I will begin by first clarifying that I am not talking about drugs, alcohol or any other of those types of influences for those of you falsely excited. So on another more technological note, I will refer to the influences of the media in the way we have been thinking of God.
One of the websites I regularly read is called reddit.com, and for those of you who haven’t heard of it, it is loosely termed as the “front page” of the web, in terms of popular images and stories circulating around the globe. While many of the posts mean no harm, I have begun to see a trend in the occurrence of posts on atheism. Reddit.com is read by millions of people and there is a very likely chance that many will read atheist related stories. From past experiences, I have noticed that whatever is popular at the time is quickly grasped by the public, maybe because it is cool (everyone else is doing it) or they are genuinely interested in the issue. So using simple logic, one can say that the website may influence its readers in some way or another.
There are numerous other websites, not just reddit.com, that also influence people somehow. And we should not restrict it to just the internet, but also television and music. What one can assume is that the presence of such material has a profound effect on the way people think, not just religion but other issues present at the time. Our ideas are formed not just by our own minds, but more from the experiences of our interactions with the world around us.
So how does this affect our views on religion?
Well, I believe current society pretty much defines what is acceptable from us all. This pertains to religion too; it has gone from very conservative terms to broadly open to new ideas. The fact of the matter is that it’s not so much evolution of the religion but actually the incorporation of morals into religion. Religion does not mean morals, because morals are a separate entity. Religion involves a set of beliefs that don’t change for much of time, while morals are a set of standards defined by society of what is right and wrong, or good and bad.
The influences of media challenge our perception of religion by putting forward ideas that may not be accepted by one in the beginning, but gradually accustomed through time. I believe that we should accept new ideas but keep in mind our set of moral values to govern whether the ideas are right and wrong.
Religion by itself is not good enough, morality is a must and since it is universal, it can never be singled out by any one religion.