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Catholic Bishops Support Net Neutrality

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the nobody-expects-the-internet-inquisition dept.

Government 304

An anonymous reader writes "This week, in their annual 'State of the Union' address, the President of the US Catholic Bishops Conference spoke on a number of issues, in particular a surprisingly strong statement in favor on Net Neutrality. 'As the Internet continues to grow in its influence and prominence in Americans' lives, we support legislation and federal regulations that ensure equal access to the Internet for all, including religious and non-profit agencies, as well as those in more sparsely populated or economically distressed areas. True net neutrality is necessary for people to flourish in a democratic society,' said Archbishop Timothy Dolan. It's always interesting to see the Catholic Church joining in a crusade that means so much to so many Slashdotters!"

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Crusade? (3, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937198)

It's always interesting to see the Catholic Church joining in a crusade that means so much to so many Slashdotters!

Crusade? Slashdotters were expecting the Spanish Inquisition!

Re:Crusade? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937208)

NOBODY expects....oh all right, maybe a few slashdotters might, come to think of it.

Yes, well, (ahem) carry on then.

Re:Crusade? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937210)

Sad, very sad and ironic. In this day and age, having to defend Technology with the help of Religion.

Re:Crusade? (1)

TafBang (1971954) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937294)

the irony

Re:Crusade? (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937622)

Sad, very sad and ironic. In this day and age, having to defend Technology with the help of Religion.

Even sadder that this story suggests the Church is actually FOR net neutrality as we understand it today.

They are pontificating (sorry) about net ACCESS.

They totally miss the main points of net neutrality such as traffic shaping, throttling, or prioritizing your own traffic over competitive traffic.

I don't see this as a strong statement at all, simply lip service leaving me wondering if they truly understand the issue.

Re:Crusade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938012)

it's really the same thing in a different gradation, dude, relax. consider shaping on a 0 to 100 scale -- censorship is 100% shaping. And so is access-denial or impediment.

Re:Crusade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938108)

Take what you can get. The Church is interested in access to places where they'd normally be shut out by the government. They probably don't understand the finer points or don't care about the economics anyway. ...but now that the church is in your pocket, you can confront the politicians with a simple "Your priest stands with us, why wont you?".
Its a solid gateway to a broader net neutrality law.

Religion defending technology...catholics built it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937650)

So why is it strange the catholic church is pro-technology ? Yes, they do find that technology must be moral, and even research must err on the side of morality (therefore - e.g. no killing embryos for research). The large majority of our technology was developed by catholic clergy. From the laws of physics to things like glasses (even now the catholic church is sponsoring Stephen Hawking - read his book once - and doubtless many others), and generally any and all technology we knew about before 1900. Especially in the medical field the catholic church is extremely well-represented. Without the catholic church, there would not be any universities, nor would we even have knowledge of the classical age in the first place.

The catholic church has been an institution of learning and knowledge during all of it's existence. During several time periods it has been the *only* such institution. It is not only the oldest organization that still exists, but is also the one of the very, very few organizations that have managed to avoid destroying all the knowledge they had available. (most "civilizations", from islam, to chinese, to mayas, incas have destroyed all their own knowledge, and they almost all did it to themselves)

Re:Religion defending technology...catholics built (2)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937988)

The catholic church has been an institution of learning and knowledge during all^H^H^H most of it's existence.

Fixedeth that for you,
yrs
Messrs. Martin Luther & Galileo Galilei

Re:Crusade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937214)

well at least they finally agreed that Galileo was right

Re:Crusade? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937338)

Well. They did not really never disagree...In fact they even agreed openly with him at the start of the quarrel. But they did not give a damn about the scientific problems. They did accuse him but because he directly disregarded the then big temporal power of the church. It was a political attack, really, not a religious or scientific one what was done to Galileo.

This is no excuse anyway. In fact it could be considered an even bigger accusation to church.

Re:Crusade? (3, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937682)

Pfff ... the catholic church was perfectly happy to have Galileo be a scientist telling people how the sun was the center of the universe. They even paid for this, and in fact Galileo was hardly the first or only scientist taking this position ... it's just that Galileo wanted to be a politician and screwed up badly.

So imho, neither are innocent in this. Science and politics should not mix, and that means politicians stay out of science AND scientists stay out of politics (and by that I mean the people, obviously politicians basing decisions on science is not wrong. It's just people having power in both the scientific and political communities have a serious conflict of intrest [slashdot.org] ).

Of course, neither is innocent. Religion and politics also shouldn't mix.

