Thursday, 21 July 2011

Game Changer

I was struck by a recent article I read from a prominent American evangelical. He was arguing that the power of the Internet was now a major threat to the faith based traditions, and particularly Christianity. This is a very honest acknowledgement from presumably a decent man. Where information flows freely, dogma of any kind feels the strain. Just reflect on how Facebook was used to marshal the disenfranchised youth of the Middle East, giving rise to the Arab Spring. When people have access to a variety of information the decisions that they make can be informed one's. Far better than being lead by the nose and deceived by authority figures. You're probably expecting me to be critical of Christianity now, aren't you? Frankly that's too small a fish and I intend to cast a far wider net. I'm aiming my guns at any dogma, secular or religious, that seeks to impoverish the minds of others by controlling the flow of and access to information. True, faith based organizations are arch culprits, but there are others who do the same. My point is, when you commit to any one viewpoint without listening to what else is out there you're setting yourself up to be a patsy. And when you encounter somebody with a wider lens of experience you will invariably end up looking silly. Granted, for the religious this is no biggie, as they will often
regard any critique, no matter how robust, as a test of faith. There's not a whole lot you can do with that kind of person, other than teach your kids to laugh at them. What I'm getting at is that we should all be viewing our world through the widest possible lens, because when we do that we see and learn and develop in ways often beyond our imagination. We owe it to ourselves to be educated and well informed, and I think we should look dimly on those who want to control what others think and hear. 

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