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Forum Guidelines 2018

 
Ola
 
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Ola
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20 April 2018 12:29
 
Jan_CAN - 20 April 2018 09:55 AM

Nhoj, I very much appreciate the time and difficulty of the work you do here, and in your trying to be fair and listen to everyone.  Thanks.

Hear, hear!

 

 

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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20 April 2018 16:08
 
saralynn - 20 April 2018 10:19 AM

Three, they just hate the guy and he makes them angry and/or fills them with disgust.

Everyone is disgusted by him, atheists and theists alike, save for cult groupies who need disgust, humiliation and servitude to lost causes feel fulfilled.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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24 April 2018 12:06
 

I’m sorry to have abandoned this discussion.

Some fresh and fume-venting PVC extruded prototype fixture casings arrived with a lens problem to be sorted out. Between the smell and bright glare, they are a full sensory experience. Much like the forum, only it pays a bit better.

Back to the real work now. Did manage to squeeze in a PRFP recording session with The Owl Guy. Coming soon.

 
 
MARTIN_UK
 
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MARTIN_UK
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24 April 2018 12:56
 

Ooo… podcast!

 
no_profundia
 
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no_profundia
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30 April 2018 19:52
 

I have been away from the forums for a while but was reading through this thread on the guidelines and found a quote from saralynn that I felt compelled to respond to.

However, since my response has nothing to do with the guidelines for this forum, and since that is the actual topic of this thread, I will first quickly offer my two cents on the actual topic:

Guidelines

I think the current arrangement and the current guidelines offer a fair compromise between two extremes.

If we allowed anything I think we would be swamped with trolls and many of the interesting people who have decided to congregate here would soon leave and it would no longer be worth visiting. If we are too strict then I think things would get boring. I have noticed that even people who tout the virtues of purely intellectual, rational discussion tend to be drawn to discussions where there is emotion flowing (and this includes me). I am not going to wade into the swamp regarding what should be done with Mario. I will leave that to the other patrons and the moderators to debate.

I will say that I do not believe that the balance that has been achieved here is due to any written ‘guidelines’ but to the effort and discernment of our moderators. No set of rules can guide our decisions perfectly so I also offer my thanks to the moderators.

Self-Sacrificing Atheists

Here is the quote from saralynn that I wanted to respond to:

He wrote not too long ago, that most atheists are not capable of great self-sacrifice as much as theists.  My immediate reaction was to protest, but then I started wondering about atheist “saints” and I couldn’t name one, though I know they must exist now and throughout history.  Maybe during the Holocaust, for instance?  Anyone know about an atheist who made great sacrifices for the greater good?  Just curious.

Albert Camus took part in the French Resistance against the Nazis as did Samuel Beckett and both put themselves at great personal risk. Thich Quang Duc was the Buddhist monk who burned himself to protest the persecution of Buddhists in South Vietnam. I am sure there are thousands of non-theist Buddhist ‘saints’ who engaged in self-sacrifice that I am not aware of because I am not that familiar with Eastern history.

I think one reason it is easier to think of theist ‘saints’ when thinking of Western history is because for the last two thousand years, which covers most of recorded history, most people in general (in the West) have been theists. That does not mean that a greater percentage of theists are willing to engage in self-sacrifice than atheists.

I would also point out that the willingness to sacrifice oneself for a perceived greater good is far from being an unadulterated good. The 9/11 hijackers believed they were sacrificing themselves for a greater good and so did Nazi stormtroopers. There were also a lot of atheist communists who sacrificed themselves for what they thought was a greater good.

The willingness to sacrifice oneself is not that uncommon a trait. Personally, if we are trying to decide what traits to praise and what we should aspire to, I think discernment is far more important than a simple willingness to sacrifice oneself for a greater good. Bees sacrifice themselves for the greater good all the time but we do not praise them as moral heroes.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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30 April 2018 20:27
 

no_profundia, I hope this recent post means you might be around more ... I miss your thoughtful posts.
-Jan

 
 
no_profundia
 
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no_profundia
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30 April 2018 21:02
 
Jan_CAN - 30 April 2018 08:27 PM

no_profundia, I hope this recent post means you might be around more ... I miss your thoughtful posts.
-Jan

Thank you Jan. I am working full time at the moment while going to school so I can’t promise I will be around a lot but I am hoping I will be able to continue posting occasionally. I hope things are well with you smile

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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30 April 2018 23:37
 

Your support is appreciated. Right now, there is a log jam to sort out. All this guidie business was intended to coordinate with another update to the main page or at least its definitive proposal upstairs. It all has to match. We can’t have instructions for things that aren’t there.

The whole notion of forum guidelines has been retired. Instead, look for a guide to the forum where all procedures will be defined and codified. Less of a what you can do and more of a what to expect sort of thing. How it plays in the minds of patrons will be a matter for the mods to discover.

 
 
MARTIN_UK
 
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MARTIN_UK
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30 April 2018 23:57
 

I will meet you in the wigwam on the hill for next pow wow, you can bring the whiskey.

 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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01 May 2018 16:28
 

No Profundia

All good points.

I used to be a great fan of Camus because he wrote so movingly, wasn’t a creep in his personal life , like Sartre and Bertrand Russell, and he was, indeed, as you say, heroic.  However, I would describe him as an agnostic.  In fact, he did, as well.  He said, “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live as if there isn’t and to die to find out that there is”.  Very Pascalian, no? 

Having said this, I am sure it easy to find a hundred quotes in which he verges on atheist existentialism, even though he claims not to be one,  I remember something along the lines of “Faith is as hopeless as despair” or something like that.

Given his poetic inclinations, I think, if he had lived, he might have become a Buddhist or a Teilhard de Chardin type Christian.  I have no way of knowing that, though.

I know hardly anything about Samuel Beckett, but, I read Waiting for Godot, and he doesn’t strike me as a happy atheist.  Bleak bleak bleak and, in a weird way, nostalgic for religion.  Haven’t read it for decades, though, so maybe it is different than I remember. 

Yes, indeed, the majority of saints whom I know about are a products of Western Culture, so what you wrote makes total sense.

However, I wonder what percentage of Buddhists, Hindus, Rastafarians (?) and, now that I think about it, Jews, are atheists? 

I have no idea.  My assumption is that the majority are not atheists because most Buddhist (in addition to those who created him into a God, which would have placidly irritated Gautama greatly) believe in either reincarnations o merging-into-a greater-consciousness thingy

I am aware that there are quite a few atheist Buddhists in America and, presumably, Europe, but that seems to be a rather recent development, no?

No question that religion combined with politics is quite dangerous. With the addition of indoctrination from a young age, it is not surprising that we end up with terrorist-saints, who drive planes into buildings or torture enemies of the “True, Good and Beautiful

A lot of mystics from a variety of religious traditions become saints.  Few who have a mystical experience are convinced that hatred, strife, and cruelty are the qualities of God.  Okay, maybe those folks in the Old Testament, but, they were also involved in politics. 

Oh well, few things in life are either/or. Most people are waffling around in the middle of both extremes.

 
no_profundia
 
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no_profundia
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01 May 2018 21:17
 

saralynn, thanks for the response. I am finding this discussion interesting but I know this thread was intended to be a discussion of the forum guidelines so I have started a new thread where we can continue the discussion if you are interested:

https://forum.samharris.org/forum/viewthread/70977/

 
 
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