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Proposal to posters on this forum





Bikerman
In one of the threads currently running, Indi proposed something which I think is worth pursuing, so I have put this into a thread of its own so that this can be discussed as a distinct item, rather than being part of an existing thread.

I've reproduced Indi's posting below with a couple of edits which I hope Indi will accept (I have italicised the passage that I have edited).
In summary it proposes that users take some responsibility for the quality of postings in this forum.

Let's have some comments, please, from users of this forum on the proposal below. Do you agree with Indi's proposal? If not then which part(s) do you find problematic and why? Do you have anything to add to the proposal?

This is your forum, so here's a chance to say how YOU think it should develop.

Indi wrote:
Look, we have been given a unique opportunity here. A group of people complained that the discussion tone was too 'aggressive' - they didn't want to be contradicted. They have now got a forum tuned to their wishes: a forum where they can post on Faith issues without having to worry about someone challenging or contradicting their beliefs.

Well, good for them, they got what they wanted. But fair's fair, and that means that we can now get what we want. We can demand a higher standard of posting right here in this forum. Damn straight we can: they got what they wanted, now it's our turn to get what we want.

So let's do it. Let's up the standard here. Let the days of firing off posts that you don't have to defend be over; if you want to post something that you don't have to answer for, go to the Faith forum. Let's demand that every post made here in this forum measure up to a standard of intelligent, rational, civilized debate that we set.

And let's set - and enforce - that standard as a community by only engaging in debate with posters that either meet that standard or have demonstrated an honest attempt to try to meet that standard. Here are some sample guidelines we could use:

* If someone honestly attempts an argument and fouls up... point out their mistake - explain the flaw in their logic or their premises.
* If someone honestly doesn't understand a point... explain it to them (or, if you can't explain it clearly enough, invite someone else to try).
* If someone is new and doesn't get how we do things here (or in philosophy in general)... explain it to them - tell them how philosophy is done and why it's done that way.
* If someone makes an off-topic post that seems like an honest mistake... point out that it's off-topic and offer them a chance to get back on topic (or invite them to start a new thread with the topic they brought up).
* If someone repeats an argument or a point that you know they have been shown is flawed... point out to them that it has been explained to them before (and, ideally, link to where it has).
* If someone makes a post insisting that they cannot be argued with... send them to the Faith forum - they don't belong here.
* If you know someone is only acting up for attention... ignore them.

We have tons of quality posters (just off the top of my head i could list Ankhanu, Bikerman, Afaceinthematrix, watersoul, ocalhoun and many more) who don't always agree (in fact, who rarely all agree), but who are all capable of having quality discussions about the points we disagree on. We don't need to tolerate the garbage. Especially now that there's a place for people to go who aren't capable or willing to participate in adult discussions.

Obviously not every post needs to be a perfect post - and there's nothing wrong with a little tongue-in-cheek humour, or a silly post for laughs from time to time - but let's all strive as a community to make sure that every post either:

1. Introduces a point or argument, and backs that argument or point up with evidence or reasoning; or
2. Points out a logical or evidential error in a point or argument someone else has raised; or
3. Both of the above.

And, let's use our judgement to decide which posts are reasonable attempts to participate constructively, and provide something useful to the discussion. Those posts that are reasonable attempts but not executed properly, let's help the poster up to meet the community standard we set. Those that are not reasonable attempts, let's just ignore.

So, how about it, P&R? With the coming of the Faith forum, we no longer need to tolerate posts or posters that don't invite intelligent debate. So let's stop tolerating them. The people who don't want to debate got their forum, so let this be our forum - a forum for those of us who want to discuss philosophy and religion in an intelligent and productive manner. And let's make it our forum by collectively - as a community - setting and maintaining a standard of posting conducive to quality intelligent discussion. And let's help those people who want to join our community by lifting them up to our standards, rather than bending down to theirs. And for those who won't participate constructively, let's either send them to the Faith forum (if that is where their posts belong), or simply ignore them until either they decide to stop being jackasses and instead participate constructively, or they go away.

The beauty of all this is that for the vast majority of people here, we don't need to do anything different. Most of the posters here are already of a high calibre, and are fantastic contributors to intelligent and productive discussions. All we need to do is decide that that level of debate is the only level of debate we want, and the only level of debate we will participate in... and either help others rise up to that standard, or, if they have no intention of doing so, stop wasting our time with them.

So, how about it, P&R?
Bluedoll
What a big bunch of lies. Bikerman has so keenly described the forum as being a dictatorship himself in a previous post so saying that members even have a hope of having a fair say is completely false.

What is obvious by this post is that Bikerman who said he would withdraw from this section is now seeking even more control over it with a proposal to restricting what members can write here. The truth is neither Bikerman or Indi (who is often vulgar and insulting) can not handle a challenge on any subjects regarding how posting should occur. That is so evident by the control and the power trip that goes on in this section of the forum. This is the real issue and not about quality posts.

What kind of a post is this one that tells other members that they are either turkeys or jackasses? Then goes on to say segregation is answer whereby anyone that doesn’t like the way ‘we do things around here’ can go to the little faith forum.

Well I can say that the faith forum was not what I wanted. Far from it. I wanted religion as a separate section mostly because of the overbearing control freak way of doing things in this forum.

It was tried as a compromise for all members. It was also fought against, suggested it be boycotted and now it is being implied that is a forum for jackasses. How lovely!

Because of hate posts like this one this forum is developing into mainly a hostile, argue intensive and unfriendly place to post. There is no proof needed it is obvious as anyone can see this by reading this very post.

Does p/r mean public relations? New members beware.
catscratches
Bluedoll wrote:
Because of hate posts like this one this forum is developing into mainly a hostile, argue intensive and unfriendly place to post. There is no proof needed it is obvious as anyone can see this by reading this very post.
I guess I'm blind then.

The guidelines sound good and are really quite obvious (as long as they are guidelines and not enforced through moderation).

Quote:
Does p/r mean public relations? New members beware.

P&R stands for "Philosophy and Religion", as in this very forum.
Bikerman
OK, so if I understand you, you support the basic proposal with regard to trying to improve posting quality, and you would deal with trolls or deliberately poor quality postings by simply ignoring them, rather than wishing a moderator to intervene...would that be fair?

(I'm not taking any specific position at the moment - I want to see what the general feeling is amongst posters).
catscratches
Trolls should of course be dealt with appropriately (through moderation) but I don't think that posts that are simply of poor quality should be moderated. Instead, we should offer advice on how to improve the posts. I'm not quite sure how one notices how a post is of "deliberately poor quality".
Bikerman
Oh I think it is normally fairly obvious.
For example: if a poster refuses point blank to provide support for assertions they make, despite repeated requests. If a poster keeps repeating a fallacy or untruth after it has been repeatedly pointed out that it IS a fallacy or untruth. If a poster resorts to personal or generalised abuse rather than dealing with points raised...those sorts of thing...

The thing with trolling is that, if done 'well' then it doesn't necessarily contravene the TOS, so there may be no obvious grounds for moderation. Frih does cover that eventuality with rule i in the TOS which basically gives the mods the right to remove any posting they see fit, but most mods (including me) wouldn't want to use that 'catch all' in anything but the most exceptional circumstance...
Trolling is, I think, best dealt with by not responding (Don't feed the trolls, as it is normally put)...
pentangeli
Quote:
Look, we have been given a unique opportunity here. A group of people complained that the discussion tone was too 'aggressive' - they didn't want to be contradicted. They have now got a forum tuned to their wishes: a forum where they can post on Faith issues without having to worry about someone challenging or contradicting their beliefs.


I haven't checked the Faith forum before. I'm not sure that this provides an idealistic solution to people wanting to avoid aggressive opposition (or "contradiction on Faith, like it's even possible) but this the "Philosophy and Religion" forum and it is currently rife with aggressive opposition demanding empirical scientific evidence that attempts to "contradict their beliefs". Maybe the believe sharing isn't at fault here. Maybe it's located correctly and its "quality" is subject to the poster's own digression? But that's just my belief.


Quote:
Well, good for them, they got what they wanted. But fair's fair, and that means that we can now get what we want. We can demand a higher standard of posting right here in this forum. Damn straight we can: they got what they wanted, now it's our turn to get what we want.


So make an Atheist forum and have a big old love-in (sorry "survive-in") in there. I'm not being facetious, I'm deadly serious. This is the solution to your problem. Philosophy and Religion for Philosophy and Religion posts (crazy idea, I know) and Science and Atheism for Science and Atheism posts. Although, if you're a keen scientist, I do apologize for an association that you objectivity may not be eager to entertain. But regardless, problem is easily solved by a Science forum and an Atheism forum. It seems like the OPs could benefit from an Atheist forum. I only mentioned Science because it seems to get dragged in here a lot. Arguably because it's an unavoidable reality of the human existence? Well granted. But so is Politics. And I don't want particularly need to read about that in here either.

Quote:

So let's do it. Let's up the standard here. Let the days of firing off posts that you don't have to defend be over; if you want to post something that you don't have to answer for, go to the Faith forum. Let's demand that every post made here in this forum measure up to a standard of intelligent, rational, civilized debate that we set.


I was waiting for the bigotry and it has arrived with bells on. There's no citable rationality on Religion by nature. It's it pole opposite. The "Faith" aspect, shouldn't even have it's own forum. It's just a sub forum or even parent forum of Religion (in my opinion). Philosophy is a hard to define thing. Perhaps it deals with the study of knowledge, perhaps knowledge is subjective thought outside the realms of fact or indeed, in study of the mind, it's individual theory always lacking in evidence of anything material, perhaps Charles Manson and David Koresh had their own philosophy? Since we're splitting hairs, I'm not sure that it requires evidential workings, and if it does, then it's about as matched with Religion as Atheism is to Science and therefore, its in a non-related forum too. The bigotry is attempting to set a guideline for what others believe (followed by the "don't have an answer for" character assessment), but I'm sure that this being fascist has dawned already. Hence: The proposition to even want get all rulesy about what people are allowed to "think" and "believe".

And it gets worse:

Quote:
And let's set - and enforce - that standard as a community by only engaging in debate with posters that either meet that standard or have demonstrated an honest attempt to try to meet that standard. Here are some sample guidelines we could use:


Set and Enforce it! Did you edit this Chris? That part? ...Screaming to be omitted. Meet what "standard"? I feel like I'm being shown the showers, here. Oh look, I am...

Quote:

* If someone honestly attempts an argument and fouls up... point out their mistake - explain the flaw in their logic or their premises.


I do this regularly, and I'm accused of being brainwashed because of it. It's mainly due to people requesting this logic of non logical theology and belief, which proves that even this one-sided beneficiary rule doesn't even serve the one party it was designed to protect.

Quote:

* If someone honestly doesn't understand a point... explain it to them (or, if you can't explain it clearly enough, invite someone else to try).


Again with issues of belief and subjective knowledge, I can hardly see how conferring helps or offers any substance to a forum about immaterial concepts.

Quote:

* If someone is new and doesn't get how we do things here (or in philosophy in general)... explain it to them - tell them how philosophy is done and why it's done that way.


So who's going to explain it to you? And the mod for that matter?

Quote:

* If someone makes an off-topic post that seems like an honest mistake... point out that it's off-topic and offer them a chance to get back on topic (or invite them to start a new thread with the topic they brought up).


That'll really improve the "science of the atheist" virus demanding it be infected with its own lack of beliefs problem which has made this pole-opposite forum completely SUCK.

Quote:

* If someone repeats an argument or a point that you know they have been shown is flawed... point out to them that it has been explained to them before (and, ideally, link to where it has).


And argument on person thought and personal belief cannot be flawed. What then? An encephalograph?

Quote:

* If someone makes a post insisting that they cannot be argued with... send them to the Faith forum - they don't belong here.


THEY BELONG EXACTLY HERE. YOU DO NOT. CREATE AND GO TO AN ATHEIST OR SCIENCE FORUM, FOR LACK OF GOD'S SAKE.

Quote:

* If you know someone is only acting up for attention... ignore them.


Fact: You come in here to act up. Your lack of beliefs, conjecture, opinions and "facts" are tailor made to antagonize people in search of an "argument". This is why you need an atheism forum and ironically, it's also why there ISN'T one yet. Because it would completely redundant because as I've already stated (without the need for any evidence or wiki link) An Atheist NEEDS God. So you talk about people acting up? Reminds me of the crusades. You're being acted upon because you came in here - TO ACT UP. Don't like it? Don't act up. You, with your "Glad they finally crucified the Bastard" Jesus comments in the Religion forum are saying this? Well, wow, what a compete load of horse manure?

Quote:

We have tons of quality ATHEISTS (just off the top of my head i could list Ankhanu, Bikerman, Afaceinthematrix, watersoul, ocalhoun and many more) who don't always agree (in fact, who rarely all agree), but who are all capable of having quality discussions about the points we disagree on. We don't need to tolerate the garbage. Especially now that there's a place for people to go who aren't capable or willing to participate in adult discussions.


Your politics notwithstanding, there's a piece of "unintellectual" ,"childish", "garbage" here that can see that you clearly have more than enough for your own lack of religion forum. Or failing that, just created a Propaganda Machine forum, and mod it. You'd be an overnight sensation. And I've seen how you all "rarely agree" with each other. It's really quite cute.

Quote:

Obviously not every post needs to be a perfect post - and there's nothing wrong with a little tongue-in-cheek humour, or a silly post for laughs from time to time - but let's all strive as a community to make sure that every post either:

1. Introduces a point or argument, and backs that argument or point up with evidence or reasoning; or
2. Points out a logical or evidential error in a point or argument someone else has raised; or
3. Both of the above.


1. Wrong place for evidence.
2. Again, evidence not required.
3. Both of the above.

I see "evidence" is being puppeteered as some sort of code word for bigotry. Eternally attracting the power lust of fascist bigots who are even attempting to set up a "postic cleansing" regime of quality control. I can't think why my above references to Nazi dictators was unreasonable.

Quote:

And, let's use our judgement to decide which posts are reasonable attempts to participate constructively, and provide something useful to the discussion. Those posts that are reasonable attempts but not executed properly, let's help the poster up to meet the community standard we set. Those that are not reasonable attempts, let's just ignore.

So, how about it, P&R? With the coming of the Faith forum, we no longer need to tolerate posts or posters that don't invite intelligent debate. So let's stop tolerating them. The people who don't want to debate got their forum, so let this be our forum - a forum for those of us who want to discuss philosophy and religion in an intelligent and productive manner. And let's make it our forum by collectively - as a community - setting and maintaining a standard of posting conducive to quality intelligent discussion. And let's help those people who want to join our community by lifting them up to our standards, rather than bending down to theirs. And for those who won't participate constructively, let's either send them to the Faith forum (if that is where their posts belong), or simply ignore them until either they decide to stop being jackasses and instead participate constructively, or they go away.


I could have just bolded all of it. But it was already bold.

I won't be signing up to your Third Reich and I won't be referred to the Faith Showers either. The idealistic solution would be to make your own forum and stop polluting this one with your esoteric Nazi agenda. Failing that, just keep making posts like this one, and nobody will want to post here ever again.

Indi has always been a controversial attention whoring "in with the in-crowd" sycophant to me. And I've never taken that fool seriously. But, Bikerman, if you edited this and endorse the final result of this New World Order, shame befalls you. It's absolutely disgusting.

It has done the trick though.
Bluedoll
@catscratches
“I guess I'm blind then.”
I will explain it then.

“as long as they are guidelines and not enforced through moderation”

How else do you think it will be enforced? If there is an agreement to selectively ignore certain members that do not agree with this “standard” then they will later be labeled trolls(unjustly) and moderation applied. Look at the word demand in the proposal.

I know p/r does not stand for public relations. I am saying however that a proposal like this one demonstrates to new members there are serious issues here in the forum.

“So let's do it. Let's up the standard here. Let the days of firing off posts that you don't have to defend be over; if you want to post something that you don't have to answer for, go to the Faith forum. Let's demand that every post made here in this forum measure up to a standard of intelligent, rational, civilized debate that we set.”

The keyword is we and although it may be true that there is a selection process being made as indicated in the op for the promotion of a group.

Bikerman, Indi, Afaceinthematrix, watersoul (not sure if he wants to join the agree to join the ignore group?), ocalhoun (is always interesting) Ankhanu (not sure if he will go along with the proposal to unite as a group?)

The question is what standard? It will be the groups correct? The group that will be proposing the segregation believes that the only possible format for the p/r section is to post and defend – post and defend. This is not the only format possible for philosophy and certainly not religion.

Although there is a call for intelligent, rational civilized debate I find it ironic that the member that is calling for change is the very one that turns debate into aggression.

“let's use our judgement”

The group lead will be the people mentioned in this post and not members in general that post in Frihost and I will presume that this will eventually be enforced since the proposal calls for it. “WE DEMAND.”

There are problematic components to this proposal.

In summary, it proposes that users take some responsibility for the quality of postings in this forum.

However there is lack of defining in this proposal just how this will be enforced or not enforced, a very important component of the proposal. By not indicating this in the proposal it demonstrates that this is not really a proposal all. Nothing in the proposal may be open for debate? If so it is simply a “see what the general feeling is amongst posters” then go off and make decisions independently.

Yes indeed it is a dictatorship. Yes that is clear, however my question is why call it a proposal to posters? That is false reputation. Call it what it is. Giving notice and seeing how posters react? Well, you certainly can see my reaction.

This ‘proposal’ does not actually do what it says it wants, “Introduces a point or argument, and backs that argument or point up with evidence or reasoning;

How will this proposal be enforced?
Afaceinthematrix
Bluedoll wrote:
What a big bunch of lies. Bikerman has so keenly described the forum as being a dictatorship himself in a previous post so saying that members even have a hope of having a fair say is completely false.

What is obvious by this post is that Bikerman who said he would withdraw from this section is now seeking even more control over it with a proposal to restricting what members can write here. The truth is neither Bikerman or Indi (who is often vulgar and insulting) can not handle a challenge on any subjects regarding how posting should occur. That is so evident by the control and the power trip that goes on in this section of the forum. This is the real issue and not about quality posts.

What kind of a post is this one that tells other members that they are either turkeys or jackasses? Then goes on to say segregation is answer whereby anyone that doesn’t like the way ‘we do things around here’ can go to the little faith forum.

Well I can say that the faith forum was not what I wanted. Far from it. I wanted religion as a separate section mostly because of the overbearing control freak way of doing things in this forum.

It was tried as a compromise for all members. It was also fought against, suggested it be boycotted and now it is being implied that is a forum for jackasses. How lovely!

Because of hate posts like this one this forum is developing into mainly a hostile, argue intensive and unfriendly place to post. There is no proof needed it is obvious as anyone can see this by reading this very post.

Does p/r mean public relations? New members beware.


Bluedoll: You're one of the biggest whiners that I have ever associated with. You have such an "I'm being attacked!" complex whenever anyone even remotely disagrees with you. You're stuck in some fantasy world where you think that everyone is either of Satan or has your exact beliefs. If you try to deny it, we'll all call immediate bullshit on it because I am sure that you, along with everyone else here, knows it's true. I saw your latest posting in the Faith forum about everyone else being of Satan.... Yeah, yeah I realize that I am referencing another post but whatever... It's important because not only to you whine and think that everyone who doesn't believe exactly what you believe is evil, you also think that everyone else is insulting.

How in the blue-bloody-motherf***ing hell is Indi ever insulting? I don't post on the majority of posts but I do tend to read them all (with the exception of an occasional poster that annoys me) and Indi is never insulting. Indi looks for intelligence in posts and will simply point out stuff that is wrong. Indi isn't even mean about it. And how in the hell is Indi suggesting segregation (which you talk about in your next post, but I don't feel like quoting it because this is already hard enough to type because I'm drunk)? All Indi is saying is respond to intelligence with intelligence and if the poster is not posting coherent intelligent comments, then ignore it. Why would you even want to talk to someone on a discussion forum who is not capable of decent discussion?

But that's the actual catch right there and that's what your problem is. You do not want discussion. You want to blab about your point (which is okay) and then you don't want people to actually discuss it. You want people to pat you on your back and talk about how great your idea and point is and then what if they don't agree with it? If they don't agree with it then they're of Satan, probably going to hell, and they're just insulting meanies that you feel are attacking you and you're going to go and whine some more about them...
Bluedoll
pentangeli wrote:
Quote:
Look, we have been given a unique opportunity here. A group of people complained that the discussion tone was too 'aggressive' - they didn't want to be contradicted. They have now got a forum tuned to their wishes: a forum where they can post on Faith issues without having to worry about someone challenging or contradicting their beliefs.


I haven't checked the Faith forum before. I'm not sure that this provides an idealistic solution to people wanting to avoid aggressive opposition (or "contradiction on Faith, like it's even possible) but this the "Philosophy and Religion" forum and it is currently rife with aggressive opposition demanding empirical scientific evidence that attempts to "contradict their beliefs". Maybe the believe sharing isn't at fault here. Maybe it's located correctly and its "quality" is subject to the poster's own digression? But that's just my belief.


Quote:
Well, good for them, they got what they wanted. But fair's fair, and that means that we can now get what we want. We can demand a higher standard of posting right here in this forum. Damn straight we can: they got what they wanted, now it's our turn to get what we want.


So make an Atheist forum and have a big old love-in (sorry "survive-in") in there. I'm not being facetious, I'm deadly serious. This is the solution to your problem. Philosophy and Religion for Philosophy and Religion posts (crazy idea, I know) and Science and Atheism for Science and Atheism posts. Although, if you're a keen scientist, I do apologize for an association that you objectivity may not be eager to entertain. But regardless, problem is easily solved by a Science forum and an Atheism forum. It seems like the OPs could benefit from an Atheist forum. I only mentioned Science because it seems to get dragged in here a lot. Arguably because it's an unavoidable reality of the human existence? Well granted. But so is Politics. And I don't want particularly need to read about that in here either.

Quote:

So let's do it. Let's up the standard here. Let the days of firing off posts that you don't have to defend be over; if you want to post something that you don't have to answer for, go to the Faith forum. Let's demand that every post made here in this forum measure up to a standard of intelligent, rational, civilized debate that we set.


I was waiting for the bigotry and it has arrived with bells on. There's no citable rationality on Religion by nature. It's it pole opposite. The "Faith" aspect, shouldn't even have it's own forum. It's just a sub forum or even parent forum of Religion (in my opinion). Philosophy is a hard to define thing. Perhaps it deals with the study of knowledge, perhaps knowledge is subjective thought outside the realms of fact or indeed, in study of the mind, it's individual theory always lacking in evidence of anything material, perhaps Charles Manson and David Koresh had their own philosophy? Since we're splitting hairs, I'm not sure that it requires evidential workings, and if it does, then it's about as matched with Religion as Atheism is to Science and therefore, its in a non-related forum too. The bigotry is attempting to set a guideline for what others believe (followed by the "don't have an answer for" character assessment), but I'm sure that this being fascist has dawned already. Hence: The proposition to even want get all rulesy about what people are allowed to "think" and "believe".

And it gets worse:

Quote:
And let's set - and enforce - that standard as a community by only engaging in debate with posters that either meet that standard or have demonstrated an honest attempt to try to meet that standard. Here are some sample guidelines we could use:


Set and Enforce it! Did you edit this Chris? That part? ...Screaming to be omitted. Meet what "standard"? I feel like I'm being shown the showers, here. Oh look, I am...

Quote:

* If someone honestly attempts an argument and fouls up... point out their mistake - explain the flaw in their logic or their premises.


I do this regularly, and I'm accused of being brainwashed because of it. It's mainly due to people requesting this logic of non logical theology and belief, which proves that even this one-sided beneficiary rule doesn't even serve the one party it was designed to protect.

Quote:

* If someone honestly doesn't understand a point... explain it to them (or, if you can't explain it clearly enough, invite someone else to try).


Again with issues of belief and subjective knowledge, I can hardly see how conferring helps or offers any substance to a forum about immaterial concepts.

Quote:

* If someone is new and doesn't get how we do things here (or in philosophy in general)... explain it to them - tell them how philosophy is done and why it's done that way.


So who's going to explain it to you? And the mod for that matter?

Quote:

* If someone makes an off-topic post that seems like an honest mistake... point out that it's off-topic and offer them a chance to get back on topic (or invite them to start a new thread with the topic they brought up).


That'll really improve the "science of the atheist" virus demanding it be infected with its own lack of beliefs problem which has made this pole-opposite forum completely SUCK.

Quote:

* If someone repeats an argument or a point that you know they have been shown is flawed... point out to them that it has been explained to them before (and, ideally, link to where it has).


And argument on person thought and personal belief cannot be flawed. What then? An encephalograph?

Quote:

* If someone makes a post insisting that they cannot be argued with... send them to the Faith forum - they don't belong here.


THEY BELONG EXACTLY HERE. YOU DO NOT. CREATE AND GO TO AN ATHEIST OR SCIENCE FORUM, FOR LACK OF GOD'S SAKE.

Quote:

* If you know someone is only acting up for attention... ignore them.


Fact: You come in here to act up. Your lack of beliefs, conjecture, opinions and "facts" are tailor made to antagonize people in search of an "argument". This is why you need an atheism forum and ironically, it's also why there ISN'T one yet. Because it would completely redundant because as I've already stated (without the need for any evidence or wiki link) An Atheist NEEDS God. So you talk about people acting up? Reminds me of the crusades. You're being acted upon because you came in here - TO ACT UP. Don't like it? Don't act up. You, with your "Glad they finally crucified the Bastard" Jesus comments in the Religion forum are saying this? Well, wow, what a compete load of horse manure?

Quote:

We have tons of quality ATHEISTS (just off the top of my head i could list Ankhanu, Bikerman, Afaceinthematrix, watersoul, ocalhoun and many more) who don't always agree (in fact, who rarely all agree), but who are all capable of having quality discussions about the points we disagree on. We don't need to tolerate the garbage. Especially now that there's a place for people to go who aren't capable or willing to participate in adult discussions.


Your politics notwithstanding, there's a piece of "unintellectual" ,"childish", "garbage" here that can see that you clearly have more than enough for your own lack of religion forum. Or failing that, just created a Propaganda Machine forum, and mod it. You'd be an overnight sensation. And I've seen how you all "rarely agree" with each other. It's really quite cute.

Quote:

Obviously not every post needs to be a perfect post - and there's nothing wrong with a little tongue-in-cheek humour, or a silly post for laughs from time to time - but let's all strive as a community to make sure that every post either:

1. Introduces a point or argument, and backs that argument or point up with evidence or reasoning; or
2. Points out a logical or evidential error in a point or argument someone else has raised; or
3. Both of the above.


1. Wrong place for evidence.
2. Again, evidence not required.
3. Both of the above.

I see "evidence" is being puppeteered as some sort of code word for bigotry. Eternally attracting the power lust of fascist bigots who are even attempting to set up a "postic cleansing" regime of quality control. I can't think why my above references to Nazi dictators was unreasonable.

Quote:

And, let's use our judgement to decide which posts are reasonable attempts to participate constructively, and provide something useful to the discussion. Those posts that are reasonable attempts but not executed properly, let's help the poster up to meet the community standard we set. Those that are not reasonable attempts, let's just ignore.

So, how about it, P&R? With the coming of the Faith forum, we no longer need to tolerate posts or posters that don't invite intelligent debate. So let's stop tolerating them. The people who don't want to debate got their forum, so let this be our forum - a forum for those of us who want to discuss philosophy and religion in an intelligent and productive manner. And let's make it our forum by collectively - as a community - setting and maintaining a standard of posting conducive to quality intelligent discussion. And let's help those people who want to join our community by lifting them up to our standards, rather than bending down to theirs. And for those who won't participate constructively, let's either send them to the Faith forum (if that is where their posts belong), or simply ignore them until either they decide to stop being jackasses and instead participate constructively, or they go away.


I could have just bolded all of it. But it was already bold.

I won't be signing up to your Third Reich and I won't be referred to the Faith Showers either. The idealistic solution would be to make your own forum and stop polluting this one with your esoteric Nazi agenda. Failing that, just keep making posts like this one, and nobody will want to post here ever again.

Indi has always been a controversial attention whoring "in with the in-crowd" sycophant to me. And I've never taken that fool seriously. But, Bikerman, if you edited this and endorse the final result of this New World Order, shame befalls you. It's absolutely disgusting.

It has done the trick though.
This is the solution to your problem. Philosophy for Philosophy and Religion for religious posts and Science for science posts and Atheism for atheism posts.

___

“Let's up the standard here for quality posts”
* If you know someone is only acting up for attention... ignore them.
Afaceinthematrix - really nice group member (a drunk)!
Bikerman
Not really.

Philosophy includes religion so we could change the title of the forum...that is being considered...but it won't change what is or can be posted, or the way in which debate is conducted. Members are quite able to decide for themselves whether they wish to post or not in the forum. If you don't like the style of debate then nobody is forcing you to post.

An 'atheist' forum is not a sensible idea. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in God(s). A forum for atheists would be like a forum for people who don't believe in Santa Claus. It would be far too general, with no specific theme to debate around.

As for science - there are already science forums and they are functioning quite nicely, so no change is indicated there.

The faith forum is an experiment, in response to requests and complaints from members who wanted a less confrontational style of debate. If it doesn't work out then fine - it will be closed. At the moment there are a reasonable volume of posts, so we will let it run and keep an eye on it.
Bluedoll
Quote:
this forum is developing into mainly a hostile, argue intensive and unfriendly place to post. There is no proof needed it is obvious as anyone can see

I guess I'm blind then nobody is forcing you to post. blue-bloody-motherf***ing hell or the way in which debate is conducted bullshit on it we can now get what we want for people who don't believe Damn straight we can guess I'm blind then let's set - and enforce motherf***ing hell participate in adult discussions tolerate the garbage let's just ignore quality intelligent discussion motherf***ing hell a high calibre jackasses motherf***ing hell bullshit Damn straight rise up to that standard
Not really
Quote:
The faith forum is an experiment, in response to requests and complaints from members who wanted a less confrontational style of debate
An experiment yes but not in response to my suggestion. I suggested a purely discussion style format as is indicated in the front page of Frihost.com for religious topics only.

Quote:
* If someone repeats an argument or a point that you know they have been shown is flawed... point out to them that it has been explained to them before (and, ideally, link to where it has).
What this is suggestive of is using previous topics to build a common forum thesis. In plain words, this is saying that in a previous post(s) the winner of the argument dominates. Therefore the point that will be currently presented will be wrong by default. That is not right! What comes next? I asked a reasonable question regarding how this proposal will be applied and managed. In all fairness this should be discussed along with the proposal. Why isn’t that being done?

