Technology is not going to save religion


As we all know, young people are leaving religious institutions in ever-increasing numbers. This is naturally causing concern in religious quarters and some wealthy people think that the problem is that the young are not being equipped to ‘properly’ answer the kinds of deep questions that occur to almost everyone as they are growing up and becoming independent. By properly, these people mean consistent with what the Bible says.

So what to do? These people have decided that giving young children a religious curriculum that they can access via their mobile devices and that teach them about the Bible and religious apologetics will serve as some kind of inoculation against the secular viruses that they will encounter later.

Two Orange County families who wish to remain anonymous have donated $1.5 million to set up an Internet-based program to teach Christian apologetics—a field of theology that uses logic to defend faith—starting in elementary school, reported The Orange County Register.

Students in 13 elementary classes in private schools in San Juan Capistrano, Fullerton and Georgia are using the DeepRoots Bible Curriculum for Defendable Faith program, but more courses are being developed for students up to 12th grade.

A team of 80 people—including archaeologists, teachers, graphic artists and musicians—started developing the curriculum nearly three years ago, and the lessons are arranged in chronological order rather than ordered as events are in the Bible.

“Many adults don’t even realize that the Bible jumps around from time to time and era to era, so we want to solidify the order of events in our students’ minds,” Van Vlear said.

I think that these people don’t quite get that the basic problem is that young people are now no longer limited in the information they have access to. They are exposed to a far greater variety of viewpoints than before and this is bound to result in more of them realizing that the claims that there is one true religion are hard to justiy.

I was amused at the comments of the head of the Mission Viejo Christian School who said that this program would teach students to bring a “fresh way to address the same questions every generation has: Why was I born? What is my purpose in life? Is there a God who exists? And what happens to me when I die?””

My answers to the questions he poses are quite simple, really:

Q: Why was I born? A: Because my parents had sex
Q: What is my purpose in life? A: To leave the world better for my having lived
Q: Is there a God who exists? A: No
Q: What happens to me when I die? A: I cease to exist

Comments

  1. V. Amarnath says

    Young people do have access to information. That may be the reason teen pregnancy has been dropping while sex education is being dropped in many schools.

  2. says

    The internet is definitely going to clobber religion. Also, the internet has served to open the gateways to alternate media no longer controlled by the central distribution-controllers. Seeing things that are able to show how silly religion is, has been a huge factor in eroding their base with the young.

    The internet has probably done more to clobber religion than evolution did. And that’s something I never thought I’d say.

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    Those questions are way to easy. Why not mess with their minds?

    3) Is there a God who doesn’t exist?

  4. moarscienceplz says

    Christian apologetics—a field of theology that uses logic to defend faith

    If you are using logic to defend faith, yer doin’ it wrong.

    A team of 80 people—including archaeologists, teachers, graphic artists and musicians—started developing the curriculum nearly three years ago

    If you are an archaeologist who thinks the Bible is remotely trustworthy, yer doin’ that wrong too!

  5. laurentweppe says

    The internet is definitely going to clobber religion. Also, the internet has served to open the gateways to alternate media no longer controlled by the central distribution-controllers

    Internet also tremendously helped spreading conspiracy theories and made it easier than ever to build up insular, monolithic communities.

  6. says

    laurentweppe@#6: true. In the same way that we have amish, today, who opt out – we should expect small die-hard groups of christians to unplug and isolate themselves where they can continue to remain ignorant. Ideally, this would not be allowed, since it’s child abuse if they have children, but I don’t see a solution to that problem short of inflicting freedom on people.

  7. says

    fresh way to address the same questions every generation has

    Except it’s not. The delivery is fresh…sort of…but the message is the same old rubbish. That is what makes approaches like this and the emoji Bible laughable: they don’t actually address the root of the problem. And, unfortunately for the religious, they’ve rationalized themselves out of the ability to see the problem, which is their religion itself. That becomes a bit of a Catch-22, though. If they could see the flaws in their religion, they maybe wouldn’t be religious in the first place. Or at least not be so concerned about the decline of religion.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    Anyone who retains loyalty to the “conservative” label after 2001–2016 does not deserve the “intellectual” label.

  9. lanir says

    I still don’t understand the push to make religion “logical”. It’s like they don’t get that religion is about faith. And faith is making choices based on assumptions that do not need to be held up by a logical structure.

    I think engaging in this is already an admission that the faith side has lost. They’re just trying to prop up institutions at this point without acknowledging what those institutions really are.

  10. Menyambal says

    I feel like a lot of people take it on faith that their religion is logical. I see online discussions where the same old arguments are presented as if the presenter believes they are good.

    I like the money aspect of this. The good people should be working for free – for 1/80th of 1.5 mill, I’d profess damn near anything, and the donors would believe they were getting good work.

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