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OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
#26

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-08-2024, 11:38 AM)brewerb Wrote:
(01-08-2024, 03:40 AM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: If even a post about Schubert that I put up precisely because it wasn't theological, to try to get some non-controversial friendly, something-in-common discussion going about classical music, is controversial and is regarded as proof that I am (somehow) an arrogant blowhard, then there is no hope here, so I'm out. The hostility is simply too great. It was a sub-forum about art and music. I didn't HAVE to ask. That's bullshit. I'm supposed to take a survey and say, "hey, does anyone care about an article I wrote about Schubert's Eighth Symphony?" and get permission before putting it up? Music was my first love, long before theology. I played classical piano as a kid and my first job was ushering at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

It wasn't a "lecture." Give me a break. It was a fun, speculative, purely subjective topic I wrote about just a month ago, and so I thought that there were probably a lot of lovers of classical music here and that it would be good to discuss just for fun. But that was too good to be true, I reckon.

Part of what I posted in my time here were two perfectly sincere ultra-conciliatory posts about atheists from a Christian perspective. But that's not enough. I sure as hell don't know what is, then.

I did enjoy the discussion for a while here, but this was the final straw. So back to your regularly scheduled program.

I thought you were ignoring me.

Damn, and just when I was on the verge of conversion, oh well. Buh Bye!

Theists like you always leave in a huff. Your great dream of converting us "heathens" didn't work out as you hoped. Well, we get as dozen just like you every year. They come in with their favorite biblical quotes and and expect us to swoon at the utterly "obviousness" of them. It doesn't work that way, as we have told you so many times.

Yes, I realize that this post is meant towards someone who says they are "gone". But "gone" people can still read the posts. And in my experience (as an admin once said) people who are "gone" oftentimes peek back to see the responses to themselves being "gone". So this is mostly for him.
Never try to catch a dropped kitchen knife!
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#27

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-08-2024, 10:12 PM)mordant Wrote:
(01-08-2024, 09:36 PM)Szuchow Wrote: He left?
In post #14 of this thread.

Basically because someone took exception to something he wrote about Schubert, of all things. I've been meaning to go and find that post to see what all the fuss was about.

[url=https://atheistdiscussion.org/forums/showthread.php?tid=8559&pid=415249#pid415249][/url]

I love Schubert's music.  I'm surprised that a dickhead like Dave enjoys great music.  I figured him for the banjo type.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#28

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-08-2024, 10:12 PM)mordant Wrote:
(01-08-2024, 09:36 PM)Szuchow Wrote: He left?
In post #14 of this thread.

Basically because someone took exception to something he wrote about Schubert, of all things. I've been meaning to go and find that post to see what all the fuss was about.

[url=https://atheistdiscussion.org/forums/showthread.php?tid=8559&pid=415249#pid415249][/url]

That was me.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#29

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 01:54 AM)Minimalist Wrote:
(01-08-2024, 10:12 PM)mordant Wrote: In post #14 of this thread.

Basically because someone took exception to something he wrote about Schubert, of all things. I've been meaning to go and find that post to see what all the fuss was about.

[/url]

I love Schubert's music.  I'm surprised that a dickhead like Dave enjoys great music.  I figured him for the banjo type.



Even the worst people can enjoy good music.  It has charms to soothe the savage breast.

Hitler enjoyed Richard Wagner and Ludwig van Beethoven.  But [url=http://https://www.dw.com/en/hitlers-unearthed-music-collection-yields-surprising-finds/a-2722872]also
 Russian composers labeled by the Nazis as "subhuman" such as Peter Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

You never know whaT stirs the mind in even the worst people..
Never try to catch a dropped kitchen knife!
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#30

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
Uhhh... Dave is a nice guy. He doesn't believe in the same things that I believe in, but he's a nice guy. 

So he thinks Jesus was a cool guy. I think Jesus was a fucking douche who betrayed his people. -Dave and I can still find common ground on other topics and appreciate one another's viewpoints while disagreeing on this one other thing. That's just normal human behavior. That's how you're *supposed* to act with people who are different from you.
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#31

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
Dave would be stunned to know that one of my favorite pieces is Handel's Messiah.  I don't believe a word of it but Handel did.  I can look at a cathedral like St. Catherine's in Siena and appreciate magnificent architecture


[Image: 49.webp]

while at the same time despising the perverted institution it represents.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#32

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 02:24 AM)brewerb Wrote:
(01-08-2024, 10:12 PM)mordant Wrote: In post #14 of this thread.

