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Is it time to scrap the faith forum?





truespeed
The faith forum was resisted by many people from the outset,the most vocal were Dean and bluedoll who saw it as patronizing,but it was for these people who it was introduced for,a safe haven for people of faith to chat without having to debate,as they often complained about the so called "debate" style in P&R,but if it isn't wanted by the very people who it was created for why not just discard it and merge all the posts into P&R.

I think new users coming to the forums would find difficulty understanding why there are two forums dealing with the same subject when on the surface the style of debate in each is the same.

Alternatively,the faith forum could be renamed Religion and the P&R forum Philosophy,but there should be no special limitations in the religion forum just as there isn't now in P&R.
Nameless
Yes. Along with roughly half the other sub-forums that barely get any posts, resulting in confusion and ETCETERA you've heard this before. *sigh*
Hello_World
I don't think so.

I am having trouble understanding the rationale for the 'problem', why the 'faith' forum was ever resisted.

We could possibly change the 'faith' forum to the religion forum with the same rules as the faith forum, and the p/r forum to the philosophy forum with the same rules as p/r (religion could be discussed there as all religion is philosophy anyway).

But that is just the same as it is now with new names.

Alternatively we could split the P/R forum into 2 categories and remove the 'safe haven' for people who choose to use the bible and other holy things as evidence.

But I rather like the idea of the 'faith' forum for the option for those people who do not wish to submit their religious ideas under the microscope of normal debate.

I feel that it represents the highest pinacle of religious tolerance, religious inclusiveness, to have a safe area for people who do not wish to engage in norms.

I guess it doesn't affect me personally, I will just continue to post in the relevant category exactly as I have been posting in p/r.

(As a new user I did initially fail to understand the difference and posted wrongly in the faith forum but I realised fairly soon.)
menino
There will always be a never ending debate in faith forums; and on each others faiths.
As much as I don't like the faith bashing that goes on in these forums, its probably not a bad thing to have faith forums, so that people can find a way to enhance their faiths, although I think probably that this is the wrong place to do it in, seeing other's posts on the subjects.
Still, users can opt not to view these posts, if they do find it offensive.
So, it does not need to be removed, and might provide some information to those of other faiths or those with none.
LittleBlackKitten
I was one of the ones who pioneered the Faith Forum, but as it is, I am hardly on Frihost anymore because I can't get a proper conversation in without some opinionated outspoken user barging in and ruining the topic and turning it into an argument no matter what I say. If this falls down to only the original users who wanted it instead of all those who do use it now, then count my vote as an "I don't care". I can't post here without being argued with, spoken down to, and judged. So unfortunately, Chris and the other users with like-mindedness have honestly destroyed my enjoyment of frihost - completely.
truespeed
I always thought that for the faith forums to work they should be for people of faith only,just allowing an opposite point of view in meant that wasn't going to be the case,its a bit like letting an opposite point of view into a church.

As we already have P&R just having a place to escape debate would of been useful for those who wanted it.
Ankhanu
The Faith forum can work handily; the idea was that the discussion would flow within the contexts generated by the OP... rather than sidetracking into other related topics. For example, a thread about the nature of God's love, if presented with the right restrictions, would not permit the idea that God doesn't exist.

The problem, I think, has come from OPs that simply ask for an opinion on a topic without offering the restrictions into which the desired conversation should sit. Most threads have been presented with an open ended sort of format, allowing a diverse range of opinions on the topics brought forth... essentially bypassing the spirit in which the forum was created (I think). If you want a topic to discuss God based on the Bible alone, and not call to being discussion of, for example, the cultural and geographic aspects of the peoples who wrote the book, which could change the context, that simply has to be stated in the OP. Setting up restrictions lets you control the possible paths of discussion, and helps prevent treading into uncomfortable territory.

Has the Faith forum failed? Somewhat, I think it has. But I don't think it's a problem with the design or concept of the forum, but with the choices of its users.

Should it be scrapped? I don't know. I do enjoy using it, and partaking in discussions with clear lines of thought/context, and challenging myself to work from a perspective I might not normally, but, a lot of people are still defensive and too uptight to hold a discussion or explain themselves when asked for clarifications. I don't think the forum is likely to be used properly, so it may as well be folded... but it has potential, and I'd kinda like to see it stay.
Bikerman
It does seem a shame to scrap it. The objection about me 'invading' it no longer holds, since I said a while ago that I won't post in faith.

@LBK I'm sorry if I have ruined your enjoyment of Frih. I don't think it is so unreasonable of me to debate critically in just one forum - why that should ruin anyone's enjoyment is a bit of a mystery to me - Frih has a LOT of forums...
Ghost Rider103
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I was one of the ones who pioneered the Faith Forum, but as it is, I am hardly on Frihost anymore because I can't get a proper conversation in without some opinionated outspoken user barging in and ruining the topic and turning it into an argument no matter what I say. If this falls down to only the original users who wanted it instead of all those who do use it now, then count my vote as an "I don't care". I can't post here without being argued with, spoken down to, and judged. So unfortunately, Chris and the other users with like-mindedness have honestly destroyed my enjoyment of frihost - completely.


There are many other forums you can post in which bikerman doesn't heavily debate or even post in at all.

But if you're stuck on only posting about religion, perhaps you could specify the rules for debating, or if there should be a debate at all and where to draw the line.

Perhaps some sort of "block" feature should be added to the forums. This way if you. Booze to block a certain member they can't see your forum posts. Though the staff would need to see everyone's post, if a staff was blocked then maybe your post would display grayed out to that particular staff member, so they would know not to reply to it.

Could be a useful idea. Would eleminate the idea for users to leave Frihost because of another user.

Sorry this went off topic.

Anyways, not sure what should be done with the Faith forum. I don't agree with religious discussion on the boards in the first place so I guess my comments would be irrelevant.

P.s. I'm not suggesting to remove the religion sections, I understand it's probably in frihosts best interest to keep them, I'm just giving my own views about the matter. I'm all for religious discussion, but I'm going to pretty much steer clear of those sections. I read them occasionally but I don't ever consider replying.
ocalhoun
Ghost Rider103 wrote:

Perhaps some sort of "block" feature should be added to the forums.

Hm... I think that the users involved -- on both sides, mind you -- could ignore each other if they really wanted to... but they don't want to.

With neither side willing to ignore the other, and neither side willing to change and give in to the other, conflict may be inevitable.
Ghost Rider103
Well I don't know about that.

The option to block is not there. So the user wanting to block is still opt to read the other users posts and that user is opt to reply/annoy. So the user wanting to ignore/block is then sort of forced (in a sense) to reply. Ultimately causing an unfriendly environment for particular users.

Of the option to block was there, then a user wouldnt have to put up with a specific user and would not have the chance of stumbling upon the other users posts.

I think if the option was there, it would help.
menino
Maybe the word "Faith" should not be put as the subject.
Perhaps opt for something like "religious views" or "religious discussion".
Faith is something to practice... not really to debate on, imo.
deanhills
I was initially against the Faith Forum, however when Bondings made a decision to implement the Faith Forum I tried to give it a good bash. Initially the regulars from the Phil&Rel Forum were careful to post in the Faith Forum. Most of the Phil&Rel Forum crowd publicly said that they had no plans to post in the Faith Forum. Then gradually some of the regulars in the Phil&Rel Forum started to post in the Faith Forum to the point of hijacking the threads as well. By June of this year when Dan had left the Board again, I'd say there was very little difference between the style of debate at the Phil&Rel and Faith Forums, and the subject matter was mostly the same as well.

@hello_world. The idea was not only to discuss religion in the Faith Forum, but all aspects of spirituality, subjects like transcendental meditation, or telepathy, etc. that don't come with documentary evidence. Would have been nice to pursue those subjects, but we have never been allowed to do so past the, there is no evidence for it portion of the discussion.

