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Pope Says Technology Causes Confusion Between Reality and Fiction

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the where's-the-reset-button dept.

Idle 779

Pope Benedict XVI has warned that people are in danger of being unable to discern reality from fiction because of new technologies, and not old books. "New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality. The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards real life," he said.

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Hmm (5, Interesting)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 4 years ago | (#33871334)

"New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality. The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards real life."

That's funny. It's arguable that the same could be said about the Bible. How many thousands of pages have been written about the workings of the Divine, or of the afterlife, when no one has truly seen either?

Re:Hmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871388)

"New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality. The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards real life."

That's funny. It's arguable that the same could be said about the Bible. How many thousands of pages have been written about the workings of the Divine, or of the afterlife, when no one has truly seen either?

Oh give me a fucking break. Science can't even attempt to explain free will. Yet, all you science fanatics claim that God isn't a valid explanation. As a matter of fact, science says free will doesn't exist. I'm pretty sure that means the Bible is a more valid work on the subject than all scientific publications combined.

Re:Hmm (5, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33871434)

Uh...actually, if anything, the bible proves free will doesn't exist either. god's supposed omnipotence makes free will an impossibility.

If someone already knows what you are going to do, how is it a choice?

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 4 years ago | (#33871552)

So if I Tivo a soccer match and replay it, then the players have no free will? Essentially that is the Christian concept of God. He exists in the past, present and future and knows how everything will turn out.

Granted, I have a problem with free will but choose to believe in it because I was predestined to....

Re:Hmm (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33871590)

According to some people (namely the people that follow "the book"), god works through us. Assuming this to be true, I ask you: do puppets on strings have free will?

Re:Hmm (2)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 4 years ago | (#33871632)

Please stay on your original comment, not swaying off to a new argument.You argued that if God knows the outcome that we don't have free will. I argued it is not. What is your counterargument?

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33871770)

I guess I didn't fill it out enough, sorry about that.

Again, assuming what religious christians say is true, god works through us. This would also mean he works through those soccer players. You only know what they did after they did it; god knew what they would do before they did not because he can "see or be" the future, but because he worked through them. This, effectively, makes all of us nothing but puppets on strings.

A puppeteer knows how they are going to make a puppet move before they do it. I'd argue that god does the same thing (based on christians' own words), thus negating the possibility of free will.

Re:Hmm (1)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | about 4 years ago | (#33871854)

You had no argument. Your tivo only show you a recording of events. By rewarding the video you do not revert the events. The fact that you present that has argument just show how faild of troll you are.

Re:Hmm (3, Insightful)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 4 years ago | (#33871638)

The difference is god would have created the football field, and the players, and could have created them in another configuration which would have led to another outcome which he would know beforehand.

Re:Hmm (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 4 years ago | (#33871704)

That is a valid argument. I simply wanted to point out that "knowing the outcome" doesn't imply a lack of free-will.

Now to your statement... some argue that God gave up something to give us free will. This creates a logical inconsistency with omnipotence... or at least the ability to fully use that omnipotence... it is an interesting thought experiment that ultimately leads to whatever conclusions you wish to arrive at.

Re:Hmm (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33871800)

That's the point where, as my wife's grandfather would say, "faith comes in to the picture."

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 4 years ago | (#33871834)

The players have free will, but you aren't watching the players. You are watching images of the players on a screen: a recording. The recording and images definitely do not have free will.

Re:Hmm (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 4 years ago | (#33871556)

s/omnipotence/omniscience

And maybe God subscribes to the Star Trek "rule of cool" school of time travel.

Re:Hmm (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 4 years ago | (#33871604)

If someone already knows what you are going to do, how is it a choice?

I guess science must believe that time travel is also impossible and illogical and thus does not and cannot exist. If someone can go into the future and see what you are going to do, how is it a choice?

There seem to be a fair amount of things that humans do not understand and do not know, but that doesn't mean they are impossible or don't exist.

