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Message to ATS! Stay Classy... Please?

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posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:01 PM
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After seeing the direction that conversations at ATS are going, I feel that I need to try to push things in a more civil direction. This forum is one of the last refuges of intelligent conversation on the Internet. We need to hold ourselves to higher standards. I read JohnnyCanuck's recent thread, and agree with what many are saying. I, too, have been a lurker for the most part. But, I feel like these basic points need to be mentioned so that disagreement between different political views (which can be a VERY good thing) can take on a more constructive form. This is my attempt to point out some fallacies that I have seen people from every angle of the political spectrum endulging in. It's fine to disagree, but let's keep our heads on our shoulders:


    The Left/Right paradigm has been criticized plenty on this site, and in general I don't have a problem with people that identify with one side or the other. A problem I do have, however, is when people unfairly lump people into a side against their will. The only fair assessment as to whether someone is Liberal, Conservative, or Other, is what they identify as. (If you are unsure as to what party an individual is affiliated with, ask them. If they claim that they are non-affiliated or moderate, then that is what they are! If somebody does not associate themselves with a political party, then it is unfair to lump them in with one.)

    There are too many people pointing fingers at the past in order to deflect from legitimate and current criticisms. Rebutting any criticism towards Trump with "well, remember what Obama did?" is just as bad as rebutting any criticism towards Liberal behavior with, "remember how the Conservatives were acting?"

    If somebody disagrees with what the Liberals are doing, this does not automatically make them a Conservative, and vice-versa. This is blindly pigeonholing people into groups that they may or may not associate with. Saying "cry me a river, Liberal snowflake" whenever someone criticizes Trump is just as bad as saying "it's all just a Conservative echo-chamber" whenever somebody critisizes the Liberals.

    I want to see more people who identify with one side of politics to try to understand where the other sides are coming from. There are multiple beliefs that constitute what are commonly referred to as Liberal and Conservative. Many on both sides have reached their positions through much thought and deliberation. Is it really intellectually honest to say that every argument from the opposing side is bogus? Using suspension of disbelief to hear what the other side has to say on key points is like fertilizer for the intellect.

    Just because somebody agrees with one party "bullet point" does not mean that they automatically agree with all bullet points associated with that "side." It also doesn't automatically mean that they voted for or even support a particular politician or set of politicians. Criticizing something done by one side does NOT automatically make them part of the opposite side. This goes back to my point on pigeonholing people.

    Again, relating to the pigeonholing point, if Alice is criticizing a group or person (let's just say she's criticizing Rich Uncle Pennybags) and Bob steps in and points out holes in her argument, this does not automatically mean that Bob is defending Pennybags, or even that Bob supports Pennybags. There is such a thing as standing up for truth and intellectual integrety, regardless of political affiliation.

    In the same vein, if Bob is pointing out that there is no evidence of Alice's claims and Carl jumps in and says, "Pennybags is the greatest," that does not automatically make Bob and Carl friends, comrades, or members of the same party. It does not automatically mean that Bob and Carl agree on any views, ideas, or that they enjoy giving each other happy endings.

    ATS is not an echo chamber for ANY single belief or party. It will never be completely balanced as far as partisan views, but it is also not completely one-sided. The irony is that the people who are shouting this are proving the opposite of what they are claiming, simply by claiming it! If it really WAS an echo chamber, their voices would be absent!

    I would like to see more people using evidence and logic to strengthen their very emotional claims, such as "all (insert affiliation) are BAD! How can they even live with themselves?" This contributes nothing unless there is an attempt to point to evidence and put it together in a logical way.



Again, these observations apply to what I have seen from ALL sides of the political spectrum. Anyone who responds by blaming one side or another is simply missing the point. Let's stop squabbling like idiots. This site represents a cross-section of what I would consider the best of our civilization. Intelligent discourse may save our civilization from annihilation, but we have to accept that our differences are not as great as they may seem, and keep our arguments relevant and logical.
edit on 27-6-2017 by hololeap because: Small typo




posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:14 PM
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a reply to: hololeap

Well that makes a lot of sense! Perhaps that's the problem...

It's the internet where you can put up a macho avatar, adopt a partisan tough guy persona and shoot your rhetorical guns at the enemy.

It's more theater than knowledgeable discourse.

The web had astonishing potential and perhaps still does but like most things in western culture; it's morphed into just light entertainment.

God save us from those effete intellectual academic snobs..... Sorry, Just playing fast and lose with a Spiro Agnew quote....

Get yourself a scary Avatar and a snarky signature and join in the fun.
edit on 27-6-2017 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:15 PM
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👏



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:15 PM
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Do we really need to have a second thread on this, while the other thread is open?



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:16 PM
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Well said. Secondly, if someone disagrees with something you agree with it is not an attack on you that requires venom. It's a difference in opinion. Step back think about it. You probably won't change your mind but it WILL give you a different perspective to contemplate. Never a bad thing.



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:37 PM
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What is needed is the complete deletion of all political content and a renewed emphasis on conspiracy, the original purpose of this site.

Politics has polluted the forum and polarized the membership. It is boring and it is bulls**t.



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:48 PM
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a reply to: hololeap



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:49 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid
Well said. Secondly, if someone disagrees with something you agree with it is not an attack on you that requires venom. It's a difference in opinion. Step back think about it. You probably won't change your mind but it WILL give you a different perspective to contemplate. Never a bad thing.

Exactly. The problem comes when someone identifies with a side to the point they take criticism of those politics personal.

