Character assassination appears to be the tactic most frequently used by those who want to ensure that only currently accepted scientific theories are used to draw conclusions in the realm of religion and philosophy. Standard terms used to describe the individual, or group of individuals, who accept the existence of problems in time lines of the development of humanity are; uneducated, illiterate, delusional, emotional and troll. These and myriad other machiavellian tactics have caused middle of the road thinkers to not only fear open dialogue, but to join the attack; presumably to avoid becoming victims themselves.
This problem is not limited to one side of the aisle, yet I find it more offensive when it comes from those who claim to be open minded, while attempting to suppress alternative views.
What purpose is served by assuming the position of 'brain police' in a forum for the discussion of religion and philosophy? What sacred cow deserves such devotion? Why do some pander to those displaying these behavior patterns? In so doing free and open dialogue is reduced to petty bickering and needless debate. Ideas are suppressed and trampled; offered up as sacrifice on the altar of public opinion. What is the point?
Out of curiosity, who are the witches being hunted in modern times?
And, why is it that when someone chooses to remove themselves from an argument, which, in truth, they may be unprepared for - such as a liberal arts student who chooses not to debate evolution with students of evolutionary biology or physics with doctoral candidates in physics - does that mean they are afraid of anything? Alternative views are what they are. Not everyone agrees with them, but also, it's possible that not everyone chooses to debate them. I also find it more productive to agree on definable truths than to simply argue against them to make others feel better, or to drone on endlessly about things in order that simple repetition will make someone jump the fence to one side or another.
Yes, there are moderate Christians who are equipped and willing to debate evolution as a true thing, an indisputable fact. There are others who know where they stand on it and would rather not get into a debate because they don't feel equipped to do so. And, as you've stated in the past, since consensus is not a mark of truth, why is it necessary that everyone MUST agree with someone?
Some of us really do our best to refrain from name-calling, insults, personal attacks, etc. In many instances, that has resulted in our being the victim of such many times over. Whether it's caving to public opinion or it isn't, there are times when it is indeed more fun to laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.
For the purposes of this discussion, let's assume those playing the part of the witches are anyone who doesn't entirely agree with conclusions arrived at by some who think the theory of evolution somehow negates freedom of thought in the area of religion and philosophy, and those who bow to, or participate in, the attempt to negate the value of alternative ideas.
I have absolutely no idea what that has to do with the statement at the start of this thread.
I think most people agree on definable truths. I think there are those who ignore the things agreed upon simply beside conclusions drawn by opposing views are not the same. You can certainly attempt to defend the practice of calling out round about insults in an attempt to discredit alternative views, but that is the point of the thread. To attempt to understand why those who consider themselves moderates would do so.
You either failed to read the OP, or you apparently didn't understand it. This is not a question of ignoring facts. It wasn't a rant opposed to evolution. And, I was commenting about those, apparently such as yourself, who fail to think beyond the crave of consensus. Those who think everyone must agree. This isn't a forum for evolutionary debate. It is religion and philosophy. Yes, it is necessary to incorporate all available data into a final view, but enlighten me. Where does the theory of evolution address philosophical questions? Where does it say that all must draw the same cosmic conclusion, or be laughed at and ridiculed by others? I missed the memo.
If laughing with some to the detriment of others is your idea of fun, far be it from me to put a damper on your festivities. A word of warning; I consider such behavior to be contributing to the attempt to clamp down on alternative views so my responses here may be considered offensive to you.
Edit. Who determines who are the sinners and who are the saints? I find that statement offensive in its intent.
I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, you and I seem to have lost the ability to communicate clearly, Emile. I'm sorry for that. You specifically mentioned in your OP those who seem to ''fear'' joining in open dialogue. I was pointing out that perhaps they are not afraid of anything. They simply choose not to participate.
In all honesty, much of what you say offends me. But that's my issue, not yours. And you may believe that I meant that I like to laugh at people to the detriment of others. What I meant was that there are many, in order to consider my comments even palatable, demand from me that I line up with their point of view or be damned. If that's what they think, I'd prefer to hold to my truth and be damned then.
As to how evolution and its discussion have a place in a religion and philosophy forum, it's because the majority of people who hold tightly to religious ideals argue vehemently against it because they feel it removes the credit for the universe from God. Other people try to point out that either, yes, it does, so there must be no God, or no, it doesn't.
You seem to have an awfully large chip on your shoulder these days, for pretty much everyone but Beth. Oh well. I am now exiting this conversation.
I have absolutely no idea how asking a question equates to a chip on one's shoulder, unless I fall back on my previous observation that for some bizarre reason open mindedness doesn't exist in the moderate camp.
I feel that both camps expect conformity, or they damn you. So, conform all you please, in order to find what you hope to be common ground. But, with each voice silenced your philosophy becomes one step closer to being the next target.
What alternative ideas? Do you mean the ideas written in a book a few thousand years ago which state the earth is only a few thousand years old when every once of evidence indicates billions of years?
No they don't.
While I like what you are doing here and you know I find you an interesting and complicated and intelligent person, the people you are defending here don't think for themselves (generally speaking of course). They don't believe evolution because of their faith, which teaches them not to think. You know that whole fruit from the tree of knowledge thing.
I'm not going to belittle others by claiming they don't think rad man and, again **bangs head in frustration** this is not about evolution. It is on conclusions of a cosmic nature one cannot honestly arrive at through information on evolution. We can all disagree on cosmic conclusions, but we have to either be honest and admit we don't have conclusive proof to cement our views, or we can attempt to hide behind a smoke screen. But, the smoke screen does not allow growth. It doesn't broaden knowledge.
I didn't understand your last comment. Why what?
Emile, It's those believers who claim evolution to be false for religion reasons who are bringing evolution into the debate. The ones how have taken the time to understand the world around them and think for themselves are the ones we can discuss the heaven with.
