Pope Francis Describes Internet as "A Gift From God"

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Based upon technology made by atheists.

Don't get me wrong, as far as popes go, I like him. Damn lot better than the Sith Lord who could live up to the title.

VaporWare:
While I agree with the papal sentiment here in general terms, I chafe at the implication that God created the Internet just for us to sort ourselves out. It comes across as a touch dismissive of the lowly humans who actively sweat and toil over the digital mess, and in the face of the Popes own cutting insight about our reflection and judgement? Rather ignorant of the attendant evils.

You could interpret his wording of God as in that God gave humans life and the knowledge to possibly accomplish such things as the internet, but that is maybe going deeper into what he is saying and maybe is not what he is saying at all. By the current small time he has been in I almost will give him the benefit of the doubt that is what he actually means when he said those words which is fine to me and I am not even a christian or religious person. Usually when people do good/great things religious organizations will interpret god/gods had a hand in guiding humans towards it and when bad things happen it is because of evil/devil/etc pushing man to do such things...

So far this knew Pope has done more in his short time to fix wrongs and give a better perception of the Catholic church in a longtime while still spreading the more positives of the Bible and teachings. Not to say he couldn't do more or take further steps in this ever changing world and to nix some of the long bs dogma, intolerance, and corruption still plaguing the Catholic church.

MrHide-Patten:
Based upon technology made by atheists.

Don't get me wrong, as far as popes go, I like him. Damn lot better than the Sith Lord who could live up to the title.

I would not make the assumption all of the people that worked on the internet where atheist, but a mix of some religious believers, atheist, and agnostics. The last Pope Benedict does look perfect though to play a Sith Lord part :) I would say that guy wasn't the worse Pope ever and with recent documents it shows he tried to clean up some of the internal problems with the churchs pedophile priest, but he is not completely clean himself in that he had certain knowledge of other members being so before he became Pope, but I will say when you have so many people in the hierarchy with a huge amount of influence, money, and connections it can be hard even for a Pope to clean all the filth that is in such a large organization and that goes for mostly any organization be it religious or not.

VanTesla:

I would not make the assumption all of the people that worked on the internet where atheist, but a mix of some religious believers, atheist, and agnostics.

When I was saying that I meant the guys that spearheaded the technology, obviously it wasn't just one guy in his backyard on Sunday morning building the first computer. Or have the atheist facebook pages been feeding me biased information!?

MrHide-Patten:

VanTesla:

I would not make the assumption all of the people that worked on the internet where atheist, but a mix of some religious believers, atheist, and agnostics.

When I was saying that I meant the guys that spearheaded the technology, obviously it wasn't just one guy in his backyard on Sunday morning building the first computer. Or have the atheist facebook pages been feeding me biased information!?

My apologies I was just thinking you ment all involved and not the person that headed the project. Honestly I don't know who was the original guy that speaheaded it and don't care enough to look up at the moment so I will assume at the moment your information is correct for you looked up the source. Of course I would not be surprised if there is controversy on who was the actual person who came up with the idea for many I have no doubt tried to say they where the first be it they played a part or not. Also my assumption on most groups that are for religious or non-religious organizations have biased facts on mostly every subject to spin anything done by them as bigger or more involved then they actually are in anything. That is a bit pessimistic of me to presume that all organizations do that, but based on most things that come out many have done and showed such behaviours be it from the top to the bottom or just some mindless idiot spouting things with no actual fact or evidence to back up such claims. That last sentence was not directed towards you or anyone in particular just to clear that up if anyone thought I was directing it towards them.

VanTesla:
...religious believers, atheist, and agnostics...

I just wanted to point out that these things are not mutually exclusive.

Agnostic, despite what the general opinion is, does not mean "unsure of the existence of deities". Gnosticism has nothing to do with religion, inherently, but is rather a proclamation of knowledge.

Atheism is simply a lack of acceptance to theistic claims. It is not the opposite claim that gods do not exist.

There are effectively four kinds of people in the world, in regards to religious beliefs.

Agnostic Theist - Someone who believe there is a god or gods but claims no knowledge or proof of their existence.

Gnostic Theist - Someone who believe in a deity or deities and proclaims to know he/she/they exist.