If people could learn an attack on their politics isn't an attack on them, we all could have a lot more meaningful conversations, instead of spending half of the time having to defend ourselves.



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:52 PM
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originally posted by: TerminalVelocity
Do we really need to have a second thread on this, while the other thread is open?




Yes



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:53 PM
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originally posted by: FatFreddysCat
a reply to: hololeap

yes, you understand, precisely.



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 04:58 PM
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trying to remember all the great conversations I have had with you in all the great threads you start... oh I can't



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 05:00 PM
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Thank you,for trying to put positivity back on the boards. I hope this thread stays that way. I don't know why it's become a me versus you, on almost every topic with zero agree to disagree discourse. Everyone thinks their position on a topic is the only one,as if we are all to bow down in collective agreement. The interwebs have given rise to narcissistic behavior the likes of which we haven't seen before. It's ugly. It's separating us from meaningful discussion and debate because many are all closed off to opposing opinions. If only to hear another side of the story,not necessarily agree. I miss the days when civility was actively enforced,not just by mods but because we valued the fact that we were talking to people,not avatars. I feel like there is a huge disconnect in humanity now. I read things here,and elsewhere online that people would never say to your face simply for opposing their stance on a topic. It's vicious. It's the reason why I rarely post even on topics I'm passionate about. This will be the decline of ATS....those of us who don't post because of the confrontational nature of any debate.



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 05:09 PM
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In a totally separate way than the OP...and I do appreciate the OP's post...I have always thought ATS was classy compared to the multiple forums who allow open swearing, derogatory racist or image or gender posts.

Otherwise I do agree with the OP.



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 05:19 PM
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I, for one, have grown weary of all the political ranting that now defines ATS. I yearn for the old days when ATS was a true "conspiracy" site when discussions of UFOs, ancient and/or lost civilizations, evil government plots and the like were the norm.

I use the Feedly RSS aggregator to display new ATS topics. Now-a-days it's just page after page of Trump/Hillary bashing or other political nonsense.

I have been an ATS member for well over a decade and will continue come here to find topics that interest me. But I would be much happier if all the political twaddle just disappeared. I can go to CNN if I really wanted to endure that tripe.



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 05:39 PM
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I think there is plenty of room for intelligent discussion on ATS and there are alot of good threads to be found. But when you look at the (political) threads that get started you get the sense that discussion is taking a back seat to expressing and defending an opinion. I'm not saying that if you have an opinion you're not intelligent. But you will be inclined and often forced to defend that opinion if expressed here.

Trouble with politics it that it's mostly based on personal opinion so there is no 'safe space' to keep it 'classy'. What I have seen happening here at ATS is the explosive amount of political opinionated content. It feels like the new gospel is no longer religious but turned political instead



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 05:52 PM
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originally posted by: 123143
What is needed is the complete deletion of all political content and a renewed emphasis on conspiracy, the original purpose of this site.

Politics has polluted the forum and polarized the membership. It is boring and it is bulls**t.


I wish I could star you!



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 06:09 PM
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a reply to: hololeap



..nd



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 08:27 PM
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Do we really need to have a second thread on this, while the other thread is open?


I was working on this thread at the same the other one was posted. It took me a while to refine what I was trying to say, but I still felt like it should be its own thread instead of tacking onto the other one.



I miss the days when civility was actively enforced,not just by mods but because we valued the fact that we were talking to people,not avatars.


That was pretty much the point of me posting this. Just a friendly reminder to those who read it to try to follow a set of rules that ensure debate is productive and civil. Something that can be adopted by all sides in order to increase the quality and fairness of discussions. I, by no means, think that my rules are perfect. Everyone can adopt their own version, but these were the points that I thought should be put on the table.



I have always thought ATS was classy compared to the multiple forums who allow open swearing, derogatory racist or image or gender posts


I love ATS and think it is quite classy, for the most part. There are just some blatant fallacies being thrown around that are keeping people on the defensive and stunting the evolution of the discussion.



Politics has polluted the forum and polarized the membership. It is boring and it is bulls**t.


Politics has its place on a forum like this, but in general the political threads are bloated with inflammatory B.S. and fallacies that go nowhere. You might say that this gives political threads an unfair advantage in terms of making it to the front page.



trying to remember all the great conversations I have had with you in all the great threads you start... oh I can't


I'm not sure what your point is... I mentioned the fact that I am primarily a lurker. In general, I don't comment because I feel like I have a pretty superficial knowledge of the topics at hand and I wouldn't contribute much.
edit on 27-6-2017 by hololeap because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 08:35 PM
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a reply to: hololeap


After seeing the direction that conversations at ATS are going, I feel that I need to try to push things in a more civil direction.
Warning, Danger, thought police in the building.



posted on Jun, 27 2017 @ 08:41 PM
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I remember a time when ATS had some of the most amazing threads and debates that separated us from the likes of GLP and the many other forums on the net. We could talk about conspiracies, politics and current events with a manner of respect, even though we were skeptics or completely disagreed with the overall premise. We even had a debate forum in which the hot topics of the day were discussed by some of the best minds, with civility and respect.

That is very tough now. The conspiratorial mindset that infected the lunatics of other sites has now infected this site.

The "traditional" conspiracies have been played-out to it's logical end, and now the political conspiracies have become the "du jour" go-to.

I have a part to play in this madness, but I cannot let this continue-on without offering a voice of opposition to the madness.

I apologize for what I contribute to this...for whatever it's worth.


edit on 27-6-2017 by introvert because: (no reason given)



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