Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×
Government The Internet

Catholic Bishops Support Net Neutrality 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!"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Catholic Bishops Support Net Neutrality

Comments Filter:
  • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:29AM (#34937212)
    With friends like that, who needs enemies?
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmerlin ( 1010641 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:36AM (#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.
  • by stretch0611 ( 603238 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:41AM (#34937284) Journal

    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.)

  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:02AM (#34937362) Journal
    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:not interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dynedain ( 141758 ) <> on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:48AM (#34937524) Homepage

    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.

  • 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:not interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:58AM (#34937556) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:13AM (#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?

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @07:36AM (#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.

  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Thursday January 20, 2011 @08:46AM (#34938274) Homepage
    A knowledge of the Bible is essential to understanding Western literature. If you want to shun the Bible, then much of our civilization's canon of poetry and prose becomes unintelligible. You don't have to actually believe in the contents of the book to make use of it.
  • Re:Crusade? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @09:34AM (#34938592)

    Religion and science shouldn't mix. And science should not meddle with politics. Religion is politics, unfortunately. It never had any other purpose.

  • Re:Crusade? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WCMI92 ( 592436 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @12:31PM (#34940712) Homepage

    The internet is private property.

    There really is no such thing as "the internet" really, it's nothing more than a set of standard protocols and methods that tie a whole bunch of private networks together. That's what the internet is, a whole bunch of interconnected PRIVATE networks.

    Arguing that the government can tell the owner of one particular network what traffic they must allow also means arguing they can tell them what to BLOCK. "Net Neutrality" is nothing more than a thin end of the wedge Trojan Horse to get the Feds to the Holy Grail of Internet CONTROL they've been seeking (and being denied) since the mid 90's. All their earlier attempts were unanimously opposed by we, the geeks because they were overtly trying to control content (the Exxon law, the Communications "decency" Act, COPA, and others).

    "Neutrality" is really the same thing, just more cleverly worded and disguised to divide us by making BitTorrent users think that the Feds are stepping in benevolently to stop Comcast or other providers from throttling stuff like that.

    If you give the Feds that authority (which they do not have, the Constitution is clear that they cannot interfere with private property) you are also giving them ultimately the authority to BLOCK websites, etc. The Obama Regime has already shown it's authoritarian bent with the already scary "internet kill switch" power. History shows that any power that can be abused WILL be abused (see the PATRIOT Act which we were told was meant only for the terrorists which is now being used to pursue mostly non terror related "crimes").

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries