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Deny Bigotry

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posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 10:22 PM
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I'm posting this as a member of the staff, but I'm also posting this as a member of ATS.

Bigotry is not tolerable on ATS.

What is bigotry?


From Dictionary.com:

big-ot-ry [big-uh-tree]

–noun, plural -ries.

1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.

2. the actions, beliefs, prejudices, etc., of a bigot.

I'm seeing this on ATS, and I would like to see less of it.

But I'm torn on this issue, because I want members to always feel free to express their true opinions.

To the extent we can't, ATS suffers.


The Thick Gray Line

I will admit that even now I have misgivings, because I cherish the free expression of every member, but I truly believe that we as a community must agree to abandon bigotry, because I believe it is against what ATS stands for.

To support this conviction, I offer this, from the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use:


Originally posted by SimonGray
2) Behavior: You will not behave in an abusive and/or hateful manner, and will not harass, threaten, nor attack anyone.

How does this apply to ATS and bigotry?

Here is my interpretation, and please feel free to disagree if you think I'm wrong.

Our community is a global community which includes members from all over the world. As a member of the senior staff, I want every member to feel welcome. It is my job to serve the membership, and I take this responsibility very seriously.

We have members of virtually every nationality, religion, creed, race, gender, age and system of belief on the planet.

Thus when any member insults any of these groups, that amounts to an insult of a fellow member.

We cannot permit this. :shk:

Mutual Respect

I am very sensitive to accusations of "political correctness", and I promise you that I do not subscribe to euphemistic dishonesty in any form.

But when any member insults, antagonizes or derides any other member directly or indirectly simply for being who they are, I think that's wrong, and I think it's against the T&C.

So I encourage every member to remember the global reach of ATS when posting, and to realize that the member next to you may be the member you offend when you say "the only good ____ is a dead ____."

Only if we can all discuss the things that matter in an atmosphere of mutual respect can we Deny Ignorance, and to accomplish this, I call upon all of my fellow members to Deny Bigotry.






[edit on 9/7/2006 by Majic]




posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 10:42 PM
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Needed saying.

I think that all of us that engage in the political arena debate that is the current situation between Israel and Lebanon particularly need to reevaluate at times.

Especially me.

We do tend to "group" individuals along with whatever ideology they are supporting at the time, this can be hurtful to the individual and we should remember this.

Thank you Majic for the timely and well put reminder.

Semper



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 10:49 PM
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This is, after all, an arena of ideas. What we think and what we feel are not always the same thing. Like the man says, this is an international gathering. Disagreement does not have to take the form of an attack. Religion and politics are more volatile than most people realize. In the privacy of your own home, you are "the decider" of what goes on. When you reach for that keyboard, you're picking up a loaded weapon. If you don't use it responsibly when you come to the international gathering, somebody will get hurt. Unintended harm is still harm. Intended harm is...well...it's intentional.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 10:50 PM
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As long as no direct personal attacks are involved, I think you are entering dangerous territory. While what you intend is admirable, I don't think you will ever be able to split those hairs finely or consistently enough. Eventually, it will only appear you are suppressing free expression of thought and drive "those" members underground.

I say let them declare themselves! I'd rather know who I'm dealing with.

Just my $0.02.

[edit on 7-9-2006 by loam]



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 10:58 PM
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Hair's Breadth


Originally posted by loam
As long as no direct personal attacks are involved, I think you are entering dangerous territory.

I know, I know.


And the most searing indictment against "political correctness" is that it stifles open debate.

But that's not what I'm calling for here.

Rather, I think it's important that we each remember that when we talk about "them", there's a pretty good chance that several other members are "them".

Maybe this is too much of a stretch -- and again, it would be a tragic mistake to think I don't hold the sanctity of member opinions in the highest regard -- but what am I to tell members who find themselves slandered in the forums just for being who they are?

Perhaps there is no easy answer, but if there is one, I want to find it.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 11:06 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
...but what am I to tell members who find themselves slandered in the forums just for being who they are?


Tell them not to lose the strength of their convictions and to realize that there is injustice in the world...and dare I say it...to Deny Ignorance.



Originally posted by Majic
Perhaps there is no easy answer, but if there is one, I want to find it.



No there isn't.


Otherwise, there would be world peace.


Nonetheless, I like it that you consider such issues. It shows what a decent person you are.


