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Can we be honest with ourselves about our emotions?

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posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 01:10 AM
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I put this in the rant section because I figured it would get moved here anyway, but this is not a rant, it's not an attack, and it's not negative. It's just an honest plea.

So what specifically am I talking about? I'm talking about the mechanics of debates/arguments/conversations/threads here on ATS, and how to improve them.

Nearly every single thread that contains a debate or differing opinions seems to be cut from the same carbon-copy book as the last. Two sides of an argument, both passionate, both with some good points, but no progress is ever made. What kind of progress you may ask? Progress of the personal kind, which in time becomes progress of the social and world-wide kind once enough people muster the motivation and determination to do it.

ATS is not the only place I get involved in discussions/debates on the subjects covered here. I've managed to build up a good network of close friends that also enjoy delving into topics and exploring perspectives openly and freely without judgement or negativity. With these friends I have made progress towards building myself a better mind and thought process.

ATS has certainly been involved in that as well, but to a significantly smaller degree. I'm exposed to a greater quantity of ideas and perspectives here, many more people, I would assume all that would have a greater effect than debating with the same small number of people repeatedly, but it hasn't. When I honestly asked myself why, the answer was clear. My usage on ATS has been largely masturbatory. Being able to type words that attack the perceived evil-doers in this world feels good but accomplishes nothing.

ATS very, very, very rarely changes my mind about anything. My friends and family who enjoy such discussions with me have changed my mind more times than I can count, and not really even by saying anything different than what gets said here. I want my mind changed, I take pleasure in having a perspective opened to me that causes me to re-think a subject. I take pleasure in growing. Unwavering adherence to one's own beliefs may be seen as a mark of integrity for some, but to me it's a mark of someone stunted. Defend your beliefs until you can't defend them anymore, but be honest when you reach that point, and take it as an opportunity to become better.

This is how ATS operates now:

Person A: I'm right, you're wrong!
Person B: No, you're wrong, I'M right
Person C: Well B is close but actually I know the full story
Person D: I'm with A, you guys are idiots!
Person B: You jerk! Your political party sucks!
Person E: Doesn't post because they are disgusted.

How it COULD operate:

Person A: This is what I think is going on, ideas?
Person B: Totally agree (adds further info)
Person C: Doesn't add up to me (provides counter-info)
Person D: I'm with A, you guys are idiots! (There's always one)

I think we need to honestly ask ourselves what we are trying to accomplish by posting. Trying to show the world how smart you are? Trying to offend others who offended you? Curiously looking for new information? Venting anger about the state of the world? Trying to show the world how cool you are? Helping people? Sharing info? A darker-themed twitter? Promote your blog/youtube/site/cult/belief system? Tearing down someone elses blog/youtube/site/cult/belief system? Occupy your mind on your work break? Trolling? Social Validation?

I'm writing this for people like me, who were lying to themselves about why they post. This isn't a thread where I try to dictate how everyone on ATS behaves. If you find yourself coming here under the guise of meaningful deep discussion, but end up angry and bogged down with meaningless arguments (and maybe a few warnings) stop looking at others and start looking at yourself. Motivations vary, not everyone in the threads you read is there for the same reason as you. Assuming they are, and operating under that assumption can drive you crazy as you wonder how people can act so ridiculous.

Their ridiculousness makes sense when you realize they are only here to troll, or to confirm their own beliefs, but it also makes sense when they are just like me; attempting meaningful discussion but getting bogged because of emotional baggage that clouds their judgement and stops them from behaving rationally. When someone attacks a politcal party, or a popular figure, or an idea, and you see people reply as if you just murdered their mother, that's a good sign their logical mind just checked out and their emotional mind just clocked in. I know because I've done it. A lot.

I know all the cool kids these days never get offended by anything (or claim as much) but the majority of people do get offended by mud-slinging in threads. The thinly veiled insults, condescension, it all adds up and ruins the integrity of discussion, and once it starts and others are doing it, you feel less guilty about it, and everything rapidly falls apart in a race to become the most outraged and delirious person in the thread. Someone hurts you, so you want to hurt them back.

My friends change my mind and give me valuable discussion because they never speak to me with condescension, they never insult me for my views, they are understanding, patient, and thoughtful. Again, this is not me attacking others, this is a plea to others like me to improve themselves, to start acting like the person you think you are or claim to be. I'm not complaining that other posters aren't pleasing me with their posts, I'm saying that I have not been giving other people good discussion and that means I'm to blame as well.

