Is The Internet Killing Religion In America?

Ever since 1990, the number of Americans who are unaffiliated with any religion has been steadily on the rise, reaching nearly 20% today. A recent study says that one primary cause is that more people are going online.

Allen Downey, a professor of computer science at the Olin College of Engineering, culled data from the General Social Survey (GSS), which has been tracking religious preferences in the U.S. since 1972. After plugging the GSS numbers into statistical models that look at the correlation between religiosity and other demographic information, he concluded that the factor with the strongest effect on religious affiliation is religious upbringing: the number of people raised without religion has been increasing, from 3.3% in the 1980s to 5.0% in the 1990s and 7.7% in the 2000s.

I can boldly say if it wasn’t for the Internet I wouldn’t have me back to the Catholic Church

Ewtn; journey home and deep in scripture
Steve ray, Scott Hahn, jimmy akin
I found men’s catholic groups in my area I went to
I found times I could go to daily mass as I was traveling
I found confession at other parishes

The biggest thing I would do is compare all religions and atheistic views and found the catholic view was always the most logical

But I had to first realize that I didn’t trust my own judgement and their had to be someone or something out there that knew better than me because I would always rationalize my sinful or poor choices is an internet site, to state the obvious.

The Internet merely makes access to all sorts of information, and the dissemination of information easier.

It is up to the user to weigh the merits of what she finds.

I tend to think that religion is doing a pretty good job of killing itself.

We were already becoming secularized before the Internet. The Internet is a mixed-bag. It brings forth all sorts of distractions and vices- gambling, pornography. It has given a voice to many atheists.

BUT it has also allowed the people to read and watch real news that doesn’t make it to the 6 o’clock news broadcast and it has also brought forth great resources like where people can learn about and check what the church actually says, rather than what some anti-Catholic says it says.

So, I don’t think its conclusive either way.

Is The Internet Killing Religion In America?

Ever since 1990, the number of Americans who are unaffiliated with any religion has been steadily on the rise, reaching nearly 20% today. A recent study says that one primary cause is that more people are going online.

If the “recent study” is perfectly accurate 100%, the most that would seem to have been shown is that there is a correspondence - but whether there is a cause-effect relationship is a different question - between use of the internet (presumably for searching religious issues rather than criticizing religious beliefs and mocking religious believers, collecting recipes, griping about government, or just for playing video-games, although playing video-games might have the same or stronger affect) - and religious affiliation. Affiliation is not religion. Many people have personal religions, and many people believe in institutional religions who never participate in them. If religious affiliation dropped impossibly all the way down to zero, religion could and would still exist.

I think its bad for some churches that say they have the truth but when you look up its history you find its not what it says it is.

Everyone think they have the truth, not just church people. Evolutionary biologist argue against each other’s theories. Political parties all claim to know how to solve economic problems. Environmentalists have conflicting ideas over how to keep the air and water “pure,” and pedagogues all know they can teach your children better than you or anyone else can.

It is true that it is sad that we don’t know everything. Except for me. I would hate that. I love the experience of learning - new things, surprising things, different things - and doing it progressively. I hope some NDErs are wrong. I hope we die and go (wherever) we don’t all suddenly “know everything.” That would be hell for me.

As for opposite of true - thinking we know things, which presumed “knowledge” is in fact false. That’s called “human nature.” We will be able to get rid of that when we can take everyone’s brain out of their heads, and put computer chips in. Then we won’t need religion or politics. That’ll also get rid of those pesky things like children, love, enthusiasm, and joy, too. :wink:

If it wasn’t for the internet I would have still considered myself a Deist who only went to Mass cause I had to.

Now I’m a Catholic thru and thru discerning a vocation to the Jesuits.

a candle’s light is always brightest in darkness.

Is the internet full of darkness?

Let’s light more candles.

The internet is killing false religions, to be sure, due to the availability of historical information about them and candid discussion. But many Catholics are finding their way home from cults and from atheism/agnosticism because of the same availability of information and candid discussion.

I find it interesting that the beginning of the ongoing mass exodus from Mormonism coincided closely with the advent of the web, while the beginning of the mass return of disaffected Catholics to the Catholic Church also coincides closely with the same advent.


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