I normally don't post commentary here as I try to stay neutral and behind the scenes. I have several goals in building this community - one of which is to help bridge the growing divide in society. My thought was if I could raise the view of non-believers in the eyes of religious people, it could help them humanize what they may perceived as bad people. That was one of my motivations in adding Humanism text here... to give us a shared vocabulary of "goodness".
As I expected, almost everyone who joined here was a good person who wanted to make the community a better place. However, I became disappointed in the way that the majority of members (who were left-leaning) treated the minority who are conservative in positions unrelated to religion. Before you say, "oh, they started it", please remember, I'm not picking sides but only observing that contempt is a dangerous thing - especially in groups of people. Many of our conservative non-believers have left in the last few months.
When couples are fighting, they often try therapy. The best predictor of divorce is whether or not the couple has contempt for each other. Make sense, as contempt can only build if the other person is dehumanized first. In society today, contempt has grown to a level unmatched since World War 2. Social media, which machine-learning algorithms optimize what people see by how effective the content is in creating outrage and contempt (as it increases revenue), is a major contributor to today's growing unrest.
This makes me think of how we can help improve things here. I realize that part of the fun many members have is jumping in a thread of some daily outrage posted by members who are tacitly encouraged to find the most outrage-inducing posts. It's a drug, pure and concentrated. While it was not our intention to become a pharmacy, we are.
It's more obvious when you scan the groups and imagine them as assorted drugs in a cabinet. Some come in extra-strength, 72-hour doses.
Aside from the normal admonishments of "hey, tone it down!", I want to help find another type of communication for members that is unrelated to a topic. I'm thinking of something like "hey, how are you doing?". Many sites have "status updates" where you can post temporary things that are at a single-human level instead of some external outrage at a 3rd person or group. It's hard to build contempt at another human being who is sharing their personal, intimate feelings. The weakness of status updates is that it only shows up to your friends and only if they're keeping an eye on you. I'm hoping that we could do better.
Here's what I'm thinking the "status update" feature would look like. On the main page, we put a tiny form for "How you feeling?" (or similar), it either opens a form or pops a small window for you to enter 120 characters or so. We then put that as a comment to a single post called, uh, "How you feeling?" and perhaps even display the last 10 or so on the main page. You are encouraged to reply KINDLY to these "comments" - even more than on any other posts. The member will get alerts when people reply to the status update.
What do you think? Are we on the right track? Other ideas?
I feel that politics is hypothetical to a lot of people here. Some of us do not have that luxury. I have had multiple family members die for lack of basic medical care. I have relatives who are POC and or "aliens" and the concerns about them being deported or worse because of racist policies and ideals are, I can assure you very real. Y'all keep on playing nice with the people who espouse and further the ideas that endanger the lives of my family. I am done. I cannot deal with these kinds of discussions and having my all too real concerns written off as "identity politics" and " intolerance" . yeah I'm fucking intolerant of political views that kill people.
Many of the conservative members who have left were in favor of minority groups being denied the same basic human rights and protections as straight, white, cisgender folks. They will not be missed. God or no god, that sort of mentality has no place in civilized society. Men do not have the right to dictate anything concerning a woman's body, and all humans deserve equal rights and protections unilaterally, regardless of their age, race, religion, national origin, nationality, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. Anyone who doesn't agree with that isn't much of a human, let alone much of a humanist. As I said, they will not be missed.
I wish we had a translation service that could convert what you just said into a way that is understandable to a Conservative. Remember, Conservatives generally translate what Liberal people say into a way that is different from what Liberal people think they do. There are two different languages being used so that they're understood differently. For example, "minority groups being denied the same basic human rights and protections as straight, white, cisgender folks" phrase requires a Conservative to guess what you are talking about... and they often go to their more sensitive trigger (e.g, oh, you're talking about a trans freak wanting to perv girls in a women's bathroom, that's dangerous and makes me uncomfortable)... so clearly, their response has to be emotional back to you (often they're favorite label "Libtard" ). I don't want to guess which of the minority groups or rights you're referring but I know your statement is "goodness" driven. Just some thoughts.
I think @admin was specifically trying to wrest control from people with your brand of totalitarianism.
@MarkiusMahamius My brand of totalitarianism? You mean basic human decency that should apply equally to everyone? Am I missing something here?
@MarkiusMahamius So you don't agree that every human alive deserves the same basic human rights and protections as everyone else? Or am I still missing something?
@Kafirah I think people should be able to open their big fat mouths about pretty much anything they want. The rest of us can respond by ignoring, or dialoging. I don't consider your right to your opinions, to be greater than mine or anyone else's. That doesn't change based on my personal beliefs about the content of the opinions. It simply based on the right to have them.
@MarkiusMahamius As do I, regarding opinions. I also believe that if someone thinks they deserve more, better, different, special, or extra rights and protections than someone else, for any reason, they are wrong. That wrong thinking implies that they somehow believe themselves to be somehow better than whoever they think deserves less. When it comes to basic human rights, NO ONE deserves less. That's no totalitarianism, that's universalism. It puts no one above anyone else. It is all-inclusive. If someone can't agree on that, there must be, in my opinion, something fundamentally wrong with them.
@MarkiusMahamius If you want to open your big fat mouth and say whatever you want then you will have to take responsibility for what you have said. It is not a matter that your opinion is greater than mine or vice verse but the fact that you or me are spouting hatred and fear.
@Kafirah you are absolutely just as entitled to you opinion as "they" are. Where it crosses the line into totalitarianism, to me, is the idea that you/some group of people, get to decide what's correct and allowable speech. Yeah, speech leads to action... for instance, plenty a person who hates on immigrants here, is also actively working to brutalize/support the brutalization of immigrants in real life. Besides moral harm, it produces real harm to the individual and to the potential of our species. But... I still think those people are entitled to their opinions. Like I said I can choose to ignore or dialog. When i choose to believe I have more rights than they do, that's totalitarianism.