Agnostic Atheist - Someone who is unsure if there are any deities, or someone who does not accept theistic claims, and claims no knowledge either way.

Gnostic Atheist - Someone who does believe deities exist and claims absolute knowledge of that claim.

Truth is, most people who call themselves agnostics are really Agnostic Atheists. Which is not a bad thing. Atheism isn't a dirty word. Religious indoctrination has turned it into one. Likewise, many religions followers are Agnostic Theists.

Anyway, I know this doesn't really address the points in your post, but I just wanted to clarify for everyone the misconceptions behind the terms.

Gabanuka:

Secondly, saying something is a gift from God doesn't detract the human element. If you believe in the Abrahamic God he's literally in everything and everyone, you could see him as the spark behind the genius of Tim Berners-Lee. Pope Francis isn't saying God descended from on-high and created the internet; his view is that something so wonderful has a spark of the divine, which is actually quite a beautiful image.

I vehemently disagree. It is anything but "a beautiful image".

Proclaiming the internet is "a gift from god", even in the way you're describing, still dismisses the ingenuity, creativity, and enduring efforts of those who conceived of and built it. It still implies that humanity couldn't have created it without "god's help". In effect, it's the same as saying, "That idea you had that changed the world? That wasn't your idea, that was god's. He gave it to you."

How is that any different, in principle, than just stating that god came down and created it himself? Other than, you know, the image of a bearded guy in a robe descending from the sky and willing massive server farms into existence.

It's not. And it's still an incredibly insulting and ignorant thing to say.

I strongly agree with all the potential hazards of the internet he mentioned. It's easy to lose yourself there and just forget social standards and courtesies (see YouTube comment sections) because there are very few repercussions for being a dick on the internet.

Lono Shrugged:
While I disagree with him completely at his core idea. He seems like a really cool dude who I would high five with the upmost respect. I really, really dig this pope

Well shit, I want to add high-five the pope to my bucket list now.

Captcha is saying piggyback, but I think that would be pushing it a bit.

VanTesla:
You could interpret his wording of God as in that God gave humans life and the knowledge to possibly accomplish such things as the internet, but that is maybe going deeper into what he is saying and maybe is not what he is saying at all. By the current small time he has been in I almost will give him the benefit of the doubt that is what he actually means when he said those words which is fine to me and I am not even a christian or religious person. Usually when people do good/great things religious organizations will interpret god/gods had a hand in guiding humans towards it and when bad things happen it is because of evil/devil/etc pushing man to do such things...

So far this knew Pope has done more in his short time to fix wrongs and give a better perception of the Catholic church in a longtime while still spreading the more positives of the Bible and teachings. Not to say he couldn't do more or take further steps in this ever changing world and to nix some of the long bs dogma, intolerance, and corruption still plaguing the Catholic church.

Setting aside that God can be invoked for anything anyone wants to invoke it for and that Gods putatively infallible mouthpiece on Earth should be expected not to require interpretation, I suppose my issue is that he doesn't seem to mention the humans involved in the gift at all. Not even as guided hands or faithful servants enacting Gods will or being enlightened or inspired or what have you. They just do not appear to matter, even as a tool in Gods design. For me, this has the effect of diminishing the spirit of the thing...not simply because of the irrelevance of man (we're pretty irrelevant in any model of the universe, even the ones where we think we're important), but because that perspective itself reduces the entire universe to little more than an over-glorified ant farm. I believe, with or without God, it is or should be much more than that.

That said I'll also admit to being deeply suspicious and leery about giving the benefit of the doubt to a man fronting what could just as well be seen as little more than a massive PR campaign for a troubled organization that has all too recently endured serious scandal under the administration of the previous incumbent. An incumbent who notably stepped down from a traditionally until-death position to make room for long overdue change of attitudes.

When we see this sort of behavior in secular corporate bodies, it comes across as obvious face saving. An attempt to salvage the image of the organism from the vagaries of public opinion. Why should we view it as anything else here?

Again, I agree with his sentiments in broad terms, but a lot of what he's been saying and doing feels a bit too pat and in line with the opinions of traditional opposition to immediately consider sincere. If it makes them a better and more inclusive community, fine. If they really mean it even better, but I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon just because it pulled a few unexpected 180s to flirt with my beliefs on a few issues. That's something the Catholic Church has a long history of and it does not impress upon me their sincerity for anything other than their bottomless hunger for converts and a pressing need to shed the ignominy of recent decades.

