LogicalFallacy

Tolerance vs intolerance - where is the middle ground?

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46 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 

I assume that you don't think I've already tested the limits of the rules of the site in this way? If so, why wasn't I warned about it?  

 

And what's this business about defending his "right" to insult and demean people? Could you clarify that? 

What's your game here?

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On 6/15/2018 at 8:33 PM, florduh said:

What's your game here?

 

I took your posts as having a threatening tone aimed my way, in a vague, not so clear sort of way. And I'm just asking you to clarify if that's the case. I don't want to jump to any conclusions. 

 

Whatever the case, I'm drained from of all this. I've burned out before, and I feel it coming on again. I'm not arguing the right to demean people, if that's what you're saying to me. That would be a projection. I'm just arguing against the tendency of people wanting to take down free speech all the time now here in the US. And hating on people they perceive as hater's. It just isn't right, in my view. But it may be a lost cause, the whole thing, honestly.

 

And that national fight, I've projected at all of you. With some cocky aggression mixed in. 

 

I will apologize for doing that. 

 

I didn't mean to hurt anyone in the process. I suppose I got too riled up over the past few days. 

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Let me clarify.  I've been a large enough ass in the old days to test the rules.  Typically a time out for month or so to allow you to de-stress.  Ex-C is a very tolerant place from the owner/mod standpoint.  Reasonable is the operative word ...  J, you would have to work hard to get out of bounds.  Holler if I can advise.

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1 hour ago, Joshpantera said:

I took your posts as having a threatening tone aimed my way

Not at all.

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2 minutes ago, florduh said:

Not at all.

 

Ok, thanks. I'm burnt. I'm drained. I've been reading so much my eyes are sore. 

 

Guns are down. 

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2 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Ok, thanks. I'm burnt. I'm drained. I've been reading so much my eyes are sore. 

 

Guns are down. 

The serial offending assholes know who they are. I'm surprised you think you might be one of them.

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My unsolicited (and rambling and disjointed) thoughts:

 

Many have pointed out in many paragraphs that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and many of the people calling for strict rules on what can be said and what can't be said will have to follow the same rules as everyone else does. I hope they are aware of the unintended consequences of what they are calling for, because it would apply to them too.

 

It's nice that many of the members here are discussing the ins and outs of policing ourselves but ultimately the direction of this website will be determined by the site owner and his moderators.  Those of us riding the bus should feel free to tell the driver where they should turn, but taking trying to take the wheel and force a change in direction isn't appropriate.

 

Many of us take ourselves too seriously. Honestly, I've seen much more attempted coercion of thought and more attempts at placing guilt trips about declared sins against arbitrary beliefs, more dogmatic preaching of what one must believe in order to be accepted  by some people in some areas of this website than I ever did in any church.

Having said that, I hope I'm not guilty of doing the same. I might be, but I don't think so despite some of the heated discussions I've had in the ToT. 

 

BAA always avoided the political drama and virulent name calling and mankee feces slinging that some of us indulge in from time to time. He always defended the original intent and purpose of this website.

I wish I could live up to that example, but I don't always have the words for people first coming here or encouraging people that have just posted their extimonies.

So these days I mostly hang out in ToT, and that because I've been around here for many years and I know most of the other posters there and what they think. It's a good online hangout until we lose our sense of humor and like I said above, take ourselves too seriously.

Maybe some that are more concerned about what the recently deconverted think of this should spend more time assisting the recently deconverted and less time insisting that everyone agree with their political and sexual views?

 

There is dogged dogmatism on both sides of the political spectrum. I think we (and I mean we, not just you ) should all give each other a wide berth when these things come up. 

One thing that's been discussed is that ignoring a post implies consent. No, it doesn't. Jumping into it with name calling and demands of compliance for opposing views gives it credibility and the opportunity for the poster to add more fuel to the fire they started. It takes two to Tango.

Ignoring it is just ignoring it, and implies that it isn't worth responding to by virtue of your absence. You know, like 'when your phone doesn't ring, it's me'.  

 

What if we let ToT be ToT, and those among us who want a more formal discussion post here in the Colosseum? The rules, it seems, are different between the two, and not 'anything goes' here.  I'm not sure if the rules and mods would allow or want political discussion to be here so that's just food for thought. 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, duderonomy said:

My unsolicited (and rambling and disjointed) thoughts:

 

Thanks for your input Dude. I was hoping you'd contribute.

 

I don't have any problem with anyone holding any particular view and defending it. I think the issue arises when people are not so much defending a view or highlighting what they see as a problem, but rather posting flame content, or content so poorly worded that its reasonably foreseeable that people are going to misunderstand what is being said. I think its been mentioned several times, and you hit on it - discuss and disagree sure, but lets not be arseholes.

 

Remember with freedom of speech should come some responsibility to not abuse that free speech. Sadly some here have gone too far, hence this thread.

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This isn't difficult. The behavior that has driven away so many people is posts and topics that are intentionally inflammatory, insulting remarks and personal attacks. It's not about prohibited opinions but civility. Read the fucking rules.

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6 hours ago, florduh said:

This isn't difficult. The behavior that has driven away so many people is posts and topics that are intentionally inflammatory, insulting remarks and personal attacks. It's not about prohibited opinions but civility. Read the fucking rules.

Yes, but some of you are so fucking stupid...lol.  Sorry, I couldn't resist.  It's a control issue.  I'm working that out with the therapist...

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20 minutes ago, end3 said:

I'm working that out with the therapist...

