Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 75 (9011 total)
53 online now:
PaulK, Phat (AdminPhat), Tangle (3 members, 50 visitors)
Newest Member: Burrawang
Upcoming Birthdays: DrJones*
Post Volume: Total: 881,605 Year: 13,353/23,288 Month: 283/795 Week: 79/33 Day: 12/6 Hour: 2/5


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   What have we accomplished?
Ben!
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Hayward, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 1 of 263 (876703)
05-24-2020 2:55 PM


Decided to revisit the old forum, to poke around and see how well diversity of thought has been supported here.

Things seem fairly similar to 15 years ago when I joined, so wished to ask the question: what are the aims of people here, and has it worked?

Interested to hear stories from anybody who wishes to share, about:


  1. What are your goals in being here? and

  2. Do you feel they've been accomplished?


I'm happy to share my own thoughts on the thread, if admins are so kind as to promote this.

Edited by Ben!, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 05-26-2020 9:01 AM Ben! has not yet responded
 Message 4 by Percy, posted 05-26-2020 9:14 AM Ben! has responded
 Message 6 by Taq, posted 05-26-2020 6:03 PM Ben! has not yet responded
 Message 7 by nwr, posted 05-26-2020 9:09 PM Ben! has not yet responded
 Message 8 by Stile, posted 05-27-2020 9:09 AM Ben! has not yet responded
 Message 9 by ringo, posted 05-27-2020 4:11 PM Ben! has not yet responded
 Message 11 by Ben!, posted 05-29-2020 7:00 AM Ben! has not yet responded
 Message 14 by MrHambre, posted 06-04-2020 9:49 AM Ben! has not yet responded
 Message 17 by driewerf, posted 06-08-2020 1:59 PM Ben! has not yet responded

Admin
Director
Posts: 12705
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


(1)
Message 2 of 263 (876705)
05-26-2020 8:52 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the What have we accomplished? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

Phat
Member
Posts: 14662
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


(1)
Message 3 of 263 (876706)
05-26-2020 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ben!
05-24-2020 2:55 PM


Ben Kenobi Returns
Hi Ben! Gosh I remember you! You were even an administrator here for awhile.

What are your goals in being here?
Good question. I think first of all that I have grown comfortable here as my fellow members are my ideological supporters and challengers. When I was growing up, I remember a local coffee shop where a bunch of old men gathered on Saturday mornings to discuss and debate politics, religion, current events, and to share what was going on in their respective families and circle of influence. Perhaps they got a bit deeper then we do here, for the internet is more anonymous by design.

Do you feel they've been accomplished?
Not entirely. I need more human interaction in my local community. Sometimes I fear that sitting on a chair in front of a computer for too long a time robs me of the time and opportunity to do that.
ObiWan writes:

I'm happy to share my own thoughts on the thread if admins are so kind as to promote this.

Yes, please catch us up! Talk about whatever you would like...after all you started this thread.

Edited by Phat, : added features!


“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

- You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott
I Have Strong Arguments Which I Cant Say To You~CG

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ben!, posted 05-24-2020 2:55 PM Ben! has not yet responded

Percy
Member
Posts: 19879
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 5.2


(4)
Message 4 of 263 (876707)
05-26-2020 9:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ben!
05-24-2020 2:55 PM


Ben! writes:

  1. What are your goals in being here?

Constructive moderated discussion of issues related to the creation/evolution debate to better inform both sides, and to resolve key issues and disputes.

  1. Do you feel they've been accomplished?

No. It's complicated and I'll keep this short by avoiding detail. In the early days up until 2007 we had a number of creationists who were scientifically fluent, and there were a number of informed discussions. I expected that issues would get settled, but that almost never happened. It must have happened more than zero times, but I can't remember any.

After 2007, after the Kitzmiller ruling followed a year or so later by the move of ICR from California to Texas which crippled its education and outreach efforts, creationists ceased coming here in significant numbers. Those who did were mostly, though not exclusively, scientifically ignorant. The quality of discussion took a nosedive.

The website itself took a big hit around 2011 (give or take a couple years, I don't remember exactly) when Google went to mobile centric crawlers. Sites not deemed mobile friendly were severely downgraded on searches. It turned out to matter a great deal, and within a few years we were getting almost no new members.

Another way the website took a hit was the emergence of social media destination sites like Facebook and Twitter. They gobbled up all the oxygen. All websites like this took a hit. There are many, many fewer of them today than there used to be.

For those of us still here I hope that this is for them, as it remains for me, a special place.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ben!, posted 05-24-2020 2:55 PM Ben! has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 05-26-2020 10:12 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 10 by Ben!, posted 05-29-2020 6:50 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Phat
Member
Posts: 14662
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


(1)
Message 5 of 263 (876712)
05-26-2020 10:12 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Percy
05-26-2020 9:14 AM


Its A Small World After All
Percy writes:

The website itself took a big hit around 2011 (give or take a couple years, I don't remember exactly) when Google went to mobile-centric crawlers. Sites not deemed mobile-friendly were severely downgraded on searches. It turned out to matter a great deal, and within a few years we were getting almost no new members.