They've got a much longer road to walk towards sincerity than admitting that humans are human and eloquently restating something we already knew about the internet.

VanTesla:

MrHide-Patten:

VanTesla:

I would not make the assumption all of the people that worked on the internet where atheist, but a mix of some religious believers, atheist, and agnostics.

When I was saying that I meant the guys that spearheaded the technology, obviously it wasn't just one guy in his backyard on Sunday morning building the first computer. Or have the atheist facebook pages been feeding me biased information!?

My apologies I was just thinking you ment all involved and not the person that headed the project. Honestly I don't know who was the original guy that speaheaded it and don't care enough to look up at the moment so I will assume at the moment your information is correct for you looked up the source. Of course I would not be surprised if there is controversy on who was the actual person who came up with the idea for many I have no doubt tried to say they where the first be it they played a part or not. Also my assumption on most groups that are for religious or non-religious organizations have biased facts on mostly every subject to spin anything done by them as bigger or more involved then they actually are in anything. That is a bit pessimistic of me to presume that all organizations do that, but based on most things that come out many have done and showed such behaviours be it from the top to the bottom or just some mindless idiot spouting things with no actual fact or evidence to back up such claims. That last sentence was not directed towards you or anyone in particular just to clear that up if anyone thought I was directing it towards them.

Ive seen it in a couple of posts, particularly those aimed at bigoted Christians, using Facebook and the line to spread hateful messages to non-believers, homosexuals, etc. Particularly the irony of using Facebook (Mar Zuckerberg, atheist) on the internet (developed by an atheist) on a computer (created by a gay atheist, that would have rather killed himself then go to a 're-education' center, which he did).

Still I would hate for this news post to devolve into a Religion bashing thread. This popes been trying to do some good but he's hed down by the backwards system, supposedly god, but forgive me if I ain't buying it. Especially if the pope is supposed to be the direct line to god and he by extension god says; 'faithful gays stil go to heaven', but then he and by extension god had to take that back. So either 'god' was murmuring that in his sleep, or the old farts in dresses don't like bending the rules to be more humane.

nice olive branch and guy seems genuinely nice and down to earth.
i get his point about the net but still it was invented to provide continuity of command in the advent of thermonuclear war for the US armed forces not to be what we know today

reiniat:
Who the hell is this pope? what happened to Benedict Cucumbatch XXX?
I agree with him tough...

the old pope stepped down last year (first pope in history to step down voulantarely before death?) and this new one was elected. apperently he was banished from his home coutnry in south america for supporting gay rights (and local government doesnt). He seems to be the most liberal high priest and is certainly what the church needs.

Chaosritter:
I guess WWII played a bigger role in this case than God did.

Also, he has clearly never been on 4chan or Reddit...

are you implying that god caused WW2 to initiate internet? you monster! [/sarcasm]

CriticalMiss:

Because we all know that the Vatican doesn't count homosexuals or people who want abortions/contraception in their list of people they want to understand!

Still, he's a damn sight better than pope's of old. Especially the one who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

Actually Pope Francis recently came out and officialy proclaimed that Christian church should accept homosexuals as any other "children of god" and should stop this nonesensical war. in fact he was throw away from his birthcountry for supporting gay rights while the local president didnt.
He also did a mixed thing about contraception, to the sort that coudl easily be interpreted that contrception is ok according to him.
he certainly is changing this view your decribing.

valium:
From the words of the pope himself, "science is god."

i think the worldview here is more like "Everything is god"

wombat_of_war:
nice olive branch and guy seems genuinely nice and down to earth.
i get his point about the net but still it was invented to provide continuity of command in the advent of thermonuclear war for the US armed forces not to be what we know today

nuclear fission was created to destroy enemy cities and yet now its used as the best energy source in use on planet. Things arent always invented and used for same purposes.

A gift from God? Really? How would you even prove that? From what I can see, the Internet was pieced together, through painstaking effort, by physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers and builders over the course of many, many decades. DARPA and CERN helped bring about the internet by investing many millions of dollars. And a lot of the scientists and mathematicians who made the internet? Agnostics or Atheists. While there are religious scientists, the majority of scientists are not religious (at least in the West).