Re:Crusade? (-1, Troll)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937358)

Our main Weapon is the Bible. The Bible and this scepter, that's two. Our TWO main weapons are The Bible and this scepter, and Incense. That's THREE. Our THREE Main weapons are The Bible, this scepter, and incense' and rampant child abuse.
FOUR. Our FOUR main weapons are The Bible, this scepter, incense, rampant child abuse and a culture of silence regarding it.
FIVE. Our FIVE Main weapons are The Bible, this scepter, incense, rampant child abuse, a culture of silence regarding it and wanting Africa to die of AIDS so that we can all move there after the apocalypse.

I've said too much.
*waves in the Vatican Assassin Squad*
use the needles

Re:Crusade? (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937552)

" ... use the needles ... "

Don't you mean the comfy chair?

Re:Crusade? (0)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937404)

Say what you really mean!

we support legislation and federal regulations that ensure equal access to the Internet for all. Especially alter boys with web-cams.

Re:Crusade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937500)

it`s altar boy... I`m usually not such a grammar nazi but you made a really exoteric reference to mind control, so better if you use the proper word next time.

Re:Crusade? (1)

Alterboy (1980060) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937602)

>we support legislation and federal regulations that ensure equal access to the Internet for all. Especially alter boys with web-cams.

it`s altar boy... I`m usually not such a grammar nazi but you made a really exoteric reference to mind control, so better if you use the proper word next time.

This is a job for.... ALTERBOY!

Re:Crusade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937452)

They can't let people go around capping their p2p alter-boy swimsuit edition downloads.

Re:Crusade? (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937608)

It's always interesting to see the Catholic Church joining in a crusade that means so much to so many Slashdotters!

Crusade? Slashdotters were expecting the Spanish Inquisition!

NOBODY EXPECTS THE...wait? were?

Re:Crusade? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937852)

Well, it all got started like this:

Mr Devious: Well, Father Morrison, in your terms of use (finds dogeared piece of paper in a coat pocket) you'll see quite clearly that none of your outbound packets will ever reach their destination.
Father Morrison: Oh dear.
Devious: You see, you unfortunately plumped for our 'Noconnect' network service, which, you know, if you never connect is very worthwhile...but you had to connect, and, well, there it is.
Morrison: Oh dear, oh dear.
Devious: Look... Father... I hate to see a man cry, so shove off out the office, there's a good chap.
Morrison: (leaning out the window) Help, help!
Bishop: Ok Devious, don't move!
Devious: The Bishop!

Cherry-picking moral authority (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937952)

Should we now do what Catholic bishops recommend regarding abortion rights, homosexuality, and covering up sexual abuse?

Re:Crusade? (1)

muzicman (1148101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938016)

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938058)

They need to make sure they can get unlimited photos of naked boys.

With friends like that... (1, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937212)

With friends like that, who needs enemies?

All in good/bad humour.... (2, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937410)

With friends like that, who needs enemies?

It should read:
With friends like that, who needs enemas?

Re:With friends like that... (-1, Troll)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937624)

Now we really have support amongst pedophiles. Great...

Re:With friends like that... (0)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937660)

Indeed. They're the ones who originally promoted the whole idea of copyright. They wanted to keep control of the Bible, stop people from making unauthorized copies. The excuse was that it was very easy to make and perpetuate errors with hand copying, and they wanted to make sure that didn't happen. The fact that such a policy also helped maintain their considerable power was glossed over.

And here we are today. The Bible is almost the first example we think of when speaking of books that are not copyrighted, and shouldn't be copyrighted. While the biggest beneficiaries of copyright are those merchants of sin and depravity in Hollywood. Well, when was the last time the Church was accused of being smart and forward thinking? Some time in the 1400s?

If the Church is going to take a stand on Net Neutrality, and exonerate Galileo, shouldn't they look into rectifying this centuries old error on copyright?

Re:With friends like that... (4, Informative)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937862)

Indeed. They're the ones who originally promoted the whole idea of copyright. They wanted to keep control of the Bible, stop people from making unauthorized copies.

[citation needed]

I always understood the Statute of Anne to be about protecting the vested interests of publishers sympathetic to the crown. And anyway, Queen Anne was a protestant, not a Catholic, so Catholic lobbying is unlikely to have been effective.

Why wouldn't they support net neutrality? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937220)

Getting normal speed on that child porn is very important...

Fuck the Church (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937222)

Fuck the elite. Fuck the lords, Fuck the Kings, Fuck the dictators

Re:Fuck the Church (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937250)

Fuck Anonymous Coward! Oh, wait...

Re:Fuck the Church (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937260)

Fuck the fucking fuckers?

Crivens! (0)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937300)

Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master!

WE WILLNAE BE FOOLED AGAIN

Re:Fuck the Church (2)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937626)

Fuck the elite. Fuck the lords, Fuck the Kings, Fuck the dictators

Are they all cute?

