We Don’t Need God; We Have the Internet

Who do you turn to when you need answers?  When you feel lost?  When you need to know that you’re not alone?

Only few generations ago, the majority of Americans might have said “God”.  But the latest polls from Pew Research tell us that, at least for millennials, God is no longer the answer.  At least, not the most satisfactory one.

Who is?  I’d argue, it’s the Internet.We don't need God, we have the Internet

And here’s why:

The Internet Answer Prayers

Granted, a Google search for “The Meaning of Life” is likelier to recommend a Monty Python movie rather than actually help you out of any sort of existential crisis, but an argument could be made that the Internet is just as apt at something like, say, answering prayers than any purported celestial deity has ever shown themselves to be.

In fact, thanks to things like online petition drives and networked charity fundraising, the Internet has a demonstrable and replicable track record of answering prayers and (unlike deities) it leaves behind an empirical trail of evidence to support its involvement in the phenomenon.

Some 75,000 petitions on GoFundMe now invoke the Internet service as an answer to their posted “prayer”.  Sure, they still tend to give God[s] the credit, but the Internet is divinely humble, and not offended in the least by the slight.

The Internet Heals

Also, given the plethora of medical knowledge online, the Internet isThe Internet heals when God won't demonstrably more efficacious at promoting healing than any god[s].  People die all the time waiting for their god to intervene, but pull up a high-res image of what happens to somebody’s face when they ignore that lump in their jaw and your ass can’t get to the nearest walk-in clinic quickly enough.

And while you can’t drop bitcoins in the collection plate on Sunday, they will get you a fistful of pain relievers from Mexico overnight drop-shipped to your front door.

Hey, don’t get all judgmental.   You heal your way, I’ll heal mine.

The Internet Redeems and Forgives

Which is more sublime:  confessing your indiscretions to a priest in a darkened booth or sitting down to write a heartfelt apology email to the person you’ve wronged?

And before you ask, yes there ARE anonymous online absolution services, for anybody who can’t bring themselves to confront the victim[s] of their misanthropy directly.

People die all the time
waiting for their god to intervene…
but the Internet answers prayers
AND heals

The Internet Does Weddings, Baptisms, and More

The Internet is authorized to perform marriages, and those ordained in the ULC [myself included] can and will baptize you online as well.  There’s online counseling for those in grief, online spiritual retreats, and yes, even online affairs and one-night stands [for those times you’d like to cry out to God out of sheer pleasure rather than despair].

The Internet offers Immortality and an Afterlife

We lost R@y Tomlinson this week.  If you don’t know who that was, the spelling of his n@me was a pretty big hint.

Tomlinson invented email.  And just as much as Steve Jobs, his contribution to our lives lives on well beyond him.  Further, the more prolifically we translate our own thoughts and feelings into binary perpetuity, the more of the inner-us can live on for our posterity.

And of course, I’ve saved the best for last.  So here is:

The Most Compelling Reason the Internet Is God

Dude, it’s in the cloud.

C’mon, you had to have seen that coming…

Hard Drinkin’, Coke-Snortin’, Nazi-Lovin’ Irish-Catholic Priest

It sounds like a country song.  Or something I just made up so I could make that observation.  But b’gosh and however you spell ‘begorrah’, [note:  Google spellcheck wonders if I meant “Gomorrah”.  Heh.] this is apparently for real:


Drinkin', Coke-Snortin', Nazi-Lovin', Irish-Catholic PriestWhen told the Padre was snorting lines of blow while surrounded by Nazi paraphernalia, one member of his congregation hilariously remarked:

“It’s shocking. He’s supposed to be
an upstanding member of society.
He shouldn’t be taking drugs.”

Being a Catholic, his fondness for the Nazis apparently came as no surprise…

AronRa Embraces CTHULU…!

I want, or perhaps better put, I need to extend my enthusiastic and heartfelt gratitude to the Critical Thinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers of Lawrence University [http://www.cthulu-ssa.org/] for bringing unapologetic anti-apologist and avid atheist activist AronRa to Appleton (and for setting me up for THAT absurd alliteration).

AronRa Embraces CTHULUIt should not be overlooked that the host venue, Lawrence University, was founded by Methodists and named after an Episcopalian. So (as the kids probably no longer say) “mad props” to such an institution for risking Yahweh’s righteous reciprocity by inviting one of Satan’s most well-spoken evil minions to address our group of wide-eyed infidels.  Nearly a day has passed and still no brimstone in our northeastern-Wisconsin forecast so, for now, it appears we’ve escaped any sort of divine wrath.

Evidenced by the parking lots of area churches on any given Sunday morning (or during a Fish-Fry on any Bingo Friday for that matter), the Fox Valley is arguably the epicenter of the dairy state’s devout Frozen Tundramentalism, so it wasn’t too surprising that the turnout to hear an ardent apostate speak was modest.  In fact, the gathering turned out to be delightfully intimate.  To be honest, I felt as I often do on election days:  the fewer other people who’d bother to show up, all the better for me.

In the course of an hour, Darwin
was exonerated
from every superfluous
creationist charge
leveled against him…

It should be appalling to everybody that today, a full century and a half since the Huxley-Wilberforce debate, anybody should have to waste a single precious breath still defending Charles Darwin.  But since America’s smoldering embers of fundamentalism still flare up from time to time, it’s best to use the largest feet available to stomp that inextinguishable fire back into history’s ash heap.

And few sport a larger, more efficacious ash-kicking boot than does AronRa Defends DarwinAronRa.

In the course of an hour (time that absolutely flew past), Darwin was exonerated from every superfluous creationist charge leveled against him, from his purported racism (if Darwin was a racist, Gandhi was by comparison a Grand Dragon in the KKK), to the unlettered notion that the author of ‘On the Origin of Species‘ rejected evolution in that same book, to the sad and desperate contrivance that Darwin had a “come-to-Jesus” epiphany just prior to passing away.

(A deathbed conversion story has likewise been floated regarding Christopher Hitchens which, I’d hope, would inspire even the most ardent pacifistic atheist who gives the slightest damn about Hitch’s legacy to at least consider a solid throat-punch to anybody proffering that maddening claim.  I pledge to help raise your bail money, should the situation arise.)

AronRa was gracious enough to entertain our Q&A at the end of his lecture.  The crowd asked him two or three questions which, before the man had a chance to get his coat and hat on, had somehow abiogenetically grown into a few dozen more.  I’ve seen enough of his archived material to know that, in one manner or another, he’s addressed these same inquiries a number of times, but he patiently responded with an enthusiasm and passion that made no hint whatsoever that he dreaded  answering them again for our benefit.

There was no obligatory book-signing, no passing of the hat, no plug for his extensive YouTube archive, nor his blog— not even a hint at supporting him via his Patreon project account.  This was a wonderfully sincere, marketing-free face-to-face that, I feel very confident in asserting, left nobody in the room wishing they’d spent their night elsewhere.

Thanks again CTHULU, and AronRa, for a wonderful, enlightening, and unforgettable evening…