The Sacred and the iPhone

Is that an iPhone she has there?!

Since its release, the iPhone has managed to take charge of most of its users’ lives, and now it seems it will take charge of their souls as well. Once a simple device that granted you access to phone calls, text messages, emails, social networking and twitter, the internet, weather forecasts, news and sports results, music, photos, books and other reading materials such as comics and PDFs, simple yet surprisingly addictive gaming, organisational tools such as calendars, notes, lists, and memos, and a wealth of other apps including of course the vital ability to turn your phone screen into a visual representation of a pint of beer which slowly empties as you “drink” it, now the iPhone has ascended to the sacred status of a divinely-endorsed religious tool. Where once the inbuilt google maps (complete with location indicator and integrated compass) enabled the iPhone user to navigate the temporal world trouble free and with contemptuous ease, now “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” – developed by Little iApps and released last week – will enable its user to navigate the inner-world of your conscience, leading you to your desired destination sin free and with, well, perhaps not with contemptuous ease, but at least the iPhone’s functionality has made the journey slightly easier.

“Confession” provides the user with a “personal examination of conscience” that is tailored to each individual penitent. Continue reading “The Sacred and the iPhone”

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MyFriends.com

538px-Man-and-woman-icon.svgIn the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that friendship is a necessary requisite for human ‘happiness.’  His broad description of these relationships includes friendships of utility (as between student and teacher) and of pleasure (as between lovers).  However, the ancient Greek thinker remains critically uncertain of the summit, the highest culmination, of friendship.  In fact, Aristotle claims that ‘perfect’ or ‘complete’ friendship is rare, if not impossible.  Most friendships are, therefore, as much about auxiliary benefits as about the individuals themselves.

While most would agree that friendship is a difficult matter to pin down, modern cyber-technology is pushing some to question such ‘liberal’ standards.  Archbishop Vincent Nichols recently criticized the kind of friendship promoted through ‘social networking sites’ (i.e., MySpace and Facebook).  The Catholic leader maintained that these ‘un-rounded’ communities foster ‘transient relationships’ and are a likely source of the increasing alienation and depression felt amongst today’s youth. Continue reading “MyFriends.com”