One of us appears to be missing some part of the dialogues on this site. It could be me, of course. But, since you have brought evolution up twice now; the zealous on both ends embrace standards of evidence within the argument so shady that they would never be accepted in any other circumstance, other than driven by the blindness associated with the emotions of love or fear. As long as there are multiple examples of evidence that are considered anomalous within the broader spectrum of the debate no one can, while claiming intellectual integrity, vilify another viewpoint. And that is exactly what we are witnessing. Not simply here on this site, but across society. 'Unapproved' thoughts on cosmic questions are broadsided with arguments unrelated. From my viewpoint, these are designed for the sole purpose of ensuring uniformity of thought. It is, while less violent than the Inquisition, no different from it. Evidence and merit are not the guiding principles within the dialogue. The thrust for conformity has replaced the desire for objectivity. Why? What are we afraid of?
Can you give specific example so I can understand your direction better please?
Well, I suppose your posts on this thread are a start. You accused people of certain philosophies of not possessing the ability to think for themselves. And although the viewpoints I had in mind when I started the thread aren't the viewpoints you think I'm defending, it doesn't matter. You have attempted to belittle them with your words. You have attempted to negate the value of their thoughts with your accusation. All, because they don't share your cosmic view. You have no idea how they came to the conclusion they did. You are assuming you do. You are assuming you think for yourself and anyone who followed suit would come to your conclusions. Unfortunately, those who share a cosmic conclusion run a greater risk of being led because no two minds are identical. You have acquiesced to someone else's conclusion. Which is your right. I'm sure you feel you have accepted compelling arguments. I just don't understand belittling those who have, in your opinion, done the same.
Edit. Was I supposed to be addressing the point I started the thread with, or the side point you brought up. If the latter, disregard my reply.
Emile, you are assuming I made assumption. You are doing exactly what you tell me not to do, but I don't make assumption, I ask for evidence and I ask where this information can from. Whenever someone makes a claim I ask for evidence and never get it. Just like I asked for a specific example from you so I came make sure we are discussing the same thing, but I don't get it. No evidence, no example and you claim I'm making assumptions.
Tell me, exactly, what you want. You and I have been talking about different things. I'm talking about conclusions that cannot be made and you are referencing specific things used to draw conclusions.
I'll answer your question when I know what your question is. But, indulge me and answer mine. You honestly think you have the right to make a judgment call which insults the person because you disagree with the conclusions? And don't side step the question. Accusing someone of not thinking for themselves is an insult.
And you think it's okay to tell me that I make assumptions about other people. Is that not an insult?
Look, when they freely admit to getting to the conclusion without understanding the topic I think I can freely say that they came to a conclusion without understanding the topic.
Give examples of the conclusions that cannot be made?
Actually, we all make assumptions. I freely admit it. I do have a problem when others do, but don't admit it.
My problem is that the term evolution is bandied about to support premises that can't be supported within a conversation on philosophy and/or religion. Primarily because human history does not necessarily fall into the neatly assumed package of mainstream thought. There is ample evidence of civilizations that may have existed outside of the accepted timeline of the development of civilization. There is ample evidence of knowledge possessed outside of this timeline; i.e. maps of coastlines ancients should not have known about, medical procedures the ancients should not have been capable of performing, devices and tools that the ancients should not have possessed the knowledge to develop, references to exploration that the ancients should not have been able to have done, archaeological finds that show ancients were in parts of the world they should not have been. Many of these examples, when found, are trivialized by mainstream science simply because they cannot be resolved to the hopes of maintaining a grasp on the already determined timeline.
These examples lead me to believe that open interpretation of our past is being bottle necked by those who want to be right and will attempt to be right at whatever the cost. Even if it involves misleading the public. And, parts of the public are buying into the hope by using the term 'evolution' to encompass a broad range of thought. Evolution is, simply, change over time. We have proven that not all things can be lined up with the time lines proposed. Until it can be, everything is still open to a great deal of interpretation. Calling names in the attempt to appear to be right is counterproductive to an honest search for knowledge.
Emile, but everything does fall perfectly in a timeline. We know when the dinosaurs died out and we know when anatomically modern humans emerged. They are always searching for evidence of humans before 200 000 years ago, but non has been found.
Rad man, I'm afraid I disagree on the fact that we have a timeline. And, if we do, indeed, have a timeline; we have serious problems. How could man have progressed to the point he did, so quickly, if any of the anomalous evidence is ever accepted? Worse still, what about multiple fossils dated millions of years ago by reputable scientists which contain human footprints?
I suppose we could buy into theories about aliens living here, genetically engineering the rest of us. But, that is somewhat unpalatable to me. I just think we have to leave the option open that we don't necessarily know as much as we think we do.
I don't see the timeline problems you are referring to. There is a clear gap between the last dinosaur traces and the first human (homo sapiens) traces.
Well, I wouldn't dare to argue that point. My problem is not so much in the fossil record itself; but in other areas of archaeological endeavor. The footprint thing may very well be explained someday. But, we have evidence of civilizations and levels of knowledge that go back much farther than one would think possible; considering the timeline agreed upon.
I think, my primary problem is that we seem to be jumping to cosmic conclusions when, in all reality, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of knowledge within the physical realm here on earth. I don't see where one has anything to do with the other. Yes, we have to take into account the things we know; but we also have to honestly accept the things we don't.
What cosmic conclusions? All I have said is that dinosaurs were earlier than humans. I think that has zero cosmic conclusions.
Yes. I know. I started the thread mainly because people do argue, at times, as if cosmic conclusions are possible from this information. It appears that there is a concerted effort to pretend that cosmic conclusions are not only possible; but have become foregone conclusions and any who disagree are somehow lacking.
you mean these dinosaur/human footprints?
There is no evidence of any humans before 200 000 years ago. There is no evidence that any dinosaur has been alive in the last (what is it) 65 million years ago. This is no the Flintstones and footprints in a solid material that may have not always been solid show nothing. Science has no reason to lie. Do you also think Big Foot exists in Western Canada and the US because of a few foot prints?
As to Big Foot, no. Not because of the footprints. Whether such an animal exists or not is still up for question. I may have already told you this; but about twenty years ago I saw a mountain lion in pursuit of a deer. Everyone laughed at me. It was quite the joke. Since, everyone knew there were no mountain lions in these parts. Ten years ago, everyone was talking about how I had seen a mountain lion ten years before. Why? Because all of a sudden others had seen them. It is no longer questioned as to whether they inhabit these parts, or not. Now, that was a known species in a fairly well populated area. It took ten years for anyone to see any more.