Basically because someone took exception to something he wrote about Schubert, of all things. I've been meaning to go and find that post to see what all the fuss was about.

[url=https://atheistdiscussion.org/forums/showthread.php?tid=8559&pid=415249#pid415249][/url]

That was me.
I found the post ... wow, you did him in with a single sentence. Although Danu started it, lol.

I never bothered to look at Dave's blog or whatever else he had out there but I always wondered about his claim to be some sort of career apologist. How would you make a living at that? Get a grant from the Inquisition? What kind of education would you have? So yeah there was some academic pretense there ... he might simply have had an amateur interest in the topic and did it on the side. Which is nothing to be ashamed of, but it felt like the way he presented himself he wanted to come off as Something More.

In the end, he had only one basic tactic: get you to admit that you can't disprove that some fabulist thing in the Bible happened or is true, therefore, you have to admit that religious faith is at least reasonable and thus tacitly admit that you are being unreasonable to doubt it. And then he was pushing a book (by a fundamentalist, which he claims to share a lot of our criticisms of, but any port in a storm I suppose) who is a so-called maximalist Biblical archaeologist, deploying exactly the same tactics: grudgingly admits up front that evidence doesn't exist (is "elusive" meaning he knows it must be there somewhere) but that there's enough straws to grasp at to still believe in an historic Moses and the captivity and Exodus.

It was ultimately just a great big yawner, and it even ended no better than with any other Christian apologist ... with him butthurt and shaking the dust of this place off his feet.
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#33

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-08-2024, 10:12 PM)mordant Wrote:
(01-08-2024, 09:36 PM)Szuchow Wrote: He left?
In post #14 of this thread.

Basically because someone took exception to something he wrote about Schubert, of all things. I've been meaning to go and find that post to see what all the fuss was about.

[url=https://atheistdiscussion.org/forums/showthread.php?tid=8559&pid=415249#pid415249][/url]

He can go fuck himself with a cactus as far as I am concerned.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#34

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
Typical. Come to atheist forum, shit in the foyer, get what you came here for, make up a pretext to ragequit. Rinse, lather, repeat. This is how he earns his living.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#35

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-08-2024, 11:05 PM)pattylt Wrote: Dave doesn’t really know how to approach atheists on a forum.  For someone that claimed he liked the Socratic method, none of his posts opened asking us our opinion or views…he just posted long cut n paste of someone else’s argument for a trivial side point on the scripture.  When someone challenged him on one part of it, he was miffed that we hadn’t refuted all the other points…that is not the Socratic method I’ve ever seen.

As an apologist, he is a defender of the faith.  He should be talking about how Catholisism is the truth yada yada.  Instead, he posts about water rocks, Luke’s proper use of a word, etc.  perhaps we should have started threads questioning some Catholic position and he would have shined….nah, I doubt it.

Trolls aren't interested in exchange of ideas, they merely want to sling shit. As for apologia, well I never expect much from defenders of space Hitler and his cult and surprise of surprises they never deliver much.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#36

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 02:56 AM)Aliza Wrote: Uhhh... Dave is a nice guy. He doesn't believe in the same things that I believe in, but he's a nice guy. 

So he thinks Jesus was a cool guy. I think Jesus was a fucking douche who betrayed his people. -Dave and I can still find common ground on other topics and appreciate one another's viewpoints while disagreeing on this one other thing. That's just normal human behavior. That's how you're *supposed* to act with people who are different from you.
Yeah that's kind of how I tried to approach him, but I WAS starting to feel like his tactics were less than completely respectful and honest. And that's why your suggestion that he drop the apologist thread-spamming thing for awhile and really make the effort to get to know us as persons first.

The Schubert discussion was his attempt at that. It was still a little heavy handed debate style and could seem like he needs to frame and position himself to come out on top in every discussion, plus by then he already had everyone wary. Too little too late I guess.
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#37

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 03:15 AM)mordant Wrote:
(01-09-2024, 02:24 AM)brewerb Wrote: That was me.
I found the post ... wow, you did him in with a single sentence. Although Danu started it, lol.