Re:Hmm (1)

Dayze!Confused (717774) | about 4 years ago | (#33871640)

I believe you were probably thinking of his omniscience, being all powerful doesn't really take away the possibility of free will, where being all knowing might. James Talmage, in Jesus the Christ [gutenberg.org] , I believe had a very good explanation of the omniscience of God:

Respecting the foreknowledge of God, let it not be said that divine omniscience is of itself a determining cause whereby events are inevitably brought to pass. A mortal father, who knows the weaknesses and frailties of his son, may by reason of that knowledge sorrowfully predict the calamities and sufferings awaiting his wayward boy. He may foresee in that son's future a forfeiture of blessings that could have been won, loss of position, self-respect, reputation and honor; even the dark shadows of a felon's cell and the night of a drunkard's grave may appear in the saddening visions of that fond father's soul; yet, convinced by experience of the impossibility of bringing about that son's reform, he foresees the dread developments of the future, and he finds but sorrow and anguish in his knowledge. Can it be said that the father's foreknowledge is a cause of the son's sinful life?

I once heard an explanation that makes sense. It's like seeing millions of paths, as time goes by some paths fade away and new ones unfold.

Re:Hmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871722)

Uh...actually, if anything, the bible proves free will doesn't exist either. god's supposed omnipotence makes free will an impossibility.

If someone already knows what you are going to do, how is it a choice?

Where in the Bible does it say specifically that God is omnipotent? Personally, I believe God is omnipresent, because I have not been witness to any divine interventions, nor seen tangible evidence of such an event.

Actually, if anything, since science dictates that I have no free will and just leaves it at that; the Bible is the leading authority on the matter. The Bible says my free will is a gift from God, and contains moral stories to guide me into using my free will for the good of all. Ultimately I think the Bible teaches that you do have free will, and you should choose to do more for others than you do for yourself.

So is God real and I have free will, or is science correct and there is no God and all events in the universe are determinate?

Re:Hmm (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 4 years ago | (#33871768)

Actually, it doesn't. It is implied and inferred, but not outright stated. I think it gets pushed because it fits people's theology.

Re:Hmm (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33871742)

Uh...actually, if anything, the bible proves free will doesn't exist either. god's supposed omnipotence makes free will an impossibility.

If someone already knows what you are going to do, how is it a choice?

I guess it comes down to the difference between having power and using it. If there is an omnipotent god I don't think said god's existence would preclude the possibility of free will, it would just add a new dimension to the question of whether we're really able to exercise it.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871830)

all knowing and all powerful does not preclude free will ... if you take time to think about that.

Re:Hmm (2, Interesting)

Attack DAWWG (997171) | about 4 years ago | (#33871600)

1) Why do you people always post AC?

2)...
As a matter of fact, science says free will doesn't exist.

Citation?

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | about 4 years ago | (#33871842)

It could be said to come down to the question of if the universe is deterministic.
If you somehow saved a copy of the universe and played it a second time if it would turn out the same like a finite state machine or if it would turn out differently.

from the inside there's little difference, you have as much or as little "free will" (as fuzzy a term as that is) either way.

Re:Hmm (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#33871814)

Just because you feel like you have free will, doesn't mean that your actions are not pre-determinable. Plus I agree with Pojut here. When I was a Christian I felt much more limited because I was always looking for god's will in everything, rather than my own.

Re:Hmm (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33871390)

Not to mention how many pages have been changed.

The fact that there are different "versions" of the Bible amuse me to no end. If it was truly god's word, wouldn't there be just one version?

I'm not referring to words or phrases lost in translation...I'm talking about things like King James versions, etc.

Re:Hmm (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33871460)

For the ardent, there is one true version.

People even split churches and such over disagreements over which version that is.

Or do you mean to insist that any "God" that might exist has to create a history that plays out the way you expect?