Big foot type creatures, in my opinion, could possibly exist. There is enough folk lore throughout the world to give me reason to leave the possibility open.
I don't remember arguing against the extinction of the dinosaurs. Or the evolution of man. What I am arguing is that you shouldn't be too quick to close the book on the possibility of new discovery. Or changes to accepted thought. Nor should you assume that any information we have is of such consequence as to have some cosmic meaning.
In my opinion, only God makes any such determination, but I have on more than many occasions been told that I will be frying in hell because I don't immediately jump to defend or agree with fundamental religious belief. Maybe you've never heard that, but I've heard it enough that I've given up fighting about it. In a very narcissistic way, did you seem to think I meant you in any way? I didn't. I meant the people it appears that you're arguing for these days. They've condemned me, and I'd rather be condemned for who I am than saved for who I'm not.
I don't give a hoot what anyone thinks. They aren't in my head. I am. I suppose it does appear that Iam defending the side who damns you. I'm not. I disagree with that side also. However, I see absolutely no reason to allow one belief free reign to attempt to negate the value of another belief, while passing off questionable conclusions as somehow superior to other questionable conclusions. They are beliefs until we have solid answers, no matter how much any may wish otherwise.
Emile, as one who tries to play it down the middle, you have boldly made yourself a target of the witch hunt, and I must applaud you for that. Good analogy, by the way. All anyone would need to do to realize the validity of your OP is take a truly objective look at the thread which I believe prompted this, "The Dispute on Evolution". In the OP of that thread, the first words below the title are "There is no dispute on evolution". From there, the OP nicely sets the stage and digs their heels in, with the premise basically that one must be stupid, ignorant, delusional, or all of the above, to disagree. At least the "witches" should be forewarned by this, as the OP leaves the impression that honest dialogue about evolution is not the intent, but rather seeking an opportunity to intimidate and silence opposition to this sacred doctrine, or for any who do respond, insult and ridicule them for daring to think outside the box of public school and academia's indoctrinations.
In the following 4 pages we see one attempt to present facts and valid arguments, by silverspeeder. What is the response? An honest consideration and debate of the points presented? No, most totally dismiss the presentation, with a couple bothering to comment about how laughable they found the first point to be, and how they therefore couldn't seriously consider, or even be bothered to read any of the further points.
So, true to the witch hunt analogy, it appears the thread was nothing more than an attempt to draw folks in so they can be told how stupid, ignorant, scientifically illiterate, delusional, etc. they are. Too bad there isn't a way to get an honest overview of the IQs involved, as I suspect the results would be telling, (and not in the way the self proclaimed scientific folk expect).
Those claiming to be all about evidence, will find little in those first four pages of any attempt by "evolution faithful" at open dialogue. Nothing exemplifies it better than the responses to Silverspeeder's attempt. I hope some folks will try and clear their minds before making a sincere attempt at objectively reviewing those first four pages, (all that was there as of this writing). Perhaps then, they will see just what this looks like to those they purport to want to debate with, as well as to those who don't have a dog in the fight.
I will still contribute on these topics in threads where it appears someone may be listening, but in spite of being named in that one, it was clear there was no point. So again, credit where credit is due, I appreciate your drawing attention to the issue, particularly when you yourself, were not the intended target to begin with.
I disagree that Emile is trying to play it down the middle. She has obviously developed a position, the fact that its the same position as yours might be slightly clouding your judgement. I also think that the reason she started this thread was precisely because she was not the target of conversation, instead of being in spite of that fact.
With that being said, an opinion on the intelligence of a theory is also a valid opinion. There is no more proof required for believing an idea is stupid than believing it is intelligent. There is no ban on expressing either of those opinions. Politeness is not required in open forum discussion and in fact has never existed outside of formal debates except at the discretion of the people involved in a discussion.
Internet forums are not formal debates.
You cannot force anyone to acknowledge validity of points, or even to listen to them. Neither action is required for participation in forum discussions. In short, no one has to give your (universal) opinions any consideration whatsoever. It is rather naive to think they do.
In addition, there is no witch hunt... no persecution. The fact that your opinions have been freely posted on a public forum blows the persecution theory out of the water. No one was hunted down. They CHOSE to post their opinions for public consumption. To say that someone is being persecuted or it's a witch hunt is like saying that a bull is persecuting a matador after he waves a red flag.
The root of the matter is a desire to be able to say whatever you wish while controlling the response to your statements. It's unrealistic at best, self-righteously indignant at worst.
This entire thread is hypocritical at it's premise. All things considered, it's not really all that surprising.
Emile and I are far from being on the same page, including in regards to the issue of evolution. In fact, some of the most scathing accusations I have received in the forums have been at her hands. I am not going to let that stop me from agreeing when she has a point, and here I believe she does. As for it being about her, not to any greater degree than any of us, (you included), like to draw attention to ourselves with our comments.
True, so it is okay then for me to comment on my impressions, correct? That is all I am doing, and the fact that I see disingenuousness in the conduct on the thread in question, is just one more opinion. Who am I begrudging their conduct? My not condoning it, is not censoring it. I do think if there were a video capability in that thread though we would have just seen lots of folks sticking their tongues out.
I am not, and never have been, under the illusion that anyone is listening. Back to our point of everyone throwing their opinions out for a bit of attention, perhaps? It is nice, however, when folks calling for debate, listen to that debate or explain why not rather than just proclaiming how "scientifically illiterate" their opposition must be, especially when the accuser's only evidence is typically that someone isn't buying the scientific interpretation of real facts, that they do. It seems the difference between interpretation of facts and facts themselves, is rarely recognized by those promoting certain perspectives that would be compromised by making that distinction.
Buzzwords and taglines in media are used to draw attention and illicit an emotional response. Looks like Emile's title to this thread worked like a charm. As for the implied drama the heading invokes, that is all part of it. She was just drawing attention to the lack of discourse in favor of insulting and demeaning the opposition. I appreciated the analogy, not in the seriousness of the matter, but rather in the comparison where it really didn't matter too much what the accused witch had to say in their defense.
I would say you completely missed her point. It was a commentary on the demeaning nature of the responses, not a call to silence them.
