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Old 05-25-2004, 11:59 PM   #1
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Big Grin A "religion" forum?

I know there are already heaps of forums and sub-forums, but I think a forum for open discussions on any religion, religious practice, religious text, etc would be nice. I know they're supposed to go in FYM, but FYM moves so fast already. It also seems to me more of a politics/world news type of forum and often turns into debates. Debates are cool, but usually don't work well with religious discussion. Also, religion is a pretty big part of a lot of peoples' lives. We've got a Mr. Pussy's forum whose purpose I have yet to figure out, but no appropriate place to discuss/answer questions about religion.
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:30 AM   #2
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I think there is going to be some resistance to making another forum, but many have expressed an interest in a more focused place for religion. I'd suggest we re-arrange FYM as it is now to be 2 forums, one for News and Current Affairs (Iraq will dominate it anyway) and then a second for social, religious and cultural issues.

It's the same problem as always though. So many requests and so little space.
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:08 AM   #3
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I think there is going to be some resistance to making another forum, but many have expressed an interest in a more focused place for religion. I'd suggest we re-arrange FYM as it is now to be 2 forums, one for News and Current Affairs (Iraq will dominate it anyway) and then a second for social, religious and cultural issues.

It's the same problem as always though. So many requests and so little space.
I agree, there ARE tons of forums, but if you consider what's already here and how little traffic some of the forums get compared to what splitting FYM or adding a sub-forum could get, it seems fair.

EDIT: for example, we've got an entire forum for New Media, and it doesn't even work! No one's posted there regarding the actual program in ages.
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:14 PM   #4
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I think any forum which is dedicated exclusively to religion is likely to end up like GIS did earlier this year, where the forum was dominated by one particular religion and some people felt unwelcome there because they have a different religion or no religion.

I also think that any forum where you prohibit debate is inevitably going to include only people who have similar religious beliefs. If you can't discuss and debate then people feel free to state their opinions as fact, which does not create an environment where people of all faiths and no faith feel welcome to participate.

I wouldn't be opposed to having a religion sub-forum in FYM, but I do think that it would have to be quite closely moderated and I would certainly oppose any suggestion that it should be a place where discussion and debate are unwelcome. Any time you prohibit intelligent debate of an issue you effectively say that anyone with an opinion which differs from the majority is unwelcome and I personally would hate to see that.
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Old 05-26-2004, 02:12 PM   #5
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Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
I also think that any forum where you prohibit debate is inevitably going to include only people who have similar religious beliefs. If you can't discuss and debate then people feel free to state their opinions as fact, which does not create an environment where people of all faiths and no faith feel welcome to participate.

I wouldn't be opposed to having a religion sub-forum in FYM, but I do think that it would have to be quite closely moderated and I would certainly oppose any suggestion that it should be a place where discussion and debate are unwelcome. Any time you prohibit intelligent debate of an issue you effectively say that anyone with an opinion which differs from the majority is unwelcome and I personally would hate to see that.
Oh, I never said we should prohibit debate! Debate is good and healthy. Just that a lot of religious topics don't fit well in a debate-type setting. For example, say someone started a thread asking for people to explain a certain religious passage of text or custom...it would just not fit with the rest of FYM. Kind of like how Zoo Confessionals and IO have similar content: random thoughts/concerns/confessions of people, but the tone and atmosphere of those forums are very different.
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:01 PM   #6
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Oh, I never said we should prohibit debate! Debate is good and healthy. Just that a lot of religious topics don't fit well in a debate-type setting. For example, say someone started a thread asking for people to explain a certain religious passage of text or custom...it would just not fit with the rest of FYM. Kind of like how Zoo Confessionals and IO have similar content: random thoughts/concerns/confessions of people, but the tone and atmosphere of those forums are very different.
Why doesn't that fit into a "debate-type setting" though? Presumably there are different interpretations of many religious texts or customs, why not allow there to be debate and discussion of them?