I'll try to look at this a different way. Humans suck. Maybe totalitarianism is the only practible answer to large groups and the social vitriol that turns into impactable human behaviors. Maybe Stalin was right about how to resolve problems, regardless of if you agree with his selection criteria. Opposing/wrong opinions must be squashed. I suppose he could have been more humane about it, but this might be a chance to start improving on his processes.
@MarkiusMahamius The problem is - that the there is a class that wants "Other" and "Female" to be "Less than" - and sees nothing wrong with it.
Proof that Transgenderism is a scientific fact - doesn't change their opinion.
That many countries now have women serving in the military - that doesn't do it either.
That the LBGTQ hold jobs and have kids and marriage etc.
All of that upsets them.
They want the strides forward to go back. Despite proof to the contrary. (And I do mean scientific proof). How do you argue with civility - day after day - when they want to snicker about your Human Rights?
I'm truly at a loss.
Literally concerned that right now there are people I love who could be at risk in this country because of changes begin made.
Simply women who can't get appropriate healthcare in their own State and have to travel to do so.
Transgendered who are denied jobs and attacked in public - because we have a president who took away their status in the Military.
There is such a list of things happening that frightens me - but I try very hard not to operate from there. Or from a place of hatred.
I try to base myself on "Where can we more forward to?".
"And how are we going to do it?"
@RavenCT my opinion about trans people, or maligned ethnic groups, or power dynamics, or or or...is equally as irrelevant as yours. And regardless of if we agree or not, we still both have the right to post about it.
@MarkiusMahamius That's just it... there is no totalitarianism if everyone is equal. Allowing those that don't have the same rights to have them doesn't take away from the rights of those that already had them. Giving others the same rights doesn't restrict those that already had them in any way. Everyone should be free to say whatever they want and hold whatever opinions they wish. However, despite all people being equal, all opinions are not. And all humans have the right to hold wrong and bad opinions. But those wrong and/or bad opinions shouldn't be able to restrict others from their basic equal rights, no matter who says that they can. That's totalitarianism. For instance, trying to overturn gay marriage. Everyone deserves the right to get married, if they so choose, to whomever they choose, so long as it is a mutual decision between all parties that would be involved in the actual marriage. To tell gay people that they aren't allowed that basic human right is totalitarian dictatorship. The key in that is consent. To say someone cannot marry a goat is not totalitarianism, because the goat cannot give consent or display any understanding of what a marriage even means in any way whatsoever. Same goes with child marriage. They lack the ability to fully understand what they are agreeing to, therefore consent is null and void. Not to mention that both examples are just sick and wrong. That's my opinion, and some would disagree with it. That, in my opinion, makes them equally sick and wrong. But I digress... Totalitarianism is forcing people to have less than those in charge. No one is forcing people to have as much as those in charge.
@Kafirah "However, despite all people being equal, all opinions are not.". Weirdly, I don't agree with either part of that, and it may be the root of our disagreement.
But... The idea that started this discussion, for me, was your statement about "that sort of mentality has no place in civilized society." And from the original post, "I have several goals in building this community - one of which is to help bridge the growing divide in society. ". I don't consider admins goals to be my goals, but I was really surprised to read a post about deciding what sorts of mentalities should be allowed here/ what "has a place". That sort of exclusionary thinking is fundamental to totalitarian thinking, imho.
@MarkiusMahamius I get that, differing opinions are a necessary part of growth. Considering things from many angles is invaluable. But the mentality that seeks to restrict the rights of those that don't fit their personal criteria cannot grow a society or a species. It is, at its heart, divisive. Division leads to resentment, which leads to contempt, which leads to hatred, which leads to hateful actions, which leads to destruction and death. So, by denying equal rights to anyone, we, as a civilized society, would be heading down a path that would disqualify us from being either civilized or a society.
@Kafirah Judging people on their beliefs or opinions and calling that "civility" and calling it a criteria for a healthy society, looks good on paper.
i's no different than the belief that only the humans that fit specific racial or gender profiles are inherently necessary to a civil society.
@MarkiusMahamius If we don't judge people by the content of their character, what should we judge them by? And no sir, that is utterly false equivalency. We judge people by their words (opinions and stated beliefs) and their deeds. That is the sum total of what we are able to know of someone other than ourselves. We judge everyone according to that criteria. Some of us are content to judge others by their character. It's when you start judging others for things beyond their control that you are in the wrong. Each of us is solely responsible for our own character and how we present that character to the world. That is the only criteria by which anyone should be judged.
@MarkiusMahamius The point I'm making is when someone's free speech translates to "Hate Speech" or into changes to my rights as a human being. That's where it becomes a problem.
All humans will fight when threatened. (Or at least most).
Take away folks rights and see what happens.
Social media is just that - a social venue. Not life or death. However it IS a place where views might be altered. And in that manner it can be a precious resource.
To change minds.
I had a Father who was somewhat bigoted in the "Archie Bunker" fashion of the day.
None of us kids could stand it.
And with fairly pointed correction and real world interaction - that behavior changed.
So I am aware that people do change. Show them some love - show them some evidence - show them real world examples of what they fear - and that it IS NOT TRUE - and they will change their opinions and become the best of people.
My Dad wasn't a bad person to begin with. He wasn't out to get anyone. He "just" made bad jokes and though less of certain people because of their "otherness". His family helped to change what his environment had taught him.
I firmly believe this can be done out in the world too.
But not if people are going to cuss at each other about it. (Occassional vulgarity can be warranted).
That's just my belief. Everyone has one I'm sure.
But I think the goal here is for social change. To expand on Humanism. To get people talking not fighting.
I had a friend who whole-heartedly believed in Trump and voted for him - we were able to stay friends even though I fully did not believe in Trump - and discuss it - for well over a year - with him changing him mind about two years in.
It wasn't without conflict - but no yelling matches - because of the way we speak to each other.
It's possible. I don't see why more folks don't do it.
I guess it's whether you place any value on the person you speak to. I always do.
When the decide to tell me they hate me? Then I'm done.