Failing to see the hypocrisy, I also miss the innuendo.
Coming from someone who resorted to calling me a troll because she couldn't support an unfortunate statement she made off the cuff; I'm not at all surprised that you are attempting to divert the focus of this thread.
Oooh... poisoning the well.
Nice. Not hypocritical at all, considering the thread.
Keep going Emilie.
Well, let's break it down. You missed the point. You have repeatedly insisted that you know what I meant, when I have repeatedly told you that you are not on target. You refuse to discuss the OP, but simply continue to post off topic comments. I realize this may be your idea of fun, however, if you can't discuss the subject at hand; I'll pass on future dialogue.
Good, self-righteousness always makes me vaguely nauseous. Have a good day Emily.
Oh, and I AM discussing the OP. I'm just not discussing the part of it you would like me to discuss.
Melissa, can you turn off your emotions for one moment and think? If so, let's talk. I, at times, find your opinion interesting and open minded. I'm not sure what set you off on this one but, trust me, you've misinterpreted something.
Emilie, the only emotion that I am feeling is boredom. I swear to God. I don't get emotionally involved in these conversations.
Personally, to me the personal motivations of a poster need to be considered in any argument. As such, I pointed out what I believed to be yours.
If you looked at your statements subjectively, you would see the inherent hypocrisy.
I don't know about anyone else, but I did get your point. My reading comprehension is quite good. I just think at it's essence, its basically a statement just like the statements you are complaining about. It's just from a different side.
Hunting the hunters doesn't make you not a hunter. Sorry.
This statement qualifies as a 'No duh'. Of course I see the hypocrisy, on some level, of the statement. I don't know whether you know this or not, but I think life is all about hypocrisy. The trick is openly accepting it and finding what the individual considers to be the appropriate balance in the hypocrisy. If every action contains a level of hypocrisy, you still have to live. You still have to act. You still have to stand up for what you believe to be right. And, I think a wrong is being done on both sides of the aisle. The fact that this thread is addressed to one side and those who feel they support it does not mean that I support the other side. It simply means that I, personally, think that the tactics used in the debate from the side addressed are unworthy of being included in a fair and open dialogue.
OK. So let's talk about that. Acceptable hypocrisy needs to be defined as these tactics in specific are being addressed.
"Character assassination appears to be the tactic most frequently used by those who want to ensure that only currently accepted scientific theories are used to draw conclusions in the realm of religion and philosophy."
Skip a sentence...
"These and myriad other machiavellian tactics have caused middle of the road thinkers to not only fear open dialogue, but to join the attack; presumably to avoid becoming victims themselves."
So let's talk about tactics that are unworthy of being included in a fair and open dialogue.
I'll go back to my poisoning the well statement here...
Do you not think that describing an individual as fearful and suggesting that they are joining in an attack is not a character assassination? It's a debate tactic called poisoning the well... It's also a logical fallacy. It attempts to discredit anything they might say in their defense, as it is to be presumed that they are speaking of fear of attack.
It is also a biased opinion that assumes, quite frankly, omniscience on your part.
It is also quite obviously false, as I personally don't fear any attack. Obviously, I could not give a crap less about your, or anyone else's opinion of me. If I did, I would have been moved by either (or both) your insults and your obvious attempt at false praise a couple posts up.
If an argument is proven wrong once, it is assumed to be a fallacy.
So basically, within one (albeit excessively long and windy) sentence you have essentially committed the very act that you were complaining about (hypocrisy aside) in the very way that you said was "unworthy of being included in a fair and open dialogue."
By your very own definition, your entire OP was unworthy of being acknowledged in fair dialogue.
The fact that I agree should please you.
And yes, were I to have the inclination, I could find several such examples of your responses being likewise unworthy of being included in a fair and open dialogue.
But bandwidth is expensive.
I'm confused on this one. Are you saying the tactics are, or are not, being used?
Aren't you taking this personally? Are you suggesting that the statement that some join the attack is referring to you? If so, why would you think that?
If it makes you feel any better; I've only occasionally considered your posts to contain a level of open mindedness.
LMAO. You obviously do, in my opinion, give more than a crap what people think. As you said, one likes to know the mindset of the poster they are responding to. Set aside you started the dialogue, in my opinion, in an insulting manner. Yet appear upset that I didn't ignore your attempts to insult. Then, you presumed to understand that which you didn't. And, to top it all off, you now say my praise of others getting the point was obviously false.
I suppose it could be argued that I don't know my own mind and should allude to the superior wisdom of meylisi (see, I can misspell names too. Although, I'm not sure why we are doing this) However, since I don't see any evidence of superior wisdom, only arrogant refusal to take into account any of my responses; I'll pass.
Point to ponder. Those who resort to arrogance without the benefit of reason to back them usually come across the opposite of the way they are trying.
Since you obviously don't understand the meaning of that sentence; I think we should leave the argument on that for another day; when you do.
Oh my gosh. Meelisi is complaining about others being windy. I suppose you don't see the hypocrisy in that? Or, are we simply going to look about and find the hypocrisy in others?
Grow up Melissa. You chose to take this personally. That speaks volumes. You said it all. Not me.
I've never claimed I hadn't over stepped my bounds at times. I would, if pointed out by someone whose opinion I respected, admit it. But, your bias precludes the respect worthy of having your opinion on the matter taken seriously.
An entire posts of personal attacks from someone who says such things have no place.
Yet not one answer to why you started an entire thread saying the bad people shouldn't attack others... and then immediately you do it yourself.
Once again, by your own definition, your entire post is unworthy of being addressed.
You might want to stop now Emile. You're showing your true self out of pique. And after all that work you put into your "I'm morally superior" persona.
Again, an attack without the benefit of reading anything I've written so far. I'm beginning to wonder if there might be an underlying problem.
And, Melissa you started the attacks. I honestly don't know what your problem is; but it is your problem. I'm more than happy to stop this pointless dialogue.
All I've read is a whole thread of you attacking others for the exact same thing you do.
And then more vicious attacks when you are confronted on it.
Yet you never address yourself doing the very thing you are condemning in others.
I've read everything you wrote. I'm wondering if YOU have.
