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SimChurch

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the it-has-been-one-week-since-my-last-virtual-confession dept.

Technology 606

Roland Piquepaille writes "It's Sunday and some of you might go to a church. But starting on May 11, and for a duration of three months, you'll be able to go to a virtual church. Only the building, with its altar and pews, will be virtual. The preacher, congregation and prayers will be real, according to this BBC News article, 'Glimpse inside the virtual church.' This experiment is launched by a Christian website, Ship of Fools, and will be named Church of Fools. Even with such a foolish name, the virtual church project has been approved by the church hierarchy. This overview contains other details and references about the Church of Fools project."

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fp (0, Redundant)

dputzter82 (552562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899704)

fp

note to moderators (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899742)

the first post is not redundant by its very nature

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899843)

You're saying that the Book of Genesis was God's idea of a "first post" or something? :)

WWJD? (5, Interesting)

monstroyer (748389) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899706)

I'm torn.

On one hand, as a coder, sitting in front of the computer for hours on end I can attest to the meditative state the computer puts me in. I'm not a practicing catholic, but was raised one. Church never really had me contemplating as much as the cathode ray bombarding my brain with it's "green soothing light does". Of course i was a child.

On the other, if this virtual church has "pop up ads" and a whole other pile of garbage, what would jesus do? I mean in the bible he got angry [ubcaustin.org] because the holy place was being disrespected, because the spiritual was being commercialized, because the Temple was being desecrated by those who kill the holy and sell it...

Is this a joke?

Re:WWJD? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899788)

It's supported by "tithe" provided by some sort of internet money transfere service (paypal, etc).

So no, it's not being "desecrated."

I find the idea rather interesting. It's a decent step above those televised churches. You can actually ask people questions online. So, if it works for some people, more power to them, IMHO.

Re:WWJD? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899862)

Having revenue through pop-up ads or via a Paypal tithe proves once and for all this is a real church.

Re:WWJD? (5, Funny)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899822)

I'm not religious in the slightest. But I suppose if there were popups abound on the site, it would show once and for all that Mozilla is the holier browser. ;-)

Re:WWJD? (1)

ducatier (669395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899828)

AMEN

WJWD (5, Interesting)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899923)

Instead of putting up a virtual church, Jesus would go to those people's houses who couldn't otherwise go to church, and personally worship with them.

That's What Jesus Would Do.

Of all the non threatening social situations, I can't imagine a less threatening atmosphere than a church.

But who knows, maybe this will find it's niche.

As long as they don't junk it up with ads and demand membership fees or whatnot the only problem I see with it is that the internet is a wire monkey. It's bad to depend on the internet for your social fix. Real life person to person interaction is necessary. And of all the places to avoid it, church isn't it.

I also have to wonder how they're going to deal with trolls.

Ben

Have to wonder (4, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899709)

I'm not a religious man myself but I wonder how successful this will be.
I mean, i thought that meeting up in church wasn't just about the worship
but was about the social interaction with others - the feeling of unity with
your peers. How can an "SimChurch" emulate that side of it?

Watching a webcast or something like it just isn't the same. Anyone who's watched the BBC program "songs of praise" will back me up on that one.

Simon.

Re:Have to wonder (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899743)

the feeling of unity with
your peers. How can an "SimChurch" emulate that side of it?


Depending on the person, it won't.

However there's a whole world of intensely physically limited people, those with agorophobic disorders, panic/anxiety/social phobias, people who're unwell and incapacitated, the people who just CAN'T get out for some period of time in their life. I'm no churchgoer myself, but it keeps many people comforted. I see those groups benefitting.

Re:Have to wonder (-1, Flamebait)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899844)

However there's a whole world of intensely physically limited people, those with agorophobic disorders, panic/anxiety/social phobias, people who're unwell and incapacitated, the people who just CAN'T get out for some period of time in their life

Not to speak of those who choose not to spend time with people who's only motivation for being nice to each other for a change is the fear of eternal damnation.

