Thursday, June 9, 2011


The Internet Is Our New Religion

So, we all joke about how silly the internet is (cat videos! sexting!), but, of course, it also has the very real power to change the world (Google! Egypt!). You probably spend as much time as you do online as you do anywhere else, and maybe you'd say the internet was your addiction, but would you ever say it was your religion? Well, this guy makes a compelling case for why we might all want to worship www.god.org. He's Jim Gilliam, an internet pioneer and film producer, and he didn't come to this conclusion easily. He was raised as a born-again Christian, but his faith was tested during two grueling battles with cancer. After the internet literally saved his life, he emerged with a changed belief of what God means and a strong faith in the power of the internet (and the people who make it up). It's a long speech, but I swear it's worth using what's left of your attention span to watch the whole blessed thing. It might change the way you think about your connection to the online world, and, if nothing else, his story of survival is inspiring. (Fair warning: it's a refreshingly earnest and very moving tale — so you might want to turn off your snark-shield and put your sunglasses on before you hit play. Then you can pretend that the liquid running down your cheeks is sweat from being out in the heat!)


7 Comments / Post A Comment



Be a donor. Seriously. So easy.


@battlestarlet Well it's not *easy.* Getting bone marrow extracted is very painful. Still worthwhile for sure though.


I think it's less that the Internet has supplanted God, it's that the democratization of information has supplanted the need for religion. And it's really beautiful that people can rely on the collective whole for things that they used to need to go to church for :)

Mike Vago@facebook

As a lifelong athiest, I've always felt that in the absence of some divine being to believe in, we have to believe in people. (That includes ourselves) The meaning of life isn't handed down from on high; we have to give our own lives meaning. And in most cases, that meaning comes from our relationships and interactions with other people.

But the internet takes that a step further, in a way. Until we're all plugged into the Matrix, it's the closest thing we have to humanity's collective consciousness. So, yeah, the internet really is a higher power - it's all of us, in our messy, hilarious, cat-obsessed, occasionally-life-saving glory.

Valen Smith@facebook

The Internet has become a very interesting social experiment and while I agree that it has provided more information and opportunities to people (now we can even borrow money with online loans) and that makes it harder for religious indoctrination for the fear based, mindless based and total nonsense based religious views to thrive there is the 'social' element that is enhanced. I mean, Jihadists, suicide bombers and extremists continue to thrive and flourish on the internet right?

On the extreme end of belief they can use the social aspects of the internet to insulate themselves from reason, reinforce their radical and irrational beliefs and whip themselves up to violence.

And why is it able to do that? Why can Internet radicalization work on some people? I would posit that the Socialization, the group identity needs of some psychologically damaged people like the Army Officer radicalized individual is fed by what the Internet has to offer. Sure, the Internet can still save rational people from religion but it reinforces and further feeds the irrational beliefs of others so while the internet helps create a growing number of Rationalists and nonbelievers it also helps keep the ranks of the extreme believers. The Internet giveth and the Internet taketh away. :)


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