Dear Think Atheist Community,
Here at TA, we have two primary goals. The first is to break misconceptions about atheism in general, and the second is to create a little corner in cyberspace where we can socialize.
Behavior of late has run contrary to these two objectives.
Discussions and debates have decayed into personal attacks. Some have been shut down entirely, and that is a pity. If communication stops, so does the exchange of ideas. When we throw off the chains of superstition and magic, we adopt the mindset of rational, logical adults. Please have a look at the guidelines page if you need a reminder. Please step away from your computer if your temper is going to get the better of you. If someone born into a religious home were to come here to explore their doubts, is this really the kind of welcome we want to send? I'm sure it resembles something very close to "The Angry Atheists" among other stereotypes we are attempting to shatter.
Discussions get heated. That is a fact of life, but we are fortunate enough to have delayed-response technology. Posting online isn't the same as having a verbal discussion. There is no tone of voice to convey sarcasm, gentle chiding or teasing. Each letter you type is black and white. This is a difficulty. However, we have the ability to read a post, step away from the computer and calm down before replying. This is a major benefit.
If you ever fear that you are holding up a discussion, simply saying "I need to walk away right now. I'll respond when I've cooled down." is an incredibly mature, reasonable response. It is one worthy of admiration. it will also keep our little space in the internet respectful, friendly and most importantly....fun.
No one will participate in an online forum that is nasty. No one will feel a sense of community unless a community is nurtured. Passionate debates are welcomed, but respectful exchange is mandatory. If you can't perform the second, then maybe this isn't the place for you. Please consider this message as the week unfolds. Remember that we have enough conflict set against us in the real world that we don't need it here.
Debate the idea, not the debater.
Don't sweat it Dan. You guys are doing a great job. These are the same people who went running a crying from Atheist Nexus after violating their rules. Unfortunate for you (and the rest), even more of them are coming here thinking they will be able to get away with the same stuff. Buy a lot of aspirin.
again Anne Gunther along with others are engaging in a kind of provocative false description of the problem.
....... Atheist Nexus suspended my account not for a single violation of any rule, but because I briefly in less than one hundred words confronted a misognyist obscene poster named Felch Grogan..... he commented in less than 30 words about a Sarah Palin photo where he sought laughs regarding her injestion of semen and her confusion on whether to spit or swallow......
...... my dissent was not tolerated by the hypocritical moderators of Atheist Nexus......
...... I merely commented on how one could easily contract hepatitus and HIV from such behaviour and I asked why MR Grogan had to pay for his sexual favors instead of maintain a non-professional romantic relationship...
.... I challenge anyone here to quote a single post I have ever made on any website ever that is deserving of censorship nor condemnation by other Atheists?
,,,,,as for one other poster who was not suspended but has chosen to retreat from hostile mis-application of moderations, where she is told to tone down but perpetrators who are moderators are the only ad hominem violators.... you who would falsely describe her are trashing a rape victim and a fine author of 4 books who has only recently decided to publish Atheist material, who has taken on the Pennsylvania court system and won.....
...... why do the closet pseudo Atheists wish to rule over our champions?
..... call me anytime with answers, as my voice on the phone will prove up the fact that I am a calm and appropriate voice representative completely of Think Atheist and Atheist Nexus alleged goals violated by moderators, not by Atheists like JSH or yours truthfully 843-926-1750 Larry Carter Center in my 33 rd year of Atheist activism
I read what you posted. You broke the rules and were rude. I read all you posted, and they were violations of the rules. I'm sure the great mods here would not tolerate it either. I really don't care either way. I don't know you. I just don't like people lying.
There will always be arguments, the tricky part is to know how to handle them in an ADULT Manner.