With regard to LBK's point of view, she was right on the mark. I'd have wanted Bikerman and the heavy posters of the Phil&Rel Forum to completely stand back so that those who do believe in subjects like telepathy etc. have a chance to explore aspects of it past the stage of needing evidence for it. For example, we had a wonderful opportunity when Dan was Moderator of the Faith Forum for a month or more when he started to discuss interesting subjects along telepathy lines, i.e. communication with plants, but every time he started, Bikerman was there hugging the thread. If he had something to contribute about the subject other than that it is woo-woo stuff and scientifically impossible, then great. But we were never allowed to explore interesting fields of spirituality, past the "it does not exist" "where is the evidence for it?" stage.
watersoul
I quite like the Faith forum as an alternative option for discussion where folk can happily state "I know my god/other belief is x or y" without any need to provide evidence.
There are some interesting topics which would have certainly been shot to bits in P & R (where conversations have actually been quite civil) along the lines of "I dont believe x or y but it's interesting to read how you reach x or y conclusion yourself" or "I believe x or y because I just know that my god/s have made it so"
Unsubstantiated 'personal truths' are free from critical questioning, and the forum provides a safer place to post any spiritual or religious stance in line with the proposed style of debate laid down by the particular OP.

I've enjoyed reading the ongoing debate in my Do you have any faith that there is a "soul" topic.
I must return there and reply to BigGeek who made the most recent post a month ago, but considering I started it just over a year ago, it has ticked over nicely with interesting discussion in a style of debate which is clearly different to that found in P & R.

I can't see much of a problem with the forum setup as it is, Faith is the place to say "I know my god exists and I refuse to debate any apects of this" without fear of the statement being ripped to bits due to the lack of any evidence other than blind faith.
P & R on the other hand though is a place which should retain the critical arguments where wild claims can be debated in depth.

I have posted in Faith as an alternative to any conflicting opinions which I may consider ridiculous to my own. People have their own views and are able to discuss these in their own topics.
I have actually been happy to accept other opinions in the threads I've started myself, even while they conflict with my own views, although other OP's have made opening statements that any scientific or evidence based questioning etc is not welcome.
Yes it stifles debate to a certain extent but it does provide a tolerant platform for all views to be expressed.
I have of course sometimes disagreed with other posters in Faith, but the only issue of mine there has been with people who express their beliefs as absolute fact.
Faith forum, to me, is about expressing personal belief in a place where it is acceptable to be completely unable to provide any evidence to back up the specific claims.
Long may it stay, as it hopefully provides room for more rational debate in P & R.
Hello_World
I think perhaps if any good comes out of these talks, it is as a reminder to those of us who have trouble shutting up when we see something we don't agree with, (and I include myself there,) of the purpose and importance of having such a place.

I'm not in disagreement with the idea of a block, but only in the faith forum. Anywhere else, and I think it becomes an exclusionary idea, including and especially in p/r.

Possibly even, although this idea would be incredibly annoying, but possibly you could have an alert whenever you press post in faith, which pops up and says something like, I don't know, 'are you responding within the terms of debate as set out by OP' or whatever.

Edit: or, 'have you read the sticky on the rules?' with a link.

To close it down would be a sad state of affairs, particularly as people are using it, and it is simply removing an option for a group of Frihosters. I believe that the structure is impecable, but perhaps the practise is not 100%.
LittleBlackKitten
See, Chris and I are like-minded in the fact that we like talking about the same sorts of things and like the same type of intelligent conversation - we just have COMPLETELY different points of view; black and white, if you will. Where I get upset is where I say "White....GREY?" and Chris goes "No, that's black, because x y z and if you think that's white or grey, get your eyes checked. Its illogical to think it's white."

I don't want to have to avoid talking with Chris - with ANYONE - what I want to avoid is feeling judged and attacked because I offer my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. Faith was supposed to be a place where you could debate, but not ARGUE. Asking about someone's thoughts on the soul asks an opinion; not asking someone to take on the existence of the human soul, toss in some shaky science, and Scientology, and completely destroy the original intent of the topic, which many of the atheists manage to do.

I think what is needed is for moderators to step up in the Faith Forum and moderate the posts that move from offering a "this is what I think", to "This is the fact because of this opinion and fact and you have to listen".

I do actually like talking to Chris - I enjoy his wisdom, and vast knowledge - when he's not being pompous, opinion-truth mixing, and telling other people what is fact, which is true in HIS brain, but not everyone else. I have actually gleaned some very deep, insightful knowledge from Chris, but it's generally lost in the delivery. He taught me to second-guess my own thinking process and belief system.

In a perfect world, I would see Chris and other people like him back down a little on their forceful opinionation-truth slurring, and I would be less sensitive to a direct challenge of my belief system.
deanhills
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I don't want to have to avoid talking with Chris - with ANYONE - what I want to avoid is feeling judged and attacked because I offer my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. Faith was supposed to be a place where you could debate, but not ARGUE. Asking about someone's thoughts on the soul asks an opinion; not asking someone to take on the existence of the human soul, toss in some shaky science, and Scientology, and completely destroy the original intent of the topic, which many of the atheists manage to do.
Well said LBK. Right on!

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I think what is needed is for moderators to step up in the Faith Forum and moderate the posts that move from offering a "this is what I think", to "This is the fact because of this opinion and fact and you have to listen".
We don't have any actively posting Moderators like that on Board. Bondings did try to get one of the Golden Oldie Moderators to Moderate the Faith Forum in July - dan751. It was a brilliant move and had great potential, as Dan751 was the only Moderator that I know off to date (except Bondings of course) who appreciated what was needed and had been in sync with our kind of discussion. He was an above average quality Moderator too. It was really sad when he disappeared (think he got married in August) as for the first time I could remember I had hope for that Forum. Only problem at the time was that Bikerman/Watersoul/Ankhanu kept distracting the discussions with the typical Phil&Rel type debates. If we could get Dan751 back, or an equivalent of Dan751, it would be great if those who need scientific proof could step back a little.
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
Only problem at the time was that Bikerman/Watersoul/Ankhanu kept distracting the discussions with the typical Phil&Rel type debates.

Feel like providing a quote of mine which was 'distracting' perhaps?
Without looking back at the topics I can only go on memory, but I assume my responses would have been far removed from the critical questioning found in P & R.

...if you disagree then by all means feel free to provide an example, but if (as I suspect) you are unable to find a post of mine which breaches the TOS I would be grateful if you returned here to retract what I consider a rather frivolous accusation.

*Edit*
I've scanned through all the posts I could find in the Faith forum where I have contributed an opinion. I felt it was important to check again as a result of the allegation that some of them could be deemed a problem due to a perceived 'distraction' issue.
Can't find any which are offensive, or against the TOS, or even against the spirit of the Faith forum rules. All I could find were examples of my sharing a personal view of the topics which were sometimes different to others in the conversations.
Are we no longer allowed to say "I believe differently", or is that now classed as a distraction?
If so, then perhaps Dean wants the rules changed in some way?

Again, if you cannot find a specific example of me causing a 'problem', please retract your spurious claim and accept that my lack of faith is a valid viewpoint which is still allowed to be shared appropriately in the Faith forum.
LittleBlackKitten
I do understand the basic human need to have "proof" of something - and to need that proof on a perfect, flawless platter - but for some people, basic circumstantial evidence is enough, while others need the whole judge and jury.

In the case of those who need proof, it ends up looking something like this:

Poster A: "I believe in X. What do you think of X?"
Poster B: "I believe X is like this. It can be like this, too."
Scientist A: "What is your proof of x? This theory here and this unrelated fact here mixed with this opinion here is why X can't possibly exist."
Poster A: "X exists to me, that's all that matters."
Poster B: "I had a personal experience with X."
Scientist B: "X is a total farce, because of this theory and something about space-time mechanics and history here. Your 'personal experience' there with X is easily explained by a frontward slash and a backwards slash, or a less-than sign and greater-than sign trying to breed. X simply does not exist."
Poster A: "Trying to breed? How is that anything related to the X we are talking about up there?"
Scientist A: "B, don't feed the trolls, they clearly don't understand."
Poster B: "You're calling US trolls?"


