Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Great Social Global Entity

Since the dream discussion doesn't seem to be going anywhere, I think I'll change the subject. This is a topic that I think we'll all be involved in. The subject is:



FACEBOOK



We all know this network of instant messaging, pictures, status updates and such. However, it has much controversy surrounding it. It seems to embody all of human nature and inclinations into one intertwining web. In fact, one could compare it to drinking and smoking. When one joins it, he may do great good, or great evil. He may improve his relationships, become more knowledgeable about people in general, and maybe even spread the faith.



However, one may do great damage to himself and those around him through this web. He may use it to slander others and gossip about them. He may also succeed in making his relations impersonal and distant: more like members of a corporation than friends. His actions - whether intentional or not - may also cause jealousy and envy. But do these things not already happen? This is just another means of transmitting them. I think that facebook, like drinking and smoking, is morally neutral. It can be good or bad depending on the person that uses them (although I think it should be said that facebook has more potential to do good than drinking or smoking).

So what is your opinion? Comment!!!!!

29 comments:

Everglade said...

I don't think it makes people more distant at all! It lets me keep in touch with people I don't get to see very often. As far as slander and gossip, sure there's some but no more than in real like or in emails.

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Yes, but that's how you use it. Other might use it differently. I would say from what you say I would think that you're okay. :-)

P said...

I think I agree...but I'm not totally sure. I use different terms, for some reason "morally neutral" never rings well in my ears...I'm not completely positive why.

I would call Facebook a "tool", which can be used for good or evil (like you said). Whereas something like sending insulting messages would be a "use of a tool" (so to speak), for evil.

*shrug* But that could just be my wording. I'm not totally sure...?

Either way, great topic! Keep up the good discussions! : )

Estrellita Lenore said...

I agree with Monica. Facebook is what you make of it. A lot of things you mentioned such as gossip and slander happen just as much in real life as on facebook.

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

P: I think we mean the same things here. When I say "morally neutral", I mean that it isn't either good or evil: that it depends on how you use it. Something that is good can also be used for evil (the Bible is frequently used for evil for example). But I'm not a good enough thelogian to know if something evil can be used for something good. :-) I suppose all things were created good, but what man does with them is entirely different. I'm not entirely sure how it works.

EL: 'tis true. Facebook is just another way of transmitting these things.

OFL: Where are you?!?!?!? You wanted us to debate about something in the first place, and now you're not even here. Oh that's right, you're in Florence. But you could still comment, right?

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Another thing: vote on the poll!

Everglade said...

Hmm, asking if Facebook is good or bad or either is a touch deal... Is communication good, bad, or fuzzy?; )
Same thing!

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

But communication can be used for bad things too.

Jo March said...

I would add that while Facebook in principle could be considered 'morally neutral' I think it should also be assessed from how the majority use it. If the majority of people use it for slander, gossip, and other bad things (as I think is the case) I would say Facebook is bad.

It does have potential for good, such as evangelizing (I have a friend who uses it for that), but I think the temptation to use it for evil far outweighs the actual good it is doing.

That said, I myself don't have a Facebook account, I am just basing it off the few times I've seen my friends and what I've heard about it.

~Jo March

P.S. Great idea for a debate!

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Whoa! Who said facebook was bad?!?! I did not expect that, unless maybe it was OFL. :-) I'm guessing you don't like it, right OFL?

Everglade said...

Guess what? LIFE is good or bad depending on how you use it! MUSIC is good or bad depending on how you use it. WRITING is good or bad depending on how you use it. So then by your logic, nothing can be good or bad!!!

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Jo: I would say that perhaps facebook is bad for those who use it as such. Just because a majority of people use something for evil doesn't mean that one can't use it for good. There are people that abuse government and Church authority. Does that make authority bad? I should hope not! But the person using it for evil makes it evil for himself; not for the entire world.

Everglade said...

Exactly!

Everglade said...

And Jo: I would argue that the majority of people don't use it for gossip and such, at least the people I know don't.
(Nice to "meet" you!) : )

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Sorry if we're all against you Jo. :-)

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

And if the majority of people are using something for the wrong reasons, that should be more incentive for us to use it for the right reason. We ought to take it over by storm!!!!