I didn't start the attacks Emily. I just posted my opinion. Then you flipped out. That's strange behavior from someone who is so fair and open-minded.
You want to stop personal attacks and character assassinations on the forums? Try starting with yourself.
Pot / kettle thing going on here; I believe. I'll yield the floor to you from this point on.
Please do so.
I'll hang around just in case you want to insult anyone else who disagrees with you. Like maybe attacking Mo's intelligence again.
You know, just to help you in your goal of keeping personal attacks and suppression of opinions out of the forums.
Well, I would have left it at my last post; but now you have made another accusation. Do you have anything of value to add to the discussion; or are you just here in an attempt to needle me because you don't appear to comprehend the subject matter?
Edit. Out of courtesy, I went back and read through the exchange with Motown. Again, reading your posts has proven to be an entire waste of time. Your accusation is unfounded and unwarranted. Not surprising, considering your behavior in the thread thus far.
"You either failed to read the OP, or you apparently didn't understand it."
"And, I was commenting about those, apparently such as yourself, who fail to think beyond the crave of consensus."
Nope, no personal attacks or character assassinations there.
How can anyone possibly take you seriously when you tell them to do as you say not as you do? Since it's obvious that you have no interest in truly stopping such behaviors on the forum (or you wouldn't do them yourself) I have to believe there might be a bit of pandering and craving going on on your end.
But it's obvious you don't understand that. I think there might be an underlying problem.
Since Motown came into the thread in the manner she did; was I to assume she didn't consider herself referred to in the OP? If not, please tell me why. I can only go by what people say. Accepting that she considered herself as one of the people referred to is not an attack. Oh. Well, maybe in your mind. Since you have consistently refused to accept what I say. Maybe, I should just follow your lead and ignore the statements people make.
And, if she didn't address the question in the OP, how is it an attack to point out that she must not have read it, or didn't understand it? Unless, I should assume everyone is like you and consistently stays off topic.
Wow... such ethical cartwheels to prove you didn't make a character assassination that you obviously did.
I'm on topic... I believe the topic was using character assassinations and pandering was unacceptable in a debate.
My complements on providing an excellent example of that behavior.
You said yourself it wasn't about evolution. It was about tactics.
So yeah, I'm PERFECTLY on topic.
You are the one avoiding it... which is funny since you brought it up.
I'm likely not going to let this one go Emilie. Just saying. Blatant hypocrisy while preaching at others does need addressed. Maybe I should start a thread about it.
Melissa. Let's get one thing straight. Neither you, or Mo, were on my mind when this thread was started. I don't consider either of you middle of the road or open minded. And, I'm not apologizing for responding to Motown's statements. If she were offended; I assume she would be capable of discussing it. Since she didn't you appear to be, once again, making up things in an attempt to find reason for debate. Since you are not, in any way shape or form, winning this ridiculous debate; I wonder what possesses you to continue.
So, think what you want. You've already proven that facts don't bear any weight when doing so. Enjoy.
OK, so let's get this straight.
I absolutely do not care whether I was in your mind or not. I'm not taking this personally at all. I'm not defending myself in any way shape or form.
Self-righteousness and hypocrisy just annoy me.
That's really my only reason for continuing. It's kind of an ethical thing for me.
It seems to be a continuing problem with most of your posts. I just chose today to address it. I figure if you can make a whole thread about other people's bad behavior, you should be a big enough girl to admit to your own. Especially when it's the EXACT behavior you were complaining about.
You seem to delight in attacking everyone else's viewpoints and trying to prove your superiority. I guess I am taking equal delight in throwing stones at your glass house.
Melissa, I've had about enough. Since you didn't understand the reason for the thread and continue on this ridiculous line of attack; I'm going to walk you through it.
The thread was started because calling other people delusional, trolls, illiterate or uneducated simply for not arriving at the same cosmic conclusions when looking at the same data is not honest. The playing field is wide open for interpretation. Now, you and at least one other seem to think that my statement that those who join in the attack on other cosmic viewpoints are, in fact, attempting to be 'thought police' was referring to you. If the shoe fits, wear it. I could care less. You chose to try it on with your first post. I didn't shove it on your foot.
My statements within this thread could not, in any way, be construed as attempting to force anyone to come to the same cosmic conclusion. So, no, I am not being hypocritical on that point.
Your problem appears to be that you think I am attempting to tell you how to act. That is not 'thought police'. I could certainly be accused of attempting to set standards for behavior. And, I have already admitted that would be highly hypocritical considering that I have not always been a model of manners when in the forums. But, again, this has nothing to do with religion and philosophy so you are off base with your accusations.
Either way, for crying out loud, could you please find some other means of entertainment? You really are getting tiresome.
Since it appears that YOU are having some misunderstandings, let me reiterate in very simple language.
1. I don't care if you've had enough.
2. I didn't think this thread was about me. I don't care who it was about. I simply don't care. Can you understand that? You know since I've said it a couple times. Look the words up in your thesaurus if you are having difficulty. You seem to really want that to be the reason I confronted you. For you to accept that I'm really just telling you about yourself with no personal defensiveness on my part must threaten you for some reason.
3. Your OP centers on the behaviors of these people, not the evolutionary debate. YOU ARE DOING THE EXACT SAME THING. Did typing it bigger help? You do the same thing on a regular basis. Constantly. It's just the subject that is different, not the behavior. The irony is you calling other people out for it.
4. My problem is NOT that you are attempting to tell me how to act. That would be laughable. My vague annoyance is at the arrogance that comes into play with attempting to hold others to a standard that you yourself have no ability to achieve.
5. Doesn't it suck when someone gets tiresome? I feel you. That's essentially why I chose to say something to you about it.
Otherwise, I'll continue to post whatever I want about it. I really resent your attempts to suppress my opinion.
ROFLMAO. You have way too much time on your hands, or you are buried under a giant chip on your shoulder. I would say grow up, but I think we both know that would be a pointless comment. I won't bother to read any more of your posts. That should solve the problem here. Mine, anyway.
Cool enough, but your vanity won't let you do it. Since you also won't be able to respond without betraying that, just let me add a comment.
The problem I have with your post in general is that you SAY you are one thing but behave in a way completely contrary to the image you are trying to present.
