My, my the forums have changed since I was a young hubber in my first year of learning about hubpages...I'm sorry I was just gleaning information from the threads about a year ago and didn't quite feel ready to comment in many threads due to the actual information I was seeing in many threads. You know? The helpful, fairly well-rounded information that people were posting quite some time back.
Now, I've decided to enter conversations - just in the past three weeks or so - and I find the forum threads littered with insults, attention-getting behaviors, people whose main purpose seems to be to create conflict, discomfort and controverty in the discussions - which, by the way aren't discussions - they're more like "walls" that people are writing grafitti on...
The worst cases are in the religion and belief threads, which I am amazed to see since religion and beliefs, belief systems in general, are at each and every core of each and every one of us. Symbolically, then - aren't we attacking each other at the very core if we're entering into discussions in these threads with intent to ridicule and slam each other?
Now to my original phrase in the topic headline: Is anyone aware that there are "schools" and "traditions" for belief-system and religious ideas?
Typically the posts right now promote a "this is right that is wrong" message when, really, statements might be less offensive and better understood if they came across in a more appropriate way such as, "in this tradition (say of Buddhism), it is thought that Buddha meant this by his words, (insert what Buddha's words were), and I belive that this is true, etc."
Is nobody aware that there are many different schools of thought and traditions involved with the overwhelming number of Christian sects out there? As is the same with any religion or belief system...And that messages actually CAN GET ACROSS and be heard when one starts from identifying what school of thought or which tradition they're referring to when posting/discussing religious ideas?
Or at least that providing ample quotes or reasonable viewpoints if you do not know quotes of from which school of thought your idea comes from - helps others to view a point made more objectively (in some cases, at least) because, really, the assertion of "scriptures say this because I say so and this is what I believe" is a way of entering a discussion that is irresponsible?
Aside from religions, when we express other ideas, we often say "this idea came from Francis Bacon, or Galileo" before we continue on and assert our opinions...for some reason, when religion is a main factor in discussion, people resort to "this is right, that is wrong," and it's quite offensive. People wonder why there's so much scrapping in the religion threads...
I agree with you. Religion is very personal, and tolerance sure is helpful. Having been a chaplain for many years, I've served people from just about all of the world's major faith traditions. I can honestly say I have seen the hands of God at work in all of them, and even in situations where the person I served was atheist or agnostic.
I am a Christian, a charismatic Christian, and though I am very knowledgeable of scriptures supporting an exclusive interpretation of Christianity, my spirit continually tells me, "God is bigger than that." I've seen enough and been with literally 1,000s of people in the worst moments of their lives to know that what may be right for one is not necessarily right for another. Even among people of the same religion or denomination there are wide variances in what is right for one and not for the other.
I've been blessed to find amazing wisdom in all of the world's faith traditions. When we are discussing, it's always helpful, as you, to point to specific sources.
Thanks for your post.
Earthbeat, thanks for your post!
I have felt a lot of comfort, as well, with peoples of different faiths, so I'm aware that there are a lot of people who don't fight about differences of religious opinion, people who are tolerant of others in different stages of understanding religion, etc. Also, people who aren't spouting out at the mouth but who are "engaged in their spiritual practices."
Some of my most comforting moments have been spent in temples where most of my friends wouldn't go. Originally, I was very nervous because I wasn't well read in a specific school of thought or protocol concerning the temple I was going to enter, etc. As it turned out, in all the temples of 5 different religions I've gone into...it was NOTHING like stereotypes I'd been told about and that many of my peers believe wholeheartedly in - and the acceptance of my being in the temples despite different dress and mannerisms was amazing.
In fact, I was taken, in one instance, into an area of the temple where normally, people of my gender are absolutely forbidden to enter, and I was allowed to actually hold and examine what some consider artifacts...it was an amazing experience...if not "of a great deity," then of a large and loving, peacable group of people.
I'm not sure if this was similar to experiences you've had but I thought I'd share mine.
I totally agree with you mythbuster. The one argument on whether Einstein was a believer or not is a good example of your point. It doesn't even matter what Einstein said in his own words, the argument always descends into, "Einstein was wrong, we are right."
Yes I know, Beelzedad, but then...
