You are being highly unfair to Dandelion.
If you looked back over time, there has indeed been much of a religious (read Christian variety) influence on the various threads.
Not being of the Christian variety myself, and not being quite as outspoken as Translator, I have been shut down several times by some extremely visceral responses.
I firmly believe that this forum is no place for religious or political arguments--it should be painfully obvious at this point in time that we are NOT all going to agree about everything.
None of these highly emotional and opinionated people have had any success in much beyond dividing this board, and that is a very destructive trend. I believe that Dandelion, with her remarks, was merely trying to lighten the atmosphere a bit.
**OPEN MESSAGE TO EVERYONE**
DEAL WITH IT AND MOVE ON!!!
[This message has been edited by jfaronson (edited 08-12-2004).]
Finally some words of sanity and wisdom. Thank you.
So many of these posts prove
birds of a feather flock together
The atheists are here, the religious are there.
As to Pabillsman, he is new, and probably doesn't even know who dandelion is. A nickle says he has misspoke.
Someone being new to a group does not give them carte blanche to start hurling insults around. I have always found it a better practice to get the feel of a place before I impose my opinion upon it.
Wow, jfaronson, at last! Someone who understands what I mean by what I say! You can be reckoned among the first wave of readers for my work in progress, if you want, and when it arrives at a stage to be ready for proofreading!
Not attacking religious people, of any persuasion--some of the non-religious have been as much, or more, fanatical--which, if you think about it, makes sense, as they have more to lose...when it begins to become apparent that there "might" be a God, after all.
Basically, I was responding to a trend I have seen NOT JUST HERE but on any number, if not all, the forums in which I've participated. Certainly it doesn't arise in every thread, but I can't offhand think of any forum where such attacks have not occurred, whether over little things or completely from left field!
Sometimes, an individual actually is trolling (trying to start an argument) and others are ill-advised enough to answer, but often someone (even a longtime regular contributor) is accused of being a troll, with their every statement on anything misconstrued, jumped on, and attacked!
In some cases, two warring factions will "side up" on either point of view. The really alarming thing is when one individual is the target of an unwarranted attack, and the rest of the group either sides with the attacker, or remains silent! I've seen situations which resemble a techno lynch mob and must wonder, why?
It could be just an "internet thing," and perhaps a study will be done of whether there is an average time for an active group to turn bad--whether it's length of years or number of posts--but somehow I don't think so. It's been said that common courtesy is at an astounding low in the English-speaking world and the Americans are the worst offenders of a bad bunch.
Remember the classic exchange in "Terms of Endearment," with John Lithgow's character scolding the grocery clerk?
"You didn't have to be rude to her."
"I didn't think I was being rude."
"Then you must be from New York."
What goes on nowadays? Is everyone suddenly from New York?
You talkinduh me?
I think it has to do with the fact that, on the Internet, you're dealing with "faceless" people, so that some people disregard all the common courtesies one would use if dealing with others face to face.
I, personally, try to deal with online "conversations" the same way I deal with face to face conversations. I actually find it EASIER to be more polite online because I can take back what I've written before hitting Enter. Doesn't always work, but there's a lot of really nasty things I could have said in reply to some of the postings I've seen, but I held my tongue instead because it's just not worth the arguments!
Anyway, that's my take on things.
(see my post under "The foresight of the 451 firemen" 08-10-04)
Right on! I couldn't have said it better myself!
Faranson and dandelion,
You are both correct. And yes, some do troll around for arguments - but life without them is not worth living.
I have learned the hard way the difference between an argument and a waste of time. An argument implies that all parties involved are interested in the others' points of view. Sadly, this has not been the case. I find it appalling that on a bulletin board devoted to the works of an author who, overall, espouses tolerance and understanding, some apparently intelligent individuals allow themselves to be diminished by spouting rhetoric and rigidily clinging to their opinions.
It's no wonder the world is in such disarray. Like Dandelion said, there seems to be an epidemic of rude and inconsiderate attitudes out there...
Yes, those individuals should be shot.
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