Author Topic: Being nice to theists  (Read 6166 times)

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Offline kymer

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #58 on: March 26, 2012, 12:15:56 PM »
It's amazing omen how according to you I'm saying nothing, yet you still manage to make an issue out of nothing. I'm going to be away from my computer for the next couple of hours. I imagine when I get back you will have written an entire essay on nothing.

Offline Omen

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #59 on: March 26, 2012, 12:19:25 PM »
It's amazing omen how according to you I'm saying nothing, yet you still manage to make an issue out of nothing. I'm going to be away from my computer for the next couple of hours. I imagine when I get back you will have written an entire essay on nothing.

This is a red herring.

Do you not know the definition of a platitude or why I would say it is a platitude?
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #60 on: March 26, 2012, 12:20:58 PM »
Kymer could you point to some examples please? At least then we can address them more directly.

For your attention:

Quote from: Rules
Discussion threads are for discussion of the topic at hand, not simply advertising one's opinions. As such, forum members are expected to back up assertions they make, and not engage in stonewalling, shifting goalposts, changing the subject, or employing similar tactics to avoid addressing points raised against their arguments.
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Offline kymer

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #61 on: March 26, 2012, 02:46:37 PM »
So I'm asked to give examples of how to apply diplomacy. Well actually I was hoping members could use their own imaginations. It's absolutely unbelieveable that the basics of human conduct have to be explained.

Offline Omen

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #62 on: March 26, 2012, 02:49:18 PM »
So I'm asked to give examples of how to apply diplomacy.

And what you accused atheist here of doing.  You're trying to weasel away from the subject again.

Quote
Well actually I was hoping members could use their own imaginations. It's absolutely unbelieveable that the basics of human conduct have to be explained.

We have no way of knowing what kind of poor reasoning you're using behind your qualifications, especially considering you already accused atheist here in this community of doing something that you have yet to cite a valid example for.  Your descriptions are incredibly vague and uninformative.  So far your complaint isn't any different then desiring to censor individuals from asking theist to be responsible for their claims, based on nothing more than you don't like something you can't adequately explain.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 02:51:02 PM by Omen »
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Offline penfold

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #63 on: March 26, 2012, 05:24:05 PM »
Some of my own ideas on civility in debate:

Always use a respectful tone when talking to people. This helps with ensuring that discussion remains reasoned and not emotional. This is the key to a discussion as opposed to an argument.

Never ever use insults. Ideally no comment should be directed at the other person; only their ideas. (for example "I disagree with the idea that personal data can be collected by the government" as opposed to "you are a Nazi")

Always be humble; no one has got everything right. We are all fallible and make mistakes. Point out mistakes politely. (ie Point to a "contradiction" as opposed to, say, accusing other person of being a "hypocrite".)

Don't punish people for asking questions or having a point of view
ie
kymer, from now on I will be giving you a -1 every time I can for not answering Omen's questions and not trying whatever method you think is best, rather than asserting its existence without further clarification. In other words, I will be giving you a -1 for not putting up or shutting up.
EDIT: If the mods think that this is unreasonable, they are free to tell me not to do so, and I will comply (obviously).


On some issues, it is okay to hold more than one point of view. It adds to the richness of ideas.

The world will always have its fair share of idiots, if someone is deliberately irritating you just walk away.


......................................
Actually all of these things are rational. I teach have learnt from experience than a sympathetic approach will always work better than making someone feel like an idiot (in fact making a student feel stupid only makes them withdraw and become harder to teach). When trying to persuade people kindness works.

This is even backed up by neurology; if you use aggressive language ("idiot, stupid, hypocrite" etc...) the recipient's amygdala will fire off, their body will alter at an epigenetic level and be flooded with stress hormones (all in less than a second!), making them far more likely to become emotional rather than rational. We all intuitively know this in face-to-face conversation with each other; but for some reason the anonymity of the internet seems to impede this natural common sense.

peace
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 05:31:50 PM by penfold »
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Offline kymer

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #64 on: March 26, 2012, 05:36:23 PM »
I agree with you Penfold. And I'm glad that you gave an example of punishing people for asking questions or having a point of view. As your quote illustrates, lucifer was doing just that. I have learned a lot from my experiences in the ER, as well as the advice given to me by moderators. Unfortunately some members are still living in the past. There is no longer any excuse for anybody to tell me that I should take responsibility for my conduct because it's in the past and I shouldn't have to pay for it forever, and now the attention ought to be turned squarely onto the conduct of certain members.