And that is how the scientisty people end up coming off to us. I'm sure the roles are reversed from their point of view. Does that put it into perspective, Watersoul?
Bikerman
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
See, Chris and I are like-minded in the fact that we like talking about the same sorts of things and like the same type of intelligent conversation - we just have COMPLETELY different points of view; black and white, if you will. Where I get upset is where I say "White....GREY?" and Chris goes "No, that's black, because x y z and if you think that's white or grey, get your eyes checked. Its illogical to think it's white."
But the p&r forum is the ONLY forum in which logic trumps opinion. The 'because' is the important word. When I say 'because x,y,z' that is the justification for my 'belief'. That is how we do philosophy. It isn't enough to say 'I believe x,y,z' - that isn't philosophy, it is simple assertion, and leads to meaningless babble where any opinion is treated as valid, regardless of logic or reason.
As I said, I do not think it is unreasonable to have one forum on frihost which is dedicated to CRITICAL analysis of views/beliefs.
Quote:
I don't want to have to avoid talking with Chris - with ANYONE - what I want to avoid is feeling judged and attacked because I offer my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. Faith was supposed to be a place where you could debate, but not ARGUE. Asking about someone's thoughts on the soul asks an opinion; not asking someone to take on the existence of the human soul, toss in some shaky science, and Scientology, and completely destroy the original intent of the topic, which many of the atheists manage to do.
I deny that utterly. None of the atheists I have seen posting rely on 'scientology' or 'shaky science'. The atheists posting in the faith forum are generally very restrained and don't say 'scientifically that is wrong'. If I am wrong then please point to an example to support this notion.
Nor do I judge YOU when I criticise an assertion. I judge the assertion, using the tools of philosophy. I have nothing against you personally, but if you post an assertion in p&r then I will treat it like any other assertion and 'shake it' to see what drops off.
LittleBlackKitten
There's a line though where asserting science and belief crosses into offensive and becomes an attack, Chris. You might not intend to come off the way you do, but denying it doesn't change the fact that you do come off that way.
truespeed
Regarding bikermans style of debate,its interesting to note that its only in religious topics where its seen as an issue,i have seen him debate in an equally "robust" style in the politics forums as well as the science forums.
LittleBlackKitten
I wasn't limiting my point to just the Faith forum, it's just the prime example.
Bikerman
Well, I'm sorry if you feel like that. I am well aware that my 'style' of debate is pretty robust, but I usually make it a point to avoid personalising it and stick to the points made. If that is perceived as an attack then so be it, because it is how debates in science AND philosophy are normally conducted.
watersoul
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
And that is how the scientisty people end up coming off to us. I'm sure the roles are reversed from their point of view. Does that put it into perspective, Watersoul?


Urm... does that put what into perspective?
Was it an answer to my question which was directed solely at Dean and his specific (personalised) claim about my posting behaviour on the Faith forum?
I hadn't responded to any of your posts here so you can imagine my surprise to see my username mentioned.

I would certainly like to read his reply before assuming your comments are his response by proxy.

...and with regard to the Poster A/B scenario, I don't recognise anything in my 'Faith' postings which would come anything close to that style.
If you are aware of any examples of such behaviour though it could be useful to share them, if only to help me adapt my posting style - I would personally be quite surprised to see it but everyone has their own perspective and perhaps some are clouded by defensive emotion at times.

@truespeed, Sorry if my comments appear off topic, but since my name was unexpectedly mentioned again I felt it appropriate to respond. It could assist the debate as well, perhaps, because my assertion is that the posting style is different in Faith than P & R, and my own posts in Faith are an example of that difference.
If others feel differently (as they appear to here) then quoted examples of the offending style of debate would seem far more useful than just anecdotal or 'circumstantial' evidence/assertions.
Ankhanu
watersoul wrote:
Was it an answer to my question which was directed solely at Dean and his specific (personalised) claim about my posting behaviour on the Faith forum?
I hadn't responded to any of your posts here so you can imagine my surprise to see my username mentioned.

To be fair here, watersoul, you posted the question publicly, in a public discussion forum; you can expect responses from unintended members Wink

For example, I'm gonna do it now...
watersoul wrote:
@truespeed, Sorry if my comments appear off topic, but since my name was unexpectedly mentioned again I felt it appropriate to respond. It could assist the debate as well, perhaps, because my assertion is that the posting style is different in Faith than P & R, and my own posts in Faith are an example of that difference.
If others feel differently (as they appear to here) then quoted examples of the offending style of debate would seem far more useful than just anecdotal or 'circumstantial' evidence/assertions.

I would also attest that my posting in Faith is different than in Philosophy and Religion as well. I tend to approach the discussions within the perceived context in which they were made, and when I have some difficulty I've asked for clarifications or help from the OP and other posters... mind you, more often than not the request for clarification is met with hostility rather than explanation (imo).
watersoul
Ankhanu wrote:
To be fair here, watersoul, you posted the question publicly, in a public discussion forum; you can expect responses from unintended members Wink
Yep of course, I should remember sometimes Wink
I guess I was just wrapped up in the whole 'Only problem at the time was that Bikerman/Watersoul/Ankhanu kept distracting the discussions with the typical Phil&Rel type debates' thing, and I was more interested in Deans response because I feel the statement is inaccurate, there is a noticeably different posting style in Faith.
deanhills
@Watersoul. My experience with quoting evidence has not been very positive, so I'm not going to play into your hands a second time round. All you need to do is check through the threads yourself and you'll be able to see you're a majority poster in the Faith Forum. I don't see any difference in your views in the Faith Forum and Phil&Rel Forum, except in absence of Indi you seem to be more domineering in the Faith Forum than you are in the Phil&Rel Forum. I'd say in most cases in the Faith Forum, particularly the posts that have been made in the last six months or more, your views have been identical to Bikerman's.

Back to the topic of this thread, Truespeed suggests that the debate in the Faith Forum is like an extension of that of the Phil&Rel Forum, and I agree with him. By virtue of the same people who are posting in the Phil&Rel Forum being the majority posters in the Faith Forum.

Although there had been an expectation initially for the Faith Forum to be something different where different spiritual topics could be explored without typical interruption, that never managed to take off, except for a brief period when Dan was Moderator of the Forum. This of course underlines the need for the right kind of Moderator to be around for the Faith Forum to be successful. If one can't be found, then perhaps it would be better to amalgamate it back with the Phil&Rel Forum again.
watersoul
Quote:
@Watersoul. My experience with quoting evidence has not been very positive, so I'm not going to play into your hands a second time round.
You previously failed to supply any evidence which convinced anyone other than you or one other member. I don't understand the 'play into your hands' bit though, you made accusations and I asked for quotes to substantiate the claims, as in this topic where you mentioned my username while discussing a 'problem'.
Quote:
All you need to do is check through the threads yourself and you'll be able to see you're a majority poster in the Faith Forum.
I enjoy the forum and have contributed where something has interested me, that is what forums are for.
Quote:
I don't see any difference in your views in the Faith Forum and Phil&Rel Forum
Well there wouldn't be any difference in views would there? I believe or dont believe x or y but I express my belief differently in Faith than P & R, in accordance with the different rules and expected behaviour.
Quote:
except in absence of Indi you seem to be more domineering in the Faith Forum than you are in the Phil&Rel Forum.
I've rarely posted in P&R since Faith was created, it is a nice alternative place to express opinion without the critical questioning one should expect in P&R.
Quote:
I'd say in most cases in the Faith Forum, particularly the posts that have been made in the last six months or more, your views have been identical to Bikerman's.
Urm...is that important at all? The issue is the style of debate not how similar the views of the posters are.
If my views are similar to anyone elses (or not) it is unimportant, depending on how they are expressed in either of the two distinct forums.
Quote:
Back to the topic of this thread, Truespeed suggests that the debate in the Faith Forum is like an extension of that of the Phil&Rel Forum, and I agree with him. By virtue of the same people who are posting in the Phil&Rel Forum being the majority posters in the Faith Forum.
Why is that an issue? The style of debate is clearly different.
Quote:
Although there had been an expectation initially for the Faith Forum to be something different where different spiritual topics could be explored without typical interruption, that never managed to take off, except for a brief period when Dan was Moderator of the Forum.
I noted at the time you appeared to share a similar openness to certain beliefs, therefore your praise for this particular staff member does not surprise me.
Quote:
This of course underlines the need for the right kind of Moderator to be around for the Faith Forum to be successful. If one can't be found, then perhaps it would be better to amalgamate it back with the Phil&Rel Forum
So, the complaint is really about the moderation and not the actual forum itself then? That is a strange reason to scrap a forum.
Personally I cannot see the problem with moderation, indeed in recent times it seems to have been a case of group decisions made in the staff forums dealing with multiple emotive posts complaining about individual moderators.
I would suggest the moderating team have been very lenient at times.
truespeed
For those using the faith forums,if you want to start a topic without debate why not just add for example "Believers only" in the topic title,this would then restrict the thread to like minded people. .
watersoul
truespeed wrote:
For those using the faith forums,if you want to start a topic without debate why not just add for example "Believers only" in the topic title,this would then restrict the thread to like minded people. .

