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Poch Peralta

Freelance Writer / Blogger,

TEDCRED 10+

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Is the Internet Taking Away America’s Religion?

Can using the Internet destroy your faith? If so, how much does that affect you?
'...That’s the conclusion of a study showing that the dramatic drop in religious affiliation in the U.S. since 1990 is closely mirrored by the increase in Internet use.

'Back in 1990, about 8 percent of the U.S. population had no religious preference. By 2010, this percentage had more than doubled to 18 percent. That’s a difference of about 25 million people, all of whom have somehow lost their religion...'
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/526111/how-the-internet-is-taking-away-americas-religion/

And what do you think about this shocker:
Pastors Evangelize With Brutal Martial Arts Cage Matches (VIDEO)
Documentary captures phenomenon in hundreds of churches
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/06/fight-church-documentary_n_5093236.html

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    May 8 2014: Poch,

    Just like your question about mobile phones causing harm, same goes for the internet. Sometimes we need to look at the benefits of something vs. the downside of it. In the case of the internet, I believe that we clearly have more benefit than not. However, I do not believe that it is a landslide by any means. For example, many people use the internet to scam people out of their hard earned money. I'm sure you have also heard the term "cyber bullying", which has in some cases even lead to suicide. And then we have the hackers who can steal identities and wreak havoc on someone's life and destroy their good name as well as their credit score.

    Now, on the other hand, the internet provides information at the touch of the finger without a trip to the library, which is how I did it when I was a kid.

    Now to answer your question, on the subject of religion. I truly feel that the people that want to have it still do, internet or not. And in fact, I now can look up various traditions and recipes that go along with my holidays and I can also learn more about when and how certain holidays and religious traditions were started, again at the tip of my finger. I used to be able to call my grandmother and ask her such questions, but she has passed. So, in order to carry on the lovely memories of the gatherings on the religious holidays at my grandmother home, I sometimes refer to the internet. It is also a way to pass along the correct information to our children who may ask about why this or why that on a holiday. But what I mentioned is only a very small part of the religious experience. Religion is about faith, and tradition and customs and your inner belief and your own personal faith in whatever you believe in, and if it is a true faith, no web cite can change that.
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      May 8 2014: A brilliant answer with excellent illustrations Amy. I wouldn't wonder if that comment would be the best ever in this convo.