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What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

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What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  arpie on Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:38 am

So I've decided to put this Orwellian query in a place that is safe from Big Xir silencing all dissent as occurs at A+. What most amazes me is the way the small, core group that dominates those forums will silence all opposition with mantras such as "This is not a debate forum" and personal attacks then ban them if they continue to respond to charges made against them. Can they really be that myopic when it comes to their own hypocrisy?

So as some there are obviously reading posts at SSJ-while afraid to even use the new name for the site there lol-I challenge you to log in here and make your case. For here you won't be silenced as I would be there for expressing my pov on the thread where irony becomes real and your capriciously(?) repressive tactics are supposed to be open to question.

ceepolk wrote:Fast summary: feed those trolls. The aim isn't to convince the troll. That's what "ignore them and they'll go away types" don't seem to see. the aim is to speak out against what is wrong, because silence only helps the troll.

And this right after you banned Nullnvoid, ceepolk?

Sun Countess wrote:And it's also a complete lie from nullnvoid, because the entire subforum entitled "The Other Forum", along with that thread and the most recent "What a bunch of losers" thread, is still standing in all its glory, reflecting onto its members like a thousand dots of light.

This from the dark star? Razz Here they don't censor the opinions of others. So log on and make your case. Unlike A-, you won't be censored. Or are you only willing to do so in a space cleared of any likely to challenge your thinking?

Bruce Almighty wrote:So yes, let's continue giving the troll lots of attention! And I will do all I can to help! Come on, troll, where are you???

Haven't you heard, Bruce? The troll has been banished despite ceepolk's claim they should be spotlighted. Or was that 'gaslighted?'

It is also noteworthy and perhaps why you didn't know he was no longer able to reply there, that it's been months since the A+ ban list has been updated. Do you suppose the numbers were becoming an embarrassment? If not, they surely should be.

Think I'm wrong? Log in and show your evidence. I'm certain the mods here will have no problem with you posting links to A+. Smile

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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  Atheist Dude on Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:48 am

Arpie you may not be aware, if an active member of the other forum comes here and comments, they could be banned from the other forum if what they say is construed as being negative about that forum.

With the propensity of the other forum mods and members to contort what's being said, I doubt any will risk the wrath of the despotic A+ mods and their minions.

I'd be more than happy to have them come here to discuss any and all issues though, I think it would be informative.

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I have no doubts about any A+ers showing up here...

Post  arpie on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:23 am

..as when they started looking bad in expressing their position they couldn't just ban their opponents. I never expected any would show up and accept my challenge. But seeing some are obviously following this forum I decided to use it to call them out on their hypocrisy.

Don't worry about me being banned there AD. I'm sure by now they've looked for me to do so on their member list, but I never registered there. Before I log into any site I first lurk for a while to see if it's worth my time. It didn't take me long to realize A+ was not a site worth the bother, so all they can do is whine about my posts. Razz

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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  nullnvoid on Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:24 am

Atheist Dude wrote:Arpie you may not be aware, if an active member of the other forum comes here and comments, they could be banned from the other forum if what they say is construed as being negative about that forum.

With the propensity of the other forum mods and members to contort what's being said, I doubt any will risk the wrath of the despotic A+ mods and their minions.

I'd be more than happy to have them come here to discuss any and all issues though, I think it would be informative.


Here's why I'm sure you're right about them coming for a look...
Most users ever online was 33 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:19 pm


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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  scott1328 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:28 pm

I, for one, would welcome many of the users of the so-called safe space to this forum. It has long been my contention that the safe-space is a toxic echo-chamber that subverts the process of discourse of otherwise intelligent and reasonable people.

They have good things to say, they make reasoned arguments, they have knowledge. But, too many good topics end up in derailing dog-piles.

If there was one rule Null and Atheist Dude could create for this forum, I would suggest that Dog piles be stopped (or at the very least split to another thread) so that on-topic discussion can proceed.


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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  nullnvoid on Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:52 pm

Before we create a rule, let's see if such behaviour is going to be a problem.

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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  arpie on Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:50 am

nullnvoid wrote:Before we create a rule, let's see if such behaviour is going to be a problem.
That sounds like a good rule to me, null.

"No new rules will be created to address problems that don't yet exist on SSJ." Wink

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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  piginthecity on Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:38 am

For someone who loves to pontificate as much as I do, this is painful to admit. But I just don't know about A+, whether they are foes or sort-of allies ? And I don't know how to deal with them.

I've been observing from a distance but I'm still none the wiser.

One conclusion that I have drawn is that I'm not going into their 'safe space'. I can't talk to them in there, because the rules and customs of the forum is the rhinoceros that overshadows any discussion about anything else, and I'm not going to be part of that.

