There are several forums going on right now on the topic of religion, belief in god, etc.
With all the intense and often heated discussions going on in this Hub, I'm wondering about the importance of the forum as a meeting place for lonely people. I am one of these, although some of you might not have realised it.
Then when I see certain individuals seemingly spending much of the 24 hours sitting at their computer; then they give opinions which are obviously strongly in to some religion or philosophy; then the heated argument might be so forceful that the lonely person venturing onto the forum gets "put down" and maybe frightened off. It would be sad if this happens.
With my own attitudes sometimes, and the attitude of others, I wonder if we need to be aware of this and just be careful.
Of course not one of us is entitled to limit free speech, and each of us is responsible, ultimately, for our own welfare.
You know, I see what you're saying here, jonny. For me, the key was to sit back and just read for a bit before actually venturing into a discussion. It allowed me to get to know the participants a bit, and determine which ones I felt comfortable interacting with. When I responded to a particular person, and someone else jumped on me, I was ... not necessarily ready for it, but at least not so much in a position where I might have taken it personally, since I'd seen the way that the individual communicated with others. Eventually, I found my groove.
Believe it or not, there were some folks in this forum that I wanted to punch in the eye when I first showed up. Thankfully, the internet doesn't allow for such action. After a while, those people began to interact with me the same way I interacted with them, which was as respectfully as I could. Now, I'd even say that I'm friendly with some folks who really did not like me at all in the beginning.
Also, while I'm not one for 'cliques' of any sort, sometimes, we do find folks in the forum who, while they might not agree with what we have to say, are kind and respectful to us, and often willing to point out to others when they're being less so with other forum participants. In short, you'll often make acquaintance with folks in the forum who will 'have your back.'
I love to see you here, and I love that you've become more vocal over time. Many others feel the same way. You're kindness and gentleness speaks to many and even though all we see here is black and white words on a computer screen, personalities eventually shine through to those of us who are willing to see beyond the text.
Don't go anywhere. We'd be sad!
For me personally, I read all of the discussions before I responded so that I could get a feel for what (or rather who) I was dealing with. I'm glad I joined because this community is so much more stimulating than facebook or twitter. I also met a lot of cool people who I respect as people even if we may not agree to everything.
Jonny if you left, I'd be upset too. You are one of the coolest people I've ever met.
The problem, I think, is that people get so passionate and then lose all sense of propriety because the internet makes for such anonymity. Yes, it looks like black and white text. There's a person behind those words.
Tha's another way of looking at it, Mo....thank you. Yes I sometimes jump in a bit too early, especially if there are pages and pages of posts that I can't or don't wish to wade through. Then the arguments get too deep, or too informed from "scholarly sources," and I am not able to follow the discussion at all. It is at those points I tend to switch out and off.
I don't want to seem callous or harsh, But For as much as I would hate for anyone that is seeking human contact to be run off of HP because their posts or responses draws a certain response that may be deemed negative in nature, I also would think that the two biggest forums where a specific point of view will most likely be attacked are in Religion and politics. In a community like HP (where I understand is as much of a social media platform as it is a money making opportunity) you can't jump in if you are not ready to be questioned on your beliefs.
Yes, DM, there are certainly some individuals we would all like to throttle some times, especially when there is obviously ignorant and totally biased rubbish that comes over so clearly.
However, I just wonder if a relatively uneducated person, with poor spelling, poor grammar, and with difficulty expressing themselves, comes in with a fairly sensible point into the discussion, we need to be careful we don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
Btw, I have no intention of leaving these forums for the time being... .except I do unfollow one that has been going for over 3000 posts, where everything gets very heavy.
Actually I think about that a lot. As you know, I spent most of last year taking care of my dying wife and subsequently I don't have many "real-world" friends. Plus, I have three kids, one of whom is severely special needs and that eats a lot of time. I was able to work a job for a while and the social interaction was as important as the paycheck.
