nettime's_roving_reporter on Tue, 11 Apr 2000 01:46:22 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Bishop warns of 'evil internet'


Saturday, 8 April, 2000

The internet has the potential to destroy society, the Archbishop of York
has warned. Archbishop David Hope said that computer "wizardry" was in
danger of creating a "society without a soul". 

"This technology is something that could ultimately devour us," he said in
an interview with Conservatism, the quarterly journal of the Conservative
Christian Fellowship. 

The archbishop's comments follow a Church of England report that warned
that society should wake up to the ethical and spiritual implications of
the internet. 

In February, the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, warned about
what he saw as the perils of internet use, saying it could be exclusive
and isolating. 

'No social interaction'

Dr Hope expressed concerned at the way the internet could limit levels of
human interaction. 

A loss of social skills? 

"I fear that we are becoming a nation which simply sits in front of a
television screen and orders its lives at the press of a button or mouse,"
he said. 

"The danger is in having all this wizardry in individual homes which
people never leave and where there is, as a result, no social

"Like all these developments, there is that which has the potential for
good, and that which has the potential for evil.  There is in the internet
the potential for destroying ourselves." 

Chris Wright, chairman of the group Christians on the Internet, said he
was sympathetic to Dr Hope's comments. 

But he warned against Christians failing to become involved in the
development of the new technology. 

"He has pointed out the dangers of the internet just like there are great
dangers in books and other communication mediums. I think there is an even
greater danger, though, in being afraid of it," he said. 

"Just like the Church is deeply involved in work in areas such as red
light districts in towns and cities and working amongst the dregs of
society, we need to be involved in the internet and using our influence
for the good." 

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