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Old 07-19-2008, 06:43 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
Had he not said this:



I'd think Axver was overreacting a bit with his "borderline trolling" remark. But damn, the thread title + the above quote comes off as textbook trolling. Maybe he was trying to be ironic after all, but he's the only one who can answer that.
That statement could imply that his sole reason for titling the thread the way he did was to get more views/replies by being disagreeable (which, disagreeable does not necessarily equate to trolling, IMO), or it could simply be an offhand comment. And since he's the only one who can answer that, I'll shut up now.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:59 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by VintagePunk View Post
(which, disagreeable does not necessarily equate to trolling, IMO)
I agree with this, but it's not always easy to tell the difference. A "textbook troll" seeks only to agitate and rile people; he or she couldn't care less if a constructive exchange actually results, and in fact will probably be disappointed if it does. It's a diagnosis of motive, not style. However, if for example someone seems to be posting with an attitude of "Eh, this'll probably turn into another melee--but what the hell, at least it'll draw some attention to the topic," then the practical difference between that and trolling can get pretty darned small. Then there are those who are apparently so fantastically, incorrigibly clueless about the consequences of their posting style that, again, the practical difference between that and trolling can get pretty small.

I do think this thread title is an example of an unhelpful and unconstructive way to go about framing the topic, if a thoughtful discussion is what you're hoping for. It's clear enough that A_W doesn't in fact subscribe to such extreme generalizations, but that's beside the point; you don't have to think someone clearly believes everything they're saying to reasonably perceive them as indulging in some rather childish baiting, and in fact that awareness can make it worse because you then have to decide which is more self-debasing--responding thoughtfully as if nothing insulting had been said, or getting accusatory over what's probably mostly a sideshow. For many, one or the other of those choices will be the obviously preferable one, which is fine; I might suggest, however, that if you're smugly convinced any other response is unworthy, then you're probably being a bit arrogant and perhaps hypocritical as well (I mean "you" generically here).

That said, I don't think changing the title at this point is called for, and would prefer to see the discussion return to exchanges based on the far more useful original post.


(Ironically, as I type this my 9-year-old is singing Monty Python's Galaxy Song while finishing up his Talmud study, I kid you not.)
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:23 PM   #48
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Thanks, Yolland. Very evenhanded response.

I do not personally believe that A_W is a troll by making this topic, just that the title really doesn't help his case. He's welcome to make whatever topic he wishes, but I believe this one was framed poorly and IMO, it's not really a topic that is going to receive any thoughtful response anyway. But, ultimately, it's not up to me.

Continue as you were, everyone. I've said more than my fair share.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:26 PM   #49
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People who don't understand irony are stupid...

But are they theists
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:39 PM   #50
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At the end of the day I certainly don't think that all religious people are stupid, there are definitely posters in FYM (which is overwhelmingly supernaturalist) that are a good deal smarter than I am and probably better people to boot, I don't resort to ad hominem attacks and this type of thread serves a purpose of discussion.

I genuinely think this thread serves a decent purpose for discussion, it may mostly be a run through of the usual arguments but I have elucidated some details about why people have faith and possibly touched upon why I don't.

The assumption that I have a sneering contempt for people who believe is quite done away with in the opening post and in plenty of posts between posters like maycocksean and melon. I reserve that contempt for people that want to ditch freedom of religion to suit their purpose or use government force to get taxes to subsidise supernatural beliefs.
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:08 PM   #51
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I for one would like to know who makes up the crowd of fellow travellers around me, I can think of a few agnostics on FYM and people to whom religion isn't a consideration but I couldn't name any "atheists". In my day to day life I don't need to use atheism as an identity, I don't need to affirm it to everybody I meet and I certainly don't waste my time trying to convert people away from belief.

I am interested in the nature of belief, and these threads serve a purpose to that end, I would think that some other posters also walk away with a little wiser with a different perspective.

As far as equal but opposite there aren't nearly enough conservative fundamentalists on interference so it makes me appear as an extremist, even though my extremism pretty much covers freedom of thought and the freedom to believe. I like to think that I consider the implications of positions I hold as well as the reasons why I hold them and try to justify and convey them. Taking this sort of Socratic approach engages me, gets me thinking and it improves my ability to convey ideas, it isn't a case of being provocative in a juvenile fashion, it gets peoples attention and forces critical discussion which benefits all involved.

I have started a few threads which have been repetitive but in general I think that I am bringing in new material and make a positive contribution, I am not dragging down the level of debate and I am more than willing to be an antithetical anchor in most discussions, a position that has been left empty bar posters such as financeguy. If not for our type this forum would be a religious left love in where everybody respectfully agrees, in other words a total nightmare.

This thread has actually produced some solid discussion. That people think I would subscribe to views as infantile as the title is the funniest part. I may have a pattern in regard to posting on why people believe but only because it interests me, a behaviour common to all peoples that has a long history of investigation and a current process of being explained. One which I for some reasons lack and can't think about in the same fashion as as people who do or have believed in God. The closest I can get is thinking that UFO's were extra-terrestrial when I was a kid, but that vacuous thinking is dwarfed by the intrigues of the natural world. Thinking about why is rewarding to me, and it has allowed me to get beyond some attitudes that I was raised with.
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:12 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yolland View Post
I agree with this, but it's not always easy to tell the difference. A "textbook troll" seeks only to agitate and rile people; he or she couldn't care less if a constructive exchange actually results, and in fact will probably be disappointed if it does. It's a diagnosis of motive, not style. However, if for example someone seems to be posting with an attitude of "Eh, this'll probably turn into another melee--but what the hell, at least it'll draw some attention to the topic," then the practical difference between that and trolling can get pretty darned small. Then there are those who are apparently so fantastically, incorrigibly clueless about the consequences of their posting style that, again, the practical difference between that and trolling can get pretty small.