Re:Have to wonder (2, Funny)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899754)

If I were the preacher, I would be more scared about how much script kiddies would come to deface this virtual church. I really hope he is aware of what can happen on the Internet these days...

Re:Have to wonder (2, Insightful)

tomboy17 (696672) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899884)

Actually, I think online communities can do a very good job creating social interactions with others, but from the images in the story, it sounds like their interface isn't going to do much good -- bells & whistles that will be slow on old machines and are unlikely to scale up well.

People online communicate best the way people unable to see or speak to one another always have -- via written language. Limiting written interaction to "speech bubbles" in a cartoon church seems a pretty foolish way to create a faith community. Why not work instead with a tried and tested medium like an IRC channel or list-serve?

But of course that kind of innovation wouldn't make it on slashdot. And in fact, I'd bet there are already plenty of clergy ministering to their flocks in this way.

Re:Have to wonder (3, Insightful)

chazwurth (664949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899897)

I think there's a lot of potential for real feelings of unity and other social 'emotions' in online communities, depending on how they're structured. I can tell you this much: in the past, I (err, my character?) have been a part of communities in online text-based RPGs, and those communities have felt extremely real. We all cared about one another, we hated our enemies, we spend absurd amounts of time supporting one another (which is why I stopped), etc. What made it work is that we all cared about what we were doing and we felt something was at stake. Obviously this was fantasy, but it worked for us. I imagine that a similar feeling of investment in online communities would have to be based on the same kind of feeling -- that is, the community would have to matter to the people involved, and reach them in a compelling way.

Re:Have to wonder (2, Insightful)

logique (600113) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899917)

I'm not a religious man myself but I wonder how successful this will be. I mean, i thought that meeting up in church wasn't just about the worship but was about the social interaction with others - the feeling of unity with your peers.

Sounds exactly what happens here at slashtot.
All together now: All hail the mighty Penguin...

Church of Fools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899712)

Sounds like a hoax made by atheists, but what do I know? :)

Religion is for the week-minded (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899713)

Grow up and face reality, people.

Re:Religion is for the week-minded (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899731)

Is proper spelling also for the "week minded"?

Re:Religion is for the week-minded (5, Funny)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899770)

Quite. We've got church once a week...

Re:Religion is for the week-minded (5, Funny)

fejikso (567395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899824)

And what is left for those of us that are month-minded?

Re:Religion is for the week-minded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899937)

There are more pro-religion books out there than anti-religion books. And how about the great leaders and scientists who were religious? If they were wrong about God, they could concievably be wrong about their other theories/inventions/achievements. But they were right in their achievements. Name one great composer or inventor who was an atheist. Couldn't do it? I didn't think so. So far the score's looking pretty good, eh? A billion Christian's can't all be wrong. Would you also tell Bush himself that he was wrong? I wouldn't put it past your kind...

Ever heard the phrase "time will tell?" Well time has indeed "told", still after 2000 years of people who believe in Jesus. And going strong.

talk about heresy (5, Funny)

QEDog (610238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899715)

Now you can go to church, read /. and watch pr0n all at the same time.

Re:talk about heresy (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899759)

Don't forget the booze...

Re:talk about heresy (4, Funny)

Xeo 024 (755161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899762)

Yeah, but the real question is will I still be safe from Catholic Priests?

Re:talk about heresy (-1, Flamebait)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899918)

>finishes confession And now son, for the sin of having sex before marriage and at such a young age, you must post the photos to alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.teen

Re:talk about heresy (5, Interesting)

salvorHardin (737162) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899809)

I wonder if the term 'holy ground' will be modified to include web addresses? Will a priest have to personally visit each URL and bless it?

Will immortals no longer be able to kill the Highlander whilst one of his mozilla tabs has the simchurch open?

Re:talk about heresy (1, Flamebait)

monstroyer (748389) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899867)

Praying and masturbating at the same alter...