You may be surprised (2, Interesting)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937228)

For the most hypocritical church on earth they're surprisingly progressive with some matters. I don't think they're that keen on Intelligent design either.

Re:You may be surprised (5, Informative)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937246)

No, Intelligent design is a radical Protestant scam. It is an attempt to save the Genesis account of creation at any cost, because if they don't, there's no original sin for Jesus to be sacrificed for rendering the whole of Christianity meaningless.

Re:You may be surprised (5, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937312)

On the other hand, the progressive Catholic church has moved on from the myth of original sin and has accepted that he died for Net Neutrality.

Re:You may be surprised (4, Insightful)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937362)

That's if you take Genesis literally, which proponents of I.D do. Not all people think that way. Only people who want to ram their spirituality down someone else's throat.

I think Catholicisms objection to I.D is a matter of doctrine, that it actually limits the possibilities of the universe (which is described as the glory of God in the bible). Anything that limits the glory of God is blasphemous, therefore Intelligent Design is blasphemous.

Re:You may be surprised (5, Informative)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937476)

Actually the official position of the Catholic Church is that the Big Bang and evolution are the best models currently available to describe the universe that God created, and the process of how we came into being. There is no conflict between evolution and Catholic teaching, and the Big Bang was originally put forward by a priest, but dismissed by much of the rest of the scientific community as being too much like a "God did it" theory.

ID isn't blasphemous to Catholics because it's limiting God. ID is just wrong because A) it isn't science. B) it assumes taking the BIble literally. Catholics theologians are fully aware of how the Bible has changed, is sometimes self-contradictory, and has been reinterpreted over the centuries, and so taking a specific translation and treating it as word-for-word literal truth is a simplistic and juvenile approach.

"How the Bible has changed" (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937928)

are fully aware of how the Bible has changed

The Bible, both sides, actually has the most copies in the original ancient languages of any book from that era. It is actually the most widely copied book from the ancient world we have. The variations of the original versions are insignificant. Furthermore, the Old Testament in particular has been very well-preserved. The Jews did an unbelievably good job there. We have copies of Genesis that go back over 3,000 years that are the same as copies from 1AD and the middle ages.

Most people who say "the Bible has been changed" are speaking out of ignorance. The Catholic church relied on the Vulgate which is a trashy translation into Latin. Protestants used to rely on the King James version which was "slightly less bad" but based on the Vuglate IIRC. Modern evangelicals actually use the New International Version in most cases, which is a direct translation from the ancient texts into modern English done by scholars of those language (who were substantially better than those that worked for King James).

The Bible sitting on my shelf is about as accurate of a translation as you can get from what Paul and Luke actually wrote in Koine Greek and Aramaic.

Re:"How the Bible has changed" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938082)

Perhaps the text itself hasn't changed, but I'm sure the text's interpretation has surely been adapted "for modern audiences".

Re:"How the Bible has changed" (3, Informative)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938136)

Yeah. I think the Vulgate was the main source for the KJV translators.

It's problematic to use the term "original version" when discussing the Bible. At best we tend to have what would be described as the oldest sources available, and in some cases these oldest sources appear themselves descended from earlier unknown sources. I'm not sure what you're defining as insignificant here, and whether you're talking about the canonical Bible or its individual books?

The Bible, as in a canon of collected works, has been pretty stable for a long time now, but it's not as if 2000 years ago the Bible fell from the sky in its current form. There have been a number of canons and apocrypha. It took hundreds of years to arrive at what would be almost universally accepted as the canon we know today. That canon itself has been pretty consistent for at least 1500 years, and the KJV dates from the 16th or 17th century century (can't recall which), so it is wrong to claim that the *Bible* itself has changed a great deal. It is however perfectly correct to highlight the incredible quantity of apocryphal works and what appear to be later additions to individual books. I think the more important thing to look at is how interpretations of the Bible have changed.

I like to use KJV and NIV side-by-side. NIV is a bit dry and at times over-simplified, but far easier to comprehend. KJV alone can be a bit misleading, such as in Exodus (I forget the verse) where the word "gift" in the KJV is more correctly translated as "bribe". That wouldn't make sense to a KJV reader unless they were very careful to read the verse in its correct context.

Re:"How the Bible has changed" (1)

giles hogben (1145597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938238)

Personally I'd be ashamed to have a Bible on my shelf - it's full bigotry and exhortations to violence and sexism. For example: "“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die:"

Re:"How the Bible has changed" (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938188)

Furthermore, the Old Testament in particular has been very well-preserved. The Jews did an unbelievably good job there.

A large amount of Christians worldwide disagree. The Orthodox Church uses the Septuagint because it is believed that the pointing in the Masoretic Text was altered in order to suppress Christian interpretations. As far as they are concerned, a reliable Hebrew text is no longer available.

