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» Introducing Jim
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Introducing Jim

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Introducing Jim

Post  jimhabegger on Tue May 21, 2013 2:48 am

I'll just try to explain why I'm here. Anyone who wants to know more about me is welcome to ask.

I've been reading and posting in the Atheism Plus forum, and I have an idea about how to make it safer, but before I present it to the administrators, I'd like to get comments from the members. I want to have that discussion here, for consistency, because what I want to propose would exclude it from that forum.

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  mood2 on Wed May 22, 2013 2:25 am

Hello Jim Smile

Sounds fine to me. This place isn't being used for much else, tho you might want to drop nullnvoid a pm as he's the site admin.

Just to let you know this board was never a regular hangout for members of the A+ board, and not generally liked by them, so if you're after their input you'd probably have to point them here, and they still might not want to come.


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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  jimhabegger on Wed May 22, 2013 3:45 pm

Mood, thank you for the welcome, and the info.

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  jimhabegger on Mon May 27, 2013 11:13 am

I should have lurked moar here before I started posting!

I see now that everything I've said, or might ever want to say, about A+, has already been said.

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  nullnvoid on Mon May 27, 2013 12:30 pm

Posting on here is definitely not discouraged. Don't be discouraged by our general cynicism. Welcome to SSJ...

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  jimhabegger on Mon May 27, 2013 2:05 pm

nullnvoid, thank you!

I never meant to get so involved in atheist community issues, and I need to get back to some other things in my life that I've been seriously neglecting, so I need to pull back here. I'm not sure yet that I need to drop this completely, though, and I don't want to turn my back on the friendly interest I'm seeing here.

I'll explain how I ended up here, and my social justice interests that might be relevant here.

I've been practicing and promoting fellowship across ideological divides, learning not to depreciate people, and struggling to free myself from all ill will towards anyone. I see those as ways to help reduce violence all over the world. As a person who's shamelessly and enthusiastically promoting a religion, I decided to practice fellowship with atheists, by reading some atheist blogs and commenting on them.

It didn't take long for me to find out about A+. With my passion for social justice, obviously I signed up for the forums, but I didn't start posting right away. Later, when I was looking for a place to practice promoting better conduct on the Internet, I decided to try it there, because of the emphasis on social justice. In the process of getting acquainted, I realized that it wasn't what I thought it was, and after some discussion around that, and some research, I thought that the Secular Social Justice forums might be what I was looking for, so I came here, but all I found was this ghost town.

Now, as I said, I have other irons in the fire that I seriously need to attend to, so I really don't want to get involved in any new initiatives. I only asked because I was curious about what happened to all the interest I saw in rallying atheists around social justice issues.

At the same time, I don't want to disconnect completely, now that I've found some friendly faces here. I'll try describing some of my own social justice interests, and see what happens.


Last edited by jimhabegger on Mon May 27, 2013 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  jimhabegger on Mon May 27, 2013 2:05 pm

Until recently, most of my time on the Internet has been trying to free myself from my own prejudices, and to learn to cheer and refresh the most stigmatized and marginalized people I see around me. For ten years or more, that revolved mostly around Baha'is who openly disagree with the world council of the Baha'i Faith, including some academics and their sympathizers, and some SGM people and allies.

Recently, I've done a lot more thinking about what I, and people in my circles of influence, can do to help stop all the ravaging I see all over the world, and counteract its effects. Here are some of my ideas:
- Learn to be a better friend to people around me, especially the ones I see being trampled on the most.
- Practice and promote fellowship across ideological divides, not depreciating people, and freedom from ill will.
- Stories about the beauty in the hearts, and in the communities, of ravaged people all over the world.
- Support of relief organizations that are part of the solution, more than being part of the problem (extremely rare).
- Help develop ways for the people in a neighborhood or village to work together to improve the community life, for everyone in the neighborhood. That includes neighborhoods on the Internet.
- Practice and promote more independent investigation, and more individual initiatives, in efforts to help improve the world.
- Help lift the spirits, nurture the love, and enrich the ideas, of people who are learning to help improve the world.
- Help develop online and offline training programs for all the above purposes.

Some years ago, when I followed some friends of mine to an atheist forum and spent some time there for a few months, I considered what common interests I might have with atheists, besides having been an atheist myself for a few years, and I thought they might include these:
- Sound reasoning
- A free mind
- Open discussion
- Loving self-knowledge

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  jimhabegger on Mon May 27, 2013 5:01 pm

I just read the discussion with MD in the A+ forum, and I found an excuse to indulge my temptation to comment on it: Seeing what I think about it might help some people get to know me better.

I saw some unkindness and unfairness in what some people said to him, more or less like I've seen in discussions with some other people. I've already said everything I want to say about that unkindness and unfairness, and it was already said numerous times, by numerous people, long before I said it.

I just feel impelled to say this about MD's posts in that thread, and his video about it afterwards: If that's his idea of helping, I hope he never tries to help me that way!

The most charitable explanation I can think of, of how he thought he was helping, is that maybe he thought he was helping the Atheism Plus movement as some people, including me, understood it when we first heard about it. When I signed up for the A+ forum, I thought it was a place for atheists to discuss social justice, in and out of the community, in an environment that would be more friendly to more people, including women. I can see how MD saw himself as a friend of that (fictitious?) movement.

