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Dead Zone => The Bottomless Pit => Topic started by: Not on the fence on March 21, 2010, 12:13:13 AM

Title: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 21, 2010, 12:13:13 AM
So being raised in a christian family, everyone, (except for one) is a strict, brethren christian.  You are a non believer now.  Do you risk your relationship with your family by telling them that you dont believe anymore?
Or just let it go?  I would not tell my parents as they are very old, and in the last stage of their lives, but it would probably get back to them if the rest of the family knew.  My siblings are in their 50's so they are not going to be open to anything I say.  I just get so frustrated sometimes when things are said, and I cant say how I feel. :shrug

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Astreja on March 21, 2010, 12:29:31 AM
Given that it would probably cause distress to your parents, I'd try to steer conversations away from the subject of religion altogether to avoid saying something in the heat of the moment.  If parents were not in the picture, you'd have to consider the non-religious aspects of your relationship with your siblings and ask yourself which is worse:  Losing the relationship, or enduring the stress of keeping up a false front.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: penfold on March 21, 2010, 02:10:31 AM
I suppose it's an ethical question. On the one hand you, quite rightly, have no desire to cause distress to your parents. On the other you want to be honest with your family. It's a tough one.

My own view is that the occasional well placed lie is part of the glue that keeps families together. The truth has a way of being a very destructive force.

Whatever you decide, best of luck.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: kindred on March 21, 2010, 02:45:43 AM
Depends. Pros and cons have to be weighed though. How good is it for me, for the family member? Do I like said, family member? Will it hurt me or him to a degree that isn't justified? Etc.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: One Above All on March 21, 2010, 02:54:02 AM
if it were me, if they asked or made a question assuming i still believed, i'd tell them
EDIT: but it's your family. you have to think about how they'd react
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Al Stefanelli on March 21, 2010, 08:02:38 AM
So being raised in a christian family, everyone, (except for one) is a strict, brethren christian.  You are a non believer now.  Do you risk your relationship with your family by telling them that you dont believe anymore?
Or just let it go?  I would not tell my parents as they are very old, and in the last stage of their lives, but it would probably get back to them if the rest of the family knew.  My siblings are in their 50's so they are not going to be open to anything I say.  I just get so frustrated sometimes when things are said, and I cant say how I feel. :shrug



My wife and I maintain a "don't ask don't tell" philosophy in our marriage, which works swimmingly for us.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: jetson on March 21, 2010, 08:11:32 AM
You can tell them without being disrespectful. 
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 21, 2010, 08:20:39 AM
So being raised in a christian family, everyone, (except for one) is a strict, brethren christian.  You are a non believer now.  Do you risk your relationship with your family by telling them that you dont believe anymore?
Or just let it go?  I would not tell my parents as they are very old, and in the last stage of their lives, but it would probably get back to them if the rest of the family knew.  My siblings are in their 50's so they are not going to be open to anything I say.  I just get so frustrated sometimes when things are said, and I cant say how I feel. :shrug

If there is nothing that you would accomplish by telling them, except for maybe having the fleeting feeling of "success!" that you told them, maybe it's better to let sleeping dogs lay.  Go about your life separately, except for family get togethers.

Whenever religious talk starts up with my family, it's time for me to get more potato salad or hit the pee room.  Or, "hey, isn't that song...."
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Sashka on March 21, 2010, 09:10:57 AM
Why can't you say how you feel? Saying what you really think IMO reflects the respect you have for them. If you're feeling that expressing your opinions is somehow harmful towards your relationship, then you should ask yourself, and them, do they respect you?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 21, 2010, 09:35:35 AM
Why can't you say how you feel? Saying what you really think IMO reflects the respect you have for them. If you're feeling that expressing your opinions is somehow harmful towards your relationship, then you should ask yourself, and them, do they respect you?

For me, it all comes down to how much I care about retaining the relationship.  My relationship with family members goes beyond religion, and there are other cares, needs, and history that I feel I wish to maintain.  It isn't all about what I feel about God and their faith, there is more to it.  And, yes, the ones I care about respect me, they just disagree with me, and they aren't a particular pain in the neck about it.  Just the same, I find no reason to get into arguments with them, or discuss something that they aren't prepared to examine honestly -- and I am usually in no mood to have the same discussion again for the 1000th time.  Been there, done that.

In other cases, I can be much more dismissive of others if they don't like what I feel about religion.  I have some family members of this kind who I don't care too much about.  And I don't keep friends for too long if they are real believers.  I cannot respect their faith, and in most cases, they don't really understand why I don't believe.  Those relationships usually disintegrate, anyway.  But, anyway, I end up caring so little for those particular people's thoughts that I don't need to discuss it with them, either.

Generally, I am comfortable enough with my own atheism that I don't need anyone's input on its value.  I also have no burning need to set any of them "straight" -- besides, any attempts of my own to do this in the past have ended with less than desirable effects, one way or the other. 
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 21, 2010, 11:33:01 AM
Thanks for the replies, I think I will keep it to myself for now. I am 42 but still considered the "Baby" of the family.  I do not feel respected by them at all, but I still want to keep a relationship with them.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: ReasonIsOutToLunch on March 21, 2010, 11:42:10 AM
My life is awful in so many ways. But, at least not in this area. My family might be crazy, but only a few are delusional. However, if there was a family member that was a theist and I cared a lot about him/her, I would keep my mouth shut. I wouldn't tell anyone else that would tell them either. Because, it's just not that important to me to disabuse people of their delusions. Sure, it's fun to point and laugh at strangers. But, family is a whole different thing. This is all assuming that the family member in question is no danger to society and doesn't push their views(a hate agenda) onto the rest of the community.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 21, 2010, 01:44:13 PM
I would say leave it alone; after all, they are all adults and are free to lead their own lives, and you yours.  If your parents ever try to bring it up, just say that you would prefer to not discuss it for your own reasons.

But does anyone else see the irony here (which is all too often played out)?  It is usually the christian (the person who claims love, peace, forgiveness, and a moral high ground) who is the one who is holding the threatening stick of condemnation, fear, guilt, ostracism, etc?  Why is that, and who gave them that right or power?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: mommykicksbutt on March 21, 2010, 02:05:14 PM
Tough one.  If there is nothing to be gained and everything to lose I'd keep it to myself for the time being.  Keep a finger on the family pulse and if things change later in the future then reassess the timing again on this matter.  Otherwise, change the topic when religion comes up and don't volunteer an opinion pro/con on anything religiously related.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 21, 2010, 03:38:02 PM
...But does anyone else see the irony here (which is all too often played out)?....

It was never lost on me.  I frequently told others that they were not being too Christian when they behaved that way.  It was not a welcomed comment when I did that, for sure.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 21, 2010, 03:53:35 PM
NOTF:  What, in total, do you want out of your relationship with your family?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: VacuusMonastica on March 21, 2010, 04:20:31 PM
So being raised in a christian family, everyone, (except for one) is a strict, brethren christian.  You are a non believer now.  Do you risk your relationship with your family by telling them that you dont believe anymore?
Or just let it go?  I would not tell my parents as they are very old, and in the last stage of their lives, but it would probably get back to them if the rest of the family knew.  My siblings are in their 50's so they are not going to be open to anything I say.  I just get so frustrated sometimes when things are said, and I cant say how I feel. :shrug



I understand your position. I realize if I would come out and tell my family it would hurt them (I am sure they have suspicions but they won't fully accept that maybe this has happened). I started this "journey for truth" not very long ago, and yet in that time I've learned so much more about the world and reality and just how everything works without having to rely on supernatural explanations. I am a happier person, though that came at the cost of feeling like I was just floating in space with no real direction and spinning in a confusion of what happens now, what's next. It's been worth it.

I am sure they could never see it from my perspective because they haven't taken the prerequisites so to speak. They haven't took a good honest look at it all without letting religious dogma influence their thought, they haven't fought with the fear that tells them they are doing something extremely wrong and could be damned for it. They just can't see if from where I stand now. I understand this and so I choose, at least to my most loved and cherished family members, to remain silent and grin and bear it.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: jetson on March 21, 2010, 09:05:30 PM
Thanks for the replies, I think I will keep it to myself for now. I am 42 but still considered the "Baby" of the family.  I do not feel respected by them at all, but I still want to keep a relationship with them.

I would love to have a relationshop with my father, but he doesn't respect me.  It hurts sometimes when I think about it, but I can no longer pretend that the relationship is good.  I have occasional conversations, but overall, there's nothing substantial between us.  I'm his only son.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: plethora on March 22, 2010, 06:57:39 AM
It's all a matter of what's more important to you.

For me, it is more important to be honest. If someone can't handle the fact that I do not believe in a god, it's not my fault.

However, if religion seldom comes up and your efforts are minimal, keeping a good rappor with your family may outweigh the need to be honest about your lack of belief.

My family and I have reached a compromise where we just don't talk about it. That's the best because the relationships can continue and no one has to be a hypocrite.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: VacuusMonastica on March 22, 2010, 07:50:29 AM
I would love to have a relationshop with my father, but he doesn't respect me.  It hurts sometimes when I think about it, but I can no longer pretend that the relationship is good.  I have occasional conversations, but overall, there's nothing substantial between us.  I'm his only son.

All because of religion? That's really sad, Jetson.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Noman Peopled on March 22, 2010, 07:53:27 AM
Personally, I'd risk family relationships not for being right, but for expressing what I think and feel. It can be very hurtful, yes, but I would take it over lying by ommission for the rest of my life.

Family is overrated, imo; losing contact to a family member, for me, wouldn't be any worse than losing contact to a long-time friend. Which is of course lamentable but not absolutely so. Sometimes it's better to break relationships then keeping them up under false pretenses.

But that's what I'd consider the right course for me. I don't know you or your circumstances, after all.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Aerial on March 22, 2010, 09:02:03 AM
Totally opposite to Noman Peopled ^ although I understand his view...but because I have an elderly mother, that takes precedent. In my case I am very fortunate, my mum is a christian but with a sense of humour....she joined one of these forums, just for me.  :D
Other than that...I have nieces and nephews who are religious. I try keep my mouth shut actually...because I think the most powerful lesson is the one learnt yourself. If they can come to terms with the non existence of God themselves? That is waaaaay powerful....
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Petey on March 22, 2010, 09:46:59 AM
I can totally understand about not wanting to upset elderly parents.  Luckily, my parents were in their 40's when I "came out" to my family.  As for the rest of the family (and generally anyone under 70), I'm of the opinion that honesty is the best policy.  I'm not saying that you need to announce your position unprovoked or try to convert anyone.  But if someone asks you a direct question about religion, you should just tell them what you really think (and defend that position if they press you on it).

If they can't have a mature, adult relationship with you simply because of a difference of religious opinion, then they are the ones with the problem.  If they value and respect you as a person, then differences of opinion may lead to some interesting debates, but it should not end or permanently damage the relationship.  If it does, then either one party (or both) need to seek professional help, or the relationship wasn't based on much substance in the first place.


Edit: Forgot to clarify.  It's not a matter of being "right".  It's simply a matter of being honest with yourself and others.  And of course, all of the above is moot if you feel that announcing your position would lead to physical or financial harm.  Survival ranks a bit above honesty.  ;)
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Aerial on March 22, 2010, 10:08:14 AM
Oh yeah...I do agree ^ if the parents are younger, it might be worth having a debate. Cos that is more about being yourself amongst adults....and I agree it might not be worth hiding in that situation.
Really it is all about age....I would not advise a 15yr old to come out when relying on their parents....I would not advise a 40 yr old to challenge their 80yr old parents....but in between? Maybe....
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Noman Peopled on March 22, 2010, 10:17:58 AM
Totally opposite to Noman Peopled ^ although I understand his view...but because I have an elderly mother, that takes precedent. In my case I am very fortunate, my mum is a christian but with a sense of humour....she joined one of these forums, just for me.  :D
Yeah, I wouldn't dream of touting my opinion about this as the thing to do. People have different needs and views. And context is immensely important.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 22, 2010, 01:51:51 PM
So being raised in a christian family, everyone, (except for one) is a strict, brethren christian.  You are a non believer now.  Do you risk your relationship with your family by telling them that you dont believe anymore?
Or just let it go?  I would not tell my parents as they are very old, and in the last stage of their lives, but it would probably get back to them if the rest of the family knew.  My siblings are in their 50's so they are not going to be open to anything I say.  I just get so frustrated sometimes when things are said, and I cant say how I feel. :shrug



I understand your position. I realize if I would come out and tell my family it would hurt them (I am sure they have suspicions but they won't fully accept that maybe this has happened). I started this "journey for truth" not very long ago, and yet in that time I've learned so much more about the world and reality and just how everything works without having to rely on supernatural explanations. I am a happier person, though that came at the cost of feeling like I was just floating in space with no real direction and spinning in a confusion of what happens now, what's next. It's been worth it.

I am sure they could never see it from my perspective because they haven't taken the prerequisites so to speak. They haven't took a good honest look at it all without letting religious dogma influence their thought, they haven't fought with the fear that tells them they are doing something extremely wrong and could be damned for it. They just can't see if from where I stand now. I understand this and so I choose, at least to my most loved and cherished family members, to remain silent and grin and bear it.
  Exactly....well put....that is how I feel.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: SimpleCaveman on March 22, 2010, 02:12:26 PM
Family is everything. As dysfunctional as my family is, they're still my family. Being so far away from them, I may not interact with them as much as I like or should, but they are my family and I would do many things for them that I may not do for others.

At the same time, I guess I'm lucky that our family has always spoken their mind and we can talk about anything. We have all kinds of beliefs in our family (e.g. some don't like Eraserhead) and we all respect each other enough to let each other have those beliefs and still be family. It's a tragedy when families are divided for whatever reason. Even more so when it's initiated by a Christian.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: kindred on March 22, 2010, 09:30:34 PM
Heres a question for you. Why do you guys love your family in the first place? I only love SOME family members. The rest I don't give a shit about, some I hate to the point that I'd murder them if their weren't any consequences.

Why do you love said family member should be taken into consideration.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: L6 on March 22, 2010, 09:52:00 PM
Do you risk your relationship with your family by telling them that you dont believe anymore?
Yes. It is every atheist's responsibility to do so. Without reading the responses below, I guarantee that several people have given cowardly excuses as to why they refuse to initiate this conflict. Unless your family will kick you out of the house and stop paying for college if you open up, there is no excuse.

How does a minority gain momentum? By getting people in the majority to fight for them. How many people are fighting for atheists? Nearly none. Why? Because people don't identify with us. Why not? Because they don't even know who we are. Who are the only people in the world guaranteed to at least grant you an audience, an initial hearing? Your family. Who is most likely to identify with you even if they don't fully agree with you? Your family. Who is most likely to fight for you even if they don't share your views? Your family. Who is going to tell other people--and be believed--that atheists can be good and moral people who deserve a voice in society? Your (theistic) family.

When people realize that their views can hurt their family members, particularly their children, their behavior is more likely to change.

You want to complain about theists? You want to benefit from the work of other atheists? In my mind, until you tell your family, you have not earned that right.

Edit: I just read all the replies, and damn was I right. What a bunch of spineless cowards. You don't need to fight or debate your family; it's as simple as saying you don't believe. Most people avoid conflict and will probably leave it alone after that. It's their knowing at all--and that you are a good person, to boot--that is important.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 22, 2010, 10:16:40 PM
Quote
How does a minority gain momentum? By getting people in the majority to fight for them. How many people are fighting for atheists? Nearly none. Why? Because people don't identify with us. Why not? Because they don't even know who we are. Who are the only people in the world guaranteed to at least grant you an audience, an initial hearing? Your family. Who is most likely to identify with you even if they don't fully agree with you? Your family. Who is most likely to fight for you even if they don't share your views? Your family. Who is going to tell other people--and be believed--that atheists can be good and moral people who deserve a voice in society? Your (theistic) family.

When people realize that their views can hurt their family members, particularly their children, their behavior is more likely to change.

You want to complain about theists? You want to benefit from the work of other atheists? In my mind, until you tell your family, you have not earned that right.

Well put, L6.  Do I have your permission to copy this and use it elsewhere?  My university's atheist club could use something this well-worded.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 22, 2010, 11:36:02 PM
I just read all the replies, and damn was I right. What a bunch of spineless cowards.

You were not right L6, you are merely seeing things from your own viewpoint, and not open to the possibility that situations are often more complicated than clammering for your "rights" to say what you want.  "Not on the Fence" has explained that her parents are very old.  How do you know that it is not the best thing to leave it alone in this case?  Perhaps it would cause them enormous grief and upset; perhaps they don't have there wherewithall to hammer out ideas and debate like we all do here, heck, they probably don't know how to turn on a computer.  So I find your rant insensitive, self centered, and tantamount to beating up on someone weaker.  Being that vocal might have it's place in some families, but not in this one.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Noman Peopled on March 23, 2010, 02:49:03 AM
Family is everything. As dysfunctional as my family is, they're still my family. Being so far away from them, I may not interact with them as much as I like or should, but they are my family and I would do many things for them that I may not do for others.
Okay, again, I'm not trying to be an ass here, or even advise, just offering my thoughts for consideration.

Family is decidedly not everything. There's friends and partners. It'd be preferrable to have a good relationship with my relatives (as with all other people), but if that's not possible without giving up a part of myself that I consider essential, I wouldn't bother. (Although, again, my actual reaction would be context-dependant - but I won't lie being asked a direct question)

I've never understood what the phrase "they're still family" means. Yes, they are. That's trivial. What's the other meaning? Family is not an absolute. You don't have to please your family no matter what. Having a good relationship with your relatives is not compulsory. In fact, I've observed that what makes people most unhappy about any relationship is clinging to it past the point where it makes sense.
Of course it's hurtful when relationships end and of course you shouldn't just let it go at the drop of a hat. But if I spend a year trying to explain in a civil manner that I don't believe in god (or don't want to study law, or will marry whomever I want to) and my father/mother/whoever still insists that I'm immoral and misguided to the point where all we do is fight, then sorry, but I have better things to do with my time. If I'm depending on you (emotionally or financially), I'll go and try to break the dependency. If I live in a community where being myself will get me ostracized, I'll move. A good life to you, and goodbye. Call me anytime.

Luckily, I have a much better relationship with my parents than that, and evidently you do too. I wouldn't go so far to say I'd do things for them I wouldn't do for close friends, though.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: SimpleCaveman on March 23, 2010, 10:19:54 AM
Hi Noman Peopled,

Family is decidedly not everything. There's friends and partners. It'd be preferrable to have a good relationship with my relatives (as with all other people), but if that's not possible without giving up a part of myself that I consider essential, I wouldn't bother. (Although, again, my actual reaction would be context-dependant - but I won't lie being asked a direct question)

I've never understood what the phrase "they're still family" means.

By "they're still family" I mean that the love and respect that we have for each other because we're family is the foundation of our relationship. This is true even when one does not "please" another or we disagree about God, marriage, work, whatever. We celebrate each others' successes and grieve over each others' pains, despite, and sometimes because of, our differences. I realize that we are blessed to be this way. I'm not saying we're perfect or that everyone treats everyone this way, but in general and for the most part it's true. I think it is very unfortunate that not everyone has that type of family.

I also think that type of family, like any relationship, takes work. If Not on the fence tells her family and they react negatively to her, then it's up to her how she will respond in turn -- in a similar way or by the high road. I think the way we respond to these situations shows our character. It takes forgiveness and self-sacrifice, which are hard.

If I gave advice to Not on the fence it would be to show her love for her family regardless of how they treat her. They're still family.

That's my two cents.


Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 10:42:57 AM
SC, to be clear:  Are you defining family as those with whom one shares a genetic relationship, or are you defining it as those with whom one shares a close social relationship?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: SimpleCaveman on March 23, 2010, 10:57:41 AM
SC, to be clear:  Are you defining family as those with whom one shares a genetic relationship, or are you defining it as those with whom one shares a close social relationship?

Wow, that takes us to a level of formality beyond the intentions of my post and probably beyond how I think of it. However, if it will help in some way, I guess I think of my family as brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and then their respective nuclear families. There are some that come and go (like my brother's wives). We try to extend to them the same love and respect. Does that help?

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 11:36:58 AM
Hmm, it doesn't really...sorry.  It's an important question that I asked, though, because it gets to the heart of why family is important - and that in turn bears directly on the subject of this thread.  All of the people you listed are genetically related to you (or indirectly, through someone else who is).  But why does that make them important?

For example, my fiance's extended maternal family are (for the most part) a bunch of abusive alcoholics who extend no positive kinship to those in her immediate family ("immediate" being mother & siblings).  Is it important to maintain a relationship with those extended family members based purely on their genetic relationship to my fiance and her immediate family?  If so, then why?

Her extended paternal family has had nothing to do with her immediate family at all, and hasn't since the death of her father.  Based on what little contact there has been, they are simply not interested in her immediate family.  Is it important to maintain a relationship with those extended family members based purely on their genetic relationship to my fiance and her immediate family?  If so, then why?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Traveler on March 23, 2010, 11:49:39 AM
My immediate family knows exactly how I feel, and are in similar places, so they're not an issue. But, my extended family contains a number of extreme fundamentalists of various stripes. With them I remain polite, but I don't lie about my beliefs. If it comes up I say something like "I'm not religious", or if asked to go to church, a simple "no thank you." In my opinion, there's no need to be rude about it, or in their faces, but I don't pray, I don't say "amen" after their grace, I don't go to church. If I'm at church for a wedding or funeral I don't take communion, I don't kneel, I don't say the responses to whatever they're doing, and I don't sing the hymns. But, just as if I were visiting a foreign cultural ceremony, I sit quietly and don't disrupt it.

The only time I can remember really fighting with myself over whether to argue was when a cousin's daughter said something really strongly about reproductive choice. I ended up keeping my mouth shut, but I think if it happened now I'd talk with her about it. Usually, if I do speak up with them, I can ease my way into the conversation in such a way that they might actually hear me. At least a little bit. But that one I missed out on, and since they live way out of state it probably won't come up again. Heck, odds are I'll never see them again.

I think in your situation, where its immediate family, I'd occasionally have to say something. I made friends with some fundamentalists out west and I was very open with them about my feelings and beliefs. When they started expressing too much jesus talk I gently reminded them that I am not christian. We got along fine, even if we probably felt that the other was wacko. And by remaining friends, they got to see that non believers are not all evil satanic psycho killers.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 11:51:20 AM
I think I tend to agree with Azdgari on this.  The level of loyalty to family can, and often does go to rediculous levels.  I think that the loyalty & respect ought to be earned, not automatic or demanded.  I think too that our tendency to be "loyal to family" to such unusually high levels can be explained in evolutionary terms.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: SimpleCaveman on March 23, 2010, 12:04:35 PM
Hmm, it doesn't really...sorry.  It's an important question that I asked, though, because it gets to the heart of why family is important - and that in turn bears directly on the subject of this thread.  All of the people you listed are genetically related to you (or indirectly, through someone else who is).  But why does that make them important?

You want the answer based on evolution? :)

For example, my fiance's extended maternal family are (for the most part) a bunch of abusive alcoholics ...

Her extended paternal family has had nothing to do with her immediate family at all, and hasn't since the death of her father.  Based on what little contact there has been, they are simply not interested in her immediate family.  Is it important to maintain a relationship with those extended family members based purely on their genetic relationship to my fiance and her immediate family?  If so, then why?

Yes, those are tragic situations. Like in any relationship, you can't control the other person and for safety or sanity we might stay away from them. When my alcoholic father was angry we would stay away. Thankfully, I don't think he was abusive. But he was still my father and I loved him. When he got help, our relationship was still positive and loving.

I'm not sure what you think I might be talking about. I'm not talking about enabling or masochism or any thing like that, and everyone has to be held accountable for their actions and choices. Again it goes to the character of the individual as to how they handle the situations.

One way to put it, though this was not the intention of my original post, is that I think it's better if you're not the one doing the estrangement (right word?).

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 12:25:13 PM
You want the answer based on evolution? :)

Evolution cannot answer the question I asked.  I asked why they are important, not why they were important.  Evolution is no guide to our actions or values, except to the extent that evolution-in-action actually impacts our actions in some way.  So far as I can tell, this is not such a situation.

Yes, those are tragic situations. Like in any relationship, you can't control the other person and for safety or sanity we might stay away from them.

Except that it's not really all that tragic - at least, not for my fiance and her immediate family.  Not in practice.  They get on fairly well as a family unit on their own (it is not without its own issues, but that's another topic).  It is only a tragedy when working from the position (as-yet unexamined critically) that family relationships have inherent value (as in, value that derives specifically from their status as family relationships, as distinct from non-family relationships).  I remain unconvinced of the merits of that position.  Since it is a position to which you seem to hold, and since you are making posts and giving advice based on that position, it is fair to ask you to critically examine that position, no?

When my alcoholic father was angry we would stay away. Thankfully, I don't think he was abusive. But he was still my father and I loved him. When he got help, our relationship was still positive and loving.

And he loved you, too, didn't he?  He was an alcoholic, and as you say, that did impact your relationship with him.  But you did love each other, didn't you?

I'm not sure what you think I might be talking about. I'm not talking about enabling or masochism or any thing like that, and everyone has to be held accountable for their actions and choices. Again it goes to the character of the individual as to how they handle the situations.