We have copies of Genesis that go back over 3,000 years that are the same as copies from 1AD and the middle ages.

I'm sorry, but that's just bollocks. The only attestations of the Hebrew language we have from that period are epigraphical. Biblical texts date from centuries later.

The Catholic church relied on the Vulgate which is a trashy translation into Latin.

"Trashy"? The Vulgate was actually a polished, literary translation that was meant to supersede the amateur translations that Latin-speaking Christians had used to date. The Protestant reformers and the Eastern Orthodox Church had a great deal of respect for Jerome's work (they simply didn't think it intelligible to their modern audiences).

The Bible sitting on my shelf is about as accurate of a translation as you can get from what Paul and Luke actually wrote in Koine Greek and Aramaic.

An Aramaic ur-text is a controversial theory, and usually only ascribed to the Gospel of Matthew. Paul and Luke were Hellenized and spoke Greek as their mother tongue. They likely wrote nothing in Aramaic, and even if they did, there's no manuscript of it to translate from.

Re:"How the Bible has changed" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938200)

The NIV has a very evangelical spin on it, it is not a direct translation as you say (it is a combination of formal and dynamic equivalence). The NRSV (which is a formal equivalence translation) is much closer (textually) to the original texts, and is the most widely used by scholars.

Re:You may be surprised (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937962)

Actually the official position of the Catholic Church...

Yeah I've made the same point many times before originally made by Pope John Paul II [umkc.edu] . So if I.D is not evolution how is what you are saying different? I said That's if you take Genesis literally, which proponents of I.D do.. Sure I can accept that no one knows if the Big Bang happened or not. Are you agreeing with me that I.D is not evolution and that the catholic church are not too keen on I.D, or are you trying to make a different point?

ID isn't blasphemous to Catholics because it's limiting God.

Well actually ID is quite offensive to some catholics. It's one thing to say it's wrong because it's not science and quite another to say it's offensive because it's blasphemous. You see science can also be looked on as a tool for discovering the nature of an unlimited universe much more amazing than any single group of people can conceive. Not everyone has the same beliefs as a stick shaking Evagelist.

ID is just wrong because A) it isn't science. B) it assumes taking the BIble literally.

You mean like if you take Genesis literally, which proponents of I.D do?

and so taking a specific translation and treating it as word-for-word literal truth is a simplistic and juvenile approach.

If you read the bible as a work of philosophy then it's hard to digest without reading it in context. Ignorance is the enemy so I do hope you're not directing that remark at me. It takes intelligence just to read the bible, which is a book about humanity, not science. You don't read the bible to gather knowledge, you read it to learn about human nature and hopefully accumulate some wisdom on the way.

Re:You may be surprised (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937508)

It is an attempt to save the Genesis account of creation at any cost, because if they don't, there's no original sin for Jesus to be sacrificed for rendering the whole of Christianity meaningless.

The Christian account of sin entering the world does not depend on a literal understanding of Genesis. See Richard Swinburne's Responsibility and Atonement [amazon.com] (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989) for an argument that it matters little whether "Adam" was the literal figure in Genesis or simply one of our hominid ancestors. Also, the belief of Jesus' crucifixion as purely sacrificial is a late (Anselmian) idea that resonated with the Protestants but is alien to much of patristic thought.

Re:You may be surprised (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937372)

In fact roman church has no sympathy for intelligent design, young earth mith, creation myths and so on.

They accept evolution theory too. Since evolution theory has no provision to say that there is any objective and gives no characterization to evolution church takes it's freedom to just say that it could be God to be driving it. The genesis could just be interpreted to be an allegoric account.

Roman catholic church is not stupid. They just want to stop scientists from studying human genetics(no problem with animal and vegetable ones though) because their beliefs tell them so. I disagree but can understand them

Re:You may be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937906)

Roman catholic church is not stupid.

An organization headed by a Hitler Youth, who has labeled transsexuals as abominations; who continues to fight against equality for my fellow citizens based solely on where those citizens stick their genitals?

You're right. The Roman Catholic Church isn't stupid.

It's fscking retarded.

Re:You may be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937462)

For the most hypocritical church on earth they're surprisingly progressive with some matters.

Of course they're keen on net neutrality. How else will they trade the kiddie-pr0n?

Re:You may be surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937758)

Any organization that has existed for 2,000 years is bound to be a bit hypocritical.

The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (0, Flamebait)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937232)

The Internet is where Religion comes to die. Because its too easy for actual facts about the religion and actual history of Religion to be disseminated in a uncensored form. Where all the revisionist history can be exposed. I know tons more about Christianity than the average church goer thanks to the Youtube Atheist movement.

Re:The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (-1, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937332)

As if that ever worked.