Are you happy with us being small?

I think if we were a bigger forum than I would be suspending and banning people more often for dragging topics off track...unless I got to know them over time, in which case the rules would relax somewhat. One recent example is that guy that RAZD wanted to be banished after concluding him a troll. Which is the reason I don't pick on any members now. If we get a troll we boot them, but I even give potential trolls a chance...and they usually just go away themselves without the need of banning them. The spammers rarely make it through Moose anyway.

So Ben, what line of work are you in? Are you ready for the next 6 months? Where is America headed?

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : tying up a few loose ends


“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

- You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott
I Have Strong Arguments Which I Cant Say To You~CG

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Percy, posted 05-26-2020 9:14 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Taq
Member
Posts: 8443
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 6.4


(3)
Message 6 of 263 (876726)
05-26-2020 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ben!
05-24-2020 2:55 PM


Ben! writes:

What are your goals in being here? and

Do you feel they've been accomplished?

There are perhaps noble goals and accomplishments. There are also very human reasons for arguing with people. First, do a google search for "Monty Python argument skit". Second, this:


source: XKCD

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ben!, posted 05-24-2020 2:55 PM Ben! has not yet responded

nwr
Member
Posts: 5628
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


(1)
Message 7 of 263 (876732)
05-26-2020 9:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ben!
05-24-2020 2:55 PM


Welcome back
Hi, Ben!. It's been a while since we have heard from you.

I'm mostly here for thoughtful discussion, though that has diminished over the years. Recently, I have been watching Faith as an example of people who seem to be in an alternative reality. But that has now stopped with her suspension. So I guess I am left with discussion.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ben!, posted 05-24-2020 2:55 PM Ben! has not yet responded

Stile
Member
Posts: 4003
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.4


(3)
Message 8 of 263 (876743)
05-27-2020 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ben!
05-24-2020 2:55 PM


Ben! writes:

What are your goals in being here?

I come here to entertain myself.
I find the topics of morality, religion and philosophy interesting on a "personal hobby" level
I also identified (maybe 20 years ago?) that most people do not like to have conversations about these topics as in-depth as I'm looking for; and many get annoyed/insulted if you bring up the topic and attempt to begin a discussion when they have little interest in it themselves
Therefore - I searched for, and found, a forum like this: a place where people gather to discuss such things. This means that almost everyone else here is also interested in discussing such topics.

Do you feel they've been accomplished?

Yes. For me, this is still a great place to visit and satiate my desire for interesting (to me) discussion on morality, religion and philosophy with other willing participants.

Edited by Stile, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ben!, posted 05-24-2020 2:55 PM Ben! has not yet responded

ringo
Member
Posts: 18798
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


(4)
Message 9 of 263 (876762)
05-27-2020 4:11 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ben!
05-24-2020 2:55 PM


Coming here seems more legitimate than yelling at the TV.

"I'm Fallen and I can't get up!"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ben!, posted 05-24-2020 2:55 PM Ben! has not yet responded

Ben!
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Hayward, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


(1)
Message 10 of 263 (876826)
05-29-2020 6:50 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Percy
05-26-2020 9:14 AM


Super interesting, thanks for sharing Percy!

The site always seemed a noble tension between the two sides, and it's been hard to find places where that tension leads to really good discussion.

I wonder if it's because we always seem to be asking something from each other: to change. I think I came here more to understand - understand myself, understand other people and what they care about, and to understand new facts about the world.

I've found people in the "Intellectual Dark Web" to be some of the best at fostering those types of "understand" discussions (Dave Rubin, Joe Rogan, Eric Weinstein, and to some degree even Ben Shapiro for translating religious perspectives into secular arguments and perspectives).

For those of us still here I hope that this is for them, as it remains for me, a special place.

Definitely a special place


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Percy, posted 05-26-2020 9:14 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Ben!
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Hayward, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


(3)
Message 11 of 263 (876827)
05-29-2020 7:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ben!
05-24-2020 2:55 PM


What are your goals in being here?

For me, I always thought this is the place where all people are welcome:

* Atheists fluent in science
* Atheists not fluent in science
* Theists fluent in science
* Theists not fluent in science

and were welcomed to discuss EvC topics, to foster understanding and community.

My goal was to listen & learn: about evolution (I was thinking about entering grad school, wound up getting a Ph.D with a specialization in anthropogeny), about people's values and thoughts (I was entering a cognitive science department), and about myself/my own feelings (having come from a roman catholic family and having been baptised and confirmed)

Do you feel they've been accomplished?

I certainly learned a lot! People here are super knowledgeable and have tended to be very generous with time. I learned a lot of facts for sure.

I've also learned a lot about conversation. Some people's approaches (jar, Phat, nwr, Percy, Faith, Buzzsaw?) made deep impressions on me. Often, I felt confused at how antagonistic the conversations tended to get.

Looking back, it does seem to me that people feel threatened here. I'm not sure bludgeoning people with facts, when they're speaking from feelings (and vice versa) is productive.