I think sometimes people (and I mean people in general, not you or any other individual) have a tendency to assume their religious beliefs aren't open for debate. Now that's fine if they choose to just keep their beliefs to themselves, or if they choose only to discuss them in a setting where they won't be criticised. However it's a different thing altogether if someone brings up their religion in a discussion in FYM: if you use religion as a justification for a particular political belief then you should be prepared to discuss and debate that just as you would any other political belief.

As I said before, I'm not against having a religion sub-forum, I just have reservations about it experiencing the same problems as GIS, where people who have different religious views feel unwelcome there. One of the best things about Interference is that it's a friendly and inclusive place and I would hate to see a particular forum turn into a place where people felt uncomfortable or unwanted because they have different beliefs to the majority.
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees


I think sometimes people (and I mean people in general, not you or any other individual) have a tendency to assume their religious beliefs aren't open for debate. Now that's fine if they choose to just keep their beliefs to themselves, or if they choose only to discuss them in a setting where they won't be criticised. However it's a different thing altogether if someone brings up their religion in a discussion in FYM: if you use religion as a justification for a particular political belief then you should be prepared to discuss and debate that just as you would any other political belief.
As I said before, though I probably didn't make it clear, I'm thinking of a question-and-answer type place. Like Kitten said in the Bible thread, she has some questions she'd like to ask and assumed by the tone of GIS that that's where they should be posted. Take for example, the Calvinism thread. Aaron's been asking me some good questions about Calvinism. The answers are NOT debatable. Whether or not he and I agree or believe the answer is correct is debatable, but if he were to ask "I'm just wondering what Calvin says about free will..." there is a right and wrong answer to that question.

Debates about religion SHOULD be kept to FYM. But if someone wanted to know why someone of a certain religion prayed a certain prayer, or what the Lord's Supper means to a Catholic - those are "lighter" topics that don't need a heated debate because they can be answered.

I have a lot of questions about a lot of different religions, but I'm reluctant to post them in FYM b/c I want an answer to the question, not a debate over what I'm asking the question about. In TGIS I could ask my question and get an honest answer without people attacking the answer, the belief, or the religion I was asking about.


Quote:
I just have reservations about it experiencing the same problems as GIS, where people who have different religious views feel unwelcome there.
I'm sorry if people felt excluded in TGIS. I'm still a bit confused over this b/c a lot of people said it became exclusive to one religion, but I don't remember people posting anything about any other religions, let alone being criticized for doing so.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
As I said before, though I probably didn't make it clear, I'm thinking of a question-and-answer type place.
I'm still not convinced that there are many topics which are simple Q&A type topics. For the sake of argument though, assuming that there are plenty of questions which have simple, precise, non-debateable answers, how much use would a forum dedicated exclusively to those questions get? Besides, if the question isn't open to debate then why would anyone fear asking it in FYM?


I also can't help but think that if there was a forum dedicated only to religion, it wouldn't be as you've described it, with simple and non-controversial questions and answers. I suspect that it would end up similar to GIS, where people ask questions which are blatantly directed only to followers of a particular religion, or post prayer requests and such.

Quote:
I have a lot of questions about a lot of different religions, but I'm reluctant to post them in FYM b/c I want an answer to the question, not a debate over what I'm asking the question about. In TGIS I could ask my question and get an honest answer without people attacking the answer, the belief, or the religion I was asking about.
I honestly can't see what people are so scared of FYM for. Yes, the debates sometimes get heated, yes sometimes sarcastic comments get thrown around, but it's not like it's an out-and-out war zone. Also, how many occassions were there when someone asked a question about a religion other than Christianity in GIS? I can't think of even a single occassion, which is one of the reasons people had a problem with that forum.

I guess I'm getting a little confused about what exactly you would want from this religion sub-forum. I mean it started out as being a place for "open discussions" and now you're suggesting it as being more of a "question-and-answer" place, which seems to imply that there isn't a need for discussion and debate.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees

Also, how many occassions were there when someone asked a question about a religion other than Christianity in GIS? I can't think of even a single occassion, which is one of the reasons people had a problem with that forum.
Yes, exactly. That's why I've been confused all along why people labelled it exclusive to one religion. No one else posted! It wasn't like certain people criticized other religions or intentionally drove people away. Somehow it just turned out that no one ever wanted to discuss any other religions. It's false logic to say a place is discriminitory just because only one type of thing exists there. Everyone was welcome and it would've been awsome if we had a more diverse representation of religions, but no one else seemed interested.

