause there weren’t that many written about them, about atheism. So, it’s all of a sudden not only can you answer questions, and you realize the Church is wrong, when it comes to a lot of those questions, you realize, “Oh! There are other people out there who’re going through the same thing I’m going through, it’s not weird to be an atheist, ’cause all these other people are atheists.” You could be anonymous and go on Reddit, and talk about your atheism. You can start your own blog, or read blogs, you can go on websites where they’re talking about religion, more importantly, I think you get exposed to different people and different ideas, and you know, one of the things I heard that the gay movement does really well and has done really well, is that people change their minds about homosexuality and their support for same-sex rights, when they know someone who is gay. And the Internet shows you that there’s so many atheists out there. And they’re everywhere, they’re not just random bloggers, but they’re celebrities, and they’re people you know in your community. And when you get exposed to more of these ideas and more of these people, it’s a lot harder to discriminate against atheists or make, you know, random stereotypes against atheists, when it’s so obvious that the answer’s right in front of your face, that you’re wrong. So, the Internet exposes people to more atheists, it exposes them to knowledge that the Church was trying to prevent them from getting. And when you factor in all that knowledge, and again now you could be sitting in the pews and you could be like, “oh, my pastor’s said this story, I’m gonna go to Snopes and check this out.” You can do that now, you could never do that before, and it’s amazing! It kind of breaks you free of this, you know, the shackles churches wanted to put you on. So hey, more power to more knowledge, so yeah, I think the Internet’s bad for religion. At least when it comes to organized religion, in the churches. The Internet is the pastor’s worst enemy. My name is Hemant Mehta, I write at FriendlyAtheist.com and we hope to see your comments and discussion below.

100 Replies to “Is Internet destroying religion?”

  1. “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” – Eric Schmidt

  2. You mentioned Reddit, and I'm very glad you didn't mentione 4chan and /b/ because not only are those people mean atheists, but they are also pedophiles. and religion will never be destroyed, because it's a billion dollar industry. Hate to say it, but there's a lot of money in it. And you don't know everything. I don't either.

  3. You do realize that religion is a business that makes money, right?  It isn't going anywhere. People will believe in whatever they want, no matter what contradicting evidence there is. Trust me, I know.

  4. Do you know in the Book of Genesis it explains that the first creatures God placed on earth were those that flew and swarm in the sea? Do you also know that it is scientifically proven that the first life forms on earth were ancestors to modern day roaches, moths, mosquitoes, etc and fish?

  5. NO: Internet is a wonderful thing,  Internet is God's word to the world.
    You can reject whatever you like.
    Hell has no Atheist.

  6. I started Christian (I was also Jewish, but since I believed in the Jesus delusions, I was mainly a Christian.) Then when I was able to think for myself a little more, I became agnostic (it wasn't like: "I'm gonna be agnostic" but I just stopped believing in bible fairy tales.) After watching a couple Cult of Dusty videos and hanging out with an atheist, I myself became an atheist at age 12. I believe atheism is very important in this religious world, and that it should be supported as much as possible, and the Internet is the place to do it.

  7. No, the internet is not destroying religion. People, before making big decisions, don't consult neckbeards.

  8. I would really like to point out going to a religious university does not necessarily mean that you will receive a religious education. I personally, go to a Catholic university as a nursing student and the education I receive is science-based, peer reviewed up to date information. The only religion I have encountered in my education is the catholic perspective in my bioethics class.

  9. I went to a Christian school until the end of grade six. Literal seven day creation was taught at this school, and evolution, the big bang, and atheism were regarded as ridiculous and lies told by the secular world. In grade seven, my parents put me in a gifted program in a public school. While there were still Christians in that class, there were atheists as well. I then went through a three year transition from Christian, to deist, to agnostic, and finally, to atheist. Once "exposed" to actual science and atheism, religion seemed irrational and ridiculous to me. The internet also helped… a lot. Taking me out of a Christian school was the best thing my parents could have done, (worst from their perspective). In a Christian school, you hear nothing about atheists, other than that they are sinners who believe ridiculous lies. The worst part? That school receives public funding because they "technically" teach the curriculum, even though they still charge high tuition.