Outside of here, I appreciate that some theists (e.g. Ben Shapiro) are able to translate ideas into the facts/science domain, and I appreciate some who try to sometimes translate facts into the religious/emotional domain (Jordan Peterson, Eric Weinstein to a lesser degree).

Would love to see that happen here. To Percy's point that this community has not experienced too much new user growth, that may be a tall order - people here know each other deeply, and now this seems like a wonderful place for friends to meet and talk. Wonderful thing to have, particularly when many of us are sheltering in place and figuring out our new reality!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ben!, posted 05-24-2020 2:55 PM Ben! has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by GDR, posted 05-29-2020 3:34 PM Ben! has not yet responded
 Message 16 by Phat, posted 06-07-2020 3:35 AM Ben! has not yet responded

Tangle
Member
Posts: 7950
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 12 of 263 (876828)
05-29-2020 7:21 AM


Not sure why I'm still here really. I haven't learned anything new for years. Mostly habit I guess.

As far as I'm aware, nobody has changed their minds about anything; most have hardened.

If you think god is speaking to you personally, why would anything change you? If god hasn't spoken to you, nothing those that feel that He has makes any sense at all - it sounds like embarrassing twaddle.

From the rationalist's point of view it's irritating and inexplicable that the believer simply rejects proven facts and substitutes utter nonsense for them. Irl, I'd just think they're total nutters and walk away knowing that the situation is hopeless, so it's a mystery why I don't do the same here.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


GDR
Member (Idle past 9 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 13 of 263 (876859)
05-29-2020 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Ben!
05-29-2020 7:00 AM


Thanks Percy
This site has been a huge part of my later life education. I have always been interested in physics and I have found this site invaluable in helping, to the degree that I am able, to gain some kind of grasp on the basic concepts of science. (I also have read several books written by people like Brian Greene.) I very much miss having cavediver and son guko around here.

As a Christian it has been a big help in sorting out the theology of Christian belief. I have had to argue for my essentially mainstream Anglican beliefs against both atheists and fundamentalists. I have had to discard some things I believed or even took for granted, and look at other aspects of my faith differently.

I have found it very helpful in that I have had to express in written form my positions, and the questions that arise from them, forcing me to really think through my positions. Interestingly enough I have found that in doing this that even though I have had to adjust my positions, particularly as they concern my Christian beliefs, that my confidence in my beliefs has actually been strengthened.

Bottom line is that I am very grateful to Percy in particular, but also for all the moderators over the years that have put their time and effort into this site.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Ben!, posted 05-29-2020 7:00 AM Ben! has not yet responded

MrHambre
Member (Idle past 51 days)
Posts: 1495
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


(2)
Message 14 of 263 (877096)
06-04-2020 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Ben!
05-24-2020 2:55 PM


Looking Back
Hey, Ben!

I initially joined the site in the first flush of my New Atheist phase, when I thought I was doing the world a favor by being nasty and overbearing to religious folks. I did learn a lot about biology and natural history, though, which have become abiding interests of mine. I went away and started getting more into the philosophy of science, which made me realize how shallow and polemical our pop-science poobahs are. The whole creationism thing is just a factoid-war that has less to do with science than with venting outrage at the presumption of people we consider our moral, intellectual and socioeconomic inferiors. The vaccine and virus deniers have the potential to cause a whole lot of legitimate and needless suffering, but creationists are about as dangerous as 9/11 truthers at this late date.

Some ten years later I toddled back here and karma caught up with me. I tried to be a little more realistic and critical about scientific endeavor, so for a few months I got hassled by science bros who sounded just as immature and narrow-minded as I had been when I first joined up. Finally the admin told me that philosophy was nothing but "mental masturbation," so I took the hint and hit the road.

Hope all's well.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Ben!, posted 05-24-2020 2:55 PM Ben! has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Percy, posted 06-04-2020 12:52 PM MrHambre has not yet responded

Percy
Member
Posts: 19879
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 5.2


(1)
Message 15 of 263 (877106)
06-04-2020 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by MrHambre
06-04-2020 9:49 AM


Re: Looking Back
Hi MrHambre. Welcome back.

MrHambre writes:

Finally the admin told me that philosophy was nothing but "mental masturbation," so I took the hint and hit the road.

That doesn't sound like me, so I looked it up. I think you're referring to Message 209 where I was speaking as Percy, not as Admin:

Percy in Message 209 of the How long does it take to evolve? thread writes:

The finer the distinction being drawn the more words it takes to explain, as is clearly evident in Sober's review of Nagel's Mind and Cosmos, at 4500 words nearly a novelette. I started reading it earlier this week and got through about a third of it before it began to feel like philosophical masturbation of little real world consequence. Sorry.

I wasn't saying anything about philosophy being mental masturbation but about Nagel's approach seeming like philosophical masturbation having little application in the real world. Didn't mean to drive you away.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by MrHambre, posted 06-04-2020 9:49 AM MrHambre has not yet responded

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2020