The Computer is an Equal Opportunity Satan.

The “business model” of all religions has been the same since time began.  It is a story of the religious guru telling people about their individual importance to him and the behavior required of them for an afterlife.  The listener pays some money and the deal is done.

This model was challenged somewhat by access to education and literature.  But, these were expensive and sometimes hard to acquire.  The guru could compete by making himself readily available and relatively inexpensive.

All that has changed, and not just for Christianity.  Other religions are or will feel the competition of computer access to information that challenges super natural deeds, invisible heroes and life after death.

The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2013 includes a review of a book, My Isl@m by a blogger named Amir Ahmad Nsar.  I could not find a free link.

Nsar describes a journey out of Islam one could hear from ex Christians at most any gathering of Freethinkers.  Someone suggested reading internet articles by those who had left Islam.  He found arguments that piqued his curiosity.  Eventually he left.

It is amazing really that religions have been so successful at spinning tall tales and then saying, “You must believe this stuff.  If you don’t we’re going to punish you with unknown and not documented misery.”

I will be surprised if the Internet does not run out the clock on much of religion.  All that Satan ever asked for was a chance with fair competition.

Now, it’s here.

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at
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19 Responses to The Computer is an Equal Opportunity Satan.

  1. Wanna B Sure says:

    On the other hand the computer makes available to the layman material that would normally be out of their reach, both financially or simple accessibility. That being said, there are many important resources not easily found complete on the computer. Quite often it is hard to replace reliable printed pages. And to be frank, much of this material is regrettably above the heads of many, both by skills or interest. Quick and catchy sound bites seem to be the order of the day without much depth or background. That goes for both sides of the discussion. More talking, and less listening.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      I must also say that the material I mentioned does not include the sensational and single issue topics used by several apologists. Also some of which are seen on equally sensational web/ blog sites.

      • StanB says:

        I agree, I have several sites I go to when I am looking for information on church doctrine. When these several sites agree with each other it makes it pretty clear what the answers are. The local priest could probably answer, but why bother them?

  2. entech says:

    Nsar describes a journey out of Islam.
    You will find lots of stuff on the Internet along the same lines: cross conversion, Christians discover the truth of Islam and Muslim finds the truth of Christianity, even atheist finds the truth and why I am no longer a believer. Of course truth like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, not to say that all truth is relative but certainly what people believe to be the truth is.

    The main thing is to teach people to keep looking, the first site you find on a subject is not the end of it, there are other sites with other information. Wikipedia is often a good start but you need to confirm what you read there by comparing with other sites. This applies particularly to the sites recommended by posters here.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      “This applies particularly to the sites recommended by posters here”, (including some of Jon”s). I can agree to a large amount from what I’ve seen.

  3. Shakatany says:

    I have great hope that access to computers and the internet will hasten the demise of religions.

    BTW “He found arguments that peeked his curiosity.” I’m afraid to say it’s piqued his curiosity.

  4. Henry says:

    Jon:“Nsar describes a journey out of Islam one could hear from ex Christians at most any gathering of Freethinkers.”

    Islam sure is being given a journey. Instability has been installed.

  5. Dan says:

    Sounds like athiests actually worship a Computer God. It’s intelligent and full of wisdom. Your words are recorded in it’s brain (CPU) and it can track you anywhere you go (PRISM). It tracks your financial activity, keeps track of your banking information and can locate you from space. An image of this Computer God rests on many desks in the homes of most people in the developed countries. Can’t wait until AI is achieved. Then everyone will be able to relate to it and maybe even worship it. It will be able to speak to every person in the world at the same time. It will decide what is right and what is wrong. Then it will decide someone’s fate if they break its universally accepted superior intelligent decision. All hail Computer God.

    • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Dan 8:23 “All hail Computer God.”

      I’ve never heard of a computer that walked on water.

      • entech says:

        Apart from Seas example most computers would be pretty useless after trying to walk on water. I know people who get so frustrated with them that they want to try the test and at least see if they float.

        • Profile photo of seaofstories seaofstories says:

          The single most frustrating thing about computers is that they do nothing more and nothing less than exactly what you tell them to do.

          • entech says:

            I remember an early program called Eliza, an attempt at natural language processing, it took the form of a psychologist along the style of Rogers. No intelligence involved just pattern matching and programed responses.

            An example of how people can fall for the Pathetic Fallacy when dealing with computers. Apparently Weizenbaum’s secretary, who really should have known better, would use the program and turn the screen off if anyone came near saying, “this is a private conversation”. :???:

    • entech says:

      Hey Wolfy, someone is stealing your science fiction ideas.

      They have been promising AI since the1950s, then they said it is just a few years away, now they say, it is just a few years away. Buy the most expenses and powerful computer available, turn it on and it will just sit there wasting electricity until human programs it to do something. AD has been achieved and does all those things you talk about, especially the worship and talking to everyone at the same time.

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