Re:Hmm (3, Insightful)

NecroPuppy (222648) | about 4 years ago | (#33871548)

I don't quite understand how anyone can stay a Christian after reading the Bible. It's badly written Jesus fan-fic, co-authored by Abraham Z. Brite and Moses Pacione. I'd call it slash-fic, except there isn't enough sex in it.

Re:Hmm (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33871558)

I mean to insist that an entity whose power is truly limitless (something that our brains can't fully comprehend) wouldn't give a fuck what we do.

"God must be greater than the greatest of human weaknesses and, indeed, the greatest of human skill. God must even transcend our most remarkable-to emulate nature in its absolute splendor. How can any man or woman sin against such greatness of mind? How can one little carbon unit on Earth-in the backwaters of the Milky Way, the boondocks-betray God, ALMIGHTY? That is impossible. The height of arrogance is the height of control of those who create God in their own image."

Re:Hmm (1)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33871586)

That's an argument about god, not an argument about what confused people would do with a (supposed) bible.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33871680)

It spills over into what people would do with a bible, though...if all creatures on this planet are god's children, why would we A. be the only ones given his word and B. the only ones given the ability to comprehend it? Standard "why is the universe so big if we're alone" and "if the universe isn't empty except for us, why don't we know of god's other children" type of questions apply as well.

The fact that there are different versions of the bible (again, external of "lost in translation" issues) understandable only by man should be proof enough for anyone that it is the word of man, not the word of god.

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | about 4 years ago | (#33871560)

Well considering that one would have to be fluent in Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew to read the "just one version" I think that you have to accept newer translations over time as the English language evolves, and as historians discover new idiosyncrasies in the ancient languages. You can argue that this is not all that's changed, but it doesn't preclude new versions from coming out for good reason.

Re:Hmm (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 4 years ago | (#33871762)

Well, those are translation problems. You have to read it in the original Klingon.

Re:Hmm (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33871774)

Before you go too far with your Pope bashing, he's probably just quoting scientists who discovered the same thing.

Various studies over the years have found the same parts of the brain "light up". The human neural net reacts to watching TV shows and movies as if they were real world events.
.

Re:Hmm (1)

singingjim1 (1070652) | about 4 years ago | (#33871432)

Hence the line "...and not old books." In the original post. It's obviously ironic that he would talk about reality and truth when his job and beliefs are wholly based on fantasy and superstition, greed, murder, persecution, and ritualized tyranny over his all-to-real subjects around the world. Forest for the trees...forest for the trees.

Scientist Says Religion Causes Confusion (5, Insightful)

mrvan (973822) | about 4 years ago | (#33871652)

Scientist (well me, in any case) Says Religion Causes Confusion Between Reality and Fiction

Re:Scientist Says Religion Causes Confusion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871852)

So your "solution" to the problem is not to address the questions of the problem but attack the potential problems of those that do?

And you're a scientist?

No wonder science is going to shit.

As opposed to religion? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871358)

Pretty sure people have been unable to discern the stories told in the bible from reality for quite some time.

That's funny, because (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871366)

I can't distinguish the pope from some loony old guy who keeps talking weird stuff

Re:That's funny, because (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 years ago | (#33871730)

Benedict sucks, John Paul II was better.

If you see the pope ... (5, Insightful)

6031769 (829845) | about 4 years ago | (#33871372)

... tell him he owes me a new irony meter.

Re:If you see the pope ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871450)

I saw him the other day. He drove past my house on the way to the airport at the end of his UK visit. I'll pass on your message next time I see him.

Here is my reality (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33871384)

The reality is that I'm never letting my kid around any priest, or ever trusting the church again. That real enough?

Re:Here is my reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871426)

agreed

Indifference towards real life? (4, Insightful)

ColdGrits (204506) | about 4 years ago | (#33871392)

Tell us, Papa Ratzi, how else would you describe someone who adtively protects, supports, defends and hides known repeat paedophiles, hmm?
That sounds exactly like someone who is indifferent toward real life.
So get off your high horse and join the real world.
And startby turning over those of your priests who are paedos to the lawful authorities and stop protecting, supporting, defending and hiding the paedos.