*shudder*

Buffy reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899925)

> Now you can go to church, read /. and watch pr0n
> all at the same time.

"She's a techno pagan right? Ask her to bless your laptop."

Prior Art: LOL (1)

hcetSJ (672210) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899716)

Do a quick Kazaa for Garrison Keillor's "Lutherans On Line." It's pretty funny.

Re:Prior Art: LOL (2, Funny)

focitrixilous P (690813) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899747)

Keillor had this one story of aboy rebelling against his methodist parents, he would always skip church and such, until his dad informed him:
"You know, son, you can take communinion online now, using a methodist modem"
Internet Church might be the thing of the future, but its current state is awful.

Gosh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899717)

Guess I belong to this church by default.

Sweet. Now us fools have a place to go and worship our God for more foolish goodness!

The sim priest (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899721)

I want to know if the simpriest is a simpedophile who preys on simchildren.

Defeating some of the purpose? (5, Insightful)

Phoenixhunter (588958) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899732)

Going to church every sunday isn't necessarily just to hear a sermon, a little choir, read a few passages from the Bible...no, a big part rests around the face time with other attendees. It is like a family reunion...in a chat room. You might all be there, but you can't express emotion or body language that gives depth to any sort of relationship. Plus, one huge aspect of going to church and hearing millenia old gospel certainly implies that you are not looking to get tips and tricks on the latest gadgets, linux distros, etc.

Re:Defeating some of the purpose? (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899820)

certainly implies that you are not looking to get tips and tricks on the latest gadgets, linux distros, etc.
actually, socializing is a big part of church. there's a guy at the church i attend that teaches a college cs course, he does some pretty interesting stuff. another guy hired me to write a web site.

Re:Defeating some of the purpose? (1)

Phoenixhunter (588958) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899863)

Well that is the result of networking...which is also another big plus of attending :)

What!!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899734)

This is outrageous! How am I supposed to burn churchs now? -The Anarchist

Re:What!!? (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899823)

Simple, with DDoS. But you'd end up going to hell.

The Return. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899738)

Yes, Jesus will return one day... on the net!

Re:The Return. (2, Funny)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899799)

Yup he will control the global console and will announce his return with the wall command...

Integrate into The Sims Online! (1)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899740)

Nothing like a good old SimQuisition to clear up The Sims Online. Mayhaps even a SimCrusade against the illegal underground SimGoverment?

Re:Integrate into The Sims Online! (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899958)

Am I the only one who think it would look better if they used a FPS game engine instead? Throwing crucifices at people while looking for holy water to gain HPs...

I for one (2, Funny)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899745)

Pity the new fool overlords.

Brilliant Idea (4, Funny)

Law-Eagle (772417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899749)

I predict this will be the first of thousands, including a few dodgy ones based in Nigeria (oops did I just give someone an idea).

Never been done before... (4, Funny)

asobala (563713) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899752)

"...no one has built an interactive 3D church environment before - complete with gothic arches and hard wooden pews."

HAVE YOU NEVER PLAYED DEUS EX???

Re:Never been done before... (1)

U.I.D 754625 (754625) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899942)

Duke Nukem 3D as well, I think Duke even had some one liners mocking the church too, but I can't be sure. I do know you had to shoot the churches up to kill the baddies inside, breaking the windows and such. I remember there was a dead nun in the rafters too.

The Ark (4, Informative)

Troy (3118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899755)

It looks like the basic Flash engine that they are using also powered the Ark [shipoffools.com] , an internet based reality game show that the Ship ran last year, featuring Biblical luminaries on a 40 day voyage around a mockup of Noah's Ark. If you examine the screenshots of Church of Fools, you can see Simon Peter, Jezebel, Mary Magdeline, Joseph (with rainbow coat), etc. You can still tour around the Ark by clicking the link above.