No one needs a hater in their life.
@Kafirah My opinion: opinions about <insert current social issue here> do not define character. I care much more about who rapes babies, than I do about who says what about <insert current social issue here>, and I feel much more comfortable with judging people's character based on what they do, not what they say. Im comfortable realing that I don't know jack-crap about most members here, and that I have no right to make decisions about them. For all I know, the most toe-the-line politically woke, civil member here, rapes babies. All i do know, is their right to say what they think. Just like the most regressive jerks here.
I was driving by a line at a soup kitchen this morning. Huge line, huge group of people eating. It was run by a church group that has turned down donations from lgbt+ groups, for moral reasons. Im not advocating they shut down the soup kitchen, and I'm not advocating the church group should define civility either. Opinions just exist.
@MarkiusMahamius Apparently you don't believe "everyone deserves the same basic human rights" because if you did a simple yes would make that clear. Do you know what that makes you?.
@Casey07 do you keep lists of those you feel deserve basic human rights, and those who dont?
@MarkiusMahamius You have a right to free speech. However there is a point at which free speech descends into yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater.
So yelling misinformation and hate speech to incite more misinformation and hate speech and fear? I see that as problematic.
@MarkiusMahamius presenting misinformation as fact is precisely what the religious have done for eons.
I don't suffer it well anywhere in my life.
It's not melodrama to say free speech - when misused with purposeful lies - can cause harm.
Also if I were a dude would you say I was melodramatic?
@MarkiusMahamius I hear your opinion on my statement but I don't find it to be true for myself.
@admin "Many of our conservative non-believers have left in the last few months."
I think that had less to do with "contempt" from the left leaning majority, and more to do with some of them finding another site that was more in their bubble..
Im not sure how much more bubble wrapping you could have put on to protect them.. you gave people the ability to block (its a but buggy but it works), you had moderation at a minimum (lefties could only report to site mods), and you gave groups that they could play in..
I guess im a little confused on what you wanted the majority of us to do?..
For example : Calm down the hard left when the hard right makes a misogynistic or racist or anti science statement on a site with a large number of highly educated members? Ummm.. no.. i have no incentive to do that.. sorry
Ummm, maybe they left because they just didn't have any real argument. And their spew was not worth buying into.
While I can not cite the names of the researchers and institutions which have conducted them from memory, even a half-hearted search will turn up many, non-partisan, scientific studies which have consistently shown that: religious fundamentalism/extremism and extreme political conservatism both tend to attract and appeal to people of lower intelligence, which is in turn far more comfortable engaging in cognitively dissonant rejection of scientifically accepted facts. Religious fundamentalists and extreme conservatives are also more likely to admit to fear of strangers and people who do not fit into their identity groups and therefore tend to be more racist, prejudiced, ethnocentric, homophobic and sexist. So, there is a fundamentally legitimate reason, although perhaps unfair to some and generalized, behind the tendency of people who are politically left of center to be predisposed to reject the comments and ideas of conservatives--too many of them are just willfully ignorant, preferring to believe whatever they choose, regardless of the amount of information that disproves what they choose to believe. There are simply too many, extremely important challenges and problems facing the human race at this point in history, for fools to be comfortably tolerated and indulged. Fundamental, religious extremists/political conservatives execute women by stoning for "sorcery" in this world. Can't happen in the industrialized West you might say? Tell that to the next, gay teenager who is beaten to death and has a tire put over his head and set on fire. Tell that to the 50% of Americans who didn't vote for a president who has made no secret of his hate-mongering, solicitation of assassination and foreign interference in our election process, racism, tolerance and support of fascist organizations and actions, past sexual assaults and sexism, etc. and is LOVED for it by troglodytes who seem straight out of the Dark Ages. Conservatives who aren't the worst of their group are being rejected and judged, because the majority of them refuse to condemn the actions of the worst among them, continue to prefer affiliation with a group that says Native Americans ought to "go back where they came from," African American men should be blocked from entering apartment buildings where they live by entitled white women, because the woman "doesn't know who they are," or better yet--should be summarily executed in the street during routine traffic stops by police who are never charged with a crime, and that it must be okay to grab women by the P-word, because the jibbering idiot in the Oval Office says it's okay. If you want to encourage tolerance of modern conservatives, at least in the U.S., you should maybe first work on getting them to reject and stop identifying with drooling buffoons and dangerously stupid people who will happily set the clock back centuries and claim that is progress. Tolerance, like respect, must be earned and deserved. Tolerance of that which is intolerable is complicity. I served honorably in the U.S. army, and I tell you this--there is no threat in the entire world that frightens me as much as the enemy within our own country.
Actually, IMO each person is inherently worthy of respect simply because of their existence as a consciously aware being. Our existence is a miracle beyond all miracles, by all rights to be revered and cherished.
Wallowing in negative, judgmental thoughts results in great unhappiness.
@WilliamFleming If you consider life to be the result of a "miracle," I couldn't, nor would I try to, prove you wrong. I don't agree, but I seriously doubt our disagreement on that point is going to impact either of our lives. As for the "wallowing" you mention, if that's what you get from my post, you seriously missed the point I was trying to make, because I completely agree that wallowing in negativity results in unhappiness. I don't think anyone would consider that a stunning revelation.
@Wildflower However you wish. Reality is a staggering, mind-bending phenomenon of the utmost significance and value.
I was nodding my head to most of your erudite comments until I came to "because the jibbering idiot in the Oval Office says it's okay." and simply concluded that you are no better than those you have just called out. As I repeatedly say "a broken clock correctly tells the time twice a day".
Why do you concentrate on the time that the clock is broken?
Furthermore if you contemptuously block all further thoughts how will you appreciate the " unbroken" ones and allow yourself to rightfully learn and grow?