I also notice that it's teachers who tend to be aware of what proper conduct is all about.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 05:51:57 PM by kymer »

Offline HAL

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #65 on: March 26, 2012, 07:35:15 PM »
So I'm asked to give examples of how to apply diplomacy.

Let's see you in action Kymer. You can be "The One". Here's the latest postings from ILOVEYOU. You can be our emissary to this member. Now, please go forth and show us how Kymer does it.

What I care about is when evidence contradicts my beliefs when taken out of context. In which happens all of the time. No, in fact your science doesn't contradict my beliefs. Whether its evolutionary, historically or archaeologically. I see science as mans way of studying and examining GODS creation. When used for and with good intent. Without perversion and malicious intent of what has been already established by GOD. But by no means is it fit to measure GOD. Science can only examine the creation. Science is mans method of trying to understand that of which it does not understand. Then applying that knowledge for useful purposes. But then again, not all knowledge gained is used for and with good intentions. IMO.

...
Because it's the truth.
GOD reveals Himself by those who put faith in Him. True Faithtm is taught by GOD.

Science is not the same thing and it is taught of men.

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My children will be fine. After all, GOD is the best (Teacher) story teller there ever was, is, or will be. He is the best at everything.

Offline caveat_imperator

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #66 on: March 26, 2012, 07:45:25 PM »
I also notice that it's teachers who tend to be aware of what proper conduct is all about.
I've noticed from your posts that you tend to not be aware of what proper conduct is all about, which would make you a horrible teacher.
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Offline Zankuu

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #67 on: March 26, 2012, 07:49:13 PM »
Let's see you in action Kymer. You can be "The One". Here's the latest postings from ILOVEYOU. You can be our emissary to this member. Now, please go forth and show us how Kymer does it.

O Lord, bless kymer's diplomacy grenade, that with it he mayst blow thine enemies irrationality to tiny bits, in thy mercy.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #68 on: March 26, 2012, 09:03:58 PM »
Some of my own ideas on civility in debate:

Always use a respectful tone when talking to people. This helps with ensuring that discussion remains reasoned and not emotional. This is the key to a discussion as opposed to an argument.

Can you back up earlier insinuations you made about the community with real world examples, so that we better understand what you're claiming rather than relying on the vagaries and potentially your own bias towards favoring the dishonesty of another party.

Quote
Never ever use insults. Ideally no comment should be directed at the other person; only their ideas. (for example "I disagree with the idea that personal data can be collected by the government" as opposed to "you are a Nazi")

Can you reasonably identify anyone on this forum that does this repeatedly?

Quote
Always be humble; no one has got everything right. We are all fallible and make mistakes. Point out mistakes politely. (ie Point to a "contradiction" as opposed to, say, accusing other person of being a "hypocrite".)

Can you reasonably identify anyone on this forum who claims to know everything?  Examples?

Quote
Don't punish people for asking questions or having a point of view

Can you reasonably identify anyone on this forum who punishes people for having a point of view?  Examples?

Quote
kymer, from now on I will be giving you a -1 every time I can for not answering Omen's questions and not trying whatever method you think is best, rather than asserting its existence without further clarification. In other words, I will be giving you a -1 for not putting up or shutting up.
EDIT: If the mods think that this is unreasonable, they are free to tell me not to do so, and I will comply (obviously).


On some issues, it is okay to hold more than one point of view. It adds to the richness of ideas.

The world will always have its fair share of idiots, if someone is deliberately irritating you just walk away.

