Christian Sagers: We made mistakes breathing life into the internet, but we can fix them

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  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 26, 2019 11:27 a.m.

    There is a pertinent word that handles the Internet. That word is "virtue". Joseph Smith wrote: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous . . . ".

    Paul said the same thing: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

    Is there another word for "virtue"? How about "pure"? Christ said: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."

    We don't need laws to "force" us to be virtuous or to be "pure" in thought or deed. What we need is a backbone. No one is going to force you to be sober, to be drug-free, to refrain from sex outside of marriage. And no one is going to smack you along the side of your head if you want to fill your mind with pornography.

    Most problems in society would be self-correcting if people stopped blaming others for "forcing" them to do things against their will. Most problems in society would be self-correcting if people desired virtue and purity; but, each person is allowed to choose.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    April 26, 2019 8:05 a.m.

    To "EscherEnigma" lets continue the analogy of eating the forbidden fruit.

    Yes evil came into the world because of it. However good also came. Without partaking of the forbidden fruit they would have remained ignorant and would still be running around the garden just existing. However because of the knowledge gained by the fruit all of mankind now exists.

    So, if the internet is like eating the forbidden fruit, just imagine the wonders and progress that we will see. The only thing we have to do is choose the good and shun the evil.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    April 25, 2019 1:22 p.m.

    So, could you have made the "Apple of Knowledge" metaphor more explicit? I feel like it was implied, but you never addressed it head-on.

    I mean, I get it. Before the internet/apple, we were ignorant, but happy. Once we have the internet we have so much more to feel shame and guilt over, we have so much more knowledge of horrible things (and the things we're not doing to fix them), we have so much more knowledge of our own failings (and the things we're not doing to fix them), and so-on.

    It's not a bad metaphor.

    But there are plenty of us out here who don't have a problem trading the warm comforting blanket of willful ignorance for the harsh realities of knowledge. Maybe we only know shame when we know better, but I'd still rather know better.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    April 25, 2019 9:12 a.m.

    To "Thomas Jefferson" the internet is not the mistake. The problem is that we spend too much time on it. The solution was offered, and that is to take a break from the internet.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    April 25, 2019 8:57 a.m.

    @Mike Richards - South Jordan, UT
    April 25, 2019 8:27 a.m.
    The purpose of life is to learn to exercise agency properly. It is up to the individual to make correct choices. It is NOT the duty of government to tell us what we can read, what we can say or what we can think."

    How ironic. You think everyone, lds or not, should eschew alcohol, tobacco, unmarried sex, etc. You only want people to have "agency" when they behave they way that you want them to.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2019 8:42 a.m.

    I read the entire article but never saw the part where any solution to 'fix' the internet was proffered.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 25, 2019 8:38 a.m.

    Every technological revolution brings with it both positive and negative consequences, and if the pros outweigh the cons, that's a good thing.

    Nobel's invention of dynamite resulted in dams, roads, and railroad lines being more efficiently constructed than ever before. And mineral wealth could be extracted much more easily. That technology also contributed to high explosives that killed millions in wars. But overall, that technology is good, I hope.

    If the Internet is a mistake because of the way it can be weaponized, I suppose we could say that the entire industrial revolution was a mistake. I wonder how much the earth would have warmed by now without the intercedence of the industrial revolution.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, UT
    April 25, 2019 8:27 a.m.

    The purpose of life is to learn to exercise agency properly. It is up to the individual to make correct choices. It is NOT the duty of government to tell us what we can read, what we can say or what we can think.

    The Internet is a platform where everyone can explore anything. The duty that God gave us was to learn to control our thoughts, our desires, our actions and our bodies. WE are responsible for what we do. Goverment must never be allowed to make moral choices for us. Government is not God. It must not act as if it were God.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    April 25, 2019 12:51 a.m.

    "The number of Americans who say they spend too much time on their phones has tripled since 2012. Many of us can’t intentionally put away our devices for more than a few hours." — Christian Sagers

    This is why I still use a flip-phone instead of a smart one. I use it exclusively to send and receive phone calls and not to text or stream movies or sports' events. I simply don't need or want to be that "connected" to the internet.

    It seems the "Matrix" has latched onto us and isn't going to let go.