@GothRik I've continued thinking about what you wrote and wondering if I 1) sincerely understand how you mean it or 2) agree. I treat strangers POLITELY until they demonstrate they don't deserve it, at which point I will try to ignore them. I can't honestly say I respect strangers, but I obviously have to tolerate them if I interact in public. As for people I get to know, obviously that process entails developing respect, affection, admiration, etc. (or not) for as long as I continue to interact with the person, with the possibility of those feelings changing. If you claim you have some automatic respect and tolerance for everyone, in general, that just seems wildly dubious to me, if not absurd.
@WilliamFleming Neuro-scientists say "reality" is the construct we create biochemically in response to our environment, in order to effectively and safely navigate within it.
@FrayedBear I don't believe any other U.S. president in modern history has been proven to utter more outright lies and/or inanely absurd claims than Donald Trump, but everything I wrote is negated by calling him a "jibbering idiot?" I call them as I see them. Too many people, including former aides, attest to the fact that the guy can't read a 3-page intel brief or understand why actions that violate the Constitution are illegal, but I cross a line by assessing him to be an idiot. Okay, how is "the intellectually inferior and cognitively challenged person in the Oval Office?" What description of Trump's truthfulness, intelligence, and intellectual acumen do YOU feel is appropriate, if I'm so terribly wrong in summarizing it as idiocy?
@FrayedBear Upon further consideration, and I am restraining myself from denouncing your accusation more vehemently and colorfully, I am "no better than those I call out?!" How dare you? Honestly? My sincere belief and labelling of Donald Trump as an idiot is comparable to my plowing a car into protesters and killing a young woman? I am on the same level as someone who considers it okay to belittle and threaten the lives of high school students, who bravely and justifiably protested for stricter gun laws, because they want to attend school with a lessened fear of being gunned down? Your presumed and entirely imagined moral high ground exists nowhere but in your mind and online, apparently, where you pontificate about semantics and pompously affect a facade of superiority based on a minor word choice, because I am NOT a person who would continue criticizing a dead man, whom our current president mocked openly while he was dying from brain cancer, dismissing the man's service and survival as a POW, while himself being a draft-dodger. No sir, you must be so tragically confused that I strongly urge you to spend more time considering what you write in response to posts that aren't even directed at you, because there is not a single bit of fact or truth that supports your claim that I am no better than those I call out! Finally, I am concentrating on the political and social reality that exists, not arbitrarily choosing to be a Debbie Downer in the midst of Utopia, and how in the world do you conclude I "contemptuously block all further thoughts...?!" Get your facts straight, man!
@Jerkwater_Oracle Proven by recently dismissed aides. That sounds a very reliable source. How do you fail to respond to the simple questions posed - you are not doing it with your misdirection, iteration of facts on other issues like dying men and draft dodging, attempted gaslighting of "you are confused", your expectation that only you are allowed an opinion - " posts that are not directed at me" - who are they directed at? That last symbol is a question mark - the same symbol used in the ultimate and penultimate sentences of my response to you. Do you not comprehend the function of a "?" is to obtain explanation to clarify my misunderstanding of what you are saying?
@Jerkwater_Oracle you response commencing "I don't believe any other U.S. president" is totally avoiding any good that the Trump Presidency has done.
Doesn't he donate his salary to the benefit of the American people?
@Jerkwater_Oracle So you think reality is all just chemistry—just trivial common-place stuff not worth thinking about, and it’s not real so it needs to be put in quotation marks?
I agree that our personal realities are illusions that we create for survival purposes. Our perceptions need to be organized in a way that helps us react to new stimuli. But behind the scenes is Ultimate Reality, of which science affords ony a few faint glimmers.
Are you taking what you call the “environment” for granted as though it’s really there in the way we perceive it? According to quantum gravity theory time is an illusion, space is made of a finite number of granules, and particles of matter exist as interactions between covariant quantum fields. There are no “things”. The very concept of existence, as we think of existence, has a different meaning at the most basic level.
From a cosmic perspective, the perspective of ultimate reality, existence is indeed a staggering and awesome miracle, and the fact that we humans have conscious awareness of that miracle is highly significant. Ultimate Reality is a profound mystery, but it’s a dazzling mystery, full of joy and hope.
@WilliamFleming 1) Please copy and paste where I have written or elaborated what I believe is the nature of reality. The text to which you refer attributes the definition of "reality" to a neuro-scientific explanation. I haven't written a single thing about my interpretation of reality, how awesome (or not) the universe is, stated that it is common-place or not worth thinking about. Which brings me to the question--why are you trolling my post? Wtf is wrong with you and people like FrayedBear down under who interpret every post written, no matter how unrelated to you it is, as being a soapbox for you to climb onto and begin generally insulting people and sharing your incorrect assumptions? For the record, Ace, when referring to a word in the way I did or quoting from another's writing, you set that word or passage off with quotation marks. It doesn't mean ironic air quotes. It means you're specifically setting off a word or passage, attributing authorship and not representing words as your own, just as you demonstrate by putting "environment" in quotation marks. Am I being nearly as pedantic as you? I'm trying to be. Apparently, you are an expert on "Ultimate Reality," if not the prime source of information about it. @Wildflower asked you how you defined "miracle," to which you answered, "However you wish," but apparently any response or counter I make to YOU responding to MY post is inherently flawed or unacceptable or subject to your analysis, misinterpretation, and snarky commentary...which seems to be entirely the kind of bs @Admin is trying to figure out a way to reduce, if only modestly. I truly don't gaf what your interpretation of reality is, how miraculous you think the universe is, what you mean when you use the word "miracle," what you mean by "Ultimate Reality," your entirely missing the irony inherent in your going from a miracle-based commentary to a quantum mechanics mini-symposium, or what motivates you to deliberately choose to go out of your way to respond to a person's post that 1) is not directed to you and 2) about which you immediately and wildly go off-topic, BUT I can sincerely state, since it IS part of my belief system, that I hope your interpretation of reality is healthy for you, inspires positivity in your life, and gives you a sense of meaning and purpose, because that is my wish for everyone, without miracles or Ultimate Reality, zombie Jesus, or the multiverse having to even be intoned. Now, please...spot something shiny in someone else's post and go troll them, or better yet--allow people to express what they want, how they want, without acting like it is subject to your approval or you're the "Thought Police," which is in quotation marks, since it's a reference to "1984," by George Orwell. You're welcome.