  10. As a CHRISTian, I would hope so. One can be "religious" about anything, be absolutely clueless about God. Blind who think they see better than the sighted, because they have never seen, so don't know the diff. But no, religion is quite popular and growing. It's WAY popular than Christianity. You just don't know the difference.

  11. The internet is merely a tool. Tools are inanimate, and cannot perform any function without being used by someone to complete a task.
    That said, if it wasn't for the internet, and the ability to seek answers to the questions I had in my faith, I'd still be a christian, and I'd still be wearing the blinders of indoctrination.

  12. It destroys it faster, it still just attempt to pathetically adapt to culture but as just about the entire world is connected now it's impossible for it to keep up and keep it's bullshit straight
    That's all, religion slowly dies as people become more intelligent that's why they have to start with children and brainwash them

  13. Yep, the Internet, combined with reading the Bible cover-to-cover, made me leave Catholicism and religion (or, as I say, "Grow up early") when I was 16.

  14. Is the internet destroying religion??? Not at all, It's only destroying the false doctrines in religion. False doctrines such as

    Gays are evil and are going to hell just for being born that way
    The earth is only 6000 years old
    If you believe in evolution your going to hell
    All atheists are going to hell even if they live morally upstanding lives even better than a lot of christians do
    All christian are saved if they accept Jesus Even if they are Really Really bad people.
    Dinosaurs existed on earth with humans before the flood,
    The idea that there was a flood big enough to cover everything on earth including Mt. Everest, I'm a christian and i don't accept any of the above bull sh*t as truth
    I have a more realistic belief in God, Even though People may find that impossible or a contradiction.

  15. The internet is as good or bad as you want to make it (or let it). So much information may be harmful as much as it may be beneficial. It´s somewhat like atomic power, you can wipe out or save mankind.

  16. whenever a religious person tells me atheists are evil and oppressive because of "North Korea"

    I like to remind them of Iceland;
    95% renewable energy
    Officially cleanest country on earth

    No military – Officially most peaceful country on earth

    Education levels third best in world after Canada and Sweden

    Life expectancy and 'happiness' are near highest on earth

    phenomenal literacy rates with 1 in 3 people publishing a book in their lifetime

    95% of the population accept both evolution and he big bang theory

    85% atheist, and that is with freedom of religious beliefs.

    Damn…I wanna move to Iceland now…

  17. Once a person starts to question a religion instead of aimlessly following it they go to the unlimited source of knowledge (Internet). They Google why is God real. After visiting 8 websites all saying "bible is the only proof of it", "this stuff is very complicated and can't be explained by science so we'll just assume it's God."one starts to look at scientific facts disproving biblical events. After finding a ton of facts that disprove religion one simply stops believing in it.

  18. The internet uncovers the reality of televangelism and mega-church fraud as well. One has only to watch Ken Ham and the even more fraudulent evangelists. That is enough to turn many people away from religion. ISIL/ISIS is another profound source of atheism. But all fundamentalism and literalism is a source of atheism.

  19. The internet and social media have been brought in connection with great hopes concerning the arab spring, but so far it hasn´t payed off very well. On the other hand a few years of pluralism and accessible controversial opinions can´t undo centuries of indcotrination and cultural imprint. Maybe what we see is just the beginning.

  20. I broke out of the christian belief on my own, being surrounded by Christians. It's still my proudest accomplishment

  21. i posted in another page that there are mountains of transitional fossils. a dude responded to my comment by typing: "if there are so much transitional fossils, name me 4" of course i knew more than 4 but just for the sake of the argument i googled trans fossils and i found a list with hundreds of them ordered by hominids, apes, fish tetrapods and any family that i wished. that reminded me of the videos done by ray bananaman comfort. if he really wants to know if the first animals that came out of the water had lungs or gills (or whatever "smart" question he asks there), why ask random people on the streets instead of looking for answers in the web? he obviously doesn't want to know.