I hope you're not spending very much on that therapist! 😜

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20 hours ago, end3 said:

Let me clarify.  I've been a large enough ass in the old days to test the rules.  Typically a time out for month or so to allow you to de-stress.  Ex-C is a very tolerant place from the owner/mod standpoint.  Reasonable is the operative word ...  J, you would have to work hard to get out of bounds.  Holler if I can advise.

 

This is a good example of what I was saying about avoiding an echo chamber. I like having believer christian's around. I support you in some areas, I oppose in others, obviously religion. But a pretty hard atheist, me, and believer christian, you, can get along just fine. Even to the extent of arguing points, we can get along just fine.

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18 hours ago, duderonomy said:

It's nice that many of the members here are discussing the ins and outs of policing ourselves but ultimately the direction of this website will be determined by the site owner and his moderators.  Those of us riding the bus should feel free to tell the driver where they should turn, but taking trying to take the wheel and force a change in direction isn't appropriate.

 

 

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On 6/15/2018 at 6:23 PM, Joshpantera said:
On 6/15/2018 at 5:04 PM, disillusioned said:

Just a general note: I think one of the wonderful things about being an ex-Christian is that I have left behind the notion that there is a prescribed path which must be followed. I think there are, generally, certain stages that tend to emerge in the deconversion process, but the idea that one who has been out for longer necessarily has a better perspective is not one which should go unchallenged. Those of us who have been out longer may recognize that newer deconverts are displaying "typical" behaviour, but we should not become dismissive, and we should never pretend to be superior. That would be claiming a position of authority. Authority on what? Not believing in non-sense? Please.

 

I was going to go off into some post about this, but I've dumped it.

 

Back to this, I'm not sure where these ideas trace back to in this discussion, but I'll guess at it. Older more experienced members have that, more experience. Is it a better perspective? It depends on what we're talking about. If christianity, then probably yes. If we think that greater experience means a wealth of knowledge over longs periods reading the bible, reading scholarship, and engaging christians in debate and learning all variety of possible outcomes. And more importantly, the experience to be quick with improv thinking in a fast confrontational situation with christians. All of this depends on context, basically. 

 

Now superior comes up here, I can imagine, because the word was used in this thread with respect to me pointing out that many of these left wing views like being intolerant of intolerance, represent a type morally superior attitude by the leftists applying this logic. And I pointed out that even more superior than that, would be to "tolerate those who are intolerant of intolerance." 

 

Or it comes up as inferred by the experienced ex christian having superior knowledge and experience, perhaps? Those are the only two contexts that I recall being discussed here. And if so, then in many ways, you, I or any number of ex-C's are superior in experience, for one instance, than "Joe Christian" fresh off the boat. And the point here is to try and help "Joe Christian," who's fresh off the boat. There's no need to make believe Joe's on equal footing in terms of experience or other relevant issues if he's clearly not. Equal as a person, of course. Equal in every way, obviously not. And what does it matter? If you're a newbie, then you know that you're a newbie and you're talking to other people who are not so new. It's not like you step out of church and suddenly in five seconds you're a walking beacon of all things relevant to being outside of christianity, hence, websites like this one with people of more experience volunteering to help out. 

 

As to authority, that doesn't necessarily follow. Admin and mods have authority, clearly no else does. And in terms of superior experience with living an deconverted christian life, that doesn't have to equal some type of appeal to authority at all. Unless we're cross using different definitions of authority. 

 

And the last bit about "church think," doesn't follow either. I don't know any churches that are concerned with helping people move from authoritarian orthodox thinking to free range, free speech and free expressive  libertarian "freethinking." I do however know "church think" to include excommunicating dissenting members, witch hunting, and other things which some people here are treading awfully close to. 

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11 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Back to this, I'm not sure where these ideas trace back to in this discussion, but I'll guess at it. Older more experienced members have that, more experience. Is it a better perspective? It depends on what we're talking about. If christianity, then probably yes. If we think that greater experience means a wealth of knowledge over longs periods reading the bible, reading scholarship, and engaging christians in debate and learning all variety of possible outcomes. And more importantly, the experience to be quick with improv thinking in a fast confrontational situation with christians. All of this depends on context, basically. 

 

Now superior comes up here, I can imagine, because the word was used in this thread with respect to me pointing out that many of these left wing views like being intolerant of intolerance, represent a type morally superior attitude by the leftists applying this logic. And I pointed out that even more superior than that, would be to "tolerate those who are intolerant of intolerance." 

 

Or it comes up as inferred by the experienced ex christian having superior knowledge and experience, perhaps? Those are the only two contexts that I recall being discussed here. And if so, then in many ways, you, I or any number of ex-C's are superior in experience, for one instance, than "Joe Christian" fresh off the boat. And the point here is to try and help "Joe Christian," who's fresh off the boat. There's no need to make believe Joe's on equal footing in terms of experience or other relevant issues if he's clearly not. Equal as a person, of course. Equal in every way, obviously not. And what does it matter? If you're a newbie, then you know that you're a newbie and you're talking to other people who are not so new. It's not like you step out of church and suddenly in five seconds you're a walking beacon of all things relevant to being outside of christianity, hence, websites like this one with people of more experience volunteering to help out. 

 

As to authority, that doesn't necessarily follow. Admin and mods have authority, clearly no else does. And in terms of superior experience with living an deconverted christian life, that doesn't have to equal some type of appeal to authority at all. Unless we're cross using different definitions of authority. 

 

And the last bit about "church think," doesn't follow either. I don't know any churches that are concerned with helping people move from authoritarian orthodox thinking to free range, free speech and free expressive  libertarian "freethinking." I do however know "church think" to include excommunicating dissenting members, witch hunting, and other things which some people here are treading awfully close to. 

