- Published on Monday, 04 February 2013 06:27
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 484
When religion was invented, many thousands of years ago, there was no science. There were many things that could not be explained and the only way to find answers was to think about them. Even the Greek philosophers did that. There were few experiments to test ideas. If it "made sense" it was probably true. Then later, when religions spread, there was no way to question if it was right. Not only that, but anyone questioning what the priests said was likely to be burned at the stake as a heretic. The first serious questioning was done in Luther's time which just so happened to be at the time of the printing press. He managed to get the word out using handbills before the Pope heard about it and demanded he stop. Too late - by then many were thinking the same as Luther. They were not questioning the existence of a God - just questioning the collection of add-ons put out by the Catholic Church.
But now, the internet has provided a faster and more far reaching way to get the word out. And the Pope and his minions cannot stop it. By the time they say "that's wrong 'cause we say so" - many people have already seen the logic and accepted the new idea. It not only gets into homes but it gets the questions directly to individuals with their phones. The questions are not just "is there a God" which many would not even stop to listen to - but questions like "Why is there so much killing in the name of religion?" and "Why is there so much intolerance and hatred in the name of religion?"
To survive, religions need to keep selling their product. And it's not just sites like this one that are a problem for them, as the blog at Salon points out, there are other things on the internet that cause people to question their religion:
Radically cool science videos and articles. They replace mystical wonder with the awe and delight of scientific discoveries and nature.
Collections of Ridiculous Beliefs. Religious beliefs that aren't yours often sound silly, and the later in life you encounter them the more laughable they are likely to sound. Lots of web writers like to point these out - but everyone can read them, not just those with their particular set of beliefs.
The Kinky, Exploitative, Oppressive, Opportunistic and Violent Sides of Religion. Not just Muslim killing and abuse by Catholic priests but also many examples of violence in the Bible and Christian history.
Supportive communities for people coming out of religion. Before the internet existed most people who lost their faith kept their doubts to themselves. There was no way to figure out who else might be thinking forbidden thoughts. Now, not only can they see that others agree but there are support groups for them.
Lifestyles of the fine and faithless. Surprise, there are good people who are not religious. They are not Christians or Muslims but they are still good people. The Internet has lots of examples to prove this.
Any religion is OK. Some religious people push the idea that all religions share "the truth". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that the parts that are not the same are probably wrong. So what's left? Not much.
So it's not just the obvious questions put by sites like this - it's the easy, fast access to all these different sources that will eventually cause most people to understand the real truth.
The pope and others are quite aware of the internet so like many marketing people, they think they can simply open a facebook or twitter account and "get the message out". Yes they can, but it's diluted many times over. Gone are the days when the Sunday sermon was a significant part of the information you got in a week.
The internet may yet be called the second greatest social invention of all time. Language would be number one.