That plus I'm a religious whacko. Tends to cut down on the socializing.
That's very sensitive of you. I never think of anyone here as lonely. I assumed we were simply killing some time. I'll attempt to keep this in mind and be a little more courteous.
Jonny was talking about good manners, as near as I can figure. I've responded to a lot of his Hubs and Questions and yes, he is indeed a caring, compassionate, open person. He also has convictions, insight, and courage. All he's saying is that argumentative emotions can run hot and high--but there always must be room for manners and RESPECT. A lonely person, rightly or wrongly, may feel insecure and unsure. Freedom of expression does NOT give any of us the freedom to bully or harass someone who may have exposed their vulnerability; in fact, if one of us IS being extremely rude and ill-mannered, one of us should step in and snap them up. Civility is always in fashion. In a heated exchange--should passion be unavoidable--we should be capable of slicing the other fellow's arguments into piles of bloody bits with nary a harsh or unkind word--and NEVER words directed at a person. Stick to the words, the writing, the language. Those are the vehicles for the thought..
Yeh. I got the part about the good manners. However, your suggestion that people should be snapped up when you consider them to be rude, or out of line, appears to have been attempted. In this environment, considering the issues at hand, that action usually results in an escalation of the exact behavior patterns the OP appears to find upsetting. And that applies to both sides of the conversation. 'Rude' is subjective.
Those who feel they have the right to 'snap up' others may be more of the problem than they consider themselves to be.
Since the Religion sub-forum was opened it has been a place of heated debate. Many a person has been suspended or even permanently banned for not being in control of their online anger.
It's not going to change. And I doubt it will ever be removed. Activity on a website helps with its rankings.
The only thing to do is not rise to the bait or avoid them completely.
At this stage, let me just add to the discussion with a clarification. It's been good to have the feedback so far.
I was primarily concerned with one or two people presenting strong christian views in the Hubs. I got the sense that it might not be just their faith which was driving them, but a deeper need; that their discussion about their beliefs is coming from their needs to feel a sense of belonging.
Belonging to a church, of whatever denomination, can give a strong sense of belonging and camaraderie. When you can say all the right things and be accepted by other members as "one of us," that can be a big antidote to loneliness.
Extend this to the HubPages, where a person can join in a conversation, a discussion, and feel welcomed, feel kindness, feel listened to. Even people disagreeing can bolster the sense of "I am really part of this scene." This is partly what I have felt personally. You people form a major part of my social life.
So thank you for being here. I am not trying to direct your contributions in any discussion.... just suggesting a decorum which we might adopt.
I agree completely with what you just said here. Ultimately, we all want to be part of an actual conversation. No one enjoys being talked 'at.' We enjoy talking together. I tend to tune out the minute it appears as though my contributions are basically being ignored. It may look as though people are responding to what I've said, but they're really just hammering their points home with little to no consideration for the others with whom they're conversing.
Good point. This should be more about sharing ideas, expressing oneself, and everyone increasing understanding and awareness of each others differences all the while embracing similarities. Unfortunately, there are those who would seek to push their agenda so hard that they become bullies. For those people, it is sometimes necessary to cut out the cancer before it spreads. I see it so often in the threads. Toy have so many people trying to force their individual perspectives so hard that a lot of us band together to stamp it out. It has nothing to do with the person. It is the poisonous thoughts that we try to stop
I agree with you Jonny. I have a real sense of belonging on hubpages, I left Church three years ago over doctrinal disagreements and as one who believes in universal salvation/ultimate reconciliation, I find myself pig in the middle between the evangelists who think I'm a deceived heretic and some atheists who think I'm a simpleton. However, I've found some like minded people here and others who are open to ideas outside of atheist/theist orthodoxy. That is a great comfort to me.
Hubpages does provide a community to exercise intellectually stimulating debate that I just do not get with family members, neighbours or work colleagues. Real life is far too superficial to have the sort of conversations we have here. The anonymity is liberating because one's posts can only be judged by their content, whereas people in the real World judge our words by what they perceive us to be.