I don't mind this new Pope - he seems like a welcome change. But don't credit the hard, hard work and ingenuity of our species to a god when you don't have the slightest evidence that your god contributed anything.

I'm a bit worried for the cohesion of the Church is Francis keeps "modernising" it, I don't want another schism. Don't get me wrong, I like this guy's ideas but the rate at which he's going about it is a bit scary. If the Church can survive it then we're all be better off for it.

Francis, you're a cool guy.

And since it's started already, let me chime in:
ITT, r/atheism circlejerking.

MrHide-Patten:
...Or have the atheist facebook pages been feeding me biased information!?

Funnily enough, once you branch out your sources you'll find those facebook pages are more biased than /pol/ or FTB. And that's saying something.

Vigormortis:
...Agnostic, despite what the general opinion is, does not mean "unsure of the existence of deities"...

Actually, it does, at least at this moment in time. Dictionaries are descriptive, not perscriptive.
To put it another way, when Huxley used the word Agnostic as describing a person who is unsure of the existence of god/gods and subsequently once people started using it that way, the word took on that meaning. These days that definition is listed in most dictionaries.
If today you decide that the same word should mean chocolate dessert and enough people start using the word in that fashion, that definition will be added to the dictionary.

I like this Pope, he's a very cool Pope and I agreed with him minus the gift from God but I think it's best I leave that alone I might get bombed by religious critics if I'm not careful

I agree. Thanks to the internet, it's incredibly easy to find all the things Pope Francis has done both before and after becoming the Pope that were anti-gay (such as attributing gay marriage to Satan) despite his rep as the "cool Pope."

1337mokro:
It just took several decades of human toil and engineering before god could take all that credit hu?

Have you ever read the story of Noah?

Strazdas:
Actually Pope Francis recently came out and officialy proclaimed that Christian church should accept homosexuals as any other "children of god" and should stop this nonesensical war. in fact he was throw away from his birthcountry for supporting gay rights while the local president didnt.

Er...he did?

The only thing I can find about that is when he claimed that gay marriage was an attack by Satan on god's children while he was in Argentina.

Admittedly, he did say that the church shouldn't focus on being homophobic and attacking women's rights to abortion as much as they have been, which makes him a great guy, or something.

Oh, goddamnit...said much better before I could hit the post button:

Zachary Amaranth:
I agree. Thanks to the internet, it's incredibly easy to find all the things Pope Francis has done both before and after becoming the Pope that were anti-gay (such as attributing gay marriage to Satan) despite his rep as the "cool Pope."

Hey look, a homophobic, child molesting fuckwit who made a positive comment about the internet. What a swell guy!

My first thought upon seeing this thread title was that the pope must have found the vast array of free kinky internet porn.

More on topic, um, I guess it's a pretty level-headed statement/decree for the head of a major religious organization to make, but I'm not particularly fond of religion, so this doesn't really mean much to me I guess.

1337mokro:
It just took several decades of human toil and engineering before god could take all that credit hu?

If god exist he has to be a tenured professor who always gets his name on his students research papers just because.

On 4chan, we have a saying for people like you. I tip my fedora to you, sir, clearly, this warranted such a response. Obviously, you are enlightened by your own intelligence, not the phony blessing of some false god, and this means you get to make comments that are completely uncalled for whenever and wherever you like. So edgy, so intelligent, so great.

Sarcasm aside, you're the reason people hate atheists. It's why I can't bring myself to call myself an atheist because I'll be associated with people like you. Next time, turn off your computer before you shoot off your mouth

Nokturos:
Hey look, a homophobic, child molesting fuckwit who made a positive comment about the internet. What a swell guy!

Dude, not cool. Pope Francis may be one of least fuckwitty popes that we've had in recent history. Guy's been trying to reverse all the homophobic and child molesting aspects of the Catholic church and you gotta give him some credit for that.

AsurasEyes:

1337mokro:
It just took several decades of human toil and engineering before god could take all that credit hu?

If god exist he has to be a tenured professor who always gets his name on his students research papers just because.

On 4chan, we have a saying for people like you.

[quote]I tip my fedora to you, sir, clearly, this warranted such a response. Obviously, you are enlightened by your own intelligence, not the phony blessing of some false god, and this means you get to make comments that are completely uncalled for whenever and wherever you like. So edgy, so intelligent, so great.

