Intellectual Snobbery
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29-09-2011, 05:04 PM
Intellectual Snobbery
OK, I'm probably about to make myself VERY unpopular but hopefully people will respect that I am speaking my mind and being honest in my opinions.

I been reading with mild interest the threads in this forum created by new member 'fatihbarut' who from his posts I am imagining is either Turkisk or of Turkish descent and so English probably isn't his first language (as a few people have already mentioned) and he was probably brought up as a Muslim but now doesn't seem to subscribe to any particular religion, I feel from his posts that religion is a more personal thing to him.

I've been kinda disappointed by the way he's been treated on the forum so far. Yes some of his views seem ridiculous to me and yes he doesn't seem to answer direct questions. However, he seems to me to be polite and well mannered at all times, he's not being abusive in any way but some of the people on here aren't affording him the same respect.

In regard to his views, people are openly claiming to have not taken him seriously from the start and to have just been 'having fun' with him. We really need to think about whether that is the kind of attitude we want to convey on our forum and if that is the way we want people to view this forum. Do we really want people to see us as a group of people who ridicule anyone with different beliefs because, even though that isn't the case, we could still end up being labelled that way. Also, as a group of people who view ourselves as open-minded, why would we go into anything without even attempting to take it seriously? That sort of attitude makes us no better than your average creationist. I can understand the enjoyment that can be gained from trolling creationists but I tend to prefer to reserve that for people who are being abusive/belligerent and I don't think this guy has yet warranted such treatment.

As far as the apparent lack of debating skills goes we should not condemn someone for that. This guy seems to struggle with debating yet he is still here trying. Rather than ridiculing him we should engage him, help him learn how to debate in the style we utilize here and try to understand his views as opposed to dismissing them from the beginning.

I doubt this post will have much of an impact on people's views but I would like you all to think of how you would feel in his position if you were treated this way on a creationist forum. You go onto a forum attempting to engage people with your views which, as far as you're concerned, are obvious and you cannot understand why no-one else can see them. You are polite and courteous yet you are openly ridiculed from the start, you stay calm and continue to attempt to discuss but are just met with more ridicule and are then ignored. Would this give you a very positive view of the other side of the argument or not? We condemn Creationist forums for that sort of attitude all the time, please don't allow us to become just as bad.

'fatihbarut' - If you read this I am sorry for some of the attitudes you have faced from some members. Please don't think of us as being as intolerant as we have, at times, come across as. We are used to Creationists coming on here and being abusive and it is easy to think someone is going to act like that, even if they are not. If you decide to stay on this forum, as I hope you do, then try to be more direct in your answering of questions. If English is a second language and you struggle to understand some questions then there is no shame in saying it, people will not mind rephrasing them for you.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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29-09-2011, 05:23 PM
 
RE: Intellectual Snobbery
(29-09-2011 05:04 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  OK, I'm probably about to make myself VERY unpopular but hopefully people will respect that I am speaking my mind and being honest in my opinions.

Hughsie, no question about respecting your honesty.

And you do have a point or two.

However, there are few other points as well that you did not mention.

Such as:

1. The incredibly arrogant opening of "I am going to save you" -- that was rude, condescending and stupid.

2. Everybody welcomed him first, inspite of the opening, and gave him fair warning about etiquette -- that he consistently ignored.

3. He ignored questions and replies, going ahead with what appeared to be a set script (1., 2., 3.) of lecturing us about our mistakes and shortcomings.

4. He consistently TOLD us what we thought and felt and how wrong we were in our misconceptions.

5. He swamped the forum for a whole day with hardly anything else visible in "Today's Threads" and ignored all requests to slow down or stop this barrage.

Now, if English is not his first language, he has my sympathies. Neither is it mine. When you barge into a Forum -- any forum -- you may be polite enough to mention it in advance and ask for allowances. He did not even answer when he was asked pointedly and repeatedly if this was the case.

All in all, those of us who made fun of him (myself included) wanted nothing else than either he would go away or settle down to a polite and intelligent conversation.

The jokes I personally made were out of frustration and disbelief in part -- out of real anger for his arrogance and aggressive proselytization for the rest.

I will apologize to him if he apologizes to the rest of us first.

Undecided
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29-09-2011, 05:38 PM
RE: Intellectual Snobbery
It was like his or her posts were copied and pasted from some other site. He or she was arrogant, constantly ignored anything that was said, made claims but didn't follow them up with either, any kind of evidence or even an explanation then continued to lecture.

