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Some Religions Will Survive The Internet

By Swain Wodening

Valarie Tarico posted a commentary on religion and the internet back in January on Salon.com called “Religion May Not Survive the Internet.” You can read it at http://www.salon.com/2013/01/16/religion_may_not_survive_the_internet/ It is an interesting post, but I find myself having to disagree with much of it. Her primary flaw? She addresses religion as if the Abrahamic religions were the whole of religion. Going from there her entire article is based on assumptions about the Abrahamic religions and how free thinking will be the end of them. And while she does mention as one of the threats to religion as being “interfaith communities that focus on shared spiritual values,” she does not mention any of the many religions that do not share in the Abrahamic idea of “right belief” as being a threat.

The truth is there are many religions that do not have a ‘right belief.’ They are instead based on “right action.” This is the difference between orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Orthodoxy is the practice of “right belief,” that is one has to believe in a certain way to expect salvation. An example of this is the idea one has to accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior in order to enter Heaven, that is one must believe in him. Orthopraxy, on the other hand, is the practice of “right action,” that is preforming the right actions will get you into Heaven or make you enlightened or whatever the “big payoff’ of that particular religion is.

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