Pointing to a poster to say that their post is ‘wrong’ will nullify that person and give them little or no voice. What is the next step for hitlers? Call them names? Whiner, troll or worse, warnings that they are not to post anything but what has been established as the ‘winning argument’ by the group and this how we do things around here?

This point is a flawed point in the proposal.
Indi
See, this is exactly what i was talking about. DON'T FEED THE TROLLS. Bikerman wants to talk about suggestions to set up a community standard for posting here; that's a reasonable discussion topic that we can have a thoughtful, intelligent and productive discussion about. So let's have that thoughtful, intelligent and productive discussion. If someone crashes the discussion with incoherent persecution-fantasy foolishness, or comparing simply asking people to pull their socks up collectively to the Holocaust (or anyone who says that people should answer for their opinions "Hitler"),... IGNORE THEM. There is nothing you can say to respond to that kind of crap that improves either the atmosphere around here, or the level of discourse.

Just look at what's happened here. The original discussion topic is lost in noise... noise about complete bullshit, too. Why? Why does that have to happen? Does it have to happen? i say no. i say that if those of us who know better act better, then we can carry on smartly here - we can have an intelligent discussion in the midst of monkeys hurling feces if we just ignore the monkeyshit. This should not be hard to do, but we've fallen into a pattern where we feel it necessary to respond to everyone's comments... which would be a worthy goal, if only everyone was at least trying to participate in a constructive way. But they're not, and, in lieu of actually taking moderator action to silence the idiots - which i feel would be a bit excessive - the best thing we can do is simply ignore them. The thing is, we have to do this collectively... as a community. i can't ignore the bozos on my own (and goodness knows i've tried), because they derail the conversations so much i alone can't keep them on track. This has to be a community effort, and, i think, enough of us want a nice place to have intelligent, meaningful, constructive conversation that, by working together, we can make it happen.

i don't want to force moderators like Bikerman or Bondings to have to step in to sweep up the garbage, and it shouldn't be necessary. The trolls will starve eventually if we stop feeding them. Let's just step up our game, and be the best philosophers we can be, and in doing so we will eventually raise the standard of the entire forum. It will take time, of course, and there will certainly be a rocky period at the start, because the foolishness has become so entrenched around here, but we now have the means (the new Faith forum) to syphon off the bulk of it, and the rest we can just ignore. All we need is the will.

For example, this topic is about whether and how we - as a community - should set standards of discourse around here, demanding that discussions in Philosophy & Religion be about philosophy and religion, and insisting that those discussions be carried out in the manner of philosophers or reasonable, thinking adults. DISCUSS THAT. Don't respond to persecution fantasy whining, don't defend me when people try to insult me (thanks, though, Afaceinthematrix), don't dignify disgusting Holocaust analogies with a response... just discuss the topic. We can easily have a reasonable, intelligent discussion about how we, as a community, should act (and, i think it would be a worthwhile discussion), so let's have that discussion.

Don't. Feed. The trolls.
Indi
Now that the crap has been dealt with, i'm going to answer some of the legitimate points that have been raised.

catscratches wrote:
The guidelines sound good and are really quite obvious (as long as they are guidelines and not enforced through moderation).

Yes, they should not be enforced by moderation, they should be community-enforced, meaning that we all decide what deserves the respect of being responded to, what should be redirected to Faith (arguments and/or claims where the poster insists they do not want, or will not listen to, criticism or challenges), and what should just be ignored. There is no reason to respond to posts that don't add anything of value to the discussion, or that clearly have no interest in discussion at all. All my original post basically says is that for those kinds of posts... don't respond to them. (Which to me, sounds like a completely reasonable request.)

For those posts where there is reason to believe that although the post added nothing of value or the poster misunderstands what philosophy is about (for example, thinking it's simply a matter of blurting out opinions or "personal philosophies" with no backing logic or evidence) they still want to join the discussion, we should make an effort to help them up to the community standard, by showing them how to do philosophy properly. The only posts we should redirect are the posts where the poster says they don't want discussion (because their beliefs or claims are not open to criticism, for example). The only posts we should ignore are the posts were the poster adds nothing of value and seems entirely uninterested in meeting community standards for discussion. All others we should respond to (if you want to), or, at the very least, help the poster raise their standard of philosophy.

catscratches wrote:
Trolls should of course be dealt with appropriately (through moderation) but I don't think that posts that are simply of poor quality should be moderated. Instead, we should offer advice on how to improve the posts. I'm not quite sure how one notices how a post is of "deliberately poor quality".

Bikerman answered this ably, but i'm going to add one more thing. Moderators are people, too, and though they have been assigned the responsibility of being the hard-ass, that doesn't mean they enjoy it. Anyone who believes in freedom of expression cringes at the thought of having to step in and shut down discussion. Ideally, we shouldn't force the moderators to have to do that. It's not fair to them.

Nor is it that hard for us to take some responsibility ourselves for what happens here. We shouldn't need to force moderators to act, except in severe situations, and in those situations there should be no difficulty for them because of the severity.

Bluedoll wrote:
An experiment yes but not in response to my suggestion. I suggested a purely discussion style format as is indicated in the front page of Frihost.com for religious topics only.

Discussion includes dissent, or it is not real discussion. If you are discussing God, and refuse to allow "God does not exist" or "God is evil" to be discussed, then you are not discussing God; you are trying to force a group of people to say only things you agree with by using the moderators as the threat to keep them in line.

Bluedoll wrote:
Quote:
* If someone repeats an argument or a point that you know they have been shown is flawed... point out to them that it has been explained to them before (and, ideally, link to where it has).
What this is suggestive of is using previous topics to build a common forum thesis. In plain words, this is saying that in a previous post(s) the winner of the argument dominates. Therefore the point that will be currently presented will be wrong by default.

No, what this is "suggestive of" is precisely what it says, not your paranoid fantasy of what it should say. It says that if someone proves that your argument is wrong - using reason or evidence to back their criticism up - but you keep repeating it, then you are no longer taking part in a meaningful discussion.

A simple example will demonstrate. If i say "Jesus never said 'love your neighbour'", and then you point me to Luke 10... but then i keep on saying "Jesus never said 'love your neighbour'"... all discussion stops. We can't get anywhere else. You cannot accept my claim because you know it is wrong, and you have proof. We can't discuss Jesus any more until i accept the facts, and if i refuse to accept the facts and insist on my own belief in the face of the evidence, i would have killed the discussion.

Therefore, my suggestion - which you've quoted above - is simple, obvious, and necessary. Don't even try to debate with me if i'm being that unreasonable. The next time i repeat "Jesus never said 'love your neighbour'", just link me to the post where you showed me Luke 10, and that's it. Don't engage me in any further conversation until i accept the facts, don't argue (because i would just be an unreasonable ass), don't do anything but point me to the place where the claim has been refuted... and if i keep repeating it, just ignore me.

What's happening now is the same damn people are repeating the same damn stupidity over and over and over and over, even when it's been shown to them to be false many, many times. That has to stop. Every single new discussion is turning into a rehash of the old discussions because people refuse to accept the facts presented to them in those old discussions, so we're not getting anywhere. So, to put an end to that stagnation, when someone repeats something that they have been shown was wrong... and have been unable to respond to... then they should be pointed to where they were shown it... and ignored until they accept it (or, until they can come up with a new argument about why the previous proof was wrong).

-------------------------------------------------

i think that's about every even remotely intelligent point that was made in the whole thread so far, which is sad (and, indicative of the problem). Obviously, the people calling for an "atheist forum" are only doing so because they don't like the fact that people are demanding that they back their claims and arguments up... not because there's any real need for such a forum. (Even if such a forum were created, all of the same problems would still exist here.) Well you have a forum where you don't have to back your claims and arguments up: Faith. Therefore, let this be the forum where you do.

The only thing that remains, i think, it so justify the demand for reason or evidence in discussion. i could do that philosophically (by showing that without such a standard, conversation devolves into nonsense), but instead i'll just take the easy way out. From the Wikipedia page on philosophy (highlighting mine):
Quote:
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.

Those are the distinguishing features of philosophy.

From the philosophy department of ONU:
Quote:
Philosophy is a quest for a comprehensive understanding of human existence. The objective of philosophy is to consider the rational justification of logical inferences, human values, criteria for establishing the claims of knowledge and certainly, and intepretations of the nature of reality.

The June/July 2010 printed winning letters from a competition to answer the question "What is philosophy?". Check them out. Here are just a few relevant quotes:
Quote:
The questions ‘What is philosophy and how do we do it?’ are indicative of the answer: philosophy critically examines anything and everything, including itself and its methods.

But what does every philosopher dream of delivering? A knock-down argument! Philosophy is full of belligerent language. Using the power of reason and the weight of evidence, a philosopher exposes unsupported assertions, prejudice, rhetoric, rash generalizations, humptydumptying and wishful thinking, crushes the opposition with brilliant counterexamples, and ultimately triumphs with the truth. A successful philosophical argument forces someone to a belief, whether she wants to believe it or not.

Like maths, philosophy provides a tool kit for critical thinking which can be applied to other disciplines, and in one’s everyday life. Any claim can be evaluated, clarified, or rejected for various reasons; underlying assumptions explored; fallacies identified; shortcomings in argument pointed out, and differences of meaning discussed.

I think the first thing we must do is to differentiate between the study of philosophy and just thinking. Thinking is our mind’s way of processing the reality around us. It exists in our minds and stays there. By contrast, philosophy is the sharing of knowledge, of wisdom. Both philosophy and thinking imply action, but it’s the context which makes the difference. Thinking is a process we all go through on a day-by-day basis. However, most people will never do philosophy. Doing philosophy is like doing math. The difference between thinking about numbers and doing math is you take that thinking about numbers and apply it to problems. One of the common ways to do philosophy is to chose a specific philosopher’s view on a question or a problem and present your response. Usually, but not always, the more adverse your opinion is to the author’s, the more intense the argument, and, some would argue, the better the philosophy becomes. It forces both parties to strengthen their view on the subject, or to think about things in a way they may not have previously considered.

The way I define philosophy is as an activity founded on scepticism to arrive at truth, or at least, at a position that seems justified by reason.

And so on. i think a common thread is clear: critical thinking is necessary, reason or evidence are required, and philosophy is all about tearing down bad ideas and false beliefs and picking them apart to see if they really make sense... even if those beliefs are cherished by you.

i've heard there is talk of renaming "Philosophy & Religion" to just "Philosophy" (which, presumably, would lead to "Faith" being named "Religion & Faith"). That won't solve the problem, because we're still going to discuss religion in the philosophy forum - just like we'll discuss morality, ethics, law, reality, practicality, and everything else - everything is fair game in philosophy. And, if you want to discussion religious beliefs uncritically, there's already (now) a forum to do that. So nothing will change, literally, except maybe a shifting of the problem from one forum to the other. In other words, rather than getting people coming to "P&R" wanting to discuss religious beliefs uncritically, you'll probably now get people going to "R&F" to discuss religion critically... moving the contention there. (Which, honestly, i wouldn't mind in the sense that at least i wouldn't have to deal with the shit... but, unfortunately, the moderators still will.)

i think changing the names like that would be a mistake, because religious debate can get hot without the control system of philosophy (the limitation of rationality) in place to mediate what can and can't get discussed, and how. To me the best solution is to simply use what we've got properly. Leave the Faith forum for the people who want to discuss religious beliefs uncritically... just as it is... and make P&R all about critical discussion... just as it should be. At most, put a disclaimer in an announcement at the top. "LET YE WHO ENTER HERE KNOW THIS: EVERY IDEA, EVERY CONCEPT, EVERY BELIEF IS OPEN TO CRITICAL AND RATIONAL ANALYSIS, EVEN YOUR MOST SACRED BELIEFS. IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS TORN APART AND PICKED DOWN PIECE BY PIECE TO BE TESTED FOR REASONED SOUNDNESS, DO NOT ENTER HERE." And then link to the Faith forum for those who can't take the heat.

With the creation of the Faith forum, we already have all the tools we need to make an awesome P&R forum - specifically, we have a place for people who don't want to take part in philosophical discussions about religion, but who just want to masturbate theology with like-minded posters. All that we need now is the will and determination to make the P&R forum as awesome as it should be.
Klaw 2
I don't like the idea of a faith forum.

1: A forum is a forum, a place for discussion not some place.
Quote:

A forum (Latin, "marketplace"; pl. fora) was the public space in the middle of a Roman city.
In addition to its standard function as a marketplace, a forum was a gathering place of great social significance, and often the scene of diverse activities, including political discussions and debates, rendezvous, meetings, et cetera.


The name speaks for itself, if you wan't to make a place where you want to place your thoughts unchallanged make frigging website, you got already the Frigging frihost account, get those points in the plus and start a website, call it north korea and you got your place to post stuff unchallanged. Evil or Very Mad

2: The problem that if you make that at some point in time someone will see a post that is very stupid offensive whatever that they will respond for example:

A is evil beacuse:.....

some one will reply A is not evil beacuse: .....
Then what? Delete the reply? If that happens and the person who made the reply still wants to reply will jsut make another topic:

A is not evil beacuse: .....

So instead of a normal discussion you'll get a cross thread discussion.
If you ban reply-threads then someone will disguise his topic so still about the same topic just not a staight reply. And it'll be just a "coincidence" that this topic says exactly the opposite of a other topic.
Ankhanu
Indi can be insulting at times... he is rather passionate about what he posts.

That said, I like the OP idea (Bikerman's edits can quite clearly be compared versus the original quote from Indi in the Agnosticism thread, they are few and minor). Personally, I'm really tired of having a debate/discussion on a topic (particularly ones relating to religion) where the real, the good questions are ignored in favour of easy or self-righteous responses. Several of my own questions get left behind, as do those of others, perhaps because they are challenging? I hate to be cynical (that's a lie, I'm fairly cynical), but that's how it looks.

I see no problem with the idea of backing up an idea with evidence if it is to have a shred of acceptability as a defensible, respectable position in a debate/discussion. It seems fundamentally required!

On a side note, I still have no idea what a "purely discussion based format" would look like. How does that function without questions and answers that present some sort of evidence of their validity to ensure that they just haven't been plucked out of the air. I like to believe things... but I need a ticket if I'm gonna hop on the train, ya know? Perhaps a "discussion based format" could be explained, and how it differs from a debate format?
truespeed
The faith forum was created for the theists who don't like their views/Gods questioned or as some of them see it,insulted,the problem is,the faith forum has just become an extension of this forum,rather than a sanctuary for those of faith to discuss their faiths without objections.

The non theists regardless of their good intentions should just stay away from that particular forum,and have their debates here,without restrictions.

If people of faith want to segragate themselves,let them,if they want to be part of the larger group,then they have to expect that the larger group won't always agree with them,respect for religion isn't a given,respect for a God isn't a given,respect for the person should be,but their views if they offer them will and should be questioned.
Bluedoll
Quote:
without the control system of philosophy (the limitation of rationality) in place to mediate what can and can't get discussed, and how. - Indi
This is a blatant lie. Philosophy is much too broad a subject to characterize it as such . . Philosophers have argued about philosophy since its creation. The mere fact that there is a dispute about whether or not there is difference between philosophy and religion is a debate in itself. But why not just call it philosophy and that is all? The answer is no because there is an unfair advantage to maintain it the way it is and to demand restrictions. Is this is not exactly how Indi discribes it? In clear words control what and how gets posted in it.


The issue is not about what philosophy does or wants to discuss. The issue is about the right to debate (without being called names like troll or whiner or swore at in posts or anything else which goes on to be boycotted against by the creation of a group that demands control over members as stated in this proposal by Indi and supported by a moderator) a distinction.

In philosophy, a distinction can and should be made between philosophy and religion. The fact that outside this forum (which is dominated by atheists - some are reasonable and some are not) there does exist other views that philosophy and religion are not one in the same.






Religion is a system based on beliefs and worship, whereas philosophy studies the general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is used to find answers from things we are able to see, and accept. Religion is based on worshipping or believing in God whose physical characteristics cannot necessarily be seen by one that is not enlightened.- source 1

The relationship between religion and science has been one focus of the demarcation problem. Somewhat related is the claim that statements about the world made by science and religion may rely on different methodologies. Religion, it is often argued, relies on revelation and faith. The methods of science are elaborate. Some scholars say the two are separate – source 2

To many, religion and philosophy are one and the same. To many, religion and philosophy are entirely opposite to each other and mutually exclusive. To many, religion and philosophy are interrelated. Actually, all of them are partly right and partly wrong. Religion is a set of principles, morals, ethics, and rules set up to lead one’s life. Philosophy is a discipline which deals with life, metaphysics, knowledge, and the ultimate truth. Both religion and philosophy have their own similarities and differences. – source 3

What is relevant to our point, is that faith is considered as an opinion, not as an assertion of truth.
If Natural Theology gives any help to supporting the truth of faith, and does not simply benefit from the wider and deeper perspective of Sacred Theology, it is that Natural Theology can remove impediments to the faith. For if it can show that the reasoning of those who oppose the faith are false, then it can at least show that the Christian is not unreasonable in believing the things that God has revealed. This indirect aid of Natural Theology to the believer serves to remind her that the things she believes with religious faith are concerned with the truth, and could be falsified if the unbeliever proved God did not exist. – source 4

Logic
Distinguishing good reasoning from bad cannot be done scientifically, for the ability to make this distinction is presupposed by all thinkers, scientific or otherwise. The philosophical field of logic seeks to ascertain the principles of the thought patterns one ought to follow if reality is to be reflected adequately or if reality is intentionally not being reflected in one's thought or utterances. Thus logic is the normative discipline of correct reasoning as such.
Theory of Knowledge
Although as important as any area in philosophy, the theory of knowledge, also designated epistemology, has seen surprisingly little progress in moving past the issues raised by the first philosophers over two and a half millennia ago. These issues include the definition, criteria, and sources of knowledge. Equally significant is the question of whether there is a foundational structure of directly known principles of evidence upon which reasoning can be built. Also, there is the problem of deciding on the conditions that must exist for a statement to be true.- source 5


The apostle Paul's warning to the Colossian believers is clear: "See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ" - source 6


1-http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Difference_between_philosophy_and_religion
2-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relationship_between_religion_and_science
3-http://socyberty.com/philosophy/comparing-and-contrasting-philosophy-and-religion/#ixzz16ZYyYOVi
4-http://www.aquinasonline.com/Topics/xianphil.html
5-http://mb-soft.com/believe/txn/philosop.htm
6-Col 2:8
c'tair
I have to agree with Bikerman and Indi, as well as with Afaceinthematrix. I'm tired of getting called a satan-worshipping no-gooder because I expressed any dissent, because according a few people here discussion cannot involved dissent, it can only involve, like Indi said, a few pats on the back.

I still don't see the reason why any problems would arise here because we have that Faith forum, where the people who DON'T WANT DISCUSSION can go and post and get all the pats on their backs that they want, but noooo, they feel like they gotta come back into P&R and do the same trolling they have always done. This goes especially to Bluedoll, - like everyone else here has already said - discussion is based on the possibility of dissent. If you don't like objections or criticism to your posts then post in the Faith forum and leave people who want real, meaningful, almost fiery debate and discussion here, unless you're hellbent on derailing threads. Before, I thought you might be troll, but now you're saying "Anyone who doesn't agree with me is a Satan worshipper", so either you're completely close minded or a complete troll.

Anyways...
Yes, I think the creation of the Faith forum gives us the opportunity to have some damn good quality discussions in here, as long as these threads don't get clogged up with blind faith again (blind faith rules out discussion, ba-dum-tssss).

I'll personally try to adhere to Afaceinthematrix's guidelines about keeping a discussion good and going.
Bluedoll
pentangeli wrote:
Quote:
Look, we have been given a unique opportunity here. A group of people complained that the discussion tone was too 'aggressive' - they didn't want to be contradicted. They have now got a forum tuned to their wishes: a forum where they can post on Faith issues without having to worry about someone challenging or contradicting their beliefs.


I haven't checked the Faith forum before. I'm not sure that this provides an idealistic solution to people wanting to avoid aggressive opposition (or "contradiction on Faith, like it's even possible) but this the "Philosophy and Religion" forum and it is currently rife with aggressive opposition demanding empirical scientific evidence that attempts to "contradict their beliefs". Maybe the believe sharing isn't at fault here. Maybe it's located correctly and its "quality" is subject to the poster's own digression? But that's just my belief.


Quote:
Well, good for them, they got what they wanted. But fair's fair, and that means that we can now get what we want. We can demand a higher standard of posting right here in this forum. Damn straight we can: they got what they wanted, now it's our turn to get what we want.


So make an Atheist forum and have a big old love-in (sorry "survive-in") in there. I'm not being facetious, I'm deadly serious. This is the solution to your problem. Philosophy and Religion for Philosophy and Religion posts (crazy idea, I know) and Science and Atheism for Science and Atheism posts. Although, if you're a keen scientist, I do apologize for an association that you objectivity may not be eager to entertain. But regardless, problem is easily solved by a Science forum and an Atheism forum. It seems like the OPs could benefit from an Atheist forum. I only mentioned Science because it seems to get dragged in here a lot. Arguably because it's an unavoidable reality of the human existence? Well granted. But so is Politics. And I don't want particularly need to read about that in here either.

Quote:

So let's do it. Let's up the standard here. Let the days of firing off posts that you don't have to defend be over; if you want to post something that you don't have to answer for, go to the Faith forum. Let's demand that every post made here in this forum measure up to a standard of intelligent, rational, civilized debate that we set.


I was waiting for the bigotry and it has arrived with bells on. There's no citable rationality on Religion by nature. It's it pole opposite. The "Faith" aspect, shouldn't even have it's own forum. It's just a sub forum or even parent forum of Religion (in my opinion). Philosophy is a hard to define thing. Perhaps it deals with the study of knowledge, perhaps knowledge is subjective thought outside the realms of fact or indeed, in study of the mind, it's individual theory always lacking in evidence of anything material, perhaps Charles Manson and David Koresh had their own philosophy? Since we're splitting hairs, I'm not sure that it requires evidential workings, and if it does, then it's about as matched with Religion as Atheism is to Science and therefore, its in a non-related forum too. The bigotry is attempting to set a guideline for what others believe (followed by the "don't have an answer for" character assessment), but I'm sure that this being fascist has dawned already. Hence: The proposition to even want get all rulesy about what people are allowed to "think" and "believe".

And it gets worse:

Quote:
And let's set - and enforce - that standard as a community by only engaging in debate with posters that either meet that standard or have demonstrated an honest attempt to try to meet that standard. Here are some sample guidelines we could use:


Set and Enforce it! Did you edit this Chris? That part? ...Screaming to be omitted. Meet what "standard"? I feel like I'm being shown the showers, here. Oh look, I am...

Quote:

* If someone honestly attempts an argument and fouls up... point out their mistake - explain the flaw in their logic or their premises.


I do this regularly, and I'm accused of being brainwashed because of it. It's mainly due to people requesting this logic of non logical theology and belief, which proves that even this one-sided beneficiary rule doesn't even serve the one party it was designed to protect.

Quote:

* If someone honestly doesn't understand a point... explain it to them (or, if you can't explain it clearly enough, invite someone else to try).


Again with issues of belief and subjective knowledge, I can hardly see how conferring helps or offers any substance to a forum about immaterial concepts.

Quote:

* If someone is new and doesn't get how we do things here (or in philosophy in general)... explain it to them - tell them how philosophy is done and why it's done that way.


So who's going to explain it to you? And the mod for that matter?

Quote:

* If someone makes an off-topic post that seems like an honest mistake... point out that it's off-topic and offer them a chance to get back on topic (or invite them to start a new thread with the topic they brought up).


That'll really improve the "science of the atheist" virus demanding it be infected with its own lack of beliefs problem which has made this pole-opposite forum completely SUCK.

Quote:

* If someone repeats an argument or a point that you know they have been shown is flawed... point out to them that it has been explained to them before (and, ideally, link to where it has).


And argument on person thought and personal belief cannot be flawed. What then? An encephalograph?

Quote:

* If someone makes a post insisting that they cannot be argued with... send them to the Faith forum - they don't belong here.


THEY BELONG EXACTLY HERE. YOU DO NOT. CREATE AND GO TO AN ATHEIST OR SCIENCE FORUM, FOR LACK OF GOD'S SAKE.

Quote:

* If you know someone is only acting up for attention... ignore them.


Fact: You come in here to act up. Your lack of beliefs, conjecture, opinions and "facts" are tailor made to antagonize people in search of an "argument". This is why you need an atheism forum and ironically, it's also why there ISN'T one yet. Because it would completely redundant because as I've already stated (without the need for any evidence or wiki link) An Atheist NEEDS God. So you talk about people acting up? Reminds me of the crusades. You're being acted upon because you came in here - TO ACT UP. Don't like it? Don't act up. You, with your "Glad they finally crucified the Bastard" Jesus comments in the Religion forum are saying this? Well, wow, what a compete load of horse manure?

Quote:

We have tons of quality ATHEISTS (just off the top of my head i could list Ankhanu, Bikerman, Afaceinthematrix, watersoul, ocalhoun and many more) who don't always agree (in fact, who rarely all agree), but who are all capable of having quality discussions about the points we disagree on. We don't need to tolerate the garbage. Especially now that there's a place for people to go who aren't capable or willing to participate in adult discussions.


Your politics notwithstanding, there's a piece of "unintellectual" ,"childish", "garbage" here that can see that you clearly have more than enough for your own lack of religion forum. Or failing that, just created a Propaganda Machine forum, and mod it. You'd be an overnight sensation. And I've seen how you all "rarely agree" with each other. It's really quite cute.

Quote:

Obviously not every post needs to be a perfect post - and there's nothing wrong with a little tongue-in-cheek humour, or a silly post for laughs from time to time - but let's all strive as a community to make sure that every post either:

1. Introduces a point or argument, and backs that argument or point up with evidence or reasoning; or
2. Points out a logical or evidential error in a point or argument someone else has raised; or
3. Both of the above.


1. Wrong place for evidence.
2. Again, evidence not required.
3. Both of the above.

I see "evidence" is being puppeteered as some sort of code word for bigotry. Eternally attracting the power lust of fascist bigots who are even attempting to set up a "postic cleansing" regime of quality control. I can't think why my above references to Nazi dictators was unreasonable.

Quote:

And, let's use our judgement to decide which posts are reasonable attempts to participate constructively, and provide something useful to the discussion. Those posts that are reasonable attempts but not executed properly, let's help the poster up to meet the community standard we set. Those that are not reasonable attempts, let's just ignore.

So, how about it, P&R? With the coming of the Faith forum, we no longer need to tolerate posts or posters that don't invite intelligent debate. So let's stop tolerating them. The people who don't want to debate got their forum, so let this be our forum - a forum for those of us who want to discuss philosophy and religion in an intelligent and productive manner. And let's make it our forum by collectively - as a community - setting and maintaining a standard of posting conducive to quality intelligent discussion. And let's help those people who want to join our community by lifting them up to our standards, rather than bending down to theirs. And for those who won't participate constructively, let's either send them to the Faith forum (if that is where their posts belong), or simply ignore them until either they decide to stop being jackasses and instead participate constructively, or they go away.


I could have just bolded all of it. But it was already bold.

I won't be signing up to your Third Reich and I won't be referred to the Faith Showers either. The idealistic solution would be to make your own forum and stop polluting this one with your esoteric Nazi agenda. Failing that, just keep making posts like this one, and nobody will want to post here ever again.

Indi has always been a controversial attention whoring "in with the in-crowd" sycophant to me. And I've never taken that fool seriously. But, Bikerman, if you edited this and endorse the final result of this New World Order, shame befalls you. It's absolutely disgusting.

@pentangeli
Well done. You have some interesting points! I do not change easily on any of my viewpoints. I like to think there is always hope for reasonable discussions but may soon in regards to your point about communication with fools.

@C’tair
As I indicated before I will not accept attempts by other members to tell me what to do. I will post how and where I see fit within reason. If you do not like it, try debating about the topic and not my role in Frihost. Stop inciting personal arguments. Otherwise you are a troll and not me. Who is blind here really? If you are tired or drunk like matrix, why not take off eh, and go for an air o plane vacation to some remote island (without internet access).
Rolling Eyes



For the benefit of the outside reader I will post this. I do try to refrain calling anyone anything other than what they promote themselves, unlike what other poor ‘quality’ posters do! I never demanded anything like this proposal is doing and that is the main reason I am debating against it.

Yes, I have made suggestions in suggestions but I do not demand anything from anyone. I’ve posted to this topic in a philosophy section quiet prepared to debate but instead read a lot of garbage instead of constructive debate. What does this tell the reader? They can decide that for themselves, I suspect.


_____________________________________

Off topic remarks about another post in the faith section in my opinion is really not connected to this topic and therefore inappropriate here and distracting from the proposal that is being discussed in this post.

But because it has been meantioned so many times, this will be my one time and only comment regarding this other topic.
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-121049.html
was started as a religious topic about the choice people can make regarding their spirituality. If you are declaring yourself an anti-christ you follow Satan. Not too difficult to understand, unless you are unwilling to discuss it.
deanhills
pentangeli wrote:
So make an Atheist forum and have a big old love-in (sorry "survive-in") in there. I'm not being facetious, I'm deadly serious. This is the solution to your problem. Philosophy and Religion for Philosophy and Religion posts (crazy idea, I know) and Science and Atheism for Science and Atheism posts. Although, if you're a keen scientist, I do apologize for an association that you objectivity may not be eager to entertain. But regardless, problem is easily solved by a Science forum and an Atheism forum. It seems like the OPs could benefit from an Atheist forum. I only mentioned Science because it seems to get dragged in here a lot. Arguably because it's an unavoidable reality of the human existence? Well granted. But so is Politics. And I don't want particularly need to read about that in here either.
TOTALLY agreed. When it was first proposed, I was against creating the Faith Forum, as to me it was the equivalent of creating a sandbox for those who had complained about abusive posts by atheists in the Phil&Rel forum. In one of my posts I suggested that they may as well then create a sandbox for atheists as well!