We are right...who the heck did Mr. E think he was anyway? Darned old dead dude - what the heck?
I found the thread on Einstein a frustrating exercise in patients, Beelzedad - and due to the fact that I have little patience these days, I probably should go back and see if there are any good posts...but I left there some time ago thinking, "OMGosh, can it be that there are dozens of hubbers who are more brilliant than Einstein?"
I was sort of deflated, knowing that, ultimately, there are dozens of hub authors who are more intelligent than Einstein... someone who was a bit of a hero to me... It appears I've placed my trust in a completely unworthy scientific source... *sigh*
And who is on your list, Pandoras Box, of "hubbers that are smarter than Einstein"?
My list just keeps on growing and growing and growing. It's unbelievable - I'll have to use one of Einstein's mathematical formulas soon just to keep up with the exponential growth of my list.
Oh I wouldn't name names. We all know who the geniuses are.
I feel confident, however, that through your use of civility you were able to successfully clear up any confusion there.
In response to both your long and short posts, Pandoras Box...
Yes, I'm guilty of not always coming to the threads with absolute objectivity and do make some generalized statements on many things...
I'm aiming for some balance, that's all...I understand that complete agreement on all things and same viewpoints on everything, in general would make this world a boring (probably oppressed) place, but I've noticed that most people are quite capable of being reasonable - probably all of us can be reasonable, so it's reasonable to ask for more balance, less in the way of hurtful, volatile, deliberately nasty responses in the forum - more reasonable, thoughtful replies, some qualifying of where people get viewpoints and positions of belief from, etc.
Actually, I thought this thread would have fizzled by now. It's been going oh... a few hours - with a ton of great commenting, suggestions, viewpoints.
AND many of the geniuses are only one sad little person behind all the masks.
Hi Pandora, you are writing book length posts again! just proving you are not a troll huh !
I feel your pain and frustration. He's a hero for many.
If he did believe in a god, only his hairdresser would know for sure.
Of corse MB lets just break it down a little and show everybody that I am just having a good day without the use of pharmecuticals...
Okay Far eastern first - breaks down into the primary forms Taoism, Cofuscionism, Shinto and the basic Pagan Nature Relgion of the Occidiental world - introduce the traditions from Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and a whole bunch of offshoots of Hinduism.
(okay and to be fair you should include the influences of stone age Sabertooth and Dragon cults way back...) so all these little groups has intermingled formed offshoots, subgroups, and modern secular groups.
Just like there is Prodestant and Catholic religion, and it splits due to Martin luther Prodestant, Baptist, Born agan Revivalist and Nazarene - all separate but secular from the main off shoot Catholic...
In the far east the same thing happened. Taoism and Confusionism were the big boys on the Dragons - but modern Buddhism is the reformational age (Like martin luther is Buddha in the east) you end up with Buddhism, Zen, Various monastic offshoots , and Shinto in Japan.
This was also the case with the mystery cults and delphic oracle cults of ancient Greece and Rome. Also this happened with the original Odinism and Druidism of Europe splintering into the Teutonics, Dianic cults, Cerdwynn,Cerunnos Goddess culture of the isles and Europe...
And the multi civilizational splintering of Africa from the Egyptians all the way to modern Voudou and all the slave trade Cargo cults is too much for my tiny fingers tonight.
Then comes the Pope, Nicea, Godzilla, Led Zeppelin, the invention of the IUD the Pill, Captain Kangaroo, and Finally we end up with the one world super religion of Scientology and the Teletubbies. After the War of Light against the Beanie Babies , and the Second coming of Pokeman...
Okay MB did I forget any important messianic ass**oles?
Duh Ghandi, Einstein, Hitler, Patton, Churchill, the Atomic Bomb and Walt Disney...and the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis.
Oh yeah, and Jimi Hendrix, but that's it I am done...
Traditions yeah heard of them....
I agree with you, and I think it is ridiculous. Some conversations I've entirely decided not to contribute to because I know exactly where they are leading, and certain persons I have no desire to debate with because there is no debate, but "no you're wrong, I'm the only one that's right."
The problem is inherent in the belief systems themselves however, and as hard as I've tried I haven't been able to come up with a resolution.