@Jerkwater_Oracle I thought I was responding to your post, addressed to me, that was in response to what I said to Wildflower. I assumed that you were attacking what I said to him about reality.
Anyway, I apologize for offending you.
contempt for the contemptible is not a bad thing. if right leaning people/ideals receive general contempt, Id call that the market place of ideas eliminating product without worth.
How does one know what the line for contemptible vs not is at? Of course, it's easier on the fringe, but 95% of people are not truly there.
Its pretty simple to me, which ideal presents the most good, for the most people. a % of any population will be unhappy, and feel set upon by the rest. That is simply unavoidable. we arent talking about a factor beyond someones control. bad ideology is a choice.
The last time I saw most of the citizens of the US have total contempt and actively seek to destroy communism. Isn't that on the left?
I attempt civility the majority of the time. However, I am an theist and a liberal living in the heart of christian conservative territory. I spend my days biting my tongue because I don't need death threats, verbal abuse or losing my job. I am forced to stand up for what is right in a virtual world and in a very limited way in real life. If I get heated when someone puts forth ideas and attitudes that I know are harmful to groups of people, society, or those I love, I consider it perfectly acceptable. I live by the though that my rights end where yours begins. The only problem I have with people is when they think their opinion should be every one else's law.
No one should be able to legislate what goes on in another persons body.
Outspoken hatred and bigotry for people of color, women, and the LGBT community directly effects family, friends, people I love. Laws based on this hatred must be fought against.
Espousing views that in the end kill and harm people when they become policy or law is just not something that should be let to slide.
I try to be civil and respectful, but to think that an un-researched opinion is the same as a reasoned researched one is just wrong. i will change my mind on anything that has a proven track record, a proven-well-conducted study or double blind experiment. Prove to me I'm wrong and I'll jump on board. But don't expect people to sit idly by or simper and bow to ignorance while our friends and family are suffering and dying.
Perhaps more of us can build coalitions for the greater good if we avoid proving each other wrong and pursue symbiosis co-existence and maybe emphasize dating romance and nurturing human love as many mammal societies do without money greed and rape to argue about
WOW! Nice to see so much interest in this post. First, let me say this site is awesome!
I have had only few negative interactions with other members, sad to say they were all from the conservative members and I was blocked by a couple of them.
It is a 2 way street always and I do my very best to only use "I" statements. It never works to have a conversation by telling others things like "you do this all the time" or "you don't have a clue". Name calling, having to get in the absolute last word or denigrating others opinions are NOT good form for intelligent conversation. We can always agree to disagree but calling someone an asshole because their opinion is not your opinion closes the mind.
An example of I statement: " I feel, I think, I would like to say, My opinion is . . . ".
If you are a gop member, trump supporter or conservative why would you poke your nose into a group that is expressly for bashing your political views?
I will check out comments or posts in conservative groups but I do not comment or engage, I just want to see other sides to things. Even if I might agree it is not my political position over all or I am not a member so I can't comment.
I avoid the most intensely outraged posts, not my cup of tea.
A daily checking in could be very nice. Thank you for trying to improve the site and have a platform to hopefully educate non-believers and believers. We are indeed just struggling humans trying to get by the very best we can. Let your light shine!
Big, big sigh. While I understand what you're sayimg and attempting, people who treat everyone who isn't wealthy, white and American as subhuman cannot be reasoned with. They are not salvagable. People who embrace right wing ideals and celebrate the suffering and even death of others as the natural order can't be fixed or communicated with.
That's funny, until your last sentence, I thought you were talking about the social justice warriors that run a mock on this site, pitchforks a torches ablaze. Not their targets.
This of course is one of the people we're supposed to reach out to and reason with. Why? What possible benefit can an individual like this ever offer @Admin?
Thank you, Totally agree. The beginning of this post (second paragraph) sounds suspiciously like something Spike would say... It's what he's been selling all along and I'm not buying it. People just need to walk the walk. I don't engage with the political drama here. At all, and as a "lefty" don't want to be blamed for "starting" it either.
What you describe is called a "truism" where you setup the premise to fulfill your conclusion. Yes, someone who says things you think are subhuman would be subhuman to you. I believe that such people are much more rare than what we see in social media... even the ones we interact with.
Simply, I believe most people don't care how someone else is feeling in real life, nevermind on a site where people are really anonymous. If a status update about how one is feeling is in any way negative, that person is called names and made to feel wrong about feeling the way they do. Many people who have nothing kind or supportive to say just can't keep quiet, they have to put others down. It would be wonderful if that could work in this environment, members getting to know each other personally. It is true that ignorance produces contempt. I believe ignorance within our society is at the core of our problems.
@irascible many of our problems spring from ignorance.. is what I said. Fear, hate, contempt come from that ignorance. Did you mean psychopathy or psychopathology? Psychopathy is not a major social problem. Psychopathology on the other hand is much more prevalent including many mental health diagnoses. Perhaps you could clarify for me.
The good news is that "not caring" is an intermediate accelerant... not a cause. After years of ongoing frustration in the perceived opposite and antagonist views of the other side, people have now given up communicating and resort to even worse name calling and dehumanization.
@irascible yes, I have total contempt for the psychopaths who have been running corporations like Monsanto, denying climate change, the danger of nuclear proliferation, untested chemicals and war. Refusing to listen or hear what they say however is not going to enable contrary opinions to be expressed.
@irascible psychopathology is the diagnosis of a mental or behavioral disorder. Pychopathy is a personality disorder. As a therapist this is my understanding. Perhaps I learned it incorrectly in my masters studies.
