Insults anyone?

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

Do you feel it is appropriate to engage in insults, name calling or other ad hominems?

Yes:
6
29%
No:
15
71%
 
Total votes : 21

Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Keep The Reason » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:14 am

Ok, so Rian says this in this thread:

Rian wrote:You keep trying to police my behavior by telling me to stop being OT (according to YOUR definition) and even that I didn't need to give "further analysis" on something (who do you think you are to tell me what I can and can't say, especially when even by the furthest stretch of imagination, it's no insult?)


and in this thread she says this to me:

Rian wrote:But mainly, KTR, your post absolutely reeks of sarcasm from beginning to end, from the "Ah"s to the "Uh"s, and the "I've never seen before" and the "Cheer up" and the "we've agreed" - the list goes on and on. That's the bad thing - that a person could be just so mean-spirited to another person who is in a discussion in good faith. The good thing is that you've finally exposed yourself beyond any shadow of a doubt to be absolutely not interested in dialogue with me (and frankly, with most Christians here, from what I've seen). I've turned the other cheek many, many times with you, hoping that I could break through your sarcasm to the real person below and actually talk with you. Jesus teaches to turn the other cheek, but also teaches that there's a time to stop, because the other person has free will and it takes two to talk. So goodbye for now on this thread, and on the other threads, too, unless you change your behavior and speak to people with respect.


What are we to make of this other than it's a case of cognitive dissonance? Who is trying to police behaviors here? Frankly, I don't care if the theists come across as rude or insulting -- by doing so, they merely support the well made argument that one's religion doesn't in any way make them a better human being. Even if it were my sole ambition to "destroy Christianity" (and for those itinerant psychoanalysts out there, it's not my intent) I could never do as much insult to Christianity as Mitch does to it, for instance.

Oh well. It is what it is. I suspect there is not going to be any movement on the actions of these folks, and no amount of illustration is likely to change them or their inconsistencies between one person to the next. And, let's also note they will play other people off one another. Rian, who overtly defends Mitch and agrees with him often enough, likes to say my discourse is "unacceptable", but then she'll say things like, "I'd rather talk to those good atheists here who are not like you." I suppose she'll accuse me of "twisting" her words, but here's where she says that to me:

Rian wrote:My post to humanguy was a respectful answer to his question. Yours was anything but that - it was just a sarcastic, mean-spirited screed, filled with the desire to strike out at those with differing beliefs. You've made it evident on other threads that you feel very attacked, and at this point, it looks like all you want to do is hit back at anyone even remotely connected with those that you feel have attacked you. It reminds me of the people who treated Muslims badly after 9/11.

Anyway, best wishes to you and yours, and I hope you can get over this need for replying with sarcasm to a perfectly innocuous post. There are too many other atheists who can hold respectful dialogues around here - I'll be talking with them.


My take on such a reply is a fear to actually address the points made, but then to compare me to racists who treated Muslims badly after 9/11! I mean, come on-- is making that horrific comparison even remotely ethical? Some people murdered Muslims after 9/11. To be compared to such people is OFFENSIVE -- but you know what? She's the Christian. And it brings to mind a biblical quote:

Matthew 7:16
Ye shall know them by their fruits.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Rian » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:36 am

gary_s wrote:
Rian wrote:You say I keep missing your points, yet you keep missing mine.


Rian, all I'm asking is that you see something from some perspective other than your own for a change.
And I ask the same, Gary.

And I've even said that I see what you're saying, although I didn't agree with it. I don't have to agree with a perspective to see it.

And what you said was insulting to me, especially when I've said that I see how you're seeing it. It makes it sound like I can't see anything but my own view, when in fact, I think I'm particularly good at putting myself in other people's shoes. So will you apologize for this insult? Where does this insult thing stop?

Rian, you have a very unusual way of not escalating things. You are now claiming insult here because I labeled you comments as off topic. So, you defend your own insults, yet now you want to charge me with a new insult for arguing that your comments were inappropriate? This is crazy, and you say you don't like to escalate things. Your further analysis wasn't part of my question; I only wanted an answer of agree or disagree, no half-answers or qualifications. You were simply qualifying your answer and adding your support of Mitch's ideas. So, if you insist on this never ending spiral of insult begets insult, then we are simply done.
I don't know what to say, Gary. I'm not trying to escalate; I'm only trying to communicate with you. The problem is that we just don't agree, and I guess you're seeing that as me escalating. How am I escalating? I'm only making the point that we see what is an insult differently.

