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The Web Can Make People Quit Their Religion, Study Says

Internet has become a vital part of our lives over the past few years. A new study claims that frequent use of internet is related to people critically questioning, and often abandoning, their religion.


Internet use

The internet is defined by one outstanding feature: it has virtually infinite amounts of facts and information. When we, as users, come across this data, it influences our own beliefs. Eventually, one typically starts critically examining these beliefs and sees through the curtain of faith to see if they are rational or irrational.

Ultimately, that is a key reason why many web users tend to move away from their religion. This number is by no means small, with 25 million Americans having quit their religion between 1990 and 2010. Allen Downey, a computer scientists at MIT, has now penned down a thorough study about the phenomenon.

According to his findings, if a person is born into a religious family, he is less likely to quit his religion as a result of exposure to the web. College education increases the chances of this happening. Downey has parsed through a number of factors and their impact on the beliefs of people.

Ultimately, although there is no direct correlation between internet use and religion, the trends that are very clear to show that more frequent and active internet use leads to diminishing religious affiliation. It may simply be because people become conscious of their beliefs in a public sphere or they are able to critically evaluate it in view of the new information. Another factor may be the fact that non-religious ideas and notions are more active and popular on the internet than the popular one.

Source: MIT Tech Review
Courtesy: CNET

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