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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!"
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Catholic Bishops Support Net Neutrality

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  • You may be surprised (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:32AM (#34937228) Journal
    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.
  • Youtube (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tempmpi ( 233132 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:11AM (#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.

  • No, it is the same (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:52AM (#34937536) Journal

    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:Crusade? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:39AM (#34937682) Homepage

    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 []).

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

  • 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.

  • by fredrated ( 639554 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @10:10AM (#34938936) Journal

    "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."

    The other way around? How could that be, seeing that Mithras worship/celebration was help on Dec. 25 long before christians moved his birthday there, as well as the Saturnalia being celebrated at the end of the year for centuries before Christ.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @02:06PM (#34942130)

    I am Catholic. When the Church speaks on scripture, it has authority. When it speaks of that which has nothing to do with the bible, as in net "neutrality" (really nothing more than Government control over private networks, there is nothing neutral about it) or "man made global warming" the Church has no authority whatsoever.

    This is hopelessly confused as a statement of Catholic doctrine. The magisterium of the Church heirarchy is not certainly not limited to scripture (sola scriptura is common Protestant doctrine, opposed to the fundamental doctrines of the Catholic Church), instead, it extends to matters of faith and morals whether grounded in Scripture or Tradition or both.

    Advocacy of "net neutrality" and "man made global warming" both lead to similar ends: the confiscation of private property directly (by taking it over) or indirectly (by telling you what you can't do with it via regulation), which I can argue violates one of the foudnations of Judeo Christian morality, the 10 Commandments, specifically "thou shalt not steal".

    One can, of course, argue for anything, but to argue that any taking of private property for public use or restriction by public authority on the use of private property categorically contradicts Christian morals you must dissent from the teachings of the Catholic Church on faith and morals in the domain in which you are making the argument; particularly, you must dissent from the teachings on the moral aspects of private and public property articulated in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World [] (Gaudium et Spes) which, recognizes the importance of private property rights but also states that they are constrained by the rights and obligations of public authority, and that "The right of private ownership, however, is not opposed to the right inherent in various forms of public property. [...] Furthermore, it is the right of public authority to prevent anyone from abusing his private property to the detriment of the common good."

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