It was often said that the advent of the World Wide Web would increase knowledge substantially, and in turn diminish religious fervour. To some degree this has come true, although many could argue the rise of non-belief has no causal link to the web. I’m pretty positive it has had an impact. Not only can ideas be questioned now, in a real time forum, but our base curiosity cannot be suppressed as easily as it used to be. For example, an ardent Christian 50 years ago could go through their whole life never hearing a contradictory belief to their own. Their curious nature about what was beyond could never really show itself, all questions would be squashed by biased pastors or priests. Nowadays, one can hear that Moses didn’t exist & due to ease, they would be hard pressed not to run to a computer and secretly find out what ”evidence” the enemy have. sometimes, things like this can lead a human to scepticism (a more noble achievement than atheism in my opinion)
The constant dialogue and refutation of ideas has not only brought about a new class of religious debate but it has also created a new generation of debaters, who, for better or worse, will go through life thinking every thought must be objected to or liked (thank facebook status’ for this); also the consequences are more evident, an offensive facebook post can spread faster than an STI in Russell Brand’s underwear draw. This strangely enough gives children a much needed education in what is expected of them, and how important it is to use free speech in a careful manner.
Sadly there are downsides to the internet, the types of which we would never have imagined. Sure, once pornography become pivotal to the net, one would assume the darker side to sexuality would soon follow. Propaganda was always going to translate into the html medium, although no one expected it to be so subtle – in the 40’s it was almost over the top, propaganda would scream at you in an almost patronising fashion,
“Hitler is weak, we are so close to winning!”
3 years later…
“Hitler is weak, he can’t take much more!”
How this boosted moral I will never know. Of late, religious propaganda has turned eerily sharable and left leaning. Many of my closest friends have fallen for sharing far right political posts from BNP/EDL etc not noticing the British army image used, and wording, has an evil xenophobic undertone. Similarly, and less critiqued are the friends who post links to ”Islam means peace” (it actually means submission) stories and images, not knowing they are sharing a post most likely created by Islamic State sympathisers who are keeping the narrative going so they can continue their reign of terror with full support of the public. It’s not their fault, we are so accustomed to left wing, liberal freedoms that we are conditioned not to notice fascism at our front door. The populous are so scared of being branded racist, they are uninterested in finding out if Islam is actually a race (it isn’t) they would rather jump in line behind the person getting 10,000 likes for saying something which is completely false, as that means they aren’t a target themselves.
Not long ago the CIA made a mention of how worried they are that ISIS have used the internet to not only recruit but to spread their message, post their antics and gain popularity worldwide. It is shocking that an anti-western force, which believes the world needs to go back to the 7th century, can be so powerful using western inventions from the 21st century! This also shows how hypocritical they are.
It seems the net has afforded us a rise in secularism and sceptisism; it has given a need for free speech to those
who could only dream of such rights. In a twist of fate, the net has also given the worst terror group on the planet the opportunity to rise from a splinter group, to the hot new outfit this decade. Is this the price we pay for the web? Is worldwide enlightenment worth it, when the ones enlightened are so uneducated on religious matters that they rally behind extremist groups without even noticing?
I’m not so sure.