I am mot going to point any fingers, mention any names, or point to any specific threads/blogs (because I'm cool like that - lol), but I am beginning to have a problem here on TA.

Usually I don't have a problem finding good, intellegent, rational, conversation on TA. If I post an opinion/question, make a comment/pose a question on other peoples' posts, I can usually count on a two-way chat where we can comment and ask questions of one another in order to better undersrtand where the other person is coming from. But lately, all the converstions I have had consist of  people who want to cherry-pick my posts. They only address things that I have said that they have an argument for and completely ignore the rest. I liken it to the way most Christians use the Bible.

I have been involved in threads where I pose the same question 3-4 times and it goes completely unaknowledged by the other people involved, presumably because they can't prove what I say to be wrong and/or it invalidates their argument so they ignore it. That's what I am left to assume, anyway, because of their complete failure to even refer to my questions/statements in ANY way.

Even more irritating, I have recently had a cherry-picker who wanted to pick certain words, phrases and statements out of my posts and put them completely out of context inorder to misconstrue them and try and turn them around on me. WTF? That is not being honest and is not how someone who calls themsel a 'free thinker' should behave.

When I am discussing a topic with someone and they ask a question of me, I try and answer it the best I can. Even if I don't agree with what was said; even if the answer to the question will somehow prove me wrong. If I am wrong and I realize it, I will admit it! I will even apologize if I deem it necessary! If I am wrong, I would rather know that I am wrong so that I don't go around thinking and sharing wrong information. Sometimes that involves changing my position on something. Part of being a free thinker is being open to the possibility that you are wrong.

We cannot call ourselves free thinkers just because we are Atheists. There is much, much more to it than that. If you are not going to be open to new possibilities that may challenge the ideas, opinions and positions that you already hold, and if you are just going to go around preaching those ideas, opinions and positions at people without the willingness to listen to and aknowledge their ideas/opinions/positions, then you are no better than a wacko Christian fundamentalist.

In fact, a lot of the converstaions that I have tried to have with people, about subjects other than religion/god, have felt exactly like the conversations that I have had with Christians about religion/god. They just state their opinion over and over without any acknowledgement of what I am saying to them. It's like talking to a wall, and it's very disappointing to say the least.

So, what is going on here, peeps?? We cannot call ourselves free thinkers and then proceed to be narrow minded. What gives?

Views: 42

Comment by Ed on December 6, 2011 at 12:12am

If certain members are a source of irritation you might want to confront them through private messaging and work out any misunderstandings.

Perception is a funny thing and very subjective.

Still some people get off on being argumentative. Why? I don't know.

Just don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Most of us here are pretty levelheaded.

Come with lower expectations and you might find it more tolerable.   :^ )

Comment by Amy L. Cook on December 6, 2011 at 12:43am

LOL... Thanks! I might just do some private messaging. I guess it's too easy to make generalizations when you are in larger discussion, not to mention that some of my replies get burried before I can even get them posted. 
Thanks for your advice! 

Comment by Strega on December 8, 2012 at 8:18pm

Come with lower expectations, unless you are a limbo dancer - in which case, come with higher ones :)

When I first joined here, a couple of people jumped down my throat pretty much straight away, over nothing much at all. Once people get to recognise your thoughtful posts, they are a little less inclined to suspect the worst.  But you know, a board where everyone agrees with each other and treats each other with respect and politeness, is a boring kind of board...

A little spice is nice - as long as its not rude and abusive and directed at me of course.

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on December 8, 2012 at 9:58pm

@Amy

Selective attention is a frequent logical fallacy. Often the cherry picker has no idea he's doing it. But sometimes it's deliberate. Some people think they cannot lose a debate if they continue to argue, even fallaciously. Call out the cherry picking. But only if it's worth your time. 

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