The Internet: Opium of the People?

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:13

    To the Editor: America is in a deep spiritual crisis, like never before. The threat really isn’t terrorism. It’s something a lot more devastating - the spread of technology and the Internet, particularly to high school students and younger children. This has one aim: to raise a generation of children and young people who are spiritually dull, who live according to logic, and forget about God. We are raising a nation capable of any and every atrocity in the end, without raising an eyebrow, because of our own spiritual dullness. Every human being has a conscience, which is far superior to the intellect. If the conscience is silenced in us, we are doomed. Technology is our Achilles heel, which in the end will be worse than any weapon of mass destruction. It will destroy us from within. Technology puts the “I” in the center and ignores the fact that life is only worth living if “I” depend on my neighbor. We are infatuated with the ability the Internet gives us. We also feel that the Internet is the solution to all of our emotional and spiritual problems. For every emotional disorder, there is a self-help website or a group blog. In 1843, Karl Marx said that “religion is the opium of the people.” Today the Internet is the drug that cures all ills. We forget too quickly the old saying that “not everything that glitters is gold.” The Internet has become our god, our idol. Yet we have never been lonelier or more isolated from other human beings. What use is it to have all the possessions the world offers right in my living room if they separate me from other people? The essence of community is being systematically destroyed. If in any culture the minds and hearts of the children and youth have been captured, the war is already won. The greatest challenge of education, the greatest challenge to parents and teachers, is not to teach our children reading, writing and arithmetic, which are important, but to see that they do not become spiritually dull. Johann Christoph Arnold Rifton