I'm not lonely, but hubpages provides me with an outlet to exchange ideas and a place to learn form others that I wouldn't otherwise have. Just forgive my occasional bluntness, I'm actually a big softie.
You are once again spot on jonny. There are a few people who are used to people agreeing with them, and so they expect us to agree. One thing that has intrigued me is when someone makes a claim that a miracle has happened, most, if not all the Christians never question the so called miracle. When I question them other Christians jump in and tell me these things happen all the time, but not one of them has ever supplied evidence. This is what I find fascinating and it's why I'm here, I think.
I almost left a few months ago because it was something you said that answered on of my biggest question. It was a brilliant remark that has stuck with me and is why I always read your posts.
There certainly are a few who show narcissistic traits and those people I attempt to stay away of, except for short comments revealing the narcissism. These people will cause harm.
You guys are starting to scare me. I suppose, one's idea of poisonous thoughts is another person's idea of cosmic probabilities.
I appreciate the sentiment that started this discussion; however banding together and stamping out what you don't agree with, or approve of, smacks of censorship. This is a religion and philosophy forum. Emotions tend to run high at times. It would be best to look at ourselves and ensure that our emotions are not ruling our heads when we are attempting to judge what others are saying. Or, better yet, keep our own posts to the standards we espouse and let others do the same by their own standards.
Running around and attempting to 'ride herd' will only expand the problem.
Perspective is a wonderful thing. Like how several different folks can look at the same thing and see something totally different.
Exactly. So, what is the point of lamenting the fact that this is a fact, and wishing everyone could help ensure one perspective is given respect? Isn't that what this had boiled down to? Everyone should agree on standards of behavior, above and beyond Hub Pages guidelines and those who don't agree with the group will be 'snapped up' and accused of being poisonous?
It sounds like a clique in the making.
I see your point.
I just don't think that was anyone's intent.
People being people, some of us do tend to jump to others' defense when we think they're being treated unfairly. I don't necessarily think that's clique-is behavior, but I can see how it can be perceived that way.
I don't believe anyone is advocating silencing of anyone's opinions, just a respectful attitude when sharing them.
Ultimately, too, we're all really on our own in here. We all stand a chance of having our opinions or statements moderated. There isn't a one of us who has the power to silence another's voice on HP. Even when someone is banned, their original statements aren't removed from threads.
I get what you're saying. It is indeed a matter of just being sensitive to others.
Exactly. It is the respect factor that binds a community
And, I am a firm advocate of being sensitive to others. No matter how many may roll an eye at that, considering the reception my posts receive in this forum. But, that is the entire point. Dissent does tend to be misinterpreted, misread and generally viewed with a negative eye. It doesn't make the dissent negative. It is merely a reflection of your perception.
I am not a fan of anyone jumping to anyone's defense since it serves to validate the misconception and creates a pack mentality.
I am a fan of jumping to the defence of others when needed. It's what stops a school yard bully.
And yet, we are adults here. Sometimes the person claiming to defend others is, in fact, the bully.
I will defend anyone I believe is being victimized and/or mistreated. But, come on. These are discussions on beliefs. Who can really bully you?
I love what you are writing... just want to say there is still a small boy inside of me. He wants to explore still; he wants to take risks now and then; he's sometimes strong and courageous; he's sometimes soft and tender; sometimes he wants recognition; other times he wants to be invisible..... seen and not heard as he was taught when actually a boy.
Must go again now.... have a OMNI group meeting in 45 minutes... that stands for "Older Men: New Ideas!"
Well, there's a kid inside all of us. I may be all kid, because I assumed the part of me that mirrors what you wrote is my adult side. That's a little disconcerting now that you've said that.
Also, I have been in a position where I could have claimed being bullied by those of opposing views. I haven't made that claim because I honestly think if someone feels that they are being victimized they should walk away. Why play the victim? Unless you want to be one.