@Wildflower So a psychopath who deliberately uses, lets say gaslighting, to try to drive the one being gaslighted to doubt their sanity or their suicide is not a widespread problem for humanity? That the psychopath who pushes for the spread of nuclear power, the use of insecticides and herbicides on genetically modified plants, the destruction of water tables and environment to produce fracked gas, the poisoning of the oceans and the over cropping of the fish and mammals therein are not huge problems for humanity?
@FrayedBear I apologize for my ignorance. You are absolutely correct. Have a wonderful day Mr. Bear.
@Wildflower I wish that I could but I seem to be surrounded by and attracting psychopaths, obsessive compulsive personality disorder sufferers, narcissists, misandrists, people lacking empathy or sympathy all hellbent on trying to prevent me living my reclusive existance without their control freakishness, gaslighting, projection and perjuries.
How is your world? It was sounding to me like the Big Rock Candy Mountain until I came along and tried to shake your story's aplomb.
@FrayedBear I suggest that you take a little control of your life and shut down your computer. You can have a wonderful day if you choose to. Perhaps you enjoy that which you attract. If you didn't you would not be engaging with "psychopaths, obsessive compulsive personality disorder sufferers, narcissists, misandrists, people lacking empathy or sympathy all hellbent on trying to prevent me living my reclusive existance without their control freakishness, gaslighting, projection and perjuries." Often we project on others that which we despise about ourselves. I am now choosing to disengage with you because I refuse to further encourage your gaslighting tactics.
Now I am really in ignorance as to how you perceive me to be gaslighting but perhaps you will say that it is my cognitive dissonance that keeps me ignorant or could it simply be that you read something totally different to what I write?
A curious exchange.
Goodbye then and may the Companions of Health, Peace and Fulfilment travel with you.
There are a few members of the extreme r and/or irrational right on this site. As a group they are the most unwilling to have their thoughts and biases examined and challenged without becoming verbally and emotionally abusive. Yes, I have become angry at such despicable behavior and I b believe such anger justified. To me, they do not belong in a community willing and able to engage in critical, but constructive dialogue. If they feel uncomfortable with legitimate criticism, so be it.
I do see an intolerance towards conservatives for sure. I think this ideal that we can get along and be civil with them though is misguided. I understand the desire to go back to time when people could be civil even if they disagreed politically. The problem is those times are long gone because that environment was made possible because we all lived in a shared reality. Now the right wing is so lied to they are living in a world that is almost as delusional as the society in North Korea. The Christian Coalition won the war on facts and knowledge in that community so they now believe anything they are told no matter how crazy it is. Flat earth, anti-vax, climate change deniers are all a symptom of this war. Since the people that lie to them get paid for lying and the biggest lie gets the most rewards, is it any surprise we have the environment we have now. So unless you can bring them back into a shared reality so we have a foundation that can be agreed upon I don't see any of that stuff helping at all. Teaching people to be able to defend their point of view better might help but the right wing does tend to be more aggressive so I can understand why many don't want to get into that confrontation. I'm just an aggressive asshole so I don't mind fighting with them. I just enjoy debating really. I enjoy humiliating them with the truth, it's pretty easy since the live in a fantasy world but I don't imagine that is seen as a positive thing by you either. Fighting this shit over the internet is much preferable to fighting it out in the streets so I don't see it as bad as most do. I can also understand why your goals of attracting more people are not the same as mine so you do whatever you feel is best as long as you are not censoring people I won't care.
@Antidronefreeman I do not advocate war but I do advocate debating ideas and defending one's point of view. I do not enjoy harming people in any way but I do enjoy tearing apart the illusions and delusions of people that think they know it all. I'm not a meek person, I have no back down in me. That's who I am, judge me all you like. I'm pretty used to it. There are all kinds of people but without us aggressive alpha males the human race wouldn't be here. I know how much shit the liberals like to talk about alpha males. Many of us are bullies deserving but not all. I will leave that for others to decide what they think I am. I'm the only one that walks in my shoes, you have no idea what I've been through. Alphas are just natural leaders, it's in our genes. It's the ignorance on top of that aggression that makes it dangerous. The left could use a lot more aggressive alphas to keep the right from running you over. This is why the right sees the left as pussies and cowards. They are shocked to see someone that is willing to give it back to them and knows enough to rip apart the false reality they live in. They are almost never confronted like that so they grow more emboldened. every time the left cowers before the right they make them 10x stronger. Wars most certainly do have victories, learn your history. There wouldn't be wars if they didn't serve a purpose. Politics and debates are a nonviolent way of settling those differences in a better way. Pretending to all get along is the old America, Trump ripped that false facade off to reveal peoples true nature. This is why people were friends with others for decades without knowing what was really in their heart. I have no use for the fake faces we put on to play roles created for and by us. It may look all civil and kind but Trump has exposed the rot that lies behind those false masks. Yes, I find it deeply satisfying to rip illusions away from the arrogant that claim to know so much. I truly could care less what others think of me, my self-esteem doesn't lay in others eyes. I'm not trying to put on some act to attract a mate here as sooooooo many others are.
There are things I can rationally discuss and communicate with and even compromise with. Education, economics, gun laws, healthcare...
But there are things I cannot and will not tolerate or even humor.
And in my book, voting for someone who locks children in cages and bans people from the country for their skin color or religion, incites violence against people, refuses to work with anyone, and tries to take away basic human rights and decency, someone who shuns and insults our allies while snuggling with vicious enemy dictators...if you vote for them just because they support your economic or healthcare views, then you are not someone I can tolerate. You have clearly said that certain lives are worth less to you than your economic beliefs. That is unforgivable.
Now, I'm trying very hard to just block those that make me irrationally angry by being either the above or supporting the above. But I will not compromise with or tolerate people who believe basic human decency, human lives, and human rights are something that can be compromised.
Also a lot of people on the conservative side seem to forget that compromise means BOTH sides give up some and get some. It isn't a one way street.
The problem lies in that some people cannot discuss things without starting to be abusive. Some people get angry when one asks them questions about what they have posted. They want everyone to agree with their opinions. They are like kindergarten children who have not been thought to play nicely.
