Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    1,716
    Location:
    Virginia, United States

    Where's the line?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Lea`Brooks, Aug 3, 2015.

    In my couples years as a member of this forum, I've learned where a lot of member's stand on certain subjects, such as religion, astrology, and psychic abilities. And I've found that these people are never shy to share their opinions. While it's acceptable to share how you feel, some people border on insulting while doing so.

    So my question is.. Where is the line between stating your opinion and insulting those who believe in things you don't, and why do so many cross it, often intentionally?


    For example, when some people share their opinion on god, they might say:

    "God isn't real. He's a figment of your imagination."

    That, to me, is purely insulting. It's an attempt to stab at those who believe in god, letting them know how stupid this person thinks you are for believing in a fictional being.


    What is so hard about saying this instead:

    "I don't believe in god."

    It states your opinion without putting anyone else down.


    Furthermore, to those who use the first example instead of the second, why? Does it make you feel smarter, more powerful than them because you didn't fall for the fictional being in the sky? Do you expect to change people's minds by being cruel to them? Why are you unable to state your opinion without being rude? Do you not care how other people react? Is being polite not in your capabilities? What's the deal?
     
  2. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    5,265
    Location:
    California, US
    I think both of those statements are statements of opinion and neither crosses the line, as far as I am concerned. Depends on how touchy the personn reading it is I suppose.
     
  3. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    1,716
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    You don't find referring to someone's beliefs as "imaginary" insulting? Imaginary means that it's all in one's head, and to me, that implies that you think the person is delusional or crazy. Am I wrong in that assumption?
     
  4. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    5,265
    Location:
    California, US
    It's still an opinion. If I say I don't believe in god, then I must think everyone who does believes in an imaginary being.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    If I say, there is no evidence to support that conclusion or that belief, people are insulted. I don't think it's rude to make a statement about the existence or non-existence of supporting evidence. That doesn't stop people from being offended.

    So while I agree it's rude to say directly, you believe in imaginary things, there's no way to state what I believe without implying the obvious:
     
  6. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    While I think confrontation certainly has it's place, you can also be a bit too confrontational too - and that's a lesson I've had to keep relearning. I'm rarely shy to hide what I think, especially in terms of literature - but in regards to literature I feel with two literature-related degrees and now working on an MA I've earned a certain right to say what I think. And I even think there are objective standards to literature that should be learned, even if they have not been properly defined recently.
     
    Lea`Brooks likes this.
  7. Adenosine Triphosphate
    Offline

    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    943
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    USA
    Unless stated in the most tentative way possible, expressing belief in one deity usually implies that the others are false, and it almost always implies that a fair number of opposing doctrines are wrong, because you can usually find many that clash with your own ideas. It might even imply that everyone who disagrees with you is going to burn in Hell, depending on what you subscribe to.

    The first two are just as "rude" as atheism, and the last is quite possibly the most vicious thing I have ever heard one human being say to another, even if it sometimes comes from a place of concern instead of hatred. That particular idea deserves no respect from anyone, least of all those who care about the theists that live under its boot. Many other, less violent beliefs are irrational as well, but so is my own sense of morality, so I'm not sure what to say about them. Few people have enough distance from emotion to keep knocking it down without eventually contradicting themselves, including me.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  8. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    1,716
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    That may be true. But wouldn't it be a lot more polite to say you're opinion objectively and allow them to make their own conclusions rather than outright calling someone delusional or crazy? Not saying you do this, of course, just a hypothetical question.

    It honestly makes me sad when people get offended by other people saying there's no evidence. Because there isn't. But there's also no evidence disproving the existence of god either, so to me, it's almost a futile argument.

    I agree with this. I know some people personally who intentionally go out of their way to insult people of faith, and I genuinely don't understand it. It seems almost like these people are trying to change the minds of people who do believe. And people who are firm in their faith aren't going to cave just because someone doesn't agree with them. So it also seems like a pointless argument.

    I just think that there are respectful ways to state your beliefs and disrespectful ways. I often find that many people don't even realize they are being disrespectful. But the rest of them simply don't care. And that makes no sense to me. Are people disrespectful on purpose just for the thrill of it? I honestly don't know.

    I also know people can offended by everything these days, so it's impossible to go through life without ever offending anyone. But it doesn't stop me from trying.
     
  9. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,841
    Likes Received:
    10,017
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Hmm.... I'm not likely to get a better segue than this, so here goes:

    (my personal opinion, not speaking for the staff)

    The Phenomenon of people saying "Free Speech" and actually meaning "Shut the Fuq Up".

    I have been with this forum (and other forums) since around 2008-ish. I have watched its personality change over time. I even left for a while myself when I was unhappy with the personality it (and other forums) exhibited at the time of my departure.

    When I returned to the forum I was gobsmacked at the pathological effect other venues like Facebook have had on venues like this one and others of similar structure.