Guess he never saw the Creation museum... (2, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | about 4 years ago | (#33871396)

Talk about confusion! Dinosaurs walking with people, Noah's Ark, a walk through Biblical History...I can't figure out WHO is telling the truth! http://creationmuseum.org/whats-here/exhibits/ [creationmuseum.org]

Re:Guess he never saw the Creation museum... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33871456)

Talk about confusion! Dinosaurs walking with people, Noah's Ark, a walk through Biblical History...I can't figure out WHO is telling the truth! http://creationmuseum.org/whats-here/exhibits/ [creationmuseum.org]

After growing up watching the Flintstones, Gilligan's Island, and playing my records backwards I know how you feel.

Re:Guess he never saw the Creation museum... (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | about 4 years ago | (#33871674)

I don't see anything on that site that endorses Dinosaurs walking with people, though it might be there. At any rate you are are guilty of straw man, false dilemma or ad hominem fallacies.

A) The pope does not endorse a literal view of creationism.
B) Even if the Bible does distort peoples perceptions of reality that does not mean that technology doesn't. Nor does it mean that the argument that technology distorts reality is any less credible because the person who makes it supports something else which does not distort reality. If a thief tells you that murder is immoral; pointing out cases of the thief stealing adds little to the argument.

The pope is right, for once (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 4 years ago | (#33871402)

I looked at that photo of him and felt complete indifference.

He should know... (-1, Flamebait)

PuckstopperGA (1204112) | about 4 years ago | (#33871408)

Pot meet kettle

Re:He should know... (1)

Stele (9443) | about 4 years ago | (#33871440)

For Pope's sake don't BOIL it!

Re:He should know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871726)

Modded flamebait? Who gave the Catholics mod points?!?

Quite True! (0, Flamebait)

alphatel (1450715) | about 4 years ago | (#33871416)

The pope also warned that condoms would lead to an epidemic of sex and suggested they should be confiscated and molded into a giant plastic jesus.

Re:Quite True! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871524)

Interesting, when I put a condom on it DOES look like a giant plastic Jesus.

Crocodylus pontifex (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | about 4 years ago | (#33871436)

I'm not confused between reality and fiction, I just want to know are we talking about Pope Ratzinger or the Space Pope [wikia.com] here?

This is just red meat for the /. crowd (5, Insightful)

nysus (162232) | about 4 years ago | (#33871438)

OK, when you're done ripping on the pope, stop and consider his point of view and what he has to say. Whether you agree or disagree, his point deserves some honest thought and debate.

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871486)

I, for one, don't think that every loon out there deserves an honest debate. Do we have serious, honest, open minded conversations with NAMBLA members on their philosophy (which ironically isn't that far from this pope's philosophy, mind you).

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (2, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | about 4 years ago | (#33871512)

Among large parts of the Slashdot crowd, the fact that he's not an atheist is enough to disqualify his viewpoint from any kind of respect.

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 4 years ago | (#33871554)

Not really, because far better men than him have made that argument, and it was no less laughable.

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871614)

This is red meat to any person who understands where the pope is coming from and why does he say what he says, not just the /. crowd

Not too long ago he was trying to compare atheists with nazi's. Whether you agree or disagree, his point deserves some honest thought and debate, no?

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 4 years ago | (#33871664)

OK, when you're done ripping on the pope, stop and consider his point of view and what he has to say. Whether you agree or disagree, his point deserves some honest thought and debate.

His point is no more deserving of thought and debate than that of any other observer from outside of the industry. In fact, I would be willing to bet that Pope Benedict might have some sort of agenda...

while(ripping(Pope)){ // do nothing } (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#33871702)

OK, when you're done ripping on the pope ...

Oops! Looks like someone coded an infinite conditional into their English post. I mean, will Slashdot ever run out of things to criticize him for?

