Religion in Changing Times, Essay Example
Religion changes a lot. Hundreds of years ago people were going to war over gods and torturing them. As the world gets closer, so does the way of thinking. People still think differently, but the ways of sharing their opinions brings people around the world to like and understand each other more. Depending only on science has brought more confusion into the attempts to move forward. This evolution of religion and understanding seems to be one that humans have to go through to reach better comfort and move in a good direction.
Changes for Survival
Christopher Helland talks about how people of different religions came together online. For people who do not like regular churches, the web gave them somewhere to ask questions and to be themselves without judgement. Since most people think of spiritual life as only happening in churches or temples, the web offers a plan B to people who do not feel good in the regular environment. This writer talks about how the internet went from just for scientists in 1960’s to being in almost every home in America. The pope even said that the web was the way of the future. Of these religious sites, 78 percent are Christian (2004, p. 27). Still, one story talks about a woman creating a new religious site which received strange messages that they sent out into the internet as messages from “Z,” the soul of an ancient god of Egypt (p. 29). All types of spiritual people find a place online.
Speaking of not being traditional, Ruse says that Christians can believe in evolution and keep their beliefs. When Darwin suggested evolution and backed it up with science, like the Archaeopteryx lizard-bird, that allowed these new animals to survive- not to just look better (Ruse). There are trends in scientific thinking about religion, too. Some writers say that religion and philosophy have nothing to do with science, and others say that knowing all that is possible is impossible, as a scientist should know better than anyone else. Some scientists don’t believe any research found by a religious scientist can be based only on the facts (Stenmark).
In fantasy books, films, and video games, religion finds its way into the writing, into the way that characters worship, and the way that they live. Mark Love writes about the many people who enjoy video games (Love, pp. 191-192). Since video games are a part of the formation of identity, the role of religion in the lives of characters and how that affects the video game players. Gee (2005) argues that video games can be good for the soul- when the players think about what religion means to them. They also have themes from myths which teach lessons about doing the right thing and about what good effects can happen for a person and for others around them. (pp. 1-2) Each person attaches religion to their identity in ways that they get. Religion pulls people together in some attachment, too. (Kirkpatrick)
In history, animals and people changed to survive, so it’s not surprise that the idea of religion changed when it hit the internet. All of a sudden it was okay for people to question religion and be part of religion without going into a church or temple. The evolution view of the role of males and females didn’t go into very much detail, but each animal or person changes for what helps them, and religion changes with the new ways of sharing questions and information. Religion is not inside the lines anymore. On the internet, being spiritual means coloring outside the lines and thinking outside the box. As one person said, “Video games are my religion” (Love, p. 192). Today, video games, film, internet, and forums are the best way to adapt religion to survive—just as long as the message survives the change.
Gee, J. P. (2005). Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul: Pleasure and Learning. Common Ground Publishing Pty, Ltd.: Australia. Print.
Helland, C. (2004). Popular Religion and the World Wide Web: A Match Made in [Cyber]Heaven. In: Lorne Dawson and Douglas Cowan (Eds.), Online Religion: Finding Faith on the Internet (pp. 23-36). Routledge: New York. Print.
Kirkpatrick, L. A. (2012). “Attachment Theory and the Evolutionary Psychology of Religion.” International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 22, 3 (pp. 231-241). Print.
Love, M. C. (2010). “Not-So-Sacred Question: Religion, Intertextuality and Ethics in Video Games.” Religious Studies and Theology, 29,2: (pp. 191-213). Print.
Ruse, M. (2004.) Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? Chapter One. Cambridge University Press (pp. 12-32). Print.
Stenmark, M. (2005). “How to Relate Science and Religion: A Multidimensional Model.” Ars Disputandi, 5. Print.
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