I hope my second paragraph of this post highlights what I am actually getting at.

One way to put it, though this was not the intention of my original post, is that I think it's better if you're not the one doing the estrangement (right word?).

I don't know for sure off-hand whether that's the right word, but I know what you mean by it, so let's keep using it.  Of course that's better - both morally and practically.  But how does that apply in cases where the estrangement already exists?  Basically where I am going with all this, is:  At what point of estrangement with one's family members does it become more reasonable to seek relationships with non-family members instead?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 23, 2010, 12:28:41 PM
I think I tend to agree with Adzgari on this.  The level of loyalty to family can, and often does go to rediculous levels.  I think that the loyalty & respect ought to be earned, not automatic or demanded.  I think too that our tendency to be "loyal to family" to such rediculous levels can be explained in evolutionary terms.

Maybe.  But, when you piss them off, then later in life you get into trouble, they may not be there for you.  "Family" is much more than nucleic acids and weird uncles that must earn their keep with your good graces at every turn.

Their loyalty and respect for you is affected by how graciously or clumsily you come out.  So, do you piss them off with a big coming out?  That depends on the personality ingredients of everyone involved.  It's different with every family.  You, and you alone must make the decision (I speak here of the generic "you", not you, Star Stuff).  We have seen many people on this forum who "came out" -- atheism, homosexuality, whatever -- and with some it completely pissed off their folks and fucked up their relationship with their family even more than it was before.

So, in any given case, one must guess: will my life be worse with angry family, but with the release of coming out... or will my life be worse with a cooler family situation, but holding back on my true feelings?  Only you can answer that.

I think that L6's post was filled with bravado, and I think the decision is not for anyone else to make, shame, or cajole you into doing.  I do not think it was good advice.  I, personally, would not suggest that one do the politically expedient or motivated thing above your relationship with those who love you, or to prove a relationship with those who love you. 

Be prepared to make concessions.  My mother knows I don't believe.  She also knows that whenever she talks to me about religious stuff, I go kind of glassy-eyed.  But, when the holidays come around, we celebrate Easter and Christmas and I go to church with her.  Why?  Because she likes it.  Going with her does not harm me in the least.

And, not everyone needs to know.  Telling everyone about your new-found __________-ism may feel good and liberating, but it can also have a boomerang effect.

With that said, admittedly, the lesbian gay community outing process did bring the topic more out into the open than before.  I wonder how many relationships were dashed against the rocks, never to heal.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 12:31:17 PM
Quote
With that said, admittedly, the lesbian gay community outing process did bring the topic more out into the open than before.  I wonder how many relationships were dashed against the rocks, never to heal.

Relationships between real people, or relationships between a real person and an imaginary person?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 23, 2010, 12:38:09 PM
Quote
With that said, admittedly, the lesbian gay community outing process did bring the topic more out into the open than before.  I wonder how many relationships were dashed against the rocks, never to heal.

Relationships between real people, or relationships between a real person and an imaginary person?

Heh.  I don't care about imaginary people.  Although, I am sure that there are some lesbians and gays who either have imaginary friends or still believe in God.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 12:41:47 PM
That wasn't my point, Jim.  Some imaginary people are closely based on the images of real people.  They are false images of those people.  Hence, "imaginary".

For example, the imaginary straight daughter, of a mother who only has - in reality - a lesbian daughter.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 12:48:41 PM

Maybe.  But, when you piss them off, then later in life you get into trouble, they may not be there for you. 

With that said, admittedly, the lesbian gay community outing process did bring the topic more out into the open than before.  I wonder how many relationships were dashed against the rocks, never to heal.

Good post.  But again, why is it that the religious family member(s) get to hold that stick of condemnation and ostracism?  Why is that not viewed with more distaste than a persons beliefs?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 23, 2010, 12:48:54 PM
That wasn't my point, Jim.  Some imaginary people are closely based on the images of real people.  They are false images of those people.  Hence, "imaginary".

For example, the imaginary straight daughter, of a mother who only has - in reality - a lesbian daughter.

How about the relationship between a mother (who might have prejudices or a limited mind-set) who loves her daughter, and her daughter (who can't understand why everybody doesn't just get it, already?) who loves her mom?

Is that real enough?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 12:53:23 PM
Who is the "her daughter" who is the subject of her love?  Is she real, or imaginary?  Is the real daughter putting forth a false image that is attracting the love, while the truth would not attract that love?  If so, then I put it to you that there is no real relationship there that is worthy of consideration (apart from practical purposes).  If not, then it can bear the daughter's honesty.

If correcting for the disconnect between real and imaginary partners in a relationship actually breaks the relationship, then it was too fake for consideration in the first place (imo).
If correcting for the disconnect between real and imaginary partners in a relationship does not break the relationship, then isn't it worth it?  Of what value is dishonesty?  Does one want to be loved, or does one want his or her facade to be loved?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 23, 2010, 12:54:50 PM
But again, why is it that the religious family member(s) get to hold that stick of condemnation and ostracism?  Why is that not viewed with more distaste than a persons beliefs?

Because, unfortunately, the condemnation and ostracism are part and parcel of BOTH the mechanisms of society and the mechanisms of Abrahamic faiths (and other faiths as well).  It is a tool that they wield to prevent lambs from straying too far, so to speak.  And, in fact, I am sure that many loving parents use it as a reflexive first measure when their kid is suddenly doing something unexpected.

I am not saying that it is right or that it is fair.  Only that it is.  Big coming-outs and the resulting knee jerk reactions do not necessarily bring bigger happiness in life, family love, or guarantee successful outcomes.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 12:59:59 PM
Because, unfortunately, the condemnation and ostracism are part and parcel of BOTH the mechanisms of society and the mechanisms of Abrahamic faiths (and other faiths as well).  It is a tool that they wield to prevent lambs from straying too far, so to speak.  And, in fact, I am sure that many loving parents use it as a reflexive first measure when their kid is suddenly doing something unexpected.

Ya; I've heard it said: "All mothers have a black-belt in guilt".


Quote
Big coming-outs and the resulting knee-jerk reactions do not necessarily bring bigger happiness in life, family love, or guarantee successful outcomes.

True, but they don't need to be big, emotional announcements either, they could be a simple, calm answer to a question.

 :shrug
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Nam on March 23, 2010, 01:06:43 PM
So being raised in a christian family, everyone, (except for one) is a strict, brethren christian.  You are a non believer now.  Do you risk your relationship with your family by telling them that you dont believe anymore?

Everyone (excluding my two siblings) are Christian. My parents are Christian, their parents were/are Christian. Their brothers and sisters, Aunts and Uncles are all Christian. All my cousins are Christian. And, 99% of them are Conservative Christians. Most of them on my father's side are Baptist. And, most of them on my mother's side are Southern Baptist. Some practice, some don't. Those who practice gossip and/or ostricize those who don't, and are in "name only".  I do have some cousins who are Catholic but they are in the minority of our family since they're the only hispanics in our family from marriage of my Great Aunt.  Which let me tell you, most of my family back then ostricized her for marrying an hispanic. Racist twats.

Quote
Or just let it go?  I would not tell my parents as they are very old, and in the last stage of their lives, but it would probably get back to them if the rest of the family knew.

I told my mother when I was 18. I think my father always knew, and it didn't really seem to effect him too much, I guess. Though, before we stopped talking to each other (nothing to do with anything about religion) I think he used to slightly push it on me from time-to-time.

Quote
My siblings are in their 50's so they are not going to be open to anything I say.

My brother is an Agnostic-Atheist who recently married an Atheist. My sister is an Agnostic-Atheist who is soon to marry (I believe) a non-denominational Christian. I think he doesn't practice, and perhaps he doesn't believe, I don't know, it says "Christian" (no denomination mentioned) on his Myspace page.

Quote
I just get so frustrated sometimes when things are said, and I cant say how I feel. :shrug

So say them. That simple.

-Nam
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 23, 2010, 01:07:26 PM
...disconnect...

The daughter that the parent sees is the daughter that she has raised, the personality that the daughter has presented to her. 

If correcting for the disconnect between real and imaginary partners in a relationship actually breaks the relationship, then it was too fake for consideration in the first place (imo).
If correcting for the disconnect between real and imaginary partners in a relationship does not break the relationship, then isn't it worth it?  Of what value is dishonesty?  Does one want to be loved, or does one want his or her facade to be loved?

Az, in your desire to break this down to the minutest details, you end up producing this flippant stuff.  This is about emotion and family, not programming a thermostat.  Using logic and philosophy will not turn out the best results, they only will explain the tragic or successful outcome, after all is said and done.

Just because illusions are shattered and feelings hurt, sometimes permanently so, it does not mean that the initial relationship was some hollow, shallow, worthless thing.  Sometimes it is the unveiling itself which produces the hurt, sometimes it is the manner in which it is done.

And if you really, really want to go deep, then understand this: all you think you are is the set of personas that you present to people, and the persona that you present to yourself.  When you unmask yourself, remove the facade -- with whatever intent you had -- you will forever change others' thoughts of you, sometimes not for the better, even when you think that you are doing it for good.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 23, 2010, 01:08:41 PM
True, but they don't need to be big, emotional announcements either, they could be a simple, calm answer to a question.

You're right, they could be.  I'd guess that those have smoother outcomes.  Not everyone is so lucky to have that, and sometimes it might be hard to tell beforehand.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 01:23:07 PM
The daughter that the parent sees is the daughter that she has raised, the personality that the daughter has presented to her.

She should keep the lie going because it's already been "stated" by default, eh?

Az, in your desire to break this down to the minutest details, you end up producing this flippant stuff.  This is about emotion and family, not programming a thermostat.  Using logic and philosophy will not turn out the best results, they only will explain the tragic or successful outcome, after all is said and done.

You are resistant, then, to any attempt at employing logic to find out what the "best results" are?  How much logic are you (un)willing you allow in this discussion, Jim, just for the record?

I do have some idea about this sort of thing, Jim, believe it or not.  My dad practically disowned me when he found out that not only was I not a fundy like him, but that I was also not amenable to conversion.  It was very traumatic, but at least our later partial reconciliation was based on who we each were.  I didn't have to hide myself and present a false son for my father to fawn over.  What did I have to gain by faking it, had I known how to at the time?  Some good feelings, I suppose.  More exposure to bigotry; more encouragement of it, by association.  Inhibited personal growth and undermined self-worth, from what I have been able to tell through introspection.  I am not being flippant, I am speaking from experience.

Just because illusions are shattered and feelings hurt, sometimes permanently so, it does not mean that the initial relationship was some hollow, shallow, worthless thing.  Sometimes it is the unveiling itself which produces the hurt, sometimes it is the manner in which it is done.

Certainly the manner is something to consider.  My reasoning above was based purely off of the transfer of information, without including how it is done.  That's a whole discussion of its own, though.

And if you really, really want to go deep, then understand this: all you think you are is the set of personas that you present to people, and the persona that you present to yourself.  When you unmask yourself, remove the facade -- with whatever intent you had -- you will forever change others' thoughts of you, sometimes not for the better, even when you think that you are doing it for good.

The alternative is to intentionally live a lie.  How different is that, in principle, from embracing the religious self-delusion itself?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 01:33:21 PM
The alternative is to intentionally live a lie. 

I don't think anybody is suggesting that.  If the other family members have in their heads that I am the same non-thinker I was when I was a child, then so be it. That doesn't mean that I'm living a lie.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 01:35:33 PM
In that case then you are, with your silence, intentionally misleading them.  How is that not intentionally living a lie?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 01:39:45 PM
In that case then you are, with your silence, intentionally misleading them.

I don't concur.  "Leading" and "misleading" are deliberate actions.  Not coming out with disbeliefs is not leading.



Quote
How is that not intentionally living a lie?

In the same way that not actually being gay, but am in the eyes of someone else, is not living a lie.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 02:02:40 PM
Quote
I don't concur.  "Leading" and "misleading" are deliberate actions.  Not coming out with disbeliefs is not leading.

Deciding not to let someone know the truth is misleading.  Sometimes misleading is justifiable.  It depends on what you want out of the situation.

Quote
In the same way that not actually being gay, but am in the eyes of someone else, is not living a lie.

That's hard to parse, but I think I get what you're trying to type.  Yes it is, if through your choice of actions you have the option of letting that person know that you are not gay.  If that person disbelieves you, then that's another issue entirely.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 02:33:52 PM
Quote
I don't concur.  "Leading" and "misleading" are deliberate actions.  Not coming out with disbeliefs is not leading.

Deciding not to let someone know the truth is misleading.

Not if it doesn't come up.




Quote
In the same way that not actually being gay, but am in the eyes of someone else, is not living a lie.


Yes it is, if through your choice of actions you have the option of letting that person know that you are not gay.


Again, not if it doesn't actually come up.  If a person or family member has it in their head that I'm gay (not that there's anything wrong with that   :D)....the onus is not on me to make sure they know that I'm straight.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 23, 2010, 02:40:05 PM
...I do have some idea about this sort of thing, Jim, believe it or not.  My dad practically disowned me when he found out that not only was I not a fundy like him, but that I was also not amenable to conversion.  It was very traumatic, but at least our later partial reconciliation was based on who we each were.  I didn't have to hide myself and present a false son for my father to fawn over.  What did I have to gain by faking it, had I known how to at the time?  Some good feelings, I suppose.  More exposure to bigotry; more encouragement of it, by association.  Inhibited personal growth and undermined self-worth, from what I have been able to tell through introspection.  I am not being flippant, I am speaking from experience.

This here is valuable input, as opposed to trying to reduce the complexities of human social interactions and emotions to simple IF...THEN statements.  They are not so simple, and to pretend that one can reduce them to a few simple statements is extremely misleading.

But, you continue to oversimplify what I am writing.  I never said that one should hide themself, "don't come out".  I never said "live a lie".  Care must be taken, and one must never assume that just because it seems like the best thing for them, that all will agree, everything will be alright, and that whatever happens it will be for the best.

You and L6 think that it's for the best if a relationship bursts when one guy's parents are shattered because they can't accept their child is not what they thought.  That's great.  For you and L6.  Yeah, I guess the math adds up for that equation, too, so fine, your logic works.  On the other hand, the guy may finally be "free" from the thing that was on his mind, but also forever miserable that the relationship is unrepairable, maybe more miserable than before.  Yay.

Quote from: Azdgari
Certainly the manner is something to consider.  My reasoning above was based purely off of the transfer of information, without including how it is done.  That's a whole discussion of its own, though.

The manner in which it's done is quite a part of the whole thing, isn't it?  The same words, broached different ways, or at different times, can have different effect.

Quote from: Azdgari
The alternative is to intentionally live a lie.  How different is that, in principle, from embracing the religious self-delusion itself?

You oversimplify and mis-state.  I have not told you about how I eat.  How I eat is a cornerstone of my life... when I eat, my diet, my medical reasons for it, everything. In fact, it is much more important to me in my day to day life than my religion or lack of religion is.  But, I haven't told you how much I hate eating ______ and how eating __________ gives me gas enough to clear a room in 30 seconds.  Am I living a lie?  Should I tell you?  Should I tell all of my aunts an uncles too?  Am I also to tell all about my bad bill paying habits?  My health problems?  Or how I detest housework?  I must tell all or I am living a lie?

No, of course not.  What I choose to tell or not tell is my own fucking business.  If I choose to keep my own counsel, and keep silent about those things that I need no one else's opinion for, it is not living a lie.  I can continue to go about my life as I please, and I am not bound to tell any particular person.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 23, 2010, 02:42:16 PM
Do you risk your relationship with your family by telling them that you dont believe anymore?
Yes. It is every atheist's responsibility to do so. Without reading the responses below, I guarantee that several people have given cowardly excuses as to why they refuse to initiate this conflict. Unless your family will kick you out of the house and stop paying for college if you open up, there is no excuse.

How does a minority gain momentum? By getting people in the majority to fight for them. How many people are fighting for atheists? Nearly none. Why? Because people don't identify with us. Why not? Because they don't even know who we are. Who are the only people in the world guaranteed to at least grant you an audience, an initial hearing? Your family. Who is most likely to identify with you even if they don't fully agree with you? Your family. Who is most likely to fight for you even if they don't share your views? Your family. Who is going to tell other people--and be believed--that atheists can be good and moral people who deserve a voice in society? Your (theistic) family.

When people realize that their views can hurt their family members, particularly their children, their behavior is more likely to change.

You want to complain about theists? You want to benefit from the work of other atheists? In my mind, until you tell your family, you have not earned that right.

Edit: I just read all the replies, and damn was I right. What a bunch of spineless cowards. You don't need to fight or debate your family; it's as simple as saying you don't believe. Most people avoid conflict and will probably leave it alone after that. It's their knowing at all--and that you are a good person, to boot--that is important.

fuck yeah.  Glad to see I'm not the only one around here advocating we out ourselves to family. 
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 23, 2010, 02:48:59 PM
I do not feel respected by them at all, but I still want to keep a relationship with them.

You want a relationship with people who don't respect you?  What is wrong with you?  Do you respect yourself?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 23, 2010, 02:50:04 PM

Yes. It is every atheist's responsibility to do so. Without reading the responses below, I guarantee that several people have given cowardly excuses as to why they refuse to initiate this conflict. Unless your family will kick you out of the house and stop paying for college if you open up, there is no excuse.

As I said before my parents are very old, and this would hurt them to no end.  They are important to me, even though they are very uneducated. They are the ones that brought me into this world, so should I not have some sort of respect for them?
Sometimes though I feel like telling my siblings, not outrite, but planting seeds of doubt.  For example I told my sister quite a while back that I was watching this show, and they had found fossils that were 5 million years old.  Her response was oh those scientists dont know much, they cant tell how old things are, now that shows you just how uneducated they are.

P.S. I dont live at home, and that is not a good excuse for not telling them, I think respect is more of a better excuse
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 02:53:23 PM
fuck yeah.  Glad to see I'm not the only one around here advocating we out ourselves to family. 

I don't think anyone is suggesting that we don't.  It is just the employment of a little sensitivity in this particular case when ones parents are old, and lack the intellectual tool set to jump into the ring.  It's why you would view a 6' 250lb guy picking a fight with a 4' 80lb girl........a bully.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 23, 2010, 02:57:24 PM
You want a relationship with people who don't respect you?  What is wrong with you?  Do you respect yourself?
What I mean is because I am the baby of the family, they do not think that I am as smart as they are. Example whenever I bring anything up about how to feed your pets the proper way, not commercial pet food, they just laugh at me. It makes me angry because I have educated myself on this subject so much.  Also mentioning about the scientific findings that are being made is another one.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 23, 2010, 03:02:48 PM
As I said before my parents are very old, and this would hurt them to no end.  They are important to me, even though they are very uneducated. They are the ones that brought me into this world, so should I not have some sort of respect for them?

So your plan is to just run out the clock?  How many more years do you suppose you will have to lie to your family?  How many more years do think you will have to worry they are going to find out? 


I think respect is more of a better excuse

No.  That is a lame excuse.  It sounds like you are rationalizing a strategy of avoidance.  Sack up.  Be a man about it.  You do not have to hold a press conference.  But you can let it be known.

As an aside, you have respect issues.  It seems to be a one-way flow.  From you, to others.  You might want to have that checked out.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 23, 2010, 03:06:41 PM
Hmm, it doesn't really...sorry.  It's an important question that I asked, though, because it gets to the heart of why family is important - and that in turn bears directly on the subject of this thread.  All of the people you listed are genetically related to you (or indirectly, through someone else who is).  But why does that make them important?
  They brought me into this world.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 03:08:37 PM
^^ Would you feel the same way about your genetic parents if you were adopted?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 23, 2010, 03:12:43 PM
As I said before my parents are very old, and this would hurt them to no end.  They are important to me, even though they are very uneducated. They are the ones that brought me into this world, so should I not have some sort of respect for them?

So your plan is to just run out the clock?  How many more years do you suppose you will have to lie to your family?  How many more years do think you will have to worry they are going to find out? 


I think respect is more of a better excuse

No.  That is a lame excuse.  It sounds like you are rationalizing a strategy of avoidance.  Sack up.  Be a man about it.  You do not have to hold a press conference.  But you can let it be known.

As an aside, you have respect issues.  It seems to be a one-way flow.  From you, to others.  You might want to have that checked out.
 This quoting thing is a little confusing to me so I will just quote the whole thing. Yup Im running the clock I guess, they may only have maybe 5-10 yrs at the most, that is not a long time. I do plant seeds to my siblings, but not outrite, because I know what kind of response Im going to get.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 23, 2010, 03:14:37 PM
^^ Would you feel the same way about your genetic parents if you were adopted?
Honestly Im not sure about that, as I am not adopted, will have to ponder that one.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 23, 2010, 03:15:40 PM
I don't think anyone is suggesting that we don't.  It is just the employment of a little sensitivity in this particular case when ones parents are old, and lack the intellectual tool set to jump into the ring.  It's why you would view a 6' 250lb guy picking a fight with a 4' 80lb girl........a bully.

I think a lot of people here are suggesting that.  There have been lots of threads where people have asked advice just like this.  And, as in this thread, the overwhelming majority of responses are excuses that let the poster off the hook.  I am usually the only one advocating the truth. 

I am all for using tact and making the announcement quietly and without confrontation.  She doesn't have to stick her thumb in their eye.  But whatever the approach, we have to be honest with ourselves and our families.  That is what all this atheism stuff is about, right?  Honesty. Facing the truth, even though it is the more difficult road to walk, even though it is not as comfortable as our delusions.  And L6 is dead nuts on with his assessment.  If nobody puts a face on the lable, they will never see us as people.  It is a strategy that worked with homosexuals and it can work for us. 

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 03:20:03 PM
On-topic, and lost in the depths of the thread:

NOTF:  What, in total, do you want out of your relationship with your family?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 03:26:42 PM
If nobody puts a face on the lable, they will never see us as people. 

But you are failing to put a face on the elderly parents in "Not on the Fence's" parents.  They are people with feelings, and are in the last few years of their life.  Your one-size-fits-all, carpet bombing approach lacks wisdom, sensitivity and compassion.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 03:28:09 PM
As I said before my parents are very old, and this would hurt them to no end.  They are important to me, even though they are very uneducated. They are the ones that brought me into this world, so should I not have some sort of respect for them?

So your plan is to just run out the clock? 

What's wrong with that?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 23, 2010, 03:29:13 PM
What I mean is because I am the baby of the family, they do not think that I am as smart as they are. Example whenever I bring anything up about how to feed your pets the proper way, not commercial pet food, they just laugh at me. It makes me angry because I have educated myself on this subject so much.  Also mentioning about the scientific findings that are being made is another one.

Yeah.  I get that.  They don't respect you.  They think you are an idiot.  Why do you want to have a relationship with these arrogant jerks?  


They brought me into this world.

So, because they copulated 43 years ago you have to walk on eggshells?  I think after 43 years, you don't owe them anything just for being born.  It's not like you asked them for it.

Yup Im running the clock I guess, they may only have maybe 5-10 yrs at the most, that is not a long time.

That is a dangerous plan, and it denies reality.  And yes it is a long time. Think about how old you will be by then.  Think about all the changes in your life that will have taken place.  10 years is forever.

I do plant seeds to my siblings, but not outrite, because I know what kind of response Im going to get.

My advice is to prepare yourself.  Don't wait for them to come to you.  It is better that it be done in a controlled way at a time of your chosing.  The alternative is to continue this bizarre denial.  Then, one day when you least expect it, like thanksgiving or at cousin Jenny's baby's christening, all hell will break loose.  There will be hurt feelings, shouting, red faces and crying.  It will be epic.  I have been right about this before.  

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 03:34:57 PM

That is a dangerous plan...

In what way is it "dangerous"?


Quote
 And yes it is a long time. Think about how old you will be by then.  Think about all the changes in your life that will have taken place.  10 years is forever.

So what?

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 03:37:52 PM
Star Stuff, Screwtape explains what he means by "dangerous" in the final paragraph of his post.  If you are not going to read peoples' posts, then perhaps you should stop pretending to form responses based on their contents?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 03:47:01 PM
Star Stuff, Screwtape explains what he means by "dangerous" in the final paragraph of his post.  If you are not going to read peoples' posts, then perhaps you should stop pretending to form responses based on their contents?

Perhaps you could be a little less abrasive when your claim of that connection is not so clear, but your opinion. He can speak for himself.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 03:49:28 PM
Screwtape outlined what he believes to be a danger resulting from the "bizarre denial" that NOTF describes.  How much more blatant a link do you want?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 23, 2010, 03:50:27 PM
But you are failing to put a face on the elderly parents in "Not on the Fence's" parents. 

They are not my problem.  They did not come here because they were in a predicament.  NotF did.  I am giving her the best advice I can give to her.  I am not disregarding her parents, but she is the focus.  She comes first.  And they, as xians, as the overwhelming majority in this country, already have a face[1].

And if NotF would like to send them here for my advice, I would be happy to counsel them as well.

They are people with feelings,...

So is NotF. Why is her identity to be sacrificed for their feelings?

...and are in the last few years of their life. 

Why does that matter?