And I'm not doing any policing, either. I pointed out that the reason your post was so infuriating is because of it's insulting content and the fact that it had nothing to do with the topic anyway, so why post it? What's the point?
You tell me to see something from another person's perspective, but you can't seem to grasp that insults and even OT-ness are subjective. I thought it wasn't an insult; I thought it was within the bounds of OT, and I wanted to post it. It's that simple. Can't you see that people have different opinions on this?

The only point I can think of is that your true intentions are to cast out a subtle insult, to demean the ideas that I was posting. You may feel that it was appropriate, but I disagree and I do so on the grounds that I have seen you rage against such things in the past. And you will likely do so again and again. So, if you agree that an off topic comment laced with insults (as you admitted they were) is inappropriate, then it should be true of both of us.
"laced with insults"? My goodness, Gary, I NEVER "admitted" that. At the most, I said it might be slightly insulting, but only in the sense of any disagreement would be insulting. "Laced with insults" is really escalating things on your part, IMO. But we'll probably disagree again.

This is the comment that I find offensive. Just take it at that. What you consider to be a strange degree, I consider to be doing a good job of discussing a point. Just as we are doing with this topic of what is an insult. Either way, both of us are putting forth a lot of effort in debating this. So, am I doing this to a strange degree or you?
One more time - I think the personification is the strange thing, not the time and effort. Why can't you understand that? I've said it many times now, and it was even in your quote.

I guess if we can't even get that straight between us, we'll just have to stop talking. I don't know what else to do. Best wishes to you 'n all, but I'm stumped at how to communicate with you. So as of now, I'm done talking about that incident. We can try to talk here about moderation and things like that, but I have to call a stop on my part to discussing this incident.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Rian » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:39 am

gary_s wrote:Rian, I looked but could not find the posts you are talking about.
Second post on this thread, mostly at the bottom.

I wouldn't mind a moderator that might gracefully warn a member when he/she is being an ass.
I think we should give it a try. We can certainly toss it if we don't like it.

What might be even more useful would be a board where logical debate only is allowed, no OT or ad-hominems allowed whatsoever.
Or maybe just a part of the board can be that way. I, for one, value the OT-ness of internet discussion, as long as it's respectful of the thread starter and other members' opinions.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Keep The Reason » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:52 am

It's probably Gordian knot time.

Everyone should go to their respective corners, and drop all these back and forth accusations. Clean slate the issue for now, and then re-approach debate on actual Theist vs Atheist topics.
Last edited by Keep The Reason on Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Rian » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:10 pm

sounds good.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby gary_s » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:16 pm

Rian wrote:And what you said was insulting to me, especially when I've said that I see how you're seeing it. It makes it sound like I can't see anything but my own view, when in fact, I think I'm particularly good at putting myself in other people's shoes. So will you apologize for this insult? Where does this insult thing stop?


I hereby apologize for any insults I have cast, intentional or otherwise. How's that?

I don't know what to say, Gary. I'm not trying to escalate; I'm only trying to communicate with you. The problem is that we just don't agree, and I guess you're seeing that as me escalating. How am I escalating? I'm only making the point that we see what is an insult differently.


If you don't want an escalation and you want to make amends, then you could start by acknowledging that your comments that I've been referring to were insulting and not constructive and that you understand that that kind of comment is not constructive in a conversation. That would tell me that you understand my POV. The benefit of this admission is that I also know that this sort of comment is not to be tolerated and won't engage in such language myself.

You tell me to see something from another person's perspective, but you can't seem to grasp that insults and even OT-ness are subjective. I thought it wasn't an insult; I thought it was within the bounds of OT, and I wanted to post it. It's that simple. Can't you see that people have different opinions on this?


Yes, I know the difference between OT and insulting, and I am telling you that it was insulting. Since you assert that insults are mostly subjective, then you simply have to take my word on this. OT posts by themselves are not a great concern for me, but in this case it was more of a combination of things.

"laced with insults"? My goodness, Gary, I NEVER "admitted" that. At the most, I said it might be slightly insulting, but only in the sense of ay disagreement would be insulting. "Laced with insults" is really escalating things on your part, IMO. But we'll probably disagree again.


