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How the Internet Is Taking Away America’s Religion
MIT Technology Review ^ | Apr. 4, 2014

Posted on 04/06/2014 7:35:23 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui

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.

That raises an obvious question: how come? Why are Americans losing their faith?

Today, we get a possible answer thanks to the work of Allen Downey, a computer scientist at the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, who has analyzed the data in detail. He says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet. He concludes that the increase in Internet use in the last two decades has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.

(Excerpt) Read more at technologyreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: internet; religion
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Give the Internet another generation and there will be no Islam, New Age Paganism or any other religion to speak of. Christian Fundamentalists will have to sort this out on their own. Hopefully they won't become Luddite technophobes. We need to become smarter faster, that's all there is to it.
1 posted on 04/06/2014 7:35:24 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Sure....


2 posted on 04/06/2014 7:46:23 AM PDT by freebilly
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Forgot to mention that this also includes any ideology, doctrine, dogma or orthodox convention including those in academia. Humans will start gathering data, analyzing data and drawing their own sentient, independent conclusion on issues and events free from from fear and emotional extortion.


3 posted on 04/06/2014 7:49:39 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

to prevent duplication, please do not alter the published heading. Thank you.


4 posted on 04/06/2014 7:49:47 AM PDT by Sidebar Moderator
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

I don’t buy that premise ... Islam will strengthen because it has absolutes and other religions are becoming more and more squishy to the point of irrelevance ,,, take the Church of England as my #1 example.


5 posted on 04/06/2014 7:50:08 AM PDT by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

I’m not buying. The primary hellraisers in Islam have access to and heavily use the internet.


6 posted on 04/06/2014 7:52:42 AM PDT by Nepeta
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

I’m not buying. The primary hellraisers in Islam have access to and heavily use the internet.


7 posted on 04/06/2014 7:53:08 AM PDT by Nepeta
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

The basic premise here is baloney. Most Europeans lost any religious identity long before there was an internet.


8 posted on 04/06/2014 7:54:00 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

One of the signs of the approaching Judgment Day is “The Great Falling Away,” taught in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, so this should not surprise those waiting for the Savior’s return.


9 posted on 04/06/2014 7:55:04 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Like so many other things, the internet has convinced many young people that weed, gay marriage, atheism, etc. are ‘cool’. That’s my take anyway.


10 posted on 04/06/2014 7:57:00 AM PDT by PaulCruz2016
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

I think the media has been pushing ungodly values very strongly over this same time period. I think that is a more important factor.


11 posted on 04/06/2014 7:58:00 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Yollopoliuhqui
about 25 million people, all of whom have somehow lost their religion... how come? Why are Americans losing their faith?

I haven't lost my faith or religion, but my denomination (UMC) went down the liberal homofascist tube. Now I visit churches, and get involved in small groups for prayer or Bible study. I leave a check here and there. That is all. Maybe if I move, there will be a Bible-believing church in shooting distance that won't turn Communist in my old age.

12 posted on 04/06/2014 8:00:58 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Wrong.

History is replete with the blaming of outside sources for problems within. Teach. Lead by example. The problem is the individual, not the “outside”. The outside has been there for millennia and can be overcome.


13 posted on 04/06/2014 8:01:35 AM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: txrefugee

Amen.


14 posted on 04/06/2014 8:05:17 AM PDT by ShasheMac (Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10)
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To: Neidermeyer

Any regime built upon coercion, peer pressure or, most importantly, tunnel vision, will eventually succumb to the pressure within any individual mind to experience curiosity and explore the world. The USSR fell, and rather quickly, after a generation of exposure to Western TV, more than any other factor, with the possible exception of the SDI program. The Soviets were whipped technologically. The Soviet bureaucracy was not providing the quality of life visible just over the border. A very important process of mind is the making of comparisons. Why else do dictators need closed societies?

>>I don’t buy that premise ... Islam will strengthen because it has absolutes and other religions are becoming more and more squishy to the point of irrelevance ,,, take the Church of England as my #1 example.


15 posted on 04/06/2014 8:08:30 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Yollopoliuhqui
....we get a possible answer thanks to the work of Allen Downey, a computer scientist at the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, who has analyzed the data in detail. He says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet. He concludes that the increase in Internet use in the last two decades has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.

PFL

16 posted on 04/06/2014 8:10:48 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Asking this question here is the same as asking why fewer and fewer people in Russia declared themselves religiously affiliated after 1920. As the Eich incident shows, if you openly declare yourself of a viewpoint contrary to left wing academia, you suffer, and they make sure of it. There has been a concerted effort to destroy all religion in public life for at least 60 years in this country. What do you expect?