What's wrong with holding people accountable?
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Offline kin hell

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #69 on: March 26, 2012, 09:05:56 PM »

>snip<


This is all very well penfold, but like kymer you seem to be avoiding the issues that have been raised many times in this thread already

1. Where is the evidence of your claims?  That should be easy to provide, as obviously your "honest opinion" is based on evidence.
2. Where do you address the idea that some theists have not the slightest intent to do more than preach, and have no intent whatsoever to debate?
3. Do your laws of civility apply to those who by their very posts indicate rudeness and dishonesty, and a complete disinterest in rational debate?
4. Without expecting you to prove a negative, have you bothered to search any relevant threads in regards to how effective this forum is in regards to de-converting theists?  If you haven't then let me be another to inform you that your "guess" that no one has been de converted is wrong.
5. As a matter of "honest opinion" informed by knowledge, will you now retract that inaccurate claim?


I am astounded that you and kymer without any effort of providing the least amount of  requested evidence of your own, and in the face of many specific refutations, still want to claim that theists are met from the get go with aggressive  attitudes.

Have you still not bothered to read the frequent threads that discuss this idea?

You both are displaying some pet strawman that seems to be built to your imaginary perception, and you are both dodging completely the reasonable requests for some evidence of the behaviour that you claim defines this forum.

I fucking loathe the apparent hypocrisy of anyone presuming to pass general judgement on an entire forum, who state we (all inclusive) are too aggressive (implied: to everyone), but when asked to give evidence of that (supposed aggression being the default setting for all theist encounters by all atheist members), prefer not to even address the issue. 
Dodging like the best theist dodger.

You don't get to pass judgements on the whole forum without providing evidence, that it is exactly the sort of disrespectful behaviour that upsets some of the forum members, and is likely to be treated with the contempt such disrespectful behaviour deserves.

Have you considered the benefit of proving me wrong (and proving wrong the others here who ask for evidence because they don't believe you have any evidence but are just making shit up)?
If proved wrong, as an honourable and honest human I'd have to acknowledge my error, and you'd be proven right.

All it takes is you to provide specific evidence to back up your strawman is not a strawman.

Because if you and kymer don't provide the evidence, but continue to school us on our "supposed bad" behaviour based solely on your unsubstantiated claims, then truthfully I'd have to say you two are being obviously disrespectful and disingenuous at best. 

"Honest opinion" is a claim that requires being backed up by honesty.

Are you at all concerned that you have been shown to be wrong already in some facts, but you haven't been seen acknowledging that error yet at all?



 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 09:07:43 PM by kin hell »
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Offline Omen

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #70 on: March 26, 2012, 09:13:20 PM »
Actually all of these things are rational. I teach have learnt from experience than a sympathetic approach will always work better than making someone feel like an idiot (in fact making a student feel stupid only makes them withdraw and become harder to teach). When trying to persuade people kindness works.

So you were being sympathetic when you categorically generalised the entire community, through an insulting insinuation of the actions of the people here?

and it is hard to keep a level tone when called an idiot from the outset.

Perhaps you had the best intentions when you sought to portray overall the actions of the community as unfairly insulting theist, without ever bothering to provide reasonable examples?

disappear after being harangued and insulted.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #71 on: March 26, 2012, 09:15:54 PM »
I agree with you Penfold. And I'm glad that you gave an example of punishing people for asking questions or having a point of view. As your quote illustrates, lucifer was doing just that.

That is clearly not the case, you were being punished for not answering questions and not being honest.

Quote
here is no longer any excuse for anybody to tell me that I should take responsibility for my conduct because it's in the past and I shouldn't have to pay for it forever,

So you're going to start answering questions now and providing the burden of proof for your claims or are you admitting that you're knowingly going to flaunt the rules of the forum?
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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #72 on: March 26, 2012, 09:40:10 PM »
Quote from: HAL
Let's see you in action Kymer. You can be "The One". Here's the latest postings from ILOVEYOU. You can be our emissary to this member. Now, please go forth and show us how Kymer does it.

Always worth giving it a go Kymer. :) I've not engaged ILY myself , but you're welcome to try. I don't know how knowledgeable you are on any religious topics, but I'm always open to trying new ways of engaging people. Though I tend to think I am playing nice and still find myself being led around in circles and facing evasive manoeuvres rather than a balanced discussion, but I am willing to accept it if people are capable of showing me where I'm wrong.