Those are the operative words: "ADULT manner." What I find to be a direct contradiction of that is when a moderator and friend gang up on a poster they happen to personally dislike, or want to put down or whatever by calling the person an "idiot", a "deceiver", an "enemy of reason", and a "liar" who "deliberately posts misinformation." That's beyond uncivilized — it constitutes libel and slander...especially when the poster being ganged up on and insulted is a very hard-working nonfiction author struggling to make a living and get a break in the literary world (you've heard the term "starving artist", well...most authors not backed by some huge corporate publishing co are "starving writers" because of a real lack in 800 lb gorilla advertizing funds).
And when you are personally attacked and insulted with libelous canards by a moderator and his friend just because they have it in for you, it's not just something that causes deeply hurt feelings or personal resentment — it is something that can cost you any opportunity to make a living. I believe that would be grounds for a claim of "tortious interference with economic perspective" by committing slander and libel, if I am not mistaken.
Of course there will be spats and disagreements and some members are apt to get annoyed with another member. But there is a huge difference in saying, "Your source cited may not be up to date, here is my source [insert link to source here] with updated info for your review and opportunity to make a correction" rather than saying "you're a liar. Your an idiot. You're a deceiver. You're either sloppy or a liar and you're deliberately misinforming everyone." That is UNCALLED FOR. Yet, that is precisely what was done to me by a moderator and his buddy on a now closed thread.
The moderator in question has NOT publicly apologized, nor has he and his buddy redacted their damaging slanderous, libelous, and personally insulting posts that were, IMHO, nothing but a deliberate intentional endeavor to screw me over on a personal and economic level — just because they have a personal beef with me (my "militant" human rights and feminist/pro-choice stance is "annoying" to them)
Thirdly, I would like to add that on another thread which I posted as a very polite challenge to the position espoused by another author and T|A member/poster, a moderator (whose post in that thread I agree with 100%, for the record here) called the guy's book a fraud in a follow-up post (and I do NOT agree with that!). I personally think it is pretty poor for a moderator to call "the other guy's" book a fraud when he admittedly did not read it and expressed no inclination to do so. If the "other guy's" book presents a philosophical position, it is just that — but NOT a "fraud."
I do not agree at all with the "other guy's" philosophy/position. I let him know why I was challenging his idea. But, even in my challenging his ideas, I STILL did not downgrade, insult, or belittle his work or call it a "fraud." And I would like to reiterate, that it was his position, his idea, that I was challenging — not him personally.
When he posted a major blooper that was not correct factually, I responded by posting (with sources cited) the fact. The blooper was that he said Hitler was an Atheist and I provided support to show that he was in error: Hitler was a Catholic. But I did this without calling him a "liar", an "idiot", a "deceiver", and a "sloppy researcher" who "deliberately posted misinformation."
Nor did I call his book a "fraud" as I have not read it. But that's not what a moderator did. I don't know if I should say anything to this mod on my thread where this happened, because I don't really want to go out of my way to piss him off, but the fact remains that I am deeply offended that a moderator would call someone else's hard work a "fraud" — especially if he has not read the guy's book!
Now I will explain why this is important: another author, who is also struggling and working hard, is still another author, IMHO. Authors support authors. We work damn hard and many of us struggle at or near the poverty line as it takes usually more than 10 published books before you FINALLY get a break and get some economic benefit for your hard work. 95% of ALL published authors are not living large, OK (unless they've got a good job, or are supported by a rich spouse, outside of their writing).
So for someone to say to "the other guy", "oh, you're just here to plug your book"...well, let me say that when you work you expect to get paid, right? No one else likes to go hungry, or have their utilities shut off, right? Well, the only way authors make any money at all is if they cultivate a readership audience and their books and journal articles sell in large quantities. To begrudge someone trying to put their stuff out there while participating in a social site in order to maybe let potential readers know there's a book there that might interest them; is just plain wrong IMHO.
Authors, unlike most everybody else, don't get paid for their time. They only can make a living if their work sells in significant number. And let me tell you, it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year (and sometimes even several years) of research and another several months to type out a manuscript, and then edit it, to write a heavy book.