But the facts remain the same. This is contributing factor to the terminal decline of America, and all it will gain is a lot of people condemned to hell. Truth hurts. Some like it hot.

Are these the people we’re saving America for?


17 posted on 04/06/2014 8:15:37 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: ClearCase_guy

Good observation, but the Internet is quickly becoming “the media”. We see story after story on FR showing the demise of print media, for example. The same is true for the major corporate TV outlets. How many time have you complained about the lack of choice in your cable program lineup- paying for crap programs along with what you really want to watch? The Internet lets you customize your media feed, tailor it to your liking. There is a substantial pressure in psychology for the individual to do what he likes. It’s called “individualism”. This is what we built this society for and we’d better be prepared to roll with the evolutionary consequences.

The trick is to make sure we have a society that gets the chores done before this sense of personal preference takes over.

>>I think the media has been pushing ungodly values very strongly over this same time period. I think that is a more important factor.


18 posted on 04/06/2014 8:16:10 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Neidermeyer

I have to agree. If anything, Islam has thrived on the internet, allowing Jihadists to indoctrinate with web videos.


19 posted on 04/06/2014 8:16:32 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

“Humans will start gathering data, analyzing data and drawing their own sentient, independent conclusion on issues and events free from from fear and emotional extortion.”


Have you met any humans?


20 posted on 04/06/2014 8:20:09 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

It’s that heteronomy has deliberately raised autonomy above its station in order to smash patronomy and now theonomy, and now we have an autonomous culture. But rest assured, tyranny follows, because autonomous culture is unsustainable.


21 posted on 04/06/2014 8:20:20 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Yollopoliuhqui; All
... has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.

Religious affiliation doesn't mean that the good news of Jesus is being preached.

22 posted on 04/06/2014 8:21:14 AM PDT by Amendment10
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To: Yollopoliuhqui; nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; ...

**That’s where the Internet comes in. In the 1980s, Internet use was essentially zero, but in 2010, 53 percent of the population spent two hours per week online and 25 percent surfed for more than 7 hours.

This increase closely matches the decrease in religious affiliation. In fact, Downey calculates that it can account for about 25 percent of the drop.**

Comments?


23 posted on 04/06/2014 8:21:58 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Viennacon

ALL the isms, including the ones in academia (leftism) will eventually “wither away” before the power of choice over what one puts into ones mind as a free, sentient individual. The battleground has ALWAYS been located in the realm of human volition, the control of individual will. Anyone who truly practices free will with a LONG TERM view should be open to this hypothesis about the action of the Internet upon society.

>>Asking this question here is the same as asking why fewer and fewer people in Russia declared themselves religiously affiliated after 1920. As the Eich incident shows, if you openly declare yourself of a viewpoint contrary to left wing academia, you suffer, and they make sure of it. There has been a concerted effort to destroy all religion in public life for at least 60 years in this country. What do you expect?


24 posted on 04/06/2014 8:23:08 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Salvation
Comments?

I'm skeptical. Open debate benefits the truth.

25 posted on 04/06/2014 8:23:21 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas ( Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: Salvation

You’ll also find people have gradually become more retarded thanks to the internet. Yes, they have college degrees, but they can’t tell you who was president during WWII. I’d also like statistics on how many kids are now on some form of permanent medication.


26 posted on 04/06/2014 8:24:26 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Alberta's Child

Yeh I don’t think internet usage has anything to do with your religious zeal.


27 posted on 04/06/2014 8:26:00 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Alberta's Child
Most Europeans lost any religious identity long before there was an internet.

Being the Old World, Europe achieved higher population density much sooner than the USA. High population density is strongly correlated with both socialism and losing religion. Big government is required to make high density living possible. In an all out world war, a few nukes would change the popularity of living in a nuclear target zone overnight. During the last world wars very few farmers were bombed or fire bombed into oblivion. It was mostly the godless snotty urban city slickers that got it.

28 posted on 04/06/2014 8:28:38 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: Viennacon

We live within the constraints of time and long term planning will put limits upon the sustainability of autonomous culture. Autonomy has heretofore been a reaction to excessive control and tends towards a backlash of over indulgence when freedom arises. The tendency towards hedonism and short term thinking will iron itself out as the mental requirements for a free being are better learned and applied.

>>It’s that heteronomy has deliberately raised autonomy above its station in order to smash patronomy and now theonomy, and now we have an autonomous culture. But rest assured, tyranny follows, because autonomous culture is unsustainable.