Your one-size-fits-all, carpet bombing approach lacks wisdom, sensitivity and compassion.

malarkey.  It is not a carpet bombing strategy. See:
I am all for using tact and making the announcement quietly and without confrontation.  She doesn't have to stick her thumb in their eye.  

Why is being honest about who she is insensitive?  What is so horrible about not believing in god that for her to say that to her family would make you say it is unwise?  We atheists are such hiddeous monsters that we can never show them our true selves.  Right?  We are so offensive that to let loved ones know who we are is an act devoid of compassion.  Right? Congratulations.  You are the first self-hating atheist I have met.  


 1. and it's ugly
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 04:06:23 PM
But you are failing to put a face on the elderly parents in "Not on the Fence's" parents.  

They are not my problem.

Therein lies your lack of compassion, sensitivity and understanding. You just seem to want to throw your gernades in a pell-mell fashion.




Quote
And if NotF would like to send them here for my advice, I would be happy to counsel them as well.

These people are in their mid-eghties and don't know how to turn on a computer.  See how you're out of touch with the reality of the situation?  Hint: don't attempt a career in counselling.




They are people with feelings,...

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

So is NotF. Why is her identity to be sacrificed for their feelings?


She is free to live her life as a non-theist. It really has little to no effect on her identity.





I am all for using tact and making the announcement quietly and without confrontation.  She doesn't have to stick her thumb in their eye.  

Sure, but you lack the understanding of these particular people's makeup; their education level, their inability to discuss intellectually and openly. Again, your approach lacks a fuller understanding.




Quote
Why is being honest about who she is insensitive?

I didn't suggest that.  It is insensitive to throw a gernade into an elderly person's world when they don't have the wherewithall to deal with it, and the emotional hurt it would cause them is considerable.  Would you also drub your non-belief into a cancer victim on their death-bed?




Quote
What is so horrible about not believing in god that for her to say that to her family would make you say it is unwise?

She has indicated that it is her elderly parents that she is concerned about "coming out" with, and I've just addressed that above.



Quote
We atheists are such hiddeous monsters that we can never show them our true selves.  Right?  We are so offensive that to let loved ones know who we are is an act devoid of compassion.  Right? Congratulations.  You are the first self-hating atheist I have met.  
If you'd like to keep digging yourself into this hole of unawareness, keep going. Your choice.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 23, 2010, 04:12:10 PM
In what way is it "dangerous"?

not dangerous as in it will be harmful.  But dangerous as in "a gamble".  I explained it in the last paragraph of that post.

So what?

So, carpe diem, mother fucker.  She's 42.  When is she going to live her life and stop worrying what those swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool are thinking?  Life is not a game.  You don't go into prevent defense with the truth[1]

Telling them is showing them respect.  Telling them is saying you trust them.  Not telling them is saying they are too stupid/ immature/ closed minded to deal with it.

I sound my barbaric YAWP across the roofs of the world...
 1. the fact that prevent so frequently fails in games is testament to that
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 04:18:08 PM
So, carpe diem, mother fucker.

I think that's out of order.


Quote
She's 42.  When is she going to live her life and stop worrying what those swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool are thinking? 

Since when is she "not living her life"?  Are you sure you're not skewing things with that?



Quote
Telling them is showing them respect.  Telling them is saying you trust them.  Not telling them is saying they are too stupid/ immature/ closed minded to deal with it.

Right, but it's been explained to you that they do not have the wherewithall to deal with it.  Perhaps they are too uneducated/immature/closed minded to deal with it!  Then would that be ok to leave it lie, in your estimation?


Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 23, 2010, 04:49:21 PM
Therein lies your lack of compassion, sensitivity and understanding. You just seem to want to throw your gernades in a pell-mell fashion.

I don't know how many times I have to say it for you.  I'm not talking about putting them in a choke hold and screaming in their ears.  I am all for tact and compassion. I've said that at least 3 times now.  I have also said she should make a plan, prepare what to say and do it in a controlled manner.

For you to characterize it as "throwing grenades" or doing it "pell-mell" tells me you are either not reading my posts or you are intentionally distorting what I said.  Either way, it makes for a bad conversation and creates animosity.  I suggest you read what I write and what you write before you post it. 

These people are in their mid-eghties and don't know how to turn on a computer.

That was tongue in cheek.

See how you're out of touch with the reality of the situation?  Hint: don't attempt a career in counselling.

Here is some good counsel for you: If you want to have a conversation, we can.  But don't start making this personal.

She is free to live her life as a non-theist. It really has little to no effect on her identity.

Really?  Having to lie to her family about her religious thoughts has no effect on her identity?  You must have a very different definition of identity than I do.

Sure, but you lack the understanding of these particular people's makeup; their education level, their inability to discuss intellectually and openly. Again, your approach lacks a fuller understanding.

That is why I have not scripted her response to them. I have not told her what to say other than be honest.  I have not told her how to say it.  That is for her to do.  I paint in broader strokes.  The details are best sorted out by her.

I didn't suggest that.  

sure you did.

It is insensitive to throw a gernade

You did it again.  You keep saying I said these things I did not say. You should be more careful about doing that. 

Would you also drub your non-belief into a cancer victim on their death-bed?

Where did I say anything about drubbing anyone?  Go ahead and quote it.  If you can't, then apologize.

If you'd like to keep digging yourself into this hole of unawareness, keep going. Your choice.

In what way is pointing out the absurdity of you statement "digging a hole of unawareness"?


I have to go, but I don't want this to sit overnight. 
So, carpe diem, mother fucker.

I think that's out of order.

That wasn't meant personally or directed at you.  I did not mean any offense and I apologize if it appeared that way.  It was more in the vein of "yippie kayaay, motherfucker" ala Bruce Willis in Die Hard.  If I'd seen you had started taking this personally, I would have taken more care.

So long for now.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 05:22:30 PM
I don't know how many times I have to say it for you.  I'm not talking about putting them in a choke hold and screaming in their ears.  I am all for tact and compassion. I've said that at least 3 times now.

Right, but you also said this:

"Why do you want to have a relationship with these arrogant jerks?"

So hopefully you appreciate my confusion as to your compassion.


Quote
Really?  Having to lie to her family about her religious thoughts has no effect on her identity?

I don't recall her saying anything about lying, (if asked); rather bringing up her disbelief to her parents.



Quote
That is why I have not scripted her response to them. I have not told her what to say other than be honest.  I have not told her how to say it.  That is for her to do.  I paint in broader strokes.  The details are best sorted out by her.

I understand that, and in most circumstances that makes sense, (as with parents who are reasonably able to discuss it, and who are not so old), but in this case, it might be best to just let it go.

Option 1)  Tell your elderly parents about your disbelief in what they have spent a lifetime raising you with.

> Result:  You feel that you got something off your chest, and caused them great distress and sleepless nights, and they live a few more years with their religious beliefs intact.



Option 2)   Don't tell your elderly parents about your disbelief in what they have spent a lifetime raising you with.

> Result:  They live a few more years with their religious beliefs intact, and enjoy their last few years of life in peace, remenicing of their life together, then one of them passes away before the other; the one left deals with that particular pain & grief.  You never do let those two particular people on the planet know that you don't believe in god.

I guess NotF needs to ask herself how much resentment she would feel in not telling them.





Would you also drub your non-belief into a cancer victim on their death-bed?

Quote
Where did I say anything about drubbing anyone?  Go ahead and quote it.  If you can't, then apologize.

Drubbing was my word to express your seemingly determined opinion on letting her parents know, without knowing the particular people and dynamics involved.

Your comments like:

"I sound my barbaric YAWP across the roofs of the world..."

"I think after 43 years, you don't owe them anything just for being born."

"They are not my problem."

"Why do you want to have a relationship with these arrogant jerks?"


.....camouflages your claimed empathy.  Is that reasonable for me to be confused on your stance?



Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 05:29:04 PM
Correctly assessing that someone is an arrogant jerk does not mean that one does not have or endorse compassion for that person.  The two issues are unrelated.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 05:34:13 PM
Correctly assessing that someone is an arrogant jerk does not mean that one does not have or endorse compassion for that person.  The two issues are unrelated.

Except for the fact that the assessment is not neccessarily correct, as they have never met said people.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 23, 2010, 05:37:08 PM
Have you ever met Glenn Beck?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 23, 2010, 05:39:01 PM
Have you ever met Glenn Beck?

Wow, that fails.  Have NotF's parents regularly been on television expressing their views?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 23, 2010, 06:14:26 PM
I am living my life, I do not lie to my parents, I just choose not to tell them my beliefs now.  Trust me if you knew my parents then you may understand.  They do not have the ability to understand whatsoever.
They are not "jerks" as you put it, just simple uneducated, and old.  They have had alot of grief in their lives they dont need me to put another nail in their coffins right now.

*Peace
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 23, 2010, 06:18:10 PM
On-topic, and lost in the depths of the thread:

NOTF:  What, in total, do you want out of your relationship with your family?
  Sorry missed this one......
I want peace and harmony, no fighting ( probably because Im a Libra lol!)
though I also want respect from some of my siblings.
After thinking about this for a while Im sure that I would not gain anymore respect if I did tell them, but I still love them.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: GotMooo on March 23, 2010, 08:04:40 PM
I see a conflict between the individual and the other party.  What is good for the individual may not always be best for the other party and vice versa.  I think that it is disrespectful to lie or mislead people.  However I also think that sometimes, particularly under serious circumstances, being truthful isn't the best course of action, sad to say.  But under most circumstances, I think the most respectful thing to do is to be honest with others and tell them how you really feel, even if it brings some negative responses.  I respect people more who tell me what they really think and how they really feel rather than trying to please me by being dishonest with themselves[1].  But respect means different things for different people so I'm not saying this applies to everyone.

For old or terminally ill people, I would most likely avoid religious topics and discussing my views.  I feel sometimes the individual has to sacrifice some of their own qualities (honesty) for the interest of people who are more vulnerable and need some stability and emotional support.

For me, respect is earned through experience, not from a biological basis.  I don't think two people having sex and reproducing means one should respect them.  However, two people who are responsible and raise the child I think have earned respect.  Courtesy is granted, respect is earned.
 1. Hmm, this sounds familiar.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: L6 on March 23, 2010, 11:18:26 PM
Well put, L6.  Do I have your permission to copy this and use it elsewhere?  My university's atheist club could use something this well-worded.
By all means, everything I say is public domain, always. ;)
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: L6 on March 23, 2010, 11:35:07 PM
You and L6 think that it's for the best if a relationship bursts when one guy's parents are shattered because they can't accept their child is not what they thought. 
Show me where I said that. You and Star Stuff are just emotionally riled up because I've reminded you of your own cowardice and dishonest rationalizations. I said "initiate this conflict", but I didn't give instructions. It is up to each individual to decide how and when to do that, once they've made that decision. I don't know anyone else or their family well enough to ever give them any specific advice. "Strife" is probably a better word than "conflict", but a conflict it will be, however minor. If not between individuals, then within them.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 24, 2010, 12:21:52 AM
Quote
You and Star Stuff are just emotionally riled up because I've reminded you of your own cowardice and dishonest rationalizations.

Alright. Here we go:

I am not emotionally riled up. I just happened to be more in tune with the reality of the situation.  How is that so?  Well, it just so happens that Not on the Fence is my younger sister.  Yes, that's right, her parents are my parents, so I am intimate with her concerns, the makeup of her parents, and the ramifications to these two 84 year-old people.

But even if I didn't know her, I would not be doling out the arrogant arm-chair "expert" advice that you so easily and callously dish out, knowing diddly squat about the people involved.  What does it cost you to suggest dropping a bomb in people's lives?  Nothing.

Again, it would indeed be different if her parents were younger and/or educated and well-rounded enough to converse about their life-long held certainties, but as explained, they do not possess these attributes.  They came from the U.K. in the late 50's with not a high-school education between them. But they worked very hard, and provided us a home.  It is sad that they raised us with a false map of the world (christianity), but that can only be seen in retrospect, and I don't harbour any anger towards them in that regard, as they did the best with the tools they had.

As I've expressed in this forum numerous times, I abandoned the religious beliefs that I was raised with about 23 years ago, and it has only been recently that my younger sister (6yrs my junior) has begun to really think about these things, and I think that that is due to me really telling her what I think & feel, about a year ago, and introducing her to this site, and other material.  I'll let her speak for herself as she has had her own journey, but she seems to have escaped the tyranny that we were raised with as well - which is a whole other set of videos!  You have no idea.  I personally feel like an escapee from Auschwitz, as not many get out of the mental straight-jacket that we were donned with.

So please, lose your self-inflated and egotistical idea that you have "reminded me of my cowardice and dishonest rationalizations", and give us a pat on the back for our own "great escape".  It wasn't easy.






Thanks for listening.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Tykster on March 24, 2010, 08:09:29 AM
bm
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Noman Peopled on March 24, 2010, 08:42:28 AM
On "the living a lie" thing:

If you know that your parents would want to know something about you, and you don't tell them, it's lying by omission. It's a question of relevance. If you withheld information about your dietary habits from me, who cares. If you withheld them from a doctor trying to figure out what's wrong with your digestive system, you're lying by omission.

That's not to say it's the wrong thing to do. As stated, It's Not All That Simple (TM).
Personally, I would feel that withholding information from my parents that they would find relevant is disrespectful. It's just as patronizing as them ignoring my opinions on politics or pet food because hey, what does the young whippersnapper know.
Of course, this is not any kind of absolute either. Perhaps my patronizing them is deserved. (Say, they do need that protection.)



On the "they gave birth to me and raised me" thing:
My parents gave birth to me and raised me for reasons of their own. I had no choice but to build a relationship with them. Of course, this relationship is nothing to throw away lightly, no matter if I had a say in it's beginning or not. This relationships is, if anything, the factor that makes me owe something to my parents. (Although I'd insist that a relationship be built on strictly voluntary contributions.)
But the fact that I like my parents or that they paid for a whole bunch of stuff for me over the years should not oblige me to be anything, and neither should I need to pretend. I don't even require respect from my parents, just tolerance, and if I don't get that, I'll draw a line. Perhaps I'll just avoid meaningful discussions, perhaps I'll avoid my parents altogether.

But birth? Birth has nothing to do with anything imo. They took a chance. I could have become a mass murderer or a priest. My mother could've died in childbirth, or suffered from postnatal depression. Their adopted kid could've been hit with a baseball at age three, making him a vegetable.
It's not my obligation to be how my parents pictured me (including behavior, such as stating a dissenting opinion), just as I should be neither angry nor suprised when my kids want to be football players rather than the scientists I envisioned them as.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 24, 2010, 10:23:47 AM
If you know that your parents would want to know something about you, and you don't tell them, it's lying by omission.

I can assure you that they wouldn't really want to know where I/we stand.  They might be curious as to why we don't go to church, sure, and because of that might even inquire occasionally in order to get me/us back into church attendance (to them, that is paramount) but they really don't want to hear that I/we think their entire belief system about reality and eternal life or hell after death is completely delusional.  Trust me.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 26, 2010, 12:05:03 PM
They are not "jerks" as you put it, just simple uneducated, and old. 

I thought we were talking about your sibs at that point:

What I mean is because I am the baby of the family, they do not think that I am as smart as they are. Example whenever I bring anything up about how to feed your pets the proper way, not commercial pet food, they just laugh at me. It makes me angry because I have educated myself on this subject so much.  Also mentioning about the scientific findings that are being made is another one.

So I was referring to the sibs, not your parental units.  And if they sound like arrogant jerks to me, it is because you have made them sound that way. 



Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 26, 2010, 12:19:47 PM
Our siblings (one bro & one sis) are about 10 years older than I (16 yrs older than NotF).  They too were raised with what to think, not how to think, but are so far gone it's hard to explain. Only a ten year difference, but it put them growing up in a different era (50s~60s) and were even more sheltered from the real world than me & NotF.  They just don't seem to have the capacity for critical thought when it comes to their religious beliefs/faith.  When our parents pass on, I won't have any reservations voicing my thoughts on christianity to them.  Until then, consideration for our parents is more important.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 26, 2010, 01:59:46 PM
So I was referring to the sibs, not your parental units.  And if they sound like arrogant jerks to me, it is because you have made them sound that way. 
  Did not mean to make it sound like they are jerks, but they are in the same boat as my parents, just uneducated, and have the same dillusions. :shrug
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 26, 2010, 03:22:19 PM
Alright. Here we go:

I am not emotionally riled up. I just happened to be more in tune with the reality of the situation.  How is that so?  Well, it just so happens that Not on the Fence is my younger sister.  Yes, that's right, her parents are my parents, so I am intimate with her concerns, the makeup of her parents, and the ramifications to these two 84 year-old people.

Oh, the drama.   

I am not enchanted by this omission.  It reflects poorly on you.  It calls into question your whole purpose in this conversation.  Would it be a safe assumption that NotF already knows your postion on the matter?  If so, why bother arguing with me (or L6 or anyone else)?  She asked for advice and got it.  Why are you spending so much energy trying to prove us wrong? 

And while you might not think you are riled up, you are certainly emotionally invested.  You might be too close to accurately judge.  I am not saying you are wrong.  Just maybe you should argue less and reflect a little bit more?

But even if I didn't know her, I would not be doling out the arrogant arm-chair "expert" advice that you so easily and callously dish out, knowing diddly squat about the people involved.  What does it cost you to suggest dropping a bomb in people's lives?  Nothing.

Are you sure you aren't riled up? 

It's a crapshoot when you ask people what they think.  Some ideas will be useful, some will not.  Some ideas you will like, others, not so much.  It is not as if we sought her out and forced our opinions down her throat.  She came here and asked us.  But according to you, the only advice anyone is allowed to give is the advice you deem acceptable, the advice you want to hear?  Sorry.  That is not how it works.

If you don't want "arrogant arm-chair expert" advice, then don't ask the question of amateurs in the first place.  If you want professional advice, spend the money and go to a shrink.  You have no grounds for complaint. 




Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 26, 2010, 05:40:19 PM

I am not enchanted by this omission.

Rats!  I am always trying to enchant you.  Sorry about that.




Quote
It reflects poorly on you.

Ha-ha-ha-ha. You kill me. How does this reflect poorly on me oh mighty one?  Were you a dictator in another life?




Quote
It calls into question your whole purpose in this conversation.

Calls into question?!?  Who the heck do you think you are?  My purpose was clear from the get-go.





Quote
Would it be a safe assumption that NotF already knows your postion on the matter?

Whether safe or dangerous, it's an assumption, and we all know where that leads.  Even if she did "know my position", it matters not; it's a public forum and an open conversation which others may benefit from (it's not all about you).




Quote
If so, why bother arguing with me (or L6 or anyone else)?  She asked for advice and got it.

Why should I be excluded from the thread?  You're not making any sense.




Quote
Why are you spending so much energy trying to prove us wrong?

Geesh, you sound like a creationist.  It's a discussion, and I have my opinions.  It's a forum.




Quote
And while you might not think you are riled up, you are certainly emotionally invested.  You might be too close to accurately judge.

Or, I might be close enough to know better.



Quote
I am not saying you are wrong.  Just maybe you should argue less and reflect a little bit more?

Why do you call it arguing?  It's a discussion on a forum. What do you expect?  How do you know how much I reflected?



Quote
Are you sure you aren't riled up?  

Yes; thanks for asking.



Quote
It's a crapshoot when you ask people what they think.  Some ideas will be useful, some will not.  Some ideas you will like, others, not so much.  It is not as if we sought her out and forced our opinions down her throat.  She came here and asked us.

Right. But are you suggesting that your comments are off limits?  If so, just let me know and I'll happily leave 'em alone.




Quote
But according to you, the only advice anyone is allowed to give is the advice you deem acceptable

No, that's according to you.  Your words.




Quote
If you don't want "arrogant arm-chair expert" advice, then don't ask the question of amateurs in the first place.

I never said I didn't want to hear it, it's a free exchange of ideas & opinions, and I have mine.



Quote
If you want professional advice, spend the money and go to a shrink.  You have no grounds for complaint.  

And you think I'm riled up?  Mirror!
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 26, 2010, 05:46:42 PM
Star Stuff, do you think that NOTF should have made this thread?  After all, she already has - according to you - the best source of advice she could get on the topic[1].  Wouldn't other, conflicting sources of advice only endanger that ideal source of advice?
 1. Ie. you, according to you.  In evidence of this position I refer to your assertions that your closeness to the situation gives you insight that is available to nobody else in this thread
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 26, 2010, 05:57:49 PM
Nothing wrong with fleshing things out and hearing others' opinions.  Sounding boards are a good thing, but I think you'd agree that threads on this forum invite discussion between posters, no?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 26, 2010, 09:46:32 PM
Rats!  I am always trying to enchant you.  Sorry about that.

You should stop trying to be clever.  It does not come off well.  It betrays a prejudice going into the conversation. It tells me you are not open minded and makes me think my efforts to talk to you are going to be a waste of my time.  It suggests you have no respect.  It is like when some fundie comes in and starts ridiculing science for constantly changing.  You just know the conversation is hopeless. I hope that is not the case now.

Let me make my original point another way.  You lying about your relationship makes me question your integrity.  It is not that we simply have a difference of opinion.  You have been deceptive.  What was the point of your deception?  You should be able to understand and address my point and my apprehensions as a member of the community.

Quote
It reflects poorly on you.

Ha-ha-ha-ha. You kill me. How does this reflect poorly on me oh mighty one?  Were you a dictator in another life?

If you are saying you don't care what the people in this internet community think of you, then you miss the point of what a community means.  You have not dealt openly and honestly.  That is a betrayal of sorts, within the community.  But for what reason?  You have not answered that.  If you think that it is a requirement that I have some "mighty" status to expect this simple respect, then you have a problem.


Calls into question?!?  Who the heck do you think you are?  My purpose was clear from the get-go.

Who do you think you are?  You think you can deal dishonestly and not be called on it?  You think that the anonymity of the internet means there are no standards of interpersonal conduct?

You purpose was not clear and it still is not.  You little sister solicited opinions.  Presumably if she wanted yours, she could have called, emailed or talked face to face, whatever your situation may be.  Your input was redundant, unnecessary.  So what was the point of broadcasting it?   


Whether safe or dangerous, it's an assumption, and we all know where that leads.  

Cutesy answers get us nowhere. That was a question to you, and phrased as such.  You did not answer, but instead gave a dodge. 


Even if she did "know my position", it matters not; it's a public forum and an open conversation which others may benefit from (it's not all about you).

Who benefit from your responses?  They were directly related to your sister's situation and were hardly universally applicable.  And that is a bit presumptuous to think your input was beneficial.  Characterizing my position as advocating drubbing the elderly benefited no one.



Quote
If so, why bother arguing with me (or L6 or anyone else)?  She asked for advice and got it.

Why should I be excluded from the thread?  You're not making any sense.

Dodge.  Asserting I make no sense is just a distraction.  I did not say you should be excluded.  Answer the question.  Why argue with me or L6 or anyone else? 


Quote
Why are you spending so much energy trying to prove us wrong?

Geesh, you sound like a creationist.

Dodge.


Or, I might be close enough to know better.

You might.  Or you might be so riled up that you cannot see things clearly.


Why do you call it arguing?  It's a discussion on a forum. What do you expect?  

I call it arguing because that is what it is. In a normal "discussion" people do not use such hyperbole as to mischaracterize the other person as you have done.  You normally see that type of dirty pool in arguments, particularly arguments that are highly emotionally charged.  The kind where people lose perspective.

In your case, arguing in the forum is completely unnecessary, since you have an inside track. So, I ask again, why spend the effort and energy on showing how I am wrong?


Quote
Are you sure you aren't riled up?  

Yes; thanks for asking.

That was rhetorical.  I think it is pretty clear you are bothered by my position.

Right. But are you suggesting that your comments are off limits?  If so, just let me know and I'll happily leave 'em alone.

No.  I am saying given your position your responses are completely unnecessary.  Your participation in this thread is completely unnecessary.  So why are you participating?


Quote
But according to you, the only advice anyone is allowed to give is the advice you deem acceptable

No, that's according to you.  Your words.

Kindly, quote my words.  You are making a habit of attributing positions to me that I do not actually hold. Then, when I ask for references, you produce none.  That is disrespectful and fallacious.


Quote
If you don't want "arrogant arm-chair expert" advice, then don't ask the question of amateurs in the first place.

I never said I didn't want to hear it, it's a free exchange of ideas & opinions, and I have mine.

But to characterize it as you have is to be dismissive of it, which is to say you don't want to hear it.  What is the point of hearing other opinions if you are so derisive toward them?  And if we know "diddly squat" - a condition for which you and your sister are entirely responsible - why would you even bother asking the question without giving enough information?   Why would you be so surprised by the low quality[1] responses?


 1. in your opinion
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 27, 2010, 02:17:30 AM
Ok  lets all calm down a bit here.  I want to thank everyone for all your input here in this thread. I will say that all have had some help, and yes my brothers comments have helped me aswell.  I was not sure exactly if he would respond in the thread I made, I also was not sure on how he felt about me sharing how I believe now with my other siblings.    I just wanted to get opinions from a vast amount of people as I know that there are alot of former theists in  this forum that may have some good input. :)
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 27, 2010, 02:41:13 PM
So as to not to derail this thread any further, I will reply to screwtape by PM when I get a chance.