Indoctrination always beats facts. The only way to get rid of religion is to prevent religious "education" of kids until they have capability to critically evaluate extraordinary claims. Would probably reduce numbers of rapes by priests, too, but that's just a side benefit.

Re:The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937348)

Check Thunderf00t's subscriber base.

Re:The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937638)

You'll just be swapping one indoctrination for another.

I doubt religion will die as long as humans are alive. If you believe animals (except for humans and their more recent ancestors) don't have religion, then clearly religion emerged in humans, outcompeted the default of "no religion" and has even thrived in the past thousands of years.

Yes there are a small minority of atheists, but most atheists don't appear to have much of an indoctrination, education and conversion plan (and so far such plans from atheists have been rather evil and negative in comparison to more benign religions). So how will the ratios increase?

Far more people while not being very religious, are not interested in getting rid of religion (they're more interested in music, TV, Farmville, money etc ;) ).

And many seem to need to feel part of a Greater Thing. Whether it's religion or some "Greener than Thou movement", or a football team, or Star Trek. You take religion away from them, and something else will rush into the hole and look practically the same thing.

Youtube (3, Interesting)

tempmpi (233132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937394)

Actually you don't, because what the "youtube atheist movement" doesn't understand is that religion is and always was mostly a social interaction thing than the interpretation of holy books, dogmas and so on. You may know more about the later, but the churchgoer knows way more about the practical and social aspects of religion, e.g.: how it feels to sing or pray with a whole church.
Also the history knowledge of the "youtube atheist movement" shows distinctive selective knowledge. E.g.: non-religious reasons for the crusades or about the killing of believers by atheists in the name of the reason during the french revolution.

Re:Youtube (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937572)

The majority of the "youtube atheist movement" (which is not any kind of official group) is made up of people who did used to sing and pray, so know exactly what it feels like.

Re:Youtube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938084)

The "Youtube Atheist movement" is made up of people who do not know God, and have never known God. You cannot say you know God, then later say He doesn't exist.

Re:Youtube (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937676)

Perhaps they forget that until 1964 mass was given in Latin!

Re:Youtube (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937876)

The tu quoque logical fallacy. Which is pretty much what the "which is most ethical, religion or atheism" debate usually degenerates into. You can't generalise.

(Since atheism as a label can have many different connotations, for the duration of this post "Atheism" = a disbelief in all religions)

Religions mandate a variety of things, some of them murderous, repressive or genocidal. Some religions have no agressive mandates. Some variants of some religions have moved away from the murderous parts of their holy books, and re-interpreted them to mean something else, or just turn a blind eye to them.

Atheism as a concept mandates nothing, and has no authoritarian organisation in and of itself. This however did not stop some totalitarians using it as a supplemental excuse, on top of their political ideology, to commit genocide.

If people want an excuse to murder their opponents, religion provides a potent excuse to get everyone else on board. Another potent excuse is political ideology. If you want to fight religion with politics, you can invoke atheism as part of your propaganda - overall though as a concept, atheism is ethically neutral. Some religious beliefs are benign, with positive sentiments behind them. Some are ethically dubious and some outright sociopathic and dangerous to society in general.

A lot of religious people just aren't aware of the dubious parts of their religion's dogma, knowing only the positive feelings they get from the social cohesion from celebrating something they share with like-minded people on a regular basis.

Re:Youtube (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937922)

Actually that's been noticed for quite a while now.

Hence the recent atheist campaigns aimed at people who stopped believing but don't admit it in public, and the interest in building some sort of community around atheism. There's quite a large amount of people in churches that aren't there for the religion, but for the social aspects.

Re:The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (2)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937418)

Just because it is exposed on net, does not mean that people are goign to watch or even just look for it. And why should they if they are happy with their faith? And people unhappy with faith/who lost it/who never believed ... they never needed help of net.

On the other hand, church incredibly profits from social networking amongst young people. Net allows them to stay connected and to connect. Priests can have blogs, couples can meet on special dating sites. People can "like" bible verses and share photos from charity event on flickr, tweet "last mass was great"...

Re:The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937554)

I know tons more about Christianity than the average church goer thanks to the Youtube Atheist movement.

You may know more about certain aspects of Christianity, but I'd wager that you also subscribe to some urban myths or oversimplifications. Internet atheism is in many cases a circle-jerk that is at odds with serious scholarship. For example, so very often one encouters claims in internet atheist circles that Jesus never existed, that he's entirely fictional. Even atheist historians believe overwhelmingly that a historical personage did exist, even if myth has accreted around him. The claim that Christians copied Christmas from a pagan holiday pops up a lot too, even though recent research suggests a strong possibility that it was the other way around. All those comparisons between Jesus' death on the cross and e.g. the Egyptian gods were already answered by Justin Martyr 1800 years ago.