[edit on 7-9-2006 by loam]



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 11:16 PM
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Well We Can Try, Anyway

Thankfully there's a safety valve on the process: I'm not allowed to make policy.


All I can do is interpret the T&C as best I can, and hopefully encourage members to honor them through persuasion rather than coercion.

Maybe the best way to think of this is as my opinion, but an opinion tempered by the fact that I understand every member has a reason for feeling the way they do.

So I guess this isn't an "ultimatum" (I hate ultimatums anyway), but rather a request that my fellow members remember who they're addressing when they post.

You're addressing the entire world.

Please post accordingly.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 11:36 PM
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"Religion is an instrument of social control and manipulation, a source of comfort to cowards, a means of justification to the bloodthirsty, and an agent of moral corruption to just about everybody. Above all, it is a lie."

I posted this statement on the thread entitled Religion... A promise to nothing? Nobody compained about it and no moderator took issue with it. That, I believe, was exactly as it should have been

Now I wonder whether Majic and other moderators might consider me out of order.

When I posted those two sentences, I was -- of course -- aware that a person of faith would consider it aggressively negative or even offensive, but I feel strongly enough about this issue to express my views about it in those words.

I wasn't just letting off steam; I believe strongly that the taboo against discussing and expressing an opinion on others' religious faith and practice, while it may preserve harmony in small social situations, has allowed the religious to get away, literally, with murder on a worldwide scale. I take every opportunity I can, in speech as well as in writing, to break that taboo.

So: is a statement like that now to be considered unacceptable on ATS?

I'd really like to know.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 11:37 PM
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Good post Majic, and definitely timely.

I've noticed a lot of 'bad manners' around here lately, and it's not just the newbies. I was slandered in a thread I wasn't even in. The member actually called me out by name... or, tried to anyway. That kind of behavior is the absolute antithesis of the inquisitive, convivial vibe ATS usually offers.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 11:43 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
...a request that my fellow members remember who they're addressing when they post.

You're addressing the entire world.

Please post accordingly.


That is a sentiment I will gladly champion with you.


[edit on 7-9-2006 by loam]



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 01:36 AM
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Although I agree with your intention and direction Majic I too have to say that this can be a fine line to walk, hopefully both members and staff can will within reason.

[edit on 8-9-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 01:57 AM
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It's A Fine, Fine Line


Originally posted by WestPoint23
Although I agree with your intention and direction Majic I too have to say that this can be a fine line to walk, hopefully both members and staff can act within reason.

Yeah, it may be a bridge too far.

And this is where the conflict arises.

I want every member, no matter who they are, to feel welcome on ATS. Our strength comes from having members from around the world compare notes and collaborate to expose propaganda and lies.

I don't want anyone to feel like they will be attacked just for being who they are.

On the other hand, if we start implementing "speech codes" and "hate-speech rules", that could shut us down much more effectively than any drama over bigotry might.

So what can we do?

The Human Touch

I can say without equivocation that the attitude I have seen from the staff is that they don't want bigotry, but they also have the highest regard for the opinions of members and the sanctity of intellectual freedom.

Some members have very strong opinions about various groups, and they have their reasons.

Maybe the best thing to do is what we've always done: leave it up to the discretion of members and staff to work out.

Instead of a blanket policy, maybe it's best if we just handle this on a case-by-case basis.

And as always, if any member thinks we're acting improperly, the Complain function gives you a direct line to the top.

Like so many things, maybe the best answer isn't a rigid code, but us working together as members.

In the end, that seems to work best.



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 05:20 AM
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Majic IMO this is a pointless topic .
Members that wont adhere to the T&C are delt with by the mods in a good and quick manner. The only thing I can see this topic doing is reducing the scope of debates. ATS already seperates constructive debate from personal attacks on members and there belief systems via the T&C.

Most of the membership already realize that you have to back statements that you make with facts and some form of reasoning and that you cant make personal attacks against members or there beliefs.

[edit on 8-9-2006 by xpert11]



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 05:53 AM
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I've been on the end of many forms of prejudice. Furthermore, I have seen it on this site time and time again. However, do these views bother me? Of course not. I worry much more about a society who shuts off these bigots. Who hides them from our view, so instead they group together - group together where views like this are never challenged.