But when a non-fiction author is slandered and publicly called a "liar", an "idiot", a "deceiver", and accused unjustly of "deliberately posting misinformation", the ability for that author to maybe be able to make a living is destroyed because their credibility and reputation is ruined. That is not a trivial matter. It is a matter I take extremely seriously...so much so that the word "lawsuit" comes to mind.
OK. Sorry for writing an epistle of tome length. End of rant. Thanking you in advance for your patience in reading my post and taking this matter seriously (I hope).
Oh please don't delete this. I would love an opportunity to point out the fraudulent claims made throughout and make other points regarding our friend JSH, here. I'm laughing and gnashing at the teeth when someone denies spreading misinformation when it is demonstrable. Mostly, I like how she goes about washing her hands of her mistakes and deceptions....very clever and manipulative. I also love it that she relates about her grown up talk with another author....the same author she called a "gasbag" in their "adult" conversation. Oh joy! And a threat of lawsuit? Icing on the cake!
BTW, check out my new sig!
* Disclaimer - The views expressed in these comments do not represent the views of Think Atheist, it's staff, or other members of T|A, and are solely the expressed opinions (peppered with facts) of it's author.
I would love an opportunity to point out the fraudulent claims made throughout and make other points regarding our friend JSH, here.
Either you prove I deliberately posted fraudulent claims and wrong or deceptive information with source links or full and complete citations in text to back up your repeated malicious accusations and outright lying by saying I'm spreading misinformation or shut up, and get yourself an attorney — because you will need one, I promise you that!
And for the record, before you slander someone, you damn well better be able to prove that they — not their information sources — are of deliberate error. So you better check yourself before you wreck yourself, pal.
And furthermore, if anyone is being manipulative and dishonest here, it is YOU! You have not taken back any of your personal attacks or insults when I posted source links supporting my posts in that now-closed thread that substantiated my position. YOU are the one spreading false information which is really nothing short of malicious lies with deliberate intent to do harm. That is something a psychopath would do.
Oh, and BTW, are you real proud of yourself now that you finally succeeded in running Ralph McRae off of T|A? You weren't happy unless you were harassing him just like you have done, and are doing, to me. Does that make you feel like a big man, Reggie?
Ralph contributed far more valuable stuff on this site than you have from my observation. Oh and shall I email Larry so he can post here on this thread as to what he observed about your abuse of Ralph McRae, myself, and other members? And you wonder *why* I un-friended you. Friends like you I can do without!
You are really being part of the problem here — NOT part of the solution. All you want to do is trash on anyone you suddenly decide that you don't like the minute they don't fall in perfect goose-step line with your "group think." If this is the T|A idea and guidelines of being civil and refraining from vicious personal attacks, and if this is your whole show, I think I'll be the next to leave T|A. I hope your need to be the alpha dog here is worth all the animosity you've caused for your personal enjoyment — to more members than just me or Ralph McRae.
Neal, I did NOT know what specifically what was in error. I posted links and attached files that substantiated my position on that thread, long before things degenerated to this mess. The issue here I have is with insults and slanderous accusations.
Now, as I said in my very long post above if you had bothered to read it, if there was an error to correct, there is a way for telling someone they've made a mistake by politely telling them what the mistake was without personally attacking them (with proof that they actually did have something wrong by posting a link to the updated/alternate source of info). They did not do that. They both instead harassed me and slandered me. I will admit and correct something if I made a mistake IF it is pointed out clearly where the mistake was with substantiated proof that I erred. But I will NOT tolerate being UNJUSTLY slandered and libeled and viciously harassed. That's non-negotiable, whether you agree with that or not.
Reggie and Jen did not say, "you've made a mistake in one of your posts about fact XYZ" and then support that claim with the link since they claimed to have had better more in depth info sources on something.
No, instead they BOTH called me a liar, a deceiver, and laid into harassing me personally saying I DELIBERATELY posted misinformation and made a sport of personally attacking me. I am not the only one who has picked up on this. A good and well-respected friend just bailed on T|A after being harassed similarly by Reggie. I am also very strongly leaning towards canceling my membership here myself.
