Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
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15-04-2011, 03:30 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
(15-04-2011 02:06 PM)BnW Wrote:  Buddy made a comment that was clearly meant as a joke. The joke wasn't even really at your expense, excepting out that he called you gasp a theist to make the joke work. BFD. Laugh and move on.

+1 Reputation for getting it.

...since I can no longer give Likes without ruining my gift.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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15-04-2011, 06:22 PM (This post was last modified: 15-04-2011 06:32 PM by Ghost.)
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
Hey, Guys.

Listen up, cause this is for both of you.

About this protecting my child from a predator business. The point isn’t how I choose to defend myself, the point is that it ain’t cool that I was put in a position where I had to decide whether to defend myself or whether to roll over and allow myself to be the but of a joke in the first place. I know, BnW, that you’ve never understood the whole ad hom thing and I know that you think that this is just the Internet so it ain’t no thing but a chicken wing, but to me it means something. If you and I or you, Buddy, and I were friends and you made a little joke, that’d be fine. My best friends call me all kinds of outlandish shit and I think it’s hilarious. But you guys don’t know me like that, as the kids say these days. You’re just a couple of guys who think it’s all right to take a shot at me. Well, it ain’t.

And here’s the thing. I have no patience for ad homs in the first place. But around here, a week doesn’t go by where someone skips over what I’m saying and brings me as a person into it. So excuse me if I have less than zero patience for it, but I sure as hell don’t owe you any patience. If you take a shot at me and I defend myself, you have only yourselves to blame. A man that just says shit to other men without thinking there are any ramifications is a child. A man that does it and hides behind the anonymous screen of the internet is a coward.

On the subject of the intensity of how I defend myself, you got some nerve. You take a shot at me and then complain about how I defend myself? I believe the kids say up yours to that one. Maybe get bent. I’m a Chicago Code kinda guy. You know, Connery in The Untouchables. He brings a knife, you bring a gun. He puts one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue. That kind of thing. I make no apologies for that. It’s a temperament thing. If you don’t want me blowing up, here’s a wacky idea, stop taking personal shots at me. It’s that simple.

This, by the way, all ties in neatly to the issue of this thread.

Conflict is conflict. There’s nothing mystical about it. It is simply the inevitability of two or more parties making a claim to the same resource. That resource can be an acorn, The Kashmir or an intellectual position. It doesn’t matter. Resources are finite and so conflict is inevitable. If more than one person claims something, presto, conflict.

We both want the oil. Conflict. We both want to be able to definitively say how the world came into existence. Conflict. You wanna call me a Theist as a joke or not and I don’t want you to. Conflict.

Then there’s escalation. It’s like a scale where low risk and mutually beneficial solutions are at the bottom and war and extermination are at the top. That’s just an evolutionarily stable strategy. We’re the only species that has energy to spare, so we’re the only one that escalates conflict to a level that requires ludicrous expenditures of energy. It’s kinda like this:
-One party walks away
-A negotiated compromise
-Harsh looks and harsh words
-Pushing and shoving
-Intent to injure
-Intent to kill
-Intent to wipe out

Intent to wipe out. That’s all war really is. Two parties involved in a conflict that has escalated to the point where the claimants are trying to destroy the other side: or at least their ability to effectively defend themselves.

Then there’s resolution. Resolution can happen one of three ways:
-One party renounces their claim and walks away
-All parties negotiate a compromise
-One party is destroyed or crippled so badly that they must surrender

The first two usually involve a de-escalation. The last can only be achieved through war.

So let’s clear some things up.

Quote: I find war metaphors for trivial issues to be fairly offensive to people who actually volunteer to put on a uniform and are willing to risk their lives. And, this is a trivial matter. No one is dying over this. It's a pure academic debate.

Well, as someone who volunteered to put on a uniform, I gotta tell you, I’m not at all offended. So we can scrap the apple pie hand on our hearts patriotic crap.

I agree. No one is dying over this. Yet. Pretty much anyway. It is by and large a debate. Dawkins and Hitchens huffing and puffing. Evangelical ministers posturing. I mean, throw in the odd act of terrorism here and there, but mostly debate. Harsh words one might say. It aint war, but it sure as hell is conflict.

So to settle your beef, the only reason I use terms like cease fire or lay down your arms, is because they are synonymous with conflict resolution. They are colloquialisms. They’re just ways of de-escalating a conflict. Hang up your pens or stop being a douche are just as good. And in terms of my use of the word war, I first used it in a fictional joke dialogue to make a point. I then used it for the sake of comparison to illustrate that de-escalation is an essential part of all conflict resolution. So put your offense aside for now please. No one is saying Atheists and Theists are at war, just that there is a conflict. Can we move on from this now?

Quote:…but let's please not pretend there are actual stakes in these debates.

Conflict cannot exist without stakes. If there’s nothing to fight over, there’s no conflict. So sure, the stakes at the current level of escalation are not really life and death, but they’re there.

Currently, Atheists and Theists seem to be fighting over things like legislation and education and who has the truth. These are actual stakes. If an anti-abortion law is passed, that’s a real consequence of this conflict with real-life implications. Then there’s things like discrimination in the work place. So there’s not nothing going on here.

Then you get to the extreme. The abortion clinic bombers. That sort of thing. That’s the thing about this conflict. It’s not two governments in conflict who can tightly regulate whether or not their soldiers get into skirmishes. It’s a wide conflict that involves millions of self-interested parties. And some of them have demonstrated that they are willing to go to great lengths and escalate hostilities to very high levels to achieve their goals.