29 posted on 04/06/2014 8:30:00 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Alberta's Child
The basic premise here is baloney. Most Europeans lost any religious identity long before there was an internet.

True. I was in the USAF in Germany from 80 to 84. I was able to see how secular the Germans were. I was amazed at how anti God most of them were. It was not good.

30 posted on 04/06/2014 8:31:02 AM PDT by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: lepton

Methinks somebody has been reading too much “Snow Crash”. This pipe dream of his is a hyper-Randian fantasy with a Neal Stephenson flavor.

Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated by the Interwebs. For individuality!


31 posted on 04/06/2014 8:34:27 AM PDT by angryoldfatman
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To: Yollopoliuhqui
From the article: There is another possibility, of course: that a third unidentified factor causes both increased Internet use and religious disaffiliation. But Downey discounts this possibility. “We have controlled for most of the obvious candidates, including income, education, socioeconomic status, and rural/urban environments,” he says.

If this third factor exists, it must have specific characteristics. It would have to be something new that was increasing in prevalence during the 1990s and 2000s, just like the Internet. “It is hard to imagine what that factor might be,” says Downey.

That leaves him in little doubt that his conclusion is reasonable. “Internet use decreases the chance of religious affiliation,” he says.

The third factor is the rise is the rise in stupidity as demonstrated by his own.

32 posted on 04/06/2014 8:35:25 AM PDT by palmer (There's someone in my lead but it's not me)
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To: Viennacon

This is a temporary growing pain of a technology in its infancy. As I mentioned in a previous reply, the first tendency of the freed slave, or the release from any state of deprivation, is to indulge in what one was deprived of, to backlash or over compensate. Have a look at the Makers movement, or student robotics on YouTube. This is the nascent positive aspect of the Internet’s lateral connectivity and its destruction of top down, hierarchical data flow control.

>>You’ll also find people have gradually become more retarded thanks to the internet. Yes, they have college degrees, but they can’t tell you who was president during WWII. I’d also like statistics on how many kids are now on some form of permanent medication.


33 posted on 04/06/2014 8:37:54 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: angryoldfatman

This is actually more of a Buckminster Fuller, Marshal McLuhan approach. Ever read them? You should. Better maps to the future.


Methinks somebody has been reading too much “Snow Crash”. This pipe dream of his is a hyper-Randian fantasy with a Neal Stephenson flavor.

Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated by the Interwebs. For individuality!


34 posted on 04/06/2014 8:39:57 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Yollopoliuhqui; lepton

You sure have a lot of... FAITH... in the global electronic network.

You obviously believe the Draper/White nonsense and that the... SAVIOR OF MANKIND... is the Internet.

I’m with lepton. You haven’t really interacted with - or understood - many humans.

What do they treat Asperger’s with these days, anyway?


35 posted on 04/06/2014 8:41:05 AM PDT by angryoldfatman
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Too much prosperity and leisure time without discipline destroys human character. The loss of religion is both a symptom and a cause.


36 posted on 04/06/2014 8:41:16 AM PDT by Spok ("What're you going to believe-me or your own eyes?" -Marx (Groucho))
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To: Viennacon

Indeed. I am also always thinking back 15-20 years ago, when it was constantly being heralded that this explosion of alternative outlets would supposedly break the liberal monopolies and strangeholds in the media, and benefit conservatism. A whole new era of “common sense” returning, which would set America back on the right path.

Yet, I’ve only seen the opposite. More statism, more rabid PC-insanity, more cultural deviancy, and a populace that has gotten more and more jaw-droppingly stupid.


37 posted on 04/06/2014 8:41:40 AM PDT by greene66
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

!


38 posted on 04/06/2014 8:41:46 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Caligula / 0'Reid / 0'Pelosi)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Since this is a 20 year study, it would be intersesting to see if the change happens to people in the same age group (20s in 1990 vs 40s in 2010) or if the change comes from older religious people dying and younger non-religious people being brought up.


39 posted on 04/06/2014 8:44:13 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Republican amnesty supporters don't care whether their own homes are called mansions or haciendas.)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Remember in your predicting, that though man prefers liberty, he is much more disposed, historically, to tyranny, by about a 95% margin.


40 posted on 04/06/2014 8:44:39 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Reeses

Good point.


41 posted on 04/06/2014 8:44:48 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

No, the corrupt politicians in Washington have done that. Trying to make a perfect world by controlling everything they have turned America into a cesspool of evil.