I still say, looking at his posts in that thread, and his video about it, if that's his idea of helping, I hope he never tries to help me that way.

As I said, I'm posting this to gratify myself, with the excuse that it might be a way for people to get to know me better. I know the subject has already been beaten to death, so there might not be any point in anyone trying to argue with me about it, but if anyone really wants to, I'll accept that as the price of my self-indulgence. Only, let's do it in another thread.

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  nullnvoid on Tue May 28, 2013 7:09 pm

MD isn't exactly the most tolerant person when it comes to what he considers to be stupid or rude behaviour - he quite often loses his temper on his show. I don't think what he did was particularly helpful towards improving the Atheism Plus forum community. But in my opinion what he did was not particularly harmful and was not in any way worthy of banning. It was a technical infraction of the rules. MD did not engage in any kind of malicious behaviour - but he did create a second account. This harkens back to the old adage about banning everyone from eating steak because some people can't chew. Sure some people may create second accounts for malicious reasons. Matt did not.

Some may disagree with what Matt did - and one regular user left the site. But if you actually look at the reason that the person gave, it was because the Admins failed to ban Matt more promptly - they felt this showed favoritism towards someone for being a celebrity. I can't abide this reasoning. It is cut from the same cloth that argues for mandatory sentencing. Context and nuance in moderation (as in justice) is key. Others claimed that the resulting furore was also his fault for creating a second anonymous account. This just makes me think of people going out of their way to find things to be offended by.

Matt is far from being a celebrity. He's someone who has worked hard and devoted a large amount of his time, money and effort towards creating a better atheist community. To ban him from a forum for a technicality is plain dumb. To then demand an apology from Matt...elicited a predictable response. As I understand it, his wife and a number of his co-hosts are supporters of the Atheism Plus movement. But they've managed to get rid of Matt. It's Atheism Plus' loss...really.

This happened last year, back when people in the Atheism Plus movement were actively promoting the forum as a place to discuss what they hoped would become the "next wave of atheism, plus social justice issues". Given that the community on the forum saw themselves in a different way...you really should see that exchange in the context of someone who has arrived thinking it's an open forum where people get to discuss these issues.


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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  piginthecity on Wed May 29, 2013 4:22 am

Funnily enough I've just sent off a missive to AETV which makes a reference to the same event. It's below if anyone is interested. I'll tell you if i do get a reply, but I won't post the actual reply, of course, because it'll be a private communication.

Hello AE.

First of all a warning that not only am i going to speak as a "right old fart" as we say in my country, in this email, but also am going to project this onto you, my reader, so apologies in advance.

My starting point is Tracie's explanation (in past show) of her gradual journey from belief, through investigation, to disbelief, and the fact that it mirrors the journey of many others, including myself. In my case, though, it took longer than for Tracie as I was probably about 45 before i actually called myself an atheist.

Now this leads me to an observation that I think is relevant to some of the mutual incomprehension between sections of the atheist community which is evident at the moment. It's that while my 20 year old self, and I dare say the 20 year old Tracie would be very interested in the AETV show, neither of us would really relate to those 20 year olds in the 'atheist identity' movement. The 20 year olds who are actually like me are nowhere near the atheist movement yet, they are still painfully working out their response to a religion which they still believe is good thing even though they admit to 'doubts'.

So what we seem to have is a 'community', where different sorts of people join at different times in their life for different reasons. I've been trying to think of an analogy and I've come up with "cannabis users". You might think that all cannabis users have something in common, but in fact recreational users have very little in common with multiple schlorosis sufferers.

This to me is at the heart of Matt's online run-in with Flewellyn and his gang of (basically) teenagers. They have no reason to be interested in Matt's transition from would-be minister to champion of reason. Matt expected that they would relate to him because of his own journey, but in fact there's no reason they should because they haven't experienced anything comparable in their own lives.

So it's "Go up ! Go up ! Thou bald head ! and Check Thy Privilege!".

Where's the she-bears when you need them ?

Where this all leads is, I guess, is that those of us who have 'been on the journey' are likely to be interested by others' experiences in this regard, and that conversation about these experiences will form the central point of our membership of the atheist community. Those who haven't are likely to find "congratulating ourselves on not believing in stupid things" (as one blogger put it) rather boring. Maybe both groups should be more aware of the other.


p.s. I do, of course recognise that many 20 year olds (or younger) who are smarter than I was have come to atheism for good reasons.




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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  nullnvoid on Wed May 29, 2013 1:29 pm

They tend to avoid talking about the incident on AE. So it will be interesting to see how they respond.

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  piginthecity on Thu May 30, 2013 9:14 am

Yeah, Null, I probably shouldn't really have brought the Flewellyn thing up. Especially as it was an illustration of the main point, which i think is valid, that people's reasons for joining this 'movement' are very different at different stages in their lives, hence the mutual incomprehension.

Plus I was very proud of the Matt Dillahunty/Prophet Elijah joke thing. Did you get it ? Did it make you laugh ? Did it ? Did it ? They're both bald-headed you see !! That's dead funny that is !

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  nullnvoid on Thu May 30, 2013 11:27 am

I'm afraid it went over my head and whistled through my full and luxuriant head of hair. Sorry! Smile

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Re: Introducing Jim

Post  jimhabegger on Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:52 pm

Just dropped in to say hi.

Hi!

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Re: Introducing Jim

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