Previous posters have stated 'no scientific evaluation/opposing views welcome' (or similar) in their opening posts, and this extra restriction has appeared to have been effective where I've noticed it.
Placing notes in the topic title would certainly make it more prominent, and presumably provide similar results.
deanhills
I find it very ironic, very paradoxical, very comical but also indicative of the failure of the Faith Forum. Bondings created a Forum for those who could apparently not cut it in the Phil&Rel Forum with robust debate. Now we have the regular "robust" debaters from the Phil&Rel Forum, not only debating regularly in the Faith Forum but also suggesting standards of debate for the Faith Forum as well. They are also not really listening to those for whom the Forum had been originally intended for.

As one of those for whom the Faith Forum was intended, I say either let the Faith Forum be what Bondings intended it to be, or amalgamate it back with the Phil&Rel forum. The only way that the Faith Forum can work is to have the right Moderator for it, one who understands the kind of topics that LBK and Dan751 for example introduced in July. That was also the only time that I ever really felt comfortable in the Faith Forum. When there was a Moderator who had an understanding for that kind of subject matter.

All of the current topics are typical Phil&Rel non-theist discussions. The exact same Phil&Rel forum crowd (with the exception of Indi) are posting in the Faith Forum as well. Apart from this not being the original objective of creating the Faith Forum, I just don't see the sense of this duplication at all.
truespeed
Is it really so difficult for those of faith,whether it be a belief in religion or a belief in psychic abilities or whatever to just add "believers only" to their titles,it would cut out all the member squabbling over what is and what isn't acceptable in the faith forum as once the thread discussion is defined it will either include some members or exclude them from joining in.
Bikerman
Well, speaking with my mod hat on, I cannot sanction people specifying who can and cannot respond to a particular posting. Any user has the right to post on any topic, within the TOS.
I can, however, see that in the faith forum this could be a 'way ahead'. It would have to be understood that posters were voluntarily choosing not to reply to any such posting, and they were not actually forbidden from doing so. With that proviso then it might be worth considering.
Ankhanu
truespeed wrote:
Is it really so difficult for those of faith,whether it be a belief in religion or a belief in psychic abilities or whatever to just add "believers only" to their titles,it would cut out all the member squabbling over what is and what isn't acceptable in the faith forum as once the thread discussion is defined it will either include some members or exclude them from joining in.

Bikerman wrote:
Well, speaking with my mod hat on, I cannot sanction people specifying who can and cannot respond to a particular posting. Any user has the right to post on any topic, within the TOS.
I can, however, see that in the faith forum this could be a 'way ahead'. It would have to be understood that posters were voluntarily choosing not to reply to any such posting, and they were not actually forbidden from doing so. With that proviso then it might be worth considering.
deanhills wrote:
... I say either let the Faith Forum be what Bondings intended it to be...

I agree that allowing "believers only" is a mistake... however, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, the OP can, under the Faith forum spirit and guidelines, limit the perspectives and contexts to be discussed or used to discuss the topic at hand. So far, OP posts have generally failed to do so. This is not a failure of the Forum and its concept, rather a failure of the people bringing the discussions to bear.

I used similar restrictions in a few threads I've created in other forums, but, users have had varying levels of response/adherence to the restrictions. Difference is, in the Faith forum, strict adherence would be required, rather than just polite. If you don't want certain avenues of discussion, state it, and state it plainly if you want to be clear about it. Once it's there, it sets the tone/context for everything that follows.

The failing is in the thread creation, from my perspective, not in the spirit or format of the forum... nor necessarily in the people who are participating.

deanhills wrote:
... The only way that the Faith Forum can work is to have the right Moderator for it, one who understands the kind of topics that LBK and Dan751 for example introduced in July. That was also the only time that I ever really felt comfortable in the Faith Forum. When there was a Moderator who had an understanding for that kind of subject matter.

Moderation is important... however, as outlined above and previously, I don't think it is the reason for the forum's shortcomings. It's the users, not the moderation that has failed (though there are instances where I would certainly have made different moderation choices). The key is users who understand the concept of the forum, more than it is moderation of users who don't.
From where I stand, I think your preference for Dan's moderation comes not from his actions as a moderator, but, rather, as a community member. I can't recall anything specific, from a moderator action standpoint, that Dan really did that was special. However, as a forum user, Dan did set a decent example within the forum.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Well, speaking with my mod hat on, I cannot sanction people specifying who can and cannot respond to a particular posting. Any user has the right to post on any topic, within the TOS.

True, I will agree that even in the Faith forum, the OP can't specify who can and can't reply.
But they can specify what they can and can't say in their replies.

(And it's automatically against the rules there to reply to "let's talk about X" with "no reason to because X, Y, and Z don't exist".)
Bikerman
Yep, no problem with that.
SonLight
The idea of the OP specifying the rules of debate does not seem wise to me, and perhaps it is a little demeaning. It reminds me of a Peanuts comic strip where Linus (I think) keeps using weird rules to get an advantage in a marbles game, then when it's his turn he says, "no overs, no kneesies" ... well, you get the idea. Lucy looks askance at the situation, and hollers "kicksies!" upsetting the whole game layout.

I like the idea of having a "Philosophy" forum, from which religious viewpoints would clearly not be excluded, and a "Religion" forum which would not have specific rules, but an understanding that religious viewpoints should be treated with respect. Perhaps there could be sub-forums based on the beliefs of those particular groups.
truespeed
Well so far all the theists who have contributed don't want it,it seems the only ones wanting to keep it are atheists who want to keep it on their behalf.
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
Personally I cannot see the problem with moderation, indeed in recent times it seems to have been a case of group decisions made in the staff forums dealing with multiple emotive posts complaining about individual moderators.
I would suggest the moderating team have been very lenient at times.
Nonsense. Bondings always intended for the Faith Forum to have its own independent Moderator so it could work as he had intended the Faith Forum to work. Instead of the Faith Forum turning into an "atheist light" Sub-Forum of the Phil&Rel Forum. Isn't that the real reason you are posting in the Faith Forum as well? You're not completely partial to the Phil&Rel robust debate style as per Indi's confrontational style?

truespeed wrote:
Well so far all the theists who have contributed don't want it,it seems the only ones wanting to keep it are atheists who want to keep it on their behalf.
Not completely true. Check the discussions when Dan751 was around. I liked the topics he opened for discussion as I'm sure those had been in sync with Bondings' objectives for the Forum.