42 posted on 04/06/2014 8:45:57 AM PDT by mulligan (I)
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To: greene66

I think I most agree with your assessment. The problem has been that the internet has come at the worst possible time. A cultural ebb, a time of great wealth and security. We actually may have been far better off if the internet had been invented during the Civil War, or the Great Depression. People have access to more information, but they are accessing all the wrong information typically. Either the propaganda of the statists (HuffPo, Slate, Politico) or they’re wasting time on Youtube, Facebook, and porn.


43 posted on 04/06/2014 8:48:37 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

This is actually more of a Buckminster Fuller, Marshal McLuhan approach.
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

An architect and a pie-in-the-sky “global village” theorizing Canadian intellectual? I’d rather have a society
structured by bus drivers and burger-flippers. At least the latter doesn’t want to turn humanity into an insect colony. With fancier anthills, of course.


44 posted on 04/06/2014 8:52:40 AM PDT by angryoldfatman
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To: angryoldfatman

Marshal McLuhan is the guideon here. His observation that technology is inherently democratizing is overlooked by technophobes of all stripes. We wouldn’t have democratic republican governments and their subsequent societies on this planet were it not for the Industrial Revolution which was a derivative of the Florentine Renaissance.

Technology, or better said, the method of mind that allows it to flourish, is shaping society in many ways that society does not detect. For the first time in human history there is mass access to virtually all data; very little control over who accesses what. The Internet is in its infancy.

I have interacted with and understood as many humans as you or any other career cynic on this planet. You simply need to see how much worse it could have been without the Nikola Teslas or DaVincis or hard working farmers or soccer moms of the world. Cynics think they see things clearly, without illusion. So do paranoiacs. You need to realize that ANY sense of what might happen in the future, even your planning what to have for lunch, is fundamentally an illusion. Illusions are the essence of creative invention. Read a biography of Nikola Tesla and see what he did with illusions.

Treat Asperger’s? You don’t want to treat Asperger’s, you want to harness it like a Niagra Falls. I’d vote for a candidate with Asperger’s before I’d vote for a machine politician any day of the week. We need to learn how to give every citizen a case of Asperger’s

>>You sure have a lot of... FAITH... in the global electronic network.

>>You obviously believe the Draper/White nonsense and that the... SAVIOR OF MANKIND... is the Internet.

>>I’m with lepton. You haven’t really interacted with - or understood - many humans.

>>What do they treat Asperger’s with these days, anyway?


45 posted on 04/06/2014 8:59:40 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: angryoldfatman

Easy to snipe with glib patter over authors you have the Cliff’s Notes take on. That’s what we need here, glib patter with a nice jaundice sauce and a musty bottle of Vituperation. You’ll head the guest list at my next undertaker party.

>>An architect and a pie-in-the-sky “global village” theorizing Canadian intellectual? I’d rather have a society
structured by bus drivers and burger-flippers. At least the latter doesn’t want to turn humanity into an insect colony. With fancier anthills, of course.


46 posted on 04/06/2014 9:07:13 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Alberta's Child

Religion is one of the most popular searches on the internet.I ran a few sites and now have a blogs and people flock to it.Also on Facebook we have a little prayer forum with people from all over the world and I don’t know most of them.It’s a comfort to many souls.


47 posted on 04/06/2014 9:08:26 AM PDT by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

the Lord uses the internet to speak to us via his servants, Apostles and leaders every six months. It makes moving the word even faster.
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch?lang=eng&cid=HPTU040114644
It is streaming right now. I double dog dare you to watch.


48 posted on 04/06/2014 9:13:39 AM PDT by WilliamRobert (Obama so loves the poor he created millions more.)
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To: WilliamRobert

Never one to resist a double dog dare, lol! But I didn’t hear any surprises. We’ve had Christianity on this planet for 2,000 years (religion for 10,000 years) and the Industrial Revolution for 200. Which has caused more transformation towards human well being and rational processes of mind? Religion does not hold the patent on ethical codes of conduct.

>>the Lord uses the internet to speak to us via his servants, Apostles and leaders every six months. It makes moving the word even faster.
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch?lang=eng&cid=HPTU040114644
It is streaming right now. I double dog dare you to watch.


49 posted on 04/06/2014 9:21:48 AM PDT by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Yollopoliuhqui; Neidermeyer

And now both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet ideology and form of organization (”both”, interestingly) are coming back strong under Putin. Is that because there is now -— compared to 1989 -— less digital technology in Russia, or more?


50 posted on 04/06/2014 9:24:42 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Mater et Magistra.)
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