All problems in religion started when in each tradition someone decided to write "thou shalt believe in no other God(s) but me." From there everybody feels it their personal responsibility to let everybody else know they are deceiving themselves. It's sad really, there is so much you can learn from what someone else believes.
In fact, threads where there is no intense belittling and attacking going on seem to fizzle very quickly - it's too bad.
I keep hitting upon the frizzled threads but keep them in mind for a few days, re-checking them, in the hopes that someone will stop by and add something intelligent and expound upon the already reasonable few statements that have been posted.
Although there is more conflict in forums these days, I reckon the level of debate is a big improvement on twelve months ago. Some well read individuals contribute and the opinions are a lot more diverse.
On the other hand, I'm not sure scholarly and respectful debate will take root in the religious forums just yet. Partly because the secular 'contributers' are so dismissive and partly because many of the religious contributers are not interested in being scholarly. Best of luck though. There are a lot of issues that need an airing.
Thanks, Will Apse, for your reasoned response. It's a shame that, as you've stated "secular 'contributers' are so dismissive and [...] many of the religious contributers are not interested in being scholarly." I think this is true.
A lot of oppression is going on in here and there's no reasonable or positive outcome can ever come from oppressing the beliefs of others through ridicule, threats, baiting, etc.
Mr. Apse, I agree, too, that a lot of issues need airing.
I believe what I was often seeing in threads about a year ago was that issues were being aired and discussed with a small number of the "fiesty, troublemaking" participants also displaying ideas - but I saw more reasoned statements than troublesome and attention-getting ones...
I don't know what it is about society now that welcomes rude, arrogant, self serving attempts at communication. look at congress, it's like a group of elementary children saying we don't like this, so we're not going to try to be adults and work together like we're supposed to as enacted in the constitution.
the same goes on out in public. I had a recent encounter with a young client who was very rude and when I addressed her manner of communication, she simply said, this is me. I say it like I feel. so I said, we can no longer work together if this is your attitude. this sense of entitlement is so sad, and maybe somewhere along the line, parents have failed to teach their kids that the world does not revolve around them instead of this, 'you can do no wrong' parenting.
forums are always going to attract some who want to be noticed for whatever reason. there are a number of them here. you have to pick and choose threads carefully if you want a decent discussion or simply say what you want to say and know it will be ignored because it's not inflammatory.
Thanks for contributing to the discussion. I like your comparison using "elementary children," and agree, but would like to add that there are exceptions... On occassion, I've actually found/observed some elementary school aged children who offer each other and those around them more respect than I see adults offer in real life, in public places, in the workplace and definitely in forums online etc...and many young children start out having a really nice understanding of what it means to treat others decently.
I wonder if this is something we grow out of, perhaps...and then, as in your account - the part about the "young client" - we reach an age where we feel the need to be so much ourselves that we can be rude with, dismissive of others and claim "it's just the way I am, it's how I express myself."
I'm using "we" here because if I'm not careful, myself, it's easy for my behaviors to attain a questionable level, too.
I'm glad you admit that freely mythbuster. The truth is since I first saw this thread I have been torn between two opinions of it.
On the one hand, I respect what I will optimistically call your attempt to inject civility into what is typically considered a not very civil pursuit -the questioning of religious premises, either in general or specific. It's something we're traditionally not supposed to do publically, and still be considered a polite person.
On the other hand, I've been wondering about the hypocrisy of making a post flaming everybody in general for flaming others. You know? What I mean?
Logically, you are of course correct. Reasonably, however, you seem to be thrusting aside human nature and emotion expecting people to act as robots outputting only logical sequences of thought.
Yes, we could all be more civil, and I don't think those reminders fall on too many deaf ears. Maybe a handful or two here.
But it should be understood that we're not clinically discussing dead concepts here which have no real effect on anyone anymore. We're discussing things people take very seriously and hold very personally important.
Naturally, things will get heated.
It is frustrating to read a 1000 post thread on a topic that could otherwise be interesting if one didn't have to wade through 973 pointless posts, dumb comments, vague hints of mystical knowledge from people trying to sell their ebooks, and continued spats between others that have next to nothing to do with the current thread. Just to get to the end of the thread and discover that what might have been an interesting conversation has devolved into a completely irrelevent argument over whether or not strawberries are better than grapes.