The topics that had been intended for the Faith Forum don't come with scientific evidence, and so with all of those who tried those topics, LBK gave a really good picture of how the discussions went. It was only when Dan751 was around, that he managed to get the discussion of those topics going, but not always very successfully, as "scientists" kept hugging the threads with it does not exist discussions and "where is the proof"? What LBK had to say below is a very good example of how those discussions usually went:

LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I do understand the basic human need to have "proof" of something - and to need that proof on a perfect, flawless platter - but for some people, basic circumstantial evidence is enough, while others need the whole judge and jury.

In the case of those who need proof, it ends up looking something like this:

Poster A: "I believe in X. What do you think of X?"
Poster B: "I believe X is like this. It can be like this, too."
Scientist A: "What is your proof of x? This theory here and this unrelated fact here mixed with this opinion here is why X can't possibly exist."
Poster A: "X exists to me, that's all that matters."
Poster B: "I had a personal experience with X."
Scientist B: "X is a total farce, because of this theory and something about space-time mechanics and history here. Your 'personal experience' there with X is easily explained by a frontward slash and a backwards slash, or a less-than sign and greater-than sign trying to breed. X simply does not exist."
Poster A: "Trying to breed? How is that anything related to the X we are talking about up there?"
Scientist A: "B, don't feed the trolls, they clearly don't understand."
Poster B: "You're calling US trolls?"


And that is how the scientisty people end up coming off to us. I'm sure the roles are reversed from their point of view. Does that put it into perspective, Watersoul?
truespeed
deanhills wrote:


truespeed wrote:
Well so far all the theists who have contributed don't want it,it seems the only ones wanting to keep it are atheists who want to keep it on their behalf.
Not completely true. Check the discussions when Dan751 was around. I liked the topics he opened for discussion as I'm sure those had been in sync with Bondings' objectives for the Forum.



I only meant the theists who had contributed to this topic.
deanhills
truespeed wrote:
deanhills wrote:


truespeed wrote:
Well so far all the theists who have contributed don't want it,it seems the only ones wanting to keep it are atheists who want to keep it on their behalf.
Not completely true. Check the discussions when Dan751 was around. I liked the topics he opened for discussion as I'm sure those had been in sync with Bondings' objectives for the Forum.



I only meant the theists who had contributed to this topic.
Me too. I thought you said that the theists wanted to do away with the Faith Forum. Theists being LBK and I as we had participated in the discussion. I then tried to let you know that we are for the Faith Forum as it was intended to be. So it is a "yes" if it can be as it had been intended to be, including a Moderator like Dan751 who has an understanding for the topics that had been envisaged. And a "no" if it is to continue as an "atheist light" Sub-Forum of the Phil&Rel Forum.
truespeed
deanhills wrote:


Me too. I thought you said that the theists wanted to do away with the Faith Forum. Theists being LBK and I as we had participated in the discussion. I then tried to let you know that we are for the Faith Forum as it was intended to be. So it is a "yes" if it can be as it had been intended to be, including a Moderator like Dan751 who has an understanding for the topics that had been envisaged. And a "no" if it is to continue as an "atheist light" Sub-Forum of the Phil&Rel Forum.


Both you and Little Black Kitten are not happy with the faith forum as it is,it also seems (to me) that both you and LBK would only be happy with the faith forums if atheists were kept out,which personally if it were my forum i would take that option,but its not mine and the forum rules say there is to be no exclusion,so its a bit of an impasse.
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
Nonsense. Bondings always intended for the Faith Forum to have its own independent Moderator so it could work as he had intended the Faith Forum to work. Instead of the Faith Forum turning into an "atheist light" Sub-Forum of the Phil&Rel Forum.
The original intention was never to exclude atheists though, this appears to be a new suggestion.
I was under the impression that Faith is a forum for all spiritual beliefs or lack thereof.
Should there now also be calls to exclude any Buddhists who do not worship or believe in a deity?

deanhills wrote:
Isn't that the real reason you are posting in the Faith Forum as well? You're not completely partial to the Phil&Rel robust debate style as per Indi's confrontational style?
As I said previously, I enjoy sharing my own opinions in the Faith forum due to it's unique rules.
I'm puzzled as to why a member who is not participating in this topic has been mentioned twice now? The point seems irrelevant to this discussion.
However, as someone who would try to avoid personalising this particular debate, I shall simply state that Faith is a nice place to make assertions without the need for a mastery of philosophy to quote previous studies/research or whatever.

I certainly cannot see how it would be equitable for atheists to be excluded from this forum, and if this were to happen it would appear be a clear case of intolerance from the religiously minded.
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Nonsense. Bondings always intended for the Faith Forum to have its own independent Moderator so it could work as he had intended the Faith Forum to work. Instead of the Faith Forum turning into an "atheist light" Sub-Forum of the Phil&Rel Forum.
The original intention was never to exclude atheists though, this appears to be a new suggestion.
I was under the impression that Faith is a forum for all spiritual beliefs or lack thereof.
Should there now also be calls to exclude any Buddhists who do not worship or believe in a deity?
You're right, that was never the intention. But at the same time, the Forum was not intended for atheists only, which in the end it turned out to be. There was also a hope for different topics that are spiritual ones for which there is obviously no scientific evidence. If you check my previous post I tried to explain exactly what those were. So did LBK. You can also check Dan751 discussions of July and that should give you an idea too.

deanhills wrote:
I certainly cannot see how it would be equitable for atheists to be excluded from this forum, and if this were to happen it would appear be a clear case of intolerance from the religiously minded.
You're now trying to start a discussion on something that there never was. No one has ever said that. Except you now. The request was simply for atheists to allow discussions in this particular Forum for which there is no scientific evidence, instead of hijacking those threads so that they could never get past the "where is the evidence" stage, when there was clearly no evidence any way. As far as I know one of the objectives for creating this Forum was to be able to do just that. Discuss subjects like transcendental meditation or telepathy without needing to provide scientific evidence of the variety that could only please the atheists who were posting in this Forum as well. In the end it turned into exactly that. And no theists posting as a consequence.

Do you see any theists posting in the Faith Forum right now? Who has really been excluded in the Faith Forum and by whom? And wasn't one of the objectives to accommodate those theists who apparently could not deal with robust discussion in the Phil&Rel Forum? Where are those theists now? And why are they not posting in the Faith Forum?
truespeed
Ankhanu wrote:
If you don't want certain avenues of discussion, state it, and state it plainly if you want to be clear about it. Once it's there, it sets the tone/context for everything that follows.

The failing is in the thread creation, from my perspective, not in the spirit or format of the forum... nor necessarily in the people who are participating.



I think this sums up how best to make the faith forums work for those of faith,we could go round in circles about why the faith forums aren't working,blame this person and that person,but for now it looks like its here to stay unless Bondings says otherwise so why not give it a chance.

Bikerman has agreed not to post in there any more,indi doesn't post in there,i don't post in there,the other atheists that have as far as i can see and the threads i have read have stuck to the spirit of the forum guidelines.

There really is no reason why the faith forum can't work,its just needs the willingness of the participants of the faith forum to make it work.
Tuvitor
In my opinion, a forum such as this one attracts people from many different backgrounds. I think the religious forum should remain open, as I believe a certain level of civilized debate is necessary for our own growth. Learning to debate well also helps solidify your convictions, or learn to question them. All in all, it's a good thing.

However, it should be made very clear that the forum welcomes ALL CREEDS for the purposes OF CIVIL DEBATE. Make it clear that your opinions can and probably will be challenged, so it is best that you enter the debate knowing exactly what you truly believe and why.

Perhaps certain threads can be marked [HAVEN] i.e. a Christian Haven, Muslim Haven, Agnostic Haven, etc... and those threads would not be about debate, but a place for people of a certain belief system to say whatever... I dunno, lots of details to work over, but a few adjustments of the format could make it work. However, I'm recently-returned, so I don't know a lot of the current history and controversy.
Ankhanu
Welcome back, Tuvitor Smile

Currently, the Philosophy & Religion fills that niche where a strong challenge should be expected to pretty much any idea put forth, religious or otherwise. As you say, it's a great way to develop an understanding of your own position as well as those of others... and maybe eventually dig into the truth Smile

The Faith forum was set up to be a little gentler; a place where religious topics could be discussed without challenge from all sides, but, rather, a guided discussion based on the context of the opening post. It's kind of a half-way ground between the debate of Philosophy & Religion, and the [HAVEN] idea you put forth... everyone can contribute, add to the discussion, but utter challenge would likely be prevented by the thread creator setting the stage saying that it wasn't welcome, and what avenues of discussion were. It's not quite a place restricted to believers of a particular path, and their views, but a place where those views or beliefs could be discussed within their own contexts.