    It's all politics, all the time, all up in it, and balls deep. And politics can mean simple, obvious politics like governmental politics or it can mean social politics or personal politics, things that have nothing to do with governmental or juridical matters.

    But, one underlying theme that most definitely is always present, is a cry from all sides that freedom of speech be protected... but only for the person/side/pov making the cry at the time. All others are to be ball-gagged and placed in the basement awaiting the return of Marsellus Wallace and his crew. And again, just to be patently and pedantically clear, this dynamic exists on both sides of any/every argument, Radical and Reactionary alike, which to me, are the exact same thing.

    So, where is the line?

    I can tell you where the line would be were I to have me personal druthers. Firstly, this subforum in which we are speaking would be made to evaporate, topics posted elsewhere that would have been posted herein, deleted as soon as seen, posts in other threads that would lead to these topics, deleted as soon as seen. All of the members whom are seen by the Silent Majority as either SJW's or Conservative Stalwarts would have probably been banned long, long, long ago under the premiss that their contributions are rarely outweighed by the kerfuffle they cause to the rest of the constituancy. In this, I am a cold and unfeeling accountant. It's all about that two column ledger, and making it balance at the end of the day. Feelings? Pfft. Nothing is more fair than math. To it, I will always repair.

    Now, just how draconian does that sound? Very. Trust me, I hear it myself. I have been accused of being a cynic and the accusation is a just and true one. People never fail to reinforce my cynicism, a cynical statement in and of itself, I realize.

    It is always an effort for me to give The People the freedom they want but never seem to actually deserve. And yeah, I know how ugly that statement is too. I do. But the truth is that we live in a time where "feels" are more important than "facts" to most people, where being offended is construed as a criminal act, and frankly, that is as culturally fuqed up as is possible while still retaining any sort of larger cultural cohesion. One need only look at the tragic direction in which American culture is headed, where groups are making themselves insular from the rest of society so as not to suffer the crime of being offended.

    sigh.... I remember when modding this forum was about keeping inappropriate flirting in check and handling spam, nothing else...

    So here's the deal. The People asked for freedom of speech, and their wish was granted. Do they always treat that freedom with the respect it deserves? Abso-fucking-lutely not. They manipulate it and prostitute it for their own means, ends, and wishes. Just like in real life. And, just like in real life, there are clearly different levels of aptitude as regards interaction with other humans. Sadly, the digital age has reduced this aptitude, in general, because of the anonymous nature of photonic discourse. Little chance that someone will pop you in the mouth and teach you a lesson in the age of the internet. And those lessons are needful ones. I grew up in the 70's. I know what a pop in the mouth feels like, both to receive and to give.

    So, what do we do? We grow thicker skins and we learn to deal. It's what I've had to do. I've watched uncounted threads in this subforum (and others across the general forum) dealing with homosexuality (an immutable facet of my real life) and watched people pull and post opinions out of their asses that make me think thoughts that are illegal in most civilized countries. But that is life. I run into such people in the "flesh world" and I hold my tongue and walk away because I'm far, far to good looking and fit to go to prison. I'd be traded for a pack of menthols before you can say, "Got a light?" :whistle::-D

    Many of the members who have the greatest number of reported posts and who themselves report many posts are a group of members (or a small number of groups) that all seem to orbit around one another, tidally locked, orbiting a common center. The hundreds and hundreds of other members who visit daily do not have the issues these small groups express, decry, and suffer. They don't.

    Why?

    Because they are here using the forum for its intended purpose.

    I get PMs all the time from members humbly asking me to help them with something technical and I realize that this member has been with us for a while, has tons of posts, is clearly active, and I don't know who they are. I don't know who they are because there's no reason for me to know them. They are here using the forum for its intended purpose and are quiet faces in the crowd. That may sound disparaging, but trust me, it's anything but. These people are strangers to me for the same reason that unless you're married to a cop or have a family member who's a cop, it's pretty rare to know a cop unless you're in trouble or causing trouble.

    So, what is the greater issue, I wonder? The addiction some members have to bluntly proselytizing their points of view, or the addiction some members have to other members? Honest question to which I do not have a ready, snappy answer.
     
  10. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    1,716
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    Agreed. As a pagan, I can't tell you how many times I've been told I'm going to burn in hell. I personally don't believe in hell. Does it exist? I don't know. I don't think anyone ever will. But to tell someone they are so sinful and live so poorly that they are going to be punished for all eternity is very disrespectful. And I lose respect in anyone who says it.
     
  11. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Your post reminded me of the old story of the man who has to act as the official censer and becomes the most depraved person in the land. I think the idea of liberty and freedom are lovely, but people really have to understand what they mean. Freedom doesn't mean you can do whatever you want in civilized society - and what even is 'civilized society'. I'd have liked to have seen what it was like for the Ancient Greeks, for whom the idea of 'society' simply did not exist in a way we would understand. You have a hard job, my friend.

