Opinion - Faith in Flames
*Author’s note: Please keep in mind that the purpose of this paper is strictly to explore issues that may contribute to humanity’s lack of, or decreasing faith, not to criticize those who do not have religious beliefs or associations. The ideas presented are stated from an observational standpoint, not a conservative one.
More people than ever are losing their faith in God, or a supernatural creator. While faith has always been questioned, recent communication and social developments in the globalized world have significantly influenced how people evaluate objective morals. The globalized world encourages a new type of “question everything” outlook that may interfere with long-established truths about life. The three issues that contribute to decreasing faith are: Decline of values and reevaluation of objective morals due in part to globalization and mass telecommunication, and scientific implications about the natural world.
Globalization and mass telecommunication go hand in hand. The world is globalized when media is easily and quickly facilitated around the world. Meaning, the same information available to one person living in Singapore, Thailand is available to another person living in Buenos Aires, Argentina at almost the exact same time. Globalization affects humans in a lot of ways; it is more likely for one to possess a smart phone in third world countries, than it is to have a car. But how exactly does mass telecommunication affect morals? People use mobile devices, websites, and other media tools not only to communicate the news and share educational information, but also to spread inappropriate pictures, videos, messages and ideas. Media is pushing the limit with obscenity and mass telecommunication is making this obscenity more easily available. When people are constantly exposed to lewdness- even what is now considered minor forms of it- they can no longer conceive of why it is wrong. Constant exposure produces boredom and a need to expand limits. The “moral mind” no longer sets up inhibitory barriers. The following is a real example of how one can become desensitized to lewdness: a man who started watching racy television shows, progressed to watching pornography on the internet. He later became even more desensitized and his shamelessness eventually deviated to pedophilia. This man had no intention or desire whatsoever to become a pedophile. Although this case is extreme, watching lewd material can have a bad affect on how people think of morals. It is now okay to openly discuss sexual encounters or secret lewd behaviors with friends. A mere ten years ago, these behaviors would be frowned upon or at least not so frequently and brazenly shared. Nonetheless, to tie this back to the thesis; mass telecommunication and globalization, to a degree, help promote inappropriate themes to the mind of the public and cause them to question morality. When it becomes easy to break rules without finding apparent consequences, people reevaluate the purpose of a certain guideline… and whoever set it. Like children who steal things without getting caught, they go on to steal more, and at certain point question why it is wrong to steal, and then are angered with those who do not allow them to do it.
Modern scientists’ and philosophers’ attempts to undermine religious beliefs have become more profound. Galileo defied the church when he said that the universe does not revolve around the earth, but what Galileo said was with reason. Most physicists, cosmologists, and mathematicians argue that there is no physical proof for God. But what would proof for God look like? Whether the proof is physical or non-physical, science can only test physical things within the observable realm. Assuming there is a God, his existence would necessitate that He be a metaphysical entity, especially if we look at him as a creator. Understandably, a creator that created the laws of physics and the natural world who describes Himself as self-subsisting has no need to be a part of the world He created. Similarly, a painter is not a part of his painting. So if God is largely thought of to be an outside observer of the physical realm, how could this be scientifically tested? The fact of the matter is that it cannot. Some intellectuals then resort to oversimplifying God, and making him sound more like a character from a fairytale. It is given that some religious stories are hard to consider, but that does not necessitate that it isn’t true or that there is no God. Science should not attempt to prove either way; but God and science are not entirely exclusive. Some argue that the natural world is a way to appreciate God. Nonetheless, to find God, one should look to their heart. After all, God appraises people based on their intentions and good actions, not their understanding of science.