Yes, you stated that it was "slightly" insulting; poor choice of words on my part due to too much to say in a little time. But I think the salient point I'm making is this: posts that you know are likely to be taken with offense are likely to be challenged and likely to become a free-for-all. That's all I'm saying.

This is the comment that I find offensive. Just take it at that. What you consider to be a strange degree, I consider to be doing a good job of discussing a point. Just as we are doing with this topic of what is an insult. Either way, both of us are putting forth a lot of effort in debating this. So, am I doing this to a strange degree or you?


One more time - I think the personification is the strange thing, not the time and effort. Why can't you understand that? I've said it many times now, and it was even in your quote.


I really don't get what you are saying here, Rian. If you want to elaborate, then I'll be happy to read it and try to understand. Now, I could be completely wrong about this, but this is what it sounds like to me: "you are a crazy person for ranting on like that about science." I feel this because to defend a subject is not at all strange to me, not in the very least bit, unless one is using flawed logic or reasoning. In that case, it would become quite strange. My reasoning and logic has been sound. This is also why I reacted so with Mitch; his accusations hit the same nerve. I didn't post anything remotely controversial or outrageous, yet his rants accused me of rather coltish behavior, and you kind of did yourself when you say (again, vague as your statement was, it appeared to be directed at me) that I substitute science for god.

I guess if we can't even get that straight between us, we'll just have to stop talking. I don't know what else to do. Best wishes to you 'n all, but I'm stumped at how to communicate with you. So as of now, I'm done talking about that incident. We can try to talk here about moderation and things like that, but I have to call a stop on my part to discussing this incident.


This is how many of your conversations end with non-believers on this forum, Rian. You have said this to several other members. The common thread here clearly is you. I haven't had this kind of argument with anyone else except for Mitch. Everyone else seems to be able to behave. I mean this in the most sincere and non-threatening way, but I think you bring this kind of thing on with those whom you don't agree with. For my part, I've never said I won't talk to you or won't try to work things out. My door is always open, but anyone who comes through has to meet me half way.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Rian » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:52 pm

I said I was done talking about the incident, but after reading your post, some more things became clear that are pertinent to the issue in general, so here goes: (and feel free to ignore this if it's just too arcane for you)

gary_s wrote:
Rian wrote:And what you said was insulting to me, especially when I've said that I see how you're seeing it. It makes it sound like I can't see anything but my own view, when in fact, I think I'm particularly good at putting myself in other people's shoes. So will you apologize for this insult? Where does this insult thing stop?


I hereby apologize for any insults I have cast, intentional or otherwise. How's that?
But do you think that you should apologize every time someone says they're insulted by something you say, even if you don't think it's insulting? That's what I'm trying to work thru here, with myself more than anything.

I've always thought that a person should only apologize if they had malicious intent, but they can be sorry to hear of another person's hurt. Do you see the difference? What do you think?

I think part of the problem is who I am - I was an engineer in a highly technical field, and I did extremely well because I was very precise. Maybe part of the problem is that I need to drop some of that in conversations. But I prize truth so highly that it's very difficult for me to do so.

I'm very sorry to have caused you any hurt, Gary. I don't think I (or you, for that matter) should apologize if there was no bad intent, though. Is this being totally anal? I don't know, but I think it's good to think about these things, and that's part of why I value discussion boards like this.

Anyway, again, I'm sorry if I hurt you.

If you don't want an escalation and you want to make amends, then you could start by acknowledging that your comments that I've been referring to were insulting and not constructive and that you understand that that kind of comment is not constructive in a conversation. That would tell me that you understand my POV.
Here I'm going to get technical again - sorry, if you don't like it, you can stop talking to me.

1) "If you don't want an escalation and you want to make amends, then you could start by ..."
This is a problem that I see very often here - people will say, of another person, "IF you want such-and-such X, THEN YOU WILL DO such-and-such Y". But that might not be right. They may indeed want such-and-such X very much, but have a different opinion as to what will bring that about - in fact, they might very well think that such-and-such Y has nothing to do with it. So that's one problem that we come across - when one person tells another person that if they want one thing, they'll do another thing.

2) "... insulting and not constructive"
This, again, is a matter of opinion. I'll deal with the insulting part later, but it seems to be that you're being very vain if you think that you are the judge both of what is constructive coming from you and what is constructive coming from me, and also, what is constructive for the whole board. You're saying flat-out that what I said was not constructive? Why do you think you should have the final word on that?

