samedi 15 décembre 2012

Gossip About Cyber

Series about my FB enemies: 1) Gossip About Cyber, 2) Gríma Wormtongue has his like in real life - at least as far as his choice of viewpoint is concerned, 3) My Innocence About the Vice of Curiosity, 4) Heated Discussion on Historical Backgrounds for Schism of 1054, 5) Misquoters and Conclusion Jumpers!, 6) Guns, Homeless, Shelters, My Own Situation, 7) On Pat's Wall, by me, 8) In case someone not my FB friend even past wonders, Pat whom I unfriended is not Buchanan, 9) Answering Psychiatry Friendly Comments by one GP (friend of a friend), 10) GP tries it again - after attacking Alveda King, 11) Unfriending someone who is friends with people considering homeless mentally ill

"When we speak about the threats of the Internet, we first think of the immoralities against the virtue of purity. Obviously, this is a real danger from which everyone must protect himself."

SSPX, one Pastor's Corner about Cyber Gossip as a sin

As with cinema, as with newspapers. If I had watched Conan the Barbarian on cinema, I would have seen a very lewd scene in extenso, unless I had shut my eyes and held my ears - and then someone would have tapped my shoulder and said "it is over now". As I saw it in clips on youtube, I could easily skip the scene in question. This is how youtube is as much a help to, among other things, purity and (for very gruesome scenes) non-callousness, as the video is. And as cinema and TV are not. After this he goes on to the real issue this week, cyber-gossip.

"The moral principle that we must consider in this regard is that the reputation and honor of any man, living or dead, is a spiritual good. To damage this reputation by rash judgment, detraction, or calumny is in itself a grave offense against justice and charity even though, did the injustice not regard grave matters, the fault might be venial."

The fault might be venial too if one had a real excuse of assuming the worst and no idea of the real but hidden excuse of someone. Apart from that I totally agree.

"Therefore insults, slander, and boastfulness are always sinful."

Insults and slander, totally agreed. I am not sure how boastfulness comes into the question. It is an undue concern with one's own honour rather than an undue callousness or illwish about one's neighbours. But even agreed that boastfulness as an inner tendency were always in the fountainhead of sin known as pride, actual boasting about something may occur without boastfulness. St Paul twice at least found something to actually boast about - Christ and his Cross and the sufferings he had endured - and who dares call him boastful. So, when confronted with something which seems like boasting anyone, including a priest obviously, is obliged to seek other explanations than boastfulness.

For that matter, there is a question of when slander is slander and when it is due concern for the public well. Is it slandering to state one has not seen Obama's birthcertificate? Or that such and such a profession builds its clientele by slandering individuals into being "officially" classified as belonging to it? Or that such and such a profession hinders the due fulfilling of "honour thy father and thy mother"? Or that abortionists are murderers? I think not, absolutely not.

One more thing: if the slander takes the form of private conversation, telephone calls or email exchanges from which the slandered person is cut off, then he cannot reply. But if the slandering is done on friends' FB walls, or in blogposts, or on youtubes, then the victim of slander has access to the actual words and can answer them. Even more easily than he could answer an article in a newspaper or a broadcast. So far and as long as he has free access to certain internet means of communication, at least.

One example, I think I have been slandered and know I have been insulted by a certain man I knew but have blocked on FB. So as not to risk slandering him, I anonymise his name on the blogpost where I publish our word exchange. He once at least claims in principle not to have slandered me, because he has said nothing behind my back which he has not said openly to me - which he could truthfully say after just insulting me with the worst I think he said behind my back, namely implying that I as an homeless man am not in a position to think properly, since sleeping on the street (which I generally do not, thank God) and being all the time infected (which is not the case either) I have impaired thought capabilities. That and trying to state my English is faulty in comprehension of what others say (I did have to ask about an expression, but it was more colloquial than what one usually finds on the web) is what I consider as slander if stated behind my back and as insult if it is stated in my face. Here are two blogposts where I debate with him, in first case about Perry Lorenzo and Mark Shea, in second case about myself more properly speaking:

HGL's FB Writings : Oscar Wilde and Perry Lorenzo

Gríma Wormtongue has his conterparts in real life (ibidem)

Why the likening to Gríma Wormtongue? Well, that too was a person who hid discouragement and improperly disqualifying someone under the excuse of concerns for his health. Thanks to internet I could answer back.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Mouffetard, Paris

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