Self-reflection might be a good thing. Since you claim to be open-minded you might want to look back over some of your comments and discussions.
You and ATM, you are cut from the same cloth. He posts in one liners and you post in novels but you both say the absolute same thing.
You are right and everybody else is wrong. At least he isn't compounding that by claiming to have an open-mind.
Kudos on getting the point. It appears to have flown over some heads. Oh well, the need to be accepted isn't in my stars and I can't begrudge someone their need to suppress their opinions in order to ensure others think they think. It's actually funny that, by standing up for those I consider unfairly maligned, I have been labeled by one respondent as self righteous. I thought I was attempting to be unbiased in my assessment.
Just reading this made me want to read one of your hubs. Not the topic, but the way you worded it, it was just so beautifully said that I wanted there to be more to read.
On topic, I suppose that they are not "open-minded," first of all, in the kind of all-encompassing way that most people are referring to when they use that term. Most people aren't open-minded to everything. There would be chaos. However, when it comes to seeking out the origins of the Universe and/or at least finding out how we originated on this Earth, the scientists who act that way in my opinion have lost sight of the nature of science. Science itself is ever evolving/changing as we understand more and more about the world around us. I do think it's right for them not to come to conclusions that can't be proven, but to choke the atmosphere for honest conversation isn't what a scientist should do. But at the end of the day, people are people.
However, a post I read the other day on the Huffington Post mentioned that the younger generation is actually more open-minded even to the idea of being openly scientifically-minded and religious/spiritual. Not sure what the numbers are, but look into it, it might interest you.
My own opinion is that it's possible that there is some sort of intelligence out there, but it is impossible to know that entity personally because of the nature of our emotions and ability to create that which is not there when we have our minds set on it, and sometimes when we don't. (Think about the nature of schizophrenia. People can grow up thinking someone was real, they could see them, talk to them, and who knows maybe even actually "feel" them and "smell" them, and then it turns out they are only figments of the imagination due to a defect in the brain. I'm not saying that religious people are defective. I am saying that the brain can be extremely deceptive. A desperate man in the desert will sometimes see that which he most desires to see.)
So you could say that I'm close-minded to ideas that are inconsistent or are later found to be inconsistent, but I am open-minded to the fact that maybe even the Universe itself may be some sort of intelligence, but it's likely I'll never know because such things are likely unknowable (I'm Agnostic).
Imo, the problem is that people cant see that science itself is mythology. Its a way of thinking about and making sense of the world. The only justification for the scientific way is that it supposedly works. However, that has never been proven and ofc it cannot be through scientific methods. Why? Because the whole idea of "works" is a metaphysical one.
Give someone a side to be on, a faction to be in, a group to be part of, and they will fight for it. I think this, like all human conflict, is a manifestation of the biological imperative to compete with 'others'. So I don't think there is a purpose as such, although people may try to rationalise their behaviour by assigning such purpose to it. I think they are fooling themselves. The same mechanisms that causes people to form cooperative social groups and compete with other groups for resources, is at play here. The only difference is that rather than physical resources, that which is being fought over is culture. Rather than a witch hunt I think we're in the midst of a culture war, which is amplified by the world wide web.
One of those mechanisms at play is the propensity to self-identify with a group. Technically our family is just a group of people we are genetically similar to. In practice they are an aspect of our identities, to the point where we are willing to risk life and limb for them. Apply the same mechanism to cultural ideas. People self-identify with beliefs; A world-view becomes part of who they are. So although we are not always conscious of it, a challenge to our world-view is a challenge to our very identity. In the same way we are willing to fight for our family, we are willing to fight (on web forums) for the cultural ideas we identify with, and the groups that share those ideas.
I don't think it is about deservedness. I think we are biologically compelled to behave this way (that's part of my world-view). We all have differing degrees of success in overcoming certain biological imperatives, but I don't think anyone is able to escape them entirely. We are not only at war (physically and culturally) with other groups, we are also at war with our very self. The thing that causes someone to label a theist mentally dysfunctional, is the same thing that causes someone to label a non theist a blind fool. Identifying differences between us and 'others', and assigning a negative value judgement to those differences, is a way to rationalise competing with them. The fundamental truth (that we are all materially the same) does not allow us to rationalise competing with others, either culturally or for resources. Such rationalisation could be a form of dissociation, without which the tension between our biological nature, and our self awareness becomes traumatising. So we behave this way because we are compelled to, but we rationalise it to avoid the existential trauma of what amounts to biological determinism. All in my opinion of course.
Trying to argue against evolution is like trying to argue against heliocentrism or gravity. All three of which, I shall remind everyone, are theories.
Yes, well, as long as we accept that these theories are theories devised around the information which fits the theories; without attempting to extrapolate conclusions in another area.
My primary problem is that many times, even when all scientific protocols are followed, if results don't fall in line with accepted theory attempts are made to trivialize the value of the information. The public will take notice. Not everything is written in stone, so belittling those with alternative views appears to be an attempt to pretend that things are, in fact, written in stone. Why would one, seemingly delusional, belief be of more value than another? Why attempt to steam roll consensus prior to the end of research? It comes across as New Age religion to me.
What you call alternative views are simply 'dishonest communication'. As long as you are not willing to make a honest communication where both sides understand each other precisely without any misunderstandings, there is no discussion either.
Gee riddle, please explain how we can move forward with honest and open communication. From your own post it appears that assumptions take precedent over any dialogue.
Look at Melissa's posts. The same holds true. When you can't start a conversation from a position of mutual respect there is no hope of open and honest communication. From either side.
Where does the theory of creationism address philosophical questions? Where does it say all must draw the same cosmic conclusion, or be laughed at and ridiculed by others?
The answer to the first question is, among theological scholars, most definitely. Among regular folk who accept the theory of evolution but also believe the Bible has some good information (although not to be taken literally), very likely.
I don't see many people (here) who admit to believing the two theories are not mutually exclusive and might both be true in different ways.
For that, I fully expect to be laughed and and ridiculed. Not by present company participating thusfar...