Yes, I know the difference between OT and insulting, and I am telling you that it was insulting. Since you assert that insults are mostly subjective, then you simply have to take my word on this.
But where does this stop? A person can feel insulted continually; should the other person be continually apologizing? Where is the line drawn?

Yes, you stated that it was "slightly" insulting; poor choice of words on my part due to too much to say in a little time.
For about the 5th time, what I said was this: "So yes, it was slightly insulting, but in the sense of "I think you're doing something wrong", not a personal insult." What I mean is that people feel insulted when someone tells them they're doing something wrong, even if it's said politely and it's true. And I think that is vastly different than an intentional personal insult.

But I think the salient point I'm making is this: posts that you know are likely to be taken with offense are likely to be challenged and likely to become a free-for-all. That's all I'm saying.
I agree with you there, but again, what are the other options? We could talk about things we agree with all day long and there won't be problems, but I don't think anyone wants that.

Rats, just got interrupted - gtg, sorry ...
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Keep The Reason » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:51 pm

But where does this stop? A person can feel insulted continually; should the other person be continually apologizing? Where is the line drawn?


How about this?

It stops when we decide for ourselves to stop it, and we stop expecting the other person to do anything.

I don't need any apologies from anyone about anything. it's just not important, and it is effectively meaningless in a bigger picture sort of way. It's just not on my radar. If people reading my posts think I'm a douche, then so be it. I can live with that, and I'm not about to apologize on an online forum for someone reading into what I say On occasion, like every human alive, I will douche up on something. At the same time, I don't give a rat's ass about anyone else apologizing. Primarily because I think we represent ourselves and our worldviews by our behavior.

I'm certainly not shy about criticizing people and arguments. If the people to whom that is directed to want to take that as me being rude, that's fine. What really matters to me is those silent lurkers-- and what I want to represent to them is my authentic self: I will rip apart arguments and analyze them to the best of my ability. And when people are hypocrites, jerks, or douches, I will call them out on it.

Now, when I read a person like mitch approaching the way he does, and, when that approach results in person after person telling him, "you are a douche", why do I care if he apologizes? He's doing my argument huge favor. The more of a jerk he is, the more readers can say, "Man, look at what Christianity has made that guy into!" Hell, that saves me a lot of typing out arguments as to the pros and cons of a religious upbringing and one's moral compass. So, I'm going to thank mitch for his approach -- Thank you!

It's even better that he also has me on ignore. Because it's a coward's way to behave, and now that is illustrated on his side of the fence as well. I may not roll over for theistic arguments, but I certainly can't be called closed minded when mitch won't even engage me! And I can still riposte his arguments, and point out his misbehavior. And the price to pay? Mitch is silent towards me so I am not even the recipient of his misanthropic approach anymore! It's a win-win for me, and a lose-lose for him.

So please. Don't apologize, and never change. Stay just the way you are mitch my man. And for me, I am addressing the consequence of these dynamics, and nothing more. So, that'll do for me in this thread unless something that enlarges it comes about. But at this point, I'm gonna go back to my corner and focus on other things.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby gary_s » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:34 am

OK, I posted this before I went back and read the prior post by Rian, so please take that into consideration. I can tell from her prior poss that she is making an attempt that I have not seen before, so much of the contents of this post have now been nullified.

Keep The Reason wrote:It's probably Gordian knot time.

Everyone should go to their respective corners, and drop all these back and forth accusations. Clean slate the issue for now, and then re-approach debate on actual Theist vs Atheist topics.


Upon reflection, I realized that situations like this resemble something other than a gordian knot, and that is the prisoners delimma. The paradox is that if two people begin by cooperating, then one person rats out on the other (slights the other in this case), which results in a complaint and likely a slight, so then the best approach is for each person is to always mimic the actions of the other, so you get this kind of tit for tat with little likelihood that the situation will return to the original cooperation.

What I have never seen from Rian is a spirit of forgiveness. I see a great deal of pleas from her for a nicer, more cooperative community, which I think is admirable. But when she makes a mistake and says something that is taken as offensive, what I typically see from her is only a defense of that statement as not at all insulting. Yet I also have seen her take offense at comments that were of a similar nature (and I'm judging this on comments from others that I've read, not things that I have said). So, Rian clearly has a problem with wanting things only her way. She doesn't want people to be snarky and offensive on this forum, but she wants the latitude to make comments of her own with immunity. I say this because, again, any complaint against her is always rejected. I don't think this is fair. If Rian believes that she is the judge of what offends her, then she must also defer to others the judgment of what is offensive to them and be willing to accept responsibility for her actions. When I see her do this, I'll be convinced that she is truly sincere. But so far, I have not seen this.