I have not been patient and I have not been understanding. I have been angry and quick tempered which has ruined any chance of me gaining anything out the discussions I've had, and ruined any chance of others getting anything out of it either. I had a reason in my head as to why I post here, and I failed miserably at living up to that. I don't think I'm alone. Can anyone else be honest with me?






edit on 13-11-2014 by James1982 because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 01:29 AM
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i find myself posting for two reasons mainly:
1 just for a friendly chit chat with people all over the word.
2 because i find it impossible that certain people believe certain things to the extent they do, because sometimes crazy is amusing. I speak of all the 2012 mayan apocalypse people, i speak of the people that up to not too long ago had erections over Ebola taking over the country (ZERO cases now, also thanks to the CDC, right in the face of the nutjobs) and people that think certain politicians are giant lizards or whatever.
I do believe in the idea behind this web site- to uncover truths, to show how full of mystery this universe really is, but let's face it, most of the time it's just a place for lunatics to act like they know what REALLY is going on, and useful posts are buried away in favor of sensationalist nonsense like "340 possible ebola patients in hiding"
So why post at all? why bother? well because there are a few people that actually want to find out the truth, no matter what it is, and those people offer interesting ideas, and fun debates.
And it's mildly amusing to watch how people squirm when you tell them nothing crashed in roswell or that there is no such thing as big foot, or rub it in their face that they were idiots for buying into the ebola epidemic.
It's the little things



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 01:45 AM
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a reply to: James1982

I'm here for several reasons.

1) interesting news and ideas for entertainment
2) masturbatory as you put it
3) venting
4) exercising my brain
5) improving my arguing skill
6) interesting news and ideas for greater understanding

Approximate percentages

1) 5%
2) 15%
3) 15%
4) 25%
5)



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 01:46 AM
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originally posted by: IShotMyLastMuse
i find myself posting for two reasons mainly:
1 just for a friendly chit chat with people all over the word.
2 because i find it impossible that certain people believe certain things to the extent they do, because sometimes crazy is amusing. I speak of all the 2012 mayan apocalypse people, i speak of the people that up to not too long ago had erections over Ebola taking over the country (ZERO cases now, also thanks to the CDC, right in the face of the nutjobs) and people that think certain politicians are giant lizards or whatever.
I do believe in the idea behind this web site- to uncover truths, to show how full of mystery this universe really is, but let's face it, most of the time it's just a place for lunatics to act like they know what REALLY is going on, and useful posts are buried away in favor of sensationalist nonsense like "340 possible ebola patients in hiding"
So why post at all? why bother? well because there are a few people that actually want to find out the truth, no matter what it is, and those people offer interesting ideas, and fun debates.
And it's mildly amusing to watch how people squirm when you tell them nothing crashed in roswell or that there is no such thing as big foot, or rub it in their face that they were idiots for buying into the ebola epidemic.
It's the little things


Thanks for posting!

Trust me, I know how you feel about some of the more wacky stuff thrown around here, as that's one of my weak spots. When I see people post things that appear to have zero thought put into them, or that are totally off the wall (atlantis alien dolphins being responsible for the Japan tsunami because of Japan's fishing record, for example) there is the desire to either make fun of them or attack them for seeming stupid to me.

Now I think of how there are ideas I believe now, that 3-4 years ago I would have thought were crazy. I think that the person might actually have some mental illness. I think that they are still a person, not just a name on a monitor, and them posting something that I think is stupid doesn't give me the justification to attack them, or belittle them.

I'm not suggesting that you do things like that or anything, but it happens all the time around here, and is definitely something I've been guilty of too.

I'm comfortable with the fact that there will always be a lot of stuff here that I consider nonsense, It's not my place to judge what subjects others find interesting or what beliefs they hold. But as a member and frequent poster I feel it is my place, ALL of ours, to start expecting a better caliber of discussion, lets stop with the platitudes, emotive language, and thought-terminating cliche's. I don't care if someone believes in Atlantis dolphins or reptilians riding around on rogue planets, but if we are going to talk about it, lets talk about it with some integrity.



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 01:47 AM
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a reply to: James1982

Did my post cut off during the % list? I don't see anything past 5)



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 01:49 AM
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originally posted by: tavi45
a reply to: James1982

Did my post cut off during the % list? I don't see anything past 5)


Yeah it did, but once I quote your post it shows the full thing. How odd! Now that I can see the rest of your post I'll have a read and respond!