Bikerman, Indi's suggestion is a "laugh" as when has Indi ever held back in saying exactly what he wants to say? This is a good example of a "quality" posting?
Quote:
You see, you say shit like this - shit that is completely non-sensical, completely idiotic, completely unrelated to the topic or anything that anyone has said in it - and you force me to make one of two conclusions. Either you're an idiot, and you've completely misunderstood something that someone has said so far (and honestly, if Bikerman hadn't spotted it - assuming he's right - i never would have, because i never would have dreamed that someone who thinks they're smart enough to mouth off wouldn't know the difference between the verb "to bear" and the noun "bear"), or you're a lunatic. So, inevitably, when i call you out as a dumbass or a crazy person, you're going to get defensive and whine about how mean i'm being, when in reality i've made the only reasonable conclusions i could make about you. (That's actually the reason i haven't been bothering to reply to any of your posts - they're just too nuts, too dim, or both, to make it worth my time to bother.)
Is this what you are proposing Bikerman? Or using Indi to do the proposing for you?

Indi also has his facts completely wrong:
Indi wrote:
Look, we have been given a unique opportunity here. A group of people complained that the discussion tone was too 'aggressive' - they didn't want to be contradicted.
Wrong. The complaints were about trolling (mocking other posters, being condescending and making personal remarks).
Indi wrote:
They have now got a forum tuned to their wishes: a forum where they can post on Faith issues without having to worry about someone challenging or contradicting their beliefs.
Wrong again. Bluedoll never made the suggestion for a Faith Forum. Bluedoll suggested that the Philosophy and Religion Forum should be split into two forums. I did not make a suggestion for the Faith forum. Nor did Bluedoll. Nor did any one who complained about postings to the equivalent of Indi's above. That suggestion was one that came from some of the Moderators to Bondings. I did not agree with the suggestion. All of that is very well documented in the Suggestion Forum so perhaps you can point Indi towards that thread? And it is not a finite solution either. As far as I understand it it is still in a test phase. Unless you know something I don't know Bikerman.
Indi wrote:
Well, good for them, they got what they wanted.
Wrong again. Refer above. All we wanted was civilized debate. There is nothing wrong with heavy arguing about the topic of the thread, but personal insults and mocking are just plain against the rules. All you have to do is look at all the threads in which those who had complained had described exactly what they had been complaining about. And NO, they did not get what they wanted. As far as I am concerned, we were actually insulted. I saw the Faith Forum as a sandbox for the complainers to go play in, but then was told that I got it wrong. But now Indi's suggestion with your support Bikerman says that I was right all along. And I was also not far off at all in suggesting we may just as well get an atheist sandbox as well while we are at it.
Indi wrote:
But fair's fair, and that means that we can now get what we want. We can demand a higher standard of posting right here in this forum. Damn straight we can: they got what they wanted, now it's our turn to get what we want.
An atheist sandbox to the equivalent of the Faith Forum sounds the fairest solution to me.
Indi wrote:
So let's do it. Let's up the standard here. Let the days of firing off posts that you don't have to defend be over; if you want to post something that you don't have to answer for, go to the Faith forum. Let's demand that every post made here in this forum measure up to a standard of intelligent, rational, civilized debate that we set.
Again, when has Indi ever held back on his postings. And now Indi is trying to get others to follow his example? Sounds almost the equivalent of starting a revolution against those who are non-atheists?
Indi wrote:
We have tons of quality posters (just off the top of my head i could list Ankhanu, Bikerman, Afaceinthematrix, watersoul, ocalhoun and many more) who don't always agree (in fact, who rarely all agree), but who are all capable of having quality discussions about the points we disagree on. We don't need to tolerate the garbage. Especially now that there's a place for people to go who aren't capable or willing to participate in adult discussions.
This is the problem of having only a select few "quality" posters hugging the Phil&Rel Forum. After a while it becomes incestuous. We really need more quality posters, and instead of being confronted with a really low quality thread like this with an equally low quality suggestion, why not go out and find NEW BLOOD. Why not start competitions? Like the Philosopher Princess did? Instead of trying to set one group of posters up against another group.
Indi wrote:
So, how about it, P&R? With the coming of the Faith forum, we no longer need to tolerate posts or posters that don't invite intelligent debate. So let's stop tolerating them. The people who don't want to debate got their forum, so let this be our forum - a forum for those of us who want to discuss philosophy and religion in an intelligent and productive manner. And let's make it our forum by collectively - as a community - setting and maintaining a standard of posting conducive to quality intelligent discussion. And let's help those people who want to join our community by lifting them up to our standards, rather than bending down to theirs. And for those who won't participate constructively, let's either send them to the Faith forum (if that is where their posts belong), or simply ignore them until either they decide to stop being jackasses and instead participate constructively, or they go away.
What standards are you referring to. Atheist/Science only? In other words let us have a Forum that makes atheists happy. Again, pentangeli is right. Why not ask Bondings whether you can have your own Forum with your own rules? Isn't that exactly what Indi is proposing?
Indi wrote:
The beauty of all this is that for the vast majority of people here, we don't need to do anything different. Most of the posters here are already of a high calibre, and are fantastic contributors to intelligent and productive discussions. All we need to do is decide that that level of debate is the only level of debate we want, and the only level of debate we will participate in... and either help others rise up to that standard, or, if they have no intention of doing so, stop wasting our time with them.
That is the problem here. People are too familiar with one another. We really need more new blood, new initiatives for good quality threads, contests etc. and less of this type of nonsense threads.
Afaceinthematrix
Bluedoll wrote:

Afaceinthematrix - really nice group member (a drunk)!


Well actually, I agree. I did make a really nice group member (even though I know that you're being sarcastic and that you're just attempting a petty personal attack on me and my character). Even though I was intoxicated, I was able to (after reading back on it two days later while sober) make a coherent argument. The only reason why I didn't quote that other thing you said is because my fingers weren't working too well and it took me about forty-five minutes to type of what I already did. I kept hitting the wrong keys.


@Indi: I agree. I will no longer respond to certain types of posts that are not constructive. I will still read most posts and determine if I think that they are constructively adding to the topic and as long as they are, I will consider responding to them. I don't think there are too many real trolls here, I just think there are too many whiners who feel that anyone who doesn't agree with them is persecuting them and so after this post (which I responded to Bluedoll), I will no longer respond to things that are not constructive to any topic. Despite accusations that were received, I will not segregate or be bigoted. In an honest attempt to make sure that I follow through with that, I will actually read every topic that is posted. I will no longer skip postings by certain members that I feel have not been constructive in that post (in the past, if I think someone isn't posting very good in a certain topic I skip their posts in that topic but I will still read their posts in other topics). I will read every post and if I feel like I have something good to say, I will respond and give equal opportunity.
LittleBlackKitten
A pseudo discussion in the "Faith" forum:

"I like Ice. It's cold, and cooling off in the heat is nice."
"Agreed! Where would we be in the heat without ice? Gosh, it's so uncomfortable!"

Totally fine. They're just having a DISCUSSION about the nice cooling effect of ice in the heat.


The same pseudo discussion in the "P&R forum, BEFORE the new 'rules'."

"I like Ice. It's cold, and cooling off in the heat is nice."
"Not really. It's not nice if you're in the North Pole, or even here in the UK in the winter. It's slippery and dangerous, you'd be a moron to even like ice. People who like ice obviously like to be in danger and life-threatening situations. Also, you're wrong, because ice just melts in the heat, making it a pointless effort to cool off, when it is far more logical to use chilled glasses, and shed a layer of clothing in the heat. Perhaps even buying air conditioning is an idea."

This has instantly become a DEBATE about the stance the first poster had, by forcing the opinions of the second poster on the first and backing it up by extraneous data that had nothing to do with the intentions of the first, and also insults the intelligence and intentions of the first poster, and even takes what they said, misinterprets it, and twists it in a reply. Even if this massive error is pointed out, the second poster continues to DEBATE and ATTACK the first post, when they didn't want anything of like, nor intended it to take that route. The second poster here has derailed the train and told all the passengers to walk home in the blistering heat of the Philosophy Desert Heat.


Now apply Indi's new 'rules', and we get this:


"I like Ice. It's cold, and cooling off in the heat is nice."
"Ice? GLACIERS!?! You like GLACIERS! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW VITAL OUR GLACIERS ARE!?! YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO GLACIERS IN THE HEAT! YOU ARE COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL!

Glaciers are comprised of elements X, Y, and Z with a spattering of A, C, and Phlegm! You think ice should MELT in the heat? Do you have ANY IDEA how high the oceans would rise with that much water added in? Or how about the hypo salinity that would kill half the fish we have left? Ice should not melt, poster a! Ice should NEVER EVER melt! You are a person dangerous to society and everyone on earth! GET OUT OF THIS FORUM YOU MORON!"



Tell me, how is further segregation the answer any more than adding 'rules' to an already broken forum?
liljp617
Nobody on this forum talks like that. Quit exaggerating and twisting things to fit your view.
LittleBlackKitten
Oh yes, yes they do - constantly. About ice, no. But yes, most P and R members DO talk like this. Every point made is taken and twisted and attacked.
c'tair
Bluedoll wrote:


@C’tair
As I indicated before I will not accept attempts by other members to tell me what to do. I will post how and where I see fit within reason. If you do not like it, try debating about the topic and not my role in Frihost. Stop inciting personal arguments. Otherwise you are a troll and not me. Who is blind here really? If you are tired or drunk like matrix, why not take off eh, and go for an air o plane vacation to some remote island (without internet access).
Rolling Eyes



And I cannot NOT think you're not a troll right now because you contradict yourself. You defend your way of posting BUT you criticize other people for posting in a different way - you criticize Bikerman and a few other posters for debating your views and you say that it's not right and a minute later you refuse to accept the same critique. Like, what is up with that?

How come YOU can tell other people how to post, yet they can't do the same to you? Are you better than the others? Really, I don't get it, you cannot accept any critique yet you dish it out freely? And you say you will post how you like, but you tell other people how they should post, because their postings offend you? How can this procedure not be contradictory in itself?

And even look, at the end of your post you're telling me what to do:
Bluedoll wrote:

If you are tired or drunk like matrix, why not take off eh, and go for an air o plane vacation to some remote island (without internet access).
Rolling Eyes



Like what the hell man?

Also, since you seem to grasp the idea that your voice will not be suppressed here, get used to the idea that other people's voice will ALSO not be suppressed because it offends you. We're all equal here.
[/i]
Klaw 2
Bluedoll wrote:
What a big bunch of lies. Bikerman has so keenly described the forum as being a dictatorship himself in a previous post so saying that members even have a hope of having a fair say is completely false.

What is obvious by this post is that Bikerman who said he would withdraw from this section is now seeking even more control over it with a proposal to restricting what members can write here. The truth is neither Bikerman or Indi (who is often vulgar and insulting) can not handle a challenge on any subjects regarding how posting should occur. That is so evident by the control and the power trip that goes on in this section of the forum. This is the real issue and not about quality posts.

Yup bikerman is a real Kim yung il, well actually not really...

If you don't like how things are run complain to bondings, bikerman complies with rules and I think he has been a bit soft in some cases. Anyway

Quote:
A forum to discuss philosophical topics, including religious views. Heavy arguments are allowed. However, please note that strictly no personal nor cross-topic posts are allowed.

A reply should focus on the content of the posts in the same topic solely and not on the person who posted them and not on what was said in different topics or private messages. Anything off-topic isn't allowed either.


It's a discussion forum meaning that if you post something that other people just agree and give you some aplause? The point is to have discussions and if you don't like it if someone replies go and make a frigging website or something where you can say almost anything unchallanged.

Bluedoll wrote:
What kind of a post is this one that tells other members that they are either turkeys or jackasses? Then goes on to say segregation is answer whereby anyone that doesn’t like the way ‘we do things around here’ can go to the little faith forum.


Well if there's a forum where you can say stuff unchallanged you got what you wanted, what's wrong now? You just have to post somewhere else and by the looks of it you have used this feature quite a lot already...

Bluedoll wrote:
Well I can say that the faith forum was not what I wanted. Far from it. I wanted religion as a separate section mostly because of the overbearing control freak way of doing things in this forum.

Wel lets say there was a religion discussion forum the same aplies to this forum you can DISCUSS religion there. It hardly would have solved the problem. Unless the religion forum was what the faith forum is now. Then the problem would be that when someone actually WANTED to discuss religion there would be no place to do that. Besides religion and philosophy have overlapping areas.


Bluedoll wrote:
It was tried as a compromise for all members. It was also fought against, suggested it be boycotted and now it is being implied that is a forum for jackasses. How lovely!

Because of hate posts like this one this forum is developing into mainly a hostile, argue intensive and unfriendly place to post. There is no proof needed it is obvious as anyone can see this by reading this very post.

Does p/r mean public relations? New members beware.


Actually mostly it are the religious people who start being hatefull just look back at some old threads most of people who want to honestly discuss something don't start hatefull topics and I don't even think that the starting topic is hatefull.
If you think something is being hatefull and aggresive because he when they were contradicted well that's YOUR problem.

I read most of the posts here and REALLY stop whining no one is insulting you they are just replying and if you don't like it grow up. But nooooo it's not you it's the rest of the world who's problem it is. A lot of people want to have an intelligent honest debate if you don't like it go away..

I Completely agree with Afaceinthematrix

And even though a beeper was in place, it's the exception not the rule, if you keep whining and whining some one at some point might get a little irritated and slip a few "naughty words", like f**k, but overall his argument is pretty good..

Bluedoll wrote:
This is the solution to your problem. Philosophy for Philosophy and Religion for religious posts and Science for science posts and Atheism for atheism posts.


What is it all of a sudden "illegal" for atheists to discuss religion and philosophy, that proposal is just daft no worse on a scale of 1-10 (10 being extremely stupid) it's an ∞. More later
Bluedoll
@ Afaceinthematrix

I believe you are misunderstanding me! In this post to you - I am not being sarcastic or making an attack on you. I am being serious and honest. Whatever you want to do is totally your business. I am not whining, I am trying to explain, ok.

Your post to Indi shows integrity. I hope it works for you really I do. In my opinion, intoxication on serious subjects may not mix well. I mean in jolly that state of mind sociably might work but for really important subjects (I mean for what is important to you, not for someone else) it may not?

What I would hope for, myself as a member, is simple, though I can not demand it. I am a human being with feelings too. I do not want to read smut, foul language, insults, slurs, you know all that stuff that makes for upset in any post (any post – this is not directed to just you but maybe to poor quality posts like above). Maybe, I can not have that but might react to it because I am human. I do not think I am a troll, nor am whining here but stating what I think makes for quality posts and what does not. (like your post to Indi was quality)

I am often very serious about the subjects I am posting to. In this post, the debate I am trying to present (remember other posters not just Indi can have a say too) is what I would describe as a Gestapo approach to a preconceived problem. I do not agree with this proposal and have provided constructive responses (see my post above, Deanhills and pentangeli have also constructive points) in a debate section.

The problem in my mind (not all minds) is that some religious subjects are not a philosophy at all (but anything can be debated in philosophy). I am very serious about this. It might seem petty and trivial to you but in my opinion seeing a section as both philosophy and religion is unfair (not whining about it but explaining unfair as in dissimilar). They should be separate. The way we approach topics as posters can always be improved on. I for one, am willing to learn, but will not be taught here spiritually.

Quote:
feel that anyone who doesn't agree with them is persecuting


People can believe what they want. I am not looking for everyone to agree with me only want to be understood as in disagreement to this post(s) and why.

There is a distinction that needs to be made for certain religious subjects. When it comes to some serious spiritual subjects . . . people need to use their hearts as well as the grey matter between their ears to comprehend them or they will not comprehend them. That part is really not very complicated at all.

Indi
Most certainly (but if i'm going be compared to Hitler, accused of bigotry and called a liar for no rational reason, you can be bloody well sure i'll have some choice words for the culprits), but that's beside the point, and yet another symptom of the problems we're facing. In the middle of trying to discuss how we, as a community, should buck up and raise the standards of discourse, there is still a glut of noise where people are calling me (or Bikerman, or others) names, or trying to insinuate this is all some kind of "atheist conspiracy" to kick the religious people out. i know that's nuts, you know it's nuts, anyone with a lick of intelligence knows it's nuts... so don't grace it with attention. It doesn't deserve it. Don't acknowledge the posters who resort to such tactics, don't respond - even to call them out as liars - if you have reason to believe it won't make a difference in their attitude or behaviour... just turn your cheek, to use a Biblical analogy, and do what should be done: respond to good posts with equally good responses, and ignore the rabble.

i hope no one is surprised that there is no shortage of personal attacks, persecution conspiracy claims, or general lunacy in this thread. Because that's the state of the whole damn forum, and that's what prompted my original post. In fact, no one should be surprised that this thread in particular has provoked bullshit like comparing me to Hitler (among other things) merely for suggesting that we demand quality discussion, or insinuating there is some kind of Final Solution in progress with "atheists" kicking people out who believe in gods; the problem people can see the writing on the wall (to use another Biblical analogy), that we are fed up with the stupidity, and are desperate to derail our efforts to clean things up around here.

The way i see it, we have 4 major steps to take:
  1. Determine if there is a problem.
  2. Find out if enough people agree that something must be done to fix the problem (or if it's just something we must necessarily tolerate for the sake of something greater).
  3. Decide on a set of actions to take to fix the problem.
  4. Carry out those actions.
For the first step, does anyone think we don't have a problem here? i can't imagine anyone would deny it. It was so obvious and serious, Bondings was forced to create a new forum in an effort to fix things. But, that forum is only a half-way step to the solution: if you imagine the problem as two groups of people insisting on contradictory ways of "discussing" things, what Bondings has done is create two playgrounds, and said "people who think this way can go there where the rules are in your favour"... which is good, but that means it is now necessary for the "people who think the other way" to assert that that means the rules must be in our favour HERE; they got their Shangri-la, now we should get ours. (The difference is that we won't rely on moderators to enforce the way we want things to be, we'll just make them so by making them so.)

So i think we're pretty much past stage 1 (unless anyone wants to disagree).

So far Bikerman, Bluedoll, catscratches, pentangeli, Afaceinthematrix, Klaw 2, Ankhanu, truespeed, c'tair and myself have spoken up in this thread - that's 10 people. Of those 10, there were 7 clear or implicit expressions of agreement that we have a problem that needs fixing (Bikerman, catscratches, Afaceinthematrix, Klaw 2, Ankhanu, c'tair, myself), 1 who doesn't clearly mention the context of the problem - it just suggests more enforcement, and segregation for the Faith forum - (truespeed), and 2 who... well, i can't figure out what the hell they think other than "you can't dispute the things we believe" (more or less explicitly said by pentangeli, and quoted with agreement by Bluedoll) and that atheists hate them and are trying to form a conspiracy of persecution against them. So that's at least 70% support, possibly 80%. (And if i've misrepresented anyone's position, please correct me.)

So i think we're pretty much past stage 2 (pending confirmation from the people whose opinions i collapsed and interpreted in context).

So basically, we're now at the stage of deciding what we should do about it (barring any disagreements with my conclusions about steps 1 and 2, but for the sake of expediency i'll just move on with suggestions assuming my conclusions are correct).

My proposal was to implement standards of posting (i'll get to that in a second). i haven't seen any other (sane) proposals except for truespeed's, who proposed a strict segregation between theists and non-theists using the divide between the Faith and P&R forums. i'll respond to that with my opinions between the lines, and then get back on track.

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

i don't think that this is about "theists vs. non-theists", despite how the crazies are trying to frame it. This is about a refusal to have an open-minded, open-ended, unrestricted discussion about the things that they don't want discussed. This is about them saying, "Well you can have discussions that call human ethics into question, you have discussions that call universal morality into question, you can have discussions that call the scientific method into question, you can have discussions that call materialism or idealism into question, you can have discussions that call all of reality into question... but you can't have discussions that call the things I believe into question". And, it's about us saying we will discuss whatever the hell we damn well please, so long as we have a reasonable claim or argument to make related to it.

Of course, there's more to it than that, but i'll get to that later in this post while discussing what we should do here. In the meantime, don't fall for the rantings of the crazies: this is not about theists vs. atheists, because theists are warmly welcomed to join philosophical discussions on any topics they want to discuss, provided they actually discuss, and don't simply use the discussions as a pretext to proselytize. In fact, we have had many theist debaters here over the years, some quite fierce and able, but we've never had problems before like we are having now.

Nor is there any logical reason to exclude atheists from the Faith forum, provided they will play by its rules (in fact, if you did that it would be discriminatory).

No, there's no reason to segregate by belief. That just doesn't make sense: what if you don't believe but are curious, or how could you be sure someone wasn't faking it just to cause trouble, and so on. It makes more sense to segregate by type of discussion - one is for real discussion, and the other is for the fake "no one can contradict my beliefs" type of discussion. Then all we have to do is when people don't discuss properly in P&R, send them to Faith, and when people trying to have an actual, productive discussion in Faith (which means challenging the faith of the other posters), send them to P&R.

Incidentally, the complainers have shifted tactics now, and are no longer pretending that their censorship is to protect their faith, but instead to silence "foul language" and "vulgarity". Horseshit. Abuse can and does happen around here, but almost always with justification, and usually following a spat of someone saying something offensive, like that their beliefs are not open to debate. In other words, someone tries to silence conversation or dissent by shutting down a conversation - usually by saying that the topic cannot or should not be debated, or that they don't want to see it debated - and those involved in the conversation respond with justified scorn and mockery. So, once again, it comes back to the same thing: they want everyone else to conform to their rules, but they refuse to conform to anyone else's rules. That's why my response is now "to hell with them". There are enough good debaters here that we don't need to listen to their whining. We can have good open, free, uncensored, reasoned, intelligent and productive conversations about any philosophical or religious topic we wish.

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

So, back to my proposal. i suggested that we all agree on what the standards for proper posting are, and then "enforce" those standards by helping everyone who wants to participate constructively meet those standards, and simply ignoring those people who don't want to participate constructively.

The standard i propose is that all posts should be engaging in productive, intelligent, meaningful discussion, which means that all posts do one or more of the following:
  1. Introduce a point or argument, backing it up with evidence or reasoning; or
  2. Challenge a previously introduced point or argument, either by showing that the evidence is flawed or the reasoning is fallacious; or
  3. Question a previously introduced point or argument with a reasonable request for clarification of the evidence or reasoning.
Any posts - or parts of posts - that are showing at least a reasonable attempt to do one or more of these things deserve a response, even if that response is only guidance in helping the poster to actually do one of these things. Any posts - or parts of posts - that do not seem to be making a reasonable attempt at doing one of these three things, should be ignored. Any poster that is known to repeatedly and habitually refuse to do these things, should be ignored on principle.

Of course, it's not just enough to propose a standard - that standard also has to be justified. Is it a reasonable standard?

First of all, what are the topics of this forum? Philosophy and religion. What is the function of this forum? To discuss those topics. So what is discussion, and what is not? The easiest way to see that is to use examples.

Let's start with a good starting topic: the question "can freedom, equality and fairness coexist?" that comes from another recent thread in the forum. Let's assume that the thread was started with a good post (which it was) that introduces a point/argument and backs it up with evidence and reasoning (requirement (a), which the actual opening post did in that thread). Now the question is: what kinds of responses make discussion possible, what kinds don't?
  • Introducing a point/argument with supporting evidence or reasoning. (aka, requirement (a))

    If you introduce a topical point or argument, and back that up with reasoning or evidence, then you extend the discussion with new ideas that weren't in the opening post, but are still topical (maybe it was something the original poster didn't think of), and, at the same time, provide a basis for discussing the new angle you've introduced. This allows discussions to grow and flourish, beyond what the original poster imagined, increasing the potential that everyone will gain something from it.

    CONCLUSION: This type of reply facilitates discussion.

  • Introducing a point/argument without supporting evidence or reasoning.

    If you don't provide supporting evidence or reasoning, you force other people to:
    a) Ask for it.
    b) Provide it for you.
    c) Assume it.
    Discussion can still happen, but only after a delay while someone either asks for the backing for your point/argument, or provides it for you. (Or, discussion can just happen with everyone assuming your support, but that is brittle, because they may assume wrong, which leads to confusion.)

    CONCLUSION: This type of reply does not end discussion, but it does require more steps before discussion can happen. If you would provide the support in the first place (ie, the previous case), that would be better. There is a risk of miscommunication if you don't.

  • Challenging a previous point/argument, and backing the challenge up with reason or evidence. (aka, requirement (b))

    If a previous poster has made an error in their facts or reasoning, discussion cannot proceed properly until that error is corrected. Without the correction, we'll never get the right answer, and everyone loses. It's also not enough to merely say "you made a mistake", you must show where that mistake is, and why it is a mistake, otherwise no one can be sure the mistake is real and that you haven't made the mistake. By pointing out a mistake, and showing why it is wrong, you make it possible for discussion to proceed.

    CONCLUSION: This type of reply facilitates discussion.

  • Challenging a previous point/argument without supporting reason or evidence.

    This is just saying "you're wrong", without providing an explanation of why. If you are not ignored, someone has to ask you to explain why the previous post was wrong. In other words, this kind of reply does not end conversation, but it does require extra work be done that you should have done in the first place.

    CONCLUSION: This type of reply does not end discussion, but it does require more steps before discussion can happen. If you would provide the support in the first place (ie, the previous case), that would be better. There is a risk of miscommunication if you don't.

  • Asking a reasonable question about a previous point/argument. (aka, requirement (c))

    Obviously, if you didn't understand something about a previous point/argument, you have to ask for clarification or you can't participate in the discussion. Sometimes the request is necessary, because the poster actually didn't make something very clear (or, maybe made a typo that confuses things, or something).

    CONCLUSION: This type of reply facilitates discussion.

  • Asking an unreasonable question about a previous point/argument.

    Not every request for clarification is reasonable. Sometimes the point is clear enough. Sometimes the discussion requires participants to have a certain level of background knowledge, and if you don't have it you either have to accept certain facts without fully understanding them, go out and learn the prerequisite information on your own, or just not participate. Either way, asking unreasonable questions disrupts the conversation. If the request is not ignored, the only answer is "you can't reasonably expect me to answer that". And that's it. There's nowhere to go, nothing else to discuss.

    CONCLUSION: This type of reply does not facilitate discussion.

  • Saying the topic cannot be discussed.

    Obviously saying the topic cannot be discussed is a game ender. Sometimes it's true - sometimes a topic is so poorly defined that it can't be discussed, or something about the nature of the topic prevents discussion... but if that's the case you should make an argument for why it is not open to discussion and back it up with evidence (ie, do requirement (b)), not just say "this can't be discussed".

    CONCLUSION: This type of reply does not facilitate discussion.

  • Saying your beliefs cannot be discussed, or that you refuse to consider anything else but what you believe.

    Again, obviously, a game ender, and a pointless one, too. No one cares if you are not interested in discussion... if that's the case, leave the discussion.

    CONCLUSION: This type of reply does not facilitate discussion.

  • Random nonsense, verbiage and purple prose.

    Once again, pretty obvious.

    CONCLUSION: This type of reply does not facilitate discussion.
i think it's pretty clear that ONLY posts that do a, b or c make real discussion possible. All other types of responses either require more before they become useful, or are unsalvageable.

Now that doesn't mean that every post that doesn't facilitate discussion should be deleted and the poster punished. That's just absurd. There's nothing wrong with the occasional joke, or amusing non-sequitur, or something like that. It's only when a poster never provides any useful posts (or, at least, very, very rarely) that they become a problem, and should be ignored.

Alright, so the only way we can have discussion is with posts that have one or more of the three requirements. That, really, should be enough to put the nail in the whole thing, but i'm going to address one other issue: the complaints that religion shouldn't be discussed here.

My response to that is: bullshit. Just because you don't want to discuss religion in a reasonable and rational way, doesn't mean that it can't be described in that way, and, in fact, there is an entire field of philosophy solely dedicated to doing that: theology. But even outside of philosophy proper, there is no way to have a discussion forum about religion... without allowing discussion about religion. i mean... duh.

Basically it boils down to this: if you don't believe that religion can be discussed rationally, then say so and shut up. That's all you need to do. Repeating it in every discussion is just spam. We heard your opinion, we rejected it as not standing up in the face of reason or evidence, so you're done here. Until you have new evidence or arguments to bring to support your claim, you have nothing else to offer the discussion.

And that's not just an atheist position (and, really, the fact that i have to say something like this is incredibly stupid, but if i don't, you can bet that someone is going to say "that's just the scientist/atheistic/religion-hating view"), because some of the greatest theologians of all time have been among the most religious. Even today, many religious thinkers believe that religion can be analyzed rationally. If you don't agree, fine, say so then shut up - you've made your contribution, and there's no need to keep repeating it - but many, many people do believe religion can be discussed rationally, including the very religious, and they do it every day. Once you've made your point, step aside and let the people who do believe discussion is possible have that discussion.

So, that's my evidence to back up my suggestions. We can't have discussions where people are totally uninterested in being reasonable, because those discussions will - necessarily and inevitably - devolve until the other person saying "you're just being unreasonable", because that's the only logical thing for them to say. And, of course, once they say that, the other person has no options for how to reply but to either: ignore the fact that they've been called unreasonable, embrace the fact that they're being unreasonable (which does nothing toward making any discussion possible), or defend themselves against the charge. And to defend themselves they could either try to show that they were being reasonable, but, if they weren't, the only other option is to make an ad hominem attack on the person that called them out for being unreasonable. No matter how it unfolds, it ends badly.

So we should all set a standard for reasonableness in the discussion, and enforce that standard by ignoring the posts that are not being reasonable. And we should carry that standard out across P&R.

So again, i call on everyone here: stop feeding the trolls. You know they're not interested in anything but getting their way and forcing us to behave the way they want us to. We're not breaking any rules by discussing any philosophical or religious topic we like as irreverently as we please, so long as we do so in a reasoned, intelligent and productive manner.

They have their Faith forum, let us take our P&R forum. If a post or poster does not appear to be interested in taking part in an intelligent, reasonable, productive discussion... ignore them.
liljp617
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
Oh yes, yes they do - constantly. About ice, no. But yes, most P and R members DO talk like this. Every point made is taken and twisted and attacked.


When a point is incorrect or misrepresented, certainly. What would be your ideal response in situations like that? Leave the point as is even if it's wrong or even if there is rampant disagreement on the subject? It's been pointed out numerous times that's not how philosophy works. That's not even how religious discussions work if you intend to pull that card -- there are always people within religions vehemently defending a point or arguing against a point. That's not how it works in any field...economics, biology, theology, physics, you name it...there are always people criticizing and critiquing what the other guy is saying.