Clearly his anti-technology agenda is just a cover for him trying to stop websites from spreading data on molesting priests and the parishes they have been hidden at. </sarcasm>

Personally I've given up on ripping apart the Catholic Pope. I am confirmed Catholic. I know The Holy Bible fairly well but whenever I want to discuss what the Pope says I get criticized for not being fluent in whatever the devil this one speaks (Polish?) and therefore any translation I have is immediately rendered useless and possibly flawed by Lucifer. I'm certain this will result in a debate on the mistranslation of "technology" or some such pedantry ... not unlike the commentary on The Holy Bible I've read (curiously Isaac Asimov's being one of the most refreshing and providing multiple points of view).

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871766)

I did...

and then I lol'd.

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 years ago | (#33871788)

Okay. His major purpose in life is to try to get as many people to believe the stuff written in his book of choice, including the magic parts, is the literal truth. As part of that, he has to convince them that the stuff written in everyone ELSE's book of choice is lies, at best misguided, but more likely evil. His organization, which derives it's take on reality from a book, has a long history of violently opposing stuff written in other books, or interpretations of stuff written in their own book they don't agree with, then eventually deciding, well, maybe it's true after all (or at least not burning at the stake worthy). You might even say that the bible has confused the church about reality.

Now he'd like us to believe that books (well, the right kind of books anyway) tell the truth and don't confuse us about reality, but that this newfangled electronic stuff does.

Hm.

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 4 years ago | (#33871804)

Hey, you no playa the game, you no maka the rules!

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (1)

travdaddy (527149) | about 4 years ago | (#33871820)

I would consider his point of view, but TFA is pretty useless. Did the pope finally get around to watching the Matrix? If so, I'd actually love to see a more detailed article. But if he's talking about the present, then I have a really hard time believing that anybody (that isn't crazy) is confusing today's technology with real life.

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 4 years ago | (#33871862)

When the Pope brings us some evidence instead of merely fear, uncertainty, and doubt we will weigh that evidence according to its merits. Until he does that, he deserves all the derision he gets.

Re:This is just red meat for the /. crowd (5, Informative)

Target Drone (546651) | about 4 years ago | (#33871866)

The actual article seems like a troll as it only reports a couple of snipits. Here's [speroforum.com] a better one with the full quote I found via google. The Pope was actually talking about the way modern media reports the news.

Today, for example, the world of appearances has an increasing weight with the development of new technologies; but if on the one hand this has doubtless positive aspects, on the other, the image can also become detached from reality , it can give life to a virtual world, with diverse consequences, the first of which is the risk of indifference to the truth. In fact, new technologies, together with the progress that they bring, can result in what is true and what is false becoming interchangeable, it can lead to confusing the real with the virtual. In addition, reporting of an event, happy or sad, can be consumed as entertainment and not as an occasion for reflection. The search for ways to authentically promote man then disappears into the background, because the event is presented primarily to arouse emotions. These issues are alarm bells: an invitation to consider the danger that the virtual distances us from reality and does not stimulate the pursuit of what is true, the truth.

Religion causes confusion between (1)

speroni (1258316) | about 4 years ago | (#33871444)

...reality and fiction.

Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871446)

Catholics are in danger of being unable to discern reality from fiction because of old and fabricated beliefs, and not new and proven sciences and technology.

W/E (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871454)

The Pope is mad because he's not longer the keeper of the "magic." Now that the layman has access to his own curtain with a little man behind it, the Pope is now a punchline is a gigantic joke.

My first thought: (1, Funny)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | about 4 years ago | (#33871470)

Has he watched Fox News?

The church is struggling for relevance (2, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | about 4 years ago | (#33871474)

The church is struggling for relevance in the modern world. This does not help.

Sounds to me like the Catholic Church wants to go back to the old days of an illiterate flock lead in a latin mass.
Because then people had a more "realistic" connection to things that were important like tithing or the consequences of no doing so.

