Discuss General Topics.
And a comment in the above makes me think of another point. Who's to say I'm a skeptic? Maybe I'm a believer who just happens to be searching for the truth but have yet to find the evidence that will support my belief in the paranormal. After all, I don't want to convince someone that they could talk to the dead without evidence of that, even though I believed someone really CAN talk to dead people. At least, that seems like it could be the right thing to do which is not to build up false hope in people...
I believe this NSA idea is a good example of why behavior-based rules work better than viewpoint based rules. I initially approved of the idea myself, but it seems as though it is not as ironclad as it looked at first blush.
Viewpoints, and the various opinions that grow up around them, are too subjective. Simply saying that skeptics are not allowed to post somewhere, probably will not acomplish the goal of making the forum more comfortable for believers. It certainly will not lead to any greater understanding between believers and skeptics.
I feel that it works better to define the sort of behaviors that are undesirable. Once those are defined, it is easier to control them with objective rules. Will it result in a perfectly fair & equitable forum that leaves everyone happy? No, but I doubt that is achievable. it might make the forum closer to that idea, though.
What I suggest is that the management examines the behaviors of pseudo-skeptics, or skeptics, or whoever are bugging people, and discern what behaviors are hurting the forum as they see it. That is going to be at the core of any process like this. The management should have a clear vision of what sort of forum they want this to be and then communicate that vision in objective terms to the members & potential members.
Then they can ask themselves two questions:
What is the harmful effect of a pseudo-skeptical or skeptical post to a believer?
What precisely is it in the nature of these posts that causes the harm?
When these questions have an answer, make a rule against that.
Lather, rinse, repeat as neccesary.
All these labels are not helping, in my opinion. Everyone is worried about who is a skeptic, or believer, or critical thinker, or pseudo-skeptic. These terms get thrown around pretty loosely. I see a lot of hateful posts directed at our fellow humans, simply because they have a different label on them. That is niether desirable or meaningful. Sometimes a believer will call themselves a skeptic, sometimes believers post insults at skeptics. It seems pseudo-skeptics are fair game for any sort of horrible insult, and yet I have seen many posts where "skeptic" and "pseudoskeptic" are used interchangably. It is hard to tell what people really meam sometimes, and who they are attacking. I joined this forum in good faith. I do not approve of people missusing tenets of critical thinking or trolling the web under the guise of a skeptic, so while I may not agree with every application of the word here, I am thoroughly in the "pseudo-skeptics are bad" corner. Yet now I seem to be in danger of being ousted or segregated because I consider myself a skeptic or critical thinker. It is confusing.
This reads a little like a rant, I think. i don't mean it that way, but I am too lazy to edit it into a better tone. Sorry about that. These are simply my thoughts as I typed them and I did not mean to sound preachy or angry. I certainly am not saying this is how everyone should see things. I am not angry either.
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
Both of the above posted comments make perfect sense.
The really hard part is enforcing any rules without eventually banning everyone around here. At this time the basic rules are: No curse words, no personal attacks and no name calling.
Do we really have to put in print exactly what curse words are not to be used? What if the word is changed but the intent is still there such as "You F#ck!ng believer! or That's a bleeping lie"? What good is that? It only serves to make the Mods crazy.
I myself have dreamed of being able to tell an occasional poster or two that they are "f'ing nuts" but of course, I fight the urge as their viewpoint is as valid as anyone elses here.
Who ever said this was to be a fair & equitable forum for anyone skeptical of the topic material here? I think that it's pretty darned fair that Skeptics are welcomed here and I do believe that Scepcop, Eteponge and I give them plenty of freedom to express their views and beliefs without bias. Granted, those in favor of the topic material here may not get their hands slapped by me as much but that's life baby. This is a forum geared toward the paranormal, not against it even existing.
Well, I did not mean to imply that I know what the best direction for the forum is or anything of the sort. I actually agree that the forum as it stands is pretty fair, if a bit rambunctious. I certainly thing that you do a bang-up job here, NP!
I was just trying to articulate the idea that even the best system will not result in a forum that pleases everybody.
*in a Jeff Foxworthy voice*
You know you are a skeptic when......
You tell your friends that you have been looking at Randi pictures on the internet, and they completely misunderstand!
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
We are debating semantics here. We all know who the pro-paranormal folks are and the anti-paranormal folks are. It's obvious from the posts.
You either are open to the paranormal and agree that there is evidence for it, or you believe that there is no evidence for it and deny all evidence presented.
Whether you claim you are a skeptic or not, or open minded or not, the above defines which side you're on. It's as simple as that.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Rimshot and advice taken.
The bottom line here is that we have an ecclectic group of thinkers with different points of views and beliefs. Those who can't apply simple courtesy don't last too long. On the flip side, those who can't stand the heat of hot and hard hitting opposition get out of hells Spamalamadingdong real fast.
Yes, I believe the Mod's do a great job keeping everyone in line, regardless of their/our beliefs.
I've decided I'm not going to worry about it anymore. If I post something that I shouldn't, then the mods can delete, ban, or do whatever they wish to me. It may look like it sometimes, but I do have a pretty fullfilling life outside this forum...