I don't think offering an opinion is bullying. But making threats is, and I've been threatened with harm and the law a few times. Many of us have been here a long time and I feel I've made some kind of relationship with some here even though we've never meet personally and I've seen people show little or no regard for the feeling of others. I remember on person stating there spouse just passed away and another calling them a lier. When research showed he was telling the truth the other party offered nothing but malice and demanded answers to questions. Adults can get bullied as well.
Rad man. You were only bullied because you see it as bullying. Yes, people can be rude, inconsiderate, callous and pretty much any other word you can use to describe unkind behavior. But, bullying? I don't see how that is possible in cyberspace, unless you want to feel put upon. Why would anyone want to feel put upon?
You don't see how bullying is possible in cyberspace? Tell that to the parents of children who killed themselves because of cyberbullying. I think the threat of bodily harm is bullying. There is no reason someone could not track me down. He was trying to intimidate and it was starting make me think that he could find me.
You can't compare Hub Pages discussions to children bullying each other on line and at school. The kids see each other every day. That harassment is not limited to Face Book postings. If you feel threatened, I'm at a loss. Why put up with it? Why not simply not respond to that poster? Wouldn't that resolve the problem? If you continue the dialogue, how much responsibility do you have for the outcome?
The teenagers do not see the other teenagers every day at school. Some come from other schools.
Have you never been bullied as a adult? This particular person found every forum I was in and chased me around with threats. I did eventually have to report him and he was banned form the forums, but continued on hub that I had posted on. Any intimidation is bullying. He didn't think I should be allowed to comment negatively about the bible.
Yes, I have been in a position where it could be said that I was bullied. But, with words you have to be an active participant in order to be considered bullied. Bullying is successful when your words are taken to heart. When you lower the self esteem of another human being, but they have to agree to lower it. I have never been willing to agree to be marginalized.
We are not children. We can lack self esteem. We can be easily led. But, we are adults and should take responsibility for our weaknesses and not blame others for them.
And, certainly, never attempt to bully by group force and group consensus, which is what a good percentage of the posts on this thread have been about. Whether you realize it, or not. Attempting to agree to enforce your standards on other individuals is as much bullying as anything you've complained about.
So, threatening someone with bodily harm is just words? You have a truly unique perspective.
Tell me who on Hub Pages has threatened you with bodily harm who was in a position to act on it. What are they going to do? Thump your avatar on the head?
I think I've already explained that someone could find out where we live.
I'm not really that paranoid. I can't follow that train of thought to a rational conclusion which involves wanna be writers ferreting out my home address out of a desire to inflict bodily harm simply because we have philosophical differences.
You can't follow that train of thought? I was told I would be physically hurt. You can't follow that?
Has it happened?
If it makes you feel any better, I had some crazy Hubber mad at me. She said some loopy things, which were a little discomforting. I went to her profile. One of her hubs was about how to cast long distance spells against someone. Instead of being afraid (because she was definitely off her rocker in some ways, by my perception) I laughed at the image her hub conjured in my mind. Some opinionated religious nut (believe or not she was an outspoken believer in God) dancing around her living room trying to bounce the evil eye out to the East Coast. I laughed for days over that.
If you allow others to intimidate you, in a situation that does not imply they have the power to intimidate, you may simply want to claim intimidation. I'm not trying to be unkind here, but this is about as difficult to believe as a woman who flirts with guys and then acts offended when they flirt back. You are an outspoken non believer who has made the choice to post your opinions on a forum that attracts outspoken believers. Emotions run high at times and people will over step their bounds. But, crying foul because you upset someone is not fair, IMO. It goes with the territory you adamently claim you have the right to be in.
Whether you realize it or not, the person who offends you usually does it because they feel they were first offended. If you can't compassionately attempt to place yourselves in their shoes to empathize with their feelings, why are you attempting to get others to do it for you? All they did was offend you with their words. You made the choice to stay offended and now you are using a moment of poor judgment by that Hubber in an attempt to validate a moment of fear. I can't validate it for you. Just as I wouldn't validate their right to do what they did; were they here arguing in their own defense.