In a nutshell, though, I find the accusation of "deception" to be completely false and highly offensive.  I maintained anonimity with my sister for the short time she's been on here for no other reason than anonimity sake. There was absolutely no such intent (or evidence) of deception, that is not my style, I merely eventually felt forced to really spell out my reasoning for why I felt that one should not "come out" to elderly, simple minded parents, and I would have said all the things I did say even if I did not know NOTF, because it still would have been based on my experience.

I like this place too much and respect too many of you all to even entertain the idea of a deceptive act.  Wouldn't dream of it.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 27, 2010, 03:00:58 PM
Star Stuff and Not On The Fence, I am curious about something:  How many non-parental Christians know who you are and that you are atheists?

If you are unwilling to let your parents know that you are atheists, and if your parents engage in any kind of social life, then there is a risk if you out yourselves to anyone, that word might get back to them.  So, does that keep you both closeted in the other non-anonymous parts of your lives?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jim on March 27, 2010, 03:26:51 PM
Quote from: L6
You and L6 think that it's for the best if a relationship bursts when one guy's parents are shattered because they can't accept their child is not what they thought. 
Show me where I said that. ... I said "initiate this conflict", but I didn't give instructions. It is up to each individual to decide how and when to do that, once they've made that decision. I don't know anyone else or their family well enough to ever give them any specific advice. "Strife" is probably a better word than "conflict", but a conflict it will be, however minor. If not between individuals, then within them.
Why the need for conflict and strife?  Why the assumption that it will be minor?  This is not in my experience that I can expect such things to be minor.

Quote from: L6
When people realize that their views can hurt their family members, particularly their children, their behavior is more likely to change.
Not necessarily.  Big assumption.

Quote
You don't need to fight or debate your family; it's as simple as saying you don't believe. Most people avoid conflict and will probably leave it alone after that. It's their knowing at all--and that you are a good person, to boot--that is important.
You say this, apparently with the assumption that open discussion always leads to enlightened decisions and reactions.  Not always so.  Sometimes a relationship with family hinges on more than just religion, but the strife or conflict that you urge, above, is enough to fuck things up for good.  The conflict that starts with one thing can set other aspects of the relationship on fire.

Like I've said in posts in this forum and at ATT: I told my loved ones what I think about religion and God.  With some, it has been beneficial, with others, not so.  It is very, very unfortunate that some relationships hit the rocks.  Despite what you say -- there were other values to those relationships beyond religion, and I do not feel that it was for the better because they could not reconcile with what I felt.

As for atheism gaining ground, politically -- you and everyone else here can help with that, with or without family's help or knowledge.  To imply or state in a coercive manner that you must tell your family, "come hell or high water", in order to be a good atheist is rather indoctrinating of you, L6.  First, you must submit.  slm

I will continue to keep my own counsel about this kind of matter.  I do not "live a lie."  But, then again, I have no need to discuss or denounce religion.  Most people I meet in life just don't rank getting into that personal space.  I know far better about what is required in my life than you ever will. 

The shame you attempt to invoke by slinging around "cowardice", and similar remarks, merely exposes your need to bully others into feeling the same way you do.  My advice to others is to use extreme judgement, do not rush, and certainly do not listen to those, like you, who would demean them with cries of "spinelessness" -- you may as well be telling them to not think through what they should do.

You and Star Stuff are just emotionally riled up because I've reminded you of your own cowardice and dishonest rationalizations.
I won't speak for Star Stuff.  For my part, I have noticed your feather primping and strutting.  Very nice: pretty plumage.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 27, 2010, 04:27:14 PM
Star Stuff and Not On The Fence, I am curious about something:  How many non-parental Christians know who you are and that you are atheists?

If you are unwilling to let your parents know that you are atheists, and if your parents engage in any kind of social life, then there is a risk if you out yourselves to anyone, that word might get back to them.  So, does that keep you both closeted in the other non-anonymous parts of your lives?

Good, thoughtful question.  As you can imagine, ones social group can be quite diverse.  Of those people that I know who would be in contact with my parents (there aren't many)  that really know my thoughts on this, have been advised to kindly keep it to themselves for the consideration reasons I've already mentioned.  Most of my peer group don't have contact with my parents.

My parents are obviously aware of the fact that I haven't attended church in 23 years, and they'd love nothing better than to see me there, as in their minds, attendance is very important.  I remember my parents bringing it up a few years ago but I didn't allow the conversation to get off the ground.  I think I said something to the effect that I'd prefer to just not talk about it, and changed the subject.

There is a part of me that would LOVE (in conversation with them) to dismantle all of the false beliefs which they hold; heck, I have visions of giving a 45 minute fully prepared, devastating sermon at my old church! - heh heh; but again, it is purley and solely out of consideration for them that I don't get into this with them.  There would be tears, loss of sleep, and enormous termoil on their part if I did, and I suggest that nobody at that age deserves that from their kids.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 27, 2010, 08:57:20 PM
Star Stuff and Not On The Fence, I am curious about something:  How many non-parental Christians know who you are and that you are atheists?

If you are unwilling to let your parents know that you are atheists, and if your parents engage in any kind of social life, then there is a risk if you out yourselves to anyone, that word might get back to them.  So, does that keep you both closeted in the other non-anonymous parts of your lives?
My parents do not have too much of a social life now, and they do not really know any of my friends that know my beliefs.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: jetson on March 28, 2010, 09:57:57 AM
I would love to have a relationshop with my father, but he doesn't respect me.  It hurts sometimes when I think about it, but I can no longer pretend that the relationship is good.  I have occasional conversations, but overall, there's nothing substantial between us.  I'm his only son.

All because of religion? That's really sad, Jetson.



No - my atheism is a small and recent thing to him.  He is just so wrapped up in himself and self-righteous.  He has alienated all of his four children.

I have to agree with kindred to some degree.  We naturally tend to love our family members, but is there a reason why that love must be dogmatic?  Even to the point where we can be treated like shit and we still are required to love them?  No thanks!

Which brings up a point regarding siblings.  We are literally stuck with each other for usually around 15 to 18 years!  As children, we have no way of getting away from our siblings.  This can be very unhealthy sometimes!
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 29, 2010, 02:47:00 PM
So as to not to derail this thread any further, I will reply to screwtape by PM when I get a chance.

PMs are not welcome. That is not a specific grudge against you.  It is my general policy.  If we have a misunderstanding/ problem/ whatever, I would much prefer to iron it out in the light of day.  I have found PMs can exacerbate any problems there are.  And if things really go south and someone takes the private conversation public[1], it becomes a he said/ he said deal that is a mess.  It was a pain in the ass when Poseidon/ Nihilnath PM'd me and then lied in the public forum about what was said.


In a nutshell, though, I find the accusation of "deception" to be completely false and highly offensive. 

My intention is not to offend you.  My intention is to find out why you entered this conversation at least omitting the very relevant fact that you two are siblings.  I feel that you were arguing from behind a curtain with ulterior motives and I did not like that.  I also did not like the straw man arguments, the hyperbole and the mischaracterizations.  All these go toward the greater point of respect, which you seem to lack for no better reason than we disagree.

I maintained anonimity with my sister for the short time she's been on here for no other reason than anonimity sake.

If you feel there was some personal information you were guarding, I can respect that.  I try to guard my personal details carefully.  But to be anonymous just for the sake of it does not make sense to me. Omitting that you and NotF are siblings does not make sense to me, unless there is some ulterior motive.


There was absolutely no such intent (or evidence) of deception, .

Of course there is evidence and intent.  You just said it above.  You did not elaborate on your relationship for "anonymity sake".  In other words, you kept it secret and it was not an accident.  Deception and intent.  I think what you mean to say is you did not do it with malicious intent. 



 1. as angry people are wont to do
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 29, 2010, 03:07:28 PM
I'm sorry screwtape, I'm spending any more energy on the assumptions and conclusions that you have created in your mind and refuse to let go of.  I'll say it one more time:

I would have said all the things I did say even if I did not know NOTF, because it still would have been based on my experience.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 29, 2010, 04:52:46 PM

If you don't want "arrogant arm-chair expert" advice, then don't ask the question of amateurs in the first place.  If you want professional advice, spend the money and go to a shrink.  You have no grounds for complaint. 
  This is a forum to ask questions, discuss, and debate, is it not?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Sister Chromatid on March 29, 2010, 04:55:33 PM
I think it's fine to make beliefs (and non-belief) off topic for discussion.  

If people keep their beliefs to themselves and don't expect my deference, I'm glad to treat them as rationalists unless or until it becomes obvious they are not.

I wouldn't express my lack of belief to a parent who would worry that their beloved child was going to hell so long as that parent didn't make statements with the assumption that I agreed with their beliefs.  Some believers (including my siblings) have a weird tendency to state their beliefs as facts that everyone agrees with.  In those cases, I speak up.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 29, 2010, 05:03:14 PM
Let me make my original point another way.  You lying about your relationship makes me question your integrity.  It is not that we simply have a difference of opinion.  You have been deceptive.  What was the point of your deception?  You should be able to understand and address my point and my apprehensions as a member of the community.
Not sure I understand where my brother outright lied?


You purpose was not clear and it still is not.  You little sister solicited opinions.  Presumably if she wanted yours, she could have called, emailed or talked face to face, whatever your situation may be.  Your input was redundant, unnecessary.  So what was the point of broadcasting it?  [/quote]                                    

Actually his opinion and answers, and the way that you and others replied to them helped, it was not reduntant to me or unnecessary.  Broadcasting,?? well he cant PM you can he?? he can share his replies just like any other, and  he knows the situation, so he can relate to me.
Sorry trying to do another quote and it screwed up, Ill figure this quoting thing out one day, lol!
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 30, 2010, 08:29:25 AM

If you don't want "arrogant arm-chair expert" advice, then don't ask the question of amateurs in the first place.  If you want professional advice, spend the money and go to a shrink.  You have no grounds for complaint. 
 
This is a forum to ask questions, discuss, and debate, is it not?

It is.  You asked a question, which is fine.  You got some answers, also fine.  Then star stuff began with the nonsense - dodging questions, mischaracterizing my position repeatedly, being generally difficult.  My post that you quote above was a response to your brother's comment here:
But even if I didn't know her, I would not be doling out the arrogant arm-chair "expert" advice that you so easily and callously dish out, knowing diddly squat about the people involved.  What does it cost you to suggest dropping a bomb in people's lives?  Nothing.

His points seem to be:
1. we didn't know "diddly squat" about your situation
2. we don't know you. 
3. we were merely "arrogant arm-chair experts", which is to say, not experts or even remotely knowledgable
4. we advocated "dropping bombs"
5. we should not dole out advice.

If you sum that up, it equals STFU.  He was saying we should not have answered.  That is not debate. That is not discussion.  That is your brother trying to shut down discussion.  Rather than discuss or debate the points on their merits, he is attacking the people who made them.  It is an ad hominem attack.  We are "arrogant arm-chair experts", therefore, our points are invalid.  It is a logical fallacy that he recognizes and calls out when theists use it.  Unfortunately he is too emotionally involved in this discussion to recognize when he is doing it, let alone to refrain from using it.   

It would be a good exercise for you to reread my conversation with him.   It will be to practice using reason over emotion.  Look for all the places where he dodges the point, accuses me of saying things I did not say and generally behaves like an irrational tool. Then explain it to him.  It will help you prepare for the day when you are ready to have your atheist discussion with your other arrogant siblings who treat you poorly. 


Not sure I understand where my brother outright lied?

It was a lie of omission.  It took him until the 4th page to reveal that you were siblings.  Why?  What was the big secret?  That puts a very different perspective on his role in the "conversation".  He seemed to want to argue as though he had nothing at stake, when really he did.  Why would he do that? 

Maybe it's no big deal.  Maybe I am overreacting.  But it strikes me as something he could and should have been up front about.  Combine that with the way he rather dishonorably handled himself, it makes me wonder what he was up to, what his hidden agenda was.

Actually his opinion and answers, and the way that you and others replied to them helped, it was not reduntant to me or unnecessary. 

I am glad you found it worthwhile.

he can share his replies just like any other, and  he knows the situation, so he can relate to me.

But that was not what he was doing.  He was trying shut down everyone who disagreed with him.  My point was, why was that necessary and why do it here?  You asked for advice and he seemed to want to control the advice, to limit the discussion.  He only wanted his advice to be advanced.  For my part, I really don't care what you do.  You asked.  I answered.  The rest is up to you.

Some more advice - getting advice from disinterested strangers is usually best.  They can see things more clearly because they do not have the same bonds and emotional ties.  They do not have a vested interest either way. 

IN my experience, the people closest to you actively try to prevent you from changing, even for the better.  They have an image, a model of you formed in their minds.  And any drastic change to that model makes them uncomfortable.  Example - your family having a hard time accepting that you are an atheist.  It does not fit with how they think of you.  It scares them because they start to wonder who else they are wrong about and in what ways?

On the other hand, I have found that strangers are almost always willing to help another person acheive their goals if they know them.  This is a situation I have actually been in.  I met someone new and we were talking about careers.  I expressed a desire to do something different.  She came up with 10 things I should do right away to pursue that goal. My friends and family came up with 10 reasons why I shouldn't.  It is not that they don't care about me or want me to fail.  It is just difficult for them to cope with change even in other people.

I'm not saying SS is working against you.  I am sure his intentions are mostly good.  I am saying, you should be very skeptical of his advice and be aware of his motives.   As Screwtape Sr says, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.


Sorry trying to do another quote and it screwed up, Ill figure this quoting thing out one day, lol!
It's alright.  Read this (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=4259.0) and practice.



Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 30, 2010, 10:32:33 AM

If you sum that up, it equals STFU.  He was saying we should not have answered.  That is not debate. That is not discussion.  That is your brother trying to shut down discussion.  Rather than discuss or debate the points on their merits, he is attacking the people who made them. 


screwtape, you really need to let this go; you're getting way bent out of shape on this and fabricating & inflating something that only exists in your mind.

You claim that I said "we should not have answered" and "tried to shut down discussion". This is rediculous and shows that your are over-reacting. All I did was disagree with the idea of coming out with one's atheism to elderly, frail, unarmed parents!  As I understand it, that's what a forum is about!

Snap out of it dude.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 30, 2010, 10:38:17 AM
Star Stuff, would it kill you to be intellecutally honest in this discussion, and concede your own poor behaviour?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 30, 2010, 10:43:09 AM
Poor behaviour!?!

Fuck you.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 30, 2010, 10:44:07 AM
So, no intellectual honesty, then; got it.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 30, 2010, 10:44:56 AM
Have you stopped beating your wife?

That's how your question feels.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 30, 2010, 10:51:46 AM
Thay may be how it feels, but that is not how it functions.

You have engaged in flagrant use of fallacies and attempts to shut down discussion in your exchanges with screwtape, and he's been pretty damn patient about it, while you are now lying in your attempt to hand-wave it away.

To be clear, the most recent case is of the following structure:

1. Screwtape provides evidence for X.
2. You respond to him in a way that ignores his evidence for X, and calls X ridiculous.

Is that intellectually honest behaviour?  Would you accept it from a theist?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 30, 2010, 10:55:47 AM
You have engaged in flagrant use of fallacies and attempts to shut down discussion in your exchanges with screwtape, and he's been pretty damn patient about it, while you are now lying in your attempt to hand-wave it away.

BS
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 30, 2010, 10:58:03 AM
Screwtape provided evidence from your own quotes.  Whether or not you choose to be honest about that is strictly up to you, but don't expect the fact that you're an atheist to give you some sort of immunity from irrationality and intellectual dishonesty, or from being called on such behaviour.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 30, 2010, 11:12:00 AM
Fuck you. 

I take that as a "yes, Azdgari, I do believe it would kill me."



you're getting way bent out of shape on this and fabricating & inflating something that only exists in your mind.

I'm not bent out of shape.  When I get bent out of shape I react like you did in the quote at the top. I've not resorted to that, so I'd say I've still got it together.

And if the idea that you have been acting irrationally, dodging, and essentially told L6 and anyone who agrees with him to not offer our opinions only exists in my mind, then why does Az seem to agree with me?  Why does he see it and you do not?  He's not me.  I have not hypnotized him. He is not under my control[1].

You claim that I said "we should not have answered" and "tried to shut down discussion". This is rediculous and shows that your are over-reacting.

I laid it all out for your sister using your very words.  Go back and read that post.  It seems pretty obvious to me.  I'd bet it is obvious to Az too.  And probably NotF.  It probably seems invisible to you because that is your brain trying to justify a completely emotional decision and the resulting fallout from it.

Look, I know admitting you are wrong is difficult.  But it is a strength, not a weakness.  It is something to be proud of, not shameful. At some point in your life you admitted you were wrong about god.  And that probably felt good.  This should be easier to do. I am not going to beat my chest and do a celebratory dance.  I do not want to gloat or humiliate you.  I want you to see where you have been acting in a way you would condemn if a theist did it.

All I did was disagree with the idea of coming out with one's atheism to elderly, frail, unarmed parents!

That is not what you did, never mind that that was not exactly my argument in the first place. You accused me of a whole host of things I did not say.  You employed ad hominem attacks.  And you suggested we should not offer our opinions.  The quotes are there.  If you cannot see it, then you have a problem.


As I understand it, that's what a forum is about!

Stop with the red herrings and strawman arguments already.  Your mind is squirming to get out of the situation because somewhere it recongnizes the truth.  Deal with the real situation.  Don't be confused. This is not about whether your opinion[2] is right or wrong.  You have dumped a boatload of nonsense in this thread.  Recognize that.  Acknowledge that.  This is important.  Believe it or not, I am doing you a favor.

 1. yet
 2. about being an out atheist to your family
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Inactive_1 on March 30, 2010, 11:20:56 AM
You all are grown ups. Either work it out here in the Pit or go on to another thread. Show the community an example of reaching an understanding, or move on. We don't need to babysit supposedly rational thinkers.

Good Luck.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 30, 2010, 11:26:25 AM
I apologize for the F/U comment, but there's nothing that makes me more angry than being wrongly accused.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 30, 2010, 11:31:28 AM
There is nothing that anyone on here can say that will force you to acknowledge an evidence-based position, Star Stuff.  I do realize that.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 30, 2010, 11:40:38 AM
I apologize for the F/U comment, but

You know, when you make a statement and follow it with "but..." it negates the original statement. 

"I love you, but your hips are big" says "I don't love you because your hips are big"

"I'm sorry, but you said something that made me angry" says "I'm not really sorry, because I was totally justified."  That may not be what you meant.  But that is what it says.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 30, 2010, 11:49:10 AM
I just went back and re-read every post I made on this thread.  I suggest you do the same, and then please provide me with this "evidence" you assert that I:

- Tried to "shut down" the conversation
- Attacked people.
- Said that you "should not have answered"
- Dodged points
- Had a "hidden agenda"
- Lied about relationship with sister (and don't give me that "lie by ommission" BS, I eventually felt forced to drop the anonimity, and that's it. Your preference to retroactively apply wrong intent is just rediculous).



I encourage you two to go back and read my posts from the start, but first remove the guilt filters that you seem to be wearing.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: One Above All on March 30, 2010, 12:28:40 PM
You know, when you make a statement and follow it with "but..." it negates the original statement. 

"I love you, but your hips are big" says "I don't love you because your hips are big"

"I'm sorry, but you said something that made me angry" says "I'm not really sorry, because I was totally justified."  That may not be what you meant.  But that is what it says.

i disagree. in this case, it means SS is sorry for what he said and justifies why he said it
in the first case you presented it's just pointing out a flaw in a person you love so they can improve it
in the second example it's explaining why the person said/did something
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 30, 2010, 01:10:37 PM
i disagree.

Nobody asked you.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 30, 2010, 01:14:23 PM
If someone is genuinely sorry for doing X, then what motive does that person have to justify having done X?

If one believes that he or she is justified in doing X, then it makes no sense to be sorry for having done X.  It might make sense to be sorry for some side-effect of X, but if X was actually justified in that person's mind, then that person is not sorry.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: One Above All on March 30, 2010, 01:45:28 PM
i disagree.

Nobody asked you.

and who asked you if anybody asked me?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: One Above All on March 30, 2010, 01:55:52 PM
If someone is genuinely sorry for doing X, then what motive does that person have to justify having done X?

If one believes that he or she is justified in doing X, then it makes no sense to be sorry for having done X.  It might make sense to be sorry for some side-effect of X, but if X was actually justified in that person's mind, then that person is not sorry.

when i got pissed at one of my best friends, after i calmed down and apologized i explained why i got angry so he/she wouldn't get angry at me for thinking i got angry at him/her for no reason
even though it was justified, i explained myself so he/she wouldnt think it was completely unjustified and i was sorry for having reacted that way
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 30, 2010, 01:57:33 PM
If your reaction was justified, then why were you sorry for having reacted that way?  That's not rational.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: One Above All on March 30, 2010, 02:00:01 PM
If your reaction was justified, then why were you sorry for having reacted that way?  That's not rational.

no matter the justification, a bad reaction is a bad reaction. i should've stayed calm and i shouldn't have gotten pissed at my friend
also, although something may seem justified to me, for my friend it might not have been
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 30, 2010, 02:03:12 PM
I just went back and re-read every post I made on this thread.  I suggest you do the same,

I already did.

You are being intentionally obtuse and not listening to me.  I really prefer that you do this on your own.  But since you demand it…

- Tried to "shut down" the conversation
This (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg299818#msg299818) is the post where I lay out exactly how you said we should not offer our advice.

- Attacked people.
Same post.  I laid out what an “Ad hominem attack” was and showed how you did it.  
Read this post (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg297046#msg297046) and tell me how you go from it to accusing me of  “carpet bombing”, “dropping bombs”, “throwing hand grenades pell mell”, and “drubbing” the elderly.  I know how you got there.  I want to see if you have a clue.

I even corrected you at one point (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg297079#msg297079) An honest person might have said “oh screwtape, you’re right.  I’m sorry about that.  I misunderstood what you said.”  Because what I said there is not that different from what you said here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg296950#msg296950).  

But instead you disregarded that and continued on with the straw man arguments and mischaracterization.  If a xian came in here and did that, you would call him a liar.  I refrained from that charge until you admitted your family relationship.

- Said that you "should not have answered"
Same post as the first. Your response was “You don’t know shit, and if I were you I would not be giving out advice”.  That = STFU.  Or did you mean something else by calling it “arm-chair expert advice”?

- Dodged points
Take your pick.  There are about half a dozen questions I asked that have been left unanswered. I am not going to sort them out for you.  You are fortunate I have not asked that you be put in the ER for dodging questions.  

- Had a "hidden agenda"
I did not claim you had a hidden agenda.  I wondered whether you had one because your ruse made me suspicious.  

- Lied about relationship with sister (and don't give me that "lie by ommission" BS, I eventually felt forced to drop the anonimity, and that's it. Your preference to retroactively apply wrong intent is just rediculous).

“ridiculous”.  

Why is a lie by omission BS?  Because it makes you feel better about doing it? I am not the only one who said that to you.  Norman Peopled, Azdgari, etc. You started off this thread pretending you were something you were not.  That is a lie.  Maybe it was not meant maliciously.  Maybe it was not to cover an ulterior motive.  Maybe it was not harmful.  Maybe it was.  But either way, it was a lie nevertheless.

This post is consistent with your failures in this thread.  You continue to react emotionally.  You continue to inaccurately represent me – whether through hasty/ poor reading, emotional misinterpretation or dishonesty I do not know.  And you continue to refuse to look in the mirror or take responsibility for anything.  

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 30, 2010, 02:10:56 PM
when i got pissed at one of my best friends, after i calmed down and apologized i explained why i got angry so he/she wouldn't get angry at me for thinking i got angry at him/her for no reason
even though it was justified, i explained myself so he/she wouldnt think it was completely unjustified and i was sorry for having reacted that way

bold mine
I understand that.  I left room for the possibility that SS did not mean it to sound like a non-apology. But it still sounds like a non-apology.

And there is a way to say it that does not sound like a retraction of the apology.  When you say "But" it negates what came before it.  If you can use "and" it can make a big difference.  In the example I gave, you could say "I love you and you have big hips." you did that above where I bolded it.  That comes off better than "I'm sorry but I had good reason to be a jerk"

Or you can use "but" and reverse the order "you have big hips, but I love you."  "I was upset for this reason, but I am sorry for it"  See the difference?