**Edit: clearly Rian has now taking this step and I deeply appreciate it.

Mitch is very similar in this regard, but goes even one step farther with it, claiming that he is not bothered by offensive comments and basically ignores them, which I know to be an inaccurate statement at best because I've seen him react to something I've said before that was not meant as an insult. Mitch also seems to believe that he has a certain personal exemption from offenses in that he feels entitled to make offensive remarks if he feels they are warranted to adequately marginalize his opponent's argument. IOW, he often feels like the argument he opposes simply deserves nothing more than derision and demeaning remarks, and these often spill over into comments about the person making the argument. This may be a justifiable position to take, but I find it rather hard to believe that Mitch can never be wrong in his own arguments and thus never deserving of equivalent treatment. Is Mitch really the smartest and best informed person on this forum? I'm not convinced of that.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby gary_s » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:07 am

Rian wrote:I said I was done talking about the incident, but after reading your post, some more things became clear that are pertinent to the issue in general, so here goes: (and feel free to ignore this if it's just too arcane for you)

But do you think that you should apologize every time someone says they're insulted by something you say, even if you don't think it's insulting? That's what I'm trying to work thru here, with myself more than anything.


And I think this is quite admirable from you, Rian. I respect this show of true cooperation. My answer is that yes, any time you make a statement that another find offensive, you should accept responsibility for that statement and at the very least state that no offense was intended (if it wasn't) and apologize, and perhaps try to discuss what your statement means. If your opinion is still the same, and quite often it will be, I think it is fine to continue to hold that opinion, but to at least acknowledge the offensive nature of it, to own it, that is to say. I think we all likely hold insulting and offensive opinions of others. I think it is disingenuous to claim that an opinion is not offensive when someone is telling you flat out that it is. I can't even count the number of times I've seen this kind of standoff. People just don't always understand the power of their words.

I've always thought that a person should only apologize if they had malicious intent, but they can be sorry to hear of another person's hurt. Do you see the difference? What do you think?


I think that if you truly hurt someone's feelings, intentionally or not, then you already know the answer. Let me put it this way; if you said something in a completely benign way to one of your children and to them it sounded like a hot poker right in their eye and they broke down and cried because of it, would you apologize?

I think part of the problem is who I am - I was an engineer in a highly technical field, and I did extremely well because I was very precise. Maybe part of the problem is that I need to drop some of that in conversations. But I prize truth so highly that it's very difficult for me to do so.


Actually I think you have it backwards, Rian. I think you need to be more precise. I think the problems often arise out of generalized statements that can capture people in a net that you may not have intended. As I said in an earlier post, if you say something general and a room full of people hear it and it has the potential to relate to all of them, but you only meant one of them, you have just insulted all of them whether you meant to or not.

I'm very sorry to have caused you any hurt, Gary. I don't think I (or you, for that matter) should apologize if there was no bad intent, though. Is this being totally anal? I don't know, but I think it's good to think about these things, and that's part of why I value discussion boards like this.


This is an important step in the right direction and I accept your comment because I can see that it is sincere. And I am sincere in saying that I have said nothing with intentional harm to you either, but I'm happy to apologize if I made a stupid blunder with my words. I am always happy to retract a hurtful statement and perhaps explain what led me to that. At the least it may be a learning opportunity.

Anyway, again, I'm sorry if I hurt you.


Again, thank you very much.

Here I'm going to get technical again - sorry, if you don't like it, you can stop talking to me.

1) "If you don't want an escalation and you want to make amends, then you could start by ..."
This is a problem that I see very often here - people will say, of another person, "IF you want such-and-such X, THEN YOU WILL DO such-and-such Y". But that might not be right. They may indeed want such-and-such X very much, but have a different opinion as to what will bring that about - in fact, they might very well think that such-and-such Y has nothing to do with it. So that's one problem that we come across - when one person tells another person that if they want one thing, they'll do another thing.