We were talking about bullying here. Thanks but I think I know when someone is trying intimidate and bully. I doesn't really matter if I was afraid or not. it doesn't change the act.
You still don't get it. You bullied yourself. Basically. Whoever said whatever has probably already put the incident into perspective and, hopefully, learned from it. What did you learn? Anything of value? If so, I'm not seeing it.
Sure blame the victim. Thanks for telling me how wrong I am and how it's all my fault. A person can't even say that an attempt was made to bully them without you telling them how misguided they are. Thanks very much, but I don't need you to tell me what to do or think. Why not throw an man up in there as well?
Let's make a deal, I won't tell you what to think and you mind your own thoughts.
You engaged me in conversation. You attempted to elicit support for an accusation. You were attempting to sway the way I think with no information from the other party. You expected me to try and convict another on your 'feelings'. Try that in a court of law. You'd be treated the same way.
One other point. I was not attempting to tell you what to think. I was saying what I think. This is an apparent philosophical difference we have. You appear to crave consensus and I admire variety of thought. Even when I find the thoughts of another nonsensical. This doesn't make me right. It makes me different. Sorry that this appears to offend you. Don't worry, I don't care where you live. You have nothing to fear from me.
Emile, with respect, I suggest this is a situation where you can just say to Rad Man, "Ok, I hear you." And leave it with him. Let Rad Man sort out his own responses, instead of trying to "correct" him, even if you think he deserves it.
Sometimes it's better to just Hear, and Let Be. Don't you think?
I see your point. But, there are times when we all need a reality check. And, I know, my reality is not your reality; or his. But, I simply hate to see someone feeling abused when they can just as easily attack it from another angle.
There was a time in my life when I needed to send a letter to explain why I hadn't done something that I couldn't do. After re-reading the account of events that I had written; I realized that this particular time in my life had been incredibly traumatic. I didn't see it that way when I was living it. It was difficult; but I didn't live my life as if it was. It was just my life at that moment. Everything got better; but had I viewed events as they could have been viewed by someone observing them; I might have been inclined to expect sympathy. Which would have made me depressed. What good would that have done?
No Emile that part of your life wasn't really incredibly traumatic and if you feel it was it was your own fault anyway. You traumatized yourself. Basically. Asking and expecting sympathy?
No. That's the point. I didn't see it as traumatic....therefore it wasn't traumatic. Fortunately the guy that read my letter felt very bad and that part of it worked out well in the end. I come from stoic stock. We don't let anything ruffle our feathers. Which makes me a very poor sounding board.
OK. I hear you. (I typed that because Johnny suggested it. I have no idea what it means but......did it help?)
I didn't attempt to elicit support for an accusation. I believe we were discussing bullies when I described how cyberbullying could work here as to which your response was that it was my fault.
Telling me that I was the cause of the threats made towards me is in fact telling me what to think.
"You bullied yourself. Basically." As if you have such a handle on the situation you can deduce I was at fault.
Hey, I'm only filtering what you are saying. Which means....I hear you.
Anyway, let's stop arguing about it. I like you. Let's leave it to rest until we find something else to disagree on. We both know that is inevitable.
That is exceptionally wise advice rad man. Thank you for listening. For caring enough and respecting me enough to advise strength, not weakness. You have no idea how much that means to me. Your wife is one lucky woman to have a husband of such sage wisdom.
Emily, you are no fun like this. Please go back to being yourself. I can however hear the sarcasm in those words. You must be very happily married, if not, it's a wonder no none hasn't swept you away. I'm sure some poor soul... I mean some very lucky will be along soon.
LOL. My husband's favorite saying is 'Come on comet.' I'm pretty sure he is joking. Either way, I laugh.