And no, I haven't seen anyone talk in caps lock on these forums, at least not from the common posters. The Internet does have a way of making things seem much more aggressive than they would be if said in person. People read too far into posts too often, instead of just taking what's posted at face value. The people who are offended by posts on an Internet forum are generally just in need of thicker skin (it's pretty damn rare to see truthfully derogatory statements in posts here).
Bikerman
As a general point - please avoid using red in postings. The moderation team use red in order to highlight when a moderation decision is made and it is confusing if non-moderators use red in their postings. There are many other colours available to highlight a particular point if that is your intent.
Bluedoll
I can I respond to posts I am interested in!
I never said religion should not be discussed in this section.
I never implied that groups should be formed to create a dictatorship.
I have never demanded anything but only make suggestions.
I do offer suggestions and opinions.


My Suggestions

1. Split this topic into two parts. One topic philosophy (discuss anything) and one topic Religion (discuss religious subjects).
2. Find two brand new moderators (completely unbiased with only an interest to apply tos when called upon by members and not so interested in posting or following posts, in other words not active inside the debates except for the purpose to sort out tos) for both.

My Opinions

1. Viewpoints should be made without profanity as it makes for a more quality post.
2. No member should instruct another member to post less or go somewhere else.
3. No member should devalue another member by stating that they have nothing to offer in a discussion.
4. No member should tell another member they are a troll or their post are spam but deal with posts in a constructive manner or report it.
5. Regarding religious topics I will not be instructed what I must do in regards to my spirituality which includes research or proofs and believe that no one else should be required to either. This is not a classroom. There are alternatives.
6. No member should tell another member to shut up!


Bondings says,
Quote:
I Want
You
To
Post
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
1. Viewpoints should be made without profanity as it makes for a more quality post.

Hmm...so when you posted the following, I take it that you would now wish to retract it?
Quote:
I guess I'm blind then nobody is forcing you to post. blue-bloody-motherf***ing hell or the way in which debate is conducted bullshit on it we can now get what we want for people who don't believe Damn straight we can guess I'm blind then let's set - and enforce motherf***ing hell participate in adult discussions tolerate the garbage let's just ignore quality intelligent discussion motherf***ing hell a high calibre jackasses motherf***ing hell bullshit Damn straight rise up to that standard
Not really
Or do you think that your attempt to pretend you were quoting from someone else absolves you of responsibility?
Bluedoll
Bikerman wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
1. Viewpoints should be made without profanity as it makes for a more quality post.

Hmm...so when you posted the following, I take it that you would now wish to retract it?
Quote:
I guess I'm blind then nobody is forcing you to post. blue-bloody-motherf***ing hell or the way in which debate is conducted bullshit on it we can now get what we want for people who don't believe Damn straight we can guess I'm blind then let's set - and enforce motherf***ing hell participate in adult discussions tolerate the garbage let's just ignore quality intelligent discussion motherf***ing hell a high calibre jackasses motherf***ing hell bullshit Damn straight rise up to that standard
Not really
Or do you think that your attempt to pretend you were quoting from someone else absolves you of responsibility?
re re re re tttttttt rack duhhhhhh - - - -
Not really.

I will gladly retract anything, I think should be retracted. Why should I retract this?
Do not think I am pretending anything.
Every single word used in the quote are words from posts made in posts(not by me) in this topic. I just did not attach a name to each.

Your point on responsibility?

I am not here to waste my time discussing trival issues. Red eye balls, blue eye balls, black eye balls or whatever . . . the real topic in this post is my concern.

As a poster Bikerman, and with all due repect in reply to your post about responsibility? Certainly not pretending but questioning and stating openly - - Are you as well going to take some responsibilty and debate this topic?

Can you make a post to set a good example for others to follow?

I do believe and correct me if I am wrong the topic is referring to quality posts?
Bikerman
OK, since you apparently don't see the problem, I'll illustrate it.

Bluedoll wrote:
I said religion should never be discussed in this forum. I never offer suggestions and opinions, I only ever demand. I am pretending and I am here to waste my time

Every single word used in the quote is from your last posts in this topic.

Now, I have been very 'gentle' with this illustration - I could have manufactured far more insulting and offensive 'quotes' had I been so inclined.

The point is so obvious that I shouldn't really have to make it - quote tags are used to refer to a specific posting or part of a posting and should contain exactly what was written. Constructing a quote selectively is dishonest and extremely misleading. In future any such 'quotes' in postings will mean that the posting is put where it belongs - in the bin.
saratdear
Speaking as someone who doesn't participate either in P&R forum or the Faith forum (and thus having, I believe, a neutral stand) :

I agree with almost everything Indi has pointed out - except his rather unkind remarks about the Faith forum and the people posting there in general. If I don't want intelligent debate, I could go to the General Chat forum. What he's doing here is painting the Faith forum as a place for people with no mind to go and post happy little messages praising God.

Please don't get me wrong here, Indi. I like reading the P&R forum, I like the debate, I like the action Smile (Although I rarely post) I only ask you to treat the Faith forum with a little more respect.
tingkagol
There is a time and place for locked threads. I think this is one of them.
Bluedoll
Bikerman wrote:
OK, since you apparently don't see the problem, I'll illustrate it. . .
- quote tags are used to refer to a specific posting or part of a posting and should contain exactly what was written
That is fine. I can see how that sort of thing can get out of hand. It is noted. I’ll make perfect quotes in the future. Making quotes in a clear concise way, it does show a discipline and an observance to detail. Well done.
Bikerman wrote:
The point is so obvious that I shouldn't really have to make it
Is this an unnecessary and an obnoxious way to comment? Every member is not on the same level intellectually or up to speed as to how message boards work. I do not see a need for the belittling. (don’t insult more and deny that it was not a put you down). I really did not see the point before. Now I do. Did I really need the additional comment so to be humiliated? No, I don’t think so. Quality assured.
Bikerman wrote:
Constructing a quote selectively is dishonest and extremely misleading. In future any such 'quotes' in postings will mean that the posting is put where it belongs - in the bin.
I do agree with rules but any rule does need proper application.



Okie dokie, so this be a warnin. Well it won’t ‘appen again. Just a word though on the comment dishonest. I don’t think in this case it was actually too dishonest. After all it was more a demonstration that quoten’ on a comment now. It wasn’t really misleading eater when you tink bout it, now was it? Nah. cause in the bloody post I was just talkin about the way the members do post here and I was not be usin a statement to refute what they were sayin just the way they be a sayin it, dear.

Now, I be notesin a noder ting. You be slappen me hand sometimes but none of the utters? Yeh must like me eh!

Anoter thing too, I guess the big guy not a ting to more say bout the topic gone all to hill?
Rolling Eyes



saratdear wrote:
Speaking as someone who doesn't participate either in P&R forum or the Faith forum (and thus having, I believe, a neutral stand) :

I agree with almost everything Indi has pointed out - except his rather unkind remarks about the Faith forum and the people posting there in general. If I don't want intelligent debate, I could go to the General Chat forum. What he's doing here is painting the Faith forum as a place for people with no mind to go and post happy little messages praising God.

Please don't get me wrong here, Indi. I like reading the P&R forum, I like the debate, I like the action Smile (Although I rarely post) I only ask you to treat the Faith forum with a little more respect.
If there was a vote for best quality post in this topic. This would be it!
watersoul
I'm into this idea of different style of debate in the forums. Of course the P & R section should absolutely be more critical and science/reason based than the Faith section.

Philosophy is always going to be controversial to somebody, differences of strong belief will always produce strong or passionate argument. What is a challenge though, is the hurt feelings when someone says X is true because a really old book which has been translated multiple times says it is, yet the 'hurt' individual is unable to counter the line of argument with an educated response based on something other than faith.

P & R to me, is the fair game, open hunting season of reasoned and inteligent argument, where if you cannot justify claims based on referenced sources or observed changes/etc, you will always struggle with lines such as "I know it's true".
The Faith section is a safe place for unprovable beliefs and I support this seperate section as a place for these views where feelings cannot be hurt by dissection of the content.
I do feel that P & R should remain the place for robust argument, and if someone with a better argument puts my own points to shame, then in all honesty I should have chosen "Faith" for my post and certainly not whine about the situation of my statement being 'picked to pieces'.
Indi
liljp617 wrote:
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
Oh yes, yes they do - constantly. About ice, no. But yes, most P and R members DO talk like this. Every point made is taken and twisted and attacked.


When a point is incorrect or misrepresented, certainly. What would be your ideal response in situations like that? Leave the point as is even if it's wrong or even if there is rampant disagreement on the subject? It's been pointed out numerous times that's not how philosophy works. That's not even how religious discussions work if you intend to pull that card -- there are always people within religions vehemently defending a point or arguing against a point. That's not how it works in any field...economics, biology, theology, physics, you name it...there are always people criticizing and critiquing what the other guy is saying.

And no, I haven't seen anyone talk in caps lock on these forums, at least not from the common posters. The Internet does have a way of making things seem much more aggressive than they would be if said in person. People read too far into posts too often, instead of just taking what's posted at face value. The people who are offended by posts on an Internet forum are generally just in need of thicker skin (it's pretty damn rare to see truthfully derogatory statements in posts here).

See, this is a "don't feed the trolls" moment. You know LittleBlackKitten's comments are nonsense. Anyone who seriously takes the time to read my recommendations can plainly see that what LittleBlackKitten calls an example of "Indi's new 'rules'" has no relation whatsoever to what i actually recommended (or reality). So why even grace it with a response beyond: "That has no relation to what Indi suggested." That's about all it deserves, if it even deserves that much.

Instead, if you choose to try to make a discussion out of it, look what happens. You start with "that has no relation to the reality of the forum", and got back "yeah it does" as a response. That's not a discussion.

LittleBlackKitten might have a valid point to make, but until they make it properly - by making the point and providing evidence or reasoning to back it up (not just throwing it out unsupported and "backing it up" with "yeah it does") - just don't pay it any attention. At the most, all you should dignify it with is: "You haven't backed up your claims with evidence, please do so." And that's it.

By continuing to engage in discussion on that level, all you can expect in response is "yeah it does, yeah it does" again. Don't go down to that level; demand everyone else comes up to a level that facilitates intelligence, productive conversation.

This has to be a unified effort, or it won't work. We all have to stand up and insist that people participate more productively. It only takes one person feeding a troll to give them an excuse to keep posting nonsense that floods out good discussion in a thread.

Bikerman wrote:
As a general point - please avoid using red in postings. The moderation team use red in order to highlight when a moderation decision is made and it is confusing if non-moderators use red in their postings. There are many other colours available to highlight a particular point if that is your intent.

Pity. It's handy, when you're presenting a ton of information, to use red/green for true/false, yes/no, right/wrong, and maybe yellow for maybe.

saratdear wrote:
Please don't get me wrong here, Indi. I like reading the P&R forum, I like the debate, I like the action Smile (Although I rarely post) I only ask you to treat the Faith forum with a little more respect.

All that i've said about the Faith forum, the people that wanted it, and the people who should be redirected to it, are that they don't want real discussion, and that they only want to make their claims without real challenge. That's all i've said. Everything else you think you see, you put there yourself.

Granted, i have no respect for people who don't want their beliefs challenged, but that's beside the point. The Faith forum is what it is: it is a place to start a discussion with an argument that you don't have to deal with being challenged.

Don't presume that just because people say i'm being insulting that it's actually true. There is a group of people actively campaigning against me, and part of that campaign is reacting with wounded indignation to anything i say - usually by taking the quote out of context. If you want a pretty clear example, just look at the second post of this very thread, and try to find where i called anyone a turkey, or implied the Faith forum is "a forum for jackasses". (What i actually said was: "And for those who won't participate constructively, let's either send them to the Faith forum (if that is where their posts belong), or simply ignore them until either they decide to stop being jackasses and instead participate constructively, or they go away." Which, if you bother to read it properly, quite clearly says that that the people who should be redirected to Faith, and jackasses, are two different groups of people who should be handled differently. i even explicitly said that only people whose posts belong in Faith should be sent there. In point of fact, i do NOT think jackasses should be redirected to Faith, because then they'd just be jackasses there and ruin that forum... i think they should just be ignored, and lo, that's exactly what i said.)

Before you make assumptions about my beliefs, or my actions - and especially if you think you can dictate to me what i should be doing - you should look at my posts, not what other people say i'm saying.

tingkagol wrote:
There is a time and place for locked threads. I think this is one of them.

Why? You haven't given any reason for why it should be closed other than you "think" so. Provide reasons or evidence.

(See? That is how you should respond to a post that does nothing to further the discussion, if you feel the need to respond at all.)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

There are still people trying to derail this discussion by misrepresenting people or what they said, and generally making bizarre, absurd, irrational and unsupported claims. It's hard to keep the discussion on track through all the static - which is the problem facing the whole forum - and people keep provoking more static by feeding the noisemakers when they've done nothing to deserve a response. Bikerman is the only one who needs to respond to the crazies (sorry to throw to you the wolves, but it's true ^_^;). The rest of us just need to focus, filter out the bad posts, and concentrate on making or replying to sound points.

If you feel it necessary to respond to the "points" that are being thrown out without any reasoning or evidence - especially the ones that directly contradict what has been discussed before, or common sense, then don't treat them as discussion points. Treat them as noise that you are just trying to put a stop to. For example, here are some ridiculous claims that have been thrown around, and longer responses than they really deserve, but - if you feel you need to respond to them - this is the kind of thing you can do:

Bikerman is running this forum like a dictatorship.
Look up what a dictatorship is. Asking everyone to agree on standards and self-regulate... that's pretty much the opposite of a dictatorship.

i (Indi) am often vulgar/insulting/mean/rude/whatever.
Then report me. Don't whine in public and call me names. Oh wait, you people have already tried that repeatedly, and it hasn't worked out the way you thought it would, hm?

(Funny how many people claim i'm so nasty, and even think they have to step in to tell me to be more "respectful". Yet when the evidence is closely examined, it always turns out that all i'm doing is returning the nastiness and disrespect thrown my way in kind. For example, Bluedoll whining about me calling her jackass (which i'm not even sure i actually did ^_^;)... after she calls me Hitler. -_- Yeah, right. Which is the worse insult, dumbass or Hitler? i mean, really. -_-)

My proposal is that the forums should be segregated.
No, someone else's proposal was that the forums should be segregated, which was why the Faith forum was created. My proposal is that if the Faith forum is for unchallenged "discussion", then P&R should focus on discussion where everything can be challenged... but for that to work, we need to have and enforce, as a community, rules on what a proper discussion is.

Some people what religion as a separate section, but don't want the Faith forum.
Whut?

(See, this is as clear as it gets when it comes to showing what the real goal of the opponents to this proposal is. They want us to stop talking about religion. They want to censor us. It's not even just that they want a place where they can discuss religion without challenge... they want to silence our criticisms completely. They have a forum where they can wax poetic about religious beliefs without anyone seriously challenging them or criticizing their beliefs... but they want more; they want to silence us completely.)

Some people claim that what is being demanded in every discussion is "empirical scientific evidence", which is inappropriate for philosophy.
Horseshit. Just about every time i said that evidence was required, i EXPLICITLY said "evidence or reasoning". Every damn time i said it. i wasn't typing those extra words for finger exercise. Empirical evidence is sometimes appropriate, but sometimes not, in which case reasoning should be applied. Philosophy uses empirical evidence, sure... but it RELIES on reasoning.

This is an atheist conspiracy to persecute theists.
Oh, Science! We've been found out![/sarcasm]

Rationality cannot be applied to religion
Horseshit. Theologists have been doing that for millenia. Even today there is no shortage of people who claim that evidence of God can be found via reasoning or evidence from nature. (Ironically, one of the people who made this very statement have claimed that in the past, and are only making this statement to silence reasoning they can't reply to.) There are thousands of religious claims that can be considered rationally, and for each of them, thousands of religious people who think they've figured it out and have an iron-clad argument. (You want evidence? Look at the cosmic court thread.) If they bring that argument here, we'll see how iron-clad it is.

i (Indi) am Hitler, and this proposal is my Final Solution.
No, jackass. i'm Stalin, and this proposal is my Great Purge. Geez, get your evil, historical dictator analogies right. ^_^;

Saying that a person is 'wrong' will 'nullify that person and give them little or no voice'.
Nonsense. Saying that a person's claims or arguments are wrong (with supporting evidence or reasoning... funny how that bit is not sinking in) will force that person to either defend them against the challenge, or change their mind. Either way, they will have learned something.

Even philosophers can't define philosophy, and debate what it is and how it should be done.
Yes, they do. But when they do, they always debate RATIONALLY. *rimshot*

What the proposal is really demanding is control over people.
No, what the proposal is really demanding is what it actually says, not what your paranoid fantasies think it says. It is asking everyone's cooperating in creating a discussion area with high standards for discussion, in order to put a stop to the chaos being created by the trolls.

Religion is based on faith, not reason, so it doesn't fall under the realm of philosophy.
Yes, but DISCUSSING religion can be done using reason, and that does fall under the realm of philosophy. Even when you're not having a philosophical discussion about religion or religious beliefs, you can still discuss religion or religious beliefs rationally, and, in fact, there is no other way to have a productive discussion about them.

Faith is considered to be an opinion, not an assertion of truth, so it's not open for debate.
Not true, but even if it is, there is a Faith forum where you can state your "faith opinions" and not have them debated. This forum should be where you can state your "faith opinions"... and have them debated.

Good reasoning and bad reasoning cannot be distinguished scientifically.[/i]
We're not using science, we're using philosophy, and bad reasoning can be identified quite easily. If your premises are wrong or your logic is fallacious, your reasoning is bad. Simple.

[b]The Faith forum is for idiots.

No, the Faith forum is for people who don't want their beliefs challenged. That's explicitly and literally the purpose of the forum.

You're just adding more rules to a broken forum.
No, the problem with the forum is that there is a cabal of posters who have no real interest in actually discussing philosophy or religion, and are desperately trying to impose on others the same rule - basically, trying to censor the discussions others are trying to have. Meanwhile, others are responding that the censorship being requested is ignorant and offensive, and that the whole point of a discussion forum on philosophy and religion is to discuss philosophy and religion (duh). The cabal has tried (by appealing to the moderators) to get new rules applied to censor the rest, and failed. Now they are resorting to derailing all productive discussion by repeating their demands in every thread they get a chance to, and generally acting up. What is being suggested here is not new rules, and not censorship, but rather that a community fed up with the bad behaviour of a few people take peaceful, protest action against it... by ignoring it.

Some people are saying that we can't stop them from posting stuff we don't want to see.
Correct. But you can't stop us from ignoring your garbage posts completely.

Some people are saying that we can't tell people to go post in Faith if they don't meet the standard of discussion here.
Oh yes we can. They don't need to take our suggestion, but that's their loss. If they don't want to have an actual discussion about some belief, then they should be in the Faith forum; they'll be happier there because they can discuss their belief without having to face criticism. If they don't take our suggestion to go there, and instead decide to stick around in P&R where the criticism and challenges to their beliefs are making them upset... well, then, frankly, they're stupid. They're staying in a place that's making them upset when a place that won't make them upset exists. We tried to help them by pointing them to a place where they would be happy, and they rejected the help. Their loss. We no longer have any obligation to help those people, though, so we can just ignore them.

Some people are saying that we can't tell people that their posts are no good.
We certainly can. They're free to ignore us, but then, we're also free to ignore them. If their posts do not contribute to the discussion, we are free to ask them to take steps to make their posts productive - like asking them to provide backing for their claims, or telling them that their demand that something not be discussed will not fly - and if they really care about being part of the discussion they should be grateful for the pointers. If they don't, then they were just noise, and can then be ignored.

Some people are saying that we're telling them to shut up.
No, we're not. You can make as much noise as you want. We'll just ignore it, in favour of good discussion.

(i know where this is coming from. Basically, i said that if you want to say a discussion should stop (or can't happen), you only need to say it once then shut up... you don't need to keep repeating it over and over because we got your point the first time, but obviously don't agree with it. Continuing to repeat the point is just spamming, and is nothing more than an attempt to end a discussion that you don't even want to be part of. Naturally, these people don't properly read or bother to try to understand what i say - they just react badly when they see my name, and pick out key phrases that sound offensive in my post out of context. That's part of the problem. They're not looking to discuss anything, they just want to call me out because they don't like me. They shouldn't be engaged, should be ignored... which is what i'm calling for.)

Some people have insisted that they will not change their minds or consider other viewpoints.
In other words, they want to keep repeating what they believe without having to face challenges. Fine. Go to the Faith forum. That's what it's for. Around here, we discuss.

This thread is not productive.
That is because some people are using it as a platform to air their persecution fantasies, to insult me or Bikerman or "atheists" in general, and to make ridiculous, nonsensical demands like making an "Atheist" forum rather than seriously considering the problem or suggested solution. That is the same problem that exists all over P&R right now, and the very problem this thread was created to try and solve. So far it has been very productive - a number of people have stepped forward to agree that there is a problem, and agreed that the proposed solution is a reasonable one. We have also discussed the parameters of when and how a post should be ignored. Granted, it's hard to pick out the good discussion with all the noise, but it's there.

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

There's one more thing i want to discuss, and that's the bizarre request to create a new forum for Religion. Whut? We already have two: Faith and P&R. One forum allows you to talk about your religious beliefs without having them challenged, the other allows to you have your beliefs challenged.

We don't need another one, we just need to use the two we have properly. The Faith forum already exists, and people who want to be there should - as a community - ignore any posts that tear their beliefs to shreds, and redirect the poster to P&R. P&R also already exists, and people who want to be here should - as a community - ignore any posts where people say the don't want their beliefs questioned, and redirect the poster to Faith.

Which, of course, is what i proposed in the first place.
Bluedoll
Indi wrote:
Granted, i have no respect for people who don't want their beliefs challenged, but that's beside the point. The Faith forum is what it is: it is a place to start a discussion with an argument that you don't have to deal with being challenged.
This is where I have disagreement. One, I belief there should be a general good will for all members. That has never been the way it is done around here! There will be no changing that! Too bad! Valid point.
I don’t agree that the faith section of the forum should be defined that way. It is a place to have a discussion. Leave it at that. This challenging business is way over applied in this forum in my view.
Indi wrote:
anyone a turkey
It's hard to soar like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys > your slogan. I clearly think in my opinion everything about your posts including that slogan is self-centered (I am right and great – everyone around me is not) and reflects in your posts as well.

One example of that is “This thread is not productive.
That is because some people are using it as a platform to air their persecution fantasies”

I am some people and in this post offered my suggestions and my opinions (see above) but this is not productive in your post – only your post is. That is calling some people down! Some eagle! Are you sure you do not mean vulture?
Indi wrote:
either they decide to stop being jackasses and instead participate constructively, or they go away
If you go around calling people jackasses then what do you expect back? On one hand in your proposal you said ‘help other members” then in the same post call members jackasses. Who is making the determination to classify some members as jackasses. You! You say “people actively campaigning against me” when all you are getting is slap in the face for being so abusivily, high and mighty.
Indi wrote:
Look up what a dictatorship is. Asking everyone to agree on standards and self-regulate
I do not agree on some of these standards and challenging them. There has more peer pressure in this forum than you can shake a stick at. That is not asking it is . . . how did you word it? DEMANDING!
Indi wrote:
i (Indi) am often vulgar/insulting/mean/rude/whatever
I can agree! What you send out sometimes comes back big boy!
Indi wrote:
P&R should focus on discussion where everything can be challenged
I agree again. That is why I am challenging some points in the purposal. Not all just some points.
Indi wrote:
Some people what religion as a separate section, but don't want the Faith forum.
See, this is as clear as it gets when it comes to showing what the real goal of the opponents to this proposal is. They want us to stop talking about religion. They want to censor us. It's not even just that they want a place where they can discuss religion without challenge... they want to silence our criticisms completely.
I do not want to censor anyone. I have never told anyone to shut up. You have. I am not making demands. I make suggestions. Yes I do that!
Indi wrote:
They have a forum where they can wax poetic about religious beliefs without anyone seriously challenging them or criticizing their beliefs... but they want more; they want to silence us completely.)
The discription is wrong.
I never wanted the Faith forum. I suggested a philosphy section and a religious section. How many times do I have to repeat this? Who is misquoting here? huh?
I never said stop talking about religion. You say shut up not me. I only said these kinds of subjects should not be forced to follow a strict guideline of proof it or we will call you a troll type format and rant on with overblown posts.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
All that i've said about the Faith forum, the people that wanted it, and the people who should be redirected to it, are that they don't want real discussion, and that they only want to make their claims without real challenge. That's all i've said. Everything else you think you see, you put there yourself.
Can we stick with the facts Indi. Who exactly wanted the Faith Forum? You've repeated very often in the past how irritated you get when people do not know what they are posting about. Exactly who wanted the Faith Forum, and how did it come to pass? You keep on suggesting that there were a group of people who went to Bondings and asked for a Faith Forum and then got their way. That is NOT what happened. That suggestion came from the Moderators who without consulting with Bluedoll took her suggestion to split the forum into Philosophy and Religion and changed it into something completely different.

I for one was against the Faith Forum when it was first discussed in the Suggestion Forum. But once Bondings made his decision, I supported HIS decision. I at least want to give the Faith Forum the benefit of the doubt. So far I am disappointed as I would have thought the Faith Forum should also include other beliefs such as Buddhism, Islam, etc. etc. Instead it is much of the same and almost an extension of the Phil&Rel Forum, except a tamer version .... maybe? Most of the same regular posters in the Phil&Rel Forum are also posting in the Faith Forum.

I really wish all of the energy in threads like these could rather be directed to more exciting ventures such as competitions and ideas for different threads.
Ankhanu
This discussion is rather tedious and I can't believe both a) I read it all and b) some of the directions it's gone in.

As has been mentioned, discussion of philosophy requires reasoned positions and rationality. How could it be in any way objectionable that rationality and reason be upheld in a philosophy forum?

I just don't get it.
tingkagol
Indi wrote:
tingkagol wrote:
There is a time and place for locked threads. I think this is one of them.

Why? You haven't given any reason for why it should be closed other than you "think" so. Provide reasons or evidence.

(See? That is how you should respond to a post that does nothing to further the discussion, if you feel the need to respond at all.)

One of the reasons- you already mentioned:
Indi wrote:
There are still people trying to derail this discussion by misrepresenting people or what they said, and generally making bizarre, absurd, irrational and unsupported claims.

...and quite on an onslaught in this particular thread. Note that these claims have been recycled over and over from different threads it's become an eyesore.

I am merely suggesting that when absurd posts or replies become more and more rampant, it's best to lock the thread- or whatever form of phpbb moderation is needed to calm people down. And yes, I do agree with the original post. I actually think the P&R forum has always been like that, though I doubt the feat of examining all posts for 'quality' is feasible at all, or if posters listen to corrections/critique from others. Bottomline, no one can stop people from posting, unless admin starts banning people. But as of the moment, there seems to be an overwhelming need for stricter moderation.

Anyway, I do admit I was trolling for a bit there. There just seems to be too much dissent on this forum lately and I must say it kind of takes the joy out of posting.
saratdear
@Bluedoll - Thank you for your comment. Much appreciated.

Indi wrote:
All that i've said about the Faith forum, the people that wanted it, and the people who should be redirected to it, are that they don't want real discussion, and that they only want to make their claims without real challenge. That's all i've said. Everything else you think you see, you put there yourself.

I put there myself? You can't seriously believe your last few posts have not been depicting the Faith forum in a bad light? Oh here's an example :
Indi, in Bikerman's first post wrote:

if you want to post something that you don't have to answer for, go to the Faith forum. Let's demand that every post made here in this forum measure up to a standard of intelligent, rational, civilized debate that we set.
..................
With the coming of the Faith forum, we no longer need to tolerate posts or posters that don't invite intelligent debate.

(Apologies to Bikerman : I did construct this quote out of two different parts of Indi's post..but only to illustrate a specific point)

Indi wrote:
Don't presume that just because people say i'm being insulting that it's actually true.
.......................

Before you make assumptions about my beliefs, or my actions - and especially if you think you can dictate to me what i should be doing - you should look at my posts, not what other people say i'm saying.

The purpose of my post was pretty clear. I agreed with your proposal, and pointed out the place where I see it as problematic. Everything else you think you see, you put there yourself.
Bluedoll
Ankhanu wrote:
This discussion is rather tedious and I can't believe both a) I read it all and b) some of the directions it's gone in.

As has been mentioned, discussion of philosophy requires reasoned positions and rationality. How could it be in any way objectionable that rationality and reason be upheld in a philosophy forum?

I just don't get it.
I do agree, there is little joy in posting here. I am tired of being called names like whiner, troll, told to shut up, told to go do something else, told I am not worth anything as a members really - report it? Now that is one big a joke. I do not have that luxury, not in this section! I agree that post of Indi’s is ridiculous and overbearing to the point of being irrational in length then he has the audacity to demand something better?

Where in all this topic are you referring to? Please explain. I know, I never wrote that I was in opposition to rationality and reason in a philosophy section?
LittleBlackKitten
Perhaps an OBJECTIVE moderator take over this forum?
Bikerman
Perhaps you can point out a moderation decision that was partial in this forum? Can you point to a single example in here where I have moderated a posting by a theist that did not breach TOS, or an example where I have moderated a theist posting and not moderated an atheist posting that contravened the same TOS?
Anyone?
If you can't then I fail to see the problem.
spinout
really, with other forums in mind, everyone have to be loose in mind and accept a bit flaming.

I mean everyone.

Some people may not like a discussion, well then a forum is not the great place to be in. To not have a discussion, well then the existance of a forum disappeared...

You have to be loose to rock n roll!
LittleBlackKitten
That's what we're all saying; discuss and debate are NOT synonymous; they're similar. One leads to argument while the other leads topeaceful conversation. The issue here isn't talking, or even being questioned or challenged. We don't want the debate to STOP; we want it to slow down and not have to defend every single word of every single post we ever make. I almost expect my syntax and vernacular to be attacked, next.

We feel like we can't even make ONE POST which doesn't include anything subjective or opinionated. We can't even express what we like, think, know, or believe without 4 or 5 people jumping on you and gnashing their debating teeth at your throat for saying it. We shouldn't have to post in fear that someone is going to destroy every word we type in.

I'm sorry, but that's not the air of a real forum. A real forum has BOTH discussion AND debate, and NEITHER should be allowed to attack and destroy the other. In the real world, it is unacceptable to do what many posters do in this forum, and some of it borders on Cyber Bullying and Religious Hate Speech. As a matter of fact, even politicians are legally bound to NOT debate about religion itself or the faculties of belief of other people; that is totally unacceptable, and is banned from MOST debates.

I think it should be so, here.

If someone believes something, no one has ANY RIGHT to tell them they are wrong; that is a constitutional infraction on personal rights; to believe without attack. If we chose to believe it, then it is our own belief, and there is no right for anyone else to tell us otherwise.

