Friday, 6 October 2006

goodbye, blog: the friend of information but the enemy of thought

Very interesting article from Christianity Today about blogs - the author had hoped they heralded a revolution in exchange of thought and ideas, especially via the 'comments' facility, but they haven't.

'Debate after debate — on almost every site I visit, including the ones devoted to Christianity — either escalates from rational discourse into sneering and name-calling or just bypasses reason altogether and starts with the abuse.'

And an interesting comparison to the Reformation and the invention of printing: 'As I think about these architectural deficiencies, and the deficiencies of my own character, I find myself meditating on a passage from a book by C. S. Lewis. In his great work of literary history, Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century, Lewis devotes a passage to what he describes, with a certain savageness, as "that whole tragic farce which we call the history of the Reformation." For Lewis, the issues that divided Catholics and Protestants, that led to bloodshed all over Europe and to a seemingly permanent division of Christians from one another, "could have been fruitfully debated only between mature and saintly disputants in close privacy and at boundless leisure." Instead, thanks to the prevalence of that recent invention the printing press, and to the intolerance of many of the combatants, deep and subtle questions found their way into the popular press and were immediately transformed into caricatures and cheap slogans. After that there was no hope of peaceful reconciliation.'

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