 

What I was referring to specifically was your assertion to @TruthSeeker0 that she is still "in training" as an Ex-Christian. The implication of this statement is that there is a kind of end goal of Ex-Christianity, and that some of us are further along the path toward this goal than others. This is what I meant when I said that it could be argued that this is a kind of "church think". The church has a specific end goal. Some Christians regard themselves to be further along the path to this goal than others. The term "spiritual father" may be tossed about (or other similar terms, depending on which faction of Christianity we are discussing). Surely most of us have experienced this in some form or other. So the essence of the "church think" I was referring to is the idea that there is a specific end goal in mind, a specific path that should be followed, and that some are further along this path than others. This is not an accurate view of what it is to be an ex-Christian, in my opinion. It certainly isn't consistent with the notion of being a free-thinker. Free-thinkers, by definition, do not need to follow a prescribed path, or a specific set of rules. So I don't think it makes much sense to say that one can be an expert free-thinker. What on earth would that even mean? But even if it could be said that a particular person has become an expert free thinker, it definitely could not be said that others should strive to be achieve their own expertise by thinking like that person. That would be expressly not being a free-thinker. Hence, I think the notion that people can be "in training" as ex-Christian free-thinkers is not helpful, and also not particularly coherent.

 

Having said that, you know that I don't disagree in general with the idea that we grow as ex-Christians. In this thread, and elsewhere, I've expressed that I myself have grown significantly over the past seven years. There are things I can consider now that I could not have considered fairly in my early days. I've also said that I think ex-Christians tend to "over-correct" initially, and that this can limit the kinds of perspectives that they can consider. So I do think that, in general, ex-Christians grow intellectually as they move away from the faith. And there are certainly some behaviours, reactions, stages, etcetera, which may be regarded as "typical" for a newer ex-Christians to go through. But that does not mean that newer members here are "in training". It means they are learning. As are we all. Perhaps some members here have some insights to pass on in certain areas. I think that is the hope of the site. But this is very different from the claim that new members are "in training".

 

When I said that we should never pretend to be superior, I was referring specifically to the attitude which is reflected by the statement that someone else is "in training". If I am training you, then I regard myself as superior to you in some respect. Now, of course, in many cases, it is completely legitimate to train others. I'm a teacher. I do this all the time. If someone is my student, then I should be better than they are at what they are trying to learn. They are in training, and I am training them. This is appropriate, because there is a specific end goal in mind, and I do properly have a level of expertise that my students do not possess. I don't think that the same may be said of the ex-Christian journey. Sure, I have more experience than some newer members, and less than some older ones. But I'm not, in any sense, either an expert or a novice ex-Christian. I'm just trying to figure shit out as I go along. And so, I dare say, are you.

 

A major thing that we left behind when we closed the door on Christianity was the idea that there is an Answer book. No one has the answers. We are all making it up as we go along, and just trying to do the best we can with what we have. So, it is true that we are trying to help each other, or at least we should be. That's the point of being here. But if we begin to treat others as if we are training them instead of helping them, then we are claiming a position of authority. I don't think that this can rightfully be done. I've found some things that work for me. Maybe they will work for others, maybe not. They have to find their own path. I'll help them if I can, but I'm not about to pretend that I have The Answers.

 

Now, having said all of this, I do realize that you never said directly to anyone "you are in training". But you did suggest it strongly, and you gave the impression to some that this was how you regard new members. And you have probably not been alone in this, here and elsewhere. For the record, I don't think you were being malicious, or that your intentions were bad. You know that I respect you greatly as a member of this forum, and as a fellow thinker. Nevertheless, that sentiment was the inspiration for my "general note" that you quoted above.

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Lol @TruthSeeker0 is deconverted as fuuuuck!

You go TS!!! Whoop!!

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14 hours ago, disillusioned said:

What I was referring to specifically was your assertion to @TruthSeeker0 that she is still "in training" as an Ex-Christian. The implication of this statement is that there is a kind of end goal of Ex-Christianity, and that some of us are further along the path toward this goal than others.

 

I was confused by that because I don't recall using words like "in training." She's the one who posted that term at me and I began responding to it. I think that she took the assertion of being a newbie, still new, still learning what others already know, as "in training," and then complained that she doesn't like to feel that way. At least that's the context that I took it in. 

 

14 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Surely most of us have experienced this in some form or other. So the essence of the "church think" I was referring to is the idea that there is a specific end goal in mind, a specific path that should be followed, and that some are further along this path than others.

 

We need to consider this further. Is there no end goal in mind? There's no sense of wanting to be immune to returning to christianity? Just hey, let's talk to these ex christians for a while and then head back to church again? That may be the case, but a large majority of people often express the end goal of being recovered from christianity, with a large emphasis on not "backsliding" back in. This is like a recovery group, for christians questioning the faith and new exchristians struggling with it. Like AA or something similar. 

 

How could you assert that in the context of this reality that there is no goal, or that some are not further along the path of being away from their churches than others? I get that you want to make fair sounding statement, with good intentions. But do we ignore obvious points like the above in the process of being "fair" sounding to newbie type persons who don't like being told or even insinuated that they're new? Or threatening to leave if they are spoken to in those terms? It seems there's more to that discussion. 