The reason I didn't sub categorize this under Christianity was simply because it doesn't, in my opinion, address the question of right wing Christian thought. This wasn't addressed at the creationists. I think we all have a good idea where they stand. This question was put forth in order to understand why open dialogue isn't supported by those who appear to advocate open dialogue. We know many things. We are still in the dark on many things.
Each generation naturally, assumes itself to be smarter than the last. I suppose you could say it is a part of our make up. I actually read a post the other day by someone who thinks since IQ's appear to be rising that our brain capacity is increasing. Failing to take into account the fact that the Flynn effect appears to be disappearing in developed nations. Failing to think about the fact that we change the information that our children learn at younger ages as we learn and grow. What this observation has to do with the question at hand is that we fail to attempt to understand that the how and why of life is open for vastly different interpretations. We are not at the end all pinnacle of knowledge. If we assume this position we lose the ability to explore the possibilities we arrogantly assume don't exist.
Unfortunately, this belief that we are smarter than the last generation has mushroomed into the belief that we are somehow better equipped to come to conclusions than our neighbor. Unfortunately, we are accepting conclusions willy nilly. We aren't in a position to minutely study, in mass, the entirety of the web of conclusions that we have accepted as truthful; in order to come to our final conclusion. Knowledge is not a house of cards; but it should be viewed with skepticism. When we attempt to negate the value of the observations and/or conclusions of others we aren't viewing our own knowledge with a level of skepticism. Without proof of our stand, without proof of the stand of another; should we not honestly admit it? Are we in a position to, honestly, throw out accusations?
Basically, what I'm getting here is everyone is allowed to have an opinion... as long as it isn't one that the OP disagrees with.
Because then we are hunting witches.
Instead of making threads to condemn those who hunt witches.
Because those who are hunting witches are wrong to do something that the non-witch hunters disagree with, like expressing opinions with surety.
Because non-witch hunters are absolutely sure that's wrong.
I stand in awe of those who are able to do philosophical back-flips while standing on narrow pedestals of self-righteousness. (See, I can use big words too. That proves I'm smart. The ability to use a thesaurus is always an indication of superior morality)
Indeed, Melissa. I begin to think we are all witch-hunters. The hunters hunting the hunted, and the hunted hunting the hunters (which would make the hunted the hunters in that case). Hm. I'm getting a little confused by all the bloviating in this thread.
But I guess I (sort of) understand some of what's being said, and I find that, while I don't agree with anyone on here on everything, I find something in everything that everyone's written to have some value or truth.
So, am I middle-of-the-road enough for everyone? Will I be judged by what I say? Am I to be hunted? Or do I appear to be hunting?
Actually, normally I am very opinionated. But I like to think of myself as "fairly" opinionated, in the sense that I usually have an opinion, will speak my opinion, but am fair enough to listen to the opinions of others. If, after I have listened to their side and find myself agreeing, I will admit to it. I usually don't have a problem admitting it if I find myself to be in the wrong. But if not, I will stick to my guns and generally end up agreeing to disagree. And if I can't decide upon which side to take on an issue, I will say I have to think about it. And if I think the other person is enacting the witch-hunt mentality that is being spoken of here, then I confess I sometimes respond in kind out of sheer exasperation and, I confess, perhaps a little bit of defensiveness (I like to think it's understandable... perhaps not entirely acceptable, but understandable). So... I am both the hunted and the hunter, I suppose.
But perhaps this kind of duality is not so reprehensible as all that (Melissa, I, too, find a thesaurus a most useful tool ). There are several quotes which I find to offer considerable insight: “Where there is an open mind there will always be a frontier.” And: “An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it." Thus we see that open-mindedness is surely a good thing. Yet, being too open-minded can be dangerous: "One should be open-minded, but not so open that his brains fall out." And: “You can have such an open mind that it is too porous to hold a conviction.” And being single-minded, having conviction about something (a nice way of saying opinionated, perhaps) also has value: “There can be no great courage where there is no confidence or assurance, and half the battle is in the conviction that we can do what we undertake.” (OK, don't ask me why I wrote all that... it seemed like a good idea until a moment ago, but what the heck... I'll just leave it - just because I feel like it. ).
All that being said, I believe perhaps Emile's point (in my understanding) was to wonder why those who claim to be open-minded and "tolerant" are anything but. I have often experienced this. I find it exasperating to be in a discussion with someone who is accusing me of being ignorant, self-righteous and judgmental because I don't agree with him/her, while at the same time they are bragging on how open-minded and tolerant they are towards everyone's right to have an opinion. It is especially aggravating when they spout off a plethora of fatuous affectations which only serve to prove how arrogant and imperious they are, as if they are better than everyone else (with the possible exception of those who agree with them - with them, they are amiable and gracious in their words and actions). They are, in a word, hypocrites. Yet aren't we all, to some extent? Again, we are both the hunters and the hunted. I suppose perhaps it's human nature (I imagine someone will want to argue about just what that in itself entails. I find that almost anything a person writes is fodder for mastication in these forums ).
Anyway, forgive any silliness on my part... what can I say? It's waaay after midnight (my predominant excuse for absurdity - if it actually is after midnight.) I'm just a little punchy. I should have been in bed hours ago...
Welcome, (while we have you). I expect your tenure here will be short, however, as surely a career in politics awaits you. Best I can tell, you just spent 600 words saying "I feel strongly both ways."
Ah, bBerean, you found me out. When I get into a writing mode, even I must admit that if there were a race to see who could use the most words to say nothing, I would probably win hands down.
But... a politician? No... I would need a teleprompter more than the Pretender that's in the White House now. Oops. That was probably a taboo thing to say since we're all supposed to be so tolerant of each other and not express any opinions.
Seriously, though, I am not a great orator. And I'm too thin-skinned. I wouldn't be able to handle all the media attacks. Fact is, I'm still trying to find my niche - even at 50 years old. Sad, huh? But I've gone way off topic, so I'll stop now. You're just lucky I have someplace to go today so I have to leave.
Excellent point that we are all, at times, the witches or the hunters. That is exactly right, imo. The problem is, we can't seem to see that. For those who are traditionally viewed as the hunters (i.e. the religious) I have no confusion. Where I get confused is when people claim open mindedness and then attempt to clamp down on other trains of thought. Are we blind to the hypocrisy? Or, are we hoping that no one sees it?