I never bothered to look at Dave's blog or whatever else he had out there but I always wondered about his claim to be some sort of career apologist.

This made me curious so I looked. We writes a lot and sells books to Catholics. It's in the website Patheos. Also found him in wiki.

The AD debate did make it to his blog.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#38

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
[Image: 0ugb0.jpg]
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#39

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 03:33 AM)mordant Wrote:
(01-09-2024, 02:56 AM)Aliza Wrote: Uhhh... Dave is a nice guy. He doesn't believe in the same things that I believe in, but he's a nice guy. 

So he thinks Jesus was a cool guy. I think Jesus was a fucking douche who betrayed his people. -Dave and I can still find common ground on other topics and appreciate one another's viewpoints while disagreeing on this one other thing. That's just normal human behavior. That's how you're *supposed* to act with people who are different from you.
Yeah that's kind of how I tried to approach him, but I WAS starting to feel like his tactics were less than completely respectful and honest. And that's why your suggestion that he drop the apologist thread-spamming thing for awhile and really make the effort to get to know us as persons first.

The Schubert discussion was his attempt at that. It was still a little heavy handed debate style and could seem like he needs to frame and position himself to come out on top in every discussion, plus by then he already had everyone wary. Too little too late I guess.

A motivating factor for me taking on the project of this forum is to give people a safe landing pad if they're trying to get out of dangerous forms of religion. People in cults, or people who are being abused or held back due to unhealthy religious practices. Even people who lack a comprehensive secular education due to the limitations placed on them from their religions is absolutely terrible. 

Nominal Christians and Christians who use Christianity to heal themselves don't bother me one bit. The former drug addict who uses religion to get sober is perfectly fine in my book up until they go overboard with it. 

So I don't know the stories of the people who come here, and nor do I know that their versions they provide us are truthful. Each theist, in my mind, is someone who potentially may be in a cult, or suffering some kind of abuse even if they don't know it (yet). 

I want people (theists) to know they have a place to go if their religion turns out to be bad. Bashing these people over the head and forcing them to leave goes against my personal goal for the forum. On the other hand, the atheists who are already here shouldn't have to endure constant proselytization attempts either.

My mind is thinking of ways that we might be able to address the needs of both parties.
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#40

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 02:56 AM)Aliza Wrote: Uhhh... Dave is a nice guy. He doesn't believe in the same things that I believe in, but he's a nice guy. 

So he thinks Jesus was a cool guy. I think Jesus was a fucking douche who betrayed his people. -Dave and I can still find common ground on other topics and appreciate one another's viewpoints while disagreeing on this one other thing. That's just normal human behavior. That's how you're *supposed* to act with people who are different from you.
One would have to look back precisely to the beginning of the conversation(s) with him. But i remember it being him that started to be "abrasive".

Let me explain. People here get verbally "explicit" quite quickly at times (and i am not an exception), and they unfortunately had enough "opportunity" to become quite adept at it. But when i see a guy coming in, immediately opening multiple threads, when the very first posts of the first thread show that some common ground needs to be found first, or be found there is not much common ground (like vastly different epistemologies, vastly different thresholds for accepting propositions, etc), then i immediately suspect someone who just WAS rude to the forum, not by foul language but by foul behaviour. Its basically spamming. Behaviour like this is indicative to me to someone who is not here to listen, to understand. Someone is throwing $hit at the wall....and that is exactly what i felt with Dave, very quickly.

I am also shocked about how oblivious they (the theists we get her so often, not all of theists) are to how bad many of their arguments are.
A CATHOLIC journal reporting that the Shroud of Tourin is "real". Really? No $hit? But when you look at the ACTUAL conclusion of the group that investigated it, the statement was "its inconclusive". I feel insulted when someone throws such bad and disingenuous stories at me. Treat me with respect and put more effort into it.
I admit that Dave tired, in his own way, at least i sensesd. but Jesus....Historicity of Moses, water out of rocks, etc.. Dave, take a break, breathe and think for a second what you are about to do here.
I know that his religious programming will maybe prevent him from really parsing now but: Would you ever throw such nonsense at anyone about a topic different from your personal religious belief?
I am not deep into this theism/atheism stuff other than skimming forums and readng some assorted stuff. That why i think i am looking at the whole thing with a certain distance (i think some atheists here also may want to "relax" a bit maybe, but hey, i know, the USA is bad, and i am about to concern troll now), but lots of what theists who "drive by" here bring to the table is so absurd to a "normal" person (i consider myself as such *blush*)......and they seem to be COMPLETELY oblivious to this. More often then than not, i am not getting angry at what they say, but i stand there reading, with my jaws dropped, not knowing what exactly to say, where to start.