-Troy
Proud Shipmate

Confession? (5, Funny)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899756)

Come on now....own up to your virtual sins. Otherwise you will be sent to Dante's virtual inferno where BSD deamons are condemmed to burn Windows CD's for eternity and SCO executives abound to slap lawsuits on everthing you do.

Sorry, I'm getting a bit carried away.

SimNews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899758)

SLASHDOT

The Last Year Terrorists Strike Back. (0, Offtopic)

TailGunner (461259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899763)

Two kinds of people in the world, those who follow the red photographic mark, and those who follow the blue photographic mark.

Special Thanks to the government pistol terrorists. Big Fuck You's to you know who.

Hmmm... (4, Funny)

Huxley_Dunsany (659554) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899764)

So... if I fail to attend online church, do I go to virtual hell when I die?


Huxley

Re:Hmmm... (2, Funny)

Retep Vosnul (663388) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899856)

No, you will just be banned from all servers and be forced to live your virtual life in single player mode. reteP vosnuL

Wow. (-1, Troll)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899765)

Just when you thought church couldn't get any more boring...


-Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]

"Church of Fools" (1, Insightful)

localghost (659616) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899766)

Is there any other kind of church?

But... (-1, Flamebait)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899767)

"But starting on May 11, and for a duration of three months, you'll be able to go to a virtual church."

Three months? I'm from Massachusetts and that's not nearly enough time to seduce a few "virtual" choir boys.

Flame war in 3... 2... 1...

Hopefully.. (2, Funny)

Caedar (635764) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899769)

This will allow me to stay home every Sunday. ;)

Athiests (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899783)

You can't have a civil discussion with an atheist. Atheists like to think of themselves as rational, but if you observe their behavior you'll find they
are anything but. They are full of anger and bitterness, and react with frightful outrage whenever they encounter someone with different views from
their own. Even people who think that atheism is a reasonable philosophy must admit that most atheists did not arrive at their point of view through
anything resembling a rational process. Rather, they are poorly socialized individuals who are lashing out angrily at anything which they perceive to be
valued by "mainstream" society. You really shouldn't take it personally. It is the result of an angry and profoundly unhappy psychological condition on
their part, not due to you or your Christian beliefs.

Re:Athiests (0, Troll)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899935)

You can't have a civil discussion with a Christian. Christians like to think of themselves as rational, but if you observe their behavior you'll find they are anything but. They are full of anger and bitterness, and react with frightful outrage whenever they encounter someone with different views from their own. Even people who think that Christianity is a reasonable philosophy must admit that most Christians did not arrive at their point of view through anything resembling a rational process. Rather, they are poorly socialized individuals who are lashing out angrily at anything which they perceive to be valued by "mainstream" society. You really shouldn't take it personally. It is the result of an angry and profoundly unhappy psychological condition on their part, not due to you or your Atheistic beliefs.

Re:Athiests (1)

emtilt (618098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899941)

It's quite funny how well you generalize and create stereotypes. In your post, you exemplify what you criticize. While there are surely some people who fit your description, there are just as surely people who do not. You really should think before you post.

Re:Athiests (0, Troll)

logique (600113) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899944)

You can't have a civil discussion with a religious zealot. Religious zealots like to think of themselves as rational, but if you observe their behavior you'll find they are anything but. They are full of anger and bitterness, and react with frightful outrage whenever they encounter someone with different views from their own. Even people who think that religion is a reasonable philosophy must admit that most Religious Zealots did not arrive at their point of view through anything resembling a rational process. Rather, they are poorly socialized individuals who are lashing out angrily at anything which they perceive to be valued by "mainstream" society. You really shouldn't take it personally. It is the result of an angry and profoundly unhappy psychological condition on their part, not due to you or your rational beliefs.

Use your Online Ordination (2, Funny)

maxwells_deamon (221474) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899786)

Finally a good use for the online ordination I bought from that spammer.