I do think this thread title is an example of an unhelpful and unconstructive way to go about framing the topic, if a thoughtful discussion is what you're hoping for. It's clear enough that A_W doesn't in fact subscribe to such extreme generalizations, but that's beside the point; you don't have to think someone clearly believes everything they're saying to reasonably perceive them as indulging in some rather childish baiting, and in fact that awareness can make it worse because you then have to decide which is more self-debasing--responding thoughtfully as if nothing insulting had been said, or getting accusatory over what's probably mostly a sideshow. For many, one or the other of those choices will be the obviously preferable one, which is fine; I might suggest, however, that if you're smugly convinced any other response is unworthy, then you're probably being a bit arrogant and perhaps hypocritical as well (I mean "you" generically here).

That said, I don't think changing the title at this point is called for, and would prefer to see the discussion return to exchanges based on the far more useful original post.


(Ironically, as I type this my 9-year-old is singing Monty Python's Galaxy Song while finishing up his Talmud study, I kid you not.)
Fair, although if roles are reversed I wouldn't consider it debasing to respond to this thread given the attitude of the opening post which was a soft (mis?)characterisation of some unnamed FYM posters coupled with an acknowledgement of my own ignorance of the experience of belief.

I have matured intellectually over the last few years and I think that it would be unfair to label me as contrarian, many of the positions I take are actually reasoned and justifiable and have a degree of consistency. The types arguments I may employ in a post bemoaning the latest attempt of a religious group to drag a publisher to court are often enough produced in a gay thread, in a manner I think is effective.

And if I must defend the title of the thread explicitly it's because I'm afraid people will think that I am willfully ignorant of my manner, the statement "theists are stupid" got people interested and has produced discussion; at least half of which was on topic. It was irony not mockery, the survey doesn't seem to have produced anything new but it was a good enough launching pad. The title itself might also be a base parody about what I think you all think I think (it's a joke built around theory of mind). A subtle reflection on the picture of myself as the stereotypical militant atheist who believes in nothing but his own superiority over everybody else and takes pride in the denigration of others, which becomes a question of motive, which I have thought about and have written about and seems a step apart from the "painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth" and the incessantly annoying born-again atheists who get converted by reading "The God Delusion", seem to carry the unquestioning mentality that they had towards their prior beliefs and aren't critical towards their ideas. If I was a genuine contrarian I would post a thread about the positive correlation between church attendance and education for mormons.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:35 PM   #53
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Well, I think the recent posts make it clear he wasn't trolling. . .

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Old 07-23-2008, 03:15 PM   #54
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1. IQ is not a true measure of intelligence...
2. Atheists who do a study will spin it in their favour
3. Theists who do a study will spin it in their favour

Therefore... this thread is unnecessary.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:01 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
Fair, although if roles are reversed I wouldn't consider it debasing to respond to this thread given the attitude of the opening post which was a soft (mis?)characterisation of some unnamed FYM posters coupled with an acknowledgement of my own ignorance of the experience of belief.

I have matured intellectually over the last few years and I think that it would be unfair to label me as contrarian, many of the positions I take are actually reasoned and justifiable and have a degree of consistency. The types arguments I may employ in a post bemoaning the latest attempt of a religious group to drag a publisher to court are often enough produced in a gay thread, in a manner I think is effective.

And if I must defend the title of the thread explicitly it's because I'm afraid people will think that I am willfully ignorant of my manner, the statement "theists are stupid" got people interested and has produced discussion; at least half of which was on topic. It was irony not mockery, the survey doesn't seem to have produced anything new but it was a good enough launching pad. The title itself might also be a base parody about what I think you all think I think (it's a joke built around theory of mind). A subtle reflection on the picture of myself as the stereotypical militant atheist who believes in nothing but his own superiority over everybody else and takes pride in the denigration of others, which becomes a question of motive, which I have thought about and have written about and seems a step apart from the "painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth" and the incessantly annoying born-again atheists who get converted by reading "The God Delusion", seem to carry the unquestioning mentality that they had towards their prior beliefs and aren't critical towards their ideas. If I was a genuine contrarian I would post a thread about the positive correlation between church attendance and education for mormons.
The only issue I would have with your threads attacking religion - and personally I do not find any of your threads 'trollish' in the slightest - is that when you 'attack' religion ('attacks' which I largely support and indeed find somewhat amusing at times) you do appear to turn a blind eye to politicised elements of one of the major world religions, one which in fact claims to have established its own state, and which as a matter of factual interest receives the virtually unquestioned support of both candidates for the post of US President - in so far as it claims to be better and more moral than the other theocratic states, but in my view, really isn't - i.e., Israel.

Accordingly, and without wishing to belabour the point, I cannot help but see an element of double standard in your posts.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:02 PM   #56
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I think militant and chauvinistic forms of ethnic nationalism, from both sides, are far more important contributors to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than 'theocratic' fundamentalism from either side. Politicized religious fundamentalism is obviously a growing presence among both peoples as well--the 'settler movement' in Israel and their counterparts in Hamas--but that's obviously not the prime source of conflict, nor has it been in the past. Likewise American Jews of the neocon-hawk persuasion, and I've known quite a few personally, are seldom particularly religious either; unquestioning ethnic solidarity would be a much more accurate characterization of what motivates them.

I don't think it particularly helps your case to try to attach that cart to A_Wanderer's assorted musings on creationism, religious meddling in US and UK school curriculums, research on the brains of religious vs. nonreligious subjects etc. etc. If he were constantly starting threads about fundamentalist Palestinian terrorists and their religious beliefs, I could see your point much more clearly, but that's not the case.
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:06 AM   #57
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Hey, God damn it!


I didn't say I was a theist.


I said I was atheist.

I not stoopid.
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