Don't you dare mess up his euphoria, mate.

Now that the pope has joined the 21st century, perhaps we could get a "Christianity Lite Edition" to go with it.

Think about it, a religion that focuses on teaching people to be good human beings and not convoluting the whole message with ghost stories and imaginary friends.

Nokturos:
Hey look, a homophobic, child molesting fuckwit who made a positive comment about the internet. What a swell guy!

Hey look, a condescending, holier-than-thou keyboard warrior made a joke that doesn't even apply to this fucking Pope because, hey, all people in an organization are the same, right? And he made this statement on the internet! He seems like such a fun guy to be around!

SanguiniusMagnificum:

Nokturos:
Hey look, a homophobic, child molesting fuckwit who made a positive comment about the internet. What a swell guy!

Dude, not cool. Pope Francis may be one of least fuckwitty popes that we've had in recent history. Guy's been trying to reverse all the homophobic and child molesting aspects of the Catholic church and you gotta give him some credit for that.

Yes. Clearly, the guy who has openly said that homosexual adoption is basically child abuse is obviously against homophobia.

Various posts in this thread that I won't bother to mention names:
OMG! BEST POPE EVER!

Guys, isn't this the guy that's directly opposed to gay marriage? Come on now, he's certainly a step up, but we're pretty far from an influentially harmless pope.

Vigormortis:
snip

In no way does it

Vigormortis:
dismiss the ingenuity, creativity, and enduring efforts of those who conceived of and built it.

. All of that still happened, no one is saying it didn't. What 'Gift' implies is that the spark was divine, God was there to inspire the creators to work. Like how Beethoven was inspired by pure joy when he wrote his 9th Symphony or Miyamoto was inspired by adventure when he set to work on LoZ.

If the Pope had thanked God for the internet I would see you're point, that's imply God did the majority of the work and the people were just pawns.

Nokturos:

SanguiniusMagnificum:

Nokturos:
Hey look, a homophobic, child molesting fuckwit who made a positive comment about the internet. What a swell guy!

Dude, not cool. Pope Francis may be one of least fuckwitty popes that we've had in recent history. Guy's been trying to reverse all the homophobic and child molesting aspects of the Catholic church and you gotta give him some credit for that.

Yes. Clearly, the guy who has openly said that homosexual adoption is basically child abuse is obviously against homophobia.

Baby steps, mate, baby steps. You can't expect the head of a religious institution to suddenly drop centuries of prejudice and religious doctrine. It's called diplomacy. I'm deeply ashamed that I'll have to resort to the "at least he's trying" argument, but yeah, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

At least he's trying to warm up to the homosexual community by trying to stop the hostilities against them instead of calling them Satan's spawn and condemning them to burn in eternity like his predecessors.

What I'm trying to say is that he still has to be diplomatical about his statements on *cough cough* "controversial topics" so that he doesn't piss off most of the other bigwigs in the Catholic church (It's not like he's the God-Emperor of Catholicism, he still has to find a compromise with the cardinals).

SanguiniusMagnificum:
At least he's trying to warm up to the homosexual community by trying to stop the hostilities against them instead of calling them Satan's spawn and condemning them to burn in eternity like his predecessors.

He said gay marriage was an attack by Satan on Christians. Now, strictly speaking, yeah, he didn't say it about gay people, but...still rather obviously homophobic.

If he wanted to tone down the homophobia, but the church is full of bigots that won't let him say anything nice, he could shut the hell up instead.

I can't help but wonder if this is how he genuinely feels or if it's just good PR.

MCerberus:
It's almost like Pope Hitleryouth McCoverup was a deliberate hate lightning rod so when this guy comes around everyone loves him.

Yeah, because its not like Ratzinger ever did anything to try to correct any of the atrocities going on in the church.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2541548/Revealed-Pope-Benedict-XVI-defrocked-400-priests-sexually-molesting-children-just-two-years.html

Or maybe it was just like what is pretty typical, people judge on appearances, assume he is Emperor Palpitation and thus MUST be evil.

EightGaugeHippo:
Now that the pope has joined the 21st century, perhaps we could get a "Christianity Lite Edition" to go with it.