    Also reminds me of the play Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt, and a scene where a particularly nasty inquisitor meets Sir Thomas Moore, and Moore says to him:

    Moore: You'd break the law to punish the devil, wouldn't you?
    Inquisitor: Break the law? I'd cut down every law in England if I could catch him!
    Moore: Yes you would, wouldn't you. And what would you do when you've cornered him? All the laws of England having been cut down so you could catch him?

    There has to be some set of rules, or laws people must agree to. Otherwise they are not fit to be in the symposia of an internet forum.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  12. Adenosine Triphosphate
    Offline

    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    943
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    USA
    That said, this place is actually amazingly civil by the standards of the Internet. I've seen a few individual circles that are less aggressive, but once you leave them and really step into the wild, everything gets very unpleasant very quickly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  13. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,336
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    Dude, I have been saying this since forever!
     
  14. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    5,265
    Location:
    California, US
    I guess the counter to that is this: If a person is religious and really believes another person is going to spend eternity in hell, then if that person had any compassion or concern whatsoever for their fellow human, the most rational thing they could do would be to tell the other person about it and try to persuade them to change. If you had that belief, you'd want desperately to save people from that fate, or else you'd be heartless.

    I'm not religious, nor do I believe in hell, but if I did I could sure see why I'd want to save people from it.

    But you have to separate those who really believe and are trying to save you out of honest compassion for you as a person (which I am tolerant of, even if they believe I am going to hell), from judgmental busybodies who really just want to place themselves in a position superior to you (which I am not tolerant of).
     
  15. Jack Asher
    Offline

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,053
    Location:
    Denver
    This is a very poorly designed graphic.
     
  16. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    I'm not sure I even understand what this is about.
     
  17. Stacy C
    Offline

    Stacy C Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
    This thread is an extension of my post #16 here: http://www.writingforums.org/threads/the-differance-beteeen-psychic-powers-and-magic.140657/#post-1360233 and a brief but contentious PM conversation between @Lea Brooks and me. If anyone here other than Lea finds post #16 'insulting', I'd like to know that and why. I consider things like psychic powers and magic to be imaginary in the real world (and said so), as I do the notion of god. In fiction, they result from the imagination of the writer. I'm not seeing an insult there, intentional or otherwise - just my opinion. Yours may be different, but I won't be insulted.
     
  18. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,336
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    It's a joke. When discussing astrology or religion, debates here are very one sided.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Whoa, hopefully the thread won't get locked before I finish my sure-to-offend-some-people-no-matter-how-I-word-it answer.
     
  20. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,336
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    Post 16? Don't see it
     
  21. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Oh yeah, I wonder why.
     
  22. Stacy C
    Offline

    Stacy C Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
    OP:

    "I'm curious to see your thoughts and opinions on the topic.

    Psychic powers, for me is someone like ninten/ness/Lucas from the Mother series of Nintendo games.

    Magic, on the other hand, I find to be Dumbledore/Gandalf type of magic.

    Thoughts?"

    My reply:

    "If you're talking about the real world, I'd say both are imaginary. In fiction, I'd agree that one major difference is that magic can be learned, and ESP is innate."
     
  23. Jack Asher
    Offline

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,053
    Location:
    Denver
    No, telling someone that imaginary things are imaginary is only insulting when they have a personal investment in their imagination. And if they do, there's nothing you can do about that.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  24. Kingtype
    Offline

    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Messages:
    8,949
    Likes Received:
    1,031
    Location:
    Right under your nose!
    Well personally.

    And I don't want to ramble a lot like I normally do, so Ill try and keep it brief but I think this world would be one hell of a boring place if everybody was always respectful with their opinions or politically correct.

    That's just as bad as a world everybody is a total asshole.

    I'm glad I live in a world where we all so different and the only downside is its the source of some very very nasty violence in the past and now, which is awful and I'm sure we all wish that kinda stuff didn't happen.

    But come on.....

    I think you learn a hell of a lot more about the world and even more so yourself in the kinda world we live in. You learn what makes you offended, what makes you happy, what you think is stupid and you learn where you believe.....learn what your line is I suppose.

    I'm bad at making points but it feels like we have a chance to get a lot more out of a world that has differences then one that's constantly filled with warmth, respectfulness and kindness or one that's always looking to put someone down to make a point.

    Instead we get both of those things to varying degrees along with several hundred other things.

    Up and down, up and down, up and down.

    That's how like it.

    I think while those other (made up) worlds might be nice and probably a lot less conflict, they sound drab and predictable that it wouldn't feel like you've gotten a full experience. Instead we got that life is a box of chocolate things going on or whatever.

    I don't know but I like ya'll dudes as being yourselves then anybody else (even if we disagree about everything), same goes for real life just feels more....human as opposed to us all always being always nice.

    Here's Johnny Cash

     
  25. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,336
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    That's also how I like it.
     
    Kingtype likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page