Understanding and will to learn:
When someone come is with this all too common claim that atheism is a belief(system) and all atheists have a common belief, and when the same person can not cite such a belief when questioned, then he is not listening, not trying to listen, not trying to understand, to learn. What i see in such people is a complete unwillingness to have a BIdirectional conversation.

Also very common (and indicative of unwillingness of honest discourse) is the all to often used broad brush to paint all athests with and always using phrases like "you atheists", as if we werent individuals, as if i didn thave my own thoughts. I am here with my chosen name on the forum to talk as an individual. Why this "you atheists" BS? Its OFFENSIVE.

Same for his quote mining of Einstein in his signature. When you are putting your insincerity on CLEAR display like this, what do you expect me to do? I am not stupid, i know who Einstein was, i can google. It takes me less than a few seconds to find out about your quote mining. Still putting this on display is offending my intellect (and by the way: Einstein or any other "celebrity" does not impress me so much. We all know he was wrong about black holes, and Newton was a fucking alchemist! Its another idiocy of so many theists who come here, thinking that i have "authorities" like they have themselves. They could find out, if they asked, but never do....), it shows that Dave thinks i am too stupid to find out, or doesnt care, he just wants a platform to feed his own blog with (which i suspect most by now). Thats offensive behaviour. Dont be all butthurt when you get called cout for it.

I have also learned that it seems to be common for many theists (at least the ones who come here) to tell us what we think, to threaten with eternal torture, to offend us in all kind of ways, and THEN be surprised when they experience some backlash. Any backlash i could give is less offensive than you (theist) telling me how i "reject" god, how i am publicly lying when i claim to be an agnostic atheist, and to tell me that your god is gonna torure me forever for the sole reason of not believing in him.

I hope Dave is still lurking and is able to do some introspection from his side (at least i am doing some here, that i can tell).
R.I.P. Hannes
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#41

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 04:06 AM)brewerb Wrote:
(01-09-2024, 03:15 AM)mordant Wrote: I found the post ... wow, you did him in with a single sentence. Although Danu started it, lol.

I never bothered to look at Dave's blog or whatever else he had out there but I always wondered about his claim to be some sort of career apologist.

This made me curious so I looked. We writes a lot and sells books to Catholics. It's in the website Patheos. Also found him in wiki.

The AD debate did make it to his blog.

Selling books? Thats what i dont get. Someone who is so lacking in almost every department, his epistemology and/or thresholds to accept propositions. A guy who so clearly has motivated reasoning......is able to sell books to others!?

Guess i wasted too many years with integrals, control loops, Fourier, basics about relativity and electronics in paricular.
R.I.P. Hannes
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#42

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 04:18 AM)Aliza Wrote:
(01-09-2024, 03:33 AM)mordant Wrote: Yeah that's kind of how I tried to approach him, but I WAS starting to feel like his tactics were less than completely respectful and honest. And that's why your suggestion that he drop the apologist thread-spamming thing for awhile and really make the effort to get to know us as persons first.

The Schubert discussion was his attempt at that. It was still a little heavy handed debate style and could seem like he needs to frame and position himself to come out on top in every discussion, plus by then he already had everyone wary. Too little too late I guess.

A motivating factor for me taking on the project of this forum is to give people a safe landing pad if they're trying to get out of dangerous forms of religion. People in cults, or people who are being abused or held back due to unhealthy religious practices. Even people who lack a comprehensive secular education due to the limitations placed on them from their religions is absolutely terrible. 

Nominal Christians and Christians who use Christianity to heal themselves don't bother me one bit. The former drug addict who uses religion to get sober is perfectly fine in my book up until they go overboard with it. 

So I don't know the stories of the people who come here, and nor do I know that their versions they provide us are truthful. Each theist, in my mind, is someone who potentially may be in a cult, or suffering some kind of abuse even if they don't know it (yet). 