Well, this is one of those unintentional things I spoke of. I'm certainly not in the business of managing people or policing people. If I do say something like this, it's mean only as a suggestion of one way to deal with it. If you don't like my suggestions, feel free to toss them out with the garbage and forge your own path. So long as the ultimate goal is achieved, it matters little to me how it is achieved. And to be frank, I'd rather you did it your way and not my way because it will be yours and you will own it much better.

2) "... insulting and not constructive"
This, again, is a matter of opinion. I'll deal with the insulting part later, but it seems to be that you're being very vain if you think that you are the judge both of what is constructive coming from you and what is constructive coming from me, and also, what is constructive for the whole board. You're saying flat-out that what I said was not constructive? Why do you think you should have the final word on that?


See, this is how things get out of kilter. I used a single word "constructive" and you drew from that I somehow perceive myself as the final arbiter of that definition. That isn't how I see it at all and I never meant to convey that message. I think it's pretty easy to see where a conversation is going, and in the case of delicate conversations (most of them here), there is a fine balance that can be achieved, yet it is difficult because all parties deeply believe in their position and there is a temptation to drop to a less intellectual level. I think it's also pretty easy to spot when a comment is made that will throw a wrench into that balance, and I think it's always worth hearing when one party says that something offensive and inappropriate has been said. It can lead to a better understanding of both sides. It's like when you have a conversation with your parents or siblings. You know their hot spots and you generally try to maneuver around them when engaging in conversation. You know that if you bring up that uncomfortable issue, you will likely spark a yelling match. This is no different except that no one knows the hot spots here because we aren't family members.

But where does this stop? A person can feel insulted continually; should the other person be continually apologizing? Where is the line drawn?


That's an easy one; it stops when you are willing to accept responsibility for your comments and own them. When you are willing to accept that someone else's perception of what you said doesn't match your own perception and that's OK. You just have to take their word for it.

For about the 5th time, what I said was this: "So yes, it was slightly insulting, but in the sense of "I think you're doing something wrong", not a personal insult." What I mean is that people feel insulted when someone tells them they're doing something wrong, even if it's said politely and it's true. And I think that is vastly different than an intentional personal insult.


This is what I mean by defending one's statements. This kind of defensive posturing is simply not effective no matter how much you want it to be. IOW, you simply cannot explain your way out of it not matter how hard you try.

I agree with you there, but again, what are the other options? We could talk about things we agree with all day long and there won't be problems, but I don't think anyone wants that.
[/quote]

I think the option is to go about your debates as usual, but just be cognizant of what you are saying and don't simply defend yourself when you are faced with someone telling you that you are being offensive. I think that when someone tells you this, you have an opportunity to learn more about them, and possibly even yourself. Rian, I say all these things because I've been on both sides of this fence before. I've been bullied and I've been an unintentional bully. I've had to face the reality that I was unintentionally (yet in a very real way) causing serious emotional harm to a fellow co-worker. I had absolutely no intention of doing harm, and I even thought that what we had going was a brisk and entertaining rivalry. But what he was experiencing was something completely different, something demeaning, something oppressive. When I came to the realization of this (and I didn't do it on my own, btw), it hit me like a ton of bricks; it literally took the wind from me. I was devastated and ashamed. Upon the first opportunity, I asked forgiveness from this fellow. And I can tell you that I have also been that fellow and I received no sort of apology. I had to fight tooth and nail for fairness. Now, I don't mean to be overly dramatic; the situation on this forum is far less severe.
Last edited by gary_s on Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby gary_s » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:25 am

Keep The Reason wrote:It's even better that he also has me on ignore. Because it's a coward's way to behave, and now that is illustrated on his side of the fence as well. I may not roll over for theistic arguments, but I certainly can't be called closed minded when mitch won't even engage me! And I can still riposte his arguments, and point out his misbehavior. And the price to pay? Mitch is silent towards me so I am not even the recipient of his misanthropic approach anymore! It's a win-win for me, and a lose-lose for him.


I do not like the ignore button at all. If I had my own forum, I would disable it. Ignoring someone with whom you have a disagreement NEVER leads to a resolution; it only postpones a possible resolution or escalation. Sometimes a cooling off period is a good idea, but to decide to ignore someone indefinitely is to sweep the problem under a rug. It may allow for fewer arguments, but it forever eliminates the possibility of true reconciliation and it limits what you may learn about others and yourself.