Another tentative conclusion is that there's an incompatibility between an enthusiasm for gender politics and an enthusiasm for free speech. I'm not saying the two are philosophically incompatible, but rather that, on a practical level, nobody is actually an enthusiast for both.

The best way to gauge someone's enthusiasm for something is not to ask them "Are you enthusiastic about X", but rather to say nothing at all and see if that person brings up the subject of X themselves unbidden. I say this because I wonder how many times the A+ people have put time and effort into posts defending people's right to express opinions which make them feel uncomfortable. I don't think it's very often.

I have to say that the defining characteristic of A+, the thing they want to spend their time and energy on, the thing that gets them out of bed in the morning, their number one enthusiasm, seems to be telling people who they deem to be in 'privileged' demographics to shut up.

I know that this is done for motives which can be considered benign, that is, to give the less privileged a voice, but those of us who are enthusiasts for free speech have to oppose the logic which says that the best way to do this is to try to limit discourse rather than expand it.

We're here on the internet and in the 'secular movement' to share and express our enthusiams, not merely things we're prepared to begrudgingly tolerate. If you are enthusiastic for ideas and sharing them, for free speech, you cannot be enthusiastic for dismissing ideas on the basis of the demographic of who's giving them.

So, how can we have got to the stage where we now have two groups with these incompatible enthusiasms ?

How come, say 18 months ago, we didn't have this issue and now we have ? What relationship did the 'A+' types have with the secular movement back then ? I guess the answers include the following in various proportions:

i) Gender feminism was always an integral component in the secular movement but we 'privileged males' just didn't notice until Elevatorgate.

ii) There were always a sizeable number of gender feminists and sympathisers within the secular movement, but hitherto, they were in the movement for other reasons and happy to hang out with more mainstream secularists. Since Elevatorgate, though, they have focussed on the gender part, not because of some grand conspiracy, but because, now that the discussion at any rate has become mainstream, then people have shared their opinions and have naturally gravitated towards those of similar opinions.

iii) People have become 'converted' to a more overtly political position because of general boredom with the 'secular issues' as they were, and the wish to make a difference. The 'career' calculations of bloggers and 'leaders' also play a part here.

iv) People have responded to bad behaviour (or the perception of bad behaviour) of men in the atheist community.

v) A number of vocal people, new to the secular movement, but committed to gender politics have been attracted who, because they learned their secularism from gender studies, consider that secularism is a wing of gender politics.

vi) Other

The best guesses I can give to what the answer is is i) 10% ii) 20% iii) 25% iv) 1% v) 40% vi) 14%.

What to do about it - I still don't know.

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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  Atheist Dude on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:43 pm

Lets take a look at what Atheism+ has accomplished so far.

They've created a safe space forum.

They've had a public falling out with one of there most vocal supporters, Matt Dillahunty.

They've been characterized as "Portlandia's feminist bookstore parody" by their founder Jen McCreight.

They've created A+ scribe, where they transcribe video and audio for A+ forum and FTB.

They've yet to do any social justice work, other than talking about it.

In a nutshell, everything they've done up to this point is for themselves, they've yet to accomplish any social justice work as Atheism+.


So, what do they want?
I'd say, they have what they want, a safe space for themselves!
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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  arpie on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:52 pm

Very astute and balanced analysis, pitc. I hope some from A+ actually read it.

Atheist Dude wrote:So, what do they want?
I'd say, they have what they want, a safe space for themselves!

If by safe place you mean one where a cult of personality built around a few dominant staff members insures that any who question their opinions on a wide variety of subjects will be quickly silenced, then I agree. Most sites function this way imo, to at least some extent. What makes A+ stand out is the extremity to which they they have taken the 'our way or stfu' paradigm.

As newbies look around and see how many trip wires exist there that can trigger a persistent stream of abuse, few will be inclined to post. And without victims to persecute, they will start splitting hairs and begin attacking each other. It has already begun, if you followed the flap a month ago than ended with a mod and admin resigning.

It doesn't cost much to maintain a small site these days, and perhaps their core posters will stick around and they can continue sustain their insulated and gated little community. They're not hurting anyone by it except a few hapless members who find themselves suddenly a target of the clique, so good luck to them. I agree with AD they will never make any kind of meaningful contribution to social justice. But then, neither will I, so.....

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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

Post  Atheist Dude on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:14 pm

"If by safe place you mean one where a cult of personality built around a few dominant staff members insures that any who question their opinions on a wide variety of subjects will be quickly silenced, then I agree."

Yeah, that's what I mean! lol


"they will never make any kind of meaningful contribution to social justice. But then, neither will I, so....."

But you've never claimed to be the next great wave of atheism and social justice though.
At least not that I've heard Smile
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Re: What does Atheism+ WANT? (or Winning friends by silencing any opposition?)

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