I want people (theists) to know they have a place to go if their religion turns out to be bad. Bashing these people over the head and forcing them to leave goes against my personal goal for the forum. On the other hand, the atheists who are already here shouldn't have to endure constant proselytization attempts either.

My mind is thinking of ways that we might be able to address the needs of both parties.

That was a f.ing great post Aliza!
R.I.P. Hannes
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#43

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
One thing I noticed is that Dave never went to the thread for introducing himself. I wonder if it might be good to have a "canned" reply to post on the introduction thread. Also, if someone barges in like Dave, the "canned" thread could just be put after any (or all) such posts so the person will take a step back, rethink his/her strategy, and maybe follow a more friendly path. I offer an example here:

Welcome to our forum. We take in atheists, theists, and especially, those on the fence. Please treat this forum as if it is our home and you are entering for the first time. We want you to be as comfortable as possible and to feel free to talk your mind, but take a little time to introduce yourself to us and to get to know us. That is the polite thing to do in any new social situation. Also remember that, as an atheist site, we have a great number of atheists that hang out here. Some of these atheists used to be theists but had a change of mind, and some of them never believed in a god. Either way, we are very happy with where we have landed in that aspect. We certainly don't mind discussing religion after you get to know us, but, we prefer not having to defend our beliefs over and over again to anyone who thinks this is the place to find converts. Anyway, pull up a chair, stay a while and make some new friends.

Note that this is just a sample and someone else may come up with a better message, but it might avoid the type of situation that we had with Dave and the other Charlie.
Formerly WiCharlie Sun
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#44

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 04:18 AM)Aliza Wrote: A motivating factor for me taking on the project of this forum is to give people a safe landing pad if they're trying to get out of dangerous forms of religion. People in cults, or people who are being abused or held back due to unhealthy religious practices. Even people who lack a comprehensive secular education due to the limitations placed on them from their religions is absolutely terrible. 

Nominal Christians and Christians who use Christianity to heal themselves don't bother me one bit. The former drug addict who uses religion to get sober is perfectly fine in my book up until they go overboard with it. 

So I don't know the stories of the people who come here, and nor do I know that their versions they provide us are truthful. Each theist, in my mind, is someone who potentially may be in a cult, or suffering some kind of abuse even if they don't know it (yet).

Potentially everyone is a dog on the internet. In practice however most if not all theists that come here are trolls, clowns, shit stains or some mix of all these things. It's not some troubled souls that come here but extremely dedicated fools as whatever one can say about this forum it certainly isn't big.

Quote:I want people (theists) to know they have a place to go if their religion turns out to be bad. Bashing these people over the head and forcing them to leave goes against my personal goal for the forum. On the other hand, the atheists who are already here shouldn't have to endure constant proselytization attempts either.

My mind is thinking of ways that we might be able to address the needs of both parties.

To me it's a false dilemma as theists who visit here almost always turn to be trolls, dumbfucks or something so disgraceful that calling them abhorrent pieces of crap would be an insult to abhorrent pieces of crap. It's always the same blather about goodness of space Hitler, bullshit about how atheists misunderstood some laughably bad book of fables or dumb claims about crimes of atheism* with Soviet Union serving as example.

Theists have majority of the world to themselves. There is no reason for this forum to cater to them.

*Curiously enough theists never seem to remember that Russia was christian, that Stalin attended seminary or that Marxism-Leninism was just another religion
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#45

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
Quote:I hope Dave is still lurking and is able to do some introspection from his side (at least i am doing some here, that i can tell).


Not likely, Deesse.  He's a propagandist for a corrupt church.  Nothing more.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#46

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 02:06 PM)WICharlie Wrote: One thing I noticed is that Dave never went to the thread for introducing himself.  I wonder if it might be good to have a "canned" reply to post on the introduction thread.  Also, if someone barges in like Dave, the "canned" thread could just be put after any (or all) such posts so the person will take a step back, rethink his/her strategy, and maybe follow a more friendly path.  I offer an example here:

Welcome to our forum.  We take in atheists, theists, and especially, those on the fence.  Please treat this forum as if it is our home and you are entering for the first time.  We want you to be as comfortable as possible and to feel free to talk your mind, but take a little time to introduce yourself to us and to get to know us. That is the polite thing to do in any new social situation.  Also remember that, as an atheist site, we have a great number of atheists that hang out here.  Some of these atheists used to be theists but had a change of mind, and some of them never believed in a god.  Either way, we are very happy with where we have landed in that aspect.  We certainly don't mind discussing religion after you get to know us, but, we prefer not having to defend our beliefs over and over again to anyone who thinks this is the place to find converts.  Anyway, pull up a chair, stay a while and make some new friends.