I will also argue that Bikerman, Indi, and everyone else has EVERY RIGHT to argue and debate all they like on everything else, and Bluedoll would do well to remember that, and to ebb her nasty tongue, for Jesus would NEVER hurl insults at another like you.

More flies are won from honey than vinegar, as are more BEES. We ALL could benefit from remembering this.

I think this conversation has gone far enough; it's turned into a mud-slinging argument with name-calling, insulting, and hatefulness that is not going to benefit ANYONE.

Indi, while I might not post direct links, what I say IS valid and I DO have a point, and it ISN'T nonsense. Just because I do not post a bunch of links like everyone else does not mean I have been validated and that I am accurate, at least to some extent. I will READILY ADMIT my post was dramatic and histrionic; THAT my friend was the entire point. It will get to that point, not LITERALLY of course, but a play on that situation in a milder sense, will. I also might point out that by you responding to Bluedoll's hateful insults that you yourself are "feeding the trolls"?

Bluedoll You claim to believe in God, and Peace, and yet such anger and hate comes from your fingertips? What God are you trying to model yourself after? Certainly not Jehovah. The words you spew at Indi and Chris are not those of a child of God.

Chris; You might believe that you are perfectly fine to moderate objectively and post, but your mod brain and your regular brain are the same, and so you would not moderate and warn YOURSELF that you are close to breaking the rules, as demonstrated by Bluedoll's insults towards Indi. For example, if she were the mod here, she would have found her own post fine, justified, and acceptable, when clearly it was not, and bordered on breaking rules. You have the same issue; you might not THINK you're due for a warning and/or close to breaking rules, but you have on occasion been there, and you wouldn't be able to catch YOURSELF. While I have complete faith in your moderating ability, one cannot moderate oneself like that when one is upset/angry/mad/whatever, and it would be in the best interest for everyone if a moderator who does not post here become moderator, because it not only LOOKS better, you yourself will be warned when close to breaking the rules. The report button is only good if a clear infraction has been made; otherwise, there's no reason to report to request a warning.

Point blank; increasing either side has it's merrits, but it is causing a MASSIVE devide in Frihost, and it's going to cause a massive rift - the religious will mass with thr religious, the debaters will mass with the debaters, the ones who don't care will mass with those who don't care, and never the twain shall meet. This will shatter Frihost into three pieces, and it's already starting.

Our goal wasn't to go have somewhere to "hide", but better rules on how EVERYONE can post, and what can be challenged and what cannot. It is totally unacceptable to feel like one is walking into the furnace for believing something and posting in the RELIGION BOARD. It's become nothing more than a den of vipers with fangs of philosophy and science, and venom of sharp words. It is unacceptable for anyone to be AFRAID to post anywhere on this board, but it has become so. If a refuge board is all we can get, then so be it, but it is a fallacy while those with fangs and venom are allowed to bite wherever they please, while the sheep who believe are terrified of walking outside of the tiny box they are allowed to stand in.
Bikerman
Well, some good news and some bad news.

Firstly the bad news:
Quote:
If someone believes something, no one has ANY RIGHT to tell them they are wrong; that is a constitutional infraction on personal rights; to believe without attack. If we chose to believe it, then it is our own belief, and there is no right for anyone else to tell us otherwise.
That is completely wrong. If you choose to share something on a public forum then it is entirely open for whatever response you get. Constitutional rights don't come into it.
Quote:
As a matter of fact, even politicians are legally bound to NOT debate about religion itself or the faculties of belief of other people; that is totally unacceptable, and is banned from MOST debates.
You are making this up as you go along and that is not wise on this forum because it will be called. In the UK politicians routinely debate religion and they can be much more damning than anything you will read here. US politicians don't routinely debate religion because they have a legal separation of Church and State, but there is no law preventing them from doing so if they wish and many do. The fact is that most US politicians don't want to debate religion because they are happy to be seen as Christians, not wanting to rock the boat. Atheists don't do very well in US politics. I presume you have heard of Christopher Hitchens? He regularly debates US politicians on the issue of religion, and I promise you he pulls absolutely no punches. The US have free speech enshrined in the constitution - First Amendment - and the idea that anyone is prohibited from discussing religion is just completely wrong - there is no exception for religion or religious belief.

I think you are Canadian, yes? Well a couple of days ago there was a public debate between our ex PM - Tony Blair - and Chris Hitchens in your neck of the woods. The debate was solely on Religion.

I don't know the laws in Canada (I'll bet Indi does, though). I will be astonished if there is any law forbidding politicians from saying what they like about religion and/or religious beliefs. If you think there is then I'd love to see some reference to it please. If you are reading this, Indi, are you aware of any such prohibition?
Quote:
Point blank; increasing either side has it's merrits, but it is causing a MASSIVE devide in Frihost, and it's going to cause a massive rift - the religious will mass with thr religious, the debaters will mass with the debaters, the ones who don't care will mass with those who don't care, and never the twain shall meet. This will shatter Frihost into three pieces, and it's already starting.
No it isn't. The 'massive' divide consists of a very small number of theists who wish to dictate what is discussed and how it is discussed. Religion has been debated in this forum for many years in the sort of terms and manner it is currently debated, and that will not change. If some theists have a problem with that then I'm afraid that is their problem, not a problem for Frihost.

Lastly:
On warning myself - I have done so, several times. I have reacted to a complaint at least three times (it may be more, can't remember) and agreed with the complaint, changing my posting and acknowledging my error on each occasion. I also check any controversial posting or decision with the other moderators routinely, and I commonly ask for other moderators to look over anything that looks a bit 'dodgy'. In science we call it peer review and it is something I am happy and comfortable with.

Now, the good news.
As I have said several times - I don't WANT to moderate this forum. Fortunately we have decided to appoint a new moderator and I will be happy to hand over the task of leading the moderation here to that person. (I cannot yet announce who it is, since I haven't yet received confirmation that they have accepted the job...but hopefully that will not be far away).
deanhills
Indi wrote:

The standard i propose is that all posts should be engaging in productive, intelligent, meaningful discussion, which means that all posts do one or more of the following:
  1. Introduce a point or argument, backing it up with evidence or reasoning; or
  2. Challenge a previously introduced point or argument, either by showing that the evidence is flawed or the reasoning is fallacious; or
  3. Question a previously introduced point or argument with a reasonable request for clarification of the evidence or reasoning.
Any posts - or parts of posts - that are showing at least a reasonable attempt to do one or more of these things deserve a response, even if that response is only guidance in helping the poster to actually do one of these things. Any posts - or parts of posts - that do not seem to be making a reasonable attempt at doing one of these three things, should be ignored. Any poster that is known to repeatedly and habitually refuse to do these things, should be ignored on principle.

Of course, it's not just enough to propose a standard - that standard also has to be justified. Is it a reasonable standard?

First of all, what are the topics of this forum? Philosophy and religion. What is the function of this forum? To discuss those topics. So what is discussion, and what is not? The easiest way to see that is to use examples.

Let's start with a good starting topic: the question "can freedom, equality and fairness coexist?" that comes from another recent thread in the forum. Let's assume that the thread was started with a good post (which it was) that introduces a point/argument and backs it up with evidence and reasoning (requirement (a), which the actual opening post did in that thread). Now the question is: what kinds of responses make discussion possible, what kinds don't?
[list][*]Introducing a point/argument with supporting evidence or reasoning. (aka, requirement (a))

If you introduce a topical point or argument, and back that up with reasoning or evidence, then you extend the discussion with new ideas that weren't in the opening post, but are still topical (maybe it was something the original poster didn't think of), and, at the same time, provide a basis for discussing the new angle you've introduced. This allows discussions to grow and flourish, beyond what the original poster imagined, increasing the potential that everyone will gain something from it.

If I may suggest, why not post your suggestion in the Suggestion Forum. You could start a new thread with some voting buttons? Right now the part of your post that I consider to be worthy of a discussion - i.e. the actual suggestion - is completely drowned in personal opinions that have already been debated back and forth everywhere. As far as I can see, Bondings and his team are anxious for a little peace in this quarter. Why not focus purely on your suggestion, and throw it open as a real suggestion for participation by everyone in the Suggestion Forum? If you can focus on the suggestion only, without all of the who is right and who is wrong arguments surrounding it, I think you have something worthy of a rational discussion. Along the lines of the standards you have listed in your suggestion.

When you do submit the suggestion for a general vote you may want to avoid excluding any Frihosters from discussions in the Phil&Rel Forum. This would actually conflict with your anti-views with regard to segregation of groups of people. Whether by type of discussion or by religion, segregation is still segregation. It won't be much different to what Bluedoll was once criticized for doing, i.e. saying that posts that did not respect God would not be welcome. You are basically saying the same, i.e. that posts that do not meet your standards of excellence will not be welcome in the Phil&Rel Forum. If this is how you feel, would it not be better to start your own Forum somewhere else, and then carefully screen those who will be allowed to post in your Website prior to accepting them as a member of your Forum?

May I also respectfully suggest that you try the Faith Forum out for size before you completely nix it. Presently the majority of posters are also posting in the Phil&Rel Forum and people like Ankhanu, Watersoul and Jeffryjon can hardly be described as trollers and whiners. If you continue to market it as a sandbox the way you are doing now (in effect segregating a group of posters again) it is definitely going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

By the way, I thought I would just quote Bonding's introduction of the Faith Forum in case you have missed it:
Quote:
I created a new Faith forum, as mentioned in my suggestion some time ago. Not everyone agreed with it, but this forum is created as a test. If it won't work out fine, we can always revert back.

Anyway, there are now two forums. The first is the Philosphy and Religion forum. This one remains the same as before and a heavy discussion is definitely still allowed. However, we will be way more strict about cross-topic and personal posts. A reply should focus on the content of the posts in the same topic solely and not on the person who posted them and not on what was said in different topics or private messages. Anything off-topic isn't allowed either.

The second forum is the Faith forum. This forum is completely new. It is about religious discussion (including atheism). However it is restricted to the opinions/views of the first post of a topic, meaning that no heavy discussions and arguments are allowed. Of course questions, similar views and some remarks are allowed, otherwise there would be no discussion left. So if you post (in a new topic) that you are a devout Christian and believe in the bible, a reply saying that the bible is a fiction book, god doesn't exist and similar things won't be allowed. On the other hand, if someone creates a topic that states that he/she doesn't believe in god, a response that god does exist and you should pray and read the bible, is not allowed.

Source: Bondings' Official Blog
LittleBlackKitten
It is against international law on and offline to BLASPHEME another human being;

http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/right-of-free-expression/criminal-law-restrictions-on-freedom-of-expression/blasphemy.html

This means it is AGAINST THE LAW in all countries around the world, online or offline, to exact judgement or prejudice against another human being's beliefs, religion, faith, or anything of the sort.

This also means it is illegal to seriously offend someone in regards to their faith.

It is not prosecutable, but it is still illegal.

http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/right-of-free-expression/criminal-law-restrictions-on-freedom-of-expression/obscenity.html

It is also illegal to make someone feel depraved or corrupted which the type of posts in question do.

This site goes over what is illegal, and how it can be problematic, as well as what action can be taken and problems that arise.

http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/it&law/c10_main.htm

Written or spoken defamation is illegal. Mind you this is more intended for offline but it still governs online contact as it is written contact.

http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/right-of-free-expression/defamation/defamation-elements-of-a-claim.html
Bikerman
Quote:
It is against international law on and offline to BLASPHEME another human being;

http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/right-of-free-expression/criminal-law-restrictions-on-freedom-of-expression/blasphemy.html

This means it is AGAINST THE LAW in all countries around the world, online or offline, to exact judgement or prejudice against another human being's beliefs, religion, faith, or anything of the sort.
Nope. Wrong. The Blasphemy law is specifically English and only applies to comments about the Church of England. I am something of an authority on it, since I have been campaigning against it for 20 years.
Quote:
This also means it is illegal to seriously offend someone in regards to their faith.
Nope, sorry but that isn't true.
Quote:
It is not prosecutable, but it is still illegal.
In England only and only if the comments are specifically about the Church of England, and even then the law is never enforced and will soon be repealed. It is also illegal not to practice archery on Sunday in Hampshire - but nobody takes that seriously either. It is just a function of our legal system which established common law and sometimes forgets to abolish it.
Quote:
It is also illegal to make someone feel depraved or corrupted which the type of posts in question do.
No it isn't. Again you are talking about law that is specific to the UK and which I know something about. It does NOT apply to religious comment, since the EU charter of Human Rights over-rides it and specifically grants freedom of expression under Articles 10 & 19.
Quote:
This site goes over what is illegal, and how it can be problematic, as well as what action can be taken and problems that arise.
http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/it&law/c10_main.htm
Written or spoken defamation is illegal. Mind you this is more intended for offline but it still governs online contact as it is written contact.
Nope wrong again. Defamation cannot and does not apply to generalised comment about religion. Defamation is defined in law as
Quote:
published statements which are alleged to defame a named or identifiable individual (or individuals) in a manner which causes them loss in their trade or profession, or causes a reasonable person to think worse of him, her or them. Allowable defences are justification (i.e. the truth of the statement), fair comment (i.e. whether the statement was a view that a reasonable person could have held), and privilege (i.e. whether the statements were made in Parliament or in court, or whether they were fair reports of allegations in the public interest)
The institution of religion, or specific religious churches or faiths, are not covered. Even if they were there is no case to answer because the defences of fair comment and justification both render any action impossible.
Klaw 2
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
That's what we're all saying; discuss and debate are NOT synonymous; they're similar. One leads to argument while the other leads topeaceful conversation.

More elaborate a discussion is with a group of people everyone can provide input, a debate is between a few people with an audience. A debate is more of a clash between ideas one side will do everything to demolish the other side.
A discussion is usually more friendly

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
The issue here isn't talking, or even being questioned or challenged. We don't want the debate to STOP; we want it to slow down and not have to defend every single word of every single post we ever make. I almost expect my syntax and vernacular to be attacked, next.


Now you might feel attacked and that a lot of topics are treated as a debate, but if the opponent thinks you're wrong the opponent has every right to point out why you're wrong. You may feel that this is done agressive but mostly it is not. And I have (almost) never seen anyone who started to pick someone apart on their grammer. However if someone doesn't know the true meaning of a certain word and uses it wrongly it SHOULD be pointed out that he doesn't understand the word.
Like with theory
In science, theory is the highest level of truth, a fact in commen terms.
While some people use it as in oh evolution is only a theory (as in not proven(Sherlock Holmes has a theory as to who the culprit is, but he has yet to piece the evidence together)).

In this case "scientific theory" is mixed up with "commen speech theory".

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
We feel like we can't even make ONE POST which doesn't include anything subjective or opinionated. We can't even express what we like, think, know, or believe without 4 or 5 people jumping on you and gnashing their debating teeth at your throat for saying it. We shouldn't have to post in fear that someone is going to destroy every word we type in.


The thing is that you're posting it in the public domain and EVERYONE has every right to say that they agree or disagree, [stating the obvious] there's this thing called free speech you know ... [/stating the obvious]. Furthermore everyone has everyright to say why they disagree, if you want to state your opinion why can't we say ours? Or why can't we back them up with facts. And what if you think something that is in conflict with reality is it to point out why? And what are you going to do about it?

In other words if you want to say something why can't we?

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I'm sorry, but that's not the air of a real forum. A real forum has BOTH discussion AND debate, and NEITHER should be allowed to attack and destroy the other.


There is hardly any attacking most of it is pointing out facts or flaws, if you don't want that to happen then don't post or post somewhere else.
I might add that most attacking ie swearing and name calling is done by a few of the more religious people.

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
In the real world, it is unacceptable to do what many posters do in this forum, and some of it borders on Cyber Bullying and Religious Hate Speech. As a matter of fact, even politicians are legally bound to NOT debate about religion itself or the faculties of belief of other people; that is totally unacceptable, and is banned from MOST debates.


Pointing someones flaws out is not bullying nor unacceptable. I even would go further it is required.
If you're working with some chemical compounds (in some chemical factory) and you are doing it wrong, other people who work there too are OBLIGED to tell you that you are doing it wrong.

As for public discussions everyone has every right to point out why they think why you are wrong (that's the point isn't it?).

LittleBlackKitten wrote:

I think it should be so, here.

If someone believes something, no one has ANY RIGHT to tell them they are wrong; that is a constitutional infraction on personal rights; to believe without attack. If we chose to believe it, then it is our own belief, and there is no right for anyone else to tell us otherwise.

There is no such thing at least in (allmost) all western countries.

For example in the Netherlands in the 1930/40/50's some one said that his relation with god was like;
Quote:
fingering a donkey in the behind

there was an outrage and he was tried for it, he practically pointed out why the "blasphemy law" was outdated and stupid and the law is not in practice anymore or even removed.

Here there is freedom of speech wich alows you to say anything, except insult an officer on duty and to instigate violence. Here we can say anything about religion we want. O and slander is forbidden too.

I'm pretty shure that all blasphemy laws in western countries are "out of use" or removed.

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I will also argue that Bikerman, Indi, and everyone else has EVERY RIGHT to argue and debate all they like on everything else, and Bluedoll would do well to remember that, and to ebb her nasty tongue, for Jesus would NEVER hurl insults at another like you.

More flies are won from honey than vinegar, as are more BEES. We ALL could benefit from remembering this.

I think this conversation has gone far enough; it's turned into a mud-slinging argument with name-calling, insulting, and hatefulness that is not going to benefit ANYONE.

Indi, while I might not post direct links, what I say IS valid and I DO have a point, and it ISN'T nonsense. Just because I do not post a bunch of links like everyone else does not mean I have been validated and that I am accurate, at least to some extent. I will READILY ADMIT my post was dramatic and histrionic; THAT my friend was the entire point. It will get to that point, not LITERALLY of course, but a play on that situation in a milder sense, will. I also might point out that by you responding to Bluedoll's hateful insults that you yourself are "feeding the trolls"?

Bluedoll You claim to believe in God, and Peace, and yet such anger and hate comes from your fingertips? What God are you trying to model yourself after? Certainly not Jehovah. The words you spew at Indi and Chris are not those of a child of God.

Chris; You might believe that you are perfectly fine to moderate objectively and post, but your mod brain and your regular brain are the same, and so you would not moderate and warn YOURSELF that you are close to breaking the rules, as demonstrated by Bluedoll's insults towards Indi. For example, if she were the mod here, she would have found her own post fine, justified, and acceptable, when clearly it was not, and bordered on breaking rules. You have the same issue; you might not THINK you're due for a warning and/or close to breaking rules, but you have on occasion been there, and you wouldn't be able to catch YOURSELF. While I have complete faith in your moderating ability, one cannot moderate oneself like that when one is upset/angry/mad/whatever, and it would be in the best interest for everyone if a moderator who does not post here become moderator, because it not only LOOKS better, you yourself will be warned when close to breaking the rules. The report button is only good if a clear infraction has been made; otherwise, there's no reason to report to request a warning.


If bikerman post something against forum rules and more than once you can report it to bondings, if bikerman broke a rule he would get a slap on the wrist and a warning and the post would be modified. There's no real reason why he couldn't be mod here and post here. If something it makes him a better mod because he spots the breaking of rules faster.

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
Point blank; increasing either side has it's merrits, but it is causing a MASSIVE devide in Frihost, and it's going to cause a massive rift - the religious will mass with thr religious, the debaters will mass with the debaters, the ones who don't care will mass with those who don't care, and never the twain shall meet. This will shatter Frihost into three pieces, and it's already starting.


It won't shatter frihost in three pieces two at best besides there are more forums where you can post those will be mostly unaffected, except perhaps the science part.

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
Our goal wasn't to go have somewhere to "hide", but better rules on how EVERYONE can post, and what can be challenged and what cannot. It is totally unacceptable to feel like one is walking into the furnace for believing something and posting in the RELIGION BOARD.

Well it says in the decription heavy posting allowed, if you post your opinion someone else has every right to post his as long as you don't break the rules and

"Don't post if you disagree isn't one of the rules."

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
It's become nothing more than a den of vipers with fangs of philosophy and science, and venom of sharp words. It is unacceptable for anyone to be AFRAID to post anywhere on this board, but it has become so. If a refuge board is all we can get, then so be it, but it is a fallacy while those with fangs and venom are allowed to bite wherever they please, while the sheep who believe are terrified of walking outside of the tiny box they are allowed to stand in.


Look if you post something that you believe in and people tear it apart why don't defend it? If you believe in something you should be able to defend it.

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
It is against international law on and offli

.......... read above ..........

en contact.

http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/right-of-free-expression/defamation/defamation-elements-of-a-claim.html


.........

As bikerman already pointed out those laws are not about blasphemy or "out of use" bassically you are trying to stop us from expressing our right of free speech. Now why shouldn't WE be offended by this? To a lot of people it is one of the most important things.

You know what? I'm a humanist and to me free speech IS sacred so now I'm offended everytime anyone tries to stop me from speaking my mind I WILL BE OFFENDED!

Now, who's with me?

BTW; And since humanism for me replaces religion (mind you humanism IS NOT a religion) you can't according to your own blasphemy law stop me from saying what I want.
And so the law is (sort of) self contradicting...
LittleBlackKitten
If one is posting while residing in the UK they must obey UK law. If one is replying to someone while in the US they must obey US law. The website of origin must obey the rules of which country it was physically created in.

In this case, each post must obey the laws of the land it was originated in.

In China, for example, it is illegal to make fun of politicians, and here, it is not. If you were in China, it would be a crime; however, being outside of China, it is perfectly legal.

18 is not always the age of adulthood in all countries. Sometimes it is 16, 17, or even 21. The adult website that was built in an area where 18 is the allowing age for adult materials MUST abide by that number, EVEN IF SOMEONE OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY IS NOT YET OF AGE. This means that if the legal age is 21 for adulthood, then even if the website STATES 18, if you are underage in YOUR country, you MAY NOT view the material.

My point is this; if it is illegal IN YOUR COUNTRY, you are STILL committing a crime by posting in a manner that violates the rules. So even I cannot break UK law here on Frihost, as there are UK MEMBERS on the board. Same with China, Japan, and any other country that has online law.

And again I am misconstrued. I have never said I want debate to STOP. I said we wanted it MILDER.
Klaw 2
misconstrued? No one is misconstrueing you, those blasphemy laws are bullcrap, no one has to abide them, and blasphemy is not fordidden in my country nor in other western countries. We are NOT commiting crimes please stop to try limit our free speech.
Bikerman
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
If one is posting while residing in the UK they must obey UK law. If one is replying to someone while in the US they must obey US law. The website of origin must obey the rules of which country it was physically created in.

In this case, each post must obey the laws of the land it was originated in.

In China, for example, it is illegal to make fun of politicians, and here, it is not. If you were in China, it would be a crime; however, being outside of China, it is perfectly legal.
Yes, and? What has this got to do with anything?
Quote:
My point is this; if it is illegal IN YOUR COUNTRY, you are STILL committing a crime by posting in a manner that violates the rules. So even I cannot break UK law here on Frihost, as there are UK MEMBERS on the board. Same with China, Japan, and any other country that has online law.

And again I am misconstrued. I have never said I want debate to STOP. I said we wanted it MILDER.
But it isn't a crime as I said. Blasphemy law in the UK in a hangover from older times. There is no crime committed until you are prosecuted and convicted. Innocent until proven guilty is the maxim. The only people who can say that I have committed a crime are a jury of my peers.
It may be a potentially prosecutable offence to heap scorn on the Church of England, but since there is no chance of being prosecuted for it, there is no crime. UK Politicians talk about religion whenever they like and can say whatever they like. The same applies to me, and to every other UK citizen.
In any case, even if we did have a zealot as Home Secretary who did decide to prosecute, UK Law is subservient to The EU charter of Human Rights - specifically article 10. Any prosecution would be referred first to the EU court where it would almost certainly be ruled out.
catscratches
Quote:
The thing is that you're posting it in the public domain and EVERYONE has every right to say that they agree or disagree, [stating the obvious] there's this thing called free speech you know ... [/stating the obvious].
As much as I love having the priviledge of enjoying free speech, I'll have to correct you/clarify on that, Klaw. FriHost is not subject to free speech since it is a service offered to you by private owners. An eg. sports-forum has all the right to limit the discussion to sport and delete/censor all discussions that are not about sports. Similarly, FriHost is in the full rights to delete posts that are considered to be spammy or in other ways contrary to the TOS, even though they would have the right to be posted according to free speech.

Frihost is not subject to free speech. That does not, however, mean that debating or "insulting religion" is illegal.
Bikerman
Quite correct. Members sign up to conditions and restrictions on what they may post, so frihost (like nearly all forums) does not allow completely free speech. Like most forums it has a system of rules and staff to enforce those rules.
There is, however, no specific restriction on discussing religion..
Klaw 2
catscratches wrote:
Quote:
The thing is that you're posting it in the public domain and EVERYONE has every right to say that they agree or disagree, [stating the obvious] there's this thing called free speech you know ... [/stating the obvious].
As much as I love having the priviledge of enjoying free speech, I'll have to correct you/clarify on that, Klaw. FriHost is not subject to free speech since it is a service offered to you by private owners. An eg. sports-forum has all the right to limit the discussion to sport and delete/censor all discussions that are not about sports. Similarly, FriHost is in the full rights to delete posts that are considered to be spammy or in other ways contrary to the TOS, even though they would have the right to be posted according to free speech.

Frihost is not subject to free speech. That does not, however, mean that debating or "insulting religion" is illegal.


Fair point but it's different of course for forums, but that is to keep everything clear and if I want to talk about something else there's another forum for it, (most forums even have a general forum for all topics not covered).
Anyway, I'm not going to list every thinkable exception to free speech, (AND NO blasphemy is not one of them!)
But I was talking within the context of this discussion and I'm pretty shure that was & is within the rules of this forum ^_^
Ankhanu
By and large, it's nice to see that this discussion has turned a corner and has become a little more rational, less venomous.

As a reader, you are not legally held to what any poster posts, no matter what the content of their message or the poster's local laws (with perhaps the exception of child pornography). The legality of a poster's comments are the responsibility of that person and their regional law enforcement. Very few nations have blasphemy laws, with the exception of nations like Iran and their ilk. There is no international law against speaking against another's beliefs... in fact, there is currently a motion in front of the UN in support of religious tolerance that would make it illegal to speak out against another's beliefs. This motion is the brainchild of an organization seeking to reduce Islamophobia. While reduction of Islamophobia is a fine and honourable goal, there are a lot of dangers to free speech inherent in this sort of motion. I don't expect it will be adopted once debate has concluded on it.
EDIT - seems the offending post was deleted while I was writing my response.

[Moderator comment - I have edited this post to maintain consistency, for the reason highlighted below. No blame attaches to the poster.
Bikerman]
Bikerman
The posting was moderated by me - and I've also had to edit your response to be consistent (since it referred to, and quoted the removed posting). No blame attaches to you, but having ruled it out of order I don't want the posting discussed further.
Bikerman
Ankhanu
S'all right... I was having some doubts on whether or not to address it in the first place, then whether or not to delete it myself after the original was removed. Should have listened to myself Wink
Indi
Ankhanu wrote:
This discussion is rather tedious and I can't believe both a) I read it all and b) some of the directions it's gone in.

As has been mentioned, discussion of philosophy requires reasoned positions and rationality. How could it be in any way objectionable that rationality and reason be upheld in a philosophy forum?

I just don't get it.

It is tedious (and i don't get it either - seems obvious that discussion requires dissent, but apparently not to some people) but it really is necessary to go through the motions to get everyone's attention. Remember, while the original point of this thread is to discuss whether my proposals makes sense, the other goal here is, if the proposals are accepted, to get people on board with implementing them. Community support and involvement is necessary to make these standards real, and to stop people from feeding the trolls and allowing them to derail good discussions.

It's not enough to agree that philosophy requires reason, or that open discussion must include dissent... if we're going to make something change around here, we all have to change our behaviour - all of us, or at least the large majority of us. That means we have to show people that they need to adopt the new standards, by showing in practice that there is a problem, and exactly what that problem is. The tediousness of this thread is illustrative: just look at the path of the discussion. Only two or three people are dissenting, and their "dissent" (as you can see from the last few posts) is little more than "Indi is a meanie", but they are so shrill, so repetitive, so prolific, and their points are so lame and offensive (mostly consisting of insults to "atheists" or specific people), that most people feel they have to respond, and some have. But we have to stop that - we all have to stop that, collectively, as a community, which means making clear to everyone what we're doing, why we're doing it, and that we need to be a team to make it work.

In all honesty, i expect that for a while, there will be a lot of cases of people responding to bad posts... then other people reminding them that that's not how we want to do things anymore. There will be a learning and adjustment period. i also expect the trouble-makers to up their nasty rhetoric, intensify their campaigns to the moderators and generally make things difficult. There will be a rough period until our campaign becomes ingrained - and the behaviours we are proposing simply become "the norm".

Probably what's going to have to happen is someone is going to have to write a post explaining what discussions around here will entail - what our community standards are - and then we'd have to ask a moderator to sticky it. Then we'd all have to try to keep to the standards ourselves, to set a good example. We'd also have to let other people know when they are not meeting the standard: usually that will just require a response like, "When you make a post in P&R, we ask that you always try to back up your claims, arguments and challenges with reasoning or evidence. In your post you made claims, arguments or challenges, but didn't justify any of them properly, and no one can reply to anything you say unless its backed up - otherwise the discussion just becomes a schoolyard argument. If you want to join the discussion, you have to give us something to discuss, so please provide some reasonable justification for what you said." Or, if someone has replied to a post that is not up to standard: "P&R is about reasoned discussion, and in order to make that happen we need everyone to make reasoned posts. The post you are replying to is not reasoned, and if we tried to engage it in the discussion, the discussion would eventually degenerate. Even if a post says something obviously wrong, and blatantly offensive, please don't reply to it, unless it meets the standards required for a reasoned discussion."

i dunno, honestly - implementation is something we'll have to discuss collectively. (Not to decide if it can be implemented, but how we should do it.)

tingkagol wrote:
Indi wrote:
tingkagol wrote:
There is a time and place for locked threads. I think this is one of them.

Why? You haven't given any reason for why it should be closed other than you "think" so. Provide reasons or evidence.

(See? That is how you should respond to a post that does nothing to further the discussion, if you feel the need to respond at all.)

One of the reasons- you already mentioned:
Indi wrote:
There are still people trying to derail this discussion by misrepresenting people or what they said, and generally making bizarre, absurd, irrational and unsupported claims.

