What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
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05-04-2012, 05:26 AM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2012 06:53 PM by Mark Fulton.)
What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?







I address all contributors to this forum, but particularly the thinking atheists.


Most of us are here to learn and to share and maybe to get some
support from like-minded friends. Some, perhaps all, get some satisfaction out of
“proving” we are “right” on this forum. Other times we swallow some “humble pie.” Its all good…and the end of the day we learn from each other. Our egos might sometimes get knocked a little, but that’s healthy.



Over the last few weeks one contributor to this forum, Egor, has gone beyond the “banter” level of conversation to seriously offend some members. Don’t worry, I’m not starting another thread about Egor per se, and I’m not asking moderators to “do
something” about him, but I want to use him as an example to help us ( atheists
) decide what level of abuse/threats we should accept without silencing and
retaliating aggressively against the opposition.



I spent some time rereading only some of his comments. There is no doubt he has seriously pissed off many people. Here are a few examples…


Leela

“I have stopped taking part in the
theological discussions pretty much completely and the second I see Egor in one
of them I stop reading it because it is a fucking pain in the ass. Although I
would like to keep reading such threads I just can't because the very second he
enters a thread it doesn't take and the whole thing is turned into a rant or a
flame war.”


Angele


“On about day two that I was on this forum, I
had had my 'nough (as my sister would say) with Egor and stopped reading
anything he posted”


Clint


“When did you miss the complete disrespect he
dishes out to you and every atheist? Just saying, it's time to stop apologizing
just to be all friendly. I do understand your comments on the obvious
derailment after his posts though.”


Lilith


“I feel really bad that he challenged my gender
and I left it at this will not be discussed on the forum.”


"Sure for a little while Egor calmed down on the
whole contrarian attitude but that was only for a short time. He went right
back to focusing on and attacking people. He doesn't argue with someone
logically, he attacks them. Yes it's important for debaters to be able to stand
up to this sort of thing, but many members aren't worried about being debaters.
Many members don't even discuss their beliefs outside this forum. Plenty of
members barely discuss them here.


He is not here promoting understanding and
involvement in exploring all that there is to see. He's not here expanding much
of anything, he's just inflating his ego by crushing those who aren't looking
for a debate. Those who come to feel a little less secluded. Those who ran away
from others like him.


Many of the members here need support more than
a challenge, and this is where I truly detest Egor. The main time he interjects
with his venomous attacks is when someone is asking for help. He focuses on
cutting the heads off of the weaker links.


Defending someone like him to the extent that
some of you do makes me quite sick. There are thoughts I work very hard to
overcome. I expose myself to difficult situations all the time, shaking the
whole way through. The reason for my speaking out, and for all the exposure I
give something that no one would realise if I didn't mention it, is because I
want to prove to people there is a better side to the argument. I want them to
know the truth before people like him force an idea into their heads.


As I said earlier in this thread. He started this same attack I've had to deal with
everywhere I go. I do not come here to prove my existence!!!!!!! I have to do
that too often already, with people like him who would rather there not be
anyone like me. This place is supposed to be a momentary release from the
pressures of being such a minority in so many ways. I'm not saying that debate
shouldn't happen, but this shouldn't be the place for venom, this shouldn't be
the place where questioning and learning are "smacked down".”






Someone else…


“We shouldn't be
promoting ignorance. I wasn't saying he should be banned. I was saying
that many of you don't understand the PTSD issues some of us have, and using
the "Ignore" button or just averting one's eyes isn't a tenable
solution.”


I could quote more, but I think I’ve made a point.


Egor admits he wants to be famous…”Look, when I get famous, and I will,”


His modus operandi is to achieve notoriety by offending people. He
wants to be a John Hagee or a Pat Robertson.


Now, fellow atheists, consider how he does this.


1. He attacks people, ie he creates straw men. For example…


“Fuck
you.”


“I
don’t think you’re stupid either. And your paragraph right there. I agree with
it. So, why the fuck are you an atheist? Why are you wasting your time in that
intellectual dead end?”


“Because to make a statement like that and not be able to defend it is pretty stupid.
Are you stupid?”


“You wouldn’t know a solid foundation if you were buried in one.”


“You go to all this trouble to tell people you're a "doctor," You start off with this more-educated-than-thou
attitude and this is what you end up like. A sidelined, insulting, atheistic jerk, just like the fools at Raving Atheist. Mark”


“Right now you are a parasite on the host which is the Christian Church. Once you have
killed your host, you will die too.”


2. He attacks atheism, and all atheists, without exception


“fatuous theists and their smug self proclaimed
moral superiority”


“When I was a Humane Officer in Southern California twenty years ago, one of the tasks we performed
was picking up dead animals off the city streets (Riverside). So, I go and pick
up this bloated dog and bring it back to the shelter to throw in the freezer
with the others, as I pull it out, a bunch ofmaggots fall onto the driveway.
Just then, the chickens we had collectively seized over the years (which we
just let run free around the shelter grounds) came running over and immediately
began eating the maggots. They loved them. Christianity is the bloated dog.
Atheism is the maggots. Veridicanism is the chickens.”