Note that this is just a sample and someone else may come up with a better message, but it might avoid the type of situation that we had with Dave and the other Charlie.
Yes this is a good start, and I agree something like this is needed.

Aliza has a good vision for the site and the problem is that not everyone will come in here openly stating that they are in the process of deconverting and are seeking support. They might be drifting from the straight and narrow and not fully realize it yet, and have ambivalent feelings that change from day to day; their attempts to salvage their beliefs by attacking ours may be part and parcel of that. But even in a contrived clear-cut scenario they may well need something other than people to ridicule and crab about the stupidity of "religitards". That would be talking shit not just about them but about people they still love and are not completely detached from, and may never want to treat with that level of contempt. Human relationships are complicated and fraught. We need to be sensitive to that.

Speaking only to my own deconversion experience, in the early days I was wanting to treat fundamentalists with kid gloves compared to now and was, in a sense, becoming something I had always hated before. It took me time to get over that and to get it all separated / sorted in my mind and emotions -- despite that I had an easier than average time of it because I wasn't being shunned or shamed by my family and I had adequate social support systems apart from church.

If, hypothetically, I was in that headspace today and came here and got a lot of vulgar insults and thought this was typical of atheists generally (it isn't, in my experience, but ... let's pretend I didn't know that) I might even end up recoiling and driving my doubts further underground to avoid such a fate. And that goes double if I were a more empathic, spongy sort of personality. In that case such an environment would be downright toxic and intolerable and destabilizing.

So I think there needs to be some sort of safe space where a person doesn't have to process contempt about Space Hitler, etc (and I find that appellation hilarious and appropriate in the right context, BTW). Also where someone like Dave, who was not a fundie, doesn't have to be reflexively assumed to be one. There was a reason he left the evangelical world for Catholicism, after all. We do tend to broad-brush Christians here at times IMO.

All that said, the vast majority of theists who come here tend to be naive fundamentalists who are here to argue or even act out some fantasy that they are capable Defenders of the Faith. And they ARE tiresome and arrogant and presumptuous and disrespectful. Whether this says more about them or us is the question. We might be creating a selection bias by discouraging other kinds of theists and "spiritual but not religious" types that might be actually trying to understand atheism or even getting to the place they can admit to themselves that they want to entertain it. Such that the only ones who actually engage are the ones on a self-aggrandizing Mission From God™.

I would rather think of theists as people doing what they need to get through their days, same as anyone else, and try to foster a little more realistic understanding on their part of what non-belief actually is. It is NOT all angry abreaction, it is a well-considered and reasoned and practical and measured response to theism. A lot of them would never know it though, based on how things usually go down here.

Those of us who are angry atheist firebrands, relatively speaking, should also be free to be true to themselves, don't get me wrong. But by having these "safe spaces" I speak of, they can avoid the irritating twits they don't like and some of the less irritating twits might at least see unbelief as something other than a caricature, and unbelievers as fellow humans, and not some monolithic block of raging god-haters.

Some random thoughts for what they are worth, anyway ... I realize some of you will think I am very wrong or too soft or something and that's fine, I can take it, lol. I'm too old to die on that hill anyway. I am just trying to suggest some ways to funnel newcomers that can honor everyone's take on things.
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#47

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 03:35 PM)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:I hope Dave is still lurking and is able to do some introspection from his side (at least i am doing some here, that i can tell).


Not likely, Deesse.  He's a propagandist for a corrupt church.  Nothing more.