Thanks for posting!



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 01:54 AM
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originally posted by: tavi45
a reply to: James1982

I'm here for several reasons.

1) interesting news and ideas for entertainment
2) masturbatory as you put it
3) venting
4) exercising my brain
5) improving my arguing skill
6) interesting news and ideas for greater understanding

Approximate percentages

1) 5%
2) 15%
3) 15%
4) 25%
5) 1%
6) 40%

My primary purpose here is to learn. I have a very old timey philosopher kind of mind. I love questioning and being questioned. I'm not an expert in any field of knowledge but have a wide general knowledge base. I'm definitely human though. I do engage in mental masturbation and occasionally will vent here.

Really though it's just another tool for recovery of my own will and ideals. I was an unflinchingly independent (close) minded and powerfully intelligent child.

I lost a lot of that when I tried to go mainstream and be like everyone else. In that time I lost a lot of my intelligence and close minded stubbornness. In exchange I gained a high level of empathy along with increased social skills and a more wide ranging view of reality.

Now I'm trying to synthesize the know it all child with the hippy style young adult into a well balanced individual. I hope to grow into a person who can contribute to the world for the better.

Hopefully my little ramble made sense. Conveying information from my brain to reality is hard enough in person with conversation let alone as a blurb of text on the internet.

I've failed and succeeded in my goals here numerous times. Failure is necessary for learning and improvement. Denial of failure is counterproductive and is far too common in America (I can't speak accurately for anywhere else).

So whatever your goals are, just keep trying. If necessary reconsider your goals. The only true failure is giving up entirely. The fact that you made this post says you haven't given up.

Stand strong sir. This was an excellent post and the fact that you can see your own failings means you're on track to succeed. I wish more people would be honest like you were. There's way too many people here and in real life who think they are infallible and have all the answers.

I hope this double ramble was useful. I thought I was done after the first time I mentioned rambling but what can I say? I can ramble with the best of em.


I'm glad I was able to see the rest of your post, not rambling at all! Makes perfect sense to me. I think you are being very honest as well and and it seems we've got similar issues, the know-it-all part stuck out as something I'm guilty of and feel ashamed of. We all know that we don't actually know it all, but the things we do know, we think we know, until we find out we don't.

Let's not even mention the unknown unknowns

edit on 13-11-2014 by James1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 04:02 AM
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I don't think you can change how members debate with each other on here. It's been asked of numerous times before. This is a popular rant.

Posting on a forum behind a username is never going to be the same as with your friends, in person. It's not being realistic to expect that. You aren't talking you're typing. Not listening but reading.

Myself, I don't really care who disagrees with my posts. Who cares? I don't have to see whoever it was.



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 07:55 AM
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originally posted by: James1982
How it COULD operate:

Person A: This is what I think is going on, ideas?
Person B: Totally agree (adds further info)
Person C: Doesn't add up to me (provides counter-info)
Person D: I'm with A, you guys are idiots! (There's always one)

Bolding mine.

I agree with many of your points, James - especially the part about "ruining the integrity of discussion". Unfortunately on the more speculative threads, Person C will often continue posting ad nauseam, sometimes quite literally every. second. post. to drum his point across.

Just visit any UFO thread - conversation interuptus is rampant, unless you agree with the most insistent opinion.
Personally, I'd rather see more speculation and discussion (even if it is imaginative), instead of the repeated hammering of a single point home.
edit on 13-11-2014 by MoonBlossom because: More Words



posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: James1982

I have to say, I strongly disagree!!! ;p Honestly, I do grow with every conversation, and even where I don't grow in knowledge, I grow in character and community. I think a lot of people do this just at different rates than others. The people who truly aren't growing are the people who are no longer communicating with one another whatsoever. Even Richard Dawkins who is very convinced about his correctness will have aha moments during debates from time to time. This is a gradual refining process and I agree that it is almost excruciating to observe in others as an outsider, but it is happening.

The long march of the ages is a diminishing oscillation between extremes leading us ever forward towards the synthesis of epiphany. As each generation passes, we seem to move closer and closer to that golden standard, and I'm sure at this point that this frontier will be reclaimed in time. If you guys want to accelerate the process, you can study a bit of dialectical synthesis, but we are fine. Even people like my father are beginning to adapt to new realities, and that's something I never thought I'd ever get to say in my lifetime.




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