 

14 hours ago, disillusioned said:

It certainly isn't consistent with the notion of being a free-thinker. Free-thinkers, by definition, do not need to follow a prescribed path, or a specific set of rules. So I don't think it makes much sense to say that one can be an expert free-thinker. What on earth would that even mean? But even if it could be said that a particular person has become an expert free thinker, it definitely could not be said that others should strive to be achieve their own expertise by thinking like that person. That would be expressly not being a free-thinker. Hence, I think the notion that people can be "in training" as ex-Christian free-thinkers is not helpful, and also not particularly coherent.

 

There's no rules to the above. And it's not parting ways with freethinking. It's a process of transitioning from "church think," where there are such rules and orthodox beliefs one much adhere to, into leaving that behind, and, essentially, being strong enough mentally and emotionally NOT to be subject to "back sliding" back into "church think." I can't find any rules to the path itself that would apply here, though. Certainly not that they must be atheist, nor that they must be thinking like a left bent liberal which should also be stated clearly is NOT what ex christian means. This whole thread is here because some people have threatened to leave unless their conservative opposite is shut down, basically. And I called that "church think," because it's witch hunting, pushing excommunication, and going in those directions. If that direction was won, then what's to stop it continuing until an atheist / agnostic, left bent political church of ex christian echo chambers is the end result? 

 

Now we'd have to consider what it means to say, "thinking like that person." Does that mean thinking a former christian is far along from christianity? Again this goes back to the last set of considerations about the purpose of the site and whether there may be some goal in mind, which is a loose goal, not too rigid, does still exists within the range of freethinking, but is what it is nonetheless. And if people FEEL like trainee's because of it, then what to do? 

 

14 hours ago, disillusioned said:

But that does not mean that newer members here are "in training". It means they are learning. As are we all. Perhaps some members here have some insights to pass on in certain areas. I think that is the hope of the site. But this is very different from the claim that new members are "in training".

 

 

Learning never ends, really. We both seem to recognize that. I think I learned something from you just last week. It can't end unless we cut ourselves off from it. But does that mean there is no training or that we're all in training indefinitely because absolute knowledge, as far as I can tell, is a carrot-on-a-stick and my own experience as an ex christian has taught me that through reading, research and discussions and dialogue with others who already understood that long before I ever did? 

 

14 hours ago, disillusioned said:

When I said that we should never pretend to be superior, I was referring specifically to the attitude which is reflected by the statement that someone else is "in training". If I am training you, then I regard myself as superior to you in some respect. Now, of course, in many cases, it is completely legitimate to train others. I'm a teacher. I do this all the time. If someone is my student, then I should be better than they are at what they are trying to learn. They are in training, and I am training them. This is appropriate, because there is a specific end goal in mind, and I do properly have a level of expertise that my students do not possess. I don't think that the same may be said of the ex-Christian journey. Sure, I have more experience than some newer members, and less than some older ones. But I'm not, in any sense, either an expert or a novice ex-Christian. I'm just trying to figure shit out as I go along. And so, I dare say, are you.

 

We have to shoot this back to goals, again. And experienced truth seeking, where training could be indefinite for all of us, as far as we know.  To me, learning and training are basically the same thing. These are good points anyways. I get that you want to see a fair outlook expressed and that's what you're speaking to. I don't want to argue to be unfair. That's not what any of this is about from my end. But some have taken it as unfair of me to say, I grant you that. 

 

14 hours ago, disillusioned said:

A major thing that we left behind when we closed the door on Christianity was the idea that there is an Answer book. No one has the answers. We are all making it up as we go along, and just trying to do the best we can with what we have. So, it is true that we are trying to help each other, or at least we should be. That's the point of being here. But if we begin to treat others as if we are training them instead of helping them, then we are claiming a position of authority. I don't think that this can rightfully be done. I've found some things that work for me. Maybe they will work for others, maybe not. They have to find their own path. I'll help them if I can, but I'm not about to pretend that I have The Answers.

 

Again, I don't want to argue to be unfair to people and I recognize you want a fair playing field for everyone. These are good intentions. That's what LF and I have been arguing throughout the thread. Fairness extended even to the extent of perceived bigots. As part of expanding one's world view, perhaps. So I don't say this to be unfair, the spirit is fairness. 

 

14 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Now, having said all of this, I do realize that you never said directly to anyone "you are in training". But you did suggest it strongly, and you gave the impression to some that this was how you regard new members. And you have probably not been alone in this, here and elsewhere. For the record, I don't think you were being malicious, or that your intentions were bad. You know that I respect you greatly as a member of this forum, and as a fellow thinker. Nevertheless, that sentiment was the inspiration for my "general note" that you quoted above.

 

Thanks for clarifying the general note. What I had to say originally (and perhaps even just now) was rough around the edges, yes. Pissed some people off. And I've apologized if anyone felt hurt in the process. But I'm not caving on the points I've been trying to make just yet. I just ask that people allow me the freedom to try and express them without threatening to storm off in huff, or rail to have me silenced or "excommunicated." 

 

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7 hours ago, Jeff said:

Lol @TruthSeeker0 is deconverted as fuuuuck!

You go TS!!! Whoop!!

 

😂 

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5 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

I was confused by that because I don't recall using words like "in training." She's the one who posted that term at me and I began responding to it. I think that she took the assertion of being a newbie, still new, still learning what others already know, as "in training," and then complained that she doesn't like to feel that way. At least that's the context that I took it in. 

 

We need to consider this further. Is there no end goal in mind? There's no sense of wanting to be immune to returning to christianity? Just hey, let's talk to these ex christians for a while and then head back to church again? That may be the case, but a large majority of people often express the end goal of being recovered from christianity, with a large emphasis on not "backsliding" back in. This is like a recovery group, for christians questioning the faith and new exchristians struggling with it. Like AA or something similar. 