The controversy comes from the fact that some debate and evidence seeking still occurred within the Faith forum, and it has largely been unused in recent months. My opinion is that the complaining thread creators left their thread topics too open-ended, allowing avenues of discussion they did not desire to enter, while sticking to the idea that the discussion must follow the contexts and restrictions outlined in the original post (generally, restrictions and criteria were not given, leaving the door of discussion wide open). So, it's basically a question of "should we bother keeping it around?" "What is its role?" and "How can the forum operate as it was intended?" I've stated my views on why it hasn't worked and what would make it work, and I think the forum has value... but not everyone agrees with me Wink
deanhills
truespeed wrote:
Bikerman has agreed not to post in there any more,indi doesn't post in there,i don't post in there,the other atheists that have as far as i can see and the threads i have read have stuck to the spirit of the forum guidelines.

There really is no reason why the faith forum can't work,its just needs the willingness of the participants of the faith forum to make it work.
Looks as though the theists are gone however. How do you think you could get them back again?
truespeed
deanhills wrote:
Looks as though the theists are gone however. How do you think you could get them back again?


Start a new thread and see what happens,if the thread is interesting to them and it is properly set up with guidelines about the threads purpose and limits then there should be no reason for them not to join in.
Ankhanu
Aye. Most of the theists that have been "driven away" are still on the board and reading. If they want to participate, they will. Otherwise, a good quality thread may catch the attention of new participants who will bring in a new perspective to help breathe life into the forums.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
Aye. Most of the theists that have been "driven away" are still on the board and reading. If they want to participate, they will. Otherwise, a good quality thread may catch the attention of new participants who will bring in a new perspective to help breathe life into the forums.
When I read a post like this I can't help but wonder where you've been when theists have been trying to let you know why they are not posting in the Faith Forum. There is a very good reason theists aren't posting in the Faith Forum. In this particular thread, LBK showed you exactly why she is not posting in the Faith Forum. Nothing to do with the topic of debate. Everything to do with the style of debate.

Let me quote it here again just in case you've missed it:
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
See, Chris and I are like-minded in the fact that we like talking about the same sorts of things and like the same type of intelligent conversation - we just have COMPLETELY different points of view; black and white, if you will. Where I get upset is where I say "White....GREY?" and Chris goes "No, that's black, because x y z and if you think that's white or grey, get your eyes checked. Its illogical to think it's white."

I don't want to have to avoid talking with Chris - with ANYONE - what I want to avoid is feeling judged and attacked because I offer my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. Faith was supposed to be a place where you could debate, but not ARGUE. Asking about someone's thoughts on the soul asks an opinion; not asking someone to take on the existence of the human soul, toss in some shaky science, and Scientology, and completely destroy the original intent of the topic, which many of the atheists manage to do.

I think what is needed is for moderators to step up in the Faith Forum and moderate the posts that move from offering a "this is what I think", to "This is the fact because of this opinion and fact and you have to listen".


This one by LBK a couple of posts later also gives an explanation:
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I do understand the basic human need to have "proof" of something - and to need that proof on a perfect, flawless platter - but for some people, basic circumstantial evidence is enough, while others need the whole judge and jury.

In the case of those who need proof, it ends up looking something like this:

Poster A: "I believe in X. What do you think of X?"
Poster B: "I believe X is like this. It can be like this, too."
Scientist A: "What is your proof of x? This theory here and this unrelated fact here mixed with this opinion here is why X can't possibly exist."
Poster A: "X exists to me, that's all that matters."
Poster B: "I had a personal experience with X."
Scientist B: "X is a total farce, because of this theory and something about space-time mechanics and history here. Your 'personal experience' there with X is easily explained by a frontward slash and a backwards slash, or a less-than sign and greater-than sign trying to breed. X simply does not exist."
Poster A: "Trying to breed? How is that anything related to the X we are talking about up there?"
Scientist A: "B, don't feed the trolls, they clearly don't understand."
Poster B: "You're calling US trolls?"


And that is how the scientisty people end up coming off to us.
Ankhanu
Dean, you're going out of your way to find conflict here.
What would pique the interest of current and future theist posters? Threads with content and a format they find attractive. What have my posts in this thread been discussing? How to achieve this. Have I discussed how to keep discussions there the way they are or have been? No, I've criticized it.

Simply put, if the threads are constructed the way they would like them, they'll post. It's really that simple.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
Dean, you're going out of your way to find conflict here.
I see it the other way round. In the post I was commenting on, you deliberately ignored all of the comments that had been made by theists in this thread as though they had not existed. From a common sense point of view the Faith Forum was created in the first instance for those who apparently could not cut it in the Phil&Rel Forum. They happened to be theists. It is very noteworthy from a "is the Faith Forum working out and should we be closing the Faith Forum?" point of view that those theists for whom the Forum had been intended are not posting in the Faith Forum any longer. Not only are they not posting in the Faith Forum any longer, but theists in this thread, and many other threads have given you their reasons why they are not posting there. You have chosen to ignore those reasons, deliberately so? I reminded you of them.
Ankhanu
I actually didn't ignore the complaints at all. The complaints were well encapsulated in my suggested solution. With the suggestions I have made the complaints would cease to exist as described by LBK, as the rules of the game would clearly be brought to bare and would exclude them from occurring in the first place. If the guidelines of a thread are well laid out from the outset, they should steer a conversation exactly as intended.

How does this, in any way, ignore the complaints that threads had not been going as intended? I'll answer, since the question was rhetorical: it doesn't.

The framework for the faith forum was that topics would be clearly (or not as the creator chose) defined from the outset to dictate the perspectives of discussion. From what I've seen, this was largely not done. If it is done, I think we'll see the desired outcomes (even if it may take some time for various theists to be comfortable).
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
It is very noteworthy from a "is the Faith Forum working out and should we be closing the Faith Forum?" point of view that those theists for whom the Forum had been intended are not posting in the Faith Forum any longer. Not only are they not posting in the Faith Forum any longer, but theists in this thread, and many other threads have given you their reasons why they are not posting there. You have chosen to ignore those reasons, deliberately so?

I'm still puzzled why few theists are posting though, because the style of debate is clearly different in Faith compared to P&R.
Indeed, my currently active Do you have any faith that there is a "soul" topic has seen interesting and differing views expressed in a civil manner which would certainly not have been mirrored in P&R.

I'm really stumped about which views you would like banned or moderated in Faith?
Consider your last reply in my "soul" topic where you stated 'I have very strong and definite anti-feelings against the above kind of remark.'
I asked you what was wrong with my remark six days ago and you appear to have ignored that, deliberately so?
I raise the issue here as I feel it is relevant to the topic while you criticise the style of posting in Faith, yet fail to adequately explain why it is so troubling to you.
How about take that particular posting of mine in Faith and explain exactly what you perceive as wrong with it, what the 'perfect' moderator would do (if anything) about it, and why?

It could be helpful to this discussion to understand the type of remarks you have strong and definite anti-feelings against?
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
The framework for the faith forum was that topics would be clearly (or not as the creator chose) defined from the outset to dictate the perspectives of discussion. From what I've seen, this was largely not done. If it is done, I think we'll see the desired outcomes (even if it may take some time for various theists to be comfortable).
And who will be moderating the OPs and topics then? Particularly in an environment where I've seen meanings of words so very cleverly twisted around all of the time. Someone for example starts a thread with how she arrived at her faith in Christianity, and you rebut it with how you lost your faith in Christianity. Citing all of the evidence why and then of course all the buddies join in like a chorus with citing their similar experiences and before we know it the thread has been hijacked into an opposite direction with all of the accompanying "clever" remarks. I've personally had enough of those games Ankhanu. And so have the other theists apparently as well.