If ATS is to Deny Ignorance, it needs to allow such views to exist and it needs to let its member base challenge them. Once these people are shown they are wrong, it does more to change views that burying our head in the sands ever will.



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 06:33 AM
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Originally posted by Majic
1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.


True it is nice to be able to effectively communicate where as not to offend one another.
The fact is written communication is more offensive then verbal one on one...and we unintentionally offend even then.

With the above definition we need to get rid of the secret society forums as there is a lot of "stubborn" ideas going on against masonry.


Peace

Dalen



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 07:07 AM
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I'd have to agree with some other members here in that the bar is being raised to unrealistic levels. I know your not introducing policy just trying to make everyone "get along" and respect each other. Problem is it comes off sounding like a church group proposal, no offence intended. People are people and while you can attempt to coerce them with terms & conditions it doesn't mean they'll comply or more importantly care.

I like what Loam said and I agree to let the chips fall and see who is saying what (with some degree of decorum of course). It provides for more meaningful debates to know who your dealing with. What I do see on occasion are instances of complete bigotry that bring out the best counter responses from other members. I think it can be educational at that point and a moment of personal reflection (starting to sound a bit churchy aren't I )


The point I'm trying to make is that even with the exchange of bigotted phrases and using the most derogatory terms people can, on occasion, learn from others that they may be wrong. It then becomes an opportunity to show those people other ways of thinking and understanding different cultures & beliefs. It's what ATS does best.

brill


[edit on 8-9-2006 by brill]



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 10:02 AM
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Debate, or debating, is a method of interactive and rational representational argument. There is no need for bigotry and prejudice to enter into it. In a conversation at a bar or in the caffeteria on your lunch break, normal & civilized people don't spout racial epithets or make other intolerant remarks to derail the topic. Same should apply here.

I applaud ATS on this issue. I don't see it as censorship, I see it as something that will facilitate conversation by curbing disrespect of other members.

Bravo!



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
"Religion is an instrument of social control and manipulation, a source of comfort to cowards, a means of justification to the bloodthirsty, and an agent of moral corruption to just about everybody. Above all, it is a lie."

~~~~~~~~~~

Now I wonder whether Majic and other moderators might consider me out of order.

When I posted those two sentences, I was -- of course -- aware that a person of faith would consider it aggressively negative or even offensive, but I feel strongly enough about this issue to express my views about it in those words.
~~~~~~~~~~~

So: is a statement like that now to be considered unacceptable on ATS?

I'd really like to know.


My take as a mod.
I don't see a T&C infringement here.

You posted your thoughts on religion.

You did not say Catholics/Christians/Atheists/Jews/Muslims are useless people who deserve to die.
You did not say Canadians/Iraquis/Turks/Americans/Israelis are better off dead, etc., etc.

I am no fan of PC either. In fact, I pretty much have no use for it :shk:

We are all members of this earth.
And I see no reason to bash people in general and consider them pond scum as a group.

Now, people who intentionally do wrong, who purposely harm others or wish ill upon groups or nations :shk:
Who have an agenda to rid the world of nations and groups who have different beliefs and who do no harm, well, THAT is wrong. :shk:
I don't think any on ATS want to be included in that group.



[edit on 8-9-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 11:29 AM
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From Dictionary.com:

1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.



I have a stubborn and complete intolerance of the beliefs of the KKK, gay bashers, Bush supporters, child molestors and several other groups. Does that make me a bigot? Admittedly, I am normally pretty accepting of people whose opinions differ from mine, but there are some I just can't tolerate.

The definition says "ANY creed, belief or opinion different from one's own". I guess you can't call me a bigot, then because I am pretty tolerant of some beliefs, even though I disagree strongly with them. Religion comes to mind.

This is a touchy subject with me. I mean most of us can agree to be completely intolerant of child molestors, but does that mean it's ok to trash them? By whose judgment do we rule that bigotry against 'certain groups' wil be allowed? ATS staff, I guess. Would anyone balk if a member wrote, "The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist"?

It may seem that I'm trying to be difficult and I guess I am. I just want to point out that denying bigotry isn't as easy and simple as it might at first appear. Expressing one's opinion about a group of people can be seen as bigotry or solidarity, depending on the group and one's audience.

Just some thoughts...



posted on Sep, 8 2006 @ 11:31 AM
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Can't we all just become Equal Opportunity Haters?

EOH for short.



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