 

How could you assert that in the context of this reality that there is no goal, or that some are not further along the path of being away from their churches than others? I get that you want to make fair sounding statement, with good intentions. But do we ignore obvious points like the above in the process of being "fair" sounding to newbie type persons who don't like being told or even insinuated that they're new? Or threatening to leave if they are spoken to in those terms? It seems there's more to that discussion. 

 

There's no rules to the above. And it's not parting ways with freethinking. It's a process of transitioning from "church think," where there are such rules and orthodox beliefs one much adhere to, into leaving that behind, and, essentially, being strong enough mentally and emotionally NOT to be subject to "back sliding" back into "church think." I can't find any rules to the path itself that would apply here, though. Certainly not that they must be atheist, nor that they must be thinking like a left bent liberal which should also be stated clearly is NOT what ex christian means. This whole thread is here because some people have threatened to leave unless their conservative opposite is shut down, basically. And I called that "church think," because it's witch hunting, pushing excommunication, and going in those directions. If that direction was won, then what's to stop it continuing until an atheist / agnostic, left bent political church of ex christian echo chambers is the end result? 

 

Now we'd have to consider what it means to say, "thinking like that person." Does that mean thinking a former christian is far along from christianity? Again this goes back to the last set of considerations about the purpose of the site and whether there may be some goal in mind, which is a loose goal, not too rigid, does still exists within the range of freethinking, but is what it is nonetheless. And if people FEEL like trainee's because of it, then what to do? 

 

Learning never ends, really. We both seem to recognize that. I think I learned something from you just last week. It can't end unless we cut ourselves off from it. But does that mean there is no training or that we're all in training indefinitely because absolute knowledge, as far as I can tell, is a carrot-on-a-stick and my own experience as an ex christian has taught me that through reading, research and discussions and dialogue with others who already understood that long before I ever did? 

 

We have to shoot this back to goals, again. And experienced truth seeking, where training could be indefinite for all of us, as far as we know.  To me, learning and training are basically the same thing. These are good points anyways. I get that you want to see a fair outlook expressed and that's what you're speaking to. I don't want to argue to be unfair. That's not what any of this is about from my end. But some have taken it as unfair of me to say, I grant you that. 

 

Again, I don't want to argue to be unfair to people and I recognize you want a fair playing field for everyone. These are good intentions. That's what LF and I have been arguing throughout the thread. Fairness extended even to the extent of perceived bigots. As part of expanding one's world view, perhaps. So I don't say this to be unfair, the spirit is fairness. 

 

Thanks for clarifying the general note. What I had to say originally (and perhaps even just now) was rough around the edges, yes. Pissed some people off. And I've apologized if anyone felt hurt in the process. But I'm not caving on the points I've been trying to make just yet. I just ask that people allow me the freedom to try and express them without threatening to storm off in huff, or rail to have me silenced or "excommunicated." 

 

 

Josh, I don't dispute that your goal is fairness. A couple of things:

 

I did not argue that we should not want to be immune to Christianity. In fact, I explicitly stated that there are certain stages which may be regarded as being "typical" for new de-converts. But this is very different from asserting that there is a specific end goal. Sure, I think it would be beneficial for us to all become immune to Christianity. But I am immune to Christianity, and I am hardly finished growing. This is not the end. It's another beginning.

 

Even if immunity to Christianity were the end goal though, it wouldn't follow that there is a prescribed path to that goal. We are different. We've had different experiences. We haven't all experienced the same type of Christianity. Some of us have suffered more, or differently, than others. We've been socialised in different cultures. We've been raised in different families. We've studied different things. And, as we move away from Christianity, we do so in different ways. I don't think 12 steps will cut it here.

 

This has relevance to the conversation we had a while ago about generalisations. You'll recall that I said that people don't like to be put into boxes, but that anyone will fit inside a box if it is large enough. I also said that we aren't that special, much as we might like to think that we are. The relevance is this: yes, ex-Christians in general go through some typical stages. But they don't always go through them all, and they don't always go through them in the same order. The box needs to be a little larger than that. But even better yet, I think we could dispense with the box altogether in this case. I'm not sure that it is particularly helpful to treat people who we are trying to connect with as if we are trying to classify them. We may find that that is an approach which causes conversations to break down.

 

For the record, I certainly don't want you silenced.

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7 hours ago, disillusioned said:

This has relevance to the conversation we had a while ago about generalisations. You'll recall that I said that people don't like to be put into boxes, but that anyone will fit inside a box if it is large enough. I also said that we aren't that special, much as we might like to think that we are. The relevance is this: yes, ex-Christians in general go through some typical stages. But they don't always go through them all, and they don't always go through them in the same order. The box needs to be a little larger than that. But even better yet, I think we could dispense with the box altogether in this case. I'm not sure that it is particularly helpful to treat people who we are trying to connect with as if we are trying to classify them. We may find that that is an approach which causes conversations to break down.

 

For the record, I certainly don't want you silenced.

 

I wouldn't think you'd want anyone here silenced. 

 

So basically going forward whether it's debatable or not, acting as though anyone might feel that they're "in training" could lead to people leaving. Point made. I'm not exactly married to putting them in that box anyways so it's easy to let that go. I've just noticed certain things about the way people act around here and there's a lot of wanting to apply the "helping ex christians" theme to leading people into all variety of directions, including not only atheistic and agnostic, or even pantheistic or panentheistic ones, but political directions as well. Which brings us to this thread of discussion. 