Well, that's nice, and I know a lot of bitches who have fucked over men
I agree, Neal. Women do not own the corner on the market of fucked-overness (is that a word? Well it is now!).
So you support LCC and his comments, is there a court case there as well?
What does my degree of support for LCC's position have to do with this? He gave his own eyewitness account and personal experience as a clinic escort and was basically accused of not telling the truth in so many words by Reggie! Also, I got an email where Larry claims Reggie threatened him but I cannot find the post in question where the threat supposedly occurred. So I don't know if it was later taken down after posted or what. Now, do you NOT see a problem with that?
After rereading the threads, time and time again Reggie agreed with you. Time and time again he admitted that it was a emotional topic, even while asserting that less emotion may make a larger impact. Each time you ignored the thought.
That's precisely why I was extremely upset that he and Jen all of a sudden started personally attacking me for what I believe to be deliberate sport. Like I said, if you're going to tell someone they've got a fact wrong, you better be able to prove it, not just personally attack and insult them. Proof and backing up statements is pretty important if your going to say, "you're an idiot, you're wrong" to someone who had provided links and attachments in prior posts showing they were NOT lying, and who continued to do so thereafter.
You ignored every statement about men imprisoned falsely, (I guess it doesn't matter), but were very adamant about women imprisoned. I again understand your passion, but you can't ignore how belittling to men many of your posts were, (Like the following),especially when the vast majority support your views.
I didn't SEE any posts about falsely imprisoned men! You know, the way this Ning thing works, trying to follow comments and follow-up posts is NOT easy. And for someone who is dyslexic, it's a real bitch, OK. In fact, it is real easy for me to miss a post entirely. I am sure I am not the only one who has had a problem along those lines here.
But since you brought this up, can I ask what the hell wrongfully imprisoned men had to do with the Abortion Doctor thread?
Would wrongly imprisoned men not merit its own thread topic? It is too important of a topic in and of itself to be passed over (or easily overlooked/missed) on a discussion topic about abortion and women's human rights or something else not related to incarceration/the justice system etc. I think that wrongful incarceration should be a new discussion topic because that is a VERY important human rights issue!
I have to step out and will try to respond to the rest of your post in about 45 minutes to an hour, OK.
I really appreciate what he does for women, but his condescending comments does not make for a calm discussion. It appears you support him...
First off, if he caused most of the animosity as you claim, why is it that no one called him out for doing so? Why would you, Reggie and company take it out on me? Is it because I'm easier to push around?
Let me share some background on what I know about LCC:
He worked very closely with Madalyn Murray O'Hair before she was brutally and savagely murdered (for being an atheist who fought to get prayer out of public school), when it was a hell of lot more dangerous to be an "out" atheist. LCC knows what it means to risk personal safety, life and limb, in order to stand up for what he believes in. That takes an incredible amount of guts and a "take no prisoners" attitude. Most people don't/won't/can't do that — they'd rather wait for someone else to be the hero charging in on a white stallion to save the day, know what I mean?
I support and applaud his long track record of strong defense on the front lines of Atheists' civil rights.
I support his position on the matter of defending women's fundamental human rights.
I support his courage for facing personal safety risks to give freely of his time to escort frightened women being harassed and intimidated into the clinic where he's at.
When you say he caused much of the animosity here, you may be overlooking the fact that he got nasty after he saw that I was basically being ganged up on, harassed, and personally attacked by what he perceived to be a very malicious and cocky clique here on T|A. Whether he's right about that part or not is a whole different matter.
Now, you are certainly free to disagree with his method of delivery. We don't all have the same style or agree on the same things. But at least we should try our best to be fair to each other, right?
Now, you are of the opinion that I should overlook and be forgiving of someone else who was not civilized to me with their campaign of harassment and vicious personal attacks on me. I should just take it in stride because, after all, no one is perfect, right? Now, if that is the case, why are you not just as willing to overlook what you perceive to be faults of LCC?