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» Why I Joined This Forum...
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Why I Joined This Forum...

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How many people would be more active if there were a project to move forward on?

29% 29% 
[ 2 ]
57% 57% 
[ 4 ]
0% 0% 
[ 0 ]
14% 14% 
[ 1 ]
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Total Votes : 7

Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  tomokun on Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:09 am

A big hats off to Jim for pointing me here. I'm here because I care about social justice issues, but I don't identify as... well much of anything honestly. I don't identify as feminist, libertarian, atheist, MRA's, animal rights activists, etc.

I'm ignostic, and I am technically an atheist, but I'm with Sam Harris that the term has limited utility. It may explain my answer to the question "Do you believe in God", but it doesn't tell you why. I think why is pretty important in my case.

I don't identify as feminist, because I don't like feminist tactics, I don't like their rhetoric, and I don't like seeming inherent anger and hatred that seems to pervade that culture. I'm a nice guy. I'm friendly. I'm positive. I like focusing on our similarities rather than our differences. I tend to agree with the idea that how we do anything is how we do everything. I like to emphasize the positive.

And if feminists as a rule feel the same, that's great, but from the communities I've tried to be a part of because I admire their GOALS, even if I don't like their tactics, it seems more exclusive than inclusive.

Basically I'm a big fan of inclusive efforts towards equality on social justice issues. I think understanding these issues is paramount to coming up with solutions, because causing more problems is generally a bad thing.

And I'm hoping that in this forum, I can speak more freely, and receive more patience when I make a mistake. Essentially I'm hoping this forum applies the carrot more than they apply the stick. If my bias shows, I want to be corrected, not accused. Intent matters to me, and I hope it matters to this community.

I have no secrets, and nothing to hide, and I have a particular talent for galvanizing action once a direction has been pointed out. Solving problems and making progress have been a fundamental skill of mine, and I've dying to find a worthwhile cause to apply them to, rather than just to my own business.

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  jimhabegger on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:19 am

Tomokun, this forum was created specifically to allow more freedom for atheists to discuss social justice issues, without any "safe space" restrictions. You won't be smacked down, or threatened with banning, for safe space violations. At the same time, that freedom means that you can be flamed here just as much as you can in any other forum. The worst problem you encounter though, might be a lack of response. Discussions here are few and far between. A few people started posting after I started posting a few weeks ago, but after I stopped posting, the forum went silent again.

While I was posting here, I didn't see anyone posting here that I saw in the A+ forum. If you specifically want to discuss issues with people from that forum, you might not be able to do it here. You could try explicitly inviting people here that you want to discuss the issues with. Apart from that, if anyone else responds to your posts here, it might help you organize and refine your ideas for discussions over there. This forum might also be good for understanding and sympathy when you get smacked down over there.


Last edited by jimhabegger on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:29 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add some thoughts)

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  mood2 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:16 am

welcome tomukun, this sounds like just what's needed here -

I have a particular talent for galvanizing action once a direction has been pointed out. Solving problems and making progress have been a fundamental skill of mine, and I've dying to find a worthwhile cause to apply them to, rather than just to my own business.

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Inclusiveness, that's why I'm here.

Post  dandelionc on Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:08 pm

Yay inclusiveness. That this looks like a chill, inclusive space to talk to people about things I'm interested in online is the main reason I joined.

I consider myself a feminist because I think in most parts of the world women still lack more fundamental rights than men (the middle east, Africa, certain parts of the US), and I like to think of feminism as more about catching women up than putting men down. I can see why the term (or the behavior of some of the loudest people who identify with it) puts some people off, however.

I'm down for galvanizing to do some action once a solid direction comes up, too. Right now I'm volunteering at a local animal rescue because...kittens! And the cats, and the dogs, sort of...

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  scott1328 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:14 pm

I want to do something and be involved, but I am not qualified to lead, and I am not qualified to teach. I am woefully ignorant on many topics to do with social justice, which is why I hang back and lurk more than participate.

Actually, I would have been the ideal member at A+, since lurking moar is my first resort. Alas, the tone of the responders there keep me away... In any case, I would be a good worker bee, if anyone wants someone to do boring proofreading, are reviewing. or just boring grunt work.

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  tomokun on Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:21 am

Awesome, and this is a start!

I put up the poll, because identifying our resources (namely people) is an important start. Also, identifying core issues that are of particular interest to everyone looks like it will be important too! Very Happy

So, if anyone has any threads they think I should look at, please let me know!

I'm still trying to make it work on the A+ forum. I figure if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere. Also, I've heard that nobody reasonable can survive their long, and I like a challenge. :p

Who knows, maybe if we create an inclusive and positive community, it'll become contagious. Right now, they are sure their way is the best because they are a growing community. Let's really work together to give working together a real chance at showing up divisiveness. Smile

I'll stay active as long as everyone else does, lol.

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  dandelionc on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:47 am

So, I'm curious what people are passionate about working on in the world.

A list of stuff I really care about:


  • Making contraceptives and reproductive choices available equality to everyone, men, woman, and anyone in between.


  • Making the world a better place for animals. Not like no leather and everyone's vegan, but like humane slaughter like Temple Grandin advocates, and better awareness of how people treat their pets, and more spaying and neutering and stuff.


  • Ending hunger and disease for people. I like food programs and vaccine programs, especially when they're accompanied by real access to contraceptives.


  • Civil rights for everyone.


That's kind of in the order of amount of time I've spent working personally on each cause. I think they're all really important, though.

What causes interest everyone else on here?

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  jimhabegger on Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:27 am

I'm planning to take a break from Internet discussions for a few weeks or months. After that I might be interested in any of those discussions.