...and quite on an onslaught in this particular thread. Note that these claims have been recycled over and over from different threads it's become an eyesore.

I am merely suggesting that when absurd posts or replies become more and more rampant, it's best to lock the thread- or whatever form of phpbb moderation is needed to calm people down. And yes, I do agree with the original post. I actually think the P&R forum has always been like that, though I doubt the feat of examining all posts for 'quality' is feasible at all, or if posters listen to corrections/critique from others. Bottomline, no one can stop people from posting, unless admin starts banning people. But as of the moment, there seems to be an overwhelming need for stricter moderation.

Anyway, I do admit I was trolling for a bit there. There just seems to be too much dissent on this forum lately and I must say it kind of takes the joy out of posting.

If we were to lock the thread because of that, we would be, to borrow a phrase, "letting the terrorists win".

There really isn't that much dissent... there is just a few people making it look like there's a lot of dissent. (Seriously, last time i counted, only 3 out of 10 posters didn't agree, and one of those might have been agreeing. The number of people in agreement has actually risen, but the number of people objecting hasn't, really.) If we let their racket drown everything out, and ultimately end in discussions getting shut down, we will have lost the forum for all intents and purposes.

No one can stop people from posting, but no one is suggesting that that's what we do. The suggestion is to simply stop replying to people and posts who are not productively taking part in discussion here. Asking for more moderators is impractical, and just turns P&R into a police state. We don't need more moderators, all we need to do is decide what we want P&R to look like, then make it that.

All we need to do is use the moderators and filters between our ears, to tune out posts and behaviours that are not what we want to encourage in P&R. If everyone does that, then P&R will naturally become the place we want it to be. In time, doing that filtering will become easier and easier, because once the standards are set and maintained, people will naturally conform to them.

And this is not theoretical. That's the way it used to be. There have always been troublemakers - but this new group of troublemakers is much, much louder, and better organized, than any group we have had before - but in the past it was possible to have long, detailed, thought-provoking discussions on many topics, religious or philosophical. In fact, discussion was so free and prolific that Anna and i even wrote several essays to create a place that centralized core topics.

spinout wrote:
really, with other forums in mind, everyone have to be loose in mind and accept a bit flaming.

I mean everyone.

Some people may not like a discussion, well then a forum is not the great place to be in. To not have a discussion, well then the existance of a forum disappeared...

You have to be loose to rock n roll!

That would be ideal. But it's not reality. There is a group of people who, every time they think they are insulted, either complains about it or goes running to the moderators to do something about it. Even if all of their complaints are spurious, eventually the moderators are just going to get frustrated, and do something drastic. They're only human after all, and not many people can take being harassed for so long.

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
Indi, while I might not post direct links, what I say IS valid and I DO have a point, and it ISN'T nonsense. Just because I do not post a bunch of links like everyone else does not mean I have been validated and that I am accurate, at least to some extent. I will READILY ADMIT my post was dramatic and histrionic; THAT my friend was the entire point. It will get to that point, not LITERALLY of course, but a play on that situation in a milder sense, will. I also might point out that by you responding to Bluedoll's hateful insults that you yourself are "feeding the trolls"?

Who says links are necessary? If you say something valid - that has a point - then all you have to do is explain why your point is valid. If you don't, what do you think will happen? The answer should be obvious: someone will ask you to back your point up, and the discussion will stop until you do (or, until people just decide to ignore your point and move on, which is the other option i propose).

In fact, what often happens to derail the conversations around here is this: Someone makes a claim without support, and everyone else asks them to back it up. So they get defensive and start complaining, saying either they don't have to back it up or that everyone else is jerks for asking them to. And then everyone else gets justly annoyed at being called a jerk for making such an obvious request and points out that asking someone to back up a claim is necessary to reply to the claim... and then it all goes to hell. The original topic is lost. My proposal is to halt this repeating cycle by simply not making the claim without support to begin with, and, if someone else does, don't bother with their point (because you can't answer it without hearing the support for it, and asking for the support just starts the cycle of frustration). See that? Either the cycle never begins because your post - with your point and its support - are already right there and ready for other people to consider and respond to... or it gets stopped before it can ever begin because the dead point (the point given without support) is never even considered.

If you just make your point and back it up at the same time, people can look at your point, and decide whether they agree or not, or spot mistakes you've made, or... just about anything. It's so easy. It's so obvious.

If someone makes a point without any support, you don't know what to do with it. Your only options are agree or disagree, but even then you're just guessing because unless you know the reason behind the point, you can't be sure if it's right or wrong. You could try to ask for the support, but if you know you're dealing with someone that reacts badly when you ask them for more... just don't do it. Leave it alone and move on. Ignore it. If their post doesn't do anything for the discussion, and if you have good reason to believe that asking them for more will start trouble... then don't. Just ignore it, and find a more productive way to carry on the discussion.

That's my whole proposal, a short description of the reasoning behind it, and an explanation of why it should work. Simple. Obvious.

deanhills wrote:
If I may suggest, why not post your suggestion in the Suggestion Forum.

Because i am not making a suggestion to Frihost, i am making a suggestion to the people in P&R.

Because i am not suggesting anything that requires official attention - i don't need any moderator overlording or any changes to the technology or structure of the forums. i am just trying to get the people who chat here to be aware that a) there is a problem, b) we can fix that problem ourselves, and c) posting quality posts, helping misplaced or poorly executed ones, and ignoring troublemakers, is all we have to do to fix that problem.

deanhills wrote:
May I also respectfully suggest that you try the Faith Forum out for size before you completely nix it. Presently the majority of posters are also posting in the Phil&Rel Forum and people like Ankhanu, Watersoul and Jeffryjon can hardly be described as trollers and whiners. If you continue to market it as a sandbox the way you are doing now (in effect segregating a group of posters again) it is definitely going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

i don't need to check out the Faith forum. The forum's description (and its rules) tell me what i need to know about it: Please note that the discussion is limited to the beliefs of the first post of the topic. (The rules post and Bonding's intro say "restricted" instead, but, same diff.) QED.

If that's the way you (or anyone else) want it, fine. Then let P&R be for UNlimited discussion (or, as Bondings puts it, "heavy" discussion). Let anyone who wants to have a limited discussion be redirected to Faith. Isn't that logical? People who want free discussion have a place to go, people who don't want to be contradicted or forced into open discussion have a place to go.

Naturally i never said the Faith forum was a place for trollers and whiners - that was just people misinterpreting what i wrote, probably deliberately. What i said, and what i continue to say, is that P&R be designated for real discussion (or "heavy" discussion, or "no-holds-barred" discussion... call it what you want), and Faith stay designated for discussion that's not really discussion - just as it currently is. i also said that if people don't want to participate in real discussion, they can be directed to Faith, where they can have "discussions" without having to worry about the nasty consequences of real discussions (for example, having your beliefs challenged).

And i further said that if P&R is for real discussion (while Faith is for limited/restricted/whatever discussion), then we should put our foot down and make it about real discussion... by no longer entertaining the whining and complaints of people who are trying to make it not about real discussion. Those people, if they don't want real discussion, now have a place they can go (Faith). They don't need to change this forum; a place just like what they are looking for already exists... so let them go there, and stop disrupting the discussions here. One would hope that if they stopped trying to change P&R to be like Faith and just went to Faith, they would stop whining and complaining, because they would no longer have anything to complain about.

As for the trolls, i certainly never said they belong in Faith. They don't belong anywhere. The way to deal with them in P&R - that i have suggested - is to ignore them. i would suggest the people in Faith use the same strategy, but that's for them to decide. It's not my business.
LittleBlackKitten
How many times must I repeat myself? Debate and conversation isn't the issue, it's the aggressiveness behind which is not okay.

Saying "You're wrong because x y z." or "Not really, because a b c." doesn't inspire someone to go "Hmm, maybe I should explain myself and back up my point now. So d e f, g, h, and i." it makes someone go "...How dare you, a b is uncalled for, c is inaccurate, and x y z are all unfounded."

It doesn't inspire what you wish to inspire.

We wouldn't have an issue with it if

"You're wrong" and "Not Really" became "How do you figure" and "why do you believe that?" or "this is what I think about that, and what I heard you express".
Bikerman
Quote:
We wouldn't have an issue with it if ...
Who are 'we'? Are you speaking for a group or for yourself?
If something is wrong then there is nothing wrong with saying so, in terms. It may not be the most polite way of expressing it, but it is succinct and it is not abusive or even aggressive. If someone says 'you are wrong' then it is up to them to show why. If they do, then it is childish to take exception to the phraseology - the thing to do is either demonstrate that their argument is flawed or concede the point.
If someone is really aggressive or abusive then I (or whichever mod takes over) will step in and moderate. In point of fact the vast majority of real aggression has not come from myself, indi or any other atheist poster.

If someone responds to 'that is wrong' with 'how dare you' then it simply reveals that they are pompous/arrogant. I have never responded in that way, Indi has never responded in that way and I can't think of anyone who has, amongst the regular posters.

If someone asserts something then I might or might not be interested in why they believe it - it depends on the context. It might be so obviously wrong that the quickest way to deal with it is simply point out that it IS wrong, and why it is wrong, rather than waste pages investigating where the misconception came from and gently hinting.
Bikerman
Quote:
Probably what's going to have to happen is someone is going to have to write a post explaining what discussions around here will entail - what our community standards are - and then we'd have to ask a moderator to sticky it.
I may as well kick this off with my attempt Smile

Posting Guidelines for this forum.
The following are guidelines, not 'rules'. If you are unfamiliar with the general rules for posting on Frihost then please click HERE and read them carefully.

These guidelines are aimed at maintaining a good quality of discussion in this forum and whilst posters who ignore these guidelines may not find a member of staff intervening, they may find that their posting is ignored.

1. Avoid abusive comments and, if at all possible, avoid personal comments entirely.
2. If you want to assert (claim) that something is true or valid then you should back up that claim with either evidence (web links to credible sources, for example), or reasoning. If you do not back up your assertions then it is unlikely that they will be taken seriously.
3. Don't repeat yourself. If you have made a point or an assertion then don't repeat it just because nobody replies.
4. Don't drag a thread back over ground it has already covered unless you have something new to add.
5. If you are not sure about a point then ASK. Members are normally happy to help if asked.
6. Bear in mind that discussion can often be quite robust. Don't take offence where no offence is intended. If you find a posting rude or otherwise objectionable, read it again carefully to make sure it actually IS rude before replying in a similar manner. If you are sure that it was intended rudely or offensively then do not respond to it - report it using the button provided and let the moderator sort it out. Remember that saying a point, idea or a suggestion is silly or illogical is NOT THE SAME as saying that YOU are silly or illogical.
7. EXPECT to be challenged when you make an assertion/point in a posting. If you have justified your assertion/point initially then it might not be challenged. If you haven't then it is very likely that someone WILL challenge it. This is perfectly normal and you should respond calmly, justifying or supporting your assertion/point, rather than seeing this as some sort of attack or aggression.
8. Try to find time to read through the common logical fallacies HERE. (I will prepare a more compact version of this as a sticky when I get time). Logical fallacies (errors in logic) will quickly be spotted by many members and can spoil an otherwise good posting.
9. Do not be intimidated. If you have a point to make then try to make it as clearly as you can. Members are normally more than willing to help if you have a good point but have not managed to express it very well. Nobody is going to mock you IF you genuinely make an effort.
10 And most importantly, Don't Feed the Trolls. If some posts something silly or unsupported or offensive and you are pretty sure it is simply to get a response or wind people up (especially if they have a track record) then IGNORE IT. If you don't respond then they will get bored and leave.


How about that as a starting point? Suggestions? Changes? Amendments?
Indi
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
How many times must I repeat myself? Debate and conversation isn't the issue, it's the aggressiveness behind which is not okay.

Now i'm curious. If i said to you "How many times must I repeat myself?", would you call me aggressive or not?

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
Saying "You're wrong because x y z." or "Not really, because a b c." doesn't inspire someone to go "Hmm, maybe I should explain myself and back up my point now. So d e f, g, h, and i." it makes someone go "...How dare you, a b is uncalled for, c is inaccurate, and x y z are all unfounded."

It doesn't inspire what you wish to inspire.

No, that may be how you might respond, but that is certainly not how everyone responds. i certainly would never, ever, ever say "how dare you question me?" and dismiss someone's challenge - especially if they've actually proven me wrong. i don't know many sane people that would, actually.

And i'm not speaking hypothetically. i've been proven wrong here many, many times, and i've always acknowledged the correction. i think Afaceinthematrix has caught me out the most times, with Bikerman a close second, then Gagnar the Unruly (well, in the science forums, anyway), and so on, so ask them how i responded to their corrections. Or, look at this recent instance when i corrected Bikerman... i wasn't even polite when i did it. ^_^; Look at his response. Sorry, but the evidence indicates that reality does not work the way you think it does.

Bikerman wrote:
I may as well kick this off with my attempt Smile

Definitely a good start. i would recommend some stronger highlighting of key points that will, more than likely, be glossed over. (i'll be using blue to mark key sections.)

Quote:
The following are guidelines, not 'rules'. If you are unfamiliar with the general rules for posting on Frihost then please click HERE and read them carefully.

i think that bit should be highlighted.

i also think that maybe you should add a sentence of rationale, in addition to the sentence in the next paragraph. Something like "Because discussion of many philosophical and religious topics can get heated or challenge the most deeply held and cherished that people have, these guidelines help keep discussion rational, civil, and productive.", but preferably briefer, and worked in with the bit in the second paragraph about maintaining good quality in discussion. A lot of the problem has been that some people don't seem to understand what "discussion" means in the philosophical/theological sense - because "discussion" is one of those overloaded words that means different things to professionals than to lay people, like "theory" to scientists or "argument" to philosophers. We need to explain that "'i like cats', 'i like cats, too', 'cats are nice', 'i don't like cats', 'well, you're free to disagree, but i still like cats'" is not a discussion, so that "good quality discussion" doesn't get misinterpreted.

Quote:
These guidelines are aimed at maintaining a good quality of discussion in this forum and whilst posters who ignore these guidelines may not find a member of staff intervening, they may find that their posting is ignored.

1. Avoid abusive comments and, if at all possible, avoid personal comments entirely.
2. If you want to assert (claim) that something is true or valid then you should back up that claim with either evidence (web links to credible sources, for example), or reasoning. If you do not back up your assertions then it is unlikely that they will be taken seriously.
3. Don't repeat yourself. If you have made a point or an assertion then don't repeat it just because nobody replies.
4. Don't drag a thread back over ground it has already covered unless you have something new to add.
5. If you are not sure about a point then ASK. Members are normally happy to help if asked.
6. Bear in mind that discussion can often be quite robust. Don't take offence where no offence is intended. If you find a posting rude or otherwise objectionable, read it again carefully to make sure it actually IS rude before replying in a similar manner. If you are sure that it was intended rudely or offensively then do not respond to it - report it using the button provided and let the moderator sort it out. Remember that saying a point, idea or a suggestion is silly or illogical is NOT THE SAME as saying that YOU are silly or illogical.
7. EXPECT to be challenged when you make an assertion/point in a posting. If you have justified your assertion/point initially then it might not be challenged. If you haven't then it is very likely that someone WILL challenge it. This is perfectly normal and you should respond calmly, justifying or supporting your assertion/point, rather than seeing this as some sort of attack or aggression.
8. Try to find time to read through the common logical fallacies HERE. (I will prepare a more compact version of this as a sticky when I get time). Logical fallacies (errors in logic) will quickly be spotted by many members and can spoil an otherwise good posting.
9. Do not be intimidated. If you have a point to make then try to make it as clearly as you can. Members are normally more than willing to help if you have a good point but have not managed to express it very well. Nobody is going to mock you IF you genuinely make an effort.
10 And most importantly, Don't Feed the Trolls. If some posts something silly or unsupported or offensive and you are pretty sure it is simply to get a response or wind people up (especially if they have a track record) then IGNORE IT. If you don't respond then they will get bored and leave.

That bit should be highlighted double-time strongly, because Jebus, some people just don't get it.

i'd like to suggest a different format, a more good-guy-bad-guy format. Basically, for each point, make a statement to finger the bad guys, then make a statement to the good guys to hammer the point home that they need to participate to make the guidelines work. It's just too easy for people to read something like, "Avoid abusive comments", say, "well, i never do that (even if they actually do), 'other people' do that, so this guideline isn't directed at me and i don't need to worry about it", and just forget it. To make these guidelines strike home, you could reword them like this: "Avoid abusive comments. If someone posts in a manner you find abusive, do not respond; ignore it, and, optionally, report it." Worded like that, you can't help but feel that you're part of the guideline - or rather, that the guideline speaks to you and is "for" you.

So, basically, for every guideline, do: "<The 'do not' or 'definitely do' statement directed at the people who might break the guideline.> <The 'if it has (not) been done' statement that includes everyone who might be affected.>" It might even be a good idea to have clear formatting to highlight the break between the two parts, so that people see a bright-line divide between the directives to potential troublemakers, and the directives to "them".

(Geez, it almost seems worthwhile to have a philosophical discussion on the best way to write guidelines. ^_^; Man, it will be awesome if we get this forum working again.)

Granted, the "if it has (not) been done" part will be more or less identical for each guideline, but still, sometimes repetition is a good thing to hammer points home.

Another thing i would suggest is re-ordering the list. If i am presented with a list of rules (yes, i know they're guidelines, but "rules" is easier to type) and the first rule is "don't be an ass", i just roll my eyes and stop taking it seriously. Sure, i read it all, and follow it, but the impact isn't as powerful than if i read a list of rules that starts with a powerhouse rule that really makes me stop and think. Then i pay close attention to the rest of the rules.

"Avoid abuse" is an obvious and silly rule (silly in that it is one of those rules that shouldn't be necessary if you were dealing with reasonable people, but is because you are often not and need to cover your ass). Should it be in the list? Sure. But number one? i grok that you put it there to make it the "number one rule", but it just deflates the importance of the more sublime rules that follow.

i think you should start with the rules about discussion that are not intuitive to anyone with a double-digit IQ or higher. Remember that, psychologically speaking, people remember the first few and the last few things in a list the best (primacy and recency effects). Yes, you don't want them to forget not to be abusive, but that's something that should be hard to forget... so put the things that are easy to forget at the top and bottom. (i really like "don't feed the trolls" at the end, for that reason.)

So, with that in mind, i would call rules 2, 3, 6 and 7 (in no particular order) the most important and non-intuitive. They should be highlighted first.

1, 4 and 10 are important, but not really unintuitive, so while it doesn't hurt to repeat them to hammer the points home (and i like the idea of ending with 10), they don't deserve to be the opening rules. i would say put them in the middle/latter two-thirds (except 10). (Did i mention i like ending with number 10? ^_^; Number 10 is basically the heart of my original proposal, a "we're all in this together, and the responsibility is ours" guideline that is nice to end with.)

8 is good advice, but it's not really a guideline. Perhaps, adjacent to the guidelines, and intro to P&R post should say what P&R is about, why it's different from Faith, and what goes on here, including background things you could read to get you started (actually, i'll hack up a draft for what something like that might look like while you work on the guidelines).

9 and 5 are pretty much the same... more or less. Yes, not really, but close enough. If you drop 8, you no longer have the magic number 10. If you want 10, maybe we could find another guideline to add in its stead (doesn't need to be a winner, it could be one of the ones we tuck in the middle). If you still want yet another, you could compact 5 and 9 into one. But, personally, i would leave 5 and 9 separate (but maybe have them close to each other to highlight a trend (that being: "we're not monsters")), so you'd only need to find one more to round out your 10 (if you drop 8).

So, here's the compact version of my suggestions:
  • Drop #8. Replace it with another guideline that can be applied every post (i can't think of one, but someone might). Move #8 to a separate "intro" post, with other info.
  • Reorder the list. My (very rough) suggestion is: 6, 2, 7, 3, 1, 4, 5, 9, 10. That's:
    {Important P&R discussion stuff: 6, 2, 7, 3}
    {"Silly" guidelines that really need restating: 1, 4}
    {Encouragement: 5, 9}
    {The "stinger": 10}
  • Rewrite most of the guidelines in a "what's bad / how to be good" format.
Indi
Okay, so i mentioned a suggestion for an introduction to P&R to invite newcomers and explain the forum and its policies. That introduction should:
  • Explain what philosophy is.
  • Explain what religion is.
  • Explain how the two are handled in the forum.
  • Explain the difference between P&R and Faith, and why Faith might be what you are looking for.
  • Give some background knowledge that will be useful.
  • Give some sample philosophical problems that you can look into, and then maybe discuss or at least ask questions about.
So here's a very brief first draft of what it might look like:
══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════
Welcome to P&R

This is Frihost's philosophy and religion discussion forum, which, we are proud to say, has a long tradition of excellent discussion on a multitude of philosophical and religious topics. We're always open to any discussion topic, and, of course, to new people jumping in to join our discussions, but because some of the topics we deal with are so complex and sometimes deal with deeply held and cherished beliefs, we ask that newcomers take a moment to familiarize themselves with the forum's nature and its guidelines before diving in to the deep water with the big fish.

What is philosophy?

A lot of people believe that "philosophy" means just any old set of beliefs that someone has - you often hear people say "this is my philosophy" - but that's wrong. Philosophy is a discipline, and a field of study, like mathematics or biology - you never hear people say "this is my mathematics", because that doesn't make sense; no one owns philosophy, and especially their own private version of it. Like mathematics and biology, philosophy has a right way to be done, and a wrong way. Philosophy is done by making rational arguments, and critiquing the rational arguments made by other philosophers (this is often called a philosophical "response"). What makes philosophy unique is that, unlike any other field, there is no real limitation on what philosophy covers. Math only covers numbers, biology only covers life, but philosophy covers everything. There is nothing that cannot be questioned or studied philosophically... not even philosophy itself!

What is religion?

A religion is a collection of religious beliefs. A religious belief is a belief about the nature of the universe or humanity's place in it that his held to primarily by faith. Faith is a way of believing things without using reasoning or evidence. For example, consider angels: there is no reason believe angels exist (why would God need helpers if he's omnipotent), and there's certainly no evidence that they do (we have no indisputable pictures of an angel, or other physical evidence), but some people believe they do. We can discuss that belief: we can ask if it makes sense that angels would exist, we can ask what they would do if they did exist, we can discuss what they might be like. The thing is, we would be asking those questions, and discussing them, in a very irreverent manner - we won't assume they are true, or even that the answers that we will get will be nice answers (maybe angels are really evil?), so if you want to discuss a religious belief here, be prepared to see some very unflattering things said about the belief while it is being picked apart and analyzed.

How does this forum handle philosophy and religion?

In this forum, we insist on open, rational, productive discussion. That means that nothing is taboo, or not open to discussion here (we've even discussed this forum's own rules here!). But in order to make that work, everyone taking part needs to make open, rational and productive posts. Open means all of your reasoning and evidence are there for people to see, rational means that your claims make sense given your reasoning or evidence, and productive means that your post adds something to the discussion. We have guidelines to help this happen, which you should review and follow, if you want to take part in discussions here.

Why is there another religion forum (called Faith)? When should i discuss religion in P&R, and when in Faith?

Because this forum is for open, rational and productive discussion of religious topics, which, necessarily, includes criticism of the beliefs associated with the topics. If someone starts a topic in P&R asking "If God is good, why does evil happen?", you will, necessarily, get some people suggesting that maybe your beliefs are flawed and God isn't good, or that he doesn't exist. You can't have a complete discussion of the topic without considering those, and other, possibilities.

By contrast, Faith is for a more restricted and limited form of discussion of religious topics which does not include criticism of the beliefs associated with the topics. If someone starts a topic in Faith asking "If God is good, why does evil happen?", then you cannot suggest that the original poster's belief that God is good is wrong; you have to "discuss" without challenging the basic belief.

If you are not prepared to put your most cherished religious beliefs on the chopping block, or if you are not prepared to consider the possibility that your religious beliefs might be wrong, then P&R is not the place you want to discuss your beliefs in. Attempting to do so will only leave you feeling insulted and offended that your religious beliefs are being treated so roughly. Instead, you should use the Faith forum, which will allow you to discuss your beliefs, and have them questioned in a manner that does not call them into question, or treat them irreverently.

Is there anything else i should need to know before posting in P&R?

First of all, read the guidelines. They give important recommendations for how to shape your posts, and how to respond to other people's posts. Basically, your goal when making a post in P&R should be to either introduce a new point along with the reasoning and evidence that backs your point up, or to challenge someone else's point by showing that there is something wrong with their reasoning or evidence.

To check your own evidence, or to check the evidence of others, you will have to apply your knowledge. If someone says that polygamy laws are just because polygamy always leads to injustices between the husbands/wives, you can use your knowledge of past civilizations to prove that wrong.

To check your own reasoning, or to check the reasoning of others, you will have to apply logic. If, in the example above, you say that polygamy laws are unjust because past civilizations had them and worked fine, you would be making a "fallacy fallacy" or argumentum ad logicam. The fact the the argument above was bad doesn't mean the conclusion is wrong... it just means that that particular reason for polygamy laws is wrong. Further discussion would be necessary to determine whether polygamy laws are actually wrong.

(Here we'd direct them to a site on logical fallacies.)

Sample philosophy and religion discussion topics

(A short list of topic domains and sample questions - if there's already a thread for the question, link to it.)
Bluedoll
Yeah right, this is perfect if you are an atheist! This proposal is biased. When this proposal is adapted then this section should also indicate that p/r is a purely atheist forum?


What is philosophy? Is it Indi’s horse manure. Yeah maybe it is horse manure!

You can not really define philosophy this way it is too broad a category. Modern day philosophers argue constantly about what philosophy is and who is to say that some area of philosophy must be adopted over another? One for example could use an older philosophy for a topic that does not comply to some standard. What then? Who is to say that an older philosophy is not correct to use for a certain topic? Basing what is allowed only on a modern way is biased to a modern way! Horse manure Indi. What is really ignorant is to base how philosophy is to transpire should be based totally on your recommendations. I am not saying you do not have any reasonable points but to demand that this proposal for all to follow is too biased.

Quote:
There is nothing that cannot be questioned or studied philosophically... not even philosophy itself!


Then why do we think it can be defined then? Not just for oneself but for everyone else?



What is religion? According to Indi, it is Atheism.

To adopt this proposal for the purpose of defining and debating religious belief’s and faith is biased from an atheist standpoint. That is what either makes it wrong to demand that everyone be required to use this guideline (forced by peer pressure) or is biased in that atheist use this method to discredit God, peoples religious beliefs or faith and then retort with a, sorry your faith is so weak. What choice do they have if these guidelines are supported in this forum.
I recommend that non-atheist’s consider something before posting in this section. You do not have to follow these people concerning your spirituality.


Sounds better than it really is as what matters is how it will be applied in day to day practice!
10. will be misapplied by those that label members as troll’s when in fact trolling in my humble opinion should be based only on a post and not the character of a person. – this is biased - not self regulated or community based but the formation of a peer group for backseat moderation
2. works fine in a purely science section not in religion
3 and 4. this means we were right last year we are right now ‘if you don’t like it go post somewhere else”
6 – 7 it sounds reasonable but it is not because in practice I have very huge doubts that Indi and Bikerman will change their debating tactics but revert back to normal attack mode.

The guideline will be used to intimate with an atheist advantage (biased) in religious topics only to discredit a member! *How this proposal will actually be applied will not be as what is being described here. All this proposal is – is fluff. The real proposal is an attempt to rule and apply posting rules to members in a very biased way.

These guidelines might work for a purely science section, a university classroom where the teacher rules or in an atheist dictatorship but is not appropriate for religious discussion. It should not be adapted as the only standard in town to follow.

Express yourself as you choose without being dominated.
*(guideline #2) - http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-120694.html
Ankhanu
Bluedoll wrote:
Yeah right, this is perfect if you are an atheist! This proposal is biased. When this proposal is adapted then this section should also indicate that p/r is a purely atheist forum?


Surely theists have reasons why they believe what they do? Surely having a reason is not purely the domain of atheists? History is full of theists who reason, in fact, much of philosophy and how it is conducted was built by theists. Suggesting that everyone using the Philosophy & religion forum use reason in discussion is no way atheist biased, it's simply how philosophy works in the broad scheme.


[quote="Bluedoll"]What is philosophy? Is it Indi’s horse manure. Yeah maybe it is horse manure!

You can not really define philosophy this way it is too broad a category. Modern day philosophers argue constantly about what philosophy is and who is to say that some area of philosophy must be adopted over another? One for example could use an older philosophy for a topic that does not comply to some standard. What then? Who is to say that an older philosophy is not correct to use for a certain topic? Basing what is allowed only on a modern way is biased to a modern way! Horse manure Indi. What is really ignorant is to base how philosophy is to transpire should be based totally on your recommendations. I am not saying you do not have any reasonable points but to demand that this proposal for all to follow is too biased.

Bluedoll wrote:
Quote:
There is nothing that cannot be questioned or studied philosophically... not even philosophy itself!


Then why do we think it can be defined then? Not just for oneself but for everyone else?


Wouldn't that make for a fascinating discussion? Sounds like you have something for starting a good thread.

Bluedoll wrote:
What is religion? According to Indi, it is Atheism.

To adopt this proposal for the purpose of defining and debating religious belief’s and faith is biased from an atheist standpoint. That is what either makes it wrong to demand that everyone be required to use this guideline (forced by peer pressure) or is biased in that atheist use this method to discredit God, peoples religious beliefs or faith and then retort with a, sorry your faith is so weak. What choice do they have if these guidelines are supported in this forum.
I recommend that non-atheist’s consider something before posting in this section. You do not have to follow these people concerning your spirituality.


See what I stated in the first paragraph. Evidence isn't quite the same as reason; one can present a reason without presenting evidence. Mind you, some people may need more than reason to jump aboard ship, so don't be surprised when reason is not enough for everyone to say "oh, yeah, ok, that makes sense".

Bluedoll wrote:
Sounds better than it really is as what matters is how it will be applied in day to day practice!
10. will be misapplied by those that label members as troll’s when in fact trolling in my humble opinion should be based only on a post and not the character of a person. – this is biased - not self regulated or community based but the formation of a peer group for backseat moderation

This is already done, to some degree, though more often with genuine questions than against trolls. It simply states to let trollish behaviour bead off like water on a duck's back... ignore it. It's not back seat moderation, it's lack of acknowledgment. There's a difference, and does not require any kind of peer group formation or even communication between members. It's just use of good judgment.
Bluedoll wrote:
2. works fine in a purely science section not in religion

See my points on reason, evidence and theism above.
Bluedoll wrote:
3 and 4. this means we were right last year we are right now ‘if you don’t like it go post somewhere else”

These points are about concision... they have nothing to do with "post somewhere else"

Bluedoll wrote:
The guideline will be used to intimate with an atheist advantage (biased) in religious topics only to discredit a member! *How this proposal will actually be applied will not be as what is being described here. All this proposal is – is fluff. The real proposal is an attempt to rule and apply posting rules to members in a very biased way.