Furthermore, Internet atheists seem to be all rah-rah for the New Atheist demagogues like Dawkins and Hitchens, who dismiss Christianity out of hand, instead of philosophers of religion who have the necessary training and who take inquiry seriously. I have a lot of respect for atheist philosophers like Hume and Mackie who examined theistic arguments carefully and responded rigorously, but that kind of careful argumentation is ignored by the New Atheists and their acolytes because it's too much work.

Re:The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937834)

... The claim that Christians copied Christmas from a pagan holiday pops up a lot too, even though recent research suggests a strong possibility that it was the other way around.

[Citation needed] There simply exists so much useless studies that I can't take that for granted without reference. People really should disclose their faith in these arguments, someone might consider you as biased since you openly advertise being Christian in your webpage.

Atheism (or agnosticism) strictly does not have a problem being biased since it does not state anything, just that there is no proof. So please, again, where is your reference?

Re:The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938132)

The Philocalian Calendar provides the first mention of both Christmas and Sol Invictus. As they are first attested at the same time, it's hard to say which influenced which. The Roman Empire in the 4th century had a fascinating competition between religions, with Christianity becoming popular in urban centres, Mithraism a fad in the army, and a handful of people even trying to "return to the sources" in pagan worship. An unqualified claim that religion X took custom Y from religion Z is an oversimplification of a complex and murky period.

Atheism (or agnosticism) strictly does not have a problem being biased since it does not state anything, just that there is no proof.

Atheist philosophers, after they make a case for atheism, often draw conclusions for metaethics. Atheism does not stop at simply saying there's no proof.

Re:The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938052)

Internet atheism is in many cases a circle-jerk that is at odds with serious scholarship.

That claim can also be levelled at just about anything on the Internet though, atheism is by no means unique in that. In almost every group there exist a greater or lesser number of people who just parrot whatever soundbites they happen to think sound the best without stopping to investigate their veracity.

that kind of careful argumentation is ignored by the New Atheists and their acolytes because it's too much work

Again, the only theists I've ever argued with do the equivalent, arguing based purely on faith with no reference to anything else.

That said I am not attempting to argue against your main assertion, that the majority of atheists who think they know Christianity in detail almost certainly do not.

Re:The Internet is where Religion comes to die. (1)

duggi (1114563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937908)

You have just shown you do not understand anything about god. It is a construct used to explain a lot of phenomenon, predominantly social and personal. It works a lot of times (and explains coincidences pretty nicely :)) and thats why it still exists, even in the greatest minds.
Just because you know more about christianity and its bluffs(?) does not make you an atheist. True atheism is a philosophy, and is very well studied and documented. In fact, it is an integral part of some oriental religions and Hinduism too.
Religion has nothing to with facts, it is belief. As much as people want to know, people will also want to believe. And thats why, religion is never going to die. Check for yourself what you believe, and how much of it is as irrational as religion. I bet you will be surprised.

Funny you should say that (2, Informative)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937968)

Because the Internet dispelled a number of myths I had about "how bad the Church was..."

1) Did you know that the Spanish Inquisition was run by the Spanish government after the King blackmailed the Pope by threatening to withdraw Spanish troops from Rome if he didn't get his way?

2) Did you know that the first Crusade was actually a response to 500 years of unrelenting Islamic aggression Christian states?

3) Have you ever read the tenants of the "church" that Hitler proposed as a replacement for the authentic Catholic and Lutheran religions?

3b) Did you know that Hitler actually practiced a modern form of German paganism and in private openly hated Christianity with a passion?

4) Did you know that Galileo was actually invited as an honored guest by the Pope and was actually imprisoned only after he behaved like a total douchebag toward the Pope (where similar behavior would have warranted execution if directed at a medieval king)?

Re:Funny you should say that (2)

everithe (915847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938170)

Do you happen to have any citations for these?

Really the best we can do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937234)

Does thier backing mean something positive? I'd feel better with the backing of a group that didn't have a reputation of being so out of date, with a closeted liking for boys. Sorry I'd rather an endorsement from just about anyone else really. " 9 out of 10 convicts really like Walley Toothpaste! "

Re:Really the best we can do? (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937730)

9 out of 10 convicts really like Walley Toothpaste!

Citation Needed.

They're using a different definition of Neutrality (2)

igb (28052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937248)

They're alluding to equality of access (for example, subsidy to get penetration into rural areas at rates at least comparable to dense urban, and hosting on non-discriminatory basis to ensure freedom of --- in their case religious --- speech), rather than what Slashdotters mean by net neutrality.

No, it is the same (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937536)

First they came for Google, and I did not protest that Google was treated differently on the web, because I was not Google.