Ive not read all of the replys to the posts yet as there is alot of them. So some members may have been rude or quite nasty i cant really comment.

Its impossible to have a debate with someone who continues to talk whilst having their fingers in their ears.

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29-09-2011, 05:48 PM (This post was last modified: 29-09-2011 05:55 PM by Hughsie.)
RE: Intellectual Snobbery
I can sympathise with your position Zatamon. I know how infuriating it can be when you feel you are trying to reason with someone and are getting no response, especially when you yourself are very good at calmly debating points. And this guy may well be a troll but I don't feel we can make this assumption quite yet.

I know 'fatihbarut' hasn't acquitted himself overly well yet but I think that the language may well be a factor and if he was brought up in a strict religious family and society he may have never learned the kind of debating skills we take for granted. I think we need to put more effort into helping people such as him learn to debate in our style as opposed to writing them off very early on. I am also aware that most creationists we get on here just troll themselves stupid for 3 days before vanishing forever which makes it very easy to think someone is going to go that way but we all need to try and give them a fairer chance before jumping to that conclusion.

I hope that you didn't feel attacked by this thread, if so I apologise as it wasn't my intention. I am very proud to be a member of the forum and one of the things that makes me proudest is our tolerant nature so I wouldn't want to see that damaged. That is why I may have been a bit overzealous.
(29-09-2011 05:38 PM)FSM_scot Wrote:  Its impossible to have a debate with someone who continues to talk whilst having their fingers in their ears.

Again, utmost sympathy as I know how frustrating that can be but if someone has that attitude then before we write them off we should attempt to help them learn some proper debating skills. For someone brought up in a society that doesn't allow religious debate it may be a lot harder for them to adjust to our style. Also, as I have said, I think language may be a factor here and if 'fatihbarut' has English as a second language then they might find it hard to understand some of the terms we routinely use. If they are also a proud person it may be the case that they are struggling to understand our points but don't want to admit it. This could explain an apparent lack of debating skills. I kinda feel that we need to explore these possibilities before writing someone off.

Same as with Zatamon, I hope you don't feel attacked by this thread as it wasn't my intention. If you then I apologise, I know I can be overzealous at times.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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29-09-2011, 06:04 PM
RE: Intellectual Snobbery
(29-09-2011 05:48 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  I know 'fatihbarut' hasn't acquitted himself overly well yet but I think that the language may well be a factor and if he was brought up in a strict religious family and society he may have never learned the kind of debating skills we take for granted.

He didn't come to debate; he came to instruct. He started with assumptions about us before we made any about him.
Language or no, he should have picked up a clue, from the title of the forum, as to what kind of reception to expect.
I'm all for giving people a chance, but in this case: a chance to do what? Save us? Include me out of that gig.
However, for you, i won't try baiting him anymore.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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29-09-2011, 06:05 PM
 
RE: Intellectual Snobbery
(29-09-2011 05:48 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  I hope that you didn't feel attacked by this thread, if so I apologise as it wasn't my intention. I am very proud to be a member of the forum and one of the things that makes me proudest is our tolerant nature so I wouldn't want to see that damaged. That is why I may have been a bit overzealous.

Don't worry Hughsie. I did not feel attacked and you do not need to apologize.

I, too, am at fault here -- my tolerance level is, unfortunately, quite low for certain attitudes -- something I do have to watch for constantly. I am not Christian enough to turn the other cheek when I feel I was slapped and, sometime, I am tempted to slap back, which can be counter-productive.

I appreciate your attitude of wanting to be fair and helpful -- on the other hand: we liberal intellectuals had been so tolerant, so respectful for so many decades and now we are being attacked (literally and physically) from the religious right that we can not afford to be wishy-washy about our attitudes and opinions any longer.

In the political and social climate we live now in North America, it is just pure self defense to call spades spades.

Sad
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29-09-2011, 06:19 PM
RE: Intellectual Snobbery
(29-09-2011 05:48 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  Again, utmost sympathy as I know how frustrating that can be but if someone has that attitude then before we write them off we should attempt to help them learn some proper debating skills. For someone brought up in a society that doesn't allow religious debate it may be a lot harder for them to adjust to our style. Also, as I have said, I think language may be a factor here and if 'fatihbarut' has English as a second language then they might find it hard to understand some of the terms we routinely use. If they are also a proud person it may be the case that they are struggling to understand our points but don't want to admit it. This could explain an apparent lack of debating skills. I kinda feel that we need to explore these possibilities before writing someone off.