And now I suppose the FBI will get me for that. I suppose someone will take it for a threat. *sigh* What a world we live in.

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

And if the majority of people are using something for the wrong reasons, that should be more incentive for us to use it for the right reason. We ought to take it over by storm!!!!

And now I suppose the FBI will get me for that. I suppose someone will take it for a threat. *sigh* What a world we live in.

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Okay all you FBI agents monitoring me: I did NOT mean storm by FORCE. I simply meant that we should exercise our right to freedom of speech (what's that? We don't have that anymore???? Okay okay. I'll stop. :-) ).

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Oh no! I guess google doesn't like that either. :-)

Jo March said...

Okay, here's to defend my position: (and nice to "meet you too, Everglade :) )

What I guess I meant was, if the majority of people use Facebook for bad things, it could be considered bad. That is not to say it could not be turned around and used for good!

Furthermore, I think it could be bad even for those who do use it for good because it could be a 'near occasion of sin' and they could be tempted to use it badly. I know someone who I think of as a pretty good person. But then I, by chance, saw his facebook account and I was really surprised by somethings on there. Things that I am pretty sure he would not normally talk about in real life. But he was on Facebook!

And to add one other thing (and don't take this the wrong way if any of you have facebook, it was just a thought) could it be considered bad if it is a means for wasting time? I know some people use it for socializing, and trust me, I'm all for that! But if someone uses it excessively for socializing, to the point they don't call friends anymore, it could perhaps be considered bad.

Okay, just my thoughts. And I don't mind that you are all against me! :) This is a debate! :)

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

More later, but just a thought right now: I haven't looked into this like I should, but can't occasions of sin differ from person to person? I mean, if someone tends to drink excessively than that would be an occasion of sin for them. However, if one drinks in moderation, then it isn't an occasion of sin. And I would think it's the same with facebook. If it's too great a temptation to abuse it, then don't use it!! I'm sure God doesn't want absoultely everyone to use it, but maybe there are some that He does want to use it. In fact, a very respectable priest that I know of uses it, and he is VERY orthodox (probably one of the most in the country).

Everglade said...

Yes, a lot of it depends on the individual. A few of my friends seem really different on Facebook (in a bad way). But I think the same goes for the entire internet. People think they get away with more on the internet---they establish a crude alter ego for whatever reason. : \ Just look at comments on just about any Youtube video! It's disgusting!

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Yes, I'm sure youtube is pretty nasty. That's why I just stay away from it for the most part.

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Jo: I've been busy lately (no, not with facebook!!!), but I do agree with you about facebook having the potential to waste time. In fact, "P" recently warned me about it as I have been thinking about getting one.

I think the best thing to do would be prepared and aware of the dangers. Again, I'll use the alcohol example: if someone who didn't know anything about alcohol started drinking, then I'm sure they would be more inclined to abuse it and get addicted than someone who knew that it could be a potential danger (that's if the WANT to avoid getting addicted in the first place).

In all, I think facebook is just like anything else. You could use it for good, or for evil. I think the same goes for blogger. You can waste time on blogger too you know. :-)

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

morally neutral doesnàt sound good in your ears because everyTHING (capitals important) is at least ontologically good.

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

Something evil can be used for something good. Think of the murder of Christ. Just like us, to miss the obvious.

Jo March said...

I must say, you all have been so persuasive that I am convinced. Facebook is not intrinsically bad. :) Though I still hold that it can easily be abused and (for some) may be too great a temptation and therefore should be avoided as a 'near occasion of sin'.

Aren't you glad I was in the opposition, though? Otherwise we wouldn't have had a debate. :)

God bless,
Jo

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

OFL: So.... what are you saying? Do you think facebook is a good thing, or a bad one??

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Jo: I agree with you one-hundred percent. And yes, I am VERY glad you opposed. Otherwise, we wouldn't have thirty comments like we do. :-)

Did I delete your other comment? I think I did. Sorry about that. Anyway, I did have a poll about who liked which author the best, but I don't think we ever had much of a discussion on it.