Finding God On The Web Essay

1369 words - 5 pages

Finding God on the Web

Almost overnight, the electronic community of the Internet has come to resemble a high-speed spiritual bazaar, where thousands of the faithful and equal numbers of the faithless- meet and debate and swap ideas(Ramo p.181). As far as history goes back, religion has been a very present, powerful force bringing people together to rejoice and celebrate and at the same time driving them into wars of hatred. On a much smaller scale, a similar circumstance of today is the argument that technology both brings people together and tears them apart. Technology's first big leap was Gutenbergs printing press, which printed the first Bible in 1456. At that time there were less than 30,000 books in all of Europe. Just fifty years later there were over nine million; most devoted to religious themes. By 1926 radio stations across the United States were broadcasting the good word, and by 1950 religion had flooded television. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century God has become a massive topic on the Internet, proving the theory that technology affects everything it touches, including us; our beliefs and ways of life.

Just as we wonder now how we ever lived without cell-phones, we will soon be asking that very same question about the Internet. When Joshua Cooper Ramo wrote his article Finding God on the Web in 1996, he believed we were at the start of a new movement: the marriage of God and the global computer networks (Ramo p185). That was almost seven years ago. When an Internet search for God was run in 1997, He was found 410,000 times. Since, those statistics have increased 5 fold. Now God has an impressive 2,206,667 references and they will continue to multiply with each passing day. In his article, Ramo states a truth about technological revolutions, and that is they change everything they touch(Ramo p185). He leaves his readers wondering if the Internet will warp religion so badly that God will somehow look different in the future. To those who are religious this idea is absurd. I dont think the computer revolution has any cosmic implications for religion at allWe already know God, says Notre Dames Plantinga. On the other side of the scale many technology-worshipping futurists believe that the World Wide Web is a vast cathedral of the mind, a place where ideas about God and religion can resonate, where faith can be shaped and defined by a collective spirit (Ramo 186). Upon entering the 21st century, these technology-worshipers have come to see the Net as a metaphor for God. Created by human hands but now growing out of human control, they see the Internet as an existence much greater than their own. These beliefs that God evolves along with man is known as process theology- a theory that most people who study religion would most likely disagree with. Charlise Lyless Cyberfaith focuses more on multiculturalism being a spiritual matter on the Internet. The site Cyberfaith International (info@cyberfaith.org) links people of...

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