 

If ex christian doesn't mean atheist, nor does it mean leftist, liberal, or Democratic either. And perhaps that should be included in the statements as well. The people leaving have in common that they're upset about views they see as conservative and "racist," or "bigoted." And they want to shame these views and run around policing them from thread to thread. It has been stated that some of these opponents don't want people to get the "wrong idea" about ex -C. Or in a huff, proclaiming "let this place turn into a conservative cesspool." Followed by a rally to have something done about conservative sounding posters, being labeled "trolls." 

 

Altogether this makes for the very thing we've been discussing about thinking there's some 'ultimate goal' or path for ex christianity, which, denounces any type of spiritual thinking and even conservative thinking for that matter. And this same movement is behind the issue at hand about being intolerant of intolerance, bigoted against bigots, and other self contradictions that have been outlined so far. This all being waged from a platform of perceived intellectual and moral superiority, back by science and academia and so forth. 

 

My responses to this initial problem that I've seen arising lately consist of some "outside of the box" thinking on my part, as a fellow atheist and center, left of center personality.

 

Are the so called intellectuals really being all that intellectual about this, all things considered? 

 

Are the so called moral high grounders really on moral high ground all things considered? 

 

Do they reflect a sense of leaving Christianity but still retaining the mentality of isolating and punishing those who think outside of the accepted orthodoxy (left bent, materialistic, atheist and agnostic)? 

 

I've pushed back at this (as a peer, as one of these atheistic, center or left center people) and then you've pushed back at me, for pushing back at this. 

 

Let's keep track of how this unfolded and where we're at right now. 

 

We've discussed where I need to back off and be more fair, perhaps less cocky and arrogant, and try not to commit any self contradiction on my end. So now let's talk about how the people I've been critiquing (my atheist peers) may need to back off and be more fair and balanced as well. Or do you feel that they don't need to do the same? With you being a thinker I doubt you adhere to the latter question. But I've proposed it just for the sake of proposing it. 

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On 6/16/2018 at 3:29 PM, end3 said:
On 6/16/2018 at 9:10 AM, florduh said:

This isn't difficult. The behavior that has driven away so many people is posts and topics that are intentionally inflammatory, insulting remarks and personal attacks. It's not about prohibited opinions but civility. Read the fucking rules.

Yes, but some of you are so fucking stupid...lol.  Sorry, I couldn't resist.  It's a control issue.  I'm working that out with the therapist...

 

Humor and sarcasm noted.  Enjoy your upvote!

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My synopsis of the thread thus far, to be freely ignored by those unconcerned by my opinion:

 

1) We all recognize that dissent and disagreements will happen, but we should be decent grown up people when we go about dissenting and disagreeing.   

 

2) Everyone's opinion is worth looking at.  This includes the rabid evil leftists that want to take everyone's rights away as well as the normal and fully matured righties that want to take everyone's rights away.   :)

 

3) As BAA so rightly often said (not in so many words), we should be aware of what the lurkers think of us.  I have to say I agree, but on the other hand, being in a Hebrews 12:1 situation (surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses) is very uncomfortable whether in a Christian or an Ex-Christian way.  Maybe this one doesn't belong in my synopsis...or does it?

 

4)  Good points can be buried and thus lost under a barrage of too many words. Just an observation. Salient points are salient. 

 

5)  We should, as Ex-Christians, no matter where we were in our thinking when we found this site understand that new people coming here deserve respect by any and all definitions discussed elsewhere. 

Having said that, I don't worry so much about them being snowflakes. Touchy, scared, vulnerable, 'convicted', unsure of themselves, scripture fulfilling last day reprobate Hell bent sinners that never thought they'd be one of those people,  or angry 'blasphemers' spreading their new found wings?   Sure, but they aren't delicate. They can read, and rules that we should follow can also be read by them. Anyone smart enough to see through Christianity can certainly find the appropriate sub-forums here where they can talk religion, and not politics, sex, and so on.

 

6)  To the OP, or rather, to the title of this thread:  

 

Tolerance is tolerance. Intolerance is not tolerance. Let me say that again: Tolerance is tolerance. Intolerance is not tolerance.  There is no middle ground.

People demanding tolerance must be tolerant. Otherwise they are intolerant themselves and have no standing to preach or teach tolerance.  This has been pointed out already in this thread by people other than me.

Any "middle ground" is at best a paradox, because a compromise only goes so far and implies both tolerance and intolerance at the same time. 

 

 

7)  The best we can do is look for truth, and there's no need to be assholes while doing so. 

At the same time, it's ok sometimes, and in the right places to have some fun. Atheists need to remember that in 5 billion years or so the sun will burn out, and those of you that will live forever will wish you had Jesus in your hearts when that happens.  I know I will!

 

 

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Okay, y'all, I made it to almost the end of page 6 over the span of several days. I have been reading, thinking, liking posts, thinking some more, considering.....etc. I'm sure you're all really holding your breath hah. I'm confused about what to address, so I'm kinda referencing the OP with regard to freedom of speech, bigotry, etc. I think this site should be able to do whatever they want, mod-wise.....but we do run the risk of an echo chamber and we also run the risk of other people leaving who won't bend over for the evil commies. :P 

 

I want so badly for everyone to feel this sincerity, I am doing my best to listen and hear what you're saying, not just fight. I'm trying to get it, to consider your perspective. I am (most of the time) INFJ-T (I get INTJ enough to be relevant) which has been brought into this discussion. I know that this is not much of a science, but I do think it helps to see what kinds of things people value or whatever. I'm a weird ass blend of getting my feelings hurt easily and not giving a fuck. I think, ultimately "truth" should be pursued at the cost of feelings, but that being said, feelings are important too and they shouldn't just be written off. That puts me in a weird spot when my defense of free speech sometimes bites me in the ass. It really can hurt. It hurts my feelings most when people assume something from things I don't say or intend. I don't mean that in a trivial way either. I come off like a firecracker sometimes sure, but I do sincerely feel hurt when something I put a lot of thought into is written off or dismissed or misrepresented to mean something else. I think many of us understand this hurt or frustration. If something I never intended hurts another person, I feel like a piece of shit for hurting someone else and then feel even shittier that I was taken for the kind of person to actually try to hurt or demean a fellow person. I have no intention of ever using my words to purposefully hurt. I think it is important for y'all to hear that just because I, since I can only speak for myself, really and truly sympathize with some proposed concerns. 