Then they came for the farmers, and I did not protest that farmers could not get the internet, because I was not a farmer.

Then they came for protest sites, and I did not protest because... welll I don't protest and who cares those trouble makers can no longer afford an online presence.

Then they came for me and even if there was anyone left to protest, there was no place left to do it. Like the newspapers, the radio and TV before, the internet had become corporate run, purely for profit and removed any usage of the voiceless to be heard.

The Internet is not just a gimmick anymore, it has become as essential for democracy, freedom and equality as education, food and medicine. We have strict regulation to ensure equal access to lifes essentials. I think it might be time to put access to free information on an equal basis as a basic human right. Better that then let the American ISP who are without principle ruin yet another media.

Re:No, it is the same (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937836)

Well spoken! About time for a right to Internet access [wikimedia.org] ... It's a required step for net neutrality. It's not too late to be the 6th country to declare this a basic human right!
Strangely even France is on the list who if countries who have legal precedent for this right, especially given the recent three strikes and you're off the net move...

Re:They're using a different definition of Neutral (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937798)

I agree. They are are trying hard to refocus the argument from equality of suppliers to equality of consumers. Totally different issues.
Sadly, ppl read the words 'net neutrality', but disregard what is said.

Who cares? (4, Insightful)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937252)

Honestly? It's not about WHO supports net neutrality, it's that its idea isn't hijacked, bastardized, and killed by politicians and lobbyists. Spread the information, defeat misinformation. I couldn't care less that a religious organization approves or agrees.

Re:Who cares? (1, Flamebait)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937374)

The idea is just fine. It's actually the only thing that makes sense, because otherwise there would be nothing but paid spam and DRM'ed cable TV on the Internet.

Politicians who are trying to play on crap about "government regulation" are welcome to build their Libertarian paradise in Somalia.

Honeslty (0)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937256)

Who cares? Even for the religious, does this matter? Why would it matter at all?

This is so cool... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937270)

Now all those not in favour of net neutrality will finally be condemned to hell!!

the way to future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937272)

1) church popolarity decreases.
2) the actual pope tends to use a lot of discipline
3) orient nations, like china, choose to control culture, and specifically, internet.
4) china president goes to usa, and mr. obama receives him in a much traditional way.

Re:the way to future. (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937576)

5) Profit?

Catholic Bishops (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937274)

The reason they support net neutrality is to guarantee that their ability to download boy-fucking porn at high speed will not be impinged upon.

Gotta be a religion-hater (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937280)

I wonder if the bishops would speak out against regulation that would give priority to traffic to and from "religious and non-profit agencies".
I also wonder whether they regard atheïst websites as "religious and non-profit agencies".

Re:Gotta be a religion-hater (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937296)

It isn't about that.. they're just worried that priests may be charged more for access to the good kiddie porn sites!

This is NOT a surprise... (4, Insightful)

stretch0611 (603238) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937284)

Religious groups have long been in favor of Net Neutrality; they need to get their message out to the masses just like individuals. Many of them fear not being heard if censorship is allowed. In addition, many would not like paying exorbitant fees like the access fees that network providers want to to charge to carry their traffic.

It is the mass media and the corporate executives that want to drown out any voice but their own. They want to drive up the price of access to for their own greed and to avoid having to compete on a level playing field. How can anyone afford Netflix if Comcast forces their bandwidth costs to skyrocket. The same goes for VOIP services or any future idea that may compete with their monopoly (or duopoly as is the case.)
 

Reality Check (1)

marc_the_kiwi (1680284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937302)

Seriously, am I going to be the first to say it. The Catholic church has hidden masses of abuse in many countries (my experience from living 4+ years in Ireland, and a first hand account from a close friend). I am not saying it is prevalent across the board by any means, and I don't wish to take away from the many, many, many wonderful people within the Catholic faith that do so much good. But is there a link there or is it just me? Neutral, fair enough, but that may entail censorship issues too. Just sayin'.

And apparently on the 8th day... (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937342)

On the 8th day God created teh Internet.
And He saw that it was good and fair, and neutral. And his minions supported it. Then twisted the original idea. Then wrote many books about it. Which were translated. And edited. And then it was not so good anymore. But nobody dared to admit that.

-- Call me an offtopic flaming troll - I just had to get this out of my system :-)

not interesting (0)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937412)

It's always interesting to see the Catholic Church joining in a crusade that means so much to so many Slashdotters!"

No, it isn't. The catholic church has an opinion on everything, it goes with their pretension of being the spiritual, how-to-live-your-life authority. No matter what the topic, you will easily find someone from the church who makes a statement about it.

