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An Immediate request of all Sam Harris.org members

 
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13 November 2008 19:24
 
teuchter - 14 November 2008 12:16 AM

Do I have a second?

Aye!

 
 
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13 November 2008 20:05
 

Rule 1 invalidates all rules (including Rule 1).  I guess it’s this sort of thinking that keeps the billable hours rolling in and bread on the table.

 
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13 November 2008 20:25
 
mpbrockman - 13 November 2008 09:31 PM

A) I’ve been far more accommodating that I might have normally been given that you’re new - and I always make an effort to be welcoming.
B) You’re obviously hung up on imposing your definitions of polite/impolite language upon the rest of us.
C) I was not aware there were any children frequenting this forum (on the slim chance that there are - kids, don’t try this at home)
D) A quick review of your previous posts shows you accusing other members of spouting “bullshit”, accusing them of having “narrow-minded, knee-jerk perspectives” and exhorting them to “get a life”. While falling short of dropping an f-bomb, I doubt this sort of language would win you a lot of friends around the office.
E) Actually, I teach my daughter to ignore self-righteous pontificating types whenever possible. Since this is certainly the case here - I will now be taking my own advice.

Good luck with your forum altering crusade.

What MPB said!

 
 
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13 November 2008 20:36
 
Immediate Suppression - 13 November 2008 08:32 PM

I mean if Sam said it about Sarah Palin in an inflammatory article, that makes it OK all the time, right?

Holy Shit…..what makes it ok all the time is the veracity of the statement. SH was being kind calling Palin a blockhead. What’s accurate is that she is a flaming idiot!

Immediate Suppression - 13 November 2008 08:32 PM

Does the value in acting this way and using this type of language come from the temporary relief it gives you over the frustration that comes when you realize you are not able to change someone’s opinion about the issue you are discussing?

I think that you mistake us for those who give a shit what you or anyone else thinks!  No one here is trying to change anyone’s opinion of anything. If you want to argue with idiots, that’s your problem. Our responsibility lies in skepticism, occasionally we have to resort to ridicule to adequately express ourselves in an otherwise private forum.

 
 
Dee
 
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14 November 2008 01:18
 
Immediate Suppression - 11 November 2008 09:39 PM

There is a pattern of negativity that has consistently infected this forum.  I’ve noticed some Freethinkers, Christians, or others are treated condescendingly, and are insulted and derided for being open minded to some of the types of things Sam Harris talks about in his book.  It only leads to frustration and polarization for both people, which is not healthy.  It also isn’t healthy to insult people, even if it is over the internet.  The temporary relief it gives you only leads to more internal stress, and you start a pattern which is difficult to stop, it just leads to more negative behavior which can actually start to show up in how you act when you are not on the internet.

I myself have been guilty of engaging in some personal attack out of retribution for the insults directed towards me, but that is not an excuse, and I will try to avoid it in the future.

This is an Immediate request to all Sam Harris.org members to stop all unnecessary condescending comments, personal smears, or derogatory language directed towards any other members.  You are free to disagree with people, but please do it in a civil, respectful manner.


I’m with you Immediate suppression , and even as I write this I feel I should have gotten myself a suit of armor before I say a single word. I know I take a chance that I’m going to called a host of names and stigmatized as a “prude” of something like that. That speaks for itself, and makes you rational .


As long as this forum remains here there will doubtless be objections to abusive or otherwise nasty verbal personal attacks etc. There will be the same old reasons given by the posters here telling you why that’s “just the way things are here ” . And anyone who objects should put up or shut up . None of these excuses work for me.

 

As I see it : there seems to be so many impressive minds here; people with prestigious posistions and who hold jobs and careers like teaching, scientists of one kind or another , and lawyers etc. and what I can’t understand is why they need anything but thier intelligence and knowledge to make thier points. I may be naive , but I always thought of those kind of people as people with enough mental fortitude to hold thier own without calling names etc.

 

Actually, there is no good arguement in favor of personal attacks that are just plain insulting and serve no purpose other than to make the other person feel bad, or hurt. That’s the opposite of constructive. There ARE exceptions I will admit, however.

 

To disagree, correct or complain is part of any good debate of course, but those are things that can be done civilly and even with at least some respect if possible. I know this is subjective, but there are those who are so vicious, unnecessarily insulting , foul-mouthed , and in need of some way to let lose and express thier fury at one thing or another they target a participant on this forum to take it out on. One person here, who claims to be such a lofty professional on the same scale as a teacher , or scientist or doctor etc., talks like he’s around just to inform everybody what stupid,idiotic, ignorant, wrong, and birdbrained fools they are. As if it’s the whole objective in his being here. It’s a thorn in the side of civil exchange of thoughts here…almost psychopathic.  That’s the kind of person who kills the fun. He just begs for a verbal slap in the face back. He’s a spoiler .


