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You, me, FtB and humanity

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You, me, FtB and humanity

Post  jimhabegger on Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:22 pm

(edited to clarify the topic)
This is for anyone who respects the intentions of the original poster, for the topic of a thread.
- If you're not trying to improve yourself, anything you post in this thread will be off topic.
- Any discussion of anything besides your initiatives and my initiatives, is off topic in this thread.
- Responding to an off topic post for any reason, even to say it's off topic, is off topic in this thread.

If you want to post an off topic response to something in this thread, please do it in some other thread. If I see an off topic post in this thread, I'll respond to it in some other thread.
(end edit)

By "you" I mean anyone who is trying to improve himself, and to help improve the world, and whose efforts include efforts somehow related to the controversies surrounding FtB. I'd like to know more about your efforts and progress.

For example
- I've spent a lot of time with some of the people I've seen being stigmatized and marginalized the most, and with people with ideologies opposed to mine, trying to learn from them and work with them.
- I've been trying to practice and promote not depreciating anyone, freeing myself from all ill will, and learning to be a better friend to each person in my life.
- I've been trying to learn to work with nearby neighbors to help improve the community life of a neighborhood, for everyone in the neighborhood.
- I've been trying to help develop training programs for people who are doing that work in neighborhoods.
- I've been trying to encourage and support other people's individual initiatives.

There's a lot more, but all of it seems to me to be relevant to the issues I see in the controversies surrounding FtB:
- The hostility of social and cultural environments for all but the most privileged people in those environments.
- Sectarian hatreds, erupting in online feuding, which I imagine is increasing the tensions off line.

One way I see to address the environment issue is by training volunteers to improve their own behavior and to mentor volunteers who aren't available for formal training.

Some ways I see to address the online feuding are to practice and promote
- fellowship across ideological divides.
- learning not to depreciate anyone.
- freeing ourselves from all ill will.

I've made a lot of progress on freeing myself from ill will, by practicing healthy uses of anger.


Last edited by jimhabegger on Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:08 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : for clarification)

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Re: You, me, FtB and humanity

Post  scott1328 on Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:00 am


I am white, male, and affluent, and I am sympathetic to your cause and I am willing to lend aid by way of time and money. But I am also human, with an ego and pride, and some self-serving motives.

How should a fledgling social justice movement that is out to make real change treat me?


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Re: You, me, FtB and humanity

Post  jimhabegger on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:14 am

scott1328 wrote:
I am white, male, and affluent, and I am sympathetic to your cause and I am willing to lend aid by way of time and money. But I am also human, with an ego and pride, and some self-serving motives.

How should a fledgling social justice movement that is out to make real change treat me?
Well, let's just role play it out. I'll presume that you're posting on topic, which means that you're trying to improve yourself, and to help improve the world. If not, we'll need to do this in another thread.

Tell me about your efforts to improve yourself, and to help improve the world. Then tell me what you already know about my cause, why you want to help, and if you have any ideas already about how you could help. Also tell me about your aptitudes and capacities.

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Re: You, me, FtB and humanity

Post  scott1328 on Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:41 am

What I have told you is all you know.

(In this roleplaying drama)
I am not particularly seeking to improve myself. My goal is to reduce injustice. I see injustice in the treatment of women, gays, transgender, atheists, and disabled.

I am not particularly aware of my blindspots. Athough because I am atheist, I am aware of the poor treatment of atheists by the christian majority.

I don't know what I can do to help, other than writing checks, and posting on internet forums.

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Re: You, me, FtB and humanity

Post  jimhabegger on Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:51 pm

Scott, my reply to your last post is in the thread "Promoting A+ initiatives and purposes."

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Re: You, me, FtB and humanity

Post  scott1328 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:28 am

jimhabegger wrote:I'm continuing a roleplay here that I started with Scott in another thread, because it would be off topic in that thread.

Scott said:

I am not particularly seeking to improve myself. My goal is to reduce injustice. I see injustice in the treatment of women, gays, transgender, atheists, and disabled.

I am not particularly aware of my blindspots. Athough because I am atheist, I am aware of the poor treatment of atheists by the christian majority.

I don't know what I can do to help, other than writing checks, and posting on internet forums.

I'll be roleplaying from the point of view of what I'm actually trying to do. What do you already know about what I'm trying to do? What interests you in what I'm trying to do? Have you already tried to help anyone else with those goals, and if so what have you done?

If you really want to help me, the first thing you'll need to do is start trying to improve yourself. Nothing you can do for me will do me any good, without that.

You made a prejudicial statement, and are excluding me, why? Why do you assume there is anything about me that needs change before I can help your cause?

Your response in a nutshell is why the AtheismPlus Forum fails and why the kind of Social Justice espoused by FtB is being resisted so strongly. They are both politically inept. You don't piss off your donors, you don't tell them to piss off until they change. The ones with the money are often of the privileged class and with that privilege comes the power to enact change, if you piss them off they won't donate their money, their time, and you probably won't get their votes either.

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Re: You, me, FtB and humanity

Post  blondein_tokyo on Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:05 pm


By "you" I mean anyone who is trying to improve himself, and to help improve the world, and whose efforts include efforts somehow related to the controversies surrounding FtB. I'd like to know more about your efforts and progress.

As for personal improvement, I'm always interested in hearing new points of view and learning more about issues that I am not knowledgeable about. I try to listen to people even when I disagree with them, and I try to ask questions instead of making assumptions. I also try to be logical instead of emotional, but I admit that there are issues that I find it difficult not to get upset about.

The current hostile environment on many blogs is very disheartening, and by participating in a positive and sincere way I hope to have discussions that lead to better understanding.

Currently, I don't live in the US so there are limits to what I can do in my daily life to help atheist causes.* I read a lot to keep up on the issues, I participate as often as I can on blogs and forums, I talk to friends about the issues that concern me and I try to educate people who are unaware of the issues. I also sign petitions and contribute to charities as much as I can afford to.

*I live in Japan, which is already a very secular country. There really is no need for atheist activism here because pretty much everyone is already an atheist. Smile


When I go back to the US, I will definitely take a more active role by joining local groups and/or doing volunteer work.

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Re: You, me, FtB and humanity

Post  jimhabegger on Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:50 am

Blondein, I like all of that, very much. That post is a very good example of what I was looking for in this thread. Thank you!

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Re: You, me, FtB and humanity

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