 

- I don't want the newly deconverted to leave or never join because they are turned off by aspects of this site

- I don't want someone from LGBTQ+ (or any marginalized group really) to experience nastiness from other people in our species

- I don't want free speech, in general, to be abused by those who want to prove a point that they can use whatever the hell words they want

- I don't want to hurt other people, in general, lol.

- I want progress, I want the world to get better for all of us

 

We can truly agree on some of these concerns and fears, I just disagree with some other suggested problems and I also eschew the proposed solution of increased modding or censorship of people in general. Not one of us has ANY right to monitor the thoughts or speech of another, though this site can mod posts if they choose to do so. We cannot, as individuals, be responsible for everyone else's feelings all the time or see the future. It's exhausting to keep track of what offends who constantly, especially when you don't intend to do so ever. Furthermore, I'm confused about whether or not this is a "don't say hurtful things" discussion or not because it seems like a "don't critique [insert favored group here]" kind of discussion. I'm not sure which it is, but I'm certainly not trying to say hurtful things. I understand that many of you care deeply for people who are disenfranchised, that you want to be a voice for the unheard or to stand up against bullying because you are caring people. I find this admirable, deeply so. I think it's easy to misunderstand each other on this forum and I don't want to be misunderstood as saying something I'm not. Since I disagree fundamentally with some perspectives on this post about who is being oppressed and who isn't, where do we go from here? If some of you think, because I have voiced strongly anti-feminist opinions, that I am bullying a fellow woman for her opinions....when I'm not.....then my feelings get hurt because I wasn't trying to bully anyone....no progress has been made....and now both parties are offended and defensive. If you want to stand up for the oppressed, and I agree, but you claim [insert group] is oppressed and I don't......now what? We can't just claim our opinion as the true one, nor can we just be expected to roll over, nor can we start personally attacking others for lack of education or understanding. Why is there not a call for thicker skin, why is censorship the only one being discussed here?

 

We, as a group, have a tendency to over exaggerate how perceived bad status quo or social change will play out, I see this everywhere. "The gays will destroy the American family," "letting black people or women vote is going to lead to the destruction of America," "the LGBTQ folks may as well be stoned if we do nothing," "The democrats are going to tax us until we're basically communists," "the republicans are capitalist racists who, if they're elected, are going to make abortion illegal again and seek profit at the expense of the middle class," "if we make alcohol legal, the sin and debauchery will cause the lord to smite us," "if we make weed legal, they're going to flaunt it in our faces and those potheads will go broke laying around nothing and it will give our kids cancer," "Hillary's going to sell us to the devil," "Trump's going to bomb or nuke everyone," I could go on. In general, our perceived causes and opinions aren't often right to the extent we think or predict they will be. Maybe, members of the LGBTQ+ community are JUST FINE with these discussions, maybe those who are offended should speak for themselves that they have been offended personally. Maybe we shouldn't generalize the LGBT community because they are made of individuals with different opinions. I know Stephen Fry is a liberal homosexual male who is vehement about the historical repercussions of silencing speech.  For those of you who identify with the term "feelers," I'm trying desperately to explain that it really seems like only the feelings of certain groups are valued or it feels like only certain people's rights are worth fighting for.  When one group is continuously seemingly shit on by another people groups on behalf of still others, what will eventually happen? No one gets heard, certain group opinions are favored, the ones not favored stop giving a fuck about the feelings of the ones everyone cares about.  It's like fuck any mildly conservative person's opinion, who cares if it hurts their feelings compared to gay people's. Fuck any white person's opinion, they've had long enough to speak. Fuck any man's opinion, it's the women's time to shine. I could go on. It seems to me that some peoples' values, which are mere opinions, include generalizing about the hypothetical feelings or degradation of perceived oppression in others. When that oppression is challenged, it's like people go on the attack. If this is not intended, I get that....but that is what people like me are experiencing or feeling.

 

Instead of arguing with me (though I'm open to criticism of course), can some of y'all just see how we got there? Can we maybe all just acknowledge the other's perspective, without saying "you're right or wrong?" Can some of y'all understand why some of us start to feel less inclined to consider the feelings of others when it feels like we just get shit on all the time? Especially when many of us are NOT GUILTY of doing what some members of that social group have done. If I do a long drawn out post such as this, responding with "You're just mad you can't tell n****r jokes," is your right ........ but that's just not true. And that's deeply, personally offensive to me. And you either care or you don't care. And if you decide that you do care, but not enough to change anything, why should I? And if I decide to tolerate your offensive untruths anyway, that would be the point, right? I've gotten over myself a little and accepted that you have meaningful values too, so why can't you (generic you btw) do the same? Why must I accept your assertions, even if facts say otherwise, because of how it could affect a certain group of people? What gives anyone the right to label anyone else, in general, instead of tackling bad ideas?! 