If you consider the example I gave rian of the fellow that I had a bad influence on some years ago. Had he simply ignored me there would have been many bad outcomes. First, we worked on a team together, so the teamwork would have suffered dearly. Also, I would never have come to understand his perspective on how we worked together, which was not manager/employee, but rather professional/craft. We complimented one another very well when we worked together. Apart, we were each less capable. So I am forever grateful that he spoke up and did not hold his tongue. After I made amends, I counted him among my close friends. We didn't always agree, but I learned a new respect for him and he for me. He became far more open and helpful and I became far more supportive of him. It was perhaps one of the most important cross roads of my life, what some might call a religious experience. Because of him, I became a better person.

For this to happen with Mitch would take a great deal of changes on his part. Mitch often has profoundly insightful things to say, but he is also often profoundly impatient and intolerant. His message would often be far more effective if he found a better way to convey it.

So please. Don't apologize, and never change. Stay just the way you are mitch my man. And for me, I am addressing the consequence of these dynamics, and nothing more. So, that'll do for me in this thread unless something that enlarges it comes about. But at this point, I'm gonna go back to my corner and focus on other things.


Well, I hope Mitch does eventually change for the better. He is currently entrenched in his position but that doesn't mean he can't see another way. And if he ever does, he will be the better for it. I could be wrong, but I sense that this may be something that has plagued Mitch for a long time and he may have something even deeper that is the cause of it. But I'm not psychiatrist, so I'm not qualified to make such assertions. I've just seen a lot of bullies and it always seems like every bully has a reason why they are a bully.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby mitchellmckain » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:58 am

gary_s wrote:Well, I hope Mitch does eventually change for the better.

I certainly hope so too!


gary_s wrote:I could be wrong, but I sense that this may be something that has plagued Mitch for a long time and he may have something even deeper that is the cause of it. But I'm not psychiatrist, so I'm not qualified to make such assertions. I've just seen a lot of bullies and it always seems like every bully has a reason why they are a bully.

A bully?!?! LOL LOL LOL weird... really weird...

A bully is someone who uses some advantage of power, either physical ability or the shere numbers of a gang to lord it over other people with threats and fear as his tools to push people around.

What the hell is this power that I am supposed to have and what are the threats that I am making and what is it that you have to fear from me?

Frankly this seems a lot more to me like the bully and his gang are whining and complaining about the one little pip squeak who refuses to fear them and refuses to be pushed around by their threats. I take the tactics of rhetoric constantly used by atheists and turn them back on the atheists and they hypocritically act like such behavior is their right alone.

I was not raised chrisitan, so I have little doubt that in many ways you are more Christian than I will ever be. Instead I was raised with these abomnable tactics my whole life. So you can either drop them or have them used against you and that is the only choice I will give you.
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Keep The Reason » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:54 pm

gary_s wrote:I do not like the ignore button at all. If I had my own forum, I would disable it. Ignoring someone with whom you have a disagreement NEVER leads to a resolution; it only postpones a possible resolution or escalation. Sometimes a cooling off period is a good idea, but to decide to ignore someone indefinitely is to sweep the problem under a rug. It may allow for fewer arguments, but it forever eliminates the possibility of true reconciliation and it limits what you may learn about others and yourself.


Agreed.

If you consider the example I gave rian of the fellow that I had a bad influence on some years ago. Had he simply ignored me there would have been many bad outcomes. First, we worked on a team together, so the teamwork would have suffered dearly. Also, I would never have come to understand his perspective on how we worked together, which was not manager/employee, but rather professional/craft. We complimented one another very well when we worked together. Apart, we were each less capable. So I am forever grateful that he spoke up and did not hold his tongue. After I made amends, I counted him among my close friends. We didn't always agree, but I learned a new respect for him and he for me. He became far more open and helpful and I became far more supportive of him. It was perhaps one of the most important cross roads of my life, what some might call a religious experience. Because of him, I became a better person.


Sure, in "Real Life" that's the way to go, but online Forums-- well, we're never going to team up with entrenched theists, and theists are not going to team up with entrenched atheists. If anyone had to suffer the degree of hostility from a co-worker as Mitch dispenses from behind his computer monitor, HR would have stepped in by now and removed him from the talent pool.