Realistically you're not going to convert ILY away from his beliefs as the chances of people being converted over to the other side is slim. But do you think you can get a reasonable discussion? I don't know what ILY is like, but I guess sometimes if you've got a method you think'll work then it's always worth testing.
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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #73 on: March 27, 2012, 01:58:45 AM »
Always be humble; no one has got everything right. We are all fallible and make mistakes.

No. If I think something is true, I will act as if I was right. Being humble is PC BS. It's assuming you're wrong. That's both counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

Don't punish people for asking questions or having a point of view
ie
<snip>

Liar. Plain and simple. I am punishing kymer for not providing evidence for his claims and being utterly vague about what magical method we should use to talk to theists. You have been a little less vague (although your method has been attempted several times and failed), but he hasn't. In fact, the only times he's not so vague is when you post; when he says he agrees with what you say.

I'm glad that you gave an example of punishing people for asking questions or having a point of view. As your quote illustrates, lucifer was doing just that.

Uh... No. kymer, why do you lie when the truth is so clear to everyone?[1]
kymer, from now on I will be giving you a -1 every time I can for not answering Omen's questions and not trying whatever method you think is best, rather than asserting its existence without further clarification. In other words, I will be giving you a -1 for not putting up or shutting up.
 1. This goes for you too, penfold. I don't like liars.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 02:41:30 AM by Lucifer »
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Offline penfold

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #74 on: March 27, 2012, 04:18:17 AM »
@ Omen & Kin Hell: It is fair to ask people to back up their claims, and I notice Omen did before; I am sorry for ignoring you. However I am afraid I will disappoint. What I have been saying is honestly held and I have every confidence that it would be apparent to anyone comparing the discussions on these forums compared to the discussion had in the real world.

I am not going to answer your specific queries for three reasons.

Firstly while I do find this forum too aggressive for my taste (there have been times here where I personally have been made upset by things said to me) I am not claiming any moral high ground. My advice above was exactly that. Advice. I have no special say in how this place runs, that is a communal choice. All I wish to do is add my opinion, because this is an issue that has been bothering me for a while (if you look through my more recent posts this should be clear).

Secondly I don't want to name individuals. I have no interest in starting anything. As I said all I wish to do is voice my opinion as a long time member of this community.

Thirdly, I have had a long and busy term and am finally on holiday; I am trying to arrange a trip to Ireland to visit some friends who've just had a baby (they live in a mormon community - wish me luck :)) and my girlfriend's birthday is on Saturday. So I am afraid I will beg off, I just don't have time to trawl through old threads. I don't think what I am claiming is actually that contentious. In fact, and without mentioning names, you can see more than a few aggressive tactics being used in this thread. I believe in the post above I am called a "liar" - twice!

Anyhow, I apologise if you or anyone else thought I was being pejorative (which I was, there is huge variation between members and how they write* - but its a hard topic to talk about without doing so) and if people thought I was being insulting or denegrating (which I don't think I was, or, at least, never intended to be.)


No. If I think something is true, I will act as if I was right. Being humble is PC BS. It's assuming you're wrong. That's both counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

To my mind this is dangerous. Moreover it is exactly what we criticise in many theists. Having said that Aristotle would agree with you, he thought that modesty was a vice, a kind of dishonesty. Maybe you're right; all I would say is that in my experience, humility works better in getting people to really discuss things and in terms of persuading others of your point of view.


peace


---------
edit:

* I thought I might say a little more here. I should add that there are many members of this community who are bright engaging and witty writers and this has lead to some excellent threads. I, personally, have been enriched by this forum. I is just that over the last 18 months I have begun to find the other side, the anger and the name-calling too wearing. I miss this place but I find it harder and harder to come back.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 04:57:23 AM by penfold »
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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #75 on: March 27, 2012, 04:22:08 AM »
To my mind this is dangerous. Moreover it is exactly what we criticise in many theists.

The difference being that theists use fallacies and lie to "justify" their position. I don't do the latter and I constantly check for the former.

Maybe you're right; all I would say is that in my experience, humility works better in getting people to really discuss things and in terms of persuading others of your point of view.

From my experience, either people will listen to reason or they won't.
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Offline penfold

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #76 on: March 27, 2012, 04:41:09 AM »
To my mind this is dangerous. Moreover it is exactly what we criticise in many theists.