“For those who actively reject Christ (as all
atheists do) there is hell, hell for the pleasure of God.”


“I think I really am beginning to see the whole universe like a giant MMA “cage match.”


“It is only for this forum that I have come to see some atheists as even human beings"


”The narcissist, the sinner, the stupid, the lazy = those who will never be able to believe in God.”


I could go on. There is an almost bottomless pit of pathology here.


My point is we have to draw a line somewhere. We should respect and listen to well expressed well-intentioned
Christian arguments. BUT….


A) We should shout down all “straw man” arguments. When “Egors” get
personal, they are avoiding the real issues. Point out the fallacy…then reply
by machine-gunning their kneecaps with your own straw man.


B) We absolutely should shout down threats of hell. There are
beautiful people struggling a little because they are still psychologically
damaged by their Christian upbringing with its threats of hell. We should protect
them. After all, to threaten anyone with hell is, in fact, effectively an admission
their argument is piss-poor weak.


C) We should allow no generalizations about “atheists.” Atheists are an
incredibly diverse bunch with only one small thing in common.


If we are going to be proud atheists we must stop being pussies. Egor, and anyone like him, must be told to go fuck himself, and then ignored.


In a few months I will publish my book and, hopefully, become a more public advocate of atheism. So I’ve had to think hard about how I will deal with the Egors of this world. I’m open to all input…so what does everyone else think?
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05-04-2012, 05:31 AM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
(05-04-2012 05:26 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Don’t worry, I’m not starting another thread about Egor...

Lies. Yeah, you are. Tongue

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05-04-2012, 05:35 AM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
(05-04-2012 05:31 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(05-04-2012 05:26 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Don’t worry, I’m not starting another thread about Egor...

Lies. Yeah, you are. Tongue
(05-04-2012 05:31 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Gimme a break...have you read it? This issue is much bigger than fucking Egor
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05-04-2012, 05:54 AM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
(05-04-2012 05:31 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(05-04-2012 05:26 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Don’t worry, I’m not starting another thread about Egor...

Lies. Yeah, you are. Tongue
Actually it isn't all about Egor as he said it was as an example.
You could insert other abusive assholes in there ;P
And as an atheist it isn't a sin to lie Wink

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05-04-2012, 06:05 AM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
I have a few opinions on this.

1) Egor can be nice, Egor can be not so nice. I think the best way to deal with this is to simply ignore him whenever a comment isn't nice.

Egor by his own admission enjoys the interaction on this forum. He is here for communication.

(Forgive me for this Egor, this is going to sound so condescending but I don't mean it to, it's just an analogy).
Imagine a small child. When they want a chocolate they will take one of two approaches, they will either scream and demand and tantrum, or they will ask politely and say please. Any good parent will only give the child a chocolate when they ask nicely. That way the child learns how to behave appropriately. If you do give a chocolate to a child when they act out then you encourage the behaviour by rewarding it and it is more likely you will face it again.

The same principle applies here. If people only reply to comments that they feel are non-aggressive (whether made by Egor or someone else) then everyone will be forced to either post politely or have no communication on here, everyone would soon learn. This only works if EVERYONE does it though.

Shouting him down just gives him a platform to shout back.

2) I have no problem with someone threatening me with hell. It is a caring thing to do in my book. I've never seen anyone on here gloat over the idea of me going to hell. Instead they always have the approach that they believe atheists are going to hell and they are concerned for us. They don't want us to go hell because they care.

We are in a situation where neither side can prove we are right. We will think and act as though we are right but we have to accept the other side doing the same.

Again think of a small child. If they tell you that they don't believe playing in traffic is dangerous would you let them? Hell no! You'd try and stop them. As far as a theist is concerned that is all they are doing. I have no problem with it.

3) It's a two way street. If people weren't so hostile to Egor maybe he would be less hostile back. As I've repeatedly said, I've had many pleasant interactions with Egor, I've been polite and respectful with him and he has with me.

These are just my opinions Smile.

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05-04-2012, 06:22 AM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
I love Egor and those like him. Let's call them Egorists. Now Egor is famous.
People like them are why I come to this forum.
If you can't debate him in a forum what are you going to do in real life when it really matters.
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05-04-2012, 06:27 AM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2012 06:30 AM by houseofcantor.)
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
(05-04-2012 05:35 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Gimme a break...have you read it? This issue is much bigger than fucking Egor

I read a bunch of vitriol going "Egor this and Egor that;" then I stopped reading. When one is used "as an example" and there ain't no other examples, sure looks like an attack.


(05-04-2012 05:54 AM)reindeer Wrote:  Actually it isn't all about Egor as he said it was as an example.
You could insert other abusive assholes in there ;P
And as an atheist it isn't a sin to lie Wink
Shut it, n00b.

Big Grin

Nah, Mark got all wound about Egor; I can understand it, guy tends to be an assmunch. My thing is this site ain't all PC'd up like a lot of other places, and I'll argue to keep it that way. Wink

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05-04-2012, 06:32 AM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
I did an amazing rant against him. Where is my spot on the list?

I kid. But seriously. You're right.