This thread is a great example of why we probably are never going to get anywhere unless we have someone like a dan751 to lead and moderate discussions in the Faith Forum. A person who is both an outsider, has a really great sense of humour and a light and firm touch. And of course some spare time to lead the discussions.
truespeed
The only difference between dan and the other moderators is that he was a believer,he believed in God,he believed in psychics,in fact there wasn't much he didn't believe in,other than that i don't think he moderated better than any of the other moderators on this forum.

If what your saying is we need a moderator who is a believer in God to run the faith forums then that's open to debate i guess.
tingkagol
I do not know what is up with the faith forum these days (I rarely go there), but I do see some improvement in the P&R forum ever since the faith forum was introduced. There is now less hurt feelings, less derailing of topics, less pointing of fingers about who violated what TOS and so on and so forth... unfortunately at the expense of the faith forum.

I think the faith forum should stay. It just needs a generous moderator because judging from everything that has happened so far, it's going to be one hell of a forum to moderate. Smile

I think Deanhills should moderate the faith forum. He seems to have a firm grasp on why it was made in the first place. So yeah, I nominate Deanhills. There never can be 'too many' moderators for a message board like Frihost anyway, as long as they're willing.
Ankhanu
I assume you're referring to this thread? I see nothing "clever" about what I wrote, I felt it fit with the question "How has been your path to get where you are now? - iyepes, and it was a topic that I find fascinating… one of the main reasons why I felt the Faith forum might have merit. It was, unfortunately sparsely replied. This is also the first complaint I've had about my participation there since it was created 360 days ago.

You might also notice that mine was the only non-theist response in the thread; every other response before and after were theistic in nature. (Point there is that if you're seeing all my "buddies joining in like a chorus", you're imagining things) Sadly, I think I'm the only one who put any real effort into answering the question, even. Which is too bad, as, it's a topic with great potential for revelation, and one that I think is pretty important for anyone who holds the idea of belief to be important.

You say that improvement can only come with a moderator… well, we've had two good moderators in there and neither addressed the thread you were complaining about. Either it fell under the radar, or it wasn't a breach of the Faith forum or thread conditions. I even said in my response there: "My situation is not quite a path to faith, but rather a path from faith... but I think it fits with the concept of the OP... if not, a mod can move it to its own thread with a title like "personal conversion" or something." They have not talked to me about it, nor has it been split off.
On a broader scope, your feelings on a moderator and mine differ. You think a moderator will change everything automatically… I don't. A moderator can't do jack without a bottom-up effort; that is to say, a user-based effort. Either the users try to use the forum correctly (or at all), or they don't. If they don't a moderator isn't going to do jack. I suggest that we, as users, attempt to use the forum as intended, then a moderator can do their job (or, ideally a moderator won't have to do their job at all!). Build threads according to how they are desired, and I think most participants are willing to try and work within the established contexts for discussion. Self-moderation can be pretty dang effective in lieu of an effective outside agency. Personal responsibility is what I'm calling for; it's really not that insulting, nor radical. I can't understand why you seem to be taking that as an insult.

(bolding for emphasis, so the point isn't missed)
deanhills
tingkagol wrote:
I think Deanhills should moderate the faith forum. He seems to have a firm grasp on why it was made in the first place. So yeah, I nominate Deanhills. There never can be 'too many' moderators for a message board like Frihost anyway, as long as they're willing.

Long time since I've had such a hearty laugh Tingkagol. You've made my day ... Laughing

Quote:
I do not know what is up with the faith forum these days (I rarely go there), but I do see some improvement in the P&R forum ever since the faith forum was introduced. There is now less hurt feelings, less derailing of topics, less pointing of fingers about who violated what TOS and so on and so forth... unfortunately at the expense of the faith forum.
Surely you must have noticed that there are almost no theists posting in the Phil&Rel Forum ... there's a troll sticky in place and for some or other reason only theists qualify for being trolls .... Silenced

Ankhanu wrote:
On a broader scope, your feelings on a moderator and mine differ.
You're right, but I seem to be reading what you have to say, and you're either not reading what I am saying, and intentionally or unintentionally misunderstanding it. I referred to a specific experience of a Moderator that Bondings appointed to moderate the Faith Forum. Dan751. It worked great. Not only was he in sync with the theists, but he could hold his own with the atheists as well. I thought he did a tremendous job and was sorry when he left after July, when he got married. When he was around I felt quite OK to discuss subjects like telepathy without feeling intimidated or opening myself up to yet another round of "there is no evidence for this "woo woo" topic" discussion. I like his style of moderating, and I also like Bondings' style of minimalist but firm moderating. For the Faith Forum I think their style of moderating would be more ideal.
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
Surely you must have noticed that there are almost no theists posting in the Phil&Rel Forum ... there's a troll sticky in place and for some or other reason only theists qualify for being trolls


I just read the sticky in P&R and I honestly saw nothing which attributed any troll status to theists.
Does anyone else see a prescribed qualification of trolling which only applies to theists?

[Trolling sticky in P&R]

This perhaps?
Quote:
the moderators are going to take a less tolerant line with postings that are obviously either off-topic or simply assertion with no backing.

Making assertions with nothing to back them up is not necessarily a quality which is unique to theists though, it can be seen across the entire spectrum of differently minded people at times, atheists included.

...more unsubstantiated allegations about the forums, it's becoming tiresome, again.
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
...more unsubstantiated allegations about the forums, it's becoming tiresome, again.
Hardly unsubstantiated. Please note that the troll sticky has been edited down quite a bit since the first time when it appeared. At the suggestion of other moderators. The meaning of the original one had been crystal clear however, particularly if read with other threads that had been a precursor to the sticky. The sticky had appeared after a spate of complaints by Indi suggesting that Moderators had not been firm enough in moderating "troll" posts in the Phil&Rel Forum. If you are serious about getting to the truth, you need to read that sticky with a number of other threads that started with Proposal to posters on this forum.

This one was an important precursor as well:
In defense of atheism
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-125094.html

and

Positions of Power
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vp-1037465.html#1037465
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-126599-3.html

There is no doubt in the minds of the theists who had been at the receiving end of being accused of being trolls what the sticky was about. To them it had been no surprise when soon after the sticky had been put up their posts got spam canned and they were "firmly" dealt with. Indi of course was never reprimanded for backseat moderating. His contributions had been regarded as general advice to the Forum.
Ankhanu
deanhills wrote:
Ankhanu wrote:
On a broader scope, your feelings on a moderator and mine differ.
You're right, but I seem to be reading what you have to say, and you're either not reading what I am saying, and intentionally or unintentionally misunderstanding it. I referred to a specific experience of a Moderator that Bondings appointed to moderate the Faith Forum. Dan751. It worked great. Not only was he in sync with the theists, but he could hold his own with the atheists as well. I thought he did a tremendous job and was sorry when he left after July, when he got married. When he was around I felt quite OK to discuss subjects like telepathy without feeling intimidated or opening myself up to yet another round of "there is no evidence for this "woo woo" topic" discussion. I like his style of moderating, and I also like Bondings' style of minimalist but firm moderating. For the Faith Forum I think their style of moderating would be more ideal.


No, I haven't ignored what you've said regarding Dan, and I don't disagree that Dan was a good moderator... in fact, I've addressed the topic of Dan's moderation quite directly. Do review the contents of the thread before accusing others of having not listened.

Ankhanu wrote:
deanhills wrote:
... The only way that the Faith Forum can work is to have the right Moderator for it, one who understands the kind of topics that LBK and Dan751 for example introduced in July. That was also the only time that I ever really felt comfortable in the Faith Forum. When there was a Moderator who had an understanding for that kind of subject matter.