We should ask ourselves if how we talk is going to be constructive or destructive. Some people who have to pepper everything they say with foul words, and while they will claim that serves a good purpose what’s happening is that such a person is trying to make his/her comments more profound,impressive or have extra impact, shall we say. Why should that be ? What children ! They swear to make themselves sound more formidable or creative or some such thing .  Words like “fuckwit ” for example are inventions that do the trick for some- I guess they figure it’s fun.

 

What is the purpose of this message board—combat ?  Lets not be kids playing fisticuffs .

 


There is another point I want to make and explain : To anyone here : I hope you don’t mistake a spoken fury at another member of the forum with a verbal plastering of some other subject or people other than those on this board !  There’s a differance.  I think if you hate the way something etc. is going or acting or that is happening in this world , I see no reason anyone should be offended if you slam whatever annoyes you or makes you mad. Providing you don’t choose words that burn the ears—-that is words your mother told you were bad.

 

Then last but not least, think of Sam Harris . I’m grateful for him and admire him. He’s the reason this forum exists . So with respect to him,don’t turn this privlege into a teen-age chat room.  Give this board some due class…in honor of Sam Harris if nothing else.

 
eudemonia
 
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14 November 2008 07:27
 

There are people here that are civil and people here that are not. For people who need civility, I suggest they seek out those that partake in that attitude and converse with them. Navigate the waters here and avoid those whom you do not approve of.

Nobody has the right to come here and put demands on all of us however. Thats for the people than run the website IMO.

 
 
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14 November 2008 09:17
 
McCreason - 14 November 2008 12:27 PM

There are people here that are civil and people here that are not. For people who need civility, I suggest they seek out those that partake in that attitude and converse with them. Navigate the waters here and avoid those whom you do not approve of.

Nobody has the right to come here and put demands on all of us however. Thats for the people than run the website IMO.

Travis (the site administrator) and whoever else runs this forum do us all a huge favor by keeping out of it.  By the way, the other huge favor they did was to update the spam-blocking software to keep out the porn spam that used to bombard us daily.  Anybody remember “Britney Spears Jerking!” ?

I enjoy the harsh comments of the most ornery posters.  They’re vibrant, merciless, concise, and thought-provoking.  I don’t know if I’d like these people as friends, but here they’re invaluable.

 
 
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14 November 2008 09:50
 

Aaron

Yes the more colorful posters are the ones who liven the place up. It would be dead at times without people like Salt Creek and Sander. I get a good many laughs out of their comments.
This is a public internet message board and people should not take it so seriously. Either participate or do not.

I have always had the notion that the people here that bark the most are probably the nicest people of us all in person. Could be wrong but….part of the fun here is the mystery of it all. grin

 
 
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14 November 2008 09:58
 

Salt Creek and Sander (et al) provide us with a good gauge, I think. If you’re truly offended and/or upset by something they’ve posted, you’re taking it and yourself too seriously.

It’s a very simple gauge, and I think also a very accurate one.

In closing I’d just like to say fuck off ... yes, all of you. Just fuck right the hell off.

Byron

 
 
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14 November 2008 10:36
 

I am very offended by your comments Byron.

So, you can just go roll around in your own shit for all I care.

Uncivil bastards like you!  cheese

 
 
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14 November 2008 10:43
 
McCreason - 14 November 2008 02:50 PM

the people here that bark the most are probably the nicest people of us all in person. Could be wrong but….part of the fun here is the mystery of it all. grin

No question about it. Especially the barking part. On the SHF, it’s important not to take one’s self or others too seriously. In my experience, I’ve only been told to fuck off when I deserved it.

I did recently suggest to an intolerant mormon letter writer that she should “eat shit and die young”. I don’t know if that qualifies as offensive, grin , to anyone to whom it was not directed. Such offense was not intended. However, this is truly the fate I wish for those who share this woman’s beiefs. Her letter rationalizing discrimination against gay’s. was enough to make me gag. At the risk of stepping over the line of tolerance, such beliefs are socially toxic and such people should be quarantined. (now I’m pretty sure that was offensive).

I think that we can depend on SHF members to provide mercilessly concise feedback, especially on topics that have already been thoroughly beaten up in threads past in other generations of posters.