  22. Google is getting extremely accurate. I check for credible sources, so don't fucking assume my education. Wikipedia is great lately too, just check the footnotes, THOSE are the sources, wiki isn't the actual 'source'. 😉
    Has anybody gotten incorrect answers lately? I'm not talking Yahoo answers, BUT those are usually right… again, check where the info is coming from. Make sure it's legitimate and it's obvious. I'm 36 and remember being younger, like in my teens, I didn't know this stuff. It changes lives. So does philosophy. (critical thinking). I wouldn't major in it unless you plan on writing a book or teaching though (personally).

  23. i hate terrorism …..hindu always nonvoilence ……so stress..now doing yoga…..feeling better..
    i..wanna join harekrishna….the way of living wit loving everything around us.(unselfish)….nice…

  24. I started doubting Islam when I was 9 because of all the strange and unusual things written in the Quran about homosexuals and women. I found this channel last year and the first video's 30 seconds was enough to make me atheist.
    Thanks, Hemant, you helped me from a total waste of life

  25. Dude, a little"Christian bubble"? What? I listen to atheists on the internet (like you) to hear their ideas, and I disagree. I used to agree, back when I had some doubts about my faith. But exposure to atheists actually made me more and more sure atheism is wrong.

  26. I'm a agnostic that leans toward atheism and the homeschool religious bubble is VERY true. I have been homeschooled for 9 years.

  27. You forgot to mention that the Internet reinforces the "x must die" religious believers and paints everyone in that religion as that. I'd be surprised if no one quit becuase of non religious people assuming theyre assholes becuase someone else is.

  28. The internet wasnt even around in the 80s when I stopped believing. At ten years old I just used to question magical bullshit so much I decided right there I wasnt getting straight answers. So all in one year I lost the tooth fairy, santa claus and God, ….hat trick!

  29. The church ain't God! The internet has many good videos on it for God as well. I have some Christian videos on my channel,but if you are serous about finding God I would suggest reading the bible and eliminating the middle man. I think there would be more Christians if people knew more about it. I believe many people have the wrong idea about Christianity.

  30. Personally I didn't need the internet….I grew up, became a teenager and thought "this is stupid". And that was that. Still went to church out of obligation to my family, had some fights with them about my not believing any of that stuff, then moved away for university and of course stopped attending completely. Religious chatter always makes me uncomfortable now. Loving this channel!

  31. In my case , absolutely ! when i was about 14, I began thinking the jesus story was nothing more than a "fish story". ( for you non-fishermen, that's when a fish we caught years ago, just keeps growing). I started watching " the Atheist Experience " , religious debates, evolution vids on youtube. After about 300 videos, at age 65, all of my brain washing went away. I love happy endings. Peace!!.

  32. Honestly I am not religious but I do see religion has it's good side but the internet only made me realized that religion can make you mentally challenged.

  33. I dropped religion before I got huge internet access. However, later gaining access to said internet truly helped me and had me learn about what atheists mindset it and how though we all carry a similar tag on our belief system, we are all so vast and different

  34. I hate when religious people tell me the internet is dangerous because it can brainwash you out of your religion when they have no problems listening to biased people rather than listening to what has no religious perspective.

  35. I don't think the Internet is destroying religion.

    I think the Internet is challenging religion in ways that religion has never been challenged before.

    But the Internet is also a breeding ground for ignorance, as much as it might also be exposure to knowledge. Online, people still show how ugly they can behave and willfully ignorant they can be. And it depends on what one is willing to expose oneself to online as to how much the Internet affects people.

  36. the only problem I see with the internet, is that there are so many people attacking one another, name calling, it doesn't get you anywhere. When we disagree on one topic.

  37. Mom finds out i'm an atheist
    Mom: You've been watching the uneducated shits again
    Me: (finds out she's gone beyond reason): facepalm

  38. Optimists: the bottle is half full
    pessimists: the bottle is half empty
    Scientologists: the bottle is the agent relic from our gods

  39. I expended one day reading all crimes that my religion of peace and AMOUR has committed , all in Google and …
    Well, many years ago I visited inquisition museum in San Marino , three days sleepless.

