Information Superhighway and Morality

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My missionary companion and I were watching general conference in April 1994. In one of the talks, the speaker mentioned the “information superhighway” (now called the Internet), and if I recall correctly (I cannot find the article to confirm the exact words) mentioned that this invention would play a large role in the widespread destruction of morality in the world.

My companion and I ended up in a debate about it. We debated whether the Internet really would be the downfall of morality in society. We debated whether society was already on a downhill slope. We debated whether making pornography more accessible would lead to more use of it. And so on.

Now that’s been 11 years later and the Internet is a mainstay of western society, can we say with certainty whether society is worse off morally now?

11 thoughts on “Information Superhighway and Morality

  1. If it is a measure of degree, then I think we can say that the world is worse off with the internet, vis-a-vis pornography and gambling.
    However, to counterbalance that, there has never been greater access to useful and helpful information in history.
    Like everything, there is the good and the bad. It is how we use it that determines its morality.

  2. The internet can bless our lives but it really is a powerful tool for the adversary. It is in almost every home and can be viewed at no expense. It is only words away from any family member using the computer. That options was not there before the information superhighway.

  3. It also offers Anonymity there is no one to see you purchase anything. And there is so much that is so easily available. The internet offers such an easy first step down a very slippery slope. Those who already deal with such temptation will have a much harder time staying away from it with computers so easily available in almosty every home.

  4. My boyfriend, back in the early 90s was discussing technology changing morality. This is _very_ clear with the internet. Just look at music piracy. It is stealing. But since it is easy, people do it. They then justify it by saying they aren’t hurting anyone. There would not be so many people willing to go into a store and steal a CD and say “but it’s the record companies that are crooks.” Really, it is the ease of access created by the technology.

    The easy access to purchasing and even downloading free pornography has seriously changed peoples’ viewpoints towards pornography. In the geek circles I am in (I am a Systems Administrator), the men freely talk about their large porn collections as if there was nothing wrong about it at all. No hint of shame. Again, the technology giving easy acccess to the pornography has changed peoples’ morality in that area.

    Kim (annoymous lurker)

  5. “Just look at music piracy. It is stealing.”

    Not in Canada. Actually, I should be more specific. Downloading other people’s music is not stealing in Canada.

  6. The internet has also been a wonderful asset to family history research, making it easier, more accessible and more available for so many people. As well, access to conference addresses are so much easier for members in more remote areas. So, with the bad (and yes, there is much of that), there is the extreme good, too.

  7. I know it wasn’t April 1995 because I was still on my mission at the time, and I wasn’t on my mission in 1995. I wish I could find it, but no searches come up on lds.org.

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