The difference being that theists use fallacies and lie to "justify" their position. I don't do the latter and I constantly check for the former.

Well I agree that a lot of theistic thinking is muddled. I am not sure that they lie, that implies intention. If I honestly believe something to be the case and it turns out not to be true then I am not lying, I am merely mistaken.

Interestingly it is not that theists are wrong that bothers me, more it is their insistence on being right and the behaviour that this is used to justify (egs education policy, contraception, gay rights, foreign policy, etc...) Most of us in the real world compromise, the people who are certain they, and only they, are right terrify me.

Quote
Maybe you're right; all I would say is that in my experience, humility works better in getting people to really discuss things and in terms of persuading others of your point of view.

From my experience, either people will listen to reason or they won't.

Being a teacher a big part of my life is trying to get people who won't listen to listen. It is always a balancing act. Some kids do respond to being directly challenged, they tend to be the more confident and intellectual students. However most kids will withdraw unless nurtured; sometimes it is my job to praise bad work or sloppy thinking. By getting people to engage and feel that they are capable of taking part in intellectual discussions real learning can take place. People are funny; maybe it would be a better world if reason held sway but the reality is that people are emotional and complex. A one size fits all approach is unlikely to get very far.

peace
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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #77 on: March 27, 2012, 04:48:36 AM »
Well I agree that a lot of theistic thinking is muddled. I am not sure that they lie, that implies intention.

Oh, they lie. We have a theist here, rockv12, who keeps saying that evolution has not been proven, despite endless replies showing evidence for it. When I tried your approach, he acknowledged that evolution was true, only to reveal that he had been lying all along in the very next post he made.

However most kids will withdraw unless nurtured; sometimes it is my job to praise bad work or sloppy thinking.

If you nurture the idea that their crap is good, they will keep doing crap. It's simple logic.

People are funny; maybe it would be a better world if reason held sway but the reality is that people are emotional and complex.

Reason holds sway to those who are willing to face the truth. The rest are cowards and/or liars and/or idiots.
EDIT: Yes, I realize that this might seem a little harsh to you, but it's the truth. If you can prove otherwise, I'll be glad.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 05:35:19 AM by Lucifer »
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Offline sun_king

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #78 on: March 27, 2012, 05:39:43 AM »
Penfold, the theists here are no students, they are supreme beings who have seen and felt god. They are morally superior to us and destined to go to heaven. They are all knowing, their statements are always right, so right that even a hint of evidence is a waste of time for them. If they can descend a bit, we can try to be nicer. This Sunday I will be nice, civil and humble to all theists no matter what they do!

How about setting an example Penfold? Pick up any active thread and answer a question that the theists have consistently ignored, answer with honesty and we can see if the responses are rude or returning the same courtesies. You will be surprised. Are you game? Any active thread...


Offline HAL

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #79 on: March 27, 2012, 06:36:51 AM »
Bumping my post. Hello Kymer? See below -

So I'm asked to give examples of how to apply diplomacy.

Let's see you in action Kymer. You can be "The One". Here's the latest postings from ILOVEYOU. You can be our emissary to this member. Now, please go forth and show us how Kymer does it.

What I care about is when evidence contradicts my beliefs when taken out of context. In which happens all of the time. No, in fact your science doesn't contradict my beliefs. Whether its evolutionary, historically or archaeologically. I see science as mans way of studying and examining GODS creation. When used for and with good intent. Without perversion and malicious intent of what has been already established by GOD. But by no means is it fit to measure GOD. Science can only examine the creation. Science is mans method of trying to understand that of which it does not understand. Then applying that knowledge for useful purposes. But then again, not all knowledge gained is used for and with good intentions. IMO.

...
Because it's the truth.
GOD reveals Himself by those who put faith in Him. True Faithtm is taught by GOD.

Science is not the same thing and it is taught of men.

...
My children will be fine. After all, GOD is the best (Teacher) story teller there ever was, is, or will be. He is the best at everything.