Re:The church is struggling for relevance (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 4 years ago | (#33871690)

The pope visited the UK recently. The one statement that he made that really made me boggle was when he complained that people were trying to rationalise religion.

If we don't rationalise - then what are we ?

Clarke's (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 years ago | (#33871510)

At some point technology will be so advanced that couldn't be distinguished from magic... or miracles, at least for the people that don't understand it. The solution is not to complain, to hide, or to ban technology, is to make people to understand it.

Re:Clarke's (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 4 years ago | (#33871676)

At some point technology will be so advanced that couldn't be distinguished from magic..

For many people we reached that point years ago. It's not so much a sudden thing, but something that happens gradually as technology improves or education fails to keep up.

And he knows were NOT virtual how? (3, Interesting)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 4 years ago | (#33871518)

I mean, the whole monotheism thing strongly suggests we ourselves are in a layer of simulation. So how real is virtual reality under those circumstances?

Not a new concern (3, Insightful)

Palestrina (715471) | about 4 years ago | (#33871532)

In any age, there were those who blurred reality for oppressive means. Whether rewriting history to depict Native Americans submitting to colonists in a painting, to airbrushing out Stalin's opponents in photographs. Technology is a tool, and as moral beings we have the ability to do good or evil with it with it, including distorting reality.

I agree...but which technology? (1)

kurokame (1764228) | about 4 years ago | (#33871578)

I nominate writing. Proof:

  1. Twilght
  2. The Bible
  3. Primary school Civics textbooks
  4. etc...

Re:I agree...but which technology? (1)

kurokame (1764228) | about 4 years ago | (#33871654)

Television would also work.

  1. CSI
  2. General Hospital
  3. Wrestling
  4. C-SPAN

Maybe He's Right? (1)

ignavusinfo (883331) | about 4 years ago | (#33871608)

If we can set aside the fact that this is a cult leader who likes to play dress-up (hard, I agree), it might be that his statements have some merit. I mean, Twitter isn't actual communication, the people on Facebook aren't really friends, a half a dozen regularly read blogs do not comprise a realistic worldview, and so on. There's so much technical mediation of the real world nowadays that it's not like you have to look far to find someone who doesn't believe it's true unless his phone tells him about it. (Or, worse, who can't experience something without twittering it.)

Sometimes even insane people make valid points.

I don't see the problem (0, Troll)

mattwrock (1630159) | about 4 years ago | (#33871626)

It works for Fox News!

They must have DNA evidence of his sex abuse (1)

Orga (1720130) | about 4 years ago | (#33871628)

Darn those courts using technology to discover all the pedophiles he covers for!

And thus begins the Butlerian Jihad (2, Insightful)

djavaman (582358) | about 4 years ago | (#33871634)

Down with the machines

What a waste of an article (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about 4 years ago | (#33871646)

Aside from everybody spotting the obvious irony here, I went to read the original article to see if I could get all contrarian and spot some useful insight. I find that whenever I hear a story of the form "Person X said something monumentally stupid", there's practically always something in either the subsequent or preceding sentence that provides context and makes it debatable or thought-provoking or even obvious. That doesn't necessarily apply to people who make a living saying monumentally stupid things, often for political gain, but people who actually think for a living (and I do include the Pope in that category) often think more subtly than single-sentence extracts from newspaper articles makes them out to be.

Except in this case, that's all there is. The article is 5 sentences long. It gives no context and only the barest hint of who the audience is. It doesn't link to the full text. As far as I can tell it's not the Montreal Gazette's fault; they ran the entire article as it came to the off the Agence France-Press wire service. I had a reasonably high impression of AFP; perhaps I need to reconsider that.

Maybe there will be a more useful article coming in the future, one that provides something more than an opportunity for something other than simply going "tsk tsk" at the Pope. But RTFA in this case isn't going to make you any smarter.

(Look, I'm not here to defend the Pope. Yes, I'm aware of all the terrible things the Church and he personally have done, and I think it needs to be prosecuted. But I want my opinions to come from actual crimes, not suspiciously short quotes.)