These guidelines might work for a purely science section, a university classroom where the teacher rules or in an atheist dictatorship but is not appropriate for religious discussion. It should not be adapted as the only standard in town to follow.

Express yourself as you choose without being dominated.
*(guideline #2) - http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-120694.html


See my opening points Razz This has nothing to do with atheism or science (which are quite separate ideas), and everything to do with how philosophical discussion works. It's about taking threads from the personal insult mudslinging BS they've become back to actual discussion.
For example, was there any reason to call out Indi and Bikerman by name in your post here? Not that I can see; therefore, it would have been better to make more general statements rather than make it personal. That demonstrates your own personal biases.
There's nothing here about domination. It's a democratic effort to correct ills within the forum. As you always say, no one can tell you how to post... but, at the same time, no one has to listen if posts are out of line. That includes you choosing not to listen to posts you believe out of line. Usage of these guidelines should, however, make a more solidly rational discussion between all sides on a topic, and theism vs. atheism should not be a divisive factor in building the quality of the forum. We each bring our unique perspectives to the forum, and for it to thrive, we each need to be able to both articulate our stances and listen to the well articulated stances of our fellow posters, whether we agree or not.
Bluedoll
@ Ankhanu
I do not have a problem with philosophy in general and do agree with many points in this post. I am listening and articulate my stance. I have been put through the ringer more often than most members in this forum in regards to have ‘a go at’. I am being labeled as a troll and an abusive poster and quiet frankly I think this is not true and unfair.

I do agree that many moderators and members work very hard, including Indi and Bikerman to make the forum what it is. But so do I. I try. I try to add another perspective. I try to contribute something of value. Is it appreciated? No. Regardless of what I post, I always get the same results from some posters. Insults, put downs and lately labels. So if you wonder why my posts are so strong, that is why. I am seldom addressed without vulgar (lots of them) and sarcastic comments. How do you think I will react? I am human. It is not about disagreements, those are ok, it is about an all out attack like in a war. Well, maybe it is a war.

But there is another reason for the way I write my posts. This is Bikerman’s op, this is Indi’s proposal. So why not mention them? Why should I not write strongly in a heavy debate section. I will repeat this as long as it takes to be understood. This is my debate. This is my argument. This is a challenge. Am I in the right place for debate?
It always seems to be when I touch on an important issue it is like I get back in return, “oh yes, but we don’t actually debate that here” I thought everything was debatable in philosophy! Can I not debate strongly and present my points without being down degraded, labeled and put on ignore? (I mean in general and not pointing to your last post Ankhanu)




The following is not about philosophy
it is about religion (this is where domination comes in)

Take a look at Indi’s definition for Religion in this section.
Quote:
Evidence isn't quite the same as reason; one can present a reason without presenting evidence. Mind you, some people may need more than reason to jump aboard ship, so don't be surprised when reason is not enough for everyone to say "oh, yeah, ok, that makes sense".


Bluedoll: I know angels exist. I have seen them in person and I have talked to them. I am not an authority on everything but I can tell you such things exist.
Expected Response: “Not really, horse manure You have to prove it or it is a falsity. You are a troll, an evangelist. Ignore her. Stupid poster, shut up. If you can’t do better than that you shouldn’t be posting on this forum. Etc etc etc.”

Do not tell me this is not demonstrative (not word for word but close to it) of what has been going on in this forum.
I know I have been on the other end of it.
A statement like the above that would be called testimony and so much in religion is testimony and can not be proven. Anyone should be able to understand that employing strict posting guidelines to a religion section for topics, works to the advantage of the atheist.

Note: if I did not have to continually read posts that degrade God and the actually suggest to the reader who may have religious belief’s or considering that perspective that they are nothing but a moron (they do in many words and are not be honest if they say otherwise) to think such, I would not be posting like I do.
Sure, anyone can say what they want.
The god of aggressive atheism is a sly monster. (not to be confused with a non-believer)

Quote:
Usage of these guidelines should, however, make a more solidly rational discussion between all sides on a topic, and theism vs. atheism should not be a divisive factor in building the quality of the forum.

The purposal could if it was applied equally to all and in topics non-religious.
How can you not see this?
deanhills
Indi, with regard to the guidelines, I would like to see one about language added to it. Using bad language detracts from the discussion and also affects the quality negatively. Putting asterisks to hide portions of those bad words, don't make a difference either. For me bad language is bad form.

Also, I liked the following portion of Bonding's description of the Phil&Rel Forum, that I think should be included somewhere:
Quote:
Heavy arguments are allowed. However, please note that strictly no personal nor cross-topic posts are allowed.

In addition, I have adapted the following guidelines from your posting of a few months ago, in the Scientific Analysis of Religion thread that I thought would be great to include:
  • Don't try to be smart. Just make your points clearly and intelligently.
  • Quote:
    When someone says something that you think is completely absurd and idiotic, before you start mouthing off to mock them... make sure that's what they really mean. Ask them for confirmation. You might have misunderstood what they said, or maybe they just made a typo. Either way, intelligent conversation will be much better served by clarifying things first, before trying to mock them for their stupidity - especially when there's a very real chance that they're not the stupid ones.

  • In general, approach the debate with a little bit of humility, because people on the Board are not dumb people.

Also, is it possible for you to make the guidelines a little less verbose? Remember, you are going to get people who don't want to read through reams of stuff. They just want the nuts and bolts, such as Bondings did with his descriptions of the two Forums.
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:

Take a look at Indi’s definition for Religion in this section.
Quote:
Evidence isn't quite the same as reason; one can present a reason without presenting evidence. Mind you, some people may need more than reason to jump aboard ship, so don't be surprised when reason is not enough for everyone to say "oh, yeah, ok, that makes sense".

That is not a definition and it isn't about religion. Read it again.
Bluedoll
Bikerman wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:

Take a look at Indi’s definition for Religion in this section.
Quote:
Evidence isn't quite the same as reason; one can present a reason without presenting evidence. Mind you, some people may need more than reason to jump aboard ship, so don't be surprised when reason is not enough for everyone to say "oh, yeah, ok, that makes sense".

That is not a definition and it isn't about religion. Read it again.

Indi wrote:

What is religion?
A religion is a collection of religious beliefs. A religious belief is a belief about the nature of the universe or humanity's place in it that his held to primarily by faith. Faith is a way of believing things without using reasoning or evidence. For example, consider angels: there is no reason believe angels exist (why would God need helpers if he's omnipotent), and there's certainly no evidence that they do (we have no indisputable pictures of an angel, or other physical evidence), but some people believe they do. We can discuss that belief: we can ask if it makes sense that angels would exist, we can ask what they would do if they did exist, we can discuss what they might be like. The thing is, we would be asking those questions, and discussing them, in a very irreverent manner - we won't assume they are true, or even that the answers that we will get will be nice answers (maybe angels are really evil?), so if you want to discuss a religious belief here, be prepared to see some very unflattering things said about the belief while it is being picked apart and analyzed.


Ankhanu wrote:
Evidence isn't quite the same as reason; one can present a reason without presenting evidence. Mind you, some people may need more than reason to jump aboard ship, so don't be surprised when reason is not enough for everyone to say "oh, yeah, ok, that makes sense".


I am disagreeing with the logic that with specifically religious topics - posts that do not contain evidence (such as scientific) must be considered illogical and established as such.
I gave an example previously.

Jump aboard ship maybe a stretch Ankhanu, reference to a possibly perhaps.
catscratches
Bluedoll wrote:

I am disagreeing with the logic that with specifically religious topics - posts that do not contain evidence (such as scientific) must be considered illogical and established as such.
I gave an example previously.
Perhaps you should re-read the previous posts once more. It has been stated a number of times, both in this thread and others, that evidence is not necessary. Evidence or reasoning is.

If you don't use logic to arrive at your conclusion, then yes, I will assume that your conclusion is illogical. How could I possibly act any different?
Indi
Ankhanu wrote:
Evidence isn't quite the same as reason; one can present a reason without presenting evidence.

As i've been using (and have always used) the words, evidence and reason are two entirely different things completely. There are three ways to believe something: evidence, reason and faith. To put it in broad terms: evidence is used for scientific beliefs, reason is used for philosophical beliefs, and faith is used for religious beliefs. (Of course there can be overlap; this is just putting it in broad terms.)

An example of an evidence based belief: horses can nap standing up.
Why is that evidence based? Because there is no way you can use logic to come to the conclusion that horses should stand up. Reasoning can only tell you it's possible, but it will also tell you it's unlikely, because so few species can do it, that, statistically speaking, you shouldn't expect a horse to be able to.

An example of a reason based belief: all prime numbers greater than 2 are odd.
Why is that reason based? Because there is an infinite amount of primes greater than 2, so there is no way to check them all to make sure they're all odd, so the evidence is impossible to obtain. However reasoning will tell you that since the definition of an even number is that it is divisible by 2, if a number is even (and not 2 itself), then it must have at least 1 extra divisor other than itself and 1.

An example of a faith based belief: Muhammad was contacted by the angel Gabriel.
Why is that faith based? Because there no way we can get any evidence to show that Muhammad was visited by anyone, let alone an angel, and let alone specifically Gabriel (and even if Gabriel himself came along and confirmed it, we'd still only have Gabriel's word, and have to trust him). There is also no line of reasoning that can lead to the conclusion that Muhammad should have been visited by Gabriel. If you believe it, you have to just "trust" that it's true, without evidence or reason to back it up. That's faith.

Since we now have a forum specifically for discussing things held by faith... actually called Faith... (and the Science forums for specifically evidence-based discussion) then it seems obvious to say that this forum should be for reason-based discussion (in broad terms).

That's such a crazy, insulting, discriminatory, hateful, anti-religious, AAAAATHEISSSSST idea, isn't it? Man, i must just hate religious people so much for even suggesting something so vile, eh? Or, as some people have already pointed out, i must have taken a cue from Hitler! i guess it's only a short step from here to the gas showers!!!

-_-

Ankhanu wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
Sounds better than it really is as what matters is how it will be applied in day to day practice!
10. will be misapplied by those that label members as troll’s when in fact trolling in my humble opinion should be based only on a post and not the character of a person. – this is biased - not self regulated or community based but the formation of a peer group for backseat moderation

This is already done, to some degree, though more often with genuine questions than against trolls. It simply states to let trollish behaviour bead off like water on a duck's back... ignore it. It's not back seat moderation, it's lack of acknowledgment. There's a difference, and does not require any kind of peer group formation or even communication between members. It's just use of good judgment.

As you mentioned before, it's getting tedious repeating this, but it seems like it's still not getting through to some people. I AM PROPOSING GUIDELINES NOT RULES. These are not directives for moderation, either backseat or legitimate. This is not a call to "label" people trolls, whether they are or not. It is a simple, obvious, and - i think - necessary suggestion: if you think someone is a troll... ignore them. Don't goad them on. Don't try to chit-chat with them because - more often than not - they will just continue to be nasty and abusive.

deanhills wrote:
Indi, with regard to the guidelines, I would like to see one about language added to it. Using bad language detracts from the discussion and also affects the quality negatively. Putting asterisks to hide portions of those bad words, don't make a difference either. For me bad language is bad form.

i don't put asterisks there. ^_^; Frihost already has filtering to hide the words it doesn't like. i don't hide anything. Nor do i care about what your opinions about form are.

The guidelines i suggested are guidelines for making discussion in this forum work, not for censoring the content or character of people's posts. i do not agree with those kinds of guidelines, and, if they were suggested, i would ignore them. If you think my posts are "bad form", then you are free to follow the guidelines i already suggested: ignore me (rather than taking every opportunity in every thread to lecture me about your ideas of good form). In fact, i would welcome that. Naturally, i fully intend to follow the guidelines i proposed myself, and to have others apply them to me - anything else would be hypocritical.

If you really have a problem with the language i use, the forum has a reporting system. Use it, or stow it, it's that simple.

Bikerman wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:

Take a look at Indi’s definition for Religion in this section.
Quote:
Evidence isn't quite the same as reason; one can present a reason without presenting evidence. Mind you, some people may need more than reason to jump aboard ship, so don't be surprised when reason is not enough for everyone to say "oh, yeah, ok, that makes sense".

That is not a definition and it isn't about religion. Read it again.

Nor is it anything i said. ^_^; Although i do agree with it, more or less, except that if you have good enough reasoning, you don't really need evidence (you would in a science discussion, but not a philosophy one).
Ankhanu
That was me being quoted there Wink
Bikerman
Sorry, I should have checked the source rather than take it at face value - my fault.
ocalhoun
Bluedoll wrote:

I am disagreeing with the logic that with specifically religious topics - posts that do not contain evidence (such as scientific) must be considered illogical and established as such.
I gave an example previously.

Well, in the P&R forum, it's not that posts without evidence must be considered illogical... Just that they will be. (At least by some.)

And, you must admit... Faith is a lot of things, but it is not logical...
So, of course something based on faith may be viewed as illogical.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Indi, with regard to the guidelines, I would like to see one about language added to it. Using bad language detracts from the discussion and also affects the quality negatively. Putting asterisks to hide portions of those bad words, don't make a difference either. For me bad language is bad form.

i don't put asterisks there. ^_^; Frihost already has filtering to hide the words it doesn't like. i don't hide anything. Nor do i care about what your opinions about form are.

The guidelines i suggested are guidelines for making discussion in this forum work, not for censoring the content or character of people's posts. i do not agree with those kinds of guidelines, and, if they were suggested, i would ignore them. If you think my posts are "bad form", then you are free to follow the guidelines i already suggested: ignore me (rather than taking every opportunity in every thread to lecture me about your ideas of good form). In fact, i would welcome that. Naturally, i fully intend to follow the guidelines i proposed myself, and to have others apply them to me - anything else would be hypocritical.

If you really have a problem with the language i use, the forum has a reporting system. Use it, or stow it, it's that simple.
You asked for comment on the guidelines Indi. I was not commenting on your postings. I was making a suggestion for adding a guideline. As much as you feel that you like to use bad language, there are others who may not feel the same. I am one of those people. So possibly we could debate it on that level, rather than making it into a personal complaint, which it never was. I thought this was a discussion about guidelines and that we could make our contributions to it and I made mine. I also made a suggestion for other guidelines that you did not comment on either, even when they were yours to start off and which you posted in a different thread a month or two ago as important guidelines for pentangeli to follow? I take it then they were not that important after all?
Ankhanu
I actually like the suggestion of avoiding expletives in the forum. It can be fun to let one out time and again, but, by and large, it tends to detract from a point. Honestly, it shouldn't, but sometimes it does.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
I actually like the suggestion of avoiding expletives in the forum. It can be fun to let one out time and again, but, by and large, it tends to detract from a point. Honestly, it shouldn't, but sometimes it does.
Thanks Ankhanu. You've said it much better than I did. It shouldn't detract, but it does. So if we want to up the standard of debate, possibly it is a guideline that would be worth considering.
Bikerman
OK, revising on the hoof:

Posting Guidelines for this forum.
The following are guidelines, not 'rules'. If you are unfamiliar with the general rules for posting on Frihost then please click HERE and read them carefully.

Philosophical debate can get heated, often because it challenges deeply held convictions. These guidelines are aimed at keeping the debate civil whilst maintaining a good quality of discussion in this forum. Posters who ignore these guidelines may not find a member of staff intervening, but they may find that their posting is ignored by the majority of other members.

url=http://sticky]Click here to read more about this forum[/url]

Guidelines

Guideline 0 - Don't be an ass!

Section 1 - Some things to remember


1. Don't : take offence where no offence is intended.
Do : read posting carefully.
If you find a posting rude or otherwise objectionable, read it again carefully to make sure it actually IS rude before replying in a similar manner. Remember that saying a point, idea or a suggestion is silly or illogical is NOT THE SAME as saying that YOU are silly or illogical..If you are sure that it was intended rudely or offensively then do not respond to it - report it using the button provided and let the moderator sort it out.

2. Don't : make unsupported claims/assertions
Do : Provide support for claims/assertions you make.
Either provide evidence (web links to credible sources, for example), or provide your reasoning behind the claim. Simply claiming something is true without any support is not even debate, let alone philosophy.

3. Do : expect to be challenged when you make a claim/assertion.
Don't : look upon such challenges as personal attacks.
If you think the challenge is invalid then say why. If the challenge is reasonable then you can either deal with the challenge, or withdraw/concede the claim (or explain why you have done neither)

4. Don't :repeat yourself
Do :assume that people have read your posting and will reply if they so wish.
Don't repeat the same point, simply because nobody has engaged with it - it is probably because nobody WANTS to engage with it.

Section 2 : Things you should already know

5. Do : avoid using personal abuse (ad-hominem attacks). Try to avoid the use of offensive words, bearing in mind that they rarely add to the debate. These guidelines are not the place to suggest censorship, but consider the existing TOS, and also remember that using asterisks to say 'this is a bleeped-out word that I would like to have used' is rarely effective or funny, and often detracts from the point.
Don't : respond to abuse
If someone is abusive then do not respond, report the posting and let the moderators deal with it. On the other hand, remember that something isn't necessarily abusive just because you don't like it.

6. Don't : drag a thread back over ground it has already covered unless you have something new to add.

7. Don't : use quotes/copy-paste without quote tags
Do : cite your sources.
Where you use material that is not your own you should use QUOTE tags and say where the material came from.

Section 3 : Things to help you

8. Do : try to make your point(s) as clearly as you can
If you can't quote express your point(s) quite how you would like, do your best. Members can usually spot when someone is genuinely trying, and will normally try to help rather than nit-pick.

9. Do : ask if you don't understand a particular concept or phrase
Don't : worry about being called ignorant. We are all ignorant of a huge many things. One reason for posting here is to hopefully reduce our ignorance. If a posting contains a concept or phrase that you don't understand, and you have been following the thread, then ask. Members should always be willing to explain a concept or phrase rather than criticise for genuine ignorance.


Section 4 : The most important thing

10. Do : Ignore postings that you judge to be simply an attempt to wind you up.
Don't : Reply to a troll.
A troll can be loosely described as a wind-up merchant - someone who just wants to provoke a response rather than use valid argument. Most people know one when they see one. They rely on response - either because they just like to wind people up or because they wish to derail a thread. In either case the best policy is one of starvation - Don't Feed The Trolls

The last guideline is the key to the whole thing. Posters who are obviously ignoring these guidelines are looking to engage. If they break the Rules then the moderator will deal with it. If they don't then the starvation policy only works if people stick to it. This is one example where collective action does work, but can be easily undone by a small numberr of member forgetting the guidelines and getting caught in the troll net by responding.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
So, of course something based on faith may be viewed as illogical.

That's right, it may be. That's really a matter of opinion because you have no evidence either way; one person may think it's illogical and another may not, and neither is "right". All that you know is that you're not sure that it is logical. It could be... or maybe it's not... you don't have the evidence either way, unless and until you test.

To put it another way, if you believed by faith that 2 + 2 = 4... because you never searched for or understood the logical or evidential proof that it does... that doesn't make the belief illogical. It makes your reasons for believing it illogical, but it doesn't make the belief illogical. If someone then tested the belief logically and found out that 2 + 2 really doesn't equal 4... then the belief would be illogical. (Or if they tested it and found it that it does equal 4, then the belief is logical.) But still, if you only believed it by faith, even though the belief is rational, the reason for belief remains irrational.

Why that is relevant here is because of this: beliefs held by faith (and claims justified by faith) may or may not be illogical, we can't know (unless and until we test them). The thing is, we can't have a logical discussion about them. We can't determine if they are or aren't illogical, or even if it is possible to determine whether they are or aren't. We literally can't say anything about them except "oh, that's nice", then the conversation is over.

In order to have a rational discussion about a belief, it must be brought into the rational domain. (That should be obvious, i would think.) If you can't or won't bring your beliefs into the rational domain, even hypothetically, then we simply can't have a rational discussion about them.

Now we have a forum where you are not required to bring a claim into the rational domain before you discuss it - the Faith forum. In that forum, you are not required to rationally explain or justify your claim, and - per the forum rules - no one can object to your claim and demand you justify it... no one can even contradict it!

So let this forum be a place where you are required (by convention, not by law) to bring a claim into the rational domain before you discuss it. In this forum, you should be required to rationally explain and justify your claim, and if you don't, then you will either be asked to do so, or, ignored. If you can't or won't justify your claim, then why not go to Faith? It's a place where you can make your claim without people demanding that you bring it into the rational domain. i don't understand why people think that me saying "go to Faith" is supposed to be insulting. It's logical, and helpful advice (assuming the person you're telling to go to Faith doesn't want to discuss their beliefs rationally). The fact that i don't want to go there doesn't make it a shitty place - i don't want to go to Bermuda either, but i'm sure the people there, and many others, just love it. It's just not my bag.

deanhills wrote:
You asked for comment on the guidelines Indi. I was not commenting on your postings. I was making a suggestion for adding a guideline. As much as you feel that you like to use bad language, there are others who may not feel the same. I am one of those people. So possibly we could debate it on that level, rather than making it into a personal complaint, which it never was. I thought this was a discussion about guidelines and that we could make our contributions to it and I made mine.

? i just replied to your suggestion with my views on it. You suggested adding a guideline about censoring language, i replied:
  1. i proposed the guidelines solely to make conversation possible, not to control its content.
  2. i will not support any censorship guidelines.
  3. If they get accepted, i will not honour them (which, since they're guidelines, anyone is free to ignore any of them... but if they do they will probably be ignored).
  4. If they get accepted, and i do not honour them, and it bothers you, then do what the guidelines say and ignore me.
That was my response to your point. Is it really going to be necessary to reply in point form to every point so that you'll look at my points, not take my replies personally, and not criticize my tone?

deanhills wrote:
I also made a suggestion for other guidelines that you did not comment on either, even when they were yours to start off and which you posted in a different thread a month or two ago as important guidelines for pentangeli to follow? I take it then they were not that important after all?

First of all, those "guidelines" were suggestions specifically for pentangeli (and were explicitly labelled as such in the original post), because pentangeli was so out of control. They don't really make sense as general rules for the same reason that bibs don't make sense as general dinner apparel: most adults don't need them.

Everything of general use in those suggestions is already incorporated into the guidelines. The first one is point 8 (in Bikerman's new formulation). The second one is point 9. And the third one is bad as a general rule, because people should be bold; if they just follow the other guidelines they can be as bold as they want. The problem was that pentangeli was being bold... while also simply spewing out unsupported nonsense (point 2), taking every challenge as a personal attack (point 3), repeating himself (point 4), making ad homimen attacks (point 5)... need i go on? In other words, because i did not have guidelines, i basically told pentangeli to use the forum regulars as models - examples to follow. Now that we have guidelines, people can just read and follow the guidelines, and it becomes unnecessary and undesirable to tell them to prostrate themselves before the forum regulars.

Bikerman wrote:
OK, revising on the hoof:

This format i like: a do, a don't and then a separate rationale.

Bikerman wrote:
1. Don't : take offence where no offence is intended.
Do : read posting carefully.
If you find a posting rude or otherwise objectionable, read it again carefully to make sure it actually IS rude before replying in a similar manner. Remember that saying a point, idea or a suggestion is silly or illogical is NOT THE SAME as saying that YOU are silly or illogical..If you are sure that it was intended rudely or offensively then do not respond to it - report it using the button provided and let the moderator sort it out.

If you are sure that it was intended rudely or offensively then do not respond to it - ignore it, or report it using the button provided and let the moderator sort it out.
Or even better:
If you are sure that it was intended rudely or offensively then do not respond to it - just ignore it.

To me, one of the major goals if the guidelines is to stop people from running to the moderators like playground crybabies every time their feathers get ruffled.

Bikerman wrote:
3. Do : expect to be challenged when you make a claim/assertion.
Don't : look upon such challenges as personal attacks.
If you think the challenge is invalid then say why. If the challenge is reasonable then you can either deal with the challenge, or withdraw/concede the claim (or explain why you have done neither)

If you think the challenge is mistaken[strike]invalid[/strike] then say why. If the challenge is reasonable then you can either deal with the challenge, or withdraw/concede the claim (or explain why you have done neither). If the challenge seems spurious, personally-motivated, (whatever else you think should be here, maybe invalid), do not respond to it - just ignore it.

"Invalid" is a word that can be interpreted too many ways in that context, and many of them are not what you mean. Technically, if you made a point like "utilitarianism matches our intuitions of morality", and i challenged with "utilitarianism fails to handle certain moral instances because you're a poopyhead", then my challenge is "invalid" (and not mistaken because it's "not even wrong", as the saying goes)... but you shouldn't respond to me telling my why that particular challenge is invalid. ^_^; If i respond with "utilitarianism fails as morally intuitive thinking because it focuses on individual hedonism", my challenge is mistaken, but not necessarily invalid (because you may have failed to specify the nature of utilitarianism properly).

The last sentence handles the third case: the "not even wrong" case.

Also, maybe flip the do/don't for the sake of consistency - so that every point is don't (the negative, directed at troublemakers), then do (the positive, directed at most people), then the rationale (just the icing on the cake). So "don't assume that a challenge to your claim/argument is a personal attack", then "do expect to be challenged when you make a claim/argument".

Bikerman wrote:
4. Don't :repeat yourself
Do :assume that people have read your posting and will reply if they so wish.
Don't repeat the same point, simply because nobody has engaged with it - it is probably because nobody WANTS to engage with it.

This is a good general point in theory, but it bugs me because sometimes legitimate points do get lost in a flurry of posts. And sometimes people don't respond to a point because it's so good... there's just nothing to say to it. i don't think we should take it out - because we do have a serious problem with brainless repetition - but maybe the rationale part needs to be refined. i can't really think of how. Maybe something like, "If you think you have a valid point, make sure you have presented it properly, with proper support of evidence or reasoning. If you think you have done that, try asking if there is anything wrong with your point (ask just once)."

Bikerman wrote:
5. Do : avoid using personal abuse (ad-hominem attacks). Try to avoid the use of offensive words, bearing in mind that they rarely add to the debate. These guidelines are not the place to suggest censorship, but consider the existing TOS, and also remember that using asterisks to say 'this is a bleeped-out word that I would like to have used' is rarely effective or funny, and often detracts from the point.
Don't : respond to abuse
If someone is abusive then do not respond, report the posting and let the moderators deal with it. On the other hand, remember that something isn't necessarily abusive just because you don't like it.

Again, try to flip the do/don't. Maybe "don't use personal abuse, and try to avoid offensive words/phrases" (also keep the do and don't short... put any rationale in the rationale), then "do ignore, and not respond to, anything you believe might be personal abuse, and anything you find offensive". Then, of course, a rationale.

Bikerman wrote:
6. Don't : drag a thread back over ground it has already covered unless you have something new to add.

You can add a "do" with "do try to read through a thread before joining it, so you don't repeat old points." With rationale, "If you repeat a claim or argument that has already been thoroughly discussed, you will probably find your contribution simply ignored, or, at the most, you will be directed to read back through the thread. If it's a long thread, you can always ask if the point has already been made, and if so, where, and maybe someone will point you to it."

Bikerman wrote:
8. Do : try to make your point(s) as clearly as you can
If you can't quote express your point(s) quite how you would like, do your best. Members can usually spot when someone is genuinely trying, and will normally try to help rather than nit-pick.

You can add a "don't" with "don't try to be unnecessarily clever, artistic, poetic or funny when making a claim or argument." You can expand the rationale to be a bit more loose by saying something like, "There is nothing wrong with being clever, artistic or funny, but if doing it obscures your claim or argument, you will either be misunderstood or ignored. So make your points clearly, and add any cleverness, artistry or humour aside from your claim/argument." Or something like that.

Bikerman wrote:
9. Do : ask if you don't understand a particular concept or phrase
Don't : worry about being called ignorant. We are all ignorant of a huge many things. One reason for posting here is to hopefully reduce our ignorance. If a posting contains a concept or phrase that you don't understand, and you have been following the thread, then ask. Members should always be willing to explain a concept or phrase rather than criticise for genuine ignorance.

You can flip the do/don't here. i would add "wrong", so "don't worry about being called wrong or ignorant", something like that. And then newline before "one reason" to create the rationale block.

Bikerman wrote:
10. Do : Ignore postings that you judge to be simply an attempt to wind you up.
Don't : Reply to a troll.
A troll can be loosely described as a wind-up merchant - someone who just wants to provoke a response rather than use valid argument. Most people know one when they see one. They rely on response - either because they just like to wind people up or because they wish to derail a thread. In either case the best policy is one of starvation - Don't Feed The Trolls

Again, flip the do/don't here. You might also add in the rationale, "If you see someone responding to an obvious troll, privately advise them that they are taking the bait, and should cease responding, or they, too, will probably be ignored."

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Generally, i think it's important to discourage running to moderators unless the person actually breaks the forum rules... which is certainly not what's been happening. If something is annoying, offensive or doing nothing useful for the discussion, the first response should just be to ignore, and that's what we should stress. It is only in serious cases that the moderators should be called in.