So I understand your points here, but am not really convinced better can typically be found in open forums of religious discussion. You say it was better a year ago. I wasn't here, won't argue the point, but can only suppose that there weren't then too many people here.
To get what you want and still have a large diversity of participating opinions you would need a moderator to delete like 90% of the postings.
THAT -I contend- would be oppressive and not conducive to the forming of friendly relationships.
If I only heard moderated comments from everyone, I might think half of them are a-holes. It's often through the push and tug that you begin to understand what drives people, that their real thoughts and motives are exhibited, and that active thought is promoted.
I might see something one way, and be perfectly correct and in full mutual disagreement with someone else. Sometimes, only through arguing about it like children are we both able to understand what the other is getting at and then assimilate what is useful of their thoughts into our own.
We make each other think. The process isn't always pleasant for everybody involved. No pain, no gain. A pleasantly polite conversation between people diametrically opposed in their beliefs wouldn't get very far.
I wish you the very best of luck with this - I wholeheartedly agree , but then along comes a troll or a shill or just an obnoxious character and attacks any thinking or discussion going on with pointless wisecracks and insults etc. And sometimes they have several different online names and bring them all in to argue nonsense among the discussion making it appear as if there are several people with the same retarded ideas when in fact there is only one.
Makes 'normal' conversation hard. But we try, there are still many nice threads with little interference, and some a bit more heated, more in the spirit of a good row.
I noticed the very first thing you posted was, basically, "good luck with this!"
It must be that you think I'll need it (good luck). You're probably right...likely this topic will frizzle out very quickly since - of the four respondents so far, each individual who has posted has actually given a very reasonable response.
Your second point brings into consideration the "forum troll," so, yes, I'm waiting for one to show up. It must be that there have been four reasonable posts because the trolls have gone out for a coffee break or something.
Perhaps if I started a topic of "Should forum trolls be given the same rights as human beings," then the thread would have never-ending visitors, eh?
haha, that's cute
I sincerely hope the day will come where discourse on sensitive topics is possible without personal warfare. You what I wish I was alive for, Socrates' discussion groups.
In another thread, I mentioned to you about a scholar calling me Socrates...
believe me...losing two of three debates the hard way and gaining points in only one did not make the reference-connection with Socrates (that was placed upon me) "fun" in any way lol I got a taste of real Socratic Method that day. It hurts a little bit...
but if you'd like to learn more...
*offers you the cup* here, try THIS! lol
you would need to say they were gay forum trolls to keep it going....
To some extent I agree with the OP. On the other hand, religious forums have always been this way. Maybe not here, I don't know, wasn't here 12 months ago, and admittedly prior to the last 8 months or so, I haven't entered a religious forum probably in about 6 years or so, but for years prior to that I frequented several of them, and this is how they always were. Politics -which for many are decided based on what they at least think are religious ideologies- are pretty much the same.
The saying "never discuss religion or politics in polite company" wasn't coined recently, or here at HubPages.
I'll add this as well, there are bright spots, and people do learn. (Even ones who won't admit it.)
I've very much enjoyed the last characters of your response, Pandoras Box: "I'll add this as well, there are bright spots, and people do learn. (Even ones who won't admit it.)"
I might fall into the category, occassionally, indicated in your parenthesis haha.
yes, I guess I have to re-classify my statement in regards to elementary children as many of them are solution oriented. but then you have the group of bullies or 'smarter than thou' group.
I do like the name of the thread, as I think often the concept that there are schools of thought or tradition are dismissed as wrong if the person does not believe that way. then there is the discussion of what is right/wrong? it's all an illusion anyway, what we see is perception.
Religion is a subject that gets right to people's emotions.
I really enjoy religious discussion and debate, but, sadly, some people will always be overly aggressive, when discussing the subject, while others will be overly sensitive about taking offense.
It is easy to understand why, but genuinely objective dicussion and debate of religious matters is extremely interesting ~ well, I think so, anyway.
Yes, I think the topic of religion definitely gets right to peoples' emotions. There are balances that we can attain between passionate expression and reasoned conversation/discussion - at least a large portion of the time, in my opinion. Rather, we're capable of this if we are mindful, anyway.