Offline kymer

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #80 on: March 27, 2012, 06:56:30 AM »
HAL, that's not really a good example of a theist's thread which would be hard to respond diplomatically to. There's nothing even to be diplomatic about. ILY feels that there's no contradiction between science and his religious beliefs. In fact he feels that science is not only compaible with it, but it backs it up. If I was to respond to him I would ask him to elaborate on the things that science says which back up his beliefs.

How would you respond, HAL?

Offline HAL

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #81 on: March 27, 2012, 07:01:37 AM »
HAL, that's not really a good example of a theist's thread ...

Oh that was just an example of what comes out of ILOVEYOU's mouth. I can arrange for you and that member to have your own thread where you can conduct yourself according to whatever example you want to make. You teach us the way of The One.

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How would you respond, HAL?

No, you raised the point. I'm trying to find out if you can put out. At work we used to say if you want to complain, then you better have an example of the solution. Are you ready to put out or not?

EDIT: This offer goes for Penfold too, but I see he's too busy these days
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 07:05:48 AM by HAL »

Offline kymer

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #82 on: March 27, 2012, 07:09:38 AM »
I don't think many atheists here have the capability to be diplomatic with others. The entire discussion is not even realistic, ie it would not occur in real life. Whenever I encounter this, I ask myself if certain members are using the format of a forum to get away with conduct which in real life would be unthinkable. The so-perceived "killer" argument is "show me evidence" (followed by a smug little grin at the keyboard). The fact is that you either get it, or you don't. A person incapable of exercising diplomacy asking a person who is for evidence of members not being diplomatic is not a genuine effort at understanding. It is nothing more than a set up, because whatever the other person says, it will be met with a response which further displays a lack of understanding. This is why I personally don't bother wasting my energy responding to such requests. If you don't know how to be diplomatic, or you're unwilling to be diplomatic, there is nothing anyone can say to get through to you. Sometimes in life you just have to take advice and figure it out for yourself, rather than intellectualising all meaning out of what you're being told. Teachers know this. They know that sometimes you have to just say your piece and leave them to mull it over, or not, as the case may be. They'll either get it or they won't. I'm not here to spoonfeed certain members, I'm merely making a valid point about diplomacy, and I won't be providing any evidence of anything whatsoever because if you don't get something as basic as diplomacy, you won't get it no matter what else is said. Experience is a great teacher, and wasting time making excuses and playing games isn't going to teach you anything. We all know what the word diplomacy means, and we either agree that it should be used, or we do not. We clearly do not. Everything else is pointless game playing. Go figure it out for yourself.

Offline penfold

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #83 on: March 27, 2012, 07:10:05 AM »
Oh, they lie. We have a theist here, rockv12, who keeps saying that evolution has not been proven, despite endless replies showing evidence for it. When I tried your approach, he acknowledged that evolution was true, only to reveal that he had been lying all along in the very next post he made.

I don't doubt some theists lie, I just doubt that they do more than any other group. We should be careful not to stereotype, as I was rightly pulled up for earlier.

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However most kids will withdraw unless nurtured; sometimes it is my job to praise bad work or sloppy thinking.

If you nurture the idea that their crap is good, they will keep doing crap. It's simple logic.

(i) Logic is a system of testing the consistency of beliefs; logic cannot tell you what to do.
(ii) Any education worker would disagree with you. Getting people engaged is an important step. We don't criticise an infant for saying "ma-ma" rather than "mother"; its a process. If kids are praised for making an effort they will be more inclined to make an effort in the future. It's simple science (ref Pavlov, Skinner).

Penfold, the theists here are no students, they are supreme beings who have seen and felt god.

Sure some are, and I think this place weeds these people out (see below). However the pejorative view that all theists are zealots is unfair. In my own life this is not my experience. I live in a largely Muslim area in south London; its a quiet community, the high-street is full of family run business. On a friday night young muslims go out to flirt over an ice-cream after mosque. They go to local multicultural schools and crime is low for a poor area. Of course there are also problems. There is a shocking record of discrimination against a muslim sect called the Amadya; I am personally uncomfortable with the veils etc...

At work one of my colleges is an evangelical Christian. He is a fantastic teacher, never once have I heard him proselytize to kids. Many of the students I teach are theists. On the course we go through the classical proofs of God and then use Hume and Kant to joyfully demolish them. They learn about Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, they study the problem of evil and various theodicies. Some might end up atheists, some will retain their faith. But all of them understand and engage with the issues. Never once has faith become a problem in my classes.