I don't even need to buy candles! ;-)

Re:Use your Online Ordination (1)

istewart (463887) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899919)

Actually, the Universal Life Church [ulconline.org] will ordain anybody over the Internet, for free.

cash money (-1, Troll)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899791)

...pews made from pixels, the congregation logging in from their home computers and the collection sent in by mobile phone....

So, just like a real church, everything inside is fake except the money they take from your pocket.


-Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]

This is not just for laughs (4, Insightful)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899792)

Plenty of you are making light of this, but do you realize how many would love to go to a church on Sundays but can't (e.g., those who are sick, those who live in rural areas)? Fellowship with other Christians is half the Christian faith, and this is a useful tool for those who'll need it.

Re:This is not just for laughs (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899859)

When was the last time you went to a rural area without a small church? It doesn't take massive amounts of money and resources for people to get together and join a congregation and talk/pray about god. A church can be a group of people who meet up every sunday at so in so's house.

Re:This is not just for laughs (4, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899876)

A rural area too small of a population for a church is likely going to be a rural area without any sort of broadband.

I'll grant that it might help the sick, I can't say it would do much for the handicapped since I'd think most churches have a few people dedicated to bringing them in.

Re:This is not just for laughs (5, Funny)

Colonel Cholling (715787) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899893)

would love to go to a church on Sundays but can't (e.g., those who are sick, those who live in rural areas)?

Uh, what rural areas are you talking about? I used to live in an unincorporated town in Mississippi. It was seven miles to the nearest gas station, and there were no fast food restaurants or video rental stores. But we had three churches. Believe me, the places that are too rural to support churches are probably too rural to support internet access. Or electricity.

Sim Donations? (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899800)

I wonder if when the 'plate' will be passed around and accept virtual coins or they will want credit card numbers.

Just another scam in hiding, as is most organized religion. ( not the concept of religious belief, just that when you organize it, its ready-made scam material for the gullible. )

Might be a good alternative for some. (5, Interesting)

CSIP (31272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899801)

"God is present wherever his people gather"

that (or something very similar) was what my pastor said when i asked him about marring me at my parents house instead of the church building itself. I dont see what that same concept couldnt apply to an online church.

Im actually quite tempted to "show up" may 11th. I was raised a christian, still consider myself one, however for various reasons I rarely attend services anymore.... (mainly lack of motivation on my part to actully get up, get ready & drive over to the church) I fully realize thats no excuse at all.. but visiting a virtual service or two might be just what the doctor ordered.

ObLink... (3, Funny)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899805)

...to the best Church site on the net: Landover Baptist Church [landoverbaptist.org] . Praise the Lord!

Will the priests be able to... (-1, Troll)

Xshare (762241) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899806)

Will the priests be able to virtually molest the alter boys?

Re:Will the priests be able to... (2, Informative)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899869)

Will the priests be able to virtually molest the alter boys?

That should read '...be able virtually to molest the altar boys?'. You shouldn't split an inifinitive, it's just bad grammar.

Virtual prayer (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899808)

Can I pray virtually?

Does it have a python module?

from Prayer import vprayer
from Prayer import GOD_CHRIST
while True:
choose_god=GOD_CHRIST
text='Dear Lord please.....'
vprayer(choose_god).write(text)

first church of christ computer programmers...... (1)

drfrog (145882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899811)

ring a bell with anyone?

Virtually real (1, Troll)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899816)

Only the building, with its altar and pews, will be virtual. The preacher, congregation and prayers will be real....

This makes real sense.

I mean, they're worshipping a deity who isn't real, in order to gain admission to a place, Heaven, that isn't real and avoid being sent by their unreal but supposedly loving God to another place, Hell, that isn't real, where they would be tortured for eternity by an entity, Satan, who isn't real.