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: One Above All on March 30, 2010, 02:26:53 PM
bold mine
I understand that.  I left room for the possibility that SS did not mean it to sound like a non-apology.

true, there was that possibility

But it still sounds like a non-apology.

i disagree. every time i hear someone use that expression i don't think it sounds like a non-apology. but that's me =/

And there is a way to say it that does not sound like a retraction of the apology.  When you say "But" it negates what came before it.  If you can use "and" it can make a big difference.  In the example I gave, you could say "I love you and you have big hips." you did that above where I bolded it.  That comes off better than "I'm sorry but I had good reason to be a jerk"

i disagree with the "but" negating what comes before it. i've never once heard someone say that (before now anyway) but i can see how you could interpret it as such
i agree with the second part

Or you can use "but" and reverse the order "you have big hips, but I love you."  "I was upset for this reason, but I am sorry for it"  See the difference?

i see how to you it can seem different but to me it's the same =/
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Xero-Kill on March 30, 2010, 02:41:49 PM
I hate these questions... why should the non-believer have to put themselves over a barrel? Why is it always the atheist that is forced to sit in silence while the others feel the freedom of expression? I say that if they are a true family they will accept your beliefs and they will allow, nay... want your voice to be heard. If they can't get over a disagreement for your sake, why should you be forced to lie for theirs?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 30, 2010, 02:44:08 PM
 It will help you prepare for the day when you are ready to have your atheist discussion with your other arrogant siblings who treat you poorly.  
Ok first off what does SFTU mean?? :shrug
and I think that statements like this and saying that our family are "jerks" would put anyones back up, maybe if you did not say these things, then maybe it would have not got so emotional?
Now this thread has gotten way off track, can we please just agree that we disagree.
I think that I know my brothers intentions, and I know that he does not have ulterior motives, or that he has lied in anyway.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 30, 2010, 02:47:39 PM
I hate these questions... why should the non-believer have to put themselves over a barrel? Why is it always the atheist that is forced to sit in silence while the others feel the freedom of expression? I say that if they are a true family they will accept your beliefs and they will allow, nay... want your voice to be heard. If they can't get over a disagreement for your sake, why should you be forced to lie for theirs?
 To understand the situation maybe you can have a listen to this video, this is quite similar to my situation.  When you have parents and siblings who are dilusional, and just do not have the brain capacity to understand, things become quite difficult to try and explain.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXA7GA9yntc[/youtube]
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 30, 2010, 04:26:26 PM
 It will help you prepare for the day when you are ready to have your atheist discussion with your other arrogant siblings who treat you poorly.  

Ok first off what does SFTU mean?? :shrug

STFU = Shut The F- Up.

and I think that statements like this and saying that our family are "jerks" would put anyones back up, maybe if you did not say these things, then maybe it would have not got so emotional?

Thank you for bringing that up.  That was part of the problem, wasn't it?  I said something that seemed accurate based on your description of the family.  Mr Stuff took exception and acted like a tard, but did not explain that when I was talking about your "arrogant jerks" of a family, it included him.  So, he was upset, but I had no way to connect the dots until two pages later.  He was taking things very personally, and I did not see it or suspect it, because it did not add up.  Now it does.  So that is another way his deception undermined the conversation.

Now this thread has gotten way off track, can we please just agree that we disagree.

We can agree to disagree about what advice is best.  That was more or less decided a couple pages ago. 

But as for your brother's behavior, no.  It is beyond that now.  He has behaved poorly[1] and he should at least acknowledge that.  When I make an ass of myself I admit it and apologize.  When I have misunderstandings I clear them up as best I can.  I did that in this very thread.  I apologized to your brother for a misunderstanding where I did not even intend insult.  That is courtesy.  That is having manners.  That is an earnest attempt to have and maintain a civil discussion despite the fact that all along the way he mischaracterized[2] my points.  If I let him off the hook now, he will continue to act like an irrational doofus.  He has to confront that and own up to it.

I think that I know my brothers intentions, and I know that he does not have ulterior motives, or that he has lied in anyway.

You cannot say he did not lie in any way.  He pretended you were not related.  He put on an act.  He maintained a pretense.  He lied.  This post (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg296710#msg296710), when looked at knowing what we know now, is laughable in its dishonesty.  He's trying to fill in the blanks where it makes his argument, but he is still trying to pretend he doesn't really know the whole deal.  "heck, they probably don't know how to turn on a computer."  As if he were guessing.  "Probably" my foot. This is a lie and it should be very clear to you.

In addition he has been intellectually dishonest with me.  Rather than respond to him as he responded to Azdgari (you know, by dropping the F-bomb), I have tried to help him.  Unfortunately, rather than show gratitude, he has to be dragged kicking and screaming to rationality.  I would appreciate it if you helped me.

Have you completed your assignment yet?  This is exactly why I suggested it.  You instinctively jump to your brother's defense.  That is natural and I would defend my brothers too.  But you are justifying his actions when you should not.  You should work on seeing through emotional bullshit and countering it.  If we cannot do that with fellow atheists, how can we expect to do it with theists?



 1. that is, dishonestly
 2. ie, lied about
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 30, 2010, 05:50:07 PM
Thank you for bringing that up.  That was part of the problem, wasn't it?  I said something that seemed accurate based on your description of the family
The way I explained things I did not mean they were jerks. Did you even read what I just said in my second to last post? Also the video I posted have you watched that?  What is "my assignment  :?
I think that you have blown this all out of proportion,and no Im not just standing up for my brother because he is my brother, I stand up for his reasoning because  he knows the details.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 30, 2010, 06:11:57 PM
Sorry screwtape, I have once again gone over every post I made on this thread from the beginning and cannot find anything wrong with what I've said, or my conduct. You appear to have an enormous amount of stuff fabricated in your mind about my intentions and I cannot be responsible for your misunderstanding; that's your baggage.  In your last post to me you have once again gone on a diatribe with claims & ideas about me which only exists in your head.  You have not provided what I asked for, your references are tissue thin and nonsensical.

I'm done with you on this. I think you should get some fresh air, or exercise or something.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 30, 2010, 06:34:26 PM
Reasoned analysis = diatribe in Star Stuff's lexicon.  Good to know.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: shnozzola on March 30, 2010, 08:00:42 PM
Fence,
          I was raised brethren also, maybe not as strict as you.  My mother and sister are very religious.  One of my sisters kids(in college) is religious one is atheist(in college).  My brother in law is an atheist.  I consider myself an atheist, but, since I only studied christianity, I believe that the teachings of jesus, whether real or myth, are extremely important, as I also realize are the teachings of many secular and religious leaders throughout history.  Have your views changed so much from your family?   I would not tell my uncles I am an atheist, because I care about them too much to have the discussion that leads nowhere.

 My extended family is not going to attack police in Michigan - we are not that type of christian family.  The "love" part of our collective upbringing, because of my grandfather's mennonite strengths - knowing that ALL men are created equal and we can't judge anyone for thinking what we ourselves are not sure of - allows us to remain a strong family.  Some may not understand the need to remain silent concerning this, but to me family is too important.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: jetson on March 30, 2010, 08:08:11 PM
shnozzola,

Could one or more of your family members do something that would make you consider that maybe they no longer deserve your respect?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: RegalSin on March 30, 2010, 10:01:19 PM
My family is a god fearing family too, however once I am out of the house I really could careless about there strickness on the subject at hand. If your at home, just make your daily tasks revolve around them. To hell with there respect, as long as your not a maniac killer, drug user, or something else in that feild, consider yourself clean.

Quote
My brother in law is an atheist.

Is also the person sleeping with your sister. He is not your blood relative, in this terms at all. He is not your freind no matter how much of a good time you enjoy with him. Like the guy who impregnat my sister. I am just too hot and too tired to deal, with being hatefilled against him. I mean so what, if she got pregnant when she was 13 or 31, I am just happy that my sister is being a normal woman. Making babies and going out with men, and not sleeping with women.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 30, 2010, 10:04:48 PM
I am just happy that my sister is being a normal woman. Making babies and going out with men, and not sleeping with women.

Now that should open up a can of worms.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: L6 on March 30, 2010, 11:14:10 PM
I know this response is late and probably nobody cares now, but whatever.

Why the need for conflict and strife?
It's not a need, it's merely an inevitability. As already pointed out above, whenever someone close to you is presented with the notion that you are either going to change or are not the person they already think you are, they will resist that notion. That is the strife.

Quote from: L6
When people realize that their views can hurt their family members, particularly their children, their behavior is more likely to change.
Not necessarily.  Big assumption.
Not necessarily more likely to change? So, your position is that your family, upon hearing you're Negative Attribute X, is going to ramp up their hatred for X, knowing it will hurt you more? And keeping a family like that is more valuable than honesty, among other things?

Quote
You don't need to fight or debate your family; it's as simple as saying you don't believe. Most people avoid conflict and will probably leave it alone after that. It's their knowing at all--and that you are a good person, to boot--that is important.
You say this, apparently with the assumption that open discussion always leads to enlightened decisions and reactions.  Not always so.  Sometimes a relationship with family hinges on more than just religion, but the strife or conflict that you urge, above, is enough to fuck things up for good.  The conflict that starts with one thing can set other aspects of the relationship on fire.
It doesn't have to be open discussion. Like I already said, only the individual knows which approach is best, once they've made the decision to let their family know the truth.

Like I've said in posts in this forum and at ATT: I told my loved ones what I think about religion and God.  With some, it has been beneficial, with others, not so.  It is very, very unfortunate that some relationships hit the rocks.  Despite what you say -- there were other values to those relationships beyond religion, and I do not feel that it was for the better because they could not reconcile with what I felt.
So you value family over honesty. Fine. Then please direct your attention to my first little rant about losing the right to complain about how atheists are treated. (Not that you do complain about that, not that I can recall.) If you felt great angst over the public opinion of atheists and yet refused to inform your family, I don't think you would deserve any sympathy.

As for atheism gaining ground, politically -- you and everyone else here can help with that, with or without family's help or knowledge.  To imply or state in a coercive manner that you must tell your family, "come hell or high water", in order to be a good atheist is rather indoctrinating of you, L6.  First, you must submit.  slm
Every decision comes down to an emotion. If you want to see it as indoctrination to make you feel better about rejecting my opinion, go for it.

I will continue to keep my own counsel about this kind of matter.  I do not "live a lie."  But, then again, I have no need to discuss or denounce religion.  Most people I meet in life just don't rank getting into that personal space.  I know far better about what is required in my life than you ever will.
Okay, well, this was never about you, specifically, so okay.

The shame you attempt to invoke by slinging around "cowardice", and similar remarks, merely exposes your need to bully others into feeling the same way you do.  My advice to others is to use extreme judgement, do not rush, and certainly do not listen to those, like you, who would demean them with cries of "spinelessness" -- you may as well be telling them to not think through what they should do.
That is safe and useless advice, as everyone uses their own judgement regardless. It sounds like you just don't want to be accountable.

You and Star Stuff are just emotionally riled up because I've reminded you of your own cowardice and dishonest rationalizations.
I won't speak for Star Stuff.  For my part, I have noticed your feather primping and strutting.  Very nice: pretty plumage.
I like how you're trying to demonize me both to make it easier to dismiss me, but also to shame and coerce and bully me into shutting up. Must be your valuable family influence shining through.

Edit: for the record: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forum/index.php?topic=4328.0
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 11:37:21 AM
Thank you for bringing that up.  That was part of the problem, wasn't it?  I said something that seemed accurate based on your description of the family

 The way I explained things I did not mean they were jerks.

Yes I read that.  You did not elaborate further so I am stuck with this image of bullying, religious oafs being dismissive of you.  If that is inaccurate, help me out here.  Paint another picture.

Did you even read what I just said in my second to last post?

Yes, I did.  What point do you think I have missed?

Also the video I posted have you watched that? 

No.  They are blocked for me.  I rarely watch videos posted here mainly because I am usually disappointed by them. Perhaps you could give me a synopsis?

What is "my assignment  :?

This:
It would be a good exercise for you to reread my conversation with him.   It will be to practice using reason over emotion.  Look for all the places where he dodges the point, accuses me of saying things I did not say and generally behaves like an irrational tool. Then explain it to him.   


I think that you have blown this all out of proportion,and no Im not just standing up for my brother because he is my brother, I stand up for his reasoning because  he knows the details.

You are missing the point, pumpkin.  I am not hung up on his advice to you vs my advice to you.  So it is not about whether he knows the details.  It is now about how he has conducted himself in this thread. 

You see, this forum is a kind of community.  It is not a traditional community where you meet people in person, get to know them, borrow their lawn mower, and have picnics.  But there are still some expectations.  Among them are honestly representing yourself and honorably debating.  Some key expectations in this particular "community" are intellectual honesty and being rational.  Your brother has broken those expectations.  In a traditional community he would be like the guy who borrows the lawn mower and returns it broken.  Or the guy who hits on his 15 year old daughter's friends. 

So as you can see, a bad neighbor has to be addressed.  You cannot have someone in a supposedly "rationalist" community behaving irrationally.  I have outlined specifically what my grievances are.  I have given examples and explained them.  He is in denial.  I hope that you can see what he cannot.


Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 11:59:27 AM
Sorry screwtape, I have once again gone over every post I made on this thread from the beginning and cannot find anything wrong with what I've said, or my conduct. You appear to have an enormous amount of stuff fabricated in your mind about my intentions and I cannot be responsible for your misunderstanding; that's your baggage.  In your last post to me you have once again gone on a diatribe with claims & ideas about me which only exists in your head.  You have not provided what I asked for, your references are tissue thin and nonsensical.

I'm done with you on this. I think you should get some fresh air, or exercise or something.

I go through all that trouble and effort and you just dismiss it with sloppy handwaiving and denial? 

You suck. 

You suck in the exact same way Fran sucks. 

You may think you have dropped the dogma of your childhood, but you only lost the jesus part of it.  Clearly all the mechanisms that kept you blind all that time are still intact.  Look in the mirror.  Only this time, instead of doing it to confirm how beautiful you are, try to find the zits.  They are there.  I promise.  I would not go through all this just for the heck of it.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 31, 2010, 12:12:37 PM
Yes I read that.  You did not elaborate further so I am stuck with this image of bullying, religious oafs being dismissive of you.  If that is inaccurate, help me out here.  Paint another picture.
Can you not go to youtube and watch this video? I think it would be best if you did that, as I am not the greatest trying to explain things. This will not disapoint.




Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 31, 2010, 12:19:58 PM
You are missing the point, pumpkin.  I am not hung up on his advice to you vs my advice to you.  So it is not about whether he knows the details.  It is now about how he has conducted himself in this thread. 

You see, this forum is a kind of community.  It is not a traditional community where you meet people in person, get to know them, borrow their lawn mower, and have picnics.  But there are still some expectations.  Among them are honestly representing yourself and honorably debating.  Some key expectations in this particular "community" are intellectual honesty and being rational.  Your brother has broken those expectations.  In a traditional community he would be like the guy who borrows the lawn mower and returns it broken.  Or the guy who hits on his 15 year old daughter's friends. 

So as you can see, a bad neighbor has to be addressed.  You cannot have someone in a supposedly "rationalist" community behaving irrationally.  I have outlined specifically what my grievances are.  I have given examples and explained them.  He is in denial.  I hope that you can see what he cannot.
  Again I do not see how SS was being irrational, etc.., sure some words are harsh, but all of you guys on this site are guilty of that.
I know what a forum is, I am on a few just like this one, and others.  Though the other forums have more rules than this one, and I would have been kicked off a long time ago if I talked the way alot of you do here to Theists.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 31, 2010, 12:22:53 PM
Quote
Again I do not see how SS was being irrational, etc.., sure some words are harsh, but all of you guys on this site are guilty of that.

Why do you immediately think of "harsh words" as being the main instance of "SS being irrational"?

Do you think that it is "harsh words" that Screwtape is talking about?  If so, then why wouldn't he say "harsh words", instead of saying "being irrational"?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 12:40:10 PM
Quote
It is now about how he has conducted himself in this thread. 

You see, this forum is a kind of community.  It is not a traditional community where you meet people in person, get to know them, borrow their lawn mower, and have picnics.  But there are still some expectations.  Among them are honestly representing yourself and honourably debating.  Some key expectations in this particular "community" are intellectual honesty and being rational.  Your brother has broken those expectations.  In a traditional community he would be like the guy who borrows the lawn mower and returns it broken.  Or the guy who hits on his 15 year old daughter's friends. 

So as you can see, a bad neighbour has to be addressed.  You cannot have someone in a supposedly "rationalist" community behaving irrationally.  I have outlined specifically what my grievances are.  I have given examples and explained them.  He is in denial.  I hope that you can see what he cannot.

Welcome once again to the dream world of screwtape.  Your bullying and crescendo of false accusations are really tissue thin to anyone reading this thread. Do you even hear yourself? Just look at what you've just said about me, it is so offensive, and at the same time laughable, as I have so much more integrity than the caricature of me you have attempted to erect, and have fixed in your head.  Anyone looking at your claims of my "dishonest and irrational conduct" must be confused, as they see that I have been a reasonably good member of this "community" for four years, and yet suddenly I decide to act like the the morally bankrupt person you're painting?  Does that make sense? No, it doesn't.  Thus, your dream world. You enjoy taking the pompous stance of judge and jury with your conclusions, but you are wrong.

I think you would benefit from reading this book (http://www.amazon.com/Mistakes-Were-Made-But-Not/dp/B002ZNJX94/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270057551&sr=1-1).  In it, the author speaks about a common trend with many people (and the example of police is sited) where once a person gets an idea of guilt in their head, they'll often follow that conviction to no end in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  You are doing this very thing, and it is quite amusing to watch you doggedly dig yourself into a deeper and deeper hole.  I encourage you to put down the shovel.

In an exercise of honestly looking at myself (and your claims) I have read through this entire thread twice, and can find nothing that substantiates your accusations.  I've asked you for unambiguous evidence for your basless assertions, and all you did was refer back to your own previous rant!  What a joke!

I too will not beat my chest and do a celebratory dance when you admit you are wrong.  I do not want to gloat or humiliate you.  I want you to see where you have been acting in a way you would condemn if a theist did it.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 31, 2010, 12:55:56 PM
Star Stuff, your failure to actually address Screwtape's evidence of your intellectual dishonesty painfully evident.

The dream world, in this case, is the objectively-real physical one.  Please wake up.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 01:08:37 PM
Can you not go to youtube and watch this video? I think it would be best if you did that, as I am not the greatest trying to explain things. This will not disapoint.

Right now, I cannot.  That site is blocked.  Is it the Star Stuff family picnic?  Is he wearing a "Kiss the Closet Atheist" apron?


Again I do not see how SS was being irrational, etc.., sure some words are harsh, but all of you guys on this site are guilty of that.

Well, lets you and I take an example or two.
This was what I actually said:
I am all for using tact and making the announcement quietly and without confrontation.  She doesn't have to stick her thumb in their eye.  But whatever the approach, we have to be honest with ourselves and our families. 

This was how SS characterized it:
Your one-size-fits-all, carpet bombing approach lacks wisdom, sensitivity and compassion.
and
It is insensitive to throw a gernade into an elderly person's world...  Would you also drub your non-belief into a cancer victim on their death-bed?
and
You just seem to want to throw your gernades in a pell-mell fashion.

Does what he says have any semblance to what I actually said?  Of course not.  That is not just harsh wording.  That is gross mischaracterization.  It is a strawman argument.  That is where intellectual honesty should come in to play. That is where, after I pointed it out to him, he should have taken a step back, seen his error and apologized.  Instead, he denied, denied, denied.  And, sadly, he continues to deny. 

I understand why he reacted that way initially[1] - he got all emotional because thought I was in some way attacking his parents or that my idea would be harmful to them.  His emotional response was to try to protect them.  So we get these posts that near hysteria and do not deal with what I said, but how he felt.  I do not hate him for that.  I think though, that by now he should be able to recognize it and own up to it. His continued denial is shameful and embarrassing.

Another example - this whole denial of dishonesty.  I have been through it a couple of times with both of you here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg300001#msg300001) and here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg300055#msg300055).  I'm not going to go through the whole explanation again.  But just as with the point above, you are both getting caught up in your emotions.  Neither of you want to think he was dishonest and so you recoil from the notion.  But I never said the dishonesty was malicious or even necessarily harmful.  I just wanted it addressed. He was dishonest.  There is no question of that. You cannot argue that he was not.  He all but used those words.  If he is to be believed, he lied "for the sake of anonymity".  I routinely withhold personal information for security and privacy.  I do not think there is anything wrong with that.  And I said as much.  But cripes man, be honest about it.

One last point about where he was irrational.  I don't think it needs any explanation.
Poor behaviour!?!

Fuck you.

It's succinct.  I have to give him that.


I know what a forum is, I am on a few just like this one, and others. 

I wasn't talking down to you.  I am sorry if it sounded that way.  I had no idea of your level of experience and I was just trying to put it in terms even a noob could understand, just in case.
 1. now that I know the whole story.  At the time, I thought he was a loon.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 01:09:05 PM
Quote
Star Stuff, your failure to actually address Screwtape's evidence of your intellectual dishonesty painfully evident.


Please go through the thread, and provide me with this "evidence" you assert that I:

- Tried to "shut down" the conversation
- Attacked people.
- Said that you "should not have answered"
- Dodged points
- Had a "hidden agenda"
- Lied about relationship with sister (and don't give me that "lie by ommission" BS, I eventually felt forced to drop the anonimity for reasons evident, and that's it.)


So go on, find it for me. Go back and read my posts from the start, but first remove the guilt filters that you seem to be wearing.

You have my bad intent stuck in your heads.  It is false, but if you wish to maintain your erroneous position, the onus is you to prove my bad intent.  I know that you cannot do that because I know that I had no such intent, but, go ahead, you seem to love your conclusions.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 01:57:40 PM
... I have been a reasonably good member of this "community" for four years,

I agree.  You have been a good member here since I have known you.  That is why I am so perplexed by this thread. 

and yet suddenly I decide to act like the the morally bankrupt person you're painting? 

This is a prime example of what I have been talking about.  I never made any judgment about your morality.  I never accused you of being morally bankrupt.  Those are your words, not mine.  This is yet another emotional outburst.  It is a response to how you feel, not to what I have said.

And for the record, you do not strike me as immoral. 

but you are wrong.

Maybe I am.  I think I've left room for that all along.  So far though, you have given me no reason to think so. 

In it, the author speaks about a common trend with many people (and the example of police is sited) where once a person gets an idea of guilt in their head, they'll often follow that conviction to no end in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  You are doing this very thing,...

It sounds interesting.  I have brought up something like it as examples of faith and against arguments for torture.  However, to say I am in this position would require that there have been evidence contrary to mine presented.  So far, you've given none.  Whereas, as prosecutors would say, I have provided a preponderance of evidence against you.  Your defense has been like the opening arguments in My Cousin Vinnie: "Everything that guy just said is all bullshit." 

In an exercise of honestly looking at myself (and your claims) I have read through this entire thread twice, and can find nothing that substantiates your accusations.  I've asked you for unambiguous evidence for your basless assertions, and all you did was refer back to your own previous rant!  What a joke!

I'd say the punchline is you referring to it as a rant.  I gave examples, provided links and explained in what I thought was fairly neutral language.

I too will not beat my chest and do a celebratory dance when you admit you are wrong.  I do not want to gloat or humiliate you.  I want you to see where you have been acting in a way you would condemn if a theist did it.

At least we both have each others best interests at heart.  Though pardon me if I do not take you at your word here.  You sound a bit sarcastic.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 31, 2010, 02:04:56 PM
Ok Screwtape if I had best friends on this site and we were writing in the same thread, would I be lying if I did  not tell you?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 02:20:29 PM
It sounds interesting.  I have brought up something like it as examples of faith and against arguments for torture.  However, to say I am in this position would require that there have been evidence contrary to mine presented.  So far, you've given none.  Whereas, as prosecutors would say, I have provided a preponderance of evidence against you.  Your defense has been like the opening arguments in My Cousin Vinnie: "Everything that guy just said is all bullshit."

Nope. My evidence (as though I need to prove a negative) is the thread itself.  Go through it, post by post - I invite anyone & everyone reading this to do that.

Your post above (#162) is a good example of you taking things that I said, out of context (out of the different statements that they were replying to) and bunching them together to try and build your case.  Fail.




Quote
At least we both have each others best interests at heart.  Though pardon me if I do not take you at your word here.  You sound a bit sarcastic.

That's because it's going through your "guilty filter", as described earlier.  There was no sarcasm on my part.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 02:22:09 PM
Ok Screwtape if I had best friends on this site and we were writing in the same thread, would I be lying if I did  not tell you?

Not in every case.  It depends.  In your hypothetical situation, did you put on a pretense?  If you pretended to not know them, then yes.  If you responded to them in ways that intentionally implied you were strangers, yes.  If you were asked and denied, yes.  Otherwise, no.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 02:36:56 PM

Not in every case.  It depends.  In your hypothetical situation, did you put on a pretense?  If you pretended to not know them, then yes.  If you responded to them in ways that intentionally implied you were strangers, yes.  If you were asked and denied, yes.  Otherwise, no.



Phew!  I'm clean.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 31, 2010, 02:37:16 PM
Ok Screwtape if I had best friends on this site and we were writing in the same thread, would I be lying if I did  not tell you?

Not in every case.  It depends.  In your hypothetical situation, did you put on a pretense?  If you pretended to not know them, then yes.  If you responded to them in ways that intentionally implied you were strangers, yes.  If you were asked and denied, yes.  Otherwise, no.


Well I do have 2 friends on here, though I do not know their names on here, we never really discuss it.  So I could be talking to them and I dont even know it.  They do know my name on here, but I have changed it since I first joined, not sure if they come on this site much but im sure they would admit to knowing me if they felt that they needed to help me out a bit if they knew the situation I was in.
Guess I should find out their names, etc, so Im not lying to everyone.  I think that kind of sounds absurd, they are allowed to have their privacy, no?  It was my choice to invite them here and tell them my name.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 02:47:53 PM
Nope. My evidence (as though I need to prove a negative) is the thread itself.  Go through it, post by post - I invite anyone & everyone reading this to do that.