Remember, these aren't rules. They shouldn't be telling people what to do, and they shouldn't be telling people what not do such that if they do it they deserve punishment. They should simply be listing a set of behaviours that, if you follow them, conversation will work, and if you don't, conversation will stop unless you're ignored. People should follow them because they're good ideas, not because of a threat of moderator intervention. We already have forum rules, we don't need more. Technically we shouldn't even need this list of guidelines, and we got along fine without them for a long, long time, but recent events have made it clear that some people do need the guidelines.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
i don't understand why people think that me saying "go to Faith" is supposed to be insulting.
Who said it was insulting Indi? My point was that you have been misrepresenting the Faith forum. Probably because you have never posted in it. The Faith Forum is definitely not a Forum that you post in if you can't handle challenges in the Phil&Rel Forum or can't debate rationally. The Faith Forum is almost an extension of the Phil&Rel Forum. All of those posting in the Faith Forum are also posting in the Phil&Rel Forum. The only difference is that one cannot hack at the belief system (atheism or religion alike) that is mentioned in the opening post. And there has not been much of that type of posts anyway. We have both theists and non-theists posting in the Faith Forum, with the majority of posters being non-theist. I would most definitely not describe their posts as irrational or posting in the Faith Forum as an escape from challenging posts.
Indi wrote:
? i just replied to your suggestion with my views on it. You suggested adding a guideline about censoring language, i replied:
  1. i proposed the guidelines solely to make conversation possible, not to control its content.
  2. i will not support any censorship guidelines.
  3. If they get accepted, i will not honour them (which, since they're guidelines, anyone is free to ignore any of them... but if they do they will probably be ignored).
  4. If they get accepted, and i do not honour them, and it bothers you, then do what the guidelines say and ignore me.
That was my response to your point. Is it really going to be necessary to reply in point form to every point so that you'll look at my points, not take my replies personally, and not criticize my tone?
If a higher standard of posting is what you are aiming at, how could bad language contribute to that, I would have thought to the contrary? Anyway, I notice that Bikerman added this as No. 5. Will be interesting to see how people will be interpreting "offensive words".
Indi wrote:
Everything of general use in those suggestions is already incorporated into the guidelines. The first one is point 8 (in Bikerman's new formulation). The second one is point 9.
Agreed
Indi wrote:
And the third one is bad as a general rule, because people should be bold; if they just follow the other guidelines they can be as bold as they want. The problem was that pentangeli was being bold... while also simply spewing out unsupported nonsense (point 2), taking every challenge as a personal attack (point 3), repeating himself (point 4), making ad homimen attacks (point 5)... need i go on? In other words, because i did not have guidelines, i basically told pentangeli to use the forum regulars as models - examples to follow. Now that we have guidelines, people can just read and follow the guidelines, and it becomes unnecessary and undesirable to tell them to prostrate themselves before the forum regulars.
From where I was Pentangeli did not appear to be on the defensive at all, I thought he was challenging you as much as you were challenging him in a "fundamentally challenging" way? Smile

Bikerman's guidelines are a great improvement. I like his use of caps and much shorter paragraphs and sentences. I wonder whether it may be an idea to put the portions that are Frihost Rules in red and the guidelines in blue.
pentangeli
Indi wrote:

First of all, those "guidelines" were suggestions specifically for pentangeli (and were explicitly labelled as such in the original post), because pentangeli was so out of control. They don't really make sense as general rules for the same reason that bibs don't make sense as general dinner apparel: most adults don't need them.


The council of Pentangeli regrets to you inform you that much like the constant repetitive warbling pleas for power in this thread, he didn't read your "Guidelines for Pentangeli". He will though, shortly. He loves a good laugh.

When I assemble Ikea type furniture, I rarely look at the guidelines. I understand the basic rules of part, screw, hole (and I'm not the only one?) and thus I just build the thing like anyone with a semblance of scant intellect might. One thing I never do, is go out and consult the man on the street about how he thinks about how I should build the product. Especially if the man in the street knows relatively nothing about the item, what integral components it consists of and indeed, what the finished thing should look like. I'd consider doing that pretty illogical. Now how about this... that man coming into your house and exerting his opinion anyway? Hence this thread.

[...]

[...] I never attacked you at all. I simply responded to an attack. I never trolled this forum once. I am not a troll and I don't appreciate being labeled one by one.[...]

[...]

[...]

[...]

Removed a lengthy rant about Indi. Please try to stay on topic and avoid personal attacks.
If Indi is actually guilty of some of the things you accuse, please find examples and report them.
-ocalhoun
Indi
deanhills wrote:
Who said it was insulting Indi?

Several people, actually - including you, by saying that i am treating it as some kind of sandbox. It is not a "sandbox", it is a place for people to go who don't like or can't handle the open discussion format of P&R; if they don't want to participate in open discussion, they should go to Faith... what's insulting or hard to understand about that? Similarly if they want to have open discussion and not be limited to whatever a thread creator thinks is appropriate to discussion, they should go to P&R. That's a simple and obvious solution to the people who are getting annoyed both ways: by people who don't hold back when criticizing their beliefs, and by people who have had enough of others telling them what they can and can't discuss.

deanhills wrote:
My point was that you have been misrepresenting the Faith forum.

So what? ^_^; Seriously, so what? i don't like the Faith forum; i don't like the concept behind it; i don't want to participate in discussions that are restricted in order to prevent people's feelings from getting hurt. But so... freaking... what? ^_^; Why does that cause a problem for anyone? i have an opinion, whoop-de-do! And it's a negative opinion of that forum, heavens help us! But so freaking what? The fact that i don't like Faith, what it stands for, or what it allows, MEANS NOTHING. It's just my opinion. i am allowed an opinion, am i not? Well there it is. i think it's a stupid forum idea.

But my opinion, just like anyone else's, is completely freaking irrelevant. The suggestions and guidelines i have made all make sense, regardless of my opinion of Faith, don't they? So focus on them, and stop wasting both of our time by trying to "sell" Faith to me. i don't want it, i don't need it. But the people who do want or need it, have it. Good for them. Now, all we have to do is make both forums work for everyone.

All of this nonsense you're accusing me of - misrepresenting the Faith forum, insulting the Faith forum, etc. - is: a) irrelevant to the discussion, and b) false. i have been very clear and explicit about what i think the role of the Faith forum should be, from the very first post, and it is not as a "sandbox". Right from my very first words: "A group of people complained that the discussion tone was too 'aggressive' - they didn't want to be contradicted. They have now got a forum tuned to their wishes: a forum where they can post on Faith issues without having to worry about someone challenging or contradicting their beliefs." The problem here, as it often seems to be these days, is that you're not reading my words, you're assuming my meaning based on what you think i believe. Well, you're wrong. Period. But, even if you weren't, it comes back to point a)... my opinion of, or any comments i have made about, the Faith forum DOES NOT MATTER ONE DAMN BIT.

The only thing that matters is whether Faith is an appropriate alternative for P&R, as defined in the guidelines. Well, is Faith not "a forum where they can post on Faith issues without having to worry about someone challenging or contradicting their beliefs"? Is that not what it is, by definition in the rules of the Faith forum? If so, then it is an appropriate alternative for P&R for those people who cannot or will not participate in discussions where their core beliefs are discussed openly. So, when someone tries to shut down a discussion in P&R by refusing to have their beliefs challenged or contradicted, they should be directed there. If they refuse to go, and continue to try to shut down debate in P&R, they should be treated like any other troll: ignored.

It's. that. simple.

deanhills wrote:
If a higher standard of posting is what you are aiming at, how could bad language contribute to that, I would have thought to the contrary?

That's because you don't understand what i mean by "standard". You think "standard" means "what i like". But, as i have been repeatedly saying, what i mean is "what is necessary to make discussion work".

If you like, think about "standard" in terms of electrical wiring standards. Those standards are set to minimize the likelihood of electric shock, or of electrical fires. They are not meant to dictate aesthetics. i have seen some butt-ugly wiring jobs - terrible enough to turn my stomach and make me weep - but my aesthetic opinions are irrelevant. The simple fact is that as ugly and horrible as those wiring jobs are, they are safe because they meet the standards... and that's all that matters. i don't get (nor do i want) the right to dictate to other electricians what their wiring job should look like, except when there are safety issues.

The thing with any thing "offensive" - be it language or anything else - is that it not only does not prevent discussion, sometimes it is necessary for discussion. Take blasphemy for example. How are we supposed to discuss blasphemy without... discussing blasphemy? (And, i think that blasphemy is a pretty legitimate discussion topic for P&R.) Or bad language: how can we possibly discuss anything involving bad language without ever mentioning the language?

That much explains that banning "offensive" things can prevent open discussion, but it goes even further. There is nothing about bad language that prevents good discussion. It is possible for two philosophers to have an entire, deep, and meaningful philosophical debate on a topic while speaking in an obscenity-laden patois. It happens all the time.

You are saying that bad language prevents you from debating because it disturbs you and distracts you from the point... therefore it should be banned. Explain to me, in detail, exactly how that is any different from someone saying that questioning the precepts of Islam prevent them from debating because it disturbs them and distracts them from the point... therefore it should be banned. Of course there is no difference. It's just two different people trying to impose two different views on what is "proper" on everyone else, and neither of those views are based on what is really necessary to make discussion happen.

So there it is: that's why i oppose guidelines that attempt to censor content in any way that is not NECESSARY to make open discussion work:
  1. Such guidelines actually prevent open discussion;
  2. They are not necessary to make open discussion possible;
  3. And they're just opinion-based censorship in disguise.

If we're going to restrict people's language, why not restrict what they say about religion or other ideologies, too? Because, as sure as shit stinks, just as you are "disturbed" by the phrasing in the previous clause, there are others who will be "disturbed" when i question whether Christianity makes a good ethical basis, etc.. If you can control and restrict what i say to prevent yourself from being disturbed by one kind of "offensive" writing, why can they not do the same for the writing they find offensive? Why does your concern about being offended and disturbed matter... but theirs doesn't?

deanhills wrote:
From where I was Pentangeli did not appear to be on the defensive at all, I thought he was challenging you as much as you were challenging him in a "fundamentally challenging" way?

Well i don't know where you were, but i was actually there. How could i be challenging him? He came after me (and he had before in other threads). That was the first time i responded to him, and there was nothing else i could do with the incoherent gibberish he tried to pass off as a post but call it out for what it is. Don't think his posts are defensive and nasty? i hope you didn't miss his little rant just below your post, which was, in essence, paragraph-by-paragraph: "didn't bother to read other people's posts... not interested other people's points... indi is a bastard... indi is a jerk... indi is to be pitied... indi is the cause of all the problems in this forum... there is some conspiracy afoot between the moderators and indi.".

i don't know what to tell you, dude. If you think Dawkins is not confrontational, that i am more confrontational than Dawkins, and that pentangeli is not a troll... i really don't know how to get anything through.

Of course, you're free to keep replying to pentangeli if you like - i've already been asked in private who people should ignore and my answer is that i am not going to make that decision for anyone, which includes you. You have to decide whether he is providing constructive input to the discussion or not, regardless of his religious affiliation.

Maybe this will help clear your head when you are deciding what posts are valid and what posts aren't: try switching the names around. Try reading a post by me as if Bluedoll or ocalhoun or Ankhanu or someone else wrote it, and see if the post's content is really what you find so offensive, or if it's just the post's author. And try reading pentangeli's posts with the names reversed - try pretending that i wrote it about pentangeli (or you) - and see if you think it's a constructive post.

deanhills wrote:
I wonder whether it may be an idea to put the portions that are Frihost Rules in red and the guidelines in blue.

The portions that are Frihost rules are in the Frihost rules - there are no Frihost rules in the guidelines Bikerman posted, only guidelines.

It makes no sense to replicate or repeat the Frihost rules in the guidelines, for several reasons, technical, logical and practical. These are guidelines, not rules. The forum has rules already.
truespeed
Am i the only one who reads indi's posts with a Stewie Griffin voice? (Off topic and delete if inappropriate mods) Smile
Ankhanu
Indi wrote:
Maybe this will help clear your head when you are deciding what posts are valid and what posts aren't: try switching the names around. Try reading a post by me as if Bluedoll or ocalhoun or Ankhanu or someone else wrote it, and see if the post's content is really what you find so offensive, or if it's just the post's author. And try reading pentangeli's posts with the names reversed - try pretending that i wrote it about pentangeli (or you) - and see if you think it's a constructive post.


I've inadvertently done this a few times while catching up on posts and not paying a lot of attention to who wrote what as I go. It's an utterly fascinating experiment and really sheds light on people's character and the content of a post.

truespeed wrote:
Am i the only one who reads indi's posts with a Stewie Griffin voice? (Off topic and delete if inappropriate mods) Smile


I didn't... but now I am. Thanks, [...]! Razz

Removed what could very easily be taken for personal insult. (I realize it was meant all in good fun, but it's best to be careful.) -ocalhoun
ocalhoun
Removed a post continuing on the 'Indi with Stewie's voice' theme. Perhaps not wholly offensive, but is off-topic, and risks reviving the anti-Indi rant. If anyone wants to continue a discussion based on that, please make a new topic for it, AFTER making sure Indi is not offended by the comparison. -ocalhoun
deanhills
Indi wrote:
But my opinion, just like anyone else's, is completely freaking irrelevant. The suggestions and guidelines i have made all make sense, regardless of my opinion of Faith, don't they? So focus on them, and stop wasting both of our time by trying to "sell" Faith to me. i don't want it, i don't need it. But the people who do want or need it, have it. Good for them. Now, all we have to do is make both forums work for everyone.
Now you are misrepresenting what I said Indi. You chose to ignore the very first question I asked you as well: Who, specifically, said that you insulted the Faith Forum? Also who would want to sell the Faith Forum to you? What I did say is that you misrepresented the Faith Forum. Which most certainly you did. And I stand by that statement. And I then supported that statement by saying that you have never posted in the Faith Forum.

If you did read my previous postings in this forum I most certainly focused on your suggestions, and I gave you detailed feedback and suggestions as well.

Indi wrote:
If so, then it is an appropriate alternative for P&R for those people who cannot or will not participate in discussions where their core beliefs are discussed openly. So, when someone tries to shut down a discussion in P&R by refusing to have their beliefs challenged or contradicted, they should be directed there. If they refuse to go, and continue to try to shut down debate in P&R, they should be treated like any other troll: ignored.
I really would like to see the day that any post in this Forum is shut down by someone who refuses to have their beliefs challenged. Show me a discussion that has been shut down because someone refused to have their beliefs challenged? To the contrary. Usually discussion picks up when that happens.

With regard to your lenghty arguments regarding standard of language, everyone knows exactly the kind of bad language I am talking about. Specifically swear words. And you know what they are.
Indi wrote:
indi is a bastard... indi is a jerk... indi is to be pitied... indi is the cause of all the problems in this forum... there is some conspiracy afoot between the moderators and indi.[/i]".
I think you are misquoting here Indi. Unfortunately Pentangeli's post has been edited but as far as I can remember Pentangeli did not call you a bastard, or a jerk.
Indi wrote:
i don't know what to tell you, dude. If you think Dawkins is not confrontational, that i am more confrontational than Dawkins, and that pentangeli is not a troll... i really don't know how to get anything through.
You are misquoting again. Putting words that did not come from me Indi. They are all your conclusions, your judgments in your own words.
Indi wrote:
Of course, you're free to keep replying to pentangeli if you like - i've already been asked in private who people should ignore and my answer is that i am not going to make that decision for anyone, which includes you. You have to decide whether he is providing constructive input to the discussion or not, regardless of his religious affiliation.
I thought you said these were guidelines only. I also thought you were someone who supported freedom of speech. How does excluding anyone from a discussion support your freedom of speech point of view?
Indi wrote:
Maybe this will help clear your head when you are deciding what posts are valid and what posts aren't: try switching the names around. Try reading a post by me as if Bluedoll or ocalhoun or Ankhanu or someone else wrote it, and see if the post's content is really what you find so offensive, or if it's just the post's author. And try reading pentangeli's posts with the names reversed - try pretending that i wrote it about pentangeli (or you) - and see if you think it's a constructive post.
I don't have to pretend anything Indi. I have been here since May 2008. There is an enormous difference in your style of writing to that of Bluedoll, Ocalhoun and Ankhanu.
Indi wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I wonder whether it may be an idea to put the portions that are Frihost Rules in red and the guidelines in blue.

The portions that are Frihost rules are in the Frihost rules - there are no Frihost rules in the guidelines Bikerman posted, only guidelines.
That is not true Indi. Not replying to trolls is a Frihost rule. What could be helpful though is to define exactly what a troll is in the context of a Frihost discussion, as I get the feeling that trolling to you may mean something different to someone else. It could be useful to add that to the Guidelines as well.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
That is not true Indi. Not replying to trolls is a Frihost rule. What could be helpful though is to define exactly what a troll is in the context of a Frihost discussion, as I get the feeling that trolling to you may mean something different to someone else. It could be useful to add that to the Guidelines as well.
There is no mention of trolls in the TOS so it cannot possibly be a Frihost rule.
Trolling is difficult to define because it depends on context and the user concerned.
When a new user asks an obvious question then that is fair enough.
When an existing user asks the same question for the umpteenth time then that is trolling.
When a new user makes an incorrect assertion then that is fair enough.
When an existing user repeats the same refuted assertion again and again then that is trolling.
When a user makes comments designed to annoy and provoke then that is trolling. It is difficult to define where the boundaries of 'flamebait' are, but most people know it when they see it.
Bluedoll
Quote:
There is no mention of trolls in the TOS so it cannot possibly be a Frihost rule.

That may be true though I think trolling is considered not proper behaviour? Therefore rules that are in-force cover trolling only it is not defined as such? So, I suppose if you see the word should consider it serious as part of the tos? Perhaps to say troll is not enough. Perhaps improper behaviour or how ever you want to define misuse against forum rules should be defined in addition to just stating it is trolling since . . . you say trolling is difficult to define??????
Quote:
Trolling is difficult to define because it depends on context and the user concerned.
Well, I for one do not really understand the complexities, I must admit as it is one of those geeky terms to me.
Quote:
When a new user asks an obvious question then that is fair enough. When an existing user asks the same question for the umpteenth time then that is trolling.
This is completely wrong! In your opinion maybe! Sometimes questions need to be asked and re-asked many times. Of course it is good to look at fresh perspectives. This might be best achieved by looking at viewpoints of new users even if they ask the same questions.
Quote:
When a new user makes an incorrect assertion then that is fair enough.
When an existing user repeats the same refuted assertion again and again then that is trolling.
These kinds of concepts and the idea that everything must have evidence does not apply here in the RELIGION forum. This is a religious forum and assertions are the only way to express something’s since there are many things that can not be proven. Can you prove God does not exist? Can you prove Bikerman that God does not exist? God does exist! That may be an assertion to you but not to me. You want to consider it trolling? It is the truth to me and freedom of speech allows me to continue to express it. Would you like to take that right away Bikerman by calling it trolling?


Name calling is one thing. Rule making is another. But no one and I mean no one is going to mess with my spirtuality and my right to express it.

In God i trust!
pentangeli
The most constructive thing I can say to you Indi, sans insult, sans "trolling", in hope that I don't get censored for referencing a damaging popular cartoon is that I think your cause is a fool's errand. Can I say "fool" in objective use? Fools whom follow such an errand? Is this less emotionally scarring to everyone? Anyway...

Without any political, religious or personal bias or discrimination, I think attempting to put rules on what or who should be taken as relevant fails for a number of reasons and the main one is your reason reason. I understand that the overall function of reason and logic is to illustrate to people that a lot of areas are beyond reason and logic. This is because reason without the unreasonable is unreasonable. I have said this a million times already. Concerning namely atheism, reality and logic. Now I am saying it about reason. It is the truth. Is is also why this thread is here. Because it hurts your brain. But it is true. Does it need proving? I cannot prove it. Does it need a clef note? I have none. I wrote it myself. I can quote some similar warblings from celebrated philosophers if it makes my post any more relevant. Will it?

Blaise Pascal wrote:
Nothing fortifies scepticism more than the fact that there are some who are not sceptics; if all were so, they would be wrong.


Am I a troll? Am I Realllllly?

Reason (your go-to word for relevance) does serve the purpose of showing what is logical and what isn't beautifully. Ironically most of these areas that are not logical find their categorical pigeonhole within areas of religion and philosophy. Reason creates a holding of reason drawing a parameter in which it must obey. Any philosopher who ignores some things being unreasonable is an unreasonable being. The final course of action for all reason is to acknowledge the infinite things which are beyond its scope of vision. There's nothing so applicable to reason itself as this refusal of reason. Things which evade reasons are namely love, faith and purpose. These subjects do not belong in other forums. These are the cornerstones of all religion and philosophy. So when you brought this in as a checkpoint by which a post on religion or philosophy may or may not be taken seriously, you not only limited both of these subjects heinously, you also limited how much anyone is allowed to contemplate them and then share their musings and you can say what you like about me personally, it's not about me or you. It's about placing restrictions on the quest for knowledge. And to be honest, I find the thought police unforgivable. This is my personal dislike. Whether or not a rule should be made to hinder this progressive thought process from being posted or contributed to by others, I guess, is for other persons to unbiasedly decide. Like its even possible.

Let people post whatever. Nobody needs to obviously point out to Captain Obvious the obvious about him obviously being too obvious, obviously. If it's a load of crap, just leave it alone. If it's a load of crap and warrants rebuttal, get stuck in. If it's not crap and warrants no rebuttal, I doubt I'll read it much myself anyway because its most likely to be mediocre and hell hath no fury like the apathetic standard of the majority safety post. I'm just saying, 'if it's crap, don't bother with it - unless you want to' has seemed to have worked on internet forums for the past 3 decades or so. It might work for a few more. Nobody needed notifying either.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
That is not true Indi. Not replying to trolls is a Frihost rule. What could be helpful though is to define exactly what a troll is in the context of a Frihost discussion, as I get the feeling that trolling to you may mean something different to someone else. It could be useful to add that to the Guidelines as well.
There is no mention of trolls in the TOS so it cannot possibly be a Frihost rule.


Frihost Rules wrote:
f. Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not contain flame bait or anything encouraging another user to break the rules.


Pretty close there.
Indi
Ankhanu wrote:
Indi wrote:
Maybe this will help clear your head when you are deciding what posts are valid and what posts aren't: try switching the names around. Try reading a post by me as if Bluedoll or ocalhoun or Ankhanu or someone else wrote it, and see if the post's content is really what you find so offensive, or if it's just the post's author. And try reading pentangeli's posts with the names reversed - try pretending that i wrote it about pentangeli (or you) - and see if you think it's a constructive post.


I've inadvertently done this a few times while catching up on posts and not paying a lot of attention to who wrote what as I go. It's an utterly fascinating experiment and really sheds light on people's character and the content of a post.

i actually prefer to read Frihost without logging in, because when you're not logged in the only indication of who's writing is a little blue name in the top left - there's no avatar, and no signature - so it's very easy to read posts just as posts, without knowing who the author is.

In fact, a couple times in the past people have asked why i have a hate on for them personally because i always seemed to be specifically targetting them and tearing their arguments to pieces, and i honestly had no clue who they were... or if i'd even ever replied to them before. Since then i've actually started taking care to keep track of who i was replying to... a little bit, anyway.

But yeah, this is what i see when i read your posts.

ocalhoun wrote:
Removed a post continuing on the 'Indi with Stewie's voice' theme. Perhaps not wholly offensive, but is off-topic, and risks reviving the anti-Indi rant. If anyone wants to continue a discussion based on that, please make a new topic for it, AFTER making sure Indi is not offended by the comparison. -ocalhoun

Of course i'm not offended. ^_^; i hope nothing good got erased. Now i'm reading my own words in a Stewie voice. What the deuce?! (i'm also now reading Bikerman in a Brian voice.)

Yeah, if anyone wants to make a new topic to discuss that, i say go ahead. ^_^; i guess it's not really P&R material, but it has to be appropriate somewhere, right? Or it should be okay to comment on it while making otherwise on-topic posts here or elsewhere, right?

If anyone would like another suggestion, i've always been partial to Starscream from the old Transformers cartoon: "Megatron has fallen! i am your leader-... Oh, wait... he's back up. All hail Megatron! Oh, he's down again. Megatron has fallen, i am your lea- oh, he's back up. All hail Megatr- he's down again!"

deanhills wrote:
Now you are misrepresenting what I said Indi. You chose to ignore the very first question I asked you as well: Who, specifically, said that you insulted the Faith Forum? Also who would want to sell the Faith Forum to you?

You know, first of all, i did actually answer both of those questions - quite explicitly, actually (you know, like when i said "Several people, actually - including you..." in DIRECT answer to the first question, and i can't even figure how clueless you have to be to not know who was trying to "sell" the Faith forum to me when i originally, specifically said, to you: "... stop wasting both of our time by trying to "sell" Faith to me....") - but whatever, that's not relevant. It just serves to highlight why i'm frustrated and putting my foot down in the next bit:

deanhills wrote:
If you did read my previous postings in this forum I most certainly focused on your suggestions, and I gave you detailed feedback and suggestions as well.

And yet, you go making the entire rest of your post about nothing but incidental crap that has nothing to do with the topic.

Look, i'm done with it. This is my last statement on... well, just about every single damn thing you've complained to me about in the last month or two: ignore it, or report it. That's it. That's all i have to say to you.

As for the rest, it was all just a bunch of requests for the obvious, denial of the blatant and bizarrely nonsensical points that really aren't worth responding to. So, i won't.

See? This is how you ignore. Try it sometime with my posts. Please.

ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
That is not true Indi. Not replying to trolls is a Frihost rule. What could be helpful though is to define exactly what a troll is in the context of a Frihost discussion, as I get the feeling that trolling to you may mean something different to someone else. It could be useful to add that to the Guidelines as well.
There is no mention of trolls in the TOS so it cannot possibly be a Frihost rule.


Frihost Rules wrote:
f. Posts, avatars, signatures and usernames must not contain flame bait or anything encouraging another user to break the rules.


Pretty close there.

Close, but no cigar. Most of the trolling in this forum is not about trying to provoke people to break rules, it is about trying to disrupt or derail discussions that the troller does not want discussed. i'm not saying there is no flame-baiting done by the trolls here, i'm just saying that that's not the major problem. Our problems here are people bringing up the same refuted points again and again and again, forcing repetition of the refutation over and over until finally someone just snaps and says "enough"... but that's technically not flame-baiting because no single post would actually qualify as a justifiable provocation - the key is the quantity and the repetition.

The closest thing you could find in the rules would be harassment, but again, that doesn't quite fit, because the trolling is usually not directed at any particular person. It's usually quite insidiously disguised as a reasonable (if often whiny, sometimes aggressive) on-topic post, and the only reason you can spot it as trolling is either by reading the whole thread carefully to realize that this one person just pretending to be reasonable while actually being a dick, or - in the most insidious cases - you have to read dozens of threads in the forum to catch that the person is just pulling a stunt that they've pulled in dozens of other threads.

Unfortunately, we're in a complex forum, and we need some more complex rules, and the standard rules just don't cut it. That's not a criticism of them - they work fine in the general case... this forum just happens to be a non-general, exceptional case.

That's not to say that we actually do need more rules, we've just allowed ourselves to be riled out of control by a few troublemakers, we need to send a forum-wide "get back on topic" message, including guidelines on how to respond to future trolling so that can get back control and maintain it.
pentangeli
@deanhills,[...]

Removed yet another personal attack. And, lest you think that this is some sort of personal vendetta, it was reported by a third party -- one you haven't attacked yet. -ocalhoun
deanhills
Indi wrote:
That's not to say that we actually do need more rules, we've just allowed ourselves to be riled out of control by a few troublemakers, we need to send a forum-wide "get back on topic" message, including guidelines on how to respond to future trolling so that can get back control and maintain it.
I don't usually respond to posts like your last one, but I am responding as the very substance of your/Bikerman's thread is to segregate a number of Frihosters who complained about your and Bikerman's style of debate into a bunch of "complainers and whiners" and "trouble makers". You are also deliberately trying to exclude them from this Forum by trying to set "guide lines" to others of how to "deal with them". Refer the above quote.

The Faith Forum was something that came from the Moderators, not from those who complained about your style of debate. We also asked that "trollers" be dealt with, yet instead of dealing with them, we got a Faith Forum instead. Hence an urgent need for establishing exactly what a troller is, and what a troller is not. I don't see myself as a troller, and I am most certain you don't see yourself as a troller either. Instead you see yourself as someone who is above average capable of challenging the person you are debating with. And if the other person sees it as trolling, or an attack, that that person is unable to deal with your challenge. Yet when it is the other way round and someone is challenging you, then it is usually trolling? So you and I have to have completely different points of view of what trolling is. And what it is not.

Ocalhoun, who is always scrupulously unbiased, has already pointed us in the right direction, i.e. flaming. So maybe because your and my interpretation of trolling is diametrically opposed, the definition of trolling/flaming should rather be dealt with by Ocalhoun and the Moderators Forum as we are never going to get anywhere with this kind of debate.

I think Pentangeli said this rather well in lieu of guidelines:
Pentangeli wrote:
Let people post whatever. Nobody needs to obviously point out to Captain Obvious the obvious about him obviously being too obvious, obviously. If it's a load of crap, just leave it alone. If it's a load of crap and warrants rebuttal, get stuck in. If it's not crap and warrants no rebuttal, I doubt I'll read it much myself anyway because its most likely to be mediocre and hell hath no fury like the apathetic standard of the majority safety post. I'm just saying, 'if it's crap, don't bother with it - unless you want to' has seemed to have worked on internet forums for the past 3 decades or so. It might work for a few more. Nobody needed notifying either.
pentangeli
observations on poster's habitual posting habits are personal attacks? I guess its tantamount to calling him personally "a troll" and advising everyone to ignore him and regard him as irrelevant. Maybe you should delete this entire thread, ocalhoun. And "one" I "haven't attacked yet" is every single poster on this forum who hasn't "attacked" me yet. See a theme emerging? One that you don't view with Indi tinted glasses? I suppose you that a personal attack on you too, being that I have no evidence in this thread of all threads to back up these fanciful claims of persona defamation and vendetta. Seriously, all bickering and back biting aside, pretend for a second that one of the in crowd posted this and determine if it has any grounding in reality.

[insert yet another bunch of needless green text here]
No, this will be red.
Since this complaint is directed at ocalhoun I will deal with it.
a) This is clearly back-seat moderation.
b) Moderation decisions should not be questioned in the public forums - a pm is the correct way to go about this.
c) You have posted 3 times when one would have been sufficient. Since the remaining two postings added nothing to debate I have removed them.

Please take particular note of the first two points.

Bikerman
Moderator
deanhills
Just want to congratulate Ocalhoun on putting together some excellent Guidelines in the Phil&Rel Sticky Thread below (I only noticed the Sticky tonight):

How to keep this forum healthy. (Guidelines & Warnings)

I particularly like Ocalhoun's own contribution about Warning Signs of Inflammatory Posts. I've always wondered why Ocalhoun has always succeeded in staying out of trouble, and now all of it makes sense to me. The Warning Signs are excellent How to stay out of trouble guidelines. Smile

With regard to the second section on Guidelines for Quality P&R Posts that include some of the ones that have been discussed in this thread, I particularly liked this one:
Quote:
Talk About Your Ideas, Not Others': When someone posts an idea that contradicts yours, talk about your own, and why it is better -- rather than talking about theirs and why it is worse.
I also like the heading Guidelines for Quality P&R Posts.

Thanks Ocalhoun! And of course everyone else who helped with the second section.
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