Re:Virtually real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899907)

1. "Worship" of the Lord doesn't guarantee entry to Heaven. There will be many who say, but Lord, did we not prophecy in thy name? And the Lord will say depart from me, I never knew you. A relationship with the Lord is required to spend eternity in his presence, the worship must be true and heartfelt, of a person who knows Him.
2. If you spent any time studying scripture, you will find that Satan is not the one who is torturing unbelievers, but God who throws them into the lake of fire, along with Satan. Unbelievers and Satan alike will both end up in eternal torment because of rebellion against God.

Re:Virtually real (3, Funny)

Colonel Cholling (715787) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899913)

I mean, they're worshipping a deity who isn't real, in order to gain admission to a place, Heaven, that isn't real and avoid being sent by their unreal but supposedly loving God to another place, Hell, that isn't real, where they would be tortured for eternity by an entity, Satan, who isn't real.

You're a bot, aren't you?

In There... (2, Interesting)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899821)

There is literally no reason why this sort of thing couldn't have already been going on for who knows how long.

There are all kinds of people in games like Second Life, There, and The Sims Online that take the game way too seriously. It's only a matter of time before someone starts religious services, if they haven't already.

I've seen groups of people all wearing shirts with Crosses and quotes like "Got Jesus?" for a while. An official meeting place on Sundays is only one step away.

Almost there (1)

niktesla (761443) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899825)

At the congregation I assemble with, we have too many people to fit in the main auditorium, so we overflow into a large classroom in the back. We pipe back video of the preacher and songleader, etc, and project it on a screen as well as send some singing from mics in the auditorium, but something's just missing. It's like watching an event on TV instead of actually being a part of it. So, I for one, would not like to see this become more common.

In 30 years we'll hear stories... (-1, Flamebait)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899832)

...of altar boys that were virtually molested but were too afraid to come out and say something when it happened.

*ducks*

My prediction: (1)

bjarvis354 (319402) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899834)

Tensions are going to mount between HPBs vs LPBs.

Someone will invariably call someone else a wall hacker...Then all hell will break loose.

Re:My prediction: (1)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899892)

i dont think i have ever played de_church before, does god really use an aimbot ?

Not gonna work (5, Insightful)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899835)

too many disruptive trolls.

They're going to need a lot of fast fingured moderators to keep that place "holy."

Ben

I couldn't help it... (2, Informative)

tweakt (325224) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899839)


And... free, with a visit to the "house of fools" site, the companion guide:
Religion For Dummies [amazon.com]

--
and yes, I *am* an atheist :P

Hax0rs? (2, Insightful)

wondermog (772429) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899849)

How many l33t preteens is it going to take to ruin a virtual service? They're going to have to implement chat restrictions over the course of the main 'worship', and even then, all it would take to ruin the after-chat is one kid.

Ship of Fools.....Car of Idiots (0)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899857)

was the first thing I thought of when I saw the article. It was one of the classic Far Side comics.

If anyone has a link they want to put up, feel free, but I couldn't find one, and I didn't feel like looking it up in my collection and scanning it in.

Oh Great (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899858)

It's the 21st century, we've created several global communications networks, put people into space, and sent robots to explore other planets.

And people STILL believe in a magic sky fairie, because they read it in some book written back when the wheel was bleeding-edge?

WTF people.

Although most people make fun of it.... (1)

maztuhblastah (745586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899871)

...it is one of the logical steps in the integration of technology into our culture. As tech becomes more and more prominent in our lives, we can only expect to see more headlines such as this. The internet has become a useful tool for linking people over vast distances, and such headlines show off the services that this tool can provide (albeit to a rather limited audience in this case.) More and more meetings take place over the internet, e-mail replaces letters home, payments are made online, and now, we are starting to use the internet for our religious needs. Not really that far-fetched when you think about it. I, for one, would not be surprised to see things such as online birthday parties and internet weddings (if they have not already been done.)