The thread itself?  Jesus H christ on a stick.  Could you possibly be any lazier?  You've not been asked to prove a negative.  You've been asked to address points brought up.  Throughout the thread you have either ignored them, distorted them or just dismissed them. Like this one:

Your post above (#162) is a good example of you taking things that I said, out of context (out of the different statements that they were replying to) and bunching them together to try and build your case.  Fail.

In what way does context change it?  You see, if you were to show that, it would be a whole lot more convincing that "Fail."  In no placed did I suggest "carpet bombing", "grenade throwing" or "pell mell".  I corrected you every time and you never acknowledged it.  You continued your injudicious language.  If you could show where your characterization was accurate, then you might have a point. If you could show where you corrected yourself, then you might have a point. But just claiming "Context! Fail" is lazy and sloppy and does not get the job done. 

I feel like I am having a conversation with poseidon/nihilanth (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=1426.msg31763#msg31763) .


Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 31, 2010, 02:53:10 PM
Let it all out now, because Im going to have this thread shut down since we cannot come to an agreement
Thanks for participating.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 02:56:32 PM
Phew!  I'm clean.

No, you're not.  I pointed out exactly why not.


Not in every case.  It depends.  In your hypothetical situation, did you put on a pretense?  If you pretended to not know them, then yes.  If you responded to them in ways that intentionally implied you were strangers, yes.  If you were asked and denied, yes.  Otherwise, no.


Well I do have 2 friends on here, though I do not know their names on here, we never really discuss it.  So I could be talking to them and I dont even know it.  They do know my name on here, but I have changed it since I first joined, not sure if they come on this site much but im sure they would admit to knowing me if they felt that they needed to help me out a bit if they knew the situation I was in.

You don't know who the are, so how could you possibly be putting on a pretense?


Guess I should find out their names, etc, so Im not lying to everyone. 

Why would you say that?  I already said that would not fit the definition of lying.  You actually do not know who they are so speaking as if you did not know them would not be an act.


I think that kind of sounds absurd,

It is absurd.  That is why in this case I agree with you.


they are allowed to have their privacy, no?  It was my choice to invite them here and tell them my name.

Of course they are. I said as much in one of my posts above. 

Why does almost everything I post seem to not sink in?

By the way, you've not responded to my post where I go through SS's mischaracterizations.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 03:04:57 PM
On-topic, I think people get irrationial when they start attaching personal thoughts and feelings to things. The stronger the thought or feeling, the more irrational you can get.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 31, 2010, 03:06:41 PM
Ok Screwtape if I had best friends on this site and we were writing in the same thread, would I be lying if I did  not tell you?

Not in every case.  It depends.  In your hypothetical situation, did you put on a pretense?  If you pretended to not know them, then yes.  If you responded to them in ways that intentionally implied you were strangers, yes. 
but maybe they want to be anonymous?

Yes I did respond to the "mischaracterizations" and I told you I do not see it, I do see however some harsh, and to the point words from both parties, which I am not accustomed too on forums.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 03:07:47 PM
screwtape;  here's a good example of you twisting things to suit your needs:

You said:

Quote
I am all for using tact and making the announcement quietly and without confrontation.  She doesn't have to stick her thumb in their eye.  But whatever the approach, we have to be honest with ourselves and our families.

to which you then said that I replied:

- Your one-size-fits-all, carpet bombing approach lacks wisdom, sensitivity and compassion.


- It is insensitive to throw a gernade into an elderly person's world...  Would you also drub your non-belief into a cancer victim on their death-bed?


- You just seem to want to throw your gernades in a pell-mell fashion.



Here now, your twisting will be revealed.




To your comment above, I did not even reply!!   I replied to this comment of yours:

"If nobody puts a face on the lable, they will never see us as people."  

to which I said:

But you are failing to put a face on the elderly parents in "Not on the Fence's" parents.  They are people with feelings, and are in the last few years of their life.  Your one-size-fits-all, carpet bombing approach lacks wisdom, sensitivity and compassion.



...an answer I stand by.

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


Next:

My reply:  It is insensitive to throw a gernade into an elderly person's world...  Would you also drub your non-belief into a cancer victim on their death-bed?

Was a reply to this completely different statement you made:    "Why is being honest about who she is insensitive?"

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


Next:  My reply:  "You just seem to want to throw your gernades in a pell-mell fashion"

was in reply to this other dialogue:


Me: But you are failing to put a face on the elderly parents in "Not on the Fence's" parents.  

You:  "They are not my problem."

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


Thank you for the opportunity to display to everyone reading this just how good you are at twisting things and taking them out of context.


added:  I stand by everything I've said in this thread.  I would have said them exactly as stated even if I didn't know NOTF.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 03:21:25 PM
but maybe they want to be anonymous?

In what way does acknowledging (not necessarily reporting) your relationship divulge their identity? 

Yes I did respond to the "mischaracterizations" and I told you I do not see
 it, I do see however some harsh, and to the point words from both parties, which I am not accustomed too on forums.

I'm starting to see things from your siblings' point of view.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 31, 2010, 03:25:24 PM
Right now, I cannot.  That site is blocked.  Is it the Star Stuff family picnic?  Is he wearing a "Kiss the Closet Atheist" apron?

Not sure why this site would be blocked to you? unless of course its because you are underage, or in jail?
Please explain??  Nice comeback &)





Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 31, 2010, 03:31:39 PM
but maybe they want to be anonymous?

In what way does acknowledging (not necessarily reporting) your relationship divulge their identity? 
  Ya never know one of my theists relatives, or friends could visit this site and put two and two together? who knows? but maybe some people want to write what they want in complete privacy. Hope this makes sense, my cat is meowing very loudly so it is distracting me.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on March 31, 2010, 03:32:57 PM
I'm starting to see things from your siblings' point of view.
  Not sure what you mean by that?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 03:58:13 PM
okay, stuff, let's go your way.

"If nobody puts a face on the lable, they will never see us as people."  

to which I said:

But you are failing to put a face on the elderly parents in "Not on the Fence's" parents.  They are people with feelings, and are in the last few years of their life.  Your one-size-fits-all, carpet bombing approach lacks wisdom, sensitivity and compassion.

Where is that carpet bombing approach I advocate?  It's still not there.  That point in blue you responded to came right after the part where I pretty clearly stated my position as having tact and compassion.  My statement in blue does not in any way contradict that position and it does not prescribe an approach other than honesty.  So you want to claim "Context!" for yourself, but you have no qualms taking me out of context? 


Here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg297046#msg297046) is the link to that post of mine.


I even corrected you.  Here is the quote:
Your one-size-fits-all, carpet bombing approach lacks wisdom, sensitivity and compassion.

malarkey.  It is not a carpet bombing strategy. See:
I am all for using tact and making the announcement quietly and without confrontation.  She doesn't have to stick her thumb in their eye. 

but you continued with the bullshit rhetoric.



My reply:  It is insensitive to throw a gernade into an elderly person's world...  Would you also drub your non-belief into a cancer victim on their death-bed?

Was a reply to this completely different statement you made:    "Why is being honest about who she is insensitive?"

This does not justify your response.  You still do not get to "drubbings" and "grenades" from "being honest about who she is".  At no point did I mention any specific tactic.  At no point did I advocate a harsh approach. Your responses were not to anything I had said.  That has been the point all along.  Grenades and drubbings were interpretations you made in light of your emotional state - fear for your parents.



Next:  My reply:  "You just seem to want to throw your gernades in a pell-mell fashion"

was in reply to this other dialogue:


Me: But you are failing to put a face on the elderly parents in "Not on the Fence's" parents.  

You:  "They are not my problem."

Again, you took the blue part out of context.  Lets replay the tape...
But you are failing to put a face on the elderly parents in "Not on the Fence's" parents. 

They are not my problem.  They did not come here because they were in a predicament.  NotF did.  I am giving her the best advice I can give to her.  I am not disregarding her parents, but she is the focus.   She comes first.  And they, as xians, as the overwhelming majority in this country, already have a face.
bold mine now.
I don't know how you get from there to grenades and pell-mell.  You've still not shown that.  As for the pell-mell, my post immediately before that:

My advice is to prepare yourself.  Don't wait for them to come to you.  It is better that it be done in a controlled way at a time of your chosing.  The alternative is to continue this bizarre denial.  Then, one day when you least expect it, like thanksgiving or at cousin Jenny's baby's christening, all hell will break loose.  There will be hurt feelings, shouting, red faces and crying.  It will be epic.  I have been right about this before. 
bold mine now.


Thank you for the opportunity to display to everyone reading this just how good you are at twisting things and taking them out of context.

I'm sorry this didn't work out the way you planned. All you've shown here is that your replies were even more disconnected from my posts and more connected to your emotions.
 
added:  I stand by everything I've said in this thread.  

to your shame.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 04:11:23 PM
Just go read the thread folks.  It's all there.

Put the shovel down screwtape; just walk away from the shovel.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on March 31, 2010, 04:14:08 PM
Right now, I cannot.  That site is blocked.  Is it the Star Stuff family picnic?  Is he wearing a "Kiss the Closet Atheist" apron?

Not sure why this site would be blocked to you? unless of course its because you are underage, or in jail?
Please explain?? 

My work firewall blocks it.  They don't want people wasting time on the internet.

Nice comeback &)

Yes.  I am quite hilarious.


Ya never know one of my theists relatives, or friends could visit this site and put two and two together? who knows? but maybe some people want to write what they want in complete privacy.

There is not complete privacy.  That aside, as I said before, I did not accuse your brother of having malicious intent or causing harm.  I said I wanted it addressed.  To date he has only obliquely admitted it.  

Not all deception is bad.  A woman comes running past you with a terrified look on her face.  A minute later a man with a bloody ax comes from the same direction and asks if you'd seen a woman run by, because he is going to kill her.  You tell him "yes" and point him in the wrong direction.  You lied, but that did not make it wrong to do.  It would have been immoral for you to tell him the truth.

I think that is what the two of you are having a difficult time with.  You emotionally read "dishonesty" as always bad. If he thought about what I asked, it would be easy.  Instead he has been very defensive.

Not sure what you mean by that?

Nothing good.  Forget I said it.  I was frustrated. I am sorry.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: blue on March 31, 2010, 04:24:51 PM
Just go read the thread folks.  It's all there.

Put the shovel down screwtape; just walk away from the shovel.

Sorry Star Stuff I've been reading the thread and you are completely in the wrong here. You are now concocting out whole cloth things Screwtape is supposedly doing or saying. It seems like you are so committed to proving your point in the face of complete refutation of your point that you can't even think straight. I'd advise walking away from this thread and letting it go.

Blue

*edit for spelling
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 04:27:45 PM

Sorry Star Stuff I've been reading the thread and you are completely in the wrong here. You are now concocting out whole cloth things Screwtape is supposedly doing or saying. It seems like you are so committed to proving your point in the face of complete refutation of your point that you can't even think straight. I'd advise walking away from this thread and letting it go.


Can you kindly point to where I am "in the wrong", or are you just taking sides for some unseen reason?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: blue on March 31, 2010, 04:36:44 PM
Can you kindly point to where I am "in the wrong", or are you just taking sides for some unseen reason?

I'd be delighted to, and Screwtape has already gone through and done the majority of the work in post #180, Azdgari pointed it out starting in post #75. Your response in post #71 was dead wrong in understanding Screwtape and you didn't even fully quote the relevant information from his post #69.

Your ego seems to be committed at this point to this spat. I enjoy your posts and am rather surprised at the way you've been going on here. Again I advise you to just let it go. Is winning a post on the internet that important really?  That's my .02. Take what you want from it.

Best,

Blue
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 05:47:53 PM
Blue:  I'd love to "let this go", but when one is being wrongly accused, one is inclined to defend ones self.  Wouldn't you?

I have asked you to go through the thread and point out to me where I've gone "completely wrong" as you've claimed, and you have failed to do that. Just read it from the start.

It should be plain to see that there was absolutely no intent to deceive, or lie or anything remotely like that; not in the slightest.  That's just not me.  Sure some may have had a surprise when I revealed that NOTF is my sister, but to transfer that into some blame of deception is just patently rediculous and a knee-jerk reaction.

As I have said already numerous times, I would have said the exact same things I did say even if I didn't know NOTF, so what's the big deal?  I'm very glad that L6 made a recent post refering us to a thread (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forum/index.php?topic=4328.0) from the old forum from 3 YEARS AGO. Check out my reply (#8) and you will see that it is basically the same as what I've stated here.  So was I "completely in the wrong" there too?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 31, 2010, 05:50:30 PM
I have asked you to go through the thread and point out to me where I've gone "completely wrong" as you've claimed, and you have failed to do that. Just read it from the start.

He cited specifics, and gave a brief reason for citing each.  Seems you're more interested in emotionally defending your ego than in rational introspection.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 05:56:52 PM
Those other specifics are horse shit, as already hashed out. Kinda neat though how you ignored the rest of my last post. How convenient.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 31, 2010, 06:07:16 PM
The post wasn't even to me, and you're complaining that I did not respond to it in its entirety?   :?

Most of the post was just you proclaiming your innocence.  The only substantial part was the final paragraph, the part about your previous post in L6's old thread.  Here is the post in question:

Quote
Good going L6.  I'd suggest sending a copy of "The Reason Driven Life" by Robert M. Price to those who gave you "A Purpose driven life".

You can hear an interview with Robert M Price where he talks about these books on:    www.pointofinquiry.org
(it may be a few web-pages deep, and the actual interview begins after about 9 minutes)

I am quite up-front with anyone from my 25 year christian past............except my parents.  Presently, they are 78, and I know for sure (100%) that if I were to communicate to them what I really think about the christian belief system, they, especially my mom, would be so incredibly upset that they wouldn't sleep at night. So out of love, I feel it's best not to cause all that grief.  They are very simple people and cannot debate/discuss at any kind of intellectual level.  They see the world through bible verses and child-like ideas;  a "do as you're told" non-questioning mentality.

So sensitivity is sometimes good to employ.  My folks are not about to change their minds in the winter of their lives.

Notice how calm you are, how non-strident and non-defensive?  And you stayed that way all thread.  Quite different from your demeanor in this thread, that.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that your sister wasn't posting in that thread, and wasn't getting advice with which you disagreed.  This thread has emotional issues for you that the other one does not, since it is centered around suggestions for what your sister should do within your family, rather than what L6 had already done within his family.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 06:12:55 PM
Notice how calm you are, how non-strident and non-defensive?  And you stayed that way all thread.  Quite different from your demeanor in this thread, that.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that your sister wasn't posting in that thread...

Or, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I wasn't jumped on by two rabid pit bulls.  Again, if you look through the beginning of this thread ( before it went sideways), my comments were pretty calm & reasoned, and what I would have said in any event.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 31, 2010, 06:31:14 PM
I am not a rabid pit bull, Star Stuff.  I am not even a canine.  If you have something to say about me, then please state it without hyperbole, so that it can be assessed rationally.

And you started getting defensive of NotF at the top of page 2, in response to L6.  Justifiably so, in light of your relation to the OP.  And then you got uber-defensive on page 3, which is (coincidentally?) when NotF started actually conversing with Screwtape and myself (notice that we weren't attacking either of you, much less like pit bulls, but merely expressing ideas that you disliked).
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 06:42:54 PM
And you started getting defensive of NotF at the top of page 2, in response to L6.  Justifiably so, in light of your relation to the OP.  And then you got uber-defensive on page 3, which is (coincidentally?) when NotF started actually conversing with Screwtape and myself

This is just my entire point!  You are seeing my replies through your own glasses which have guilt filters on them, just like what is explained in that book I refered to earlier. You really should find a copy and read it.  It's really something to watch play out once one is aware of it.  What you are failing to acknowledge and appreciate, is what I've said over & over, that I would have said those very same things had I not known NOTF. And I still maintain the stance that it would be a better idea not to deliver such a blow to frail, eldery parents!  I have that opinion because I have frail, elderly parents.  Please get that, for once you do, you will lose this seemingly passioned desire to hang me.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 31, 2010, 06:47:18 PM
I just noticed, while perusing the thread, that I never responded to this:

Have you ever met Glenn Beck?

Wow, that fails.  Have NotF's parents regularly been on television expressing their views?

My point was not that NotF's parents are public figures.  My point was that there are other ways of knowing that someone is an arrogant jerk than meeting them.  Since it was your implication here that one needed to meet them in order to correctly assess someone, one needed to meet them:

Except for the fact that the assessment is not neccessarily correct, as they have never met said people.

...the point was a reasonable one to make.  There are other ways to assess whether someone is an arrogant jerk.  One such way is through the testimony of others who have met them, such as NotF:

What I mean is because I am the baby of the family, they do not think that I am as smart as they are. Example whenever I bring anything up about how to feed your pets the proper way, not commercial pet food, they just laugh at me. It makes me angry because I have educated myself on this subject so much.  Also mentioning about the scientific findings that are being made is another one.

That works in lieu of watching them on TV.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 31, 2010, 07:05:10 PM
This is just my entire point!  You are seeing my replies through your own glasses which have guilt filters on them, just like what is explained in that book I refered to earlier. You really should find a copy and read it.  It's really something to watch play out once one is aware of it.

How would you react if an ardent Christian - say, Fran - used this line on you?  Would you take it at face-value, or would you look over the posts in question?  The latter, right?

And if you did, and still reached the same conclusion, would you then assume that your ability to rationally judge the matter is compromised, based on Fran's testimony?  Probably not, right?  So why do you want/expect a different standard to be applied here?

What you are failing to acknowledge and appreciate, is what I've said over & over, that I would have said those very same things had I not known NOTF.

You would have been just as defensive and strident had she not been there?  Or did you mean something else?  The bolded text is so vague that it is not useful in understanding what you mean.

And I still maintain the stance that it would be a better idea not to deliver such a blow to frail, eldery parents!  I have that opinion because I have frail, elderly parents.  Please get that, for once you do, you will lose this seemingly passioned desire to hang me.

I have no passioned desire to hang you, only for you to conduct yourself with intellectual honesty.  That includes toning down the hyperbole:

I am not a rabid pit bull, Star Stuff.  I am not even a canine.  If you have something to say about me, then please state it without hyperbole, so that it can be assessed rationally.

As for the rest, I know what your opinion is on the outing yourself to the kinds of parents you describe, and I know why you have that opinion.  That doesn't give you an excuse to conduct yourself dishonestly on the forum.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 07:26:18 PM
How would you react if an ardent Christian - say, Fran - used this line on you?  Would you take it at face-value, or would you look over the posts in question?  The latter, right?

Yes, and this is what I keep on saying. Read the thread without your guilt glasses on.  It appears that you can't do that.



Quote
And if you did, and still reached the same conclusion, would you then assume that your ability to rationally judge the matter is compromised, based on Fran's testimony?  Probably not, right?  So why do you want/expect a different standard to be applied here?

I don't get that?  You seem to be off on a tangent.




Quote
You would have been just as defensive and strident had she not been there?

There's those glasses talking again!  They make what is normal debate about an issue seem "defensive" and strident" and "uber".  I can't help that. You need to take off your glasses that you have put on. If I could reach through the screen I would.




Quote
Or did you mean something else?  The bolded text is so vague that it is not useful in understanding what you mean.

If NOTF was a total stranger, I would have said the very same things. So your desire to make this emotional connection just because I know her is false.




Quote
As for the rest, I know what your opinion is on the outing yourself to the kinds of parents you describe, and I know why you have that opinion.  That doesn't give you an excuse to conduct yourself dishonestly on the forum.

This is the sort of thing makes me angry. Being falsely accused. I am an incredibly honest person - to a fault, and your accusation is so offensive because you seem to have it in your mind that I intentionally was dishonest.  I wasn't.  I was not even unintentionally dishonest.


Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 31, 2010, 07:33:56 PM
I called your posts defensive at that point because you began to mischaracterize the posts to which you were replying, to defend your own.  That is also dishonest.  That you cannot see this is not my fault.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on March 31, 2010, 07:39:39 PM
I called your posts defensive at that point because you began to mischaracterize the posts to which you were replying, to defend your own.  That is also dishonest.  That you cannot see this is not my fault.

I just read them again, and cannot concur. They are straight up, honest replies. If you are correct in a mischaracterization on my part (which I'm not granting you) then that would be either a misunderstanding or a mischaracterization, not dishonesty.

Glasses!
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on March 31, 2010, 07:45:37 PM
Yes, perhaps your ego-glasses do need to come off.

EDIT:  To be clear, and as Screwtape has explained already at length, you mischaracterized what he was suggesting that NotF do with your family.  Let's start with that limited and clear-cut issue.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: shnozzola on March 31, 2010, 07:49:15 PM
shnozzola,
Could one or more of your family members do something that would make you consider that maybe they no longer deserve your respect?

That’s a good question, Jetson.  My parents kept foster kids that were tough cookies, we put up with a lot.  Let’s go for as heinous as possible.  Let’s say my atheist brother in law were to murder my theist sister.  I can not say what I would do.  I would like to think I could visit him in prison.  I don’t know if I could forgive him.  I don’t know if I could respect him.  I would like to think I could.  I would probably look at it as a mental problem, and he needs support, especially in prison. 

Maybe a family like mine is spineless cowards, afraid of conflict, as L6 said earlier- we talk and laugh about our view of “not wanting to make waves.”   It may be we think love is more important than life.  Maybe a pacifist thing.  At least pacifists are banned from rapture-ready.com :)
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on April 01, 2010, 01:43:18 AM
I just noticed, while perusing the thread, that I never responded to this:

Have you ever met Glenn Beck?

Wow, that fails.  Have NotF's parents regularly been on television expressing their views?

My point was not that NotF's parents are public figures.  My point was that there are other ways of knowing that someone is an arrogant jerk than meeting them.  Since it was your implication here that one needed to meet them in order to correctly assess someone, one needed to meet them:

Except for the fact that the assessment is not neccessarily correct, as they have never met said people.

...the point was a reasonable one to make.  There are other ways to assess whether someone is an arrogant jerk.  One such way is through the testimony of others who have met them, such as NotF:

What I mean is because I am the baby of the family, they do not think that I am as smart as they are. Example whenever I bring anything up about how to feed your pets the proper way, not commercial pet food, they just laugh at me. It makes me angry because I have educated myself on this subject so much.  Also mentioning about the scientific findings that are being made is another one.

That works in lieu of watching them on TV.
 Um.... actually Adzgari I was talking about my siblings here, not my parents, and neither of them are jerks, they are just dilusional, and if people took the time to watch the video I posted then maybe they may understand where Im coming from.

Also Im sorry to still find this thread still open.  I requested it to be shut down this  afternoon, but I get home from work and its still here, sorry about that.
Would someone please shut this thread down!!!
I now declare it shut down until an Admin to get around to it.  So please no more, its getting us nowhere.

Edit** just read my email, Admin will not shut it down, we just have to be grown up enough to just walk away. So that is what we have to do.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 01, 2010, 03:42:15 AM
I know you were talking about your siblings.  And I realize that they may not be arrogant jerks.  But that's what you made them sound like, at the time, and it makes no sense to denounce someone for drawing that interpretation from what you had said.

As for shutting this thread down:  Indeed, its primary topic is no longer you asking advice.  But if the current discussion is "going nowhere", then shouldn't the mods then put Star Stuff in the ER for stonewalling and refusing to acknowledge points?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 01, 2010, 09:24:34 AM
^^ I second that.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 01, 2010, 09:45:59 AM
... if people took the time to watch the video I posted then maybe they may understand where Im coming from.

Or, another way to look at it is, if you took the time to articulate what you mean, people would understand you without having to go watch a video.  If you want a point to be understood, it is incumbent on you to communicate that point.  Don't foist the responsibility off onto others.  It may be a good video, and it may say everything you mean, but it is not immediately accessable to me.  If I expressed my point in Punjabi and insist you have it translated, that would not be communication.

Also Im sorry to still find this thread still open.

I'm not.  One way or the other, it is a demonstration of how we can all fall into a trap of irrationality. How, despite our atheism and professed reason, we are still using 250,000 year old brains that are driven by emotions.  This is important for us to know and hopefully helps us be aware of it in ourselves.

And for the record, I still do not dislike Star Stuff nor do I have any hard feelings. 


 
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 01, 2010, 10:06:14 AM
... or are you just taking sides for some unseen reason?

For the record, to my knowledge, I do not have any relationship with blue.  As far as I know, he is not my sister. 
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 01, 2010, 10:20:35 AM
How To Participate In An Advice Thread On An Internet Forum With Your Sister. 
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forum/index.php?topic=21129.0 (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forum/index.php?topic=21129.0)

In case anyone was wondering.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Operator_A25 on April 01, 2010, 10:35:09 AM
What can I do to resolve the issues in this thread without putting anyone in the ER?

Please explain the problem in such a way that prevents my having to read through seven pages of discussion.

-A25
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 01, 2010, 11:04:32 AM
Thank you for your help A25.