Pot kettle black (1)

Chowderbags (847952) | about 4 years ago | (#33871662)

You know, it's funny to hear the pope talk about not being able to distinguish fiction from reality (setting aside that that's the whole premise of religion), but when I hear the pope call anyone out on "indifference towards real life", it makes my blood boil. We're talking about an organization that covered up molestation of kids, that tells Africans that condoms are bad despite the rampant AIDS epidemic, the sheer opulence of the Vatican contrasted with the poverty they claim to serve. And this is just from current events. Do I really need to go back and dig through the annals of history to dig up all the horrifying things that the Catholic church has done? I bet I can find exponentially more people who've used religion as an excuse to kill, enslave, torture, kill some more, and guilt others into killing too.

Recursion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871672)

Pot? Is that you, Kettle?

Interesting (3, Informative)

DaMattster (977781) | about 4 years ago | (#33871678)

To a greater or lesser degree, the Pope might have a point. If we take his broad argument and narrow it down to some information of the internet, he very well be on to something. One problem with information on the Internet is that it's accuracy can be dubious at best. A person could post a bald-faced lie and pass it off as truth. Technology can make it easier to use propaganda that is founded on a lie to gain popularity for a politican. On the other hand, the same can be done with printed material - technology only makes it more economic and faster.

Piling on the bandwagon (1)

IICV (652597) | about 4 years ago | (#33871684)

New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality.

Seriously? This coming from a man whose subordinates spread the lie that condoms don't prevent the spread of aids? From a guy whose predecessors believed they could change matters of fact [wikipedia.org] by turning on their special powers? From an institution that is completely invested in the idea that consciousness is somehow divorced from the body (e.g, the soul) despite the fact that there is zero evidence for that hypothesis, and a great deal of evidence against it - after all, the entire field of therapeutic pharmaceuticals would be a waste of time if your consciousness wasn't inextricably linked to your body.

I believe Jesus said something about motes and planks and eyes.

Reality vs Fiction (1)

Chas (5144) | about 4 years ago | (#33871692)

Fiction: I can grab a sniper rifle and shoot people in the head. I can also get shot and killed. It will suck if the latter happens.

Reality: There's an invisible man who live IN THE SKY and is going to damn us all to an eternity of fire and agony. BUT HE LOVES US!

(Thank you George Carlin!)

Fiction: I can exercise fantastic powers, magic, superstrength, etc, etc, etc when I play a game.

Reality: If I'm of a suitable age, and a priest asks me to play a game, it's "hide the salami".

Now I know which one *I* would have a preference for (fiction)!

Fiction: When I'm done with a game, or I decide I don't like it, I can turn it off.

Reality: When you have the church preaching abstinence as the only way, that birth control is "bad", and you have girls popping out kids like clockwork, leeching off the public teat, killing each other over interpretations of what God is, etc, etc, we just have to live with it.

Yup. The lapsed Catholic in me can see how it'd be REALLY tough to distinguish fantasy from reality.

The real risk is not technology... (2, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 4 years ago | (#33871710)

... the real risk is simply human beings don't know how to think and most aren't intelligent enough to think. Most people would rather live illusions and lies. This is why religion is so pervasive, we are a species that loves our lies, technology or not. It takes real courage to pursue truth with eternal vigilance because it means your morality and feelings get over turned and you have to let real knowledge change you.

Most people do not want to do that.

Have you ever known a second life addict? (1)

alta (1263) | about 4 years ago | (#33871720)

I agree with him to a point. Psychologically healthy person won't have a problem with this, but some people who are already compromised may completely loose touch with reality.

Everyone I've known playing MMO's had a pretty firm handle on reality, largely because they don't think orcs elves or dragons are real.

Then I've known some second life people who have the line blurred. I can't forget once when someone was trying to convince me of something, then they said, oh, nevermind that was in SL.

And, don't forget the future is going to be like the matrix.