  40. You are talking about Christianity and Church which the internet correctly exposed, but Islam is gaining from the internet and even many atheists and ex Christians have come to Islam through the internet, I know you may not like this but it is true. So Islam religion does not apply to your assumption.

  41. Thank you, Hemant, always for your videos that shed enlightenment into
    so many topics that I wish that I would have had access to when I was
    younger. Instead of that, growing up — was harder without resources like
    the Internet that we have now. If only I had that, it would not have been
    in my mid 30s that I became a non-Believer, but it'd have happened in
    my teens. Thanks for letting it happen to others in their Teens …

  42. To be fair you have to have a very high iq to understand Internet atheism, the philosophy is extremely intellectual and without a grasp of reddit most of the ideas will go over a typical persons head

  43. Knowledge is power. Churches do not provide knowledge, they attack it. They are anti-intellectual and anti-science. Intellectualism and Science are a huge threat to the churches. This is why they have their own "schools"…to indoctrinate, not educate.

  44. I'm so thankful for the internet. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to research science so I can get a better understanding of the world and universe. One could always just go to a library, but my phone and the internet make it sooooo much more convenient.

  45. If the Internet is destroying religion, then that is at least something the Internet is doing that is beneficial to humanity.

  46. I would happily believe in a God if there is proof of his existence. Sadly, there is none. I don't want to blindly believe in some random bullshit that we've been telling ourselves for thousands of years. Here's how to tell if you believe in bullshit:

    1) Make an Observation
    "The universe started with a singularity that gradually expanded. "

    2) Form a question
    "Did God create the Universe? "

    3) Form a hypothesis
    "… .. .. .. "

    4) Test your hypothesis
    .. . OOPS! You can't test this hypothesis. Without evidence there is no way to test your hypothesis, much less than blindly believing in it.

    There is evidence that we wrote the Bible and that it isn't the Word of God. It could have been written by a fucking drunkard. I mean, the stuff in that book is a perfect fit for that description.

  47. Then why is it shrinking world wide? In 1970 Atheism was right around the 20% worldwide and that was without internet. Today it is 2% worldwide with internet and the Pew Study in fact took a look at the trend and predicted that in 15 years that number will drop further to 1.8% world wide. Which doesn't like a lot until you really look at how many people call themselves non religious and keep in mind that that number represents 2% of the total world population. So internet isn't making anything difficult and if you think it does then you have a serious problem because you are stuck with explaining why Atheism is in fact shrinking and not growing. Also why is it that countries like Russia and China where it use to be true, to a point it still is but not nearly as bad as it use to be, that to be religious was the same as a death sentence and now they are quickly becoming the most religious countries in the world. In fact the same Pew Study predicted that within the same 15 years it will become the largest Christian country possibly in history but definitely in the world. They do use that country to illustrate their point simply because it is one of those countries where despite attempts at controlling the birthrate for the past few decades it is still one of the most populated countries in the world right now.

  48. Saturday I thought about going to church to ask god for help with an addiction I’m trying to kick…but didn’t know where to go, mainly because I never believed that jesus was born from a virgin. Anyway long story short, 3 days, 100s of videos and hours of online research later I’m 100% atheist and proud of it. Feel liberated and already talking to brainwashed Christians to discuss their beliefs. Thanks man, thanks internet.

  49. The internet's awsome. I wouldn't know about you without it. I met many atheists on the internet from all over the world including fundamentalist religious countries where they have to keep it a secret or they can face threats.

  50. Why do atheists want to convert everybody to atheism?  Is it because the more people they convert, the more atheism must be real?  Atheist existed hundreds of years ago and in all these hundred of years atheist numbers have not really increased.  Could it be that the rest of us are smarter and know there is a God?  I am not saying he is a Christian God.  He, she, whatever, is just God.

  51. Yeah ! Go worship google ! You can rest assure there will be no atheist in hell no not a one; just fresh new believers! OOPS!

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