From my perspective, Star Stuff has failed to address points and done a lot of dodging.  Instead he just pleads innocent or engages in ad hominem/ strawman rebuttals.  His consistent use of hyperbole has been as big a problem as his consistent failure to recognize or acknowledge it when it has been pointed out.  Responses like this one (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg300505#msg300505)[1] and this lazy, dismissive excuse for a reply (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg300096#msg300096)[2] to my rather thorough treatment (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg300001#msg300001)[3] of his points are examples.  Am I correct in thinking these types of problems are normally addressed in the ER? 

Az, do you have anything to add?


BTW, You really should  read the whole thread.  I think you would probably enjoy it.  It is a compelling read and should be a case study.
 1. "my evidence is the thread itself"?  On what planet does that pass as an argument or a valid response to an argument?  Why not just say "my evidence is the universe!"? 
 2. "your references are tissue thin and nonsensical" Oh yeah?  Then explain how, Buster.
 3. Crisp. To the point. Laden with evidence for my points.  Scintillating.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 01, 2010, 11:10:35 AM
I will have thoughts to add, at some point soon, but not yet.  I was up 'till 5:30am last night writing a report on the rock cycles of Titan, so I'm fairly brain-dead today, and will be until I get to sleep for more than 3 hours at a time.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on April 01, 2010, 12:34:01 PM
I know you were talking about your siblings.  And I realize that they may not be arrogant jerks.  But that's what you made them sound like, at the time, and it makes no sense to denounce someone for drawing that interpretation from what you had said.

As for shutting this thread down:  Indeed, its primary topic is no longer you asking advice.  But if the current discussion is "going nowhere", then shouldn't the mods then put Star Stuff in the ER for stonewalling and refusing to acknowledge points?
What I said "What I mean is because I am the baby of the family, they do not think that I am as smart as they are. Example whenever I bring anything up about how to feed your pets the proper way, not commercial pet food, they just laugh at me. It makes me angry because I have educated myself on this subject so much.  Also mentioning about the scientific findings that are being made is another one.
I am telling you that they are not jerks, just dillusional, and not very educated.  This does not mean they are "jerks".  Im sorry if I explained it in a way that made them sound that way, but I dont appreciate people calling me a spineless coward as one poster put it, or that any of my family are jerks.  I still love them even though yes they are dillusional.

Why should mods put my brother in ER (not sure what that is) but anyhow you guys are the ones that have blown this way out of proportion, and now my thread turned into a war.  Im sorry that you do not have time to watch the video, yet you have time to come here and write these posts?  Are you at work 24/7?
Study about what brethren are like, and the old country kind of upbringing I have had. It is like a cult, you really are brainwashed, but because of our day & age I think we were more open to educate ourselves than our siblings.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 01, 2010, 12:50:16 PM
Why should mods put my brother in ER (not sure what that is) but anyhow you guys are the ones that have blown this way out of proportion, and now my thread turned into a war. 

The ER is the Emergency Room.  It is a quarantine area for naughty forum members who cannot cope with some of the rules.  Forum members ask them to address and correct their obnoxious habits.  If they recognize their transgressions and give us cause to believe they have rectified them, we let them back into the forum.  The latest patient in the ER was there to learn how to quote properly.  What Stuff has done far exceeds that.  If he were a theist, he probably would have been in there by page 4.

I do not see this thread as a war.  Wars involve killing your enemies.  I do not see SS as an enemy and I am definitely not trying to kill him.  I see him as a community member gone off his rocker.  I am trying to help him.  I had hoped you would help, but you only seem to be enabling.

Are you at work 24/7?

No.  I just usually have more things to do at home that I would rather spend my time on.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on April 01, 2010, 03:41:39 PM
What can I do to resolve the issues in this thread without putting anyone in the ER?

Please explain the problem in such a way that prevents my having to read through seven pages of discussion.

-A25
  Since this is my thread I will ask again if it can be locked, it seems that no one can get along here, and I think that 2 people here are ganging up on SS, they have hurt him by their accusations.
Im not sure who the moderators or Admins are here, for all I know they could be AZ, or Screwtape :shrug
I will add I do find this kind of odd, since I have been reading alot of other posts on this site, for example Servant of Allah's threads, and people there are getting quite personal with bad remarks, now Im not sure why this would be allowed if there are certain rules. :?
Im hoping that you will consider locking this thread now, its too bad it got off onto a tangent.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Inactive_1 on April 01, 2010, 04:40:21 PM
The most powerful method available to each member to stop a conversation is the simplest, but for some reason the least used -

Stop posting in the thread.

I don't see an all-out flame war (I've seen plenty in my day and this isn't close to being that). I see tough conversations, and I see parties responding. When I check my unread posts I see this thread popping up every day. So it means that members are still interested in it. If it gets to the point of requiring a lock, you can be sure I will do it, but so far in my opinion it doesn't need to be locked.

Again, if you aren't interested in it any longer, just stop posting in it and stop looking at it.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 01, 2010, 06:39:21 PM
Screwtape/Azd,

I remember that Pinkmilk and DisdainDavid were members of this forum for 6-8 weeks before they revealed that they're a cohabiting couple.

Nobody complained that they were liars for initially concealing this fact. There was no fuss about it whatsoever. And it's easy to imagine why they did it: a desire to establish their identities on the forum as individuals, not as part of a couple.  

Likewise when MrFriday eventually revealed that TimtheSkeptic is his son. And that Dragnet is his brother. People absorbed the information, and life went on.

The fact that StarStuff and NOTF chose to keep the sibling nature of their relationship secret is equally unremarkable. Accusations of dishonesty or lying by omission are unwarranted.

Gnu.

PS Perhaps I should have mentioned this before, but I'm the bastard love-child of Xphobe and Nogodsforme. I'm also Agga's psychiatrist. And Admin_1's secret gay lover. That probably explains a few things.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Inactive_1 on April 01, 2010, 07:01:55 PM
And Admin_1's secret gay lover. That probably explains a few things.

Now that's a comment that merits locking the thread.[1]
 1. Reminder to myself: take your own advice and stop reading this thread
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gimpy on April 01, 2010, 09:06:33 PM
And Admin_1's secret gay lover. That probably explains a few things.

Now that's a comment that merits locking the thread.[1]
 1. Reminder to myself: take your own advice and stop reading this thread


Dad??? Is there something you've not told me?!?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: shnozzola on April 01, 2010, 09:21:07 PM
Fence,
     At the risk of actually discussing the original post, which branch of the brethren are you from, if I may ask?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on April 01, 2010, 09:55:58 PM
I think she's at work tonight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Brethren


http://www.brethrenonline.org/faqs/Brethren.htm
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 01, 2010, 10:11:26 PM
The fact that StarStuff and NOTF chose to keep the sibling nature of their relationship secret is equally unremarkable. Accusations of dishonesty or lying by omission are unwarranted.

Are you under the impression that the mere lack of mention of their relationship is the objectionable decision in question?  Context of an action (or decision not to act) matters, Gnu.  Don't you agree?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 01, 2010, 10:14:00 PM
Az, do you have anything to add?

Not really.  I mainly took issue with Star Stuff's misrepresentation of others' points and positions (that sort of thing is a pet peeve of mine).  It is impossible to rationally discuss something with someone when he or she actively lies about your stated position.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 01, 2010, 10:30:02 PM
I am telling you that they are not jerks, just dillusional, and not very educated.  This does not mean they are "jerks".  Im sorry if I explained it in a way that made them sound that way, but I dont appreciate people calling me a spineless coward as one poster put it, or that any of my family are jerks.  I still love them even though yes they are dillusional.

When you describe someone's general behaviour toward you as jerkish, then others can hardly be blamed for interpreting them to be jerks (toward you, anyway).  Also, them being delusional doesn't mean that they're not jerks - if they really do act the way you described, then that's jerkish behaviour, which by definition would make them "jerks".  What would excuse them - and I think what you're trying to say - is be the fact that their jerkish behaviour isn't their fault, but is merely the result of their delusion.  Is that fair?

Why should mods put my brother in ER (not sure what that is) but anyhow you guys are the ones that have blown this way out of proportion, and now my thread turned into a war.  Im sorry that you do not have time to watch the video, yet you have time to come here and write these posts?  Are you at work 24/7?

As Screwtape pointed out, this isn't a war.  It's a discussion, in which one of the participants is too emotionally wired-up about the topic to be able to rationally engage in the discussion.  As for the bolded text above:  What is "it", what were the prior proportions, and what are they now?  Are you able to justify your claim, or are you making an unjustified claim?

Study about what brethren are like, and the old country kind of upbringing I have had. It is like a cult, you really are brainwashed, but because of our day & age I think we were more open to educate ourselves than our siblings.

I know what they're like.  I am familiar with them from my time helping my mother with her kindergarten classes, in which she often had several Closed Brethren children.  Yes, they are cult-like.  Are you bringing this up as being relevant to the topic of the OP, or the topic of your siblings' behaviour?  Because it's certainly relevant to those topics.  Or are you bringing it up as being relevant to how we should conduct ourselves with Star Stuff?  If so, then how is it relevant?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 01, 2010, 10:35:03 PM
Since this is my thread I will ask again if it can be locked, it seems that no one can get along here, and I think that 2 people here are ganging up on SS, they have hurt him by their accusations.

If he is hurt by accusations of intellectual dishonesty, then he should take more care not to engage in intellectually dishonest behaviour (such as intentionally misrepresenting the words of others).  It's a simple cause-effect scenario.

I will add I do find this kind of odd, since I have been reading alot of other posts on this site, for example Servant of Allah's threads, and people there are getting quite personal with bad remarks, now Im not sure why this would be allowed if there are certain rules. :?

Certainly there is a lot more offensive behaviour on this site than that which Star Stuff did.  But the Mods generally respond to reported posts before unreported posts, with the rationale (as I understand it) being that the reported posts are the ones that bugged someone enough to get reported, while the unreported posts - while possibly worse - don't need attention, because they never bugged anyone enough to get reported.  If people are breaking the forum rules in their conduct toward SoA, then SoA or someone else needs to report them to the Mods - if anyone cares enough.  If not even SoA cares enough to report such behaviour, then why should the Mods bother with it?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 02, 2010, 09:20:22 AM
Gnu, I think you are missing the bigger picture. Or at least focusing on a less important point.

Screwtape/Azd,

I remember that Pinkmilk and DisdainDavid were members of this forum for 6-8 weeks before they revealed that they're a cohabiting couple. Nobody complained that they were liars for initially concealing this fact. There was no fuss about it whatsoever. And it's easy to imagine why they did it: a desire to establish their identities on the forum as individuals, not as part of a couple.

They still lied.  It was not a big deal because, as you said, it was understandable.  As I have said numerous times in this thread, not all lies are bad.  But if they were involved in a discussion where that information was relevant, you'd probably have wondered what the deal was and at least wanted an explanation. 

That was what I have been looking for.  Rather than just admit he was not completely up front about it (not a crime) and briefly say why, SS has petulantly denied any deception, which at this point is ridiculous.  He came close when he said it was for "anonymity", but he just could not bring himself to call it what it was.

The fact that StarStuff and NOTF chose to keep the sibling nature of their relationship secret is equally unremarkable. Accusations of dishonesty or lying by omission are unwarranted.

They are warranted because he did in fact lie.  It may be a forgivable lie, but that does not turn a falsehood into truth.  This does not necessarily damn SS nor does it necessarily make him a terrible person.  I am not calling for the Banhammer.  I just asked for an accounting of his act of deception.  In the context of the discussion, this was pertinent information.  I am glad it eventually came out.  When it did, I questioned the motives.  I understand his motives now, despite his stonewalling, probably better than he does.  But he still refuses to own up to it.

The argument surrounding it at this point is about him denying that it even was deception.  That is a problem for someone who considers himself a "rationalist".  At this point he is just clinging to an emotional position and that is causing all manner of intellectual dishonesty and that is the real grievance.

Gnu, there are several problems here.  SS's deception is only one part of it and it is not the largest though it has lead to others.  He has been intellectually dishonest throughout this conversation and that is the bigger offense.  And I do not mean just his denial about not being forthcoming.  I include all the of strawman arguments he stuffed against me.  He has to see that. 




Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 02, 2010, 10:34:12 AM
Screwtape, StarStuff, Azd,

It pains me to see three people, all of whom I like and respect, get so bogged down in such a heated argument.

So I'd like to help. I've reread the thread, I can see where it goes wrong.  

To start with the conclusion: my considered opinion is that all of you have something to apologize for.

As does L6, who initiated the temperature increase on page 1 by describing all the people he disagreed with as "spineless cowards". That kind of language isn't conducive to reasoned discussion.

StarStuff, I think this where you should have done things differently. I'm speculating that when L6 called your little sister a spineless coward you reacted emotionally to that, because you know it's not true and you understandably went to her defence. We all also need to factor in that L6 had also unknowingly called you a spineless coward.

So that was the moment you should have revealed, because with hindsight, the more you got involved in the discussion while maintaining the pretence, the more it would become inevitable that you reveal it.

Screwtape, Azd. I've already made my position clear regarding the general principle of StarStuff and NOTF concealing their siblinghood. It's normal behaviour, other people do it, it does not reflect badly on them or impugn their integrity.

But that's what you did, Screwtape. You immediately questioned StarStuff's character in the strongest terms. You spoke of him 'betraying the community'. Not in my opinion. If you personally felt hurt and betrayed, that ratchets up the temperature a few more degrees.

So StarStuff reads your accusations, and now he's feeling hurt. He's a proud man, you're insulting him to the core, unfairly, so he replies angrily. The temperature rises again.

You suggest SS should be put in the ER. Another insult.

No need to analyze the rest of it. It just gets hotter. You played a large part in it, Screwtape, by exaggerrating StarStuff's crime in the first place. As NOTF said, you blew it out of proportion, and the thread went rapidly downhill from there.




Azd, I'm not sure to what extent you condemn StarStuff and NOTF for concealing their relationship. Your main accusation of intellectual dishonesty on StarStuff's part seems to rest on what was said after the temperature went through the roof. If this is so, perhaps we could look at the wider picture, the fact that StarStuff is a widely respected longtime member of this forum, and his honesty and integrity are not seriously in question. If you could find a way to acknowledge that, he may acknowledge that he said things in the heat of the moment which might have been better phrased - because he was hurt, and angry.

Screwtape, Azd, one final observation - correct me if I'm wrong, but all the blame for StarStuff and NOTF concealing their relationship fell on to StarStuff.  NOTF didn't get criticized for it at all, even though it was obviously a shared decision. What does that signify to you?  



This whole thing is a storm in a teacup.

If we turn off the heat, and say sorry for our parts in it, we could be friends again.

For my part, I apologize if any of you are offended by this post. Nobody likes being advised to say sorry and shake hands. So ignore me if you want to.

Gnu.

PS Screwtape, just seen your post. It doesn't really change my thoughts about this, so I'll let this post stand as it is.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Sister Chromatid on April 02, 2010, 01:31:53 PM
You've offended me, gnu, because you never mentioned our relationship.  *sniff*
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 02, 2010, 03:54:44 PM
Hey. Come on, Sister, don't cry.

We'll always have the JREF forum. We didn't have, we... we lost it until you came to WWGHA. We got it back last night. I know you said you'd never leave me, and you never will.

But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of.

Sis, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people on an internet forum don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

Someday you'll understand that.

Now, now... Here's looking at you kid.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 02, 2010, 05:08:03 PM
Hi Azd, StarStuff, Screwtape.

Here's another unsolicited observation, free of charge.

This thread is an interesting example of what psychotherapists call 'parallel process'. The primary purpose of the thread was to discuss whether NOTF should reveal her atheism to her parents in the real world. Within the thread, the actual focus became StarStuff revealing his relationship with NOTF to the Forum. The same issue, in other words, but being enacted here and now, on a different level.

So StarStuff, observing what actually happened in this thread supports one of Screwtape's points. He's advised you and your sister to at least make detailed preparations for telling your parents, so that if the news comes out, the damage is minimized. On this thread, you weren't fully prepared for telling us your secret, and the s**t hit the fan.  

On the other hand, Screwtape, what happened here supports one of StarStuff's points. This thread became focused on the relatively trivial issue of StarStuff coming out about his siblinghood, but it's generating genuine distress and hurt, and still threatens to destroy your friendships. The destruction of a family would be far more painful.

I anticipate your response that StarStuff's reveal on this thread was badly handled, and that a reveal to his parents could be handled better. Agreed. But it appears to be the opinion of StarStuff and NOTF that no matter how well they presented it, the results would not be positive. It simply wouldn't be worth the pain it would cause. And it's their call.

Screwtape, we've discussed this whole issue before, and if I remember correctly, we're basically agreed on it: generally speaking, honesty is the best policy, but each case must be judged on its merits. And the best judge of each case is the person concerned.

If you still agree with that, then let this go. I understand you don't like some of what StarStuff said, but it was hot in there. Forgive and forget.

And then leave StarStuff and NOTF to absorb the advice and feedback they're received on this thread. They may come round to your way of thinking, Screwtape, or they may not. But it's up to them to decide what to do.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on April 03, 2010, 12:48:56 AM
Gnu...thank you for your observations, and for trying to help us all out here, your understanding is very much appreciated. :)
I will edit though that it was my no intention to tell my parents about my "lack of belief", but it was rather about my older siblings, just so that is clarified. That thought never came to my mind about telling my parents.
Anyhow I think that this thread is tired now, but if anyone still wants to post about the opening thread, feel free, but I will not be partcicipating in arguements with people.
Thanks :)
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 03, 2010, 01:03:10 AM
Quote
Azd, I'm not sure to what extent you condemn StarStuff and NOTF for concealing their relationship.

Concealing a relationship is fine, in itself.  Concealing that relationship when its bias is relevant to what one is saying is not.  That's why Star Stuff got flak for that, and NotF didn't.  This has already been explained in the thread, most recently in Screwtape's last post.  Are you reading those posts?

Quote
Your main accusation of intellectual dishonesty on StarStuff's part seems to rest on what was said after the temperature went through the roof.

That is correct.

Quote
If this is so, perhaps we could look at the wider picture, the fact that StarStuff is a widely respected longtime member of this forum, and his honesty and integrity are not seriously in question. If you could find a way to acknowledge that, he may acknowledge that he said things in the heat of the moment which might have been better phrased - because he was hurt, and angry.

Of course I acknowledge that he is a longtime, respected member of the forum.  And if Star Stuff had merely engaged in misrepresentations and hyperbole, then I would not be calling into question his broader intellectual honesty.  But he has refused so far to admit any fault whatsoever - continued dishonesty, even after it has been brought up.  If he has to be coddled in order to be able to conduct himself honestly, then that reveals a significant problem that should not be simply hand-waved away in the spirit of universal harmony.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 03, 2010, 01:38:42 PM
Concealing a relationship is fine, in itself.  Concealing that relationship when its bias is relevant to what one is saying is not.

Sigh. This will be the final time I will try to have you understand this.  I would have said ALL of the things I said in the earlier parts of this thread (about coming out to frail, uneducated, elderly parents) even if I didn't know NOTF. Her relationship to me had absolutely no bearing on my replies. I was not defending her in any way. I cannot change the fact that she is my sister, and I made my comments from my own viewpoint and situation.

The issue as I saw it, was that your relationship to her is part of what made you blow up in the thread.  Not having known about it at the time, your blow-up seemed sort of inexplicable.  That's the bias I'm talking about here.  That said, I havn't really focused on this part since I find it to be trivial compared to the misrepresentations and hyperbole, and the lies told about them.

Quote
Of course I acknowledge that he is a longtime, respected member of the forum.  And if Star Stuff had merely engaged in misrepresentations and hyperbole, then I would not be calling into question his broader intellectual honesty.  But he has refused so far to admit any fault whatsoever - continued dishonesty, even after it has been brought up.

Yes, it has been brought up and asserted, but not established. You cannot do that, for I know that was not intellectually dishonest or guilty of anything, (except getting angry from the later false accusations).

Except, of course, for the direct examples of misrepresentation brought up by Screwtape repeatedly in the thread, which you have still not addressed.  That's a big issue.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: DisdainDavid on April 03, 2010, 02:01:51 PM
I remember that Pinkmilk and DisdainDavid were members of this forum for 6-8 weeks before they revealed that they're a cohabiting couple.

Nobody complained that they were liars for initially concealing this fact. There was no fuss about it whatsoever. And it's easy to imagine why they did it: a desire to establish their identities on the forum as individuals, not as part of a couple.  


Just wanted to point out that we made no attempt to 'conceal' our relationship, it was just simply never relevant to any conversations we had (at least ones that I had), and when it became relevant I pointed it out.  Also, hello everyone.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on April 03, 2010, 02:05:28 PM
Just wanted to point out that we made no attempt to 'conceal' our relationship, it was just simply never relevant to any conversations we had (at least ones that I had), and when it became relevant I pointed it out.

Precisely. And were you crucified like me?  Did you have any damning posts instantly deleted like I've had done this morning without notification?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: One Above All on April 03, 2010, 02:39:31 PM
Azdgari, are you Moderator 25?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on April 03, 2010, 03:26:44 PM
Azdgari, are you Moderator 25?

Given that my lengthy post from this morning (showing screwtape and Azdgar's utter hypocrisy) was instantly deleted without any notification to me from an Admin or Moderator, it seemed very suspect how that occured.  Azdgari was also somehow able to quote from a part of that thread (shown in his post #228).  How is that so Azdgari?

So I'd like to ask a very simple question to screwtape and Azdgari:  Are you in any way, shape or form, an Admin or Mod on this forum?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 03, 2010, 04:38:57 PM
I didn't delete the post, Star Stuff.  I reported it, replied to a short part of it (the part not relevant to the report), and then went to the theatre to watch a movie with my significant other.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 03, 2010, 05:15:25 PM
StarStuff, I saw your removed post, and I understand your frustration. But there's no need to get paranoid about what's happening. Your post got reported, a mod removed it as an initial response, and probably passed it up to an Admin. They'll produce a considered response in due course. Which might not be until after the holiday (admins have lives, y'know).

SS:
Quote
Azdgari was also somehow able to quote from a part of that thread (shown in his post #228).  How is that so Azdgari?
As I said, steady on, StarStuff. Your post was up for about an hour. Plenty of time for Azd to quote from it in his reply before it was deleted. No need to call shenanigans.

Interesting post, though. The gist of it can be conveyed in one sentence:

Recently, Screwtape joined a Forum under false pretenses, with an ulterior motive, and then deliberately lied to and deceived that Forum's members and its administrators.

Is this true, Screwtape? No need to go into details, I know them. A yes or no would suffice.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Star Stuff on April 03, 2010, 07:19:22 PM
Thanks for the clarification Gnu and Azd.  I did not and have not received any notification that my entire post was deleted from this thread and moved, or why, so I was completely in the dark.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: LucyWTF? on April 03, 2010, 11:44:18 PM
Right off the bat I need to admit something, I'm a friend of Not On The Fence....I don't know her brother, but I don't want to allegedly deceive anyone here....

I don't see anything wrong with them not initially disclosing that they are brother and sister. Let me give an example :

I work in the same store as my mom, some people know we're related, probably an equal amount of people don't know (it's a big store, about 150 employees). It's not something we advertise, but it's not something we deny either. It just doesn't come up that often. But of course if someone were to ask either of us straight out we're not going to lie. And please don't think that there's any kind of priviledge or advantage to working with a parent....we're not the only parent/child combination in the store, as well there are several married/dating couples working there. No favourtism.

But back to the original subject. I'm not religious, but I'm lucky I don't come from a religious family....for the most part. Most of us are somewhere between agnostic and atheist, but I do have a cousin who's a minister. But we support him, and he has no problem with most of the rest of us being on the other side. Open-mindess and understanding, it would make the world a better place.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Not on the fence on April 04, 2010, 01:12:54 AM
Hi Lucy WTF.....hahaha nice name!!! lol! Welcome to the forum, its about time you posted something, there is lots to read on this site, and lots to learn.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 05, 2010, 07:35:34 AM
Hi Azd, StarStuff, Screwtape.

Here's another unsolicited observation, free of charge....<snip>

Gnu,

I appreciate what you are trying to do.  However, until you understand what my points are and are able to represent them correctly, I have to invite you to withhold your observations and advice.  You seem to be hung up on them concealing their relationship and the hurt feelings.  I have no problem apologizing for hurt feelings.  To me the biggest point to be addressed is SS's style of argumentation. 

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Sashka on April 05, 2010, 07:47:58 AM
Damn, I'm starting to like this thread
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 05, 2010, 08:41:27 AM
Precisely. And were you crucified like me?  

This is exactly what I am talking about.  Nobody has crucified you.  Nobody has even rough you up.  Az and I have asked you to look at what you have said and admit it has been off base.  This use of hyperbole is unnecessary, makes discussing anything with you almost impossible and makes you look whiny.  Casting yourself a the martyred messiah and Az and me as your Roman tormentors is just self-indulgent and silly.  

So I'd like to ask a very simple question to screwtape and Azdgari:  Are you in any way, shape or form, an Admin or Mod on this forum?

No.  If I were, you'd have been in the ER several days ago.

Recently, Screwtape joined a Forum under false pretenses, with an ulterior motive, and then deliberately lied to and deceived that Forum's members and its administrators.