If it's really such a big deal, we can just drop it. I'd rather not start ANOTHER debate about it. I only wanted to suggest that it would be nice to have a place less cut throat to discuss religious topics without people constantly challenging (and often misinterpreting) everything everyone says. I realize life isn't easy and it's good to be challenged, but not ALL the time. That's why we have the wonderful FYM, to appropriately challenge us. I don't think anyone can disagree that it's possible to have VERY different discussions about the same topics; it's the content as well as the tone I'm talking about. There are already lots of forums on Interference that overlap, but have very different atmospheres.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Yes, exactly. That's why I've been confused all along why people labelled it exclusive to one religion. No one else posted! It wasn't like certain people criticized other religions or intentionally drove people away. Somehow it just turned out that no one ever wanted to discuss any other religions. It's false logic to say a place is discriminitory just because only one type of thing exists there. Everyone was welcome and it would've been awsome if we had a more diverse representation of religions, but no one else seemed interested.
I don't think it was that nobody wanted to discuss other religions, it was that the discussion was so dominated by one religion that anyone with different beliefs felt they couldn't participate. I remember martha made some really good posts about this very subject when we were having the first discussion about the purpose of GIS.

Quote:
If it's really such a big deal, we can just drop it. I'd rather not start ANOTHER debate about it. I only wanted to suggest that it would be nice to have a place less cut throat to discuss religious topics without people constantly challenging (and often misinterpreting) everything everyone says.
I think the problem is that almost everything about religion IS open to debate and challenging, at least if you're going to have a place that's welcoming for people of all different faiths. The only way I can imagine it would be possible to have a forum for religion which excludes discussion and debate would be to make it a forum exclusively for one religion and I don't think that's what Interference is about.
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Old 05-26-2004, 05:47 PM   #11
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Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
I don't think it was that nobody wanted to discuss other religions, it was that the discussion was so dominated by one religion that anyone with different beliefs felt they couldn't participate.
I'm sorry anyone felt this way. No one intended for anyone to ever feel excluded. People belonging to other religions were encouraged to post, but no one ever did.

Part of me gets defensive about issues like this b/c it reminds me of when I've been called racist just because the school I went to had mostly white kids and I am NOT NOT NOT a racist!!! On one hand, it would be perfect if there was an equal representation of religions among posters who actually posted in FYM or TGIS, but on the other hand, I think it's safe to assume that this forum being mostly made up of North Americans and Europeans, Christianity will (for better or for worse) be the majority. I understand completely what you're saying about people feeling exlcuded b/c they are in a minority, but please don't think less of the people that DO post just because they are part of a majority. No one was trying to push others out or make them feel unwanted. If I've offended you or anyone else, please let me know so I can appologize or explain myself.

OK, I'll stop typing off-topic.....
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Old 05-26-2004, 06:57 PM   #12
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I'm going to make this REALLY simple.....












No forum or sub-forum for religion (on it's own). I really don't have the time to deal with the headaches that would come out of that... nor do I see any hands being raised by the current team of mods otherwise interested.

I've thought about the idea before... and IF it were to EVER happen there would need to be RULES, innappropriate threads would be deleted/closed, and we'd have to have 2-3 incredibly unbiased mods... right... so like i said... IF.

Sorry.
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
I think any forum which is dedicated exclusively to religion is likely to end up like GIS did earlier this year, where the forum was dominated by one particular religion and some people felt unwelcome there because they have a different religion or no religion.

Funny, for all the complaints that GIS had become a forum for Christians only, there was no evidence offered that non-Christians had been excluded or treated in a improper way.
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Old 05-26-2004, 10:01 PM   #14
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Old 05-26-2004, 10:03 PM   #15
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this thread might be the perfect example as to why a religion forum would probably implode within seconds of creation.
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