If I recall right, Dave has written some 400-odd articles, many, no doubt, from tours of forums like this recent one. It's an act.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#48

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 03:57 PM)mordant Wrote:
(01-09-2024, 02:06 PM)WICharlie Wrote: One thing I noticed is that Dave never went to the thread for introducing himself.  I wonder if it might be good to have a "canned" reply to post on the introduction thread.  Also, if someone barges in like Dave, the "canned" thread could just be put after any (or all) such posts so the person will take a step back, rethink his/her strategy, and maybe follow a more friendly path.  I offer an example here:

Welcome to our forum.  We take in atheists, theists, and especially, those on the fence.  Please treat this forum as if it is our home and you are entering for the first time.  We want you to be as comfortable as possible and to feel free to talk your mind, but take a little time to introduce yourself to us and to get to know us. That is the polite thing to do in any new social situation.  Also remember that, as an atheist site, we have a great number of atheists that hang out here.  Some of these atheists used to be theists but had a change of mind, and some of them never believed in a god.  Either way, we are very happy with where we have landed in that aspect.  We certainly don't mind discussing religion after you get to know us, but, we prefer not having to defend our beliefs over and over again to anyone who thinks this is the place to find converts.  Anyway, pull up a chair, stay a while and make some new friends.

Note that this is just a sample and someone else may come up with a better message, but it might avoid the type of situation that we had with Dave and the other Charlie.
Yes this is a good start, and I agree something like this is needed.

Aliza has a good vision for the site and the problem is that not everyone will come in here openly stating that they are in the process of deconverting and are seeking support. They might be drifting from the straight and narrow and not fully realize it yet, and have ambivalent feelings that change from day to day; their attempts to salvage their beliefs by attacking ours may be part and parcel of that. But even in a contrived clear-cut scenario they may well need something other than people to ridicule and crab about the stupidity of "religitards". That would be talking shit not just about them but about people they still love and are not completely detached from, and may never want to treat with that level of contempt. Human relationships are complicated and fraught. We need to be sensitive to that.

Speaking only to my own deconversion experience, in the early days I was wanting to treat fundamentalists with kid gloves compared to now and was, in a sense, becoming something I had always hated before. It took me time to get over that and to get it all separated / sorted in my mind and emotions -- despite that I had an easier than average time of it because I wasn't being shunned or shamed by my family and I had adequate social support systems apart from church.

If, hypothetically, I was in that headspace today and came here and got a lot of vulgar insults and thought this was typical of atheists generally (it isn't, in my experience, but ... let's pretend I didn't know that) I might even end up recoiling and driving my doubts further underground to avoid such a fate. And that goes double if I were a more empathic, spongy sort of personality. In that case such an environment would be downright toxic and intolerable and destabilizing.

So I think there needs to be some sort of safe space where a person doesn't have to process contempt about Space Hitler, etc (and I find that appellation hilarious and appropriate in the right context, BTW). Also where someone like Dave, who was not a fundie, doesn't have to be reflexively assumed to be one. There was a reason he left the evangelical world for Catholicism, after all. We do tend to broad-brush Christians here at times IMO.

All that said, the vast majority of theists who come here tend to be naive fundamentalists who are here to argue or even act out some fantasy that they are capable Defenders of the Faith. And they ARE tiresome and arrogant and presumptuous and disrespectful. Whether this says more about them or us is the question. We might be creating a selection bias by discouraging other kinds of theists and "spiritual but not religious" types that might be actually trying to understand atheism or even getting to the place they can admit to themselves that they want to entertain it. Such that the only ones who actually engage are the ones on a self-aggrandizing Mission From God™.

I would rather think of theists as people doing what they need to get through their days, same as anyone else, and try to foster a little more realistic understanding on their part of what non-belief actually is. It is NOT all angry abreaction, it is a well-considered and reasoned and practical and measured response to theism. A lot of them would never know it though, based on how things usually go down here.

Those of us who are angry atheist firebrands, relatively speaking, should also be free to be true to themselves, don't get me wrong. But by having these "safe spaces" I speak of, they can avoid the irritating twits they don't like and some of the less irritating twits might at least see unbelief as something other than a caricature, and unbelievers as fellow humans, and not some monolithic block of raging god-haters.

Some random thoughts for what they are worth, anyway ... I realize some of you will think I am very wrong or too soft or something and that's fine, I can take it, lol. I'm too old to die on that hill anyway. I am just trying to suggest some ways to funnel newcomers that can honor everyone's take on things.

Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#49

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 02:49 PM)Szuchow Wrote: Potentially everyone is a dog on the internet. In practice however most if not all theists that come here are trolls, clowns, shit stains or some mix of all these things. It's not some troubled souls that come here but extremely dedicated fools as whatever one can say about this forum it certainly isn't big.