For now, the only social justice discussions that might interest me would be with someone who sees the murderous campaigns of plundering and pillaging that I see going on all over the world, who sees her own complicity and the complicity of her own friends and the society around her in that, and who is trying to learn what to do in her own life, that might help stop the ravaging and counteract its effects on the most ravaged people.

Helping to stop the ravaging can include helping to improve the character of all people and of society, as long as it revolves around continually improving our own character and conduct. The most ravaged people can include people who are being ravaged psychologically, even if not physically.


Last edited by jimhabegger on Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:57 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : for clarification)

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  jimhabegger on Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:51 am

My reason for joining this forum was for a specific purpose that no longer applies. Now I have new friends here, which might be enough reason for me to come back here after my break from Internet discussions, in a few weeks or months.

Virtually all of the discussions I've seen in social forums on the Internet look to me like ... people socializing. That's logical enough, but that has never been a high priority for me in Internet discussions. Until recently my first priority was to free myself from prejudices. Next was learning to help cheer and refresh down-cast people. I've also tried to practice and promote better conduct on the Internet. After my break, I'll be searching for people all over the world, who are continually trying to improve their own character and conduct, in ways that will help improve the world for everyone, with special attention to the most ravaged people. I'll be searching for those people to exchange ideas and experiences with them, about what we're trying to do. I would also like to help develop support groups and workshops for us to encourage and support each other, and to help each other learn to make better use of the Internet for our purposes.

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  jimhabegger on Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:17 pm

I've been thinking some more about a point I wanted to make above, but didn't know how. I'm still not sure how to make the point, but at least it's a little more clear to me what point I want to make.

I've never seen any discussion of social issues, in any Internet forum, ever, that looked to me like people actually trying to help solve any problems. One glaring feature of all such discussions has been that they revolved around what other people should be doing differently, and almost exclusively what people should be doing differently outside of the circles of personal influence of the people in the discussion. Never any sign of anyone trying to improve his own character and conduct, in ways that might actually help solve the problems.

That's the *only* kind of discussion about social issues that interests me: what you and I are doing, and what else we could be doing, to help solve the problems. Discussing our theories about social issues can be part of that, but only as a context for discussing what we ourselves are doing and trying to do, and not as the main focus of the discussion.

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  dandelionc on Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:11 pm

I go back and forth myself over the value and social scariness of participating in things on the internet. I'm actually much more comfortable with in person interactions with close friends... Words and sounds when mistaken have this nice habit of disappearing into memory and silence in a way that writing just doesn't. Sometimes stupid ever freshness of the written word. *shakes fist at the written word*

I do want to say that some of the most growth inducing conversations I've ever had have happened in social situations. If you don't have a lot of people in your life who are comfortable discussing deep or controversial things I think it can be of some value to try to find that in the interwebs, maybe. Even if action has to be in the real world, sometimes talking about complicated things can clarify values or nebulous things that you feel or think should happen but don't quite have words for yet. Gives buoyancy to the undercurrents of the subconscious if you will. Socialization and the exchanging of ideas is how things start in the real world. When I used to be a Hindu I learned that feeling translates into thought. Then it goes from thought to words. Then from words to actions. Maybe that's the value of this place? I think that's a non-religious concept that the Hindus might have got quite right.

But I totally understand if you want to take a break from this place/thing/weird writing exhange. I go back and forth on the value/safety of the interwebs myself. And if you do decide to come back, I think whoever's here looks forward to seeing you again.

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  jimhabegger on Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:09 pm

dandelionc, I like what you said. I'll keep reading for a few days, even if I don't post. Also, anyone is welcome to email me. My Yahoo! id is geotalk.

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  mood2 on Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:34 pm

Here's something I posted in another thread, as my idea of what I hoped this board might become -

I'd like to see this place become a sort of sj hub for secularists to discuss the sorts of issues Scott raised, and also advertise and organise activism they're involved in or aware of. So say if someone at FRDB comes across news of an action or petition or an article of SJ interest, they'd also post it here. And this would be the place to drop by to see what's going on SJ wise. There isn't a place I'm aware of which offers that, and maybe we eventually could.

I'm at the phase now of being a happy tag-a-longer and helper-outer if others wanted to get their teeth into trying to make something like that happen.  And here are  some thoughts about what might help if anyone wants to take up the baton -

A promo campaign going round the blogs and boards advertising the place


Before that getting some lively controversial topics going likely to grab interest if people drop by to check us out.  


Also a featured campaign or two - at least one being fairly fun and easy, something like the rice thing.


Adopt or start a petition, something likely to be popular which we can tout on our travels, there are online lobby groups which provide this facility


Try to get a Big Name Atheist attached, once we have something which looks worth attaching to.  


Maybe re-vamp the board so it's more the sexeh, simpler, bolder.

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

Post  tomokun on Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am

Galvanizing action is... tricky.

A big part of it is participation, and ownership within the community. The thing that bogs down communities like this are either limited social interaction (such as posting, which drives the ranking naturally towards certain subjects and keywords), and the lack of a clear direction.

The clear direction is something this community needs, because from what I can see thus far, its just been not liking the way other communities operate, which is valid, but isn't enough of a direction.

We need to not just be a community that wants something different, we have to be passionate about what that different thing looks like, and work together to create it.

We need to be clear first and foremost about why we as a community are here. Then we must communicate how we are going about fulfilling those goals. And then we can start telling them what they can do to be a part of that if that's something they are interested in.

If we can focus on those aspects, in that order, the community will build itself around us.

Because at the end of the day, if we are just talking about ideas, we're just another forum. There are plenty of forums, but what makes a forum special is the community and culture that makes it up. It is how the forum is executed... that's what's important.

As a friend of mine once said, there are no million dollar ideas. There are only million dollar executions.

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Re: Why I Joined This Forum...

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