Hmmm, I'm skeptical of that statement...
From another topic:
It's fine. However, "cheesed off" would be equally as effective if the word 'pissed' bothers you.
In other countries 'pissed' can also mean drunk.
I have to agree with Winston. We all know who is pro-paranormal here and who
is not. The rest is a silly discussion on semantics which gets us nowhere.
This is the crux of it.I have noticed we have started to use the terms forums like JREF use such as "believer" and "skeptic" They call us the believers, and they themselves
have appropriated the term "skeptic" and used it to describe themselves. However, this is strictly against the ethos of this web site, which is against pseudoskepticism in
all it forms and believes they are a nuisance that needs to be exposed and rooted out. They have been responsible for hampering serious scientific research into the
paranormal for the past few decades, many paranormal investigators have lost their jobs due to them. Why should we be friendly to them on our a web site which is
expressedly against them?
I am all for what Ninjapuppy calls ecclecticism, but I am not for any kind of toleration of pseudoskeptics on these forums. Lets face it they do not contribute anything to
any discussion other than voice their bigoted views over and over again. I believe that as a web site and forum which is aligning itself against psedoskeptical organizations
like JREF, it is against our interests to allow pseudoskeptics on our board and give them free reign. We should set this place up so that it attracts the people we want on this
forum, pro-paranormal who agree there is evidence for the paranormal and want to critically discuss it, not anti-paranormalists who deny all the evidence, refuse to engage
with the evidence. There are many anti paranormalists on this board at the moment, who are prolific posters(I will not name names, but it is pretty clear who they are) that
have absolutely no respect for the ethos of this web site, get away with publically telling Winston on this board, "Your treatise is bullshit" The very fact they are denying his
treatise which exposes pseudoskeptical arguments, reveals exactly who and what they are. Why are we tolerating them?
Don't let them get away with appropriating the term "skeptic" I am skeptical myself, and so is Winston and so is Ninjapuppy and many others that they derogatively call
"believers" We need skeptics on this board to keep the discussions critical and to push people to provide evidence and reasons for their arguments, but we do not want
pseudoskeptics on this board whose only purpose is to to disrupt that. Pseudoskeptics are nuisances, and do not deserve to be tolerated. We must adopt a hardline attitude
to pseduskepticism on this board and not tolerate it in any form. In fact a pseudoskeptic is just a glorified internet troll.
Last edited by Indigo Child on 22 Jun 2010, 12:00, edited 2 times in total.
I want to give actual examples of discussions which are of an acceptable standard and where members are engaging with each others points and allowing discussion to take place, and examples which are not doing that:
Here is a short discussion between me and Winston showing how mature adults have a mature discussion with each other: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=877&start=10
I engage his points respectfuly on Buddhism, agreeing that they are true of something(in this case orthodox schools of Buddhism). I then bring up a critical point of my own(alternative interpretations) He then follows by agreeing with my critical point, and follows on from to make a point in light of the points I made.
This is the standard of any mature and critical discussion. If somebody makes a critical point, you engage with that point, then make your point in light of what has been said. The discussion moves on.
Now here is an example of a where this is not being done. This is between me and Prowag:
In this disussion I make a point that Uri Geller has been scientifically tested under controlled conditions. Prowag disagrees saying the test conditions were insufficient and hence we could dismiss all the evidence, giving one example in one experiment of how steelballs would move at a slight movement of the table which is a trick all magicians know(he never establishes this point)
I then give him new information that the test was done using a permenant magnet and water. He disregards this point and continues to reiterate it is a magicians trick. I refute that by saying he is not dealing with the new information I am gaving, he disregards it again. This goes on several more posts and the discussion remains stagnant.
This is an example of a discussion where one member is refusing to engage with anothers points and hence discussion is impossible, because that member is disrupting it.
The same happened in the Prahlad Jani thread between me and Nostradamus - where I provided evidence and links to back up my points that Prahlad Jani had indeed survived without food and water for more than 10 days and that his health indices were very healthy. None of that evidence is engaged.
You see this is happening consistently in every discussion that is taking place on the paranormal here. An anti-paranormalist jumps in demanding evidence. They are presented with evidence by the pro-paranormalists. They deny the evidence and do not engage the points made. Discussion goes nowhere.
This is exactly why I am saying pseudoskeptics are nothing more than glorified trolls that needs to be brought in line. We need a hardline attitude to these people. The first step we need to take
has to be enforced on an administrative level. They must be asked to engage the points others are making, and if they do not, we must get rid of them. They are not here to discuss, that much would be obvious.
Here is a general question that must be asked of anybody who joins this forum
Are you here to critically discuss the paranormal and evidence of the paranormal
or are you here to voice views against the paranormal and belittle those who do
If they answer to the former, then they must adhere to that, and discuss
which means engaging with discussion points being made by members. If they
cannot do that then they are not here to discuss the paranormal, but rather
to voice their views against it and belittle those who support it. That much is
Well that settles it then. Only people who agree with Indigo Child can post here. If you disagree in any fashion, you must be banned. Keep that in mind NinjaPuppy and other moderators! Don't ever disagree with the Child!!! His/Her word is law and should never be refuted!
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