My point is this. Most theists are pretty ordinary people; they are complex and feel that awe and uncertainty which is characteristic of being. Most people are curious and want to learn about the world. All it takes is providing space for that to happen. In my opinion that is what this forum could be; but for the reasons I talked about earlier I don't think it is.

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How about setting an example Penfold? Pick up any active thread and answer a question that the theists have consistently ignored, answer with honesty and we can see if the responses are rude or returning the same courtesies. You will be surprised. Are you game? Any active thread...

I would love to, but the problem is that this site does not attract curious engaging theists. This is my main point. Every time I come here and try to find a real debate between people, I usually find pantomime battles where each side resorts to cliche and name-calling within a couple of posts. I know this is not reflective of the real world, I have had many engaging discussions with theists in my time. Some of the greatest intelligences I have known are theists. Sometimes real, fascinating, debates do emerge at WWGHA, but it is often between the atheists here rather than theists and atheists. I promise when I find something to say I'll say it; and over the years I have. I hope that for the most part I do keep my posts civil.

peace
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

Offline HAL

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #84 on: March 27, 2012, 07:15:23 AM »
Sometimes in life you just have to take advice and figure it out for yourself, ...

I see. So you can't put out. Thanks, now we know for sure.


Offline sun_king

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #85 on: March 27, 2012, 07:45:46 AM »

Penfold, the theists here are no students, they are supreme beings who have seen and felt god.

Bold mine.

This is one example, Penfold. "Here" implied this forum. I can tell you about Kato and Bumblebee who lives across the street, ferocious atheists, but with the manners and humility of Gandhi. When we talk about the arrogance and condescension of the theists here, there is absolutely not point in telling about the nice Starsky and Hutch who live in Alagesia.

How about setting an example Penfold? Pick up any active thread and answer a question that the theists have consistently ignored, answer with honesty and we can see if the responses are rude or returning the same courtesies. You will be surprised. Are you game? Any active thread...

I would love to, but the problem is that this site does not attract curious engaging theists. This is my main point. Every time I come here and try to find a real debate between people, I usually find pantomime battles where each side resorts to cliche and name-calling within a couple of posts. I know this is not reflective of the real world, I have had many engaging discussions with theists in my time. Some of the greatest intelligences I have known are theists. Sometimes real, fascinating, debates do emerge at WWGHA, but it is often between the atheists here rather than theists and atheists. I promise when I find something to say I'll say it; and over the years I have. I hope that for the most part I do keep my posts civil.

peace

Second example, I politely asked you to set an example and you conveniently shifted the goal post. I will let you be the judge here, you can say if it was civil. IMHO, being civil doesn't only mean some sugar coated sentences, sometimes actions too are required.

DEFCON 5

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Being nice to theists
« Reply #86 on: March 27, 2012, 07:54:27 AM »
HAL, that's not really a good example of a theist's thread which would be hard to respond diplomatically to. There's nothing even to be diplomatic about. ILY feels that there's no contradiction between science and his religious beliefs. In fact he feels that science is not only compaible with it, but it backs it up. If I was to respond to him I would ask him to elaborate on the things that science says which back up his beliefs.

How would you respond, HAL?
I'm going to jump into the fire here, and attempt to be as diplomatic as possible. Please understand, when faced with this level of lack of knowledge and/or understanding of what is contained in the Bible (which ILOVEYOU has stated already in this forum that he accepts without question), as well as the lack of understanding on the role that the Bible has played throughout its bloody history, it is really difficult not to become "undiplomatic" in the face of such blatant ignorance and self deception.

ILY's primary claim here is that not only are science and religion not incompatible, he believes that science supports religion. OK. Tell me Kymer, do you not find such an assumption insulting to your intelligence? Because you should. I'll spell it out for you.