Yes, because they are debating their world view which has now become identical to personal identity... hence the rise of identity politics. Starting with facts might help.
@Admin yep. Totally. Has nothing to do with real, lasting and devastating harm being done to millions of people....must be identity politics. Smh
I am eternally grateful for this site, and all that the site runners do for us. It has
provided an much-needed outlet and a community for me, and so many of us.
Whatever @Admin decides to do, that's fine.
This is their site, so it's their rules.
We each have the prerogative to participate or not.
As long as there's no censorship, I'm fine.
I think part of the problem is that many of us don't have a model for how communication of this sort should work. I think we need a code of conduct, or at least examples of good communication that we can encourage people to follow. If someone fails to follow the rules, and shows no interest in doing so, that's a good reason to boot them from a group, or from the site as a whole.
One example of "rules of thumb:"
-- No personal attacks. You can criticize an idea, or offer support/evidence for a different idea, but it is not appropriate to say "your group" or "you" do X, Y, or Z Stick to the key idea or topic.
-- No sarcasm or virtual eye-rolling. This means that your communication has to stay direct and to the point, and refrains from trying to make the other person seem or feel foolish.
I guess I don't have much hope of us finding common ground, so I at least want there to be ground rules that attempt to make communication civil.
Comments on here are exactly why Admin wrote this post. The gang mentality on this site is ridiculous. No one likes bigotry but those who are the worst perpetrators turn a blind eye to their disgusting behavior.
I've received private messages from other members calling me a bitch and I don't belong on this site because I'm a conservative and a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment.
I left the sight for awhile because of the attacks but came back because of encouragement by another member. However, it's worse than before and it's truly disappointing how animalistic others behave.
For an entire group of people proclaiming they are freethinkers and respect other peoples opinions...its a joke.
I make a point to post links or articles supporting what I have to say but when most social media and online searches are left controlled it's very challenging.
Conservatives are far outnumbered on here. Liberals like to hurl insults, gang up on, belittle and try to humiliate. I'm not saying conservatives haven't jumped on that bandwagon because they have. It needs to stop on both sides...period. I'm not sure how you could effectively solve this problem.
There are many sides blue red green ....white black brown red yellow .....the blood in the global water causes many people to behave like sharks revenge killers martyrs and miracle prEyer spirits to claim holier than thou avoiding truth and Reconciliation
It’s too bad there isn’t a simple way to award points for good behavior and subtract points for bad behavior
I'd happy to give a T-shirt to anyone who improves the relationship between them and someone expressing hurt. How to measure it?
Perhaps hold a contest and give away t shirts to anyone who improves our community here by promoting kindness, helpfulness, empathy, and compassion. Someone that bolsters our experiences here.
Someone would have to nominate them, post a reason why, and everyone would comment on it. Add in their experience with the nominee.
Pick a few shining stars
@Admin perhaps a new group to suggest a list of rules compliance with which results in points whether or not for a T shirt is irrelevant to me. Equally I abhor the concept of a competition. Competition tend to bring out the worst in people - look at parent spectator behaviour at school games let alone professional games! I believe that any award should be unexpected and out of the blue. The recipient choosing whether they wish to publicise the award or not. Modesty like humility is a virtue frequently spoiled by publicity. The deed however should be praised and publisised in the mainstream posts without identifying the award recipient or identifying aspects of the deed.
As more and more "conservatives" are leaving facebook and twitter they move to reedit Qanon and other places where a real Humanist would never find themselves welcome. I wonder why those of us who are sick and tired of their Lies and Malfeasance should accommodate their whining about their treatment here or anywhere. I also do not Troll conservative Groups here or else where as I believe they should not Troll ours and then decide they are somehow Victims of our words. Sorry I just don't get the point of enabling their behaviors as they Troll around looking for empathy they don't share with others.
@JesseThompson My opinion automaticly defines your interpritaion of what I expressed. Yes I am the Arbitor for myself and how I filter others expressions. I offer that same Freedome to everyone and never tell someone what they are or not. I do not Judge your context as you are Judging mine. Enjoy this day..
Your comment is exactly why Admin wrote this post. The gang mentality on this site is ridiculous. No one likes bigotry but those who are the worst perpetrators turn a blind eye to their disgusting behavior.
I've received private messages from other members calling me a bitch and I don't belong on this site because I'm a conservative.
@ArtemisDivine WOW you seem to have jumped off of a cliff. Now you define "why" this post was written. Have a nice day...
@JesseThompson Well, I think it safe to say a humanist probably wouldn't be reading q-anon conspiracy theory nonsense about the secret society of child molesters that just happens to correspond to anyone a certain segment of conservatives already hates (including some conservatives). It's "Obama is a secret Kenyan" times a billion.
I remember when conservative groups first formed here, many of the left leaning morality police, for lack of a better term ATM, joined the conservative groups to "keep an eye on what they're up to" - direct quote - so they actually do have a point about being singled out. Ironic, kinda, considering what some policies they support do in singling out groups of people.
@JesseThompson Good grief. I was pointing out the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton, the Bushes, etc, are part of a "Deep State" cabal of child molesters that only Trump and his allies can thwart. I have no doubt that sex trafficking and sex slavery is very real, but that has nothing to do with crazy people who think Hillary was financing a child sex brothel in the basement of a pizza parlor that had no basement.
@1of5 I bet it did happen, I don't think that changing the Forum to accomadate the "minority" is going to help matters. Again these are just my opinions, take it or leave it, that is not up to me its up to others. As a person with plenty of social media presance and practice I have found as things like christianity die they scream the loudest and demand the most, perhaps "Conservatism" is dying as well?
@1of5 conservative politics
Can we private message each other. I'm pretty sure that the original post wasnt meant for this discussion
@1of5 "joined the conservative groups to "keep an eye on what they're up to" - direct quote - so they actually do have a point about being singled out. "...
... i think we can both agree we got nutjobs on both the left and the right..
I still believe that is a small segment in the general tribe.. and yes, should have been dealt with better on both sides.