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05-04-2012, 06:41 AM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2012 07:06 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
(05-04-2012 06:05 AM)Hughsie Wrote:  I have a few opinions on this.

1) Egor can be nice, Egor can be not so nice. I think the best way to deal with this is to simply ignore him whenever a comment isn't nice.

Egor by his own admission enjoys the interaction on this forum. He is here for communication.

(Forgive me for this Egor, this is going to sound so condescending but I don't mean it to, it's just an analogy).
Imagine a small child. When they want a chocolate they will take one of two approaches, they will either scream and demand and tantrum, or they will ask politely and say please. Any good parent will only give the child a chocolate when they ask nicely. That way the child learns how to behave appropriately. If you do give a chocolate to a child when they act out then you encourage the behaviour by rewarding it and it is more likely you will face it again.

The same principle applies here. If people only reply to comments that they feel are non-aggressive (whether made by Egor or someone else) then everyone will be forced to either post politely or have no communication on here, everyone would soon learn. This only works if EVERYONE does it though.

Shouting him down just gives him a platform to shout back.

2) I have no problem with someone threatening me with hell. It is a caring thing to do in my book. I've never seen anyone on here gloat over the idea of me going to hell. Instead they always have the approach that they believe atheists are going to hell and they are concerned for us. They don't want us to go hell because they care.

We are in a situation where neither side can prove we are right. We will think and act as though we are right but we have to accept the other side doing the same.

Again think of a small child. If they tell you that they don't believe playing in traffic is dangerous would you let them? Hell no! You'd try and stop them. As far as a theist is concerned that is all they are doing. I have no problem with it.

3) It's a two way street. If people weren't so hostile to Egor maybe he would be less hostile back. As I've repeatedly said, I've had many pleasant interactions with Egor, I've been polite and respectful with him and he has with me.

These are just my opinions Smile.
Hi Hughsie, thanks for your opinions.

I hear it that you are not put out by theists threatening you with hell. Neither am I. Do you, however, concede my point that many people are? These people are not "weak," they have had childhoods during which they were threatened with hell. Richard Dawkins makes a deal of this in one of his first documentaries, as does Marlene Winnell in her writings. Should such threats be left unchallenged? No! Would you allow your young child to be taught about the never ending fires of hell? I hope not!

Concerning the "niceness" of adamant fundamentalists.....mmmmmm...........of course they can be "nice." Hitler was charming at times. That doesn't excuse their sins, which must not be ignored.

I cannot, and will not, be civil to people who threaten others with hell, or who bad mouth atheists. I have been, and will be, hostile in retaliation. On the other hand I will be perfectly civil and respectful to any Christian who can control their tongue.

Re "We are in a situation where neither side can prove we are right." Mmmmmmmm..............I disagree, but even if we grant that is a fact, noone has ever been psychologically damaged by atheism, whereas there are billions of people who have been by Christianity.
(05-04-2012 06:32 AM)Hamata k Wrote:  I did an amazing rant against him. Where is my spot on the list?

I kid. But seriously. You're right.
Hi. Nice to have someone agree with me! LOL! Please repost your "rant" Sorry I missed it! Do you agree we shouldn't accept straw man arguments, threats of hell and attacks on atheists?
(05-04-2012 06:27 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(05-04-2012 05:35 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Gimme a break...have you read it? This issue is much bigger than fucking Egor

I read a bunch of vitriol going "Egor this and Egor that;" then I stopped reading. When one is used "as an example" and there ain't no other examples, sure looks like an attack.


(05-04-2012 05:54 AM)reindeer Wrote:  Actually it isn't all about Egor as he said it was as an example.
You could insert other abusive assholes in there ;P
And as an atheist it isn't a sin to lie Wink
Shut it, n00b.

Big Grin

Nah, Mark got all wound about Egor; I can understand it, guy tends to be an assmunch. My thing is this site ain't all PC'd up like a lot of other places, and I'll argue to keep it that way. Wink
Hi HOC, well it took me about 3 hours to get that post together....I know its a bit long but you really should have actually read it (taken 1 minute) before you label me as being "wound" about Egor. There is a principle at stake here...its not actually about Egor.....he just happens to be a convenient example to demonstrate a point.
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05-04-2012, 07:00 AM
RE: What degree of abuse or threat is acceptable?
There is always a line, but in my opinion it is nearly impossible to have a common line for every one as each person has varying degrees of tolerance. For instance, SOME PEOPLE CAN BE EASILY IRRITATED JUST BY SEEING POSTS TYPED IN ALL CAPS, or if teh poost contians alot of grammetical an speling mistaeks.

Strawmen versus Strawmen. This could potentially bring about a lot of hilarious discussions on any issue.But I may have to disagree with your point regarding the generalisation of atheists. We all generalise things one way or another. Just like what I did in the previous sentence. Some of us see young Earth creationists as silly people who have no understanding on science, which I disagree, for some indeed have the scientific knowledge, but have a different interpretation, while some have thought through, and reached a different conclusion.

I agree that Egor should tone down a bit, but I suspect he is only aggressive when others are in the first place aggressive towards him (citation needed). But when he is calm, he can strike up a nice discussion, those types where you can talk over a cup of tea.

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