 

I can say MEAN things and not hate Christians.

I say NICE things and absolutely HATE Christians. 

I can joke about Christians and, ultimately, mean NO OFFENSE or HATE towards them. Funny shit is funny shit, ask John Crist lol.

 

I recognize that many of you believe words have real power, so....what do you make of my comments above? In my view.....nothing ultimately happens. When we agnostics/atheists band together, we can make social change. But my individual words used for "hate" aren't really doing much. If a Christian screams and hollers that I have offended them, what do I do then? Shutup and not critique their beliefs? Apologize? Have I learned any sort of lesson, or have I internalized some frustration? Was it because of a joke (that I still plan to make?) Does calling them "atheist phobic" do anything at all? Are we christianphobic because we disagree or have extreme and vocal distaste for its ideology? Or do you think we are all educated enough to know when we're being told some bullshit with which we disagree? Am I hateful or committing a hate crime by disagreeing with a christian? I think, when bad ideas are not dealt with but silenced, you end up with "hate groups" like the KKK. People learn to find people who think like them before they make the same joke they would have before, calling names or censorship does nothing.

 

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23 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

I wouldn't think you'd want anyone here silenced. 

 

So basically going forward whether it's debatable or not, acting as though anyone might feel that they're "in training" could lead to people leaving. Point made. I'm not exactly married to putting them in that box anyways so it's easy to let that go. I've just noticed certain things about the way people act around here and there's a lot of wanting to apply the "helping ex christians" theme to leading people into all variety of directions, including not only atheistic and agnostic, or even pantheistic or panentheistic ones, but political directions as well. Which brings us to this thread of discussion. 

 

If ex christian doesn't mean atheist, nor does it mean leftist, liberal, or Democratic either. And perhaps that should be included in the statements as well. The people leaving have in common that they're upset about views they see as conservative and "racist," or "bigoted." And they want to shame these views and run around policing them from thread to thread. It has been stated that some of these opponents don't want people to get the "wrong idea" about ex -C. Or in a huff, proclaiming "let this place turn into a conservative cesspool." Followed by a rally to have something done about conservative sounding posters, being labeled "trolls." 

 

Altogether this makes for the very thing we've been discussing about thinking there's some 'ultimate goal' or path for ex christianity, which, denounces any type of spiritual thinking and even conservative thinking for that matter. And this same movement is behind the issue at hand about being intolerant of intolerance, bigoted against bigots, and other self contradictions that have been outlined so far. This all being waged from a platform of perceived intellectual and moral superiority, back by science and academia and so forth. 

 

My responses to this initial problem that I've seen arising lately consist of some "outside of the box" thinking on my part, as a fellow atheist and center, left of center personality.

 

Are the so called intellectuals really being all that intellectual about this, all things considered? 

 

Are the so called moral high grounders really on moral high ground all things considered? 

 

Do they reflect a sense of leaving Christianity but still retaining the mentality of isolating and punishing those who think outside of the accepted orthodoxy (left bent, materialistic, atheist and agnostic)? 

 

I've pushed back at this (as a peer, as one of these atheistic, center or left center people) and then you've pushed back at me, for pushing back at this. 

 

Let's keep track of how this unfolded and where we're at right now. 

 

We've discussed where I need to back off and be more fair, perhaps less cocky and arrogant, and try not to commit any self contradiction on my end. So now let's talk about how the people I've been critiquing (my atheist peers) may need to back off and be more fair and balanced as well. Or do you feel that they don't need to do the same? With you being a thinker I doubt you adhere to the latter question. But I've proposed it just for the sake of proposing it. 

 

Some very good questions here. Regarding the bolded, are we talking about people backing off hard-line atheism in favour of a more open approach to spiritual topics, or people backing off hard-line political stances, or.... other stuff? Just curious.

 

In any case, I think you are correct. Others also need to back off. Basically, I think that we should all try to be as fair and balanced as possible. I say this secure in the knowledge that I have my own biases, and I am prone to taking a hard line from time to time, and when I do, you and my other fellow members will call me out if I go too far. Civil disagreement is something I value very highly indeed. But the civility bit matters. Now, personally, I have a pretty thick skin. You don't need to play nice around me. There are lots of others here that are the same. But not all. And that needs to be ok. One thing I've taken away from this discussion so far is that there has to be room for sensitivity. It doesn't necessarily win an argument, but it needs to be considered.

 

I think we would all do well to consider the worst way in which our words might be taken, not just the best.

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5 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

Instead of arguing with me (though I'm open to criticism of course), can some of y'all just see how we got there? Can we maybe all just acknowledge the other's perspective, without saying "you're right or wrong?" Can some of y'all understand why some of us start to feel less inclined to consider the feelings of others when it feels like we just get shit on all the time? Especially when many of us are NOT GUILTY of doing what some members of that social group have done. If I do a long drawn out post such as this, responding with "You're just mad you can't tell n****r jokes," is your right ........ but that's just not true. And that's deeply, personally offensive to me. And you either care or you don't care. And if you decide that you do care, but not enough to change anything, why should I? And if I decide to tolerate your offensive untruths anyway, that would be the point, right? I've gotten over myself a little and accepted that you have meaningful values too, so why can't you (generic you btw) do the same? Why must I accept your assertions, even if facts say otherwise, because of how it could affect a certain group of people? What gives anyone the right to label anyone else, in general, instead of tackling bad ideas?! 

 

 

I'll acknowledge.

 

There's much to think about in your post. Some very good perspective.

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