Atheism and the Internet

For those of us who became adults after the advent of the internet, it's sometimes difficult to imagine how anyone found any information without this very powerful tool. Almost every day I look up something online that I would have been unable to find otherwise and it makes finding everything else much faster and easier. This is especially true with respect to atheism. Indeed, the internet makes it easier to become and to live as an atheist.

When I began investigating my doubts four years, I bought a few books critical of religion, but most of skeptical materials that I read were only available on the internet. Since my deconversion, the internet has facilitated almost all of my interaction with other atheists. The vast majority has happened directly online through forums and blogs. All the groups that I've met or visited in person I first learned about online. I listen to atheist podcasts online. I find most of my atheist books online. Other atheist products I can find only online. If it weren't for the internet, I would be almost totally isolated from other atheists and would feel very alone. I sympathize with all the millions of atheists throughout history who had to struggle without any help whatsoever from fellow nonbelievers simply because they didn't know any and didn't know how to find them. It's still not easy to be an atheist in religious society, but the internet has certainly helped.



STA said...

I completely agree. The internet is an amazing tool for those seeking knowledge of any kind. How do you plant tomatoes? What kind of nail is best in what kind of wood? What music do the Portuguese listen to? Who shot Versace? How do you make meatloaf? Most any question you can think of can be easily researched in seconds. I too am astonished at how easy it is to find the answers to even those random questions that float through your head. No longer do you have to remain clueless about inane subjects (in the "Good Ol' Days" it would have taken more energy than the answer was worth). Internet rules!

And it's also helped us nonbelievers be able to find out about each other. It's given many of us a voice, and it's helped lots of people understand more about what atheism means. I'm a prime example...if I hadn't have the internet as a resource tool when I was doubting, there's probably a good chance I'd still be some sort of agnostic deist. Let's just hope the internet stays free and open, and that it spreads to every dark corner of the globe.

Samuel Skinner said...

The internet made porn avvailable to the masses, started web comics and revealed the good, bad and ugly about humanity.

It is the best thing since the printing press!

vjack said...

Great point. I couldn't agree more. I like to think I would have had an easier time understanding atheism if the Internet had been what it is now when I was 15.