As I've mentioned here (and other places) before-- I have utterly no expectations to change the minds of any theists here; it simply will be extremely unlikely for that to happen. Instead, it's to the fence-sitters that I mount the debate. I get an email every now and then from some lurker who points out that my arguments (and the theists' behavior) helps to confirm for them the path they were not quite as sure they should be following.

So, Mitch does the Reasonist cause a service in the Forum realm.

For this to happen with Mitch would take a great deal of changes on his part. Mitch often has profoundly insightful things to say, but he is also often profoundly impatient and intolerant. His message would often be far more effective if he found a better way to convey it.


Well, honestly, I don't promote effective messages coming from theists. Offhand, I don't consider their arguments to be of any huge value (they certainly lack coherency and any ability to demonstrate their claims), though I am the first to acknowledge that humans need mythology to help them and inspire them (we also need art, poetry, literature, etc). "Human spirit" is fine by me, and in fact I actively promote it without making the error of thinking the mythology is a description of some reality. If that was Mitch's message, then I would champion him. But it's not. He believes in Christian theism, and he thinks himself the arbiter of who is tolerant and who is not (with an overt blindspot where he himself is concerned ).

Well, I hope Mitch does eventually change for the better. He is currently entrenched in his position but that doesn't mean he can't see another way. And if he ever does, he will be the better for it. I could be wrong, but I sense that this may be something that has plagued Mitch for a long time and he may have something even deeper that is the cause of it. But I'm not psychiatrist, so I'm not qualified to make such assertions. I've just seen a lot of bullies and it always seems like every bully has a reason why they are a bully.


Well, in compassion for any human being, I agree with you-- it would be great if everyone was a kind, caring and respectful human being all the time, and Mitch and even myself are no exceptions to that. But... I really don't see Mitch even acknowledging there's an issue so I wouldn't expect much ROI on this particular project.

At the same time, if he would become a respectful individual, that really wouldn't much change my interacting with him as it stands now because I simply reply to what he says that interests me, and call him out on his challenging behavior (this for the benefit of others since it doesn't help him while I'm on Ignore). I don't expect apologies or anything else from the guy (or anyone else).
To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Keep The Reason » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:03 pm

From gary:

gary_s wrote:I could be wrong, but I sense that this may be something that has plagued Mitch for a long time and he may have something even deeper that is the cause of it. But I'm not psychiatrist, so I'm not qualified to make such assertions. I've just seen a lot of bullies and it always seems like every bully has a reason why they are a bully.


From MM in reply:

mm wrote:I was not raised chrisitan, so I have little doubt that in many ways you are more Christian than I will ever be. Instead I was raised with these abomnable tactics my whole life. So you can either drop them or have them used against you and that is the only choice I will give you.


Do the math.

Re:
mm wrote:A bully is someone who uses some advantage of power, either physical ability or the shere numbers of a gang to lord it over other people with threats and fear as his tools to push people around.

What the hell is this power that I am supposed to have and what are the threats that I am making and what is it that you have to fear from me?

Frankly this seems a lot more to me like the bully and his gang are whining and complaining about the one little pip squeak who refuses to fear them and refuses to be pushed around by their threats. I take the tactics of rhetoric constantly used by atheists and turn them back on the atheists and they hypocritically act like such behavior is their right alone.


It's not that kind of bullying. It's coming in and throwing around disrespectful "LOL's", hurling accusations of "bigotry" and "intolerance", calling people's perspective "bullshit" and "moronic" all in an effort to derail the discussion. It's an overt -- and transparently clumsy -- attempt to bully the conversation first, and the people second.

And not only does it fail (well, you derail topics enough with it but people learn to just leap frog over you when you try it), but it garners you a fairly unanimous reputation that you're a disrespectful individual. If it were one or two people who thought this, well, that's then just opinion. But you are far and away the sole owner of the "Forum Jerk" title, and that's purely your own doing. It doesn't have to be that way, except-- you clearly prefer it that way.
To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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Re: Insults anyone?

Postby Rian » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:14 pm

Keep The Reason wrote:
gary_s wrote:Mitch often has profoundly insightful things to say ...

Well, honestly, I don't promote effective messages coming from theists.

I thought this was an important thing to highlight and comment on. Gary, this is an attitude that I think is very important - to seek truth itself, no matter from what "side". I've learned from atheists over the years, as well as Christians, because I'm open to looking for truth, wherever it comes from.

KTR, I think you're selling yourself short here, and I hope that you'll change.
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