Friday, September 15, 2006

Does the Internet Encourage Dialogue?

The NY Center sponsors the Mosaic Coaltion to create opportunities for people to learn about those who are different from them. Respectful dialogue is key.

The controversy about the Pope's speech raises an issue that's been bothering me. Does the Internet make it too easy to react to information out of context?

This article from the Christian Science Monitor has a link to the whole speech. I read the speech, and I have to say that the Pope's intent was not clear to me. This lecture is highly academic - weaving history, philosophy and theology. He was speaking at the University where he had been a faculty member.

I think I agree with Lord Carey's comment.
Pope Benedict creates international furor with remarks |
Asked about the Pope's remarks, [Lord Carey] said: "I cannot comment on a few phrases in what was clearly a long speech. The Pope is a distinguished scholar and one unlikely to say offensive things. If he quoted something said 600 years ago, we should not assume that this represents the Pope's beliefs about Islam today.

"But Muslims, as well as Christians, must learn to enter into dialogue without crying foul. We live in perilous times, and we must not only separate religion from violence but also not give religious legitimacy to violence in any shape or form."

What do you think about the Pope's comments? Does a reaction like this stifle meaningful dialogue instead of encouraging it? You can read the whole speech in the Guardian here.

1 comment:

Kathy Vaughan said...

I don't know if the internet creates Dialogue. It certainly generates reaction and response. I, for one, find myself often writing in a stream of consciousness type of mode as opposed to a very well thought out outline.

When I write longhand, my thoughts take longer to get to the page and I often rewrite. So, when I am trying to have a dialogue about a personal or professional issue where I might be taking a risk, I prefer the pen-paper approach.