Same as with Zatamon, I hope you don't feel attacked by this thread as it wasn't my intention. If you then I apologise, I know I can be overzealous at times.

Nah i don't feel attacked by this thread, i can see exactly what you mean.

I do feel that we did give him/her a chance to explain themself and to even start the debate, often he/she was asked by myself and other members to explain what he/she meant so we could work from there (It took nearly 50 posts over 2 threads to get which god he/she kept referring to), but he/she ignored this and continued to post what was largely nonsense most likely copied straight from some other page.

It was obvious from fatihbarut's first post that english wasn't his/her first language so i never made any reference to the grammer, My grammers not exactly perfect and english is my first language (well as close to english as you can get from a Glaswegian Tongue).

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29-09-2011, 07:41 PM (This post was last modified: 29-09-2011 07:46 PM by defacto7.)
RE: Intellectual Snobbery
(29-09-2011 05:04 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  OK, I'm probably about to make myself VERY unpopular but hopefully people will respect that I am speaking my mind and being honest in my opinions.

Hughsie,

I agree with your every word!

I did warn him that if he didn't study up and do some searching he was going to be eaten alive. I did get little perturbed at one point and repeated that in stronger terms. Finally I gave him a -1 and told him why.

What I saw by many other posters was tantamount to bullying the little kid on the block. If a fundi 13 year old comes to your door and says, "I want to bring you salvation in Jesus." What do you do? Jeer, spit, antagonize, laugh, mock then though her off the porch?

Uh... I don't... but then I might try to listen... then lead her to some useful study. I might offer cookies.

Then I'd throw her off the porch. (figuratively speaking)

Do you think now that you are enlightened with the truth of reason you have the freedom of irresponsibility toward other humans who don't think the same way? Look, I can get as rough as necessary with someone who has "proven" that he/she is an asshole. That takes more time than just getting in a hissy fit because someone's first statement said the magic words that tick off your personal neurosis.

This is a great site. It is full of interesting and very intelligent people. But degrading people like squashing bugs just for the hell of it has it's price. You decide for yourself what that price is.

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29-09-2011, 08:27 PM (This post was last modified: 29-09-2011 08:34 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Intellectual Snobbery
(29-09-2011 06:05 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  I, too, am at fault here -- my tolerance level is, unfortunately, quite low for certain attitudes --

I can help you with that Zatamon. How does it matter? ... If you find your tolerance level consistently low you should at least consider readjusting your tolerance. I mean, I continually adjust mine all the time.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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30-09-2011, 03:54 AM
 
RE: Intellectual Snobbery
(29-09-2011 08:27 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(29-09-2011 06:05 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  I, too, am at fault here -- my tolerance level is, unfortunately, quite low for certain attitudes --

I can help you with that Zatamon. How does it matter? ... If you find your tolerance level consistently low you should at least consider readjusting your tolerance. I mean, I continually adjust mine all the time.

Thank you for the help. GirlyMan, I am working on it. Smile

@defacto7: I doubt he is a cute little 13 year old fundi girl and I doubt that he is traumatized for life (you were spreading it on pretty thick there for a minute - I know, I know, you were only trying to make a point). I also think that you used the word 'neurosis' maybe a bit carelessly in your post. Yes, it was cheap fun, as I admitted several times (I would never squash bugs "for the hell of it" Rolleyes ), but it originated in frustration and disbelief -- not malice (all we wanted was that he be reasonable or go away, but he just kept coming back with the same drivel, ignoring everybody else). Sometimes (actually quite often) I think that we may be too gentle and tolerant with our attackers for our own good (Obama being a good example of self-defeating tolerance in politics).

Get it right, people: we (sane, rational atheists) are the victims in this North American world of overwhelming religious bigotry. Let's not help them trash us by trashing ourselves. Angry

I completely agree with Peterkin's statement above:

(29-09-2011 06:04 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  I'm all for giving people a chance, but in this case: a chance to do what? Save us? Include me out of that gig. However, for you, i won't try baiting him anymore.

I repeat what I said before: I will apologize to him if he apologizes to us first.

...and I really think I said everything I am willing to say on the subject.

Undecided
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