But, honestly. I'm sorry someone was less than cordial. Some people take this stuff way too seriously. I do believe that threatening someone is against Hub Pages rules. Report them next time. If they don't learn better, at least they won't have the privilege to post such again for a while.
Thanks, he was reported. Became more angry then left me alone. All I'm saying you never know and I'm not asking for sympathy. He even told me that he was considering filing a law suite against me. Not the first time someone has threatened me with lawyers and most likely wont be the last. I hate all lawyers except for a very good friend of mine who happens to be a lawyer. He's still a blood sucking parasite, but I don't hate him. Kidding of course.
Unfortunately, anyone can file a law suit; so I do sympathize. I had one filed against me once. It was ridiculous. The jury thought so too. All the guy accomplished was to make us both pay a lawyer. The funny thing was, I had originally agreed that I would pay him what I ended up paying my lawyer. Because, I did want to do the right thing. I just didn't want to be gouged. He didn't get anything in the end.
I haven't been threatened here yet. It makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong.
You obviously took what I was saying out of context. The poisonous thoughts I was referring to had nothing to do with anyone's religious views.
Hello folks - really good conversation here. First of all let me add that I totally concur with all of your positive comments about jonny - good man.
I too have encountered those "nasty" folks in various forms. I have come to some conclusions. One is that I believe it is much easier being nasty in writings rather than face to face. I am convinced that some of those folks feel safe being nasty because they don't have to face you, so they go to extremes.
Another is that some of those folks just enjoy stirring things up. They get "nasty" because they just enjoy the controversy.
Another has to do with an old belief that the toughest guy around needn't tell you how tough he was, you just knew - meaning the "nastier" the person the less they believe in what they are preaching - they have serious doubts.
As far as calling them out - I was once told by my boss that I needed to learn how to tell someone to go to hell, and make them enjoy the trip. You can sting someone with civility and manners delivered in a gracious manner.
Jonny -- I'm going to give it up. This is the THIRD time I've been well into a fairly long and, I would think, quite controversial response to one of your posts. . .only to have it abruptly disappear. I must now at least entertain the possibility that someone in Power at Hubpages doesn't like the way I think and just plain cuts me off. . . .whoops! here it comes again. I'll try to post this, Cheers to all.
You are right, free speech and everyone is entitled and I agree with jonnycomelately that your input is a treasure. I do however believe we should be careful for one reason, Hubpages is supposed to be a forum for intellectual stimulus and not emotional upheaval -- though that is difficult to accomplish in politics and religion. What I do when I write, and what I suggest to others is, to make sure that theories or ideas are backed by authority -- in other words, if its regarding the Bible or Quran, add what scholars are saying...not preachers, scholars. :-) Though Hubpages is not supposed to be about opinions, it just can't help but be at times. Keeping articles scholarly allows the ability to be sensitive to every reader. This helps to keep it intellectually based and if things get too heated, it provides an "out". Another good idea is to make sure we always note our appreciation to the opinion-writer. People are too precious to attack simply because of strong opinions. The reader/commenter needs to be valued...I totally agree with your comment that we should be careful, but not at the expense of inaccuracy of whatever our article message is. And its easy to get off-track. JCL says he doesn't always comment, and that's acceptable. But sometimes a "thank you for your input" does the trick and makes you more appreciated by other commenters and allows them to answer more freely (so they do not feel ignored). Good luck and keep writing. I hope this made sense. :-)
Thanks God, we have a freedom of speech in this beautiful nation. The U.S. A. I try not to be alone. I work. I help my community. I talk to my friends and relatives. Also, I keep myself busy with hub pages . I love hub pages. I recently, took a trip to Central America El salvador. The place is beautiful. People are friendly. There are people with jobs and some do not have work. But they all eat well. Food is good there. I am happy. I am back in the U.S.A. I like El Salvador to visit. I saw some lonely people there waiting for their relatives to visit. It is good to visit people.check mayatour.com. you will like it.
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