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Scott Knightly

Undergraduate Student, St.Francis Xavier University

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In today's technologically run world, what is the new role of religion?

Since the past generation of the baby boomers took control of society, science and technology have risen. In this shift, society went from a religious centered society to a technology centered one. Now this shift was part of a much larger change in the way humans think which has been going on for many tens of hundreds of years. From the polytheist Greeks to the monotheistic Islamic people, the shift in religion has been something that took thousands of years to develop to what it is today. So the question I pose is "What, now, is religion's role?" and/or "Is that the role it is meant to play?" Now I am not saying that Science or Religion are correct, I am only asking what purpose it now serves society after falling as a community creator, and a spiritual binder. Where does it fall today and is it useful to us?


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  • Oct 28 2012: Technology is not particularly in conflict with religion. In fact I could argue technology has served to enhance the role of religion. TV and radio have brought religion right into the home offering a convenient connection especially to the elderly with minimum cost to reach the masses around the world.

    The real problem is that an observation by Charles Darwin of how as a species we came to to be negates the crux of what religion espouses. An observation that transformed biology into a science. That in turn transformed and redirected human efforts from prayer to to new fields of knowledge and applications and it is reflected everywhere including technology, especially in medicine.

    The role of religion has been impacted by this modern era explanation of our natural history. People experience this common sense appeal from the physical evidence. It would also be a mistake to think this altering view of the role of religion is restricted to college educated types. The fact is, life is a learning experience and people generally seek to better understand it.

    I don't deny we have gone to a more technological center society, but our social behavioral adjustments to technology is not the basis for the changing influence of religion. This argument is a false construct IMO.
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      Oct 29 2012: I believe you may be mislead, my friend. I, by no means, am saying that the theory of evolution has not been a huge impact on society and religious society, nor am I saying that only those with a college education can understand this shift. I am merely offering a question. "How has religion's role changed in lieu of the technological boom?" Please don't think that I am asking this question without all ready having thought about it and understood that it is not a false construct. That is slightly insulting. I ask you to look around you when you go to to the mall or a public event and look at the cell-phones, the i-pods/Mp3s, the laptops, the plethora of electronics they sell at your local tech store and tell me that they have created NO impact on society at all. Society is a massive institution and one huge part of it is the religious system. If society has shifted, then so has religion as it has historically (eg the switch of Greek religious ideals after the sacking of Athens, the fall of Rome to the Huns, the protestant reformation, etc) I am only asking if or how religion has changed with this new, technologically centered society.
      • Dan F 50+

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        Oct 30 2012: Hi Scott,

        Let me try this another way.

        Religion communicates a particular belief system and then serves a role for those that subscribe. A basic attraction of technology involves communication as well. I don't see all this technology so much in terms of offering a role, but providing a open and accessible way of allowing individual more liberty and convenience in pursuing what attracts them. Obviously this technology has been incorporated into our lives and have changed our lives due to the value of these electronic devises in the areas of communication, work, entertainment, education, religion, escape, etc.

        Religion continues to play a strong role around the world as evident in polls and other data, but it may be losing some ground in influence. It is a relevant question as whether technology is more harmful, or helpful in serving the interest and role of religion around the world. There is a constant war of ideas and influence that affects everything, religion included.

        I prefer my view of the natural world over what is offered and demanded by religion, but to each is own.

        I don't see technology as a competing role against religion.
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          Oct 30 2012: Very well, Dan. I understand where you are coming from and I understand your stand-point. Thanks for the input and I am pleased with your second last line. "...to each his own'. An interesting point of view. And, of course, you are more than welcome your own view, as we all are. Opinions and the ability to think critically for ourselves is horribly important.

          Thanks for your opinion!

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