Is this true, Screwtape? No need to go into details, I know them. A yes or no would suffice.

I did not see it, but if that was what Star Stuff's post said, then I can guess why it was removed.  Among other reasons, he has no idea whatsoever what I said to forum members or admins.  So for him to declare I lied (as if he would know) is yet another big fat lie from Star Stuff.  SS, the more you try to squirm out of this, the worse your decisions become. If that is what you posted, it was really low.  

No.  I did not join a forum under false pretenses.  I joined the forum without pretense.  The events that SS seems to have divulged[1] happened after I had joined and participated in that forum.  Some members and admins there disagreed with me on a point of view.  There the forum is generally run by vox populi.  So, I encouraged members here of like mind to join and post, hoping to change the direction of that forum.  Deception helped, but success of the plan did not hinge on it.  Volume and numbers counted.  I did not lie to any members and or administrators.  Neither did I at any point say anyone should lie. Not that this has anything to do with the topic at hand.  

You are all still stuck on the distration - Star Stuff's lie.  The question is not whether he lied.  He did.  The questions about it are whether he was justified, whether it was malicious, whether it was harmful and whether it was relevant to the discussion.  I would now answer those questions[2] as "maybe from a certain point of view", "no", "no" and "yes".  

Similarly, to say I have lied in my life is a distraction.  I have lied.  I do lie.  By signing in as "Screwtape", I lie to each and every person here.  It is intentional.  But it is not malicious and it is not harmful.  I do it for security and I feel justified in that.  I think Star Stuff would agree, since I have never heard of anyone with a surname of "Stuff". So this accusation was just another giant dodge by SS.  He is desperate to try to get the discussion off of him and away from what I have been asking be addressed for several pages now.

I want to reemphasize, the main problem I have with Mr Stuff is not this lie of his.  At this stage of the game, that is trivial.  It is his intellectual dishonesty.  It is the fact that he cannot even bring himself to admit he lied.  It is the way he repeatedly portrayed my arguments in ways that I obviously did not mean them even after I corrected him.  It is the way he addresses my points with mere handwaving denial.  I laid out my arguments and included examples.  I expect a more serious response than the malarkey he has posted.  

The rules here do not just apply to theists.  If we are going to be rational, then we cannot make excuses just because the irrationality comes from one of our own.  We have to help each other see the holes in our logic and rationale.  I am not doing this because I dislike him.  I am doing this because he has to see where his blind spots are.  I want to get past this and make up.  I do not want hurt feelings on either side.  But I also cannot just walk away from this.  He cannot continue to argue in the fashion he has in this thread.  He cannot remain blind to where he went wrong.  If we let him do that, then we are all hypocrites and the theists will be absolutely justified in calling us that.



ed - removed "like"
 1. I have not read them first hand, so I am guessing at what he posted
 2. despite SS dragging his feet and being unhelpful the whole way
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 05, 2010, 08:52:59 AM
I don't see anything wrong with them not initially disclosing that they are brother and sister. Let me give an example :

I work in the same store as my mom, ...<snip>

I get what you are saying.  I think the situation in this thread is a little different.  SS portrayed himself as giving neutral advice to a stranger about her parents.  But he wasn't.  He wasn't giving her suggestions that were in her best interest.  His "neutral" advice was not neutral at all.  His interests were mingled in too.  They were actually his parents.  His advice was to follow his course of action.  Any suggestion that contradicted that was a threat to him.  He has a vested interest in her not telling them.  His advice may be the right advice - I am not saying it isn't.  The point was that this was relevant in the discussion.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 05, 2010, 03:49:42 PM
Hi Screwtape:
Quote
You seem to be hung up on them concealing their relationship and the hurt feelings.  I have no problem apologizing for hurt feelings.
It's not simply a matter of hurt feelings. What I'm saying is that your reaction to StarStuff's revelation was over the top, questioning his integrity and accusing him of betraying this community. No one else reacted like that, and it wasn't warranted.

Quote
To me the biggest point to be addressed is SS's style of argumentation.
I don't agree, but either way, you could still acknowledge that your overreaction contributed significantly to the overall increase in heat.

Quote
I did not see it, but if that was what Star Stuff's post said, then I can guess why it was removed.  Among other reasons, he has no idea whatsoever what I said to forum members or admins.  So for him to declare I lied (as if he would know) is yet another big fat lie from Star Stuff
This is my mistake, Screwtape; that sentence was my summary, not StarStuff's. I should have made that clearer, sorry.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 05, 2010, 05:41:08 PM
Quote
To me the biggest point to be addressed is SS's style of argumentation.
I don't agree, but either way, you could still acknowledge that your overreaction contributed significantly to the overall increase in heat.

This is confusing, Gnu.  On the one hand you believe (and I agree) that Star Stuff's witholding information about his personal stake in the outcome of the discussion isn't a big deal.  Yet, on the other hand, here you say that you don't consider that the biggest point to be addressed is the fallacious and intellectually dishonest style of argumentation that Star Stuff has employed.

This raises the question of what point it is that you believe is the "biggest point to be addressed".  Both Screwtape and I consider Star Stuff's use of hyperbole and fallacies to stonewall and dodge points to be the main issue in the thread at this point, since they prevent rational discussion.  Star Stuff obviously considers countering these claims (by whatever means) to be a big issue in the thread at this point, since he feels insulted by them.  So to the members actually participating in the thread's argument, the "point" that Screwtape described really is the "biggest point to be addressed", no?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 05, 2010, 07:56:41 PM
Hi Azd,
Quote
On the one hand you believe (and I agree) that Star Stuff's witholding information about his personal stake in the outcome of the discussion isn't a big deal.
OK.  
Quote
Yet, on the other hand, here you say that you don't consider that the biggest point to be addressed is the fallacious and intellectually dishonest style of argumentation that Star Stuff has employed.
Yes (but it's only my opinion, of course).

Unlike Screwtape, I think that it's OK for StarStuff to say, as he just did, that he had been crucified on this thread. I realize that he isn't actually accusing you of nailing him to a cross. It's a figure of speech, a metaphorical expression of his feelings. It's a rhetorical device. It's not misrepresentation.

Just as he originally described Screwtape's strategies as "carpet-bombing" and "throwing grenades". That's how they felt to him. That's not using "dishonest fallacies". It's using metaphor. It's not a big deal.

Quote
This raises the question of what point it is that you believe is the "biggest point to be addressed".
I already said, Azd. Screwtape's over-reaction to StarStuff's revelation. It was over the top. You're concerned about StarStuff's style of argumentation. He's rather more concerned at Screwtape's accusations that he's somehow "betrayed" this community because of his fundamental "lack of integrity". I think he's got his priorities right.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 05, 2010, 08:32:35 PM
You intentionally cut out the part of my post that indicated why Star Stuff's style of argumentation was a problem:

Quote
Both Screwtape and I consider Star Stuff's use of hyperbole and fallacies to stonewall and dodge points to be the main issue in the thread at this point, since they prevent rational discussion.

Why should I take you seriously?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 05, 2010, 09:26:59 PM
It's not simply a matter of hurt feelings. What I'm saying is that your reaction to StarStuff's revelation was over the top, questioning his integrity and accusing him of betraying this community. No one else reacted like that, and it wasn't warranted.

I am prepared to accept that some of my responses were harsher than warranted.  I would even apologize for them.  I am honest enough to do that.   

But why is it that he gets the free pass?  Why is it that I don't get a free pass for being taken aback by his admission?  You are saying his outrage is okay because it is due to my alleged over reaction. But my initial outrage at his deception is irrelevant because...you think in the end it was fine? 

Quote
To me the biggest point to be addressed is SS's style of argumentation.
I don't agree, but either way, you could still acknowledge that your overreaction contributed significantly to the overall increase in heat.

I'll get to this below.  Az did a good job articulating what the problem is.

This is my mistake, Screwtape; that sentence was my summary, not StarStuff's. I should have made that clearer, sorry.

That was clear.  I was saying I did not read SS's original post and all I have to go by was your summary.  So if I said something that did not apply, something that did not fit with SS's post, that was why.



Unlike Screwtape, I think that it's OK for StarStuff to say, as he just did, that he had been crucified on this thread. I realize that he isn't actually accusing you of nailing him to a cross. It's a figure of speech, a metaphorical expression of his feelings. It's a rhetorical device. It's not misrepresentation.

1. Of course he did not mean it literally.  But it is an extreme statement.  It is an over the top rhetorical device.  And it is significantly adding to the ill will in the thread.
2. Why is it okay for him to express his feelings in an over the top manner, but when I do it is The Big Problem in this thread?
3. Is it too much to ask to have a discussion without resorting to over the top rhetorical devices?  Jesus H christ on a stick, this is supposed to be a forum that promotes rationality.

Just as he originally described Screwtape's strategies as "carpet-bombing" and "throwing grenades". That's how they felt to him. That's not using "dishonest fallacies". It's using metaphor.

First of all, I have been saying all along that he was responding to his emotions and not my posts.  Thank you for confirming that.  That is not a reasonable way to conduct a conversation.  That is a sure way to foment frustration, and if you are a theist, end up in the ER.

Secondly, metaphors a fine to use, if they are applicable.  I found his to be inaccurate and insulting. I correct him several times and he continued. He also dodged half a dozen points and ignored multiple questions. Is that okay too, since later in the conversation I hurt his feelings?

It's not a big deal.

Wrong.  It is a big fucking deal.  Particularly when I corrected him on it twice.  Why do his feelings trump reality?  Why does he get to continue to use language that I find does not convey my meaning or intent?   Why does he get to conflate my position with beating up old people and cancer patients?  That is like Ann Coulter asking liberals why they hate America.  On what planet is that arguing with integrity?

Your big hang up seems to be for people[1] use moderate language to keep the discussion at a civil level.  That has to work both ways.  Why do you not hold him to the same standard?






 1. by "people" you apparently only mean me.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 06, 2010, 04:45:07 PM
Screwtape:
Quote
I am prepared to accept that some of my responses were harsher than warranted.
Which is exactly what I said in my very first post (#212):
Quote
The fact that StarStuff and NOTF chose to keep the sibling nature of their relationship secret is equally unremarkable. Accusations of dishonesty or lying by omission are unwarranted.
Unfortunately, it's taken you 34 posts to acknowledge it. But better late than never.

Quote
I would even apologize for them.
Why the conditional? If you think that an apology is appropriate, then just give it. It may or may not be accepted, but that's up to StarStuff. Just do it.





Quote
But why is it that he gets the free pass?  Why is it that I don't get a free pass for being taken aback by his admission?
Now this is a misrepresentation. I'm not giving SS a free pass, I have criticized him, and I've said that he has something to apologize for. From my second post on this thread:
Quote
To start with the conclusion: my considered opinion is that all of you have something to apologize for.
That included StarStuff; I said he handled the revelation badly, I also said that he said things in the heat of the moment which he shouldn't have done. (Do I think he should apologize for stonewalling and dodging? See below).

Quote
You are saying his outrage is okay because it is due to my alleged over reaction. But my initial outrage at his deception is irrelevant because...you think in the end it was fine?  
There's an obvious difference. StarStuff and NOTF's 'deception' wasn't aimed at you personally. You happened to be one of the people talking to StarStuff at the time he decided to put his cards on the table, but that's still not a valid reason for you to be outraged. Nobody else was. So you over-reacted. On the other hand, your over-reaction was targeted specifically at StarStuff, so his outrage is understandable.

Quote
First of all, I have been saying all along that he was responding to his emotions and not my posts.  Thank you for confirming that.  That is not a reasonable way to conduct a conversation.
I refer back to my observation that the emotional tone of this thread was established by L6 referring to all previous posters who disagreed with him (which included StarStuff) as 'spineless cowards'. Both you and Azd endorsed his comments. ("F**k yeah", you said in your first post on this thread).

Is calling your opponents in a debate 'spineless cowards' a reasonable way to conduct a conversation (especially in your first contribution to the debate)? I don't think so. StarStuff didn't think so, and objected. And so did other members, which demonstrates that StarStuff's (at this point) concealed relationship with his sister was irrelevent to what he was saying. He was objecting to what L6 said on his own terms.

Quote
Wrong.  It is a big fucking deal.
Swear-words tend to raise the temperature.  

Quote
Your big hang up seems to be for people (1) use moderate language to keep the discussion at a civil level.  That has to work both ways.  Why do you not hold him to the same standard?

(1).  by "people" you apparently only mean me.
See above. 'Spineless cowards' is also immoderate language. So I'm not only meaning you.

Azd:
Quote
You intentionally cut out the part of my post that indicated why Star Stuff's style of argumentation was a problem
I was merely trying to answer the gist of your post, Azd, I wasn't trying to avoid anything. So I'll address your point:
Quote
Both Screwtape and I consider Star Stuff's use of hyperbole and fallacies to stonewall and dodge points to be the main issue in the thread at this point, since they prevent rational discussion.

StarStuff made his reveal at the top of page 4 (#93). Screwtape then made his accusations of betrayal and so on. StarStuff reacted angrily. Screwtape later accused StarStuff of dodging. At the bottom of the page (#119), you accused StarStuff of intellectual dishonesty.

So let's ignore anything that happened after that. The accusations have been made, so they should be judged on what's already happened. Agreed?

If so, I suggest you resolve the matter by asking the mods to make a judgment, by simply reporting one or more of StarStuff's posts prior to #119 for whatever you're complaining about, dodging, or dishonesty, or stonewalling, and letting them decide.

You are accusing StarStuff of flagrantly breaking Forum rules. So report him. Let's find out.

If they decide in your favour, hopefully StarStuff will accept it and apologize. And vice-versa.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 06, 2010, 06:05:37 PM
Quote
I refer back to my observation that the emotional tone of this thread was established by L6 referring to all previous posters who disagreed with him (which included StarStuff) as 'spineless cowards'. Both you and Azd endorsed his comments.

Now, here you're making it look like I was endorsing L6's "spineless coward" comment.  Can you support this accusation?  Notice how I only quoted some of his post.  That wasn't done randomly.

Quote
I was merely trying to answer the gist of your post, Azd, I wasn't trying to avoid anything.

Bold mine.  If true, then you were doing it without trying.

Quote
StarStuff made his reveal at the top of page 4 (#93). Screwtape then made his accusations of betrayal and so on. StarStuff reacted angrily. Screwtape later accused StarStuff of dodging. At the bottom of the page (#119), you accused StarStuff of intellectual dishonesty.

And Star Stuff was dodging Screwtape's posts through hyperbole and stonewalling on page 3, behaviour which Screwtape and I both called him on later.  This was before anything to do with his "reveal".  The only relevance of Star Stuff's revelation of a personal relationship to the situation was that it cast light on why he was reacting so emotionally.

When I made my accusation in post (#119), it was - most immediately - in reference to the post directly above it (#118).  Star Stuff had hand-waved away Screwtape's comprehensive, reasoned post (#117) to Not on the fence.  Throughout the page, he had avoided addressing the points that Screwtape had brought up, and when that stonewalling culminated in post #119, I had had enough and called him on the dishonesty of his tactics.

You seem to be paying attention only to things that directly pertain to Star Stuff's revelation of his personal relationship.  Why is that?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 06, 2010, 07:10:32 PM
Quote
And Star Stuff was dodging Screwtape's posts through hyperbole and stonewalling on page 3, behaviour which Screwtape and I both called him on later

Then report him, Azd. I think you're wrong, but I don't make the rules here. Ask the people who do.

Press the Report button on any post prior to #119. See what happens.

I bet you £500 that StarStuff isn't sent to the ER.

I bet you £50 that he isn't given a formal warning.

I bet you £5 he isn't informally advised to restrain his usage of hyperbolic metaphor.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 06, 2010, 07:17:17 PM
Reporting Star Stuff's post and addressing your posts are not mutually exclusive activities.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 06, 2010, 07:42:03 PM
Agreed.


... er ... ?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 06, 2010, 07:52:35 PM
Sorry, Gnu.  Having posted before your edit, I was unaware of your edit.

I prefer not to take bets on what the moderation staff will do, except at times in the case of obvious trolls who are about to go to the ER or be banned from it.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 06, 2010, 07:58:40 PM
So, are you going to report him, or not?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 06, 2010, 08:04:28 PM
No, because I already have.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 06, 2010, 08:10:59 PM
OK. So what happened when you reported him? What was the response?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Agga on April 06, 2010, 08:23:10 PM
The thing in life that I find the most difficult of all is letting go of things and moving on.  I often struggle to forgive others their mistakes but I find it even harder, maybe even impossible, to forgive myself of my own.

The worst part about my life, quite probably, is the cost of carrying an ever increasing weight of that which I won't let go of and I'm too good at finding reasons to hold onto the stress.

Everyone fucks up and sometimes we didn't mean any harm when we did.  Sometimes it's best all round to just walk away and get on with something else.

I feel it's a cost vs reward thing.  Although I'm hopeless at following my own logic at times I do feel that the logic plays.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 06, 2010, 08:50:36 PM
OK. So what happened when you reported him? What was the response?

It was today, a few hours ago, so none.  And frankly, I don't see the value of this line of questioning - though I'm open to you explaining it to me.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Operator_A25 on April 06, 2010, 09:15:04 PM
Quote
And Star Stuff was dodging Screwtape's posts through hyperbole and stonewalling on page 3, behaviour which Screwtape and I both called him on later

Then report him, Azd. I think you're wrong, but I don't make the rules here. Ask the people who do.

Press the Report button on any post prior to #119. See what happens.

I bet you £500 that StarStuff isn't sent to the ER.

I bet you £50 that he isn't given a formal warning.

I bet you £5 he isn't informally advised to restrain his usage of hyperbolic metaphor.

Gnu.

Gnu, this is a really counterproductive thing to be doing here.

I am working with staff to resolve this situation. Patience is advisable. Or, better yet, you could ALL check out Agga's post above and save me the headache of having to deal with this.

-A25
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 06, 2010, 09:26:03 PM
I would like to follow Agga's advice, but if we all do that, then the issue will just end up coming up again later on.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Agent_007 on April 06, 2010, 09:44:05 PM

Everyone fucks up and sometimes we didn't mean any harm when we did.  Sometimes it's best all round to just walk away and get on with something else.

I feel it's a cost vs reward thing. 


Much like investing in PALM (http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:PALM) or ACUS (http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:ACUS). It seemed like a good idea at the time, but instead I will just walk away.

Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Agga on April 06, 2010, 09:58:38 PM
I would like to follow Agga's advice, but if we all do that, then the issue will just end up coming up again later on.
Remember the words of Sarah Connor.  No, wait, I mean John Connor (the future one).  But hang on... he only knew the words because his mother told him when he was a boy.
No, hold on again, she only knew the words because JC from the future told Kyle Reese to tell her in 1984.

Uh oh... I appear to have wandered into a time-loop that will never end unless I stop asking the question.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Agga on April 06, 2010, 10:08:59 PM
Much like investing in PALM (http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:PALM) or ACUS (http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:ACUS). It seemed like a good idea at the time, but instead I will just walk away.
Precisely like that, 007.  In the hope of future security we can invest and invest in today.  Sometimes, though, we find that we've spent twenty years throwing good money after bad and got nothing for our trouble but a hidden deficit that we hadn’t accounted for.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on April 07, 2010, 01:49:26 PM
A25:
Quote
Gnu, this is a really counterproductive thing to be doing here.
If you mean the silly 'bet' comments, then OK, sorry, those were unnecessary.

I still think the question of whether StarStuff has broken the rules by stonewalling and dodging is best settled by the mods, rather than Azdgari and I trying to persuade each other. Presumably he agrees with me as he has made the report, so there's no need for us to continue the discussion here. Hopefully the verdict wil be accepted by all concerned - and apologies made if appropriate.

Quote
I am working with staff to resolve this situation.
I'll leave you to it, then.


Azdgari, are you happy to leave it there? I hope you understand why I suggested using the Report button. If there's anything specific you want me to reply to from your recent posts, let me know (I wouldn't want you to think I was dodging!). If not, I think we should let the mods handle it now.

Same applies to you, Screwtape. I appreciate you may wish to reply to my last post, which is fair enough. I'll try not to reply.

Gnu.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 07, 2010, 01:57:34 PM
Well frankly, all I want out of the whole ordeal is for the dodged points to be addressed.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: screwtape on April 07, 2010, 06:20:02 PM
Gnu, your post 247 (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13320.msg303365#msg303365) was bullshit.  I considered a longer response, going through the details, showing exactly why it was bullshit.  But this is all I can muster at this point.  My argument is not with you. 


Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 07, 2010, 06:22:35 PM
^^ I think we can safely say, what with that and his "bet-the-mod" post, that Gnu's mediator-act is insincere.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Operator_011 on April 07, 2010, 06:48:54 PM
**ONE TIME ONLY SPECIAL OFFER**



Anyone who allows this thread to die its long overdue death will receive, via PM[1], their choice from the following pictures:

1) Me wearing a Batman's outfit, red hold-up stockings and high-heels
2) Me wearing a gorilla's costume, a bow-tie and a pair of army boots
3) Me wearing a burkha, a snorkel and a pair of fluorescent green flippers

Get em while they're hot as there's a limited supply.

Your faithful servant


Eleven.
 1. After a full week of the thread seeing no activity
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: SpineOfSteel on April 07, 2010, 07:06:34 PM
**ONE TIME ONLY SPECIAL OFFER**



Anyone who allows this thread to die its long overdue death will receive, via PM[1], their choice from the following pictures:

1) Me wearing a Batman's outfit, red hold-up stockings and high-heels
2) Me wearing a gorilla's costume, a bow-tie and a pair of army boots
3) Me wearing a burkha, a snorkel and a pair of fluorescent green flippers

Get em while they're hot as there's a limited supply.

Your faithful servant


Eleven.

 1. After a full week of the thread seeing no activity

I'll take you up on offer 1. :D
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Azdgari on April 07, 2010, 07:10:59 PM
I'll take you up on #1 as well.  Even if it's not really you, I'll be impressed that you were able to find a convincing pic of that.
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: L6 on April 08, 2010, 09:56:16 PM
I come back after a busy week and the thread is twice as long as before. Sorry for anyone who cared, but I'm not even going to bother reading the rest. If it's important, it'll come up again, perhaps more civilly.

Edit: If anyone is still upset over being called a spineless coward, I take it back. Happy?
Title: Re: Would you risk family relationships just to be right?
Post by: Jessie on April 09, 2010, 12:06:34 AM
I think I’m going to have to agree with everything L6 and Screwtape have said, even though I thought L6’s “spineless cowards” comment was a bit harsh. I understand not wanting to cause distress and hurt feelings to family, especially depending on how much you love and care about them and want to have a healthy relationship with them, but those hurt feelings are not justified and are drenched with bigotry. So if someone reacts badly to their child/niece/nephew/grandchildren being an atheist, it’s not the child’s problem, it is the family’s problem, and they should learn to deal with it. The child should not have to lie for the sake of their family’s feelings (prejudices).

Every family is different, obviously. Some may be open-minded and others might not be opened-minded at all, but I think regardless of how open-minded they are, I think it’s best to be honest, rather than continue to live a lie and carry a heavy burden in order to give your narrow-minded family a false sense of security about who you are, especially when there’s no reason for their need to feel secured anyway. And in reality, no matter how well you think you know your family, you can’t be 100% certain how they’d react. Their reaction might be better than you think.

The fact of the matter is, often times people just don’t understand atheism. The fact that they seem to hate atheists so much is really because they’ve never actually interacted with an atheist before, and have been raised to believe all these negative stereotypes that atheists are just immoral, God-hating heathens, who get sick thrills out of blowing kittens up in microwaves, or something batshit insane like that. They’re just ignorant. By being open and honest, you can show them that these stereotypes are wrong and undeserved. We hate these negative stereotypes, and we hate the fact that we are believed to be hopeless beings with no happiness in our lives by pretty much everyone around us, and because of this bigotry, we are afraid of telling our own family that we share a different viewpoint than them. The irony is the longer we stay in the closet, the more these prejudices are prolonged. Only by speaking up do opinions change. It takes time, sure. Some people are going to take longer to come around than others. Some may never come around. But by just saying, “I’m an atheist,” you have contributed to the cause. Those three words DO make a world of difference. By not saying them, you are doing harm not only to your mental health, but you are doing harm to the change that we so desperately need.

Obviously if you have abusive parents, whether physical or verbal, then it’s best not to say anything. There’s no sense in putting yourself through that. And only tell your family when you think the time is right. Don’t just walk up to them, tap them on the shoulder and say, “Hey, I’m an atheist!!” Try waiting until a religious discussion comes up, or if the “Do you believe in God?” question comes up. I also think it’s best to maybe tell one person at a time, and not wait to tell a bunch of your family members at once. You don’t want to take on a bunch of people at once, especially when it’s your own family. That’s just too emotionally distressing.

Also, I think the next most important thing an atheist should say to their family after they’ve come out of the closet is that they are no different than they were before they told their family the truth. Remind them that you are still the same person you were just three minutes ago before you told them. It might not help in some cases, but I still think it should be mentioned.

I’m sure people didn’t want to this topic discussed any further and I‘m sorry to keep beating a dead horse, but I really wanted to add my two cents in, if not for the OP, then perhaps for someone else who is possibly faced with this difficult decision.