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Wednesday, March 12, 2008


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Sophrosyne Stenvaag

Soren will be our Spotlight Guest at Sophrosyne's Saturday Salon on March 15, 1-3pm SLT, at the Central Nexus in Extropia Core (Extropia Core 127, 68, 24).

He'll be discussing his research, and broader issues of religion, spirituality and identity in SL.

Come on by!

Antonio Rocco


Do you have ANY life outside of a computer?

NO, Second Life is not going to become some sort of virtual Heaven's Gate or whatever.

NO, Second Life is not the Matrix.

NO, Second Life is not a holodeck.


Cyn Vandeverre

Antonio, nobody believes any of the things you think they believe; you're getting your knickers in a twist over your own imaginings.

If you're really interested in why people play Second Life, the answer is "entertainment." No different than TV or books.

Johnny Jedburgh

An interesting survey, although some of the questions display a worryingly light grasp of the theological and philosophical terms he deploys; e.g. the assumption that "heaven" is a non-physical, disembodied place you go when you die -- something that classical Judaism and Christianity would both have problems with.


i'm a rank amateur at survey construction but, on the other hand, johnny's criticism is off the mark. i know quite a bit about both jewish and christian conceptions of heaven and absolutely did not make the claim in the survey that for either of those groups heaven is a non-physical, disembodied place you go to when you die (as though you could even make intelligible claims about what all christians or all jews believe). indeed, the only heaven i'm interested in is that which may or may not be represented by second life. if someone thinks SL is heavenly, i want to know it. no other heaven enters the survey. there are some real problems with the survey, but that isn't one of them.

antonio, i'm interested in how people perceive their lives and the results do, in fact, demonstrate that there are people who believe they will do things like upload their minds into second life (or its equivalent). the terms matrix and holodeck don't enter the discussion so i'm not sure why you brought them up. and heaven's gate was a "cult," which has nothing to do with anyone's personal conception of what constitutes heaven. no need to attack people to get attention. reasoned claims (like johnny's) get more response and constructive replies in general.

Truthseeker Young

I've taken the survey, but I have to admit that I'm dubious about the value of the data you'll receive...

When the very first question, about potential validity of SL-based religions, asks me to assume first that there is at least one valid RL religion (without addressing at all what "valid" means in this context), it kind of pushes me out of the realm of "what I honestly believe," and into "possibilities I'm open-minded enough to consider."

You'll probably still receive some interesting numbers, but you won't really be able to claim honestly that "X% of people surveyed believe that Y..." since you've really left no room for nuance, or even outright DISbelief.

Soph's salons fall at a mildly inconvenient time for me, so I always show up late (if at all), but I'm really hoping to catch this one, and hear more about your research.


yes, i see your point truthseeker but in the grand scheme of things i want results that situate SL religiosity within the realm of religiosity more generally. it wouldn't do anyone any good if i let you say "no it isn't valid" if that is grounded in the assumption that no religion is valid...that just wouldn't tell me anything. i'm interested if you are willing to consider SL religion to be as valid as earthly religion (even if they are all equally invalid). does that make sense?

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