I'm glad you enjoy discussions and debates on the topic of religion. Sadly, I think a whole lot of people stop bothering with discussing religion for the primary reason that many people become so volatile when discussing religion. It's a shame because probably everyone has some viewpoint to contribute to a reasonable discussion on many religious topics.
I don't think you ask for anything too unreasonable. I guess it depends on people's moods when we enter the forums. there is one thing we all have in common and that is our duality.
there is duality in everything.
look at the great scientist, Fritz Haber who figured out how to 'fix' nitrogen and was awarded a nobel peace prize in 1920 for improving the standards of agriculture and yet with the same science made the poisonous gas zyklon b, the gas used in hitler's concentration camps.
of course, now the chemicals used in our fertilizers are causing diseases that kill us. the nitrates when used in different ways are both good and evil.
Hiya Poet. Yeah. Long posts. Been reading too much lately, trying to cram internet marketing techniques into my head, and I don't really like the subject a whole lot.
I think it's making me cranky. I hate trying to learn about stuff like that. Cause I don't understand it. Makes me frustrated.
"There is duality in everything."
Wait I have to back up for a momment, did I just hear RebekELLE make the following group of mindblowing parallels all sync up like a naked buddhist on a train smuggling black tar heroin....OKay to recap
" Fritz Haber who figured out how to 'fix' nitrogen and was awarded a nobel peace prize in 1920 for improving the standards of agriculture and yet with the same science made the poisonous gas zyklon b, the gas used in hitler's concentration camps."
1) Anytime you can humanly use the phrases nobel peace prize, improving the standards of agriculture, and concentration camps in less than a paragraphs proximity to each other you should be awarded a William S. Burroughs all expense paid free trip to th nearest hash den of your choice, and be given diplomatic immunity by Pres. Obama right now for excessively high IQ points in an American citizen...
"..of course, now the chemicals used in our fertilizers are causing diseases that kill us. the nitrates when used in different ways are both good and evil."
2)I have never heard anyone consider the chemically induced reactions of nitrate compounds of anykind especially fertilizer to have good or evil intentions - Do you realize you just stated that the earth may have evil intentions concerning the earth. Or more simply dirt is evil undoing the human world, only second to the Nazi Furher himself....
"There is duality in everything."
Man oh man, now that is some down out of the box acceptance of human error at face value, sprinkled in with just a punchline of skeptical live and let live humanitarism, all coming crashing down with a hook line of technopagan toaism...and Amen?
Wow rebekahELLE, I gotta ask will you marry me right now!!!
You are either the most brilliant or most pathologically tangent woman of the new millennia. Either way I have to guess that you are not a fish to throw back...
I await your reply, and could not agree with you more.
If you had only tied the whole thing into crop circles I would know for sure that you were my angel fallen to earth.
Keep on hubbing...Blake4d
I have to take issue with this - maybe you have not heard of fertilizer bombs, you mix the nitrate with some sugar, pack it into a container and it can (and did) knock down buildings.
I like your posting, good to see you around the forums to brighten the place up a little
Mythbuster, your forum post is completely unbiased and true. I too have avoided the very thing you mention simply because I wanted to avoid the "slam game". I see a lot of personal insults, hate, rudeness, discrimination, and harrassment in these forums. I try to stay away from those responses that may lead me into a heated debate, which is what I don't want.
It is certainly okay to voice an opinion, but it's totally unnecessary to throw darts at one another in hopes of convincing that one side is right or wrong.
Thank you for a good post.
Interesting perspective. I wish there was respect for each others beliefs religious, secular or otherwise. I have found that you can change anything you want but religion is a big target and their service to the community and the world far exceed that of the secular, atheist and gay supporters. This said the attacks on marraige and tax-exempt status by the left are disrespectful and selfish. The self-serving attitude by the left always leads to attacks on the religious because they can't get cleanly passed their own conscious.
The left wants the right to insult with impunity and any rebuttal is confronted with outrage. The pot shouldn't call the kettle black but if the kettle calls the pot black lookout! I'm not interested in being overly serious because of the "Psychic Wars" that go on here so I do make little sarcastic remarks to voice my position on a percieved attack, sorry. This is saved for the ridiculous nature of some of the threads and intolerance to more conservative positions.
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