Then there’s this conflict at the most basic. Two groups of people who live with each other who can’t get along. That’s no way to live. I grew up with that sort of simmering low-level conflict. I’m an Anglophone from majority Francophone Montreal. The English and the French are still simmering over shit that happened on the Plains of Abraham in the 18th bloody century. Still. It’s ridiculous. By and large there’s a respected cease-fire, or cessation of hostilities, or nap time, whatever you want to call it, but that simmering sometimes results in arguments, gang fights between high schools, the odd protest, The Bloc Québecois in parliament, a couple referendums to split the entire country, or the odd Front de libération du Québec bombing, or the declaration of martial law in Montreal and the sending in of the army.

Or in Oka in 1990, where unresolved conflicts between the Mohawk and the government resulted in road blocks, a dead police officer and the largest army deployment inside Canada in the history of the country. That conflict wasn’t new. It was old. Really old. But throw the right kerosene onto it and poof, it flares up right good.

Now I ask you to believe me, I’m not trying to fear monger a la, “repent or the flames will consume you,” but rather just trying to illustrate that there is in fact a conflict here and if it’s left alone, nothing good can come of it. It’ll either keep on being divisive or explode into violence. The only other thing that can happen is that both sides negotiate a peace.

That is what this guy is talking about. Two people’s in conflict deciding if there is worth in resolving the conflict. He says he believes such an endeavour is of value. I agree with him.

So I understand that by and large, the effects of this conflict are minimal and I certainly understand how people fan it’s flames to make money, shit, that’s the oldest trick in the book next to hand jobs for cash, but I do not think that this is a conflict without casualties and I do think it would be good if a lasting peace could be negotiated.

Now to speak to the smart ass part:
Quote: The funnier joke, and right irony, would have been to comment on the guy who complains that 2 groups that are basically having arguments over youtube videos are not willing to find some way to respect and co-exist with each other and implies that this is some kind of war with real world implications is the same guy who reacts to even the slightest sarcasm in his direction with the virtual equivalent of someone protecting their first born from a predator.

So yes, I do have concerns about the conflict, I do agree that by and large the level of escalation is low and I do think that there is value in Theists and Atheists figuring out how to co-exist and I would love to be a part of that process. As far as the war bit, I think that I’ve answered that. As far as the implications bit, I think I’ve answered that too. Then there’s the last bit.

Like I said, I have no patience for being attacked. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little bit or a lot. I’ll be the judge of which “jokes” and what “sarcasm” I find offensive. As a black person growing up in a white neighbourhood, I’m well versed in what some people consider “just a joke, buddy” and what other people consider offensive. It’s a simple rule of life. If you take a shot at someone and they don’t like it, man up and take responsibility for what you did.

Now on to the implication of what you said.

I can defend myself from jerks in whatever manner I see fit and still be a proponent of peace. It’s not a question of you’re either capable of conflict or you’re a pacifist. Everyone is capable of conflict and I don’t shy away from it. I love a rousing debate and I am excited by dialogue, but if you drag me as a person into it, it’s on like Cybertron. I believe that resolving conflict is of the utmost importance in all cases because all that will happen with unresolved conflict is a constant simmering that results in resentment, distrust and the possibility of a flare up. I would like nothing more than for Atheists and Theists to resolve their conflicts because frankly I’m sick and fucking tired of hearing non-stop prattling on about abortion and evolution in the classroom and how those who-gives-a-fuck issues hijack entire elections that should be about the rapid destruction of the human planetary life-support system. I could give a fuck if people learn about monkeys or genesis, so long as I can breathe and not watch mass extinction in action. For Christ’s sake it’s like watching two people argue about the best place for the lamp while they’re standing on the poop deck of the fucking Titanic. All of that being said, my desire for peace in that case does not mean that I am willing to be the butt of someone’s joke, or that I’m incapable, or disallowed from defending my self from personal attack and from causin a ruckus with all you mutha fuckas in retaliation, nor does my going buck wild mean that I am no longer capable of desiring peace.

So leave it at this. The next time you crack a joke and the target of it says, “dude, that’s not fucking cool,” man up and say, “Oh shit, sorry, dude. My bad,” instead of frontin like you don’t know what’s what.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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16-04-2011, 08:04 AM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
I have to confess that I did not read a word of that but based on past discussions I think I've got a pretty good idea of what it says. And, all I can say in response is this: it must be really exhausting to be you.

cue massive retaliation/escalation

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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16-04-2011, 08:44 AM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
Hey, BnW.

Actually, I enjoy being me and I enjoy what I do. And yeah, I am gonna call you a penis because you're being one. But I think you'd agree. So, in the finest tradition of what you just wrote, no touch backs!

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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17-04-2011, 04:36 PM
RE: Theists versus atheists: are conflicts necessary?
Matt,

Well said. VERY well said.

BnW,

Wow. I am not defending Ghost here. He doesn't need it. I am stating my opinion based on what you said in your last post to him. You are acting like a dick. I don't know who engaged who, and really don't care. The fact is, you took your part in it, then when your "opposition" (for lack of a better word) defends himself in a thoughtful manner against your attack (yep, I said "attack") you don't even bother to read it??? I call bullshit. Big Time.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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