There are numerous statements in the Bible concerning many matters of science, from Astronomy and Biology to Mathematics and Meteorology. Science has shown those statements to be utterly false, to the point of being ludicrous. Insects have 6 legs, not 4. The Earth is not flat, nor the center of the solar system, galaxy, or universe. Bats are not birds. Disease does not come from spiritual uncleanliness or demons, and cannot be cured with animal blood, anointing with oil and incantation. The Earth is not 6-10 thousand years old. There were not plants before sunlight. The entirety of earth's living things were not created in a matter of a couple of days. The Bible doesn't explain fossil remains of creatures not described in the Bible. There's no passage that says "And the Lord did send unto Pharaoh and the people of Egypt a plague of Velociraptors" (now THAT would have been impressive! Jurassic Park: Ancient Egypt).

So, given that such "scientific" claims made by the Bible and it's advocates have been shown to be completely absurd, this lends support to the idea that science does NOT support religion. Only once it becomes completely obvious do the religious then do their revisionist magic and say "But of COURSE! God did it all along!". This in spite of the fact that they previously asserted for centuries and even milennia that it COULDN'T be that way, because it's not the way described in the Bible.

Given that the Bible is supposed to be the truth as revealed by the word of an Omnimax God, there is no room for this type of revision. I have a few objections to it.

1. Religious People[1] claim that one of the main faults of science is that it is always changing its mind to fit new evidence, and as such does not present a consistent world view over time. This same trait the Religious People want to claim as a virtue when applied to their faith. You can't have it both ways, especially since the whole point of science is to provide the best explanation for things given the maximum number of evidence. It is naturally self correcting so that it it continues to provide better explanations and provide more evidence. This is not the case with religion. Religion claims that the Bible[2] is THE FINAL WORD on EVERYTHING. It is the ONLY consistent worldview. Morality comes from God/the Bible, truth is found there, and any attempt to explain otherwise is blasphemy punishable by death. Note that this was the official position of Religious People for centuries (and still is for many people). There is no room for changing your view to fit the best evidence.

2. As I touched on at the end of 1, religion has traditionally (and violently) subverted any attempt to question its authority in any matter. There was just no possible way that a Church's interpretation of it's divinely revealed Holy Book could be wrong. Now that they have practically no choice to admit that they were in fact wrong, they instead say "Oh well, this is just all part of God's Mysterious Plantm and He must have created life but used Evolution to shape it to what it is now, and oh of course the Earth is a slightly oblate sphere that orbits the sun, isn't God's creation beautiful and perfect? Can we be friends now?" I simply have to quote Christopher Hitchens at this point: "Religion now comes to us in this smiley faced, ingratiating way. Because it's had to give up so much ground and because we now know so much more. But you've no right to forget the way it behaved when it was strong, and when it really did think that it had God on its side!"

Science seeks better explanations through observation, experimentation, analysis, debate, and consensus, whereas Religion seeks to impose its God's will on everyone, and there is no appeal, no debate, no consensus, no real attempt at explanation other than "God did it, so there! And if you don't agree, then burn in hell!"

In conclusion, I can't see how two such diametrically opposed systems could ever be considered to be in concert with one another.

Now for the undiplomatic part. Anyone in any industrialized nation, who, having been present, conscious, and sober for at least half of their academic career, should be able to reach the above conclusion in approximately 5 minutes. Those who are unable to do so convict themselves of being incredibly ignorant and lacking in areas of critical thinking and rational assessment. In other words, they are fucking morons, and happy to be so. I, as well as at least a few others here, have very little tolerance for such stupidity. Anyone posting here obviously has internet access and therefore access to virtually unlimited information, knowledge, and enlightenment, and apparently willingly chooses to forgo such an experience and instead place their trust in faith. Not only that, but they feel that because of this they are to be accorded some special place of honor and protection, and that somehow believing something without evidence is a virtue. I feel that it is a laughable trait. It's like the idiots on "Finding Bigfoot". Even my 8 year old son realizes what a bunch of delusion ass hats the BFRO are. People like this expect to be taken very seriously when their proposition is absolutely absurd. The same is true of religious people, hence why such dubious claims as the religious tend to make are often met with sharp criticism. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
 1. Note: Since I am assessing the claim made by ILY that science supports religion, and religion supports science, using a general term "Religious People", though admittedly broad, seems appropriate to this discussion.
 2. Or whatever religious text you like
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?