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Guest Thinkers

Facebook Friends Forever

Can social network friends be real friends when relationships are pursued and developed in such facile and costless ways? Philosopher Roger Scruton says real friendship involves risk.

“In human relations, risk avoidance means the avoidance of account ability, the refusal to stand judged in another’s eyes, the refusal to come face to face with another person, to give oneself in whatever measure to him or her, and so to run the risk of rejection. … Perhaps we can survive in a world of virtual relations; but it is not a world into which children can easily enter, except as intruders. Avatars may reproduce on the screen: but they will not fill the world with real human children. And the cyber-parents of these avatar-children, deprived of all that makes people grow as moral beings—of risk, embarrassment, suffering, and love—will shrink to mere points of view, on a world in which they do not really occur.”


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