After the Internet Kills Christianity, Who Will Promote Empathy?

summer flowers

Bob Felton's (Civil Commotion) post, The Internet: An ungodly distraction, quotes a Christian source lamenting the negative impact the Internet has had on the ability of Christian pastors to mold others in their image. I don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone that the Internet has not been good for Christianity. It is far from the only challenge facing those who want to make more Christians, but it is a big one.

You will not find me hoping that Christianity survives, but I will acknowledge that at least some of their churches do provide some benefits to at least some of their communities. The point is not that we need them or that we couldn't do what they do without their presence. I don't believe that for a second. The point is just that we'd need to figure out how best to do that, and I'm not sure that would be an easy task or one we could accomplish quickly. Personally, I'd prefer to turn over many of the most critical functions to government. Of course, I recognize that this would be the last thing many conservative atheists would want. Like I said, it wouldn't be easy.

I'll share one more thought before wrapping up this intentionally brief post. I am well aware that hypocrisy is widespread among Christians, and I've repeatedly condemned it. That said, I think it is possible that there could be some benefit in promoting kindness, civility, and empathy for others with one's words even if one's actions are not always consistent with these words. I guess what I'm thinking is something like this: If Christians were to suddenly disappear, who would take over promoting these positive values?

Why, secular humanists of course! Perhaps they would. Doing so would seem to be consistent with humanist values. Humanists might even be more effective at it than Christians have been. But do they have the numbers and the infrastructure to make a comparable impact on a similar scale? Probably not. But since Christianity is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, we have some time to figure this out.