 
 
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14 November 2008 18:25
 

I think it is inaccurate to compare Sam Harris’ words—about Plain—with language used on this forum as a defense in using “off-color” language.  Sam Harris is not offensive in his language; it is his ideas that people find offensive. So I will make a distinction here between the use of “foul” language and perpetuation of controversial ideas. There is a difference here worth considering.

Personally, I am not offended by the language used here but it can be a distraction as I have witnessed people going off in various irrelevant tangents. But demanding censorship—-or expecting it—would be counter to the spirit and intent of this forum. 

Having said that, my preference is to have intelligent conversations.  My experience is those conversations, generally speaking, occur regardless of the quality of language used.  There can be very interesting and intelligent conversations with off-color language and there can be very boring, trite, and irrational conversations with “acceptable” and civilized language. I tend to favor the use of civility, but in the real world civility can get lost in the cracks.  And as a reminder, this forum is not a quarterly, weekly or daily publication that holds literary standards.  It reminds me—-on any given day—-more of a locker room, cocktail party or my favorite neighborhood bar.


We don’t live in a world that fosters sanitation unless you want to move to China where content is   censored and imposed on you. A forum like this, in cyberspace, with all the inherent anonymity would not reasonably expect anything more or less.

In a perfect world, if we could all speak with the eloquence and fortitude of Sam Harris, there would be no need or want of foul language.  Sam doesn’t have a need for foul language because he has a talented way of using language effectively without it.  That most of the world lacks that talent may explain the need for other forms of expression.

IOW: Let it be.

 
 
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14 November 2008 20:34
 
McCreason - 14 November 2008 02:50 PM

Aaron

Yes the more colorful posters are the ones who liven the place up. It would be dead at times without people like Salt Creek and Sander. I get a good many laughs out of their comments.
This is a public internet message board and people should not take it so seriously. Either participate or do not.

I have always had the notion that the people here that bark the most are probably the nicest people of us all in person. Could be wrong but….part of the fun here is the mystery of it all. grin

 

So you are saying that it takes insults,bad names, and foul language to keep things here alive ?  Is it all so boring that it takes a court jester to give it any appetizing flavor ? I don’t find it that way at all !  It’s the CONTENTS of what is written, not really the WAY IT IS SAID that should be stimulating and inspiring , as I see it . Of course, it doesn’t hurt to “have a way with words ” , but that is differant than clever personal insults. Don’t like the way someone is thiking ? Go ahead tell that person what you think of his/her ideas, but you don’t have to call him a bastard , a degenerate lowlife, or a vacuous moron . That’s just the opposite of encouragement , and you ARE wanting a positive response, aren’t you ?To me that kind of talk is a turn-off and it distracts from the message the poster is trying to relate. 

 

As for “ol’ Salty” —you are right !  Give him the first prize for making mean remarks .  Really something to be proud of ! ( actually , there IS another who is just as bad if not worse, but—don’t get me started..)

 


As for me, I have something to say..and I am full of gratitude that I have a way to say it !  I am also here to hear what others say , especialy on subjects that interest me to begin with . Being able to converse with people all around the world while I sit here by my computer is a miraculous thing ! Hey—here’s a thought on “God” : it seems there have been certain people down through the ages who have brought something into human life on this planet that is wonderful enough to change life for all of us, and we wonder how we ever lived without it. It is as though their being here was ushered in by a divine force, and for a special purpose. Think of Edison—-how about Bill Gates ?  It’s as if he is a gift to us and destined to help all of mankind.  Almost makes me think twice about God.. Whoops ! I got side-tracked there—forgive me…

 
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15 November 2008 06:02
 
Dee - 15 November 2008 01:34 AM

Hey—here’s a thought on “God” : it seems there have been certain people down through the ages who have brought something into human life on this planet that is wonderful enough to change life for all of us, and we wonder how we ever lived without it. It is as though their being here was ushered in by a divine force, and for a special purpose. Think of Edison—-how about Bill Gates ?  It’s as if he is a gift to us and destined to help all of mankind.  Almost makes me think twice about God.. Whoops ! I got side-tracked there—forgive me…

Nothing divine about it Dee.  More like a combination of good genes and opportunities. You ought to know that.

 
 
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15 November 2008 08:09
 

‘So you are saying that it takes insults,bad names, and foul language to keep things here alive ?  Is it all so boring that it takes a court jester to give it any appetizing flavor ?’

No Dee, that is not what I said or mean. They liven it up, not keep it alive. They contribute things that give the board some diversity and color. If someones does not like these additions they can bypass them. Thats the beauty of it all here.

There are more serious and civil discussions here than flamboyant ones. Should not be hard for people like you to discriminate and finds the ones you like.

I thought you were a libertarian? You sound more like an authoritarian to me.

 
 
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