Technology and Religion

Technology is a major force in human society. It is a powerful influence on world cultures and has contributed to the advancement of science. The principles of religion are not necessarily compatible with the worldview that drives new high technologies, but they do have the potential to influence their development.

The modern technological worldview poses three specific threats to religion. First, it diverts a significant portion of the worlds interests, motivations, and satisfactions away from a religious center. Many of the people who have been drawn into the world of organized religion today relate to images and symbols on television or in movies far more than they do to those of biblical prophets, saints, or kings. They are not interested in reliving their ancestors superstitions; they prefer the comforts of a worldly existence.

Second, the new technology empowers a powerful group of people to act independently of and without the authority of established religion. Alcoholics Anonymous, drug rehabilitation centers, coalitions for social and political reforms, therapy clusters, and adult education groups all represent examples of this phenomenon. These groups have given birth to a variety of innovative concerns that have little or no connection with institutional religion.

Third, the new worldview encourages the proliferation of new religious concerns that do not find a place within the boundaries of traditional church structures. These include the search for spirituality in the natural environment, the development of mystical attitudes and beliefs in computer-generated virtual reality, and the creation of a new kind of humanism that combines spiritual fulfillment with scientific achievements in achieving lifes satisfactions.