In my experience not all theists are clowns, etc ... that only the clowns come here may be something that could be changed. Maybe it's worth at least thinking about how that could happen.
(01-09-2024, 02:49 PM)Szuchow Wrote: Theists have majority of the world to themselves. There is no reason for this forum to cater to them.
You're not wrong, but I think we can stop short of pandering or enabling and still attract and productively engage with many theists that are for whatever reason poorly represented here. Maybe a lot of it (maybe even all of it) is that the Internet itself selects for assholes by default, IDK. And since I have got rid of my Jesus complex (I think), I'm no longer interested in saving the world in general or specific other people ... but I do want to be kind and empathetic to the relatively kind and empathetic, if that makes sense. And to this sentiment you probably just snort and roll your eyes I suppose ... and I don't judge or blame you for it. I have a "fuck it" side of me at times too. I just try, rightly or not, to not lead with it all he time.

Even with the recently-departed Charlie24, I sensed some flickers of him experiencing cognitive dissonance. I did not expect a miracle from his visit but I think seeds may have been planted ... arguments humanized ... unthinkable things rendered thinkable. I spent some time speaking with him because it keeps me aware of current thinking of these people (it does evolve, however slowly) and because as a former fundie I can IMO better violate his preconceptions than someone who is a caricature of a "god-hater". I could have easily been a Charlie24-style asshole ... I came close at times. Heck he attended BJU, the only college that accepted transfer credits from the Bible institute I attended.
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#50

OT Tabernacle: Eight Ancient Parallels
(01-09-2024, 04:10 PM)mordant Wrote: In my experience not all theists are clowns, etc ... that only the clowns come here may be something that could be changed. Maybe it's worth at least thinking about how that could happen.

From my experience theists (catholics specificialy) are simply walking sacks of shit. I work with believers and while they aren't crappy towards me they're bunch of bigots, nationalist clowns and even some trump lovers which boggles the fucking mind considering that we live in Poland. Having said that not all theists will be trash but let's be honest here - what kind of believers if not troll or delusional idiot will go to the atheist forum? I sure as shit don't visit christian or muslim forums so I'm deeply suspicious of theist doing reverse.

Quote:You're not wrong, but I think we can stop short of pandering or enabling and still attract and productively engage with many theists that are for whatever reason poorly represented here. Maybe a lot of it (maybe even all of it) is that the Internet itself selects for assholes by default, IDK. And since I have got rid of my Jesus complex (I think), I'm no longer interested in saving the world in general or specific other people ... but I do want to be kind and empathetic to the relatively kind and empathetic, if that makes sense. And to this sentiment you probably just snort and roll your eyes I suppose ... and I don't judge or blame you for it. I have a "fuck it" side of me at times too. I just try, rightly or not, to not lead with it all he time.

I don't agree with you. Not because I'm a dick towards clowns worshipping space Hitler or cause I allow what you call "fuck it" side to led me through life but merely because of experience. Theists who came here were invariably scum, idiots or both. As far as I can tell there was no single, honest soul among them. It's quite simple for me - if you're believer coming to forum with "atheist" in the name then you're here to stir shit. It's not some well of wisdom here, renowned through all known world - informations about atheism can be easily found elsewhere. Books, articles, it's all few phrases in google away. So again this forum see multitude of idiotic believers because that is the only kind of believers interested in visiting atheist forum.

Quote:Even with the recently-departed Charlie24, I sensed some flickers of him experiencing cognitive dissonance. I did not expect a miracle from his visit but I think seeds may have been planted ... arguments humanized ... unthinkable things rendered thinkable. I spent some time speaking with him because it keeps me aware of current thinking of these people (it does evolve, however slowly) and because as a former fundie I can IMO better violate his preconceptions than someone who is a caricature of a "god-hater". I could have easily been a Charlie24-style asshole ... I came close at times. Heck he attended BJU, the only college that accepted transfer credits from the Bible institute I attended.

I saw nothing but dim witted troll. So dim witted that I have trouble with finding appropriate words in English to describe his idiocy. I simply don't believe that poor, widdle theists come here to talk about their doubts. What I see is trash wanting to "score for Jesus" or idiots convinced of their genius and being disappointed when they don't get what they deem to be a deserved applause.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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