Not the same as going to church... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899872)

The experience will not be the same to be with the crowd at church. The music (e.g., choir), the moods, expressions from people, social interaction, laughter from jokes, watching videos (e.g., Passion of the Christ [thepassion...christ.com] movie trailer from today's sermon [globalcon.net] at Lake Avenue Church [lakeave.org] , etc. I can understand the site if one is very sick to go out like me today due to a nasty cold or can't go due to health issues.

Isn't that a redundancy? (-1, Flamebait)

blair1q (305137) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899878)

Isn't "virtual church" a redundancy?

I mean, at best, church is a place where people hope God will be, but know only that the guy in front says there's a guy upstairs.

Give it a rest, Michael (1)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899883)

It is now the eighteenth of April. April Fools Day was two and a half weeks ago.

Ship of Fools? Church of Fools? How much more obvious can an April Fools joke get?

Do Anglicans believe in transubstantiation? (2, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899890)

Is virtual communion possible?

Hoc est enim cookie meum.

Are the Christian priests and pastors Avatars? (2, Interesting)

Chief Technovelgist (759322) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899905)

I wonder if the Church of Fools has worked out the theological implications of the fact that their priests and pastors are now avatars [technovelgy.com] ?

Confessional (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899908)

Bless me, father, for I have spammed...

The Future of Religion (3, Funny)

DJ Super Dulce (766099) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899915)

I hope this works out and we'll soon see chat room wedding ceremonies. Weddings these days are so expensive. It would be much easier if we just decorated an electronic chapel, got cheap eDesigner Dresses, and gave Amazon.com gift certificates. Instead of hiring a band and violinist, I'll just pop over to the iTunes stores and pick up some tunes.

I guess the only downside is that people would probably expect the ceremony to be consumated by cybersex.

Virtual church, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8899929)

So the cool kids stay in the virtual back and log out right after communion, right?

Just like virtual sex? (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899943)

Is this gonna be just like virtual sex? Vaguely satisifying but in the end its all just a w_nk. (That's Aussie slang for masturbation for those of you who don't know).

Think of all the benefits. Just think of all the sacraments:
Virtual communion - zero calories, and won't put you over the limit for when you drive

Virtual marriage - When it goes sour you can always claim it wasn't you on the other end of the computer and keep half your stuff.

Virtual baptism - Only your avatar will get wet.

Virtual last rites - Not as depressing when its an avatar not a real person.

Some things will always be better in person no matter how emmersive the virtual reality. This is totally wasted on me completely. I'm not religious. Religion has in some ways been the bane of my existence. I'd just love it if those that are would just leave me alone and I don't look forward to the prospect of increased net evangelism though I know its bound to happen.

I'm not a troll either though.

Old news (1)

Maljin Jolt (746064) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899962)

Unholy Cathedral was a boss level in the Diablo II, if I remember correctly. Also a Doom mod. Anyway, my personal opinion is, as a chaos magician I really DO prefer xians operating virtually, rather than inside consensual reality. Makes certain efforts much easier.

gimmicks have a point (4, Interesting)

soricine (576909) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899966)

I think the people who are organising this are quite aware that its a gimmick, and I think that's probably the point. The article said that they were interested in attracting people who wouldn't otherwise go to a church. There are lots of other examples of churches organising surprising or gimmicky events to attract a different audience. The biggest risk is that they will only get people who go to church anyway. I imagine one of the aims will be to put non-Christians into contact with a local non-virtual church. (btw i'm not using gimmick as a derogatory term)

Why go into a building, even a virtual one? (0)

farrellj (563) | more than 10 years ago | (#8899967)

As a Druid, all I have to do is find a piece of nature, and you are in a church.

That being said, since the early days of CompuServ and IRC, ie, back in the 1980s, Neo-Pagan groups of various demonimations have been holding on-line rituals. They are wonderful to behold. But then again, I have been called a "TechnoPagan".

It matters not what you worship, even when I was Catholic, I always found Nature to be sacred.

So, is that confusing enough?

ttyl
Farrell
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