Emile, just to point out a tiny bit of irony... "For those who are traditionally viewed as the hunters (i.e. the religious)"... think about that for a minute. Doesn't that imply something? If you're confused about people who "claim open-mindedness and then attempt to clamp down on other trains of thought" maybe you could ask yourself why you imply that the religious are "the hunters." Coming from that side, I'd say it's the "other side" that are the hunters. But that is merely my opinion, I suppose. You are entitled to yours. Each "side" is naturally going to think of the "other side" as the culprit. It seems we are all wearing our black cloaks and witch hats.
Before you jump all over me, I know what you're trying to say... and I do appreciate it. But I couldn't resist pointing out what looks a little bit ironic to me.
I wouldn't jump all over you. I see what you are saying; however, I didn't say they were the hunters I said they were the ones traditionally viewed that way. But, if it makes you feel better then, yes, the statement could very easily be perceived as hypocritical.
Emile, I did consider that you said "they were the ones 'traditionally viewed' that way." But at the time, I also FELT that it expressed your own view. Perhaps I was mistaken. But whether I was or wasn't, you didn't actually say that it was your view, so I probably shouldn't have assumed. I stand corrected.
In fairness, don't stand corrected. At times, I do think that and at times I don't. As you said at first, sometimes each of us are the hunters and at other times the hunted. It all depends on the moment and the situation. Unfortunately, as evidenced by my protracted exchange with Melissa, some can't see that.
Typical of you.
That's why no one really takes you, or your act, seriously.
LOL. That's funny. Although I stopped reading her posts several posts ago. It's like with ATM. Sooner or later you simply have to accept the fact that nothing is getting accomplished and the only goal on the one side appears to be discord.
Im very good at counseling... you both just need to acknowledge that we don't always have to agree to like each other. You two just got hit by a big gust of wind and it knocked you both off course. A few angry words were said, but nothing that can't be considered water under the bridge. Let's move on cause I don't like it when my two favorite non-traditional believers/secularists don't get a long.
Well, sounds good to me. I think we live in a shades of gray world, so accepting that you can't always agree on things is part of life. But, it appears the OP hit some type of a nerve. I doubt you'll get an agree to disagree statement from the other party.
The other party is Melissa... and she still loves you. If you two can tolerate me, I know you can tolerate each other. It's cause you're both so strong willed and don't like to "give", but a part of being strong is not always having to be heard. "He who yells the loudest is always heard, but he who yells the loudest isn't always right." That's a very profound quote that I just made up. Try to use it a lot til it catches on.
Well, I might argue the love point. I've never gotten the impression she loves me. I'd be suspicious if she said it.
I agree on the yelling statement. Which is why I stopped reading or responding to her posts. If you can't come to an understanding, or agree to disagree, it turns into vain yakking. Which falls into the irritating, yet appropriate catch phrase 'Ain't nobody got time for that.'
Weird, I read "vain yakking" as "vein yanking"... which seemed much to severe a punishment for simply disagreeing.
LOL. Well, I hope you are right. I'd hate to be yanked severely. Although, my mind was in the gutter when I first read your statement. I was somewhat taken aback. Until I remembered my Mom's childhood threats which usually involved jerking our tails because we were acting, in her words, like monkeys; at which point I got your meaning.
She called you little monkeys? You totally should have reported her. You could have gotten her banned for a few days at least.
Have my mother banned? I suppose that might have worked, but there would have been hell to pay when she came back home.
I saw you got banned for the use of the word. Considering the context, I was surprised. The monitors can be fickle.
These are my "political views" for FB. I told you we were a lot alike.
"I believe that God is in control no matter who's in the White House. I believe that good and bad cross over party lines and there is no all "right" or all "wrong" in politics. It's a gray... dark, dark gray area and life will keep going no matter who's in charge."
Hmmm. It appears you feel the OP hit close to home. Sorry it irked you to the point that you didn't take the time to think about what it actually said.
LMAO... nope actually I was more aware of what it said about the poster than what the poster said.
You don't really have the ability to irk me Emilie. You do amuse me though.
I suppose misspelling my name is to be expected from an English major. Trust me, you didn't get anything other than what you wanted to out of this thread. Pity. I would have hoped that you might have been open minded.
Oh thinly-veiled petty jealousy cloaked in a superiority complex
This is fun.
It's not at all hypocritical to imply I deserve pity for expressing my opinion, you know considering the topic of the thread. It's also not hypocritical at all for you to imply that me not agreeing with you means I didn't get your point.
If civilization were to blow itself up with nuclear weapons today; What kind of evidence do we think will still be available to examine 200,000 years from now? When we consider the possibility of thousands of earthquakes, a dozen super volcano eruptions, maybe a couple of Ice ages, and the shifting of the poles of the earth. (I feel pretty sure that the equator will not be as it is today). Plate tectonics being such as it is. Throw in a couple of major meteor collisions. And a few things as yet unimagionable!
There might not be any evidence for them to contemplate, to prove we ever existed ?
Imagine ??? we may someday become nothing more than a myth!
Does the absence of any proof of our existence (in the future) mean that our version of reality no longer exist? Would this mean that we are but a figment of our own imagination?
Can reality be changed on a whim and the passing of enough time?
According to scientific evidence, our understanding of reality does change or evolve? As our understanding of a thing evolves, the thing itself evolves to some degree, cause after all: EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE.
Good point. I've often wondered the same myself.
Hey Jerami. Your thoughts are always interesting. How many times do you think civilization has waxed and waned? How much do you think is buried?
Thank you Emile R. ... I also salute you for your open minded comments which I find thought provoking and most often a more elequent expression of my thoughts as well. Thanks for saving me the trouble of having to say these things myself.
The Hopi (sp?) Indians say that civilization has risen and fell four times I think?
And I see no reason to argue with that.
The way things are going these days, I think we are due for another fall. It may be past that time?
Everything has its season … back in the old days the farmers and ranchers used to burn their fields each spring to get rid of brush and unwanted insects (eggs) so that the new grass can be much more bountiful, and the cows aren’t bothered so much with flys ticks and flees.
This is the only thing wrong with life today, Somebody needs to do something about the flys ticks and flees.
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