Virtual reality could help priests.... (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 4 years ago | (#33871738)

sate their sexual urges. Just give them a PC and a Second Life account. Onanism is surelly a smaller sin than rape.

the pope, (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 4 years ago | (#33871740)

a pusher of a non-existent god has no room to talk. Can you ride a bicycle? [youtube.com]

Once upon a time... (1)

i-c-electrons (1467179) | about 4 years ago | (#33871744)

Wasn't there a time when these "old books" were new technology? His argument is irrelevant because people of faith will always adapt to the "new" technologies of the world. On a side note, wonder when the pope is getting a twitter account.

Here, fixed that for you (2, Funny)

Dalzhim (1588707) | about 4 years ago | (#33871750)

Pope Benedict XVI has warned that people are in danger of being unable to discern reality from fiction because of questioning blind faith. "Reconsideration of dogmas and the refusal to believe proposals without proof can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to damnation instead of salvation. The questioning individual can also become independent from the Bible, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards the Church," he said.

Pot,kettle (1)

J.J. Dane (1562629) | about 4 years ago | (#33871756)

Nuff said

I'm not surprised (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 4 years ago | (#33871778)

No surprise that somebody who believes in virgin birth and a water-walking zombie riddle-speaking prophet God has difficulty distinguishing between reality and fiction. The real question is, does technology make it difficult for atheists to distinguish between reality and fiction?

Abstinance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33871792)

I hear abstinance causes confusion between reality and fiction too... I wonder when he warns for that.

Understandable reaction. (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | about 4 years ago | (#33871798)

From his perspective, this is actually quite an understandable reaction. Technology exposes people to a larger variety of fictions that other people believe - which makes picking out the "right" story of reality less clearly a matter of where you were born as with previous generations.

When the ultimate truths of the universe are less a matter of derived logic and reason, and more revealed wisdom, then the entire key to "properly receiving" that truth is framing. Framing that is only reliable when information is controlled by a correctly-thinking organization.

From that viewpoint, it is completely understandable that outside ideas exposed by technology would be seen as pollution to young minds, sources of confusing reason that distract from the truth that must be learned, but cannot be derived merely by the methods of science or otherwise observing reality alone.

Once you've seen enough of these stories, they certainly do all start looking VERY similar in terms of "protecting" the truths, and even the truths start looking suspiciously similar in their advocacy of the interests of the founders and maintainers of the beliefs. Those are exactly the kinds of observations that would risk the basis of belief in many of these revealed truths - and also why so many of these belief groups cut themselves off from the ideas of outsiders, or work so hard at inoculating themselves against outside ideas.

The real kicker is that any of these beliefs might actually be true - there is rarely a clear way to outright disprove them - and the world would be mostly the same with a liberal interpretation of them. The main difference would be that one of these groups would be correct, and that we should teach their, and only their glorious revealed story - but when looking at all of their stories, there would be no way of choosing which one had evidence that made only them correct.

So, I can't fault him for his belief, or his attempt to push his exclusive truth - but I'll keep my technology, and listen to other perspectives all the same. I'd prefer not to believe in any gods that would punish me for that, thank you very much.

Ryan Fenton

Wait... (4, Funny)

WillyWanker (1502057) | about 4 years ago | (#33871808)

So now I can't jerk off OR play video games? Damn dude, WTH am I supposed to do with my free time?

LOL (2, Funny)

Iburnaga (1089755) | about 4 years ago | (#33871818)

Is anyone else laughing about this coming from the bloody pope of all people?

Imagine that ... (2, Insightful)

LoudMusic (199347) | about 4 years ago | (#33871840)

Imagine that, the slashdot crowd would rather take shots at religion than assess what the man is actually saying.

No where is he saying that technology is bad. No where is he saying that technology will be the doom of us all. No where is he saying repent ye sinners! He's saying be careful with your gadgets and how you let them augment your life. I believe Asimov had similar warnings.

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