And, like with everything else, those of us who've discarded that pretension and the rest of the nonsense, I couldn't care less. It's a random opinion from someone who may or may not know anything about it, but the title "Bishop" is in no way a qualifier. If he happens to have some other qualifications, I may care, but in the context of net neutrality, bishop or random guy from the shopping mall is essentially the same thing.

So can we stop making those medieval dinosaurs more important than they are, and concentrate on opinions from people who matter?

Re:not interesting (4, Insightful)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937524)

I'd say that official stances from an organization that has approximately 1/5th of the world's population as members certainly matters. Just because you are dismissive of the organization or disagree with their message them doesn't change that. Pretending otherwise is the exact same failed juvenile mentality that led America to ignore Communist China up until Nixon.

The difference in the Council of Bishops vs. some random person, is that Bishops are an established position of leadership and authority within the organization. You may not care of the random guy from the shopping mall has to say about an issue, but you might care more about what the general manager of the mall might say, and you certainly would care what the Board of Directors of Westfield Shopping Centers Inc. might say, because it reflects where the organization as a whole might be headed or might be directing their efforts.

Dismissively ignoring their statements simply because you don't like who they are and what you think they stand for is short-sided and naieve.

Re:not interesting (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937556)

I'd say that official stances from an organization that has approximately 1/5th of the world's population as members certainly matters.

At least over here in Europe, most "members" of the church are members for two reasons and two reasons alone: Marriage and funeral. The number of people actually active in any sense is maybe 10% of that. The influence of the church is massive, but overblown. Most of its presence in organisations and political structures (Europe is a lot less segregated in this than the US, with the church having official presence in many government groups, like the local equivalents of the FCC and the likes) is historical.

The church certainly matters. But its opinion on anything modern does not, because everyone with half a brain, even those who are on paper members of it, realizes they know nothing about these things that is worth listening to. That is from what I gather a very, very widespread opinion. My own is in fact less neutral, I actually think they are corrosive and their opinions and actions are dangerous.

You may not care of the random guy from the shopping mall has to say about an issue, but you might care more about what the general manager of the mall might say, and you certainly would care what the Board of Directors of Westfield Shopping Centers Inc. might say,

Actually, no. Unless it is on matters of shopping malls, of course. But being director of a shopping mall does not confer any authority on unrelated matters. When it comes to, say, high-energy physics, I will take the opinion of any unknown actualy physicist active in that field over the shopping mall director, the pope or the president any day.

anon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937532)

oh men, church is on our side. we loose

Do not trust them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937656)

They speak for human rights, and then you find that what they really want is the right to molest boys. Sorry, but when a bunch pedophiles OR those that ignore those that are pedophiles just because they are friends/previous lovers, I have ZERO respect for their opinion.
Yeah, flame way. But for another decade, we are going to find out that the church has plenty of them left.

Catholic churn: always self-interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937690)

Wow, way to take a debate on:
  (1) Preferential treatment of bandwitdh, vs
  (2) No barriers to access,
and make it about:
  (3) Everyone should have the same internet access.
Way to go Roman Catholics.

IT IS NOT ABOUT NET NEUTRALITY. (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937698)

If you read the letter, you will see that it is NOT about net Neutrality. It is about trying to get net access to all, basically, the poor.

This has NOTHING to do with ensuring that there is no discrimination amongst providers. It has everything with ensuring that there is no discrimination amongst consumers in ability to get to it. THat is all.

This is a BIG difference.

The odd thing is that the church could simply pay for the access for their poor parishioners. But, they do not want to do that. They want the GOV. to do that.

In other news... (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937742)

IT technicians support transubstantiation.

you american /.ers are always biased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34937776)

You - geeks - love to have things labeled and clear, it makes the life much more easy. And this is a very good place to plant and grow some totalitary social system. Watch yourselves - you accept (sometimes subliminaly) what the media collect and present for fun and profit and in the result, you mess up the reality and some other's bad feelings. Now you are the lone fighters for freedom, but the good freedom, not the bad one and my deep but sour satisfaction will come 20 years later, when you fight for the rights for pedos, who you witchhunt now. It is not possible, it is necessary.

neutral transport (0)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937788)

of child pornography....

It might hinder their peado (1)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 3 years ago | (#34937832)

grooming and hiding activities if they cant run at normal speed

It's always interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34938146)

to see the slow-moving, unresponsive behemoth that is the US government try to regulate technologies that evolve faster than they can pass the bill! It's even more interesting to watch lobbyists write these bills, since there's not a member of Congress who understands jack shit about anything. Only a type-A asshole of VERY low mental ability would run for Congress.

Given the (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34938252)

current public reputation of the Catholic Church, I'm not sure their support helps the cause much. I could see it being spun by Idiocrats as two dark forces joining in their pro-pedophillia advocacy. Stupider arguments have been made.
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