Think about it, a religion that focuses on teaching people to be good human beings and not convoluting the whole message with ghost stories and imaginary friends.

I believe Christianity lite is know as Unitarian! *Rim shot*
But seriously, I am a Unitarian myself, and I have no belief in some sort of higher deity. The minister at my meeting house is a great guy, and combines teachings from all faiths and beliefs from Islam to Christianity to Wicca. He's even done a sermon made almost entirely of Monty Python references. There's no religious requirements or prayer or anything required. The only real teaching is that life is a gift from whatever source you choose, and we shouldn't waste it being hateful and bigoted. No funny mixed messages, just do more good than harm and you win at religion.

OT: It's good to see that this pope is reaching out more than previous ones. There's still a ways to go to undo the image the catholic church has created, but he's off to a good start. Baby steps people, baby steps.

I'm writing an article on this guy right now and I've interviewed several people of various faiths or nonfaiths about their thoughts on him. Doesn't seem to matter who you are or what you believe, everyone really likes this pope.

While i question whether the internet could truely be delivered by a spiritual being, over the people who i can see and touch and thank repeatedly for their effort and intelligence, i will admit that the things i find on the internet could be described as being "gifts from god"... i'm talking about... you know what i'm talking about.

VaporWare:

VanTesla:
You could interpret his wording of God as in that God gave humans life and the knowledge to possibly accomplish such things as the internet, but that is maybe going deeper into what he is saying and maybe is not what he is saying at all. By the current small time he has been in I almost will give him the benefit of the doubt that is what he actually means when he said those words which is fine to me and I am not even a christian or religious person. Usually when people do good/great things religious organizations will interpret god/gods had a hand in guiding humans towards it and when bad things happen it is because of evil/devil/etc pushing man to do such things...

So far this knew Pope has done more in his short time to fix wrongs and give a better perception of the Catholic church in a longtime while still spreading the more positives of the Bible and teachings. Not to say he couldn't do more or take further steps in this ever changing world and to nix some of the long bs dogma, intolerance, and corruption still plaguing the Catholic church.

Setting aside that God can be invoked for anything anyone wants to invoke it for and that Gods putatively infallible mouthpiece on Earth should be expected not to require interpretation, I suppose my issue is that he doesn't seem to mention the humans involved in the gift at all. Not even as guided hands or faithful servants enacting Gods will or being enlightened or inspired or what have you. They just do not appear to matter, even as a tool in Gods design. For me, this has the effect of diminishing the spirit of the thing...not simply because of the irrelevance of man (we're pretty irrelevant in any model of the universe, even the ones where we think we're important), but because that perspective itself reduces the entire universe to little more than an over-glorified ant farm. I believe, with or without God, it is or should be much more than that.

That said I'll also admit to being deeply suspicious and leery about giving the benefit of the doubt to a man fronting what could just as well be seen as little more than a massive PR campaign for a troubled organization that has all too recently endured serious scandal under the administration of the previous incumbent. An incumbent who notably stepped down from a traditionally until-death position to make room for long overdue change of attitudes.

When we see this sort of behavior in secular corporate bodies, it comes across as obvious face saving. An attempt to salvage the image of the organism from the vagaries of public opinion. Why should we view it as anything else here?

Again, I agree with his sentiments in broad terms, but a lot of what he's been saying and doing feels a bit too pat and in line with the opinions of traditional opposition to immediately consider sincere. If it makes them a better and more inclusive community, fine. If they really mean it even better, but I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon just because it pulled a few unexpected 180s to flirt with my beliefs on a few issues. That's something the Catholic Church has a long history of and it does not impress upon me their sincerity for anything other than their bottomless hunger for converts and a pressing need to shed the ignominy of recent decades.

They've got a much longer road to walk towards sincerity than admitting that humans are human and eloquently restating something we already knew about the internet.

I do agree with you that it is most likely PR, but so far this guy has been doing what he has said, but we won't know if he is truly legit or just another face until a few more years I think before I can actually believe in the guy or not. I am mostly pessimistic when it comes to any big group that has so much power and has the ability to bypass laws that are put on the citizens and can get away with things that if tried on a normal citizen would be jailed... At the same time I don't want to completely lose faith that some people are truly trying their best to help others and make a better world.

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