Moderation is important... however, as outlined above and previously, I don't think it is the reason for the forum's shortcomings. It's the users, not the moderation that has failed (though there are instances where I would certainly have made different moderation choices). The key is users who understand the concept of the forum, more than it is moderation of users who don't.
From where I stand, I think your preference for Dan's moderation comes not from his actions as a moderator, but, rather, as a community member. I can't recall anything specific, from a moderator action standpoint, that Dan really did that was special. However, as a forum user, Dan did set a decent example within the forum.


Now, the point on your comfort in posting while Dan was around is a completely valid one. You felt reassurance due to his presence, but, that's really the only major change his moderation made; he did a good job as a moderator, but no better a job than others, such as ocalhoun or Bondings made. You were comfortable with Dan because Dan openly disagreed with Bikerman, and that made you feel good. This had little to do with his moderation and everything to do with the content of his posting as a user and his status as a moderator. It wasn't his moderator actions, just his status, that made him a "good moderator" in this context.
That a moderator you're comfortable with can change how you look at the exact same information is valid... psychology is an interesting thing. But, from where I sat, the moderation looked little different.

I could be off base in this observation, I admit, but it is what I feel.

So, I haven't ignored your stance on a moderator... I just think it's secondary to a user-based effort. I can't help but feel I've said this before.
tingkagol
Quote:
Long time since I've had such a hearty laugh Tingkagol. You've made my day ...

Well, I wasn't joking, so...

Quote:
Quote:
I do not know what is up with the faith forum these days (I rarely go there), but I do see some improvement in the P&R forum ever since the faith forum was introduced. There is now less hurt feelings, less derailing of topics, less pointing of fingers about who violated what TOS and so on and so forth... unfortunately at the expense of the faith forum.
Surely you must have noticed that there are almost no theists posting in the Phil&Rel Forum ... there's a troll sticky in place and for some or other reason only theists qualify for being trolls ....

Well, I haven't noticed that. There are quite a few theists posting in there - most of them muslims if I remember correctly.

Quote:
there's a troll sticky in place and for some or other reason only theists qualify for being trolls ....

It did not necessarily mean theists automatically 'became trolls' though. The way I saw it prior to the Faith forum, the label 'troll' in P&R usually involved theists who got too emotional when their assertions were being challenged, which would then lead to off-topic bickering about who said what, etc. It was quite tiresome to look at.

But count me out of it, I wasn't much into the whole stereotyping and labeling thing. It's probably the last thing I would subscribe to in this board.
truespeed
I think we need to move on,instead of linking to old posts and reigniting an imagined division,why not focus on what can be done with the faith forums and how better to make that happen.

Lets assume there will be no new moderators and that dan is unlikely to come back.

What will it take for theists to post in the faith forums?
Ankhanu
truespeed wrote:
... why not focus on what can be done with the faith forums and how better to make that happen.

Lets assume there will be no new moderators and that dan is unlikely to come back.

What will it take for theists to post in the faith forums?


Aye, focus on what we can control, not what is outside of our influence.

I've brought up my potential solution(s), and still feel they're good. But, perhaps I should think of other ways as well.
tingkagol
truespeed wrote:
What will it take for theists to post in the faith forums?

The topics just need to be more appealing to them.

Personally, I don't really see myself posting a lot in that forum. I'd much prefer posting in P&R where things are a bit more... controversial. Smile



edit: 1000th. yay.
loremar
Has anybody even checked Bikerman's last three postings in faith forum?
I can't see anything more appealing than how archaeology puts all the pieces about the history of your religion.

I think theists should check that. This is also a perfect time for them to challenge some of these archaeological findings.

Well, about the faith forum. Doesn't everyone think that not allowing posters to disagree and speak about why they disagree is intolerant to freedom of speech? Religion is an idea or a view. And like any other ideas and views, it can't be helped that some people disagree.

Although I think that faith forum is a great thing where everyone is encouraged to express their faith, I don't think that making absolute restrictions make it a healthy forum. There must be some threshold where some faiths are not immune to debate or challenge.

I mean there must be a borderline between delusion and religious faith. What if somebody thinks that planet earth will end in December 31, 2011 through some alien invasion? Not allowing people to disagree against it is just crazy. Even some religious people would dare to challenge such faith.

Maybe some number of affirming frihost members or a reference to other people who thinks of the same faith should be required before this faith deserves some merit and should not be debated heavily. Until then, people should be allowed to challenge this faith.

What do you think?



tingkagol wrote:
edit: 1000th. yay.

Congrats for the new rank. I'll beat you. Just wait. Razz
truespeed
In theory yes,but then it becomes a redundant forum as that is what P&R does,and all you end up with is theists getting offended and no debate or discussion taking place.

I don't see any harm in having a forum specifically for people of faith,i don't see it as an infringement of my freedoms,you or i wouldn't go into a church and start practising our freedom of speech,i suppose you could say its different because its private property and our viewpoint would not only be unwelcome but also our presence would only be allowed with permission of the priest.
loremar
Yeah, I guess so. Bondings have the right to censor anyone here. But I was assuming that Bondings intended Frihost as a community where everyone has the right to speak their mind and that everyone owns some space here for their thoughts. With that spirit in mind, I thought we all have somehow some sort of freedom of speech here, like any other free country with citizens each having their own freedom of speech.

What I'm suggesting is that we should leave some space where faith can be challenged if it deserves to be challenged. I was thinking that faith can be valid if other people agree. That is just based on how I think faith is established in the real world. People validates their faith by checking if other people agree. Maybe it would be a great idea if at least one person agrees before saying that such faith is valid for the faith forum. Maybe a moderator can jump in and warn members from debating if two people already agree with their faith.

If no one agrees with the person's faith, then maybe the poster needs some reality check. Debate with other members would be perfect for that.

Also, the OP can perhaps provide reference where such faith is already an established faith if no member can agree. What if say for example some poster made a post that's completely different interpretation in the bible. He should at least give a reference where some religion already have that same interpretation. Or at least another poster agrees with him.
deanhills
loremar wrote:
Has anybody even checked Bikerman's last three postings in faith forum?
I can't see anything more appealing than how archaeology puts all the pieces about the history of your religion.

I think theists should check that. This is also a perfect time for them to challenge some of these archaeological findings.
After all of this time with Bikerman, I'm sure theists can't be blamed for being suspicious of his intentions for posting three threads simultaneously in the Faith Forum, all of them knocking the Old Testament. Why the Faith Forum and not the Phil&Rel Forum? Bikerman has posted a great number of threads on topics of the Old Testament in the Phil&Rel Forum, and those theists who are still around still remember what the content of those discussions had been.

Check the topics and any wonder that there was no response from the theists in the Faith Forum?

Topic No. 1: The Wife of God
Quote:
Here's something which might interest Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Did your God have a wife?

Nice wording .... just the kind that will motivate theists to participate in a discussion? Wink

Topic No. 2: Was the Garden of Eden Real?
At least not as flaming as the first topic, but knowing Bikerman's views on the Garden of Eden, knew what his intention had been for posting it.

Topic No. 3: More questions concerning the Old Testament
Interesting, but not worth responding to. Bikerman has had a number of threads about the Old Testament in the Phil&Rel Forum, so theists know where he probably is going to go with a discussion about this.
Ankhanu
You're making assumptions on the intent of those threads, and making assumptions that the content of discussions would not follow the contexts provided in the OPs. Essentially, you lack faith in the Faith forum Razz

Personally, I thought those threads had strong potential for a faith style discussion. Unfortunately, it seems that few watched the videos to discuss them. If you actually watched the videos, you'd see that none of them are knocking the Old Testament at all, rather they are explorations of their content with an historical context. They do present non-traditional interpretations of the material, but they are not really an affront at all... Though if the findings hold merit (the merit of which is the real intent of the discussion, I think) a couple of them could rock some traditional stances... But I doubt they would really undermine the general stance of Christians/monotheists.
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