This is somewhat a new society, and we are learning as we go along..
Drumpf's MO is hate. There should be no tolerance of this. I don't respond to his minions because I don't want to give them any "points" here. Let hate remain level one and ignored. But I love my country too much to pretend that this is still the same liberal versus conservative dichotomy we are historically used to.
I can't say I'm much moved by this. For a start, there are conservatives and then there are conservatives. I was thinking recently that there were fewer posts now from the redneck "I hate lefties and government - except where it helps me" ) loony right wingers. I figured they were in their group reaffirning what they already know from right wing media. Now, not all conservatives fall into this category. I'm not going to pretend to care about what the first category thinks. As this is a place for free exchange of ideas, I'm not much moved by any notion, "be nice to the conservatives, dear, we don't want to hurt their feelings". If they are thoughtful conservatives, they can look out for themselves.
The reason I don't like Conservatives, is they detest change, and live for the past. Conservatives are lousy at preparing for the future. All we have is today and the future. Having grown up in politics, I have been listening to Conservatives most of my life. What occasional good idea they have is always crushed under the weight of all of the truly horrible ideas they have. It is your site. It is free. You should do whatever you like. If we don't like it we can leave. Most of us do appreciate what you have here, even though we may not always show it.
I think it's not that they detest change, but they are cautious about it as it's often promoted by younger people who may not have perspective of what is good to preserve. Conservatives change slowly but they do change - especially when they are shown that the change aligns with their values of fairness. Do you feel that Conservatives today are, in general, more "enlightened" than the Conservatives 30 years ago? For example, they strongly resisted gay marriage but now are less concerned about it. Sure, they resist trans-bathrooms now but they've come a long way. Just 2 cents.
@Admin It is one thing to resist change, it is another to try and go backwards. In the seventies and eighties, Conservative would harken back to the fifties. In the nineties and two thousands, they would harken back to the days of Reagan. They accept gay marriage because it was forced on them, and after awhile they realized it really didn't effect their lives in anyway, unless they had gay children, and saw it made their lifestyle more acceptable. Unlike in my youth, the Republican party runs on fear. They are afraid of women, people of color, and LGBT community. Because so many in their party are not educated and have no desire to be, they fall for these fear tactics all too often. The moneyed conservatives don't really care about social issues for the most part. Their interests lie in taxes and regulations. This is the reason they vote Republican. If they weren't greedy, and really cared about the country and the people in it, the Republican party would only exist on a very local level in a lot of states. That is a shame. We need some balance, and that might have to come from the ever expanding so called independents. This next election could be the most important of our lifetime. Sorry, I didn't mean to go on and on.
It's about learning to argue, or debate, or disagree...
Both in a relationship (the link you posted) and here on our website.
When you've stooped to "name calling" or "insinuations"....you've just shown that
So you have 2 choices.
I'll end this with a favorite guide that I check often and leave on my "desktop";
@Robecology I think that@Storm1752 means that the content is inverted to the proportion or quantity of times that each is used. Ad hominem being the least used.
@Robecology the last layer of the triangle is the largest. The top, smallest is probably used the most.
@FrayedBear That triangle lays out a sort of an ideal, or wishful thinking behavior. Ideal at the top (and often least employed) vs the real - and most often employed, or used - at the base.
I WISH the top were used the most; but I'm afraid that debaters rarely "refute the specific point"...it's often (and sadly, most commonly) a personal attack, or at least an "ad hominem" attack.
Having said that; I'm on Facebook far less, and here far more often because more folk here debate the issues rather than go to the lower end of the triangle. Thanks for being among those "at the top"!
@Robecology My comment has been simply based upon Agnostic.com experiences. And yes I have seen some who are unable to do anything other than ad hominem attacks. If you look at the number of visitors on a thread then the number of emojis and posts on the thread then you will find that is usually less than half who leave an emoji or make a written response.
My view of the right wing is not congruent with me responding to them in a "kindly" manner. They are the enemy of the working class people, plain and simple, just as the Nazis were enemies of the Jews. I see them as an entity that wants to limit/lower the standard of living for me and mine by turning this country into a oligarchy of the rich while the rest of us are left to struggle in desperation to eke out a standard of living that has been falling behind that of the progressive northern European countries and moving towards a life more like those unfortunates in the third world. Therefore, it is not reasonable that I deal with them in a "kindly" manner. Your willingness to do so is evidence that you do not have a realistic view of what they represent and what their aims truly are.
I have a gut deep fear of what may come down the road from this time of extreme turbulence and the way "otherness" is ridiculed from positions of safety.
I'm old enough to have met survivors of Hitler's tactics and these political time scare me deeply.
I'd love to hear an approach to someone who thinks my life has less value because I'm disabled. Or to the folks who slam trans people repeatedly. I have two in my life I fear for.
Speaking in nice ways to the people who keep dredging up hate? I already do that.
I try to educate.
But if they are just here with bad intent what then? Turn the other cheek? That's not me.
I can be level headed but I am tired of the folks cutting on "others" with words with no repercussions.
It's not once. It's repeated.
But we are supposed to remain welcoming? That isn't how I was taught to enact change. Because that's bullying.
And you don't feed bullies.
Progressive EU countries? wow. really? I am a socialist and do not recognise this comment in anyway. There are righteous caring people on the right. My Dad is right wing (British) and believes in the ideals of hard work and constant endeavour. He does however, believe in taxes and providing for those who can't for themselves. I do not see the right as the enemy, I see them as misguided. I am here to shed light on their beliefs. Now saying that, the extreme right are most definitely the enemy, as are potentially the extreme left, as are radical Christians, Muslims and Jews. I think it is extreme views, intractable and fixed that are the real evil in this world.
I think you’re on the right track. I choose FB to argue politics and religion. That’s my page and people choose to friend me. On here I just enjoy conversing with people with similar if not the same religious views as I have and keep